KMSP-TV, channel 9, is the Fox-owned-and-operated television station serving the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota designated market area, owned in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliateWFTC (channel 29). Its studios are located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and its transmitter is located in Shoreview, Minnesota.
|Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Branding||Fox 9 KMSP (general)
Fox 9 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Stay Connected with Fox 9
(general) The Most Powerful Name in Local News(news)
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)Virtual: 9 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||9.1 Fox (HD)9.2 WFTC/MNTV (SD)|
|Affiliations||Fox (1986-1988, 2002-present)|
|Owner||Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
|First air date||January 9, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP is also the IATA code forMinneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, with KMSP as its ICAO code)|
|Former callsigns||KEYD-TV (1955-1956)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 9 (VHF)(January 9, 1955 - June 12, 2009)
Digital: 26 (UHF, until June 12, 2009)
|Former affiliations||DuMont (1955)ABC (1961-1979)|
|Transmitter power||30 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||45°3′29.5″N 93°7′28.2″W|
KMSP is a more news-based Fox station with 48.5 hours a week of locally-produced newscasts, as well as first-run prime time, late-night and sports programming from Fox. It also runs off-network sitcoms, talk shows, reality shows and court shows.
The KMSP-WFTC duopoly is a union shop, with all technicians and photographers being required to join the IBEW Local 292.
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 News operation
- 4 Broadcasting facilities
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The station grew out of an AM station, KEYD (AM 1440, now KDIZ), with which it was co-owned until mid-1956. After the FCC opened up bidding for the channel 9 license, WLOL and WDGY also expressed interest. However, they withdrew their applications at the last minute, assuring that the new station would go to KEYD and its owner, Family Broadcasting. KEYD-TV began broadcasting on January 9, 1955  and was affiliated with the DuMont Television Network.Harry Reasoner was the station's first anchor and news director. DuMont shut down in late 1955, leaving the station as an independent outlet. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer purchased a minority (25 percent) but controlling stake in the station in 1956, the news department was shut down and Reasoner was hired by CBS. Reasoner became an anchor for CBS's 60 Minuteswhen it debuted in 1968.
The station changed its calls to KMGM-TV in 1956, to go along with its new minority owner.National Telefilm Associates, which later purchased WNTA in New York, purchased 75 percent of the station not owned by MGM in 1957. A year later, NTA bought MGM's stake and changed channel 9's calls to the current KMSP-TV. KMSP was sold to United Television (at the time20th Century Fox's broadcasting division) the following year.
During its early years until 1972, the station's studios and offices were located in a lower level of the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis; the transmitter was located on top of the tower, the tallest structure in the area until 1971, along with channels 4 and 11. The transmitter was moved in 1971 to a new tower constructed by KMSP in Shoreview, MN, while the studios and offices relocated in 1972 to Edina on York Avenue South, across from Southdale Shopping Center. The station moved once more, in 1992, to its current location on Viking Drive in Eden Prairie.
As an ABC affiliate
In 1961, KMSP took over the ABC network affiliation from WTCN-TV (channel 11, now KARE). Throughout its years with ABC, KMSP was notorious for having a sub-standard news department with large staff turnover. Ratings were dismal with KMSP obtaining only one-third of the viewing audience of each of their two competitors, CBS affiliate WCCO-TV (channel 4) and NBC affiliate KSTP-TV (channel 5).
In the late 1970s ABC steadily rose to first place in the network ratings. Accordingly, the network sought to upgrade its affiliate list, which was made up of some stations that either had poor signals or poorly-performing local programming. In early 1977, ABC warned KMSP that it would yank its affiliation unless improvements were made and fast. Ratings improved by 1977 when ABC went from being the last-place network to being the first. To cash in, KMSP re-branded itself "ABC9" (approximately 20 years before U.S. stations began the network name in their branding en masse), and retooled its newscast. KMSP's news department was still a distant third behind WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV. That same year Chris-Craft Industries purchased a minority stake in United Television's parent 20th Century Fox.
Becoming an independent once again
On August 29, 1978, ABC announced that KSTP-TV would be its new affiliate in the Twin Cities. The signing of channel 5 made nationwide news, as it had been an NBC affiliate for three decades. KSTP looked forward to affiliating with the top network, as third-place NBC had been in a long slump. In retaliation for losing ABC, KMSP immediately removed all ABC branding and regularly preempted network programming. KMSP then attempted to affiliate with NBC, thinking Johnny Carson would be a good lead-out from their 10:00 PM news, despite low prime time ratings. However, NBC, miffed at losing one of its strongest affiliates, and not wanting to pick up ABC's rejects, turned down KMSP's offer almost immediately and signed an affiliation agreement with independent WTCN.
As a result of being rejected by both ABC and NBC, KMSP prepared to become an independent station. It would also be freed up from investing as heavily in their meager news department. Most of the on-air and off-air staffers resigned, not wanting to work for a down-scaled independent operation.
The affiliate switch occurred on March 5, 1979, and KMSP debuted its new independent schedule featuring cartoons, syndicated shows and even the locally-based American Wrestling Association, with much of it coming from WTCN-TV. It re-branded itself as "Receptive Channel 9", and became quite aggressive in programming, obtaining broadcast rights to several state high school sports championships (MSHSL), theNHL's Minnesota North Stars and the Minnesota Twins baseball team. The stripped-down evening newscast was moved to 9:30 p.m., then by 1981 to 9 p.m. and expanded to one hour.
As it turned out, KMSP's transition into an independent station turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It was far more successful than it ever had been as an ABC affiliate. It became a regional superstation, available on nearly every cable system in Minnesota as well as large portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Over time, it became one of the most successful and profitable independent stations in the country.
In 1981, KMSP went through another ownership change when United Television became partly owned by BHC Communications as the result of Chris Craft Industries' swap of its stake (then at 20 percent) in 20th Century Fox for a 19 percent stake in United Television. Two years later, Chris-Craft Industries gained majority control of United Television.
First Fox affiliation, then back to independent
The station remained independent through 1986, when it became one of the original affiliates of the newly-launched Fox network. However, Fox only aired programming two days a week, so for all intents and purposes KMSP was still an independent. This suited channel 9, as it wanted the prestige of being a network affiliate without being tied down to a network schedule. For all intents and purposes, it was the Fox affiliate for all of Minnesota. However, it did not remain a Fox affiliate for long. By 1988, KMSP was one of several Fox affiliates nationwide disappointed with the network's weak programming offerings, particularly on Saturday nights, which were bogging down KMSP's otherwise successful independent lineup. It started preempting and time-shifting network shows, much to Fox's irritation. After an ultimatum by the network to run the full schedule in pattern, Fox named KITN (channel 29, now WFTC) as its new Twin Cities affiliate, and KMSP returned to full independent status.
As a UPN affiliate
By the early 1990s, Fox had exploded in popularity. It had strong shows that were starting to rival the offerings of the 'Big Three' networks, and had just picked up rights to the NFL. In response to this, KMSP's then-owner, Chris-Craft/United Television, partnered with Paramount Pictures (which soon became part of media conglomerate Viacom) to create the United Paramount Network (UPN). Channel 9 became a UPN owned and operated station on January 16, 1995, the day the network commenced operations with the two-hour pilot episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
KMSP became one of UPN's most successful affiliates. In addition, it was still enjoying success with local sports programming featuring the Minnesota Twins, as well as the MSHSL championships.
Return to Fox as an owned-and-operated station
KMSP remained as a UPN affiliate even after the station, along with several other stations owned by Chris-Craft, was sold to the Fox Television Stations Group in 2001 (this brought KMSP, along with sister stations KMOL-TV in San Antonio and KTVX in Salt Lake City, back under common ownership with 20th Century Fox). An affiliation swap was expected after KMSP's affiliation contract with UPN ran out. Besides Fox's presumed preference to have its programming on a station it already owned, KMSP's signal was much stronger than that of WFTC. Also, WFTC didn't have a news department. The move was made easier when Fox bought WFTC from Clear Channel shortly after in July 2001 (it swapped KTVX in Salt Lake City and KMOL, now WOAI-TV in San Antonio, for WFTC).
On September 8, 2002, KMSP and WFTC swapped network affiliations. This move (accompanied by a "Make the Switch" ad campaign on both stations) made KMSP a Fox station once again. At that time, KMSP took all Fox programming, including the Fox Box (which later went back to WFTC as 4KidsTV until its December 2008 discontinuation). The affiliation swap coincided with the start of the 2002 NFL season; KMSP became the primary station for the Minnesota Vikings as Fox owns the broadcast rights to the National Football Conference (which the Vikings are in).
Of all the former Chris-Craft stations Fox retained, KMSP was the only one not to retain its UPN affiliation. KMSP is one of three network-owned stations in the Twin Cities alongside sister WFTC and CBS-owned WCCO. Since most media markets have Fox affiliates and theFCC's market regulations normally require cable systems to only carry the local affiliate of any given network, KMSP was removed from mostcable lineups in northern and western Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin and lost its "regional superstation" status it held as an independent station and UPN affiliate. Due to the advent of digital television, many stations in smaller markets previously served by KMSP launched digital subchannels affiliated with UPN to replace UPN's programming in those markets.
Fox proceeded to invest heavily in KMSP, creating the station's strongest news operation ever (it even briefly produced a newscast for sister station WFTC). In addition, Fox soon become a full-fledged competitor with NBC, ABC and CBS with a number of hit shows and an aggressive cable news operation. The late night edition of Fox 9 News today often draws better ratings than the newscasts on KSTP-TV, which obtained the ABC affiliation from KMSP thirty years earlier.
Video news release controversy
On June 16, 2006, KMSP played a "video news release" about convertibles produced by GM in its entirety. The narrator, Medialink publicist Andrew Schmertz, was introduced as reporter André Schmertz. KMSP did not disclose the corporate source of this segment to their viewers. On March 24, 2011, KMSP was levied a $4,000 fine by the Federal Communications Commission for airing the video news release without disclosing its origin, following complaints in 2006 and 2007 filed by the Free Press and The Center for Media and Democracy.
|9.1||KMSP-TV programming / Fox HD|
|9.2||WFTC programming / MyNetworkTVSD|
KMSP-DT was originally on 26, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display its virtual channel as 9. As part of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed, KMSP-TV shut down its analog transmitter on June 12, 2009, and moved its digital broadcasts back to channel 9.
In November 2009 the station moved the standard definition feed of WFTC to KMSP-DT2 to allow viewers to choose which of the FTSG signals works best for their reception needs.
KMSP broadcasts a total of 41 hours of local news a week (6½ hours on weekdays, four hours on Saturdays and 4½ hours on Sundays), more than any other station in Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota; however as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, KMSP's Saturday and Sunday 5 p.m. newscasts are subject to preemption due to sports coverage.
The station has had a long-running 9 p.m. newscast (now known as Fox at 9), which airs an hour before all other news broadcasts in the area. The two primary news anchors are Jeff Passolt and Robyne Robinson, who are the longest current anchor team in the Twin Cities at 14 years, according to the station. This changed when Robinson announced on May 11, 2010 that she would leave KMSP after 20 years at the station. KMSP, along with KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, and KSAZ-TV in Phoenix are the only Fox-owned stations to have a 10 p.m. newscast in the Central and Mountain Time Zones (of the mentioned stations, KMSP and KDFW do not run their 10 p.m. newscast nightly and KMSP is the only one that airs their 10 p.m. newscast on during the weekend, airing it on Sunday nights. However, KSAZ in Phoenix runs a 10pm newscast seven nights per week.). Sister stations WTVT in Tampa-St. Petersburg and WTTG in Washington, D.C. have a late newscast at the Eastern time zone equivalent of 11 p.m.
On September 24, 2007, sister station WJBK in Detroit, Michigan became the third Fox O&O in the Eastern time zone to add an 11 p.m. newscast. This was when WJBK joined KMSP as being one out of several Fox O&Os to go with the FNC-look (new set, new rotating logo, etc.). Fox may have all the O&Os add an 11 p.m. newscast should this become a success. This may mean more of the Fox O&Os in the Central and Mountain Time Zones could add a 10 p.m. newscast as well (KTBC in Austin had a 10 p.m. newscast for years after switching to Fox, which has since been scaled back to 9 p.m.).
Conversely, KMSP is also one of a few Fox O&Os without a midday newscast (along with WFXT in Boston and WOFL in Orlando) and one of five Fox O&Os with a 5 p.m. newscast, but no 6 p.m. newscast (along with KTBC in Austin, WHBQ in Memphis, KRIV in Houston and WFXTin Boston.
On May 11, 2009, KMSP became the second station to launch local news in high definition. The first was KARE in 2006. The set and music remains the same. The only new thing are the new Fox O&O HD graphics with some minor tweaks and HD weather graphics. On September 14, 2009 KMSP expanded its morning newscast to five and a half hours from 4:30-10 a.m. (one of several Fox-owned stations to do so, following the cancellation of The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet), with the 9 a.m. hour being called Fox 9 News: Morning Buzz.
The station is noted for having a number of Emmy-winning photojournalists and reporters. The newscasts have been nationally honored with the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast and Spot News Coverage, in addition to Investigative Reporting, and Videography.
In October 2008, KMSP won another 17 Emmys, along with four Emmys for its sister station WFTC. Among this years Emmys were wins for ads for myfoxhockey.com, foxhilitestwincities.com, "Stay Connected with Fox 9", and best online marketing initiative for Family Guy Photos at the Fair. Sister station WFTC won multiple Emmys for Twins on My29 Pinball Promos, and its generic composite ads.
In October 2007, KMSP won 17 Emmys, along with one Emmy for its sister station WFTC. Among the Emmys were wins for Best Website, Several Investigative Reports, along with several Emmys for Advertisements such as the "Wake Up With Fox 9" and the "Jeff & Robyne" spots. For a complete list visit National Television Academy Upper Midwest Chapter.
|*On Top Of The News (1955–1956)||*Minnesota 9 News/Minnesota 9 Tonight (1991–1999)
|*ABC Has Moved to 9! (1961)
||*We're Receptive (1979–1984)
Current on-air staff (as of April, 2011)
- Tim Blotz - Friday-Saturdays at 5 and 9, and Fridays at 10 p.m.
- Tom Butler - weekday mornings "Fox 9 Morning News" (4:30-9 a.m.)
- Heidi Collins - Sunday-Thursdays at 5 and 9 p.m.
- Tom Halden - weekend mornings "Fox 9 Weekend News" (also fill in weather anchor)
- Marni Hughes - Sunday-Thursdays at 10 p.m. and Fridays at 5,9 and 10pm
- Alix Kendall - weekday mornings "Fox 9 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.) and "Fox 9 Buzz" (9-10 a.m.)
- Jason Matheson - weekday mornings "Fox 9 Buzz" (9-10 a.m.)
- Jeff Passolt - Sunday-Thursdays at 5, 9 and 10 p.m.
- Karen Scullin - weekend mornings "Fox 9 Weekend News", and Saturdays at 5, 9 and10 p.m. (also fill in weather anchor)
- Dawn Stevens - weekday mornings "Fox 9 Morning News" (4:30-6 a.m.)
Fox 9 Weather First
- Ian Leonard (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; Sunday-Thursdays at 5, 9 and 10 p.m.
- Marina Jurica (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; Fridays at 5, 9 and 10, weekend mornings and Saturdays at 5 and 9 p.m.
- Keith Marler (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings "Fox 9 Morning News" and "Fox 9 Buzz"
- Jim Rich - sports director; Sunday-Thursdays at 5, 9 and 10 p.m.
- Dawn Mitchell - sports anchor; Friday-Sundays at 5, 9 and 10 p.m.; also sports reporter
- Jody Ambroz - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Jeff Baillon - investigative reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Leah Beno - general assignment reporter
- Paul Blume - general assignment reporter
- Jeff Goldberg - general assignment and government reporter
- Maury Glover - general assignment reporter
- Bill Keller - general assignment reporter
- Tom Lyden - investigative reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Jason Matheson - entertainment reporter
- Rob Olson - general assignment reporter
- M.A. Rosko - weekday morning feature reporter
- Erik Runge - general assignment reporter
- Trish Van Pilsum - investigative reporter
- Todd Walker - weekend morning feature reporter
- Scott Wasserman - general assignment reporter
- Bill Dallman - News Director
- Patrick Armijo - Executive Producer
- Lori Fisher - Executive Producer
- Hayley Herst - Executive Producer, Fox 9 Morning News and Fox 9 Buzz
- Seth Kaplan - Executive Sports Producer
- Mike Durkin - Senior Web Producer
Former on-air staff
- Dave Berggren - Now Reporter at KARE-TV
- Bob Allard - anchor (1961–1964)
- Lori Aoki - anchor (mid 1990s)
- Ben Boyett - anchor (1973–1975)
- Phil Bremen - anchor (1973–1975)
- Tony Burden - 9:30 and 10 p.m. anchor (1979–1983)
- Pete Busch - traffic reporter (now at KARE-TV)
- Roy Carr - staff announcer
- Christine Clayburg - weekend meteorologist
- Warren Dahlstrom - weather forecaster (1980–1984)
- Joe Digiovanni - chief meteorologist
- Betty Douglass - host of "Romper Room"
- Steve Doyle - anchor (1973–1979)
- Julie Eckhert - weekend anchor/reporter (mid-1970s)
- Bill Fahan - anchor (1964–1969)
- Fidel "Phil" Ferro - executive producer (1988–1991; now chief meteorologist with WSVN in Miami)
- Bob Fransen - original weatherman, 1955
- Jim Gilleland - sports anchor
- Rod Grams - anchor
- Jeff Grayson - sports director (now with Fox Sports Net)
- George Grim - anchor (1962–1964)
- Bob Hall - weather anchor
- Angela Hampton - 10PM anchor (now at WTVD in Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Cicely Hand - anchor (1978–1979)
- Heather Harden - anchor
- Ed Harding - sports anchor
- Don Harrison - anchor (1975–1979; later with Headline News; died 1998)
- Jack Horner - sports anchor (1950s; died in 2005)
- Bill Ingram - anchor
- Mel Jass - "Open House" host/personality, late 1950s
- Leslie Jones - morning reporter
- Mike Kronforst - weather anchor (1975–1979)
- Bob Kurtz - occasional sports anchor, also Twins play-by-play announcer (1979–1986)
- Dave Lee - children's host, puppeteer on "Looney Tuners Club"
- Cathie Mann - anchor (1976–1977)
- Ernie Martz - weather anchor/staff announcer (1970s-1980s)
- Mike Nicco - weekend meteorologist (2003–2006; now weekday morning meteorologist at KGO-TV in San Francisco)
- Beth McDonough - reporter (fired for legal reasons)
- George McKenzie - sports anchor (1975–1978)
- Dave McLaughlin - weather anchor (1975–1978)
- Jacqueline McLean - Investigative Reporter (2004–2009)
- John McNichol - News Reporter
- George Noory - news director (late 1970s) Now host of Coast To Coast AM 
- Tony Parker - sports anchor (1955–1975)
- Ahmad Rashad - sports anchor (1978; now host of NBA Inside Stuff on NBA TV)
- Janie Peterson - chief meteorologist (2000–2006; now running Peteson Productions)
- Harry Reasoner - anchor (1950s; later with CBS and ABC; died 1991)
- Gary Rebstock - anchor
- Robyne Robinson-anchor (1990–2010)
- Carl Rochelle - anchor (1970–1973; later with CNN and NBC)
- Beth Ruyak - anchor
- Brandon Rux- Chief Meteorologist (in between Janie Peterson and Ian Lenard for about one month)
- Sam Scaman - chief meteorologist
- Dave Sheehan - Sports anchor (1978–1983)
- Tim Sherno - morning anchor (1997–2005; now at KSTP-TV)
- Jere Smith - weather (1959–1975)
- Jim Steer - anchor (1964–1971)
- Bev Stoddard - host of "Noon on Nine" (1979–1980)
- Mary Jo Tierney - host of "The Early Show with Mary Jo"
- Al Tighe - fill-in sports and news anchor /staff announcer (1970–1985)
- Ron Trenda - weekend meteorologist (now at WCCO-TV)
- Mike Tsolinas - morning weather anchor
- Sue Turner - weekend anchor
- Ken Wagner - children's host, puppeteer on "Cap'n Ken" (1960–67), "Grandpa Ken" (1967–73)
- Perry Williams - sports anchor
- Robin Wolfram - morning anchor
- Lara Yamada - weekend morning anchor (August–October 2006; now at KCPQ in Seattle)
The KMSP TV Tower is located in Shoreview, Minnesota. KMSP owns the tower, which stands 1466 feet (446.8 m) tall, but shares it with sister station WFTC and the Twin Cities Public Television stations, KTCA and KTCI. Several FM stations are also on the tower: KQRS-FM,KXXR ("93X"), KTCZ ("Cities 97"), KTIS-FM, KSJN, KTLK-FM, KDWB, KEEY ("K102"), WLTE, and KZJK.
KMSP has an extensive network of broadcast translators to carry its analog signal throughout much of the state.
- Your Newsnine Station: The saga of KMSP-TV Minneapolis - St. Paul in the 1970s
- Minnesota TV Translators and Satellite Channels - Northpine.com
- Center for Media and Democracy
- FCC Listing of All Low Power, Full Power, and Translators, both Analog and Digital.
- Historical reference to KEYD-TV and AM, Pavek Museum Of Broadcasting.
- Historical reference to 1954 applications for TV channel 9 by WDGY Radio and WLOL Radio, Box Office Magazine, April 24, 1954, page 71
- ^ St. Louis Park Historical Society - Reasoner
- ^ 
- ^ "Television: New Voice on Channel 13". Time. May 19, 1958.
- ^ WWF Champs - All Profiles
- ^ "BHC Communications, Inc. Companies History". Company Histories. Funding Universe. 1997. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- ^ Susan, King (January 23, 1994). "Space, 2258, in the Year 1994". Los Angeles Times. pp. 4. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- ^ Would You Buy a Car From This Man? | Center for Media and Democracy
- ^ FCC Levies Fines On KMSP, WMGM, TVNewsCheck, March 25, 2011.
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOEUOFvkPvM
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr8jgvXDy6s
- ^ FOX 9 Bios, MyFoxTwinCities.com. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
- MyFox Twin Cities (official KMSP-TV website)
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KMSP
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K38AC
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K21HX-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K30DK
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K48IF
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K27FI-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K49KQ
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K55CK
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K50AB
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K33KC
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K49CU
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K48AH-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K56AH
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KMSP-TV
- RabbitEars.info website - KMSP
- Fox 9 at Twin Cities TV Source
- Your Newsnine Station: The saga of KMSP-TV Minneapolis - St. Paul in the 1970s
- Ken Wagner - KMSP-TV's legendary Grandpa Ken
- Photo of Harry Reasoner in 1955 with KEYD from the Minnesota Historical Society
- KEYD studio photo, Slim Jim’s Country Western Show
- KMSP newscast Spring 1982 at tcmedianow.com
- KMSP newscast open and headlines late 1986