KFYR-TV, ATSC channel 31 (redirects to former NTSC channel 5 via PSIP), is the NBC affiliated television station for Bismarck, North Dakota. KFYR-TV is the flagship station of NBC North Dakota, a network of four stations that serve most of central and western North Dakota, along with parts of South Dakota and Montana.
|KFYR: Bismarck, North Dakota
KQCD: Dickinson, North Dakota
NBC North Dakota
|Slogan||The News Leader|
|Channels||Digital: KFYR: 31 (UHF)|
|Subchannels||5.1/7.1 NBC (HDTV)|
K09EZ Beulah (both repeating KFYR-TV)
|Owner||Hoak Media Corporation
(Hoak Media of Dakota License, LLC)
|First air date||KFYR: December 19, 1953
KQCD: July 28, 1980
|Call letters' meaning||
KFYR: inherited from KFYRradio
KQCD: Queen City Dickinson
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
KFYR: 5 (VHF, 1953-2009) KQCD: 7 (VHF, 1980-2009)
|Transmitter power||KFYR: 500 kW
KQCD: 11.3 kW
|Height||KFYR: 389 m
KQCD: 205 m
|Facility ID||KFYR: 41427
The station serves the southern half of the Western North Dakota television market. It operates a semi-satellite, KQCD-TV, ATSC channel 7 in Dickinson, that serves the southwestern portion of the state. Although KQCD identifies itself as a station in its own right, it airs a time-shifted feed of KFYR-TV in Mountain Time for most of the day. However, it airs its own station identifications, as well as its own commercials. NBC prime time programming runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..
KFYR-TV, signed on December 19, 1953 as the third television station in North Dakota and the first in Bismarck. It was owned by Marietta Meyer Ekberg along with KFYR radio (550 AM). Marietta's parents, Phillip Meyer and Etta Hoskins Meyer, had founded KFYR radio in 1925. It carried programming from all four networks of the time—NBC, CBS, ABC and DuMont, but has always been a primary NBC affiliate owing to KFYR radio's long affiliation with NBC radio. Marietta Ekberg was one of three female station owners in the NBC network, along with Dorothy Bulitt of KING-TV in Seattle and Georgia Davidson of KIDO-TV (now KTVB) in Boise.
KFYR-TV's transmitting antenna was originally set up temporarily atop the 19-story North Dakota State Capitol building, and operated from that location for just over a year. In the interim, a new tower (approximately 580 feet high) was erected adjacent to the KFYR-AM radio transmitting site near Menoken. It currently operates from a 1,246-foot tower in St. Anthony, overlooking the Missouri River.
In 1966, KFYR-AM and KFYR-TV were joined by KFYR-FM on 92.9 (now KYYY). The stations all broadcast from the Hoskins-Meyer building on Fourth and Broadway in downtown Bismarck; KFYR-TV is still headquartered there today.
In the mid-1950s the Federal Communications Commission collapsed all of central and western North Dakota into one giant television market. Accordingly, the Meyers opened three other stations. KUMV-TV in Williston signed on in 1957, followed by KMOT in Minot in 1958 and KQCD-TV in Dickinson in 1980. These stations became known as the "Meyer Television Network," with KFYR-TV as the flagship station.
KQCD was the last of the four stations to sign on when it debuted on January 25, 1980. It has always been a semi-satellite of KFYR-TV.The station dropped CBS when KBMB-TV (now KXMB-TV) signed on in 1955, and lost DuMont when that network shut down a few months later. It shared ABC with KXMB until full-time ABC affiliate KBMY signed on in 1985. The Meyers sold their broadcast holdings in 1997, with the TV stations going to Sunrise Television Corporation. Sunrise sold them to The Wicks Group of Companies of New York City.
Hoak bought KFYR and its satellites in July 2006, as well as KVLY-TV and KXJB-TV (LMA with Catamount Broadcasting) of Fargo and KSFY-TV of Sioux Falls and its satellite stations. On November 17, 2006, the sale was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Programming and news
KFYR's newscasts have led the ratings in western North Dakota for many years. Early on, the Meyers devoted significant resources to KFYR's news department, resulting in a higher-quality product than conventional wisdom would suggest for such a small market. This tradition has continued today.
The station broadcasts local newscasts at 5:30 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday; 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunday. KFYR-TV anchors include Monica Hannan and Alan Miller. The weekday morning and afternoon newscasts are simulcast across the entire four-station network, along with all weekend newscasts. KQCD's news department consists of bureau chief Brian Howell and reporter Cebe Schneider. They are the only reporters based in southwestern North Dakota. Their stories appear on KFYR-TV's newscasts.
The stations occasionally share stories with co-owned KVLY. The five stations simulcast major North Dakota sporting events under the NBC North Dakota brand name and share certain equipment, such as remote broadcasting vehicles.
Current on-air staff
- Monica Hannan - weeknights at 5 and 6 p.m.
- Alan Miller - weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Amanda Tetlak - weeknights at 10 p.m. (also political reporter)
- Courtney Kabot - mornings at 6 a.m., noon
- Joel Porter - mornings at 6 a.m.
- Retha Colclasure - general assignment reporter
- Kristin Clouston - city beat reporter
- Juli McDonald - medical reporter
- Michelle San Miguel - energy reporter
- Brian Howell - political reporter
First Warn Weather Team
- Kevin Lawrence (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist/NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Rob Martin - Meteorologist; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Cliff Naylor - Weather Anchor; weekday mornings and noon (also feature reporter and special projects director)
- Lee Timmerman - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Scott Westerberg - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Joey Whelan - general assignment and sports reporter
Former on-air staff
At sign on in 1953:
- News Anchor: Jack Swenson
- Weather: I. E. "Esky" Solberg
- Sports: Doug Anderson
- Cal Culver (MC/musician)
- Mike Dosch (organ/accordion)
- Larry Kindle (general assignments)
- Chuck Schoergge (general assignments)
1954 through 1965 (partial listing)
- Bob MacLeod (news anchor)
- Jim Backlin (news anchor/weather)
- Dick Johnson (news anchor)
- John Clement (news anchor)
- Lou Schoen (news anchor)
- Dewey Heggen (news anchor)
- Eddie Agre (general assignments)
- Bill Owen (general assignments/Marshal Bill)
- Eldon Raye (weather/Marshal Bill...replacing Bill Owen)
- Karl Johnson (weather)
- Dave Montgomery (weather/general assignments)
- Don Green (sports)
- Clink McGeary (sports)
- E. J. Anderson (sports)
- Dave O'Brien (sports)
- Roger Higgins (sports)
- Bill Baumann (various assignments)
- Tom Bryant (various assignments)
- Claire Ann Holmberg (various assignments)
- Lou Plaisance (various assignments)
- NBC North Dakota News (1996–present)
- The Area's News and Information Leader (1992–1996)
- The News Leader (1996–present)
In addition to KQCD, KFYR-TV's programming is simulcast on two low-powered translators:
- KFYR-TV website
- KQCD website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KFYR
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KQCD
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KFYR-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KQCD-TV
- Program Information for KFYR at TitanTV.com
- Program Information for KQCD at TitanTV.com