KNXV-TV, is an ABC-affiliated television station in Phoenix, Arizona, broadcasting in digital on UHF channel 15. Owned by The E. W. Scripps Company, its transmitter is located on South Mountain in Phoenix.

200px-KNXV ABC15.png
Phoenix, Arizona
Branding ABC 15 (general)

ABC 15 News (newscasts)

Slogan Make the Switch to ABC 15(general)ABC 15, Your Valley News Leader(news)
Channels Digital: 15 (UHF)
Subchannels (see article)
Translators (see article)
Affiliations ABC
Owner E. W. Scripps Company

(Scripps Media, Inc.)

First air date September 9, 1979
Call letters' meaning New Television Corp.(original owner)XV (15)
Former channel number(s) Analog:15 (UHF, 1979-2009)Digital:

56 (UHF, 2000-2009)

Former affiliations Primary:independent (1979-1986)ON-TV (1979-1983?)

Fox (1986-January 1995) Secondary: ABC (1994-January 1995)

Transmitter power 458 kW
Height 521 m
Facility ID 59440
Transmitter coordinates 33°19′59.9″N112°3′48.4″W

KNXV is available over-the-air on channel 15 in Phoenix and can be seen throughout northern Arizona on a network of low-power translator stations, as well as by cable and statellite television. Prior to the analog-to-digital conversion that moved many historically VHF stations' broadcast assignments to UHF, KNXV was ABC's largest affiliate on the UHF band; it remains the largest affiliate to broadcast with a virtual channel number higher than 13.


In February 1975, pioneering UHF broadcaster Edwin Cooperstein announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had granted a construction permit to his company, New Television Corp., to build a television station in Phoenix on UHF channel 15.[1] It was expected to begin broadcasting within a year and was intended to place a heavy emphasis on news, airing three 90-minute newscasts during the prime broadcast hours of 4 pm to midnight.[2] Plans were soon delayed by the inability to secure financing in a difficult economy, and by the end of 1976, the station still had not been built.[3] Finally, on September 9, 1979, more than four-and-a-half years after the construction permit was granted, KNXV-TV began broadcasting. Its programming originally consisted of first-run and off-network syndicated shows and children's programming during the day, and the ON-TV Subscription Television service in the evening and late-night hours. One of the station's most memorable early promotions was the "Bluebird of Happy News," with the voice of Elroy "Buzz" Towers in a helicopter taking jabs at local news on other stations. An early station master control/videotape operator was the voice of "Buzz".

ON-TV lasted a few years, until cable television began to prosper across the Phoenix area. KNXV eventually became a full-time independent station, and ran a number of cartoons, old sitcoms, old movies, and drama shows. It pulled mediocre ratings, and lagged behind longtime independent station KPHO (channel 5). Cooperstein sold the station to The E. W. Scripps Company in 1984, and the deal was closed in early 1985.

Under Scripps, KNXV began to purchase more recent sitcoms, often outbidding KPHO for strong shows. Scripps also promised local newscasts would be added to the station, and as a result, the station gained the Fox affiliation at the network's inception in 1986. The first offering from the Fox network was an evening talk show hosted by Joan Rivers. KNXV kicked off the affiliation with a promotional campaign centered around the slogan "Light Up The Night With Late Night Fireworks".

Also in 1986, KNXV began producing Friday Night at the Frights starring Edmus Scarey (real name Ed Muscare), decidedly campy B-movie wrap arounds. Ed Muscare had previously hosted shows for KNXV's Scripps owned sister station KSHB (channel 41) in Kansas City. Stuart Powell, General Manager of KNXV in the late 1980s, coaxed Mr. Muscare out of retirement.[citation needed] By 1990, KNXV nearly tied KPHO in the ratings, even though the station still produced no local newscasts.

Becoming an ABC affiliate

It was announced in 1994 that longtime CBS affiliate KSAZ-TV was to become a Fox affiliate. The CBS affiliation, in turn, moved to KPHO, leaving KNXV without an affiliation, and prompting Scripps to negotiate an affiliation agreement with ABC. In order for Scripps to keep ABC on Scripps' two biggest stations, WXYZ-TV in Detroit and WEWS-TV in Cleveland, ABC agreed to affiliate with KNXV (along with WMAR in Baltimore and WFTS in Tampa; WCPO-TV inCincinnati was also part of the Scripps/ABC deal, but had to wait for ABC's affiliation contract with WKRC-TV to expire in June 1996 to switch), thus displacing longtime ABC affiliate KTVK. In turn, KNXV agreed to produce the same amount of local news as KTVK had been producing as an ABC affiliate. KNXV also agreed to not pre-empt any ABC programming except for local news emergencies.

KNXV had already been building a news department under news director Raymond Hunt. Plans for KNXV's new newscast, originally built to match the Fox feel, included a futuristic purple set and liberal use of special effects. After ABC came to KNXV, the style was toned down, though the set remained. At last, "News 15" launched on August 1, 1994, with an 85-person news staff (larger than the planned 30).[4]

KNXV had already been building a news department under news director Raymond Hunt. Plans for KNXV's new newscast, originally built to match the Fox feel, included a futuristic purple set and liberal use of special effects. After ABC came to KNXV, the style was toned down, though the set remained. At last, "News 15" launched on August 1, 1994, with an 85-person news staff (larger than the planned 30).[4]

ABC's affiliation agreement with KTVK did not expire until late 1994, but KTVK, unhappy about losing ABC after many years, had already begun to drop ABC shows. As a result, the ABC affiliation migrated to KNXV in stages, and the station carried programming from both ABC and Fox for a while, with ABC as a temporary secondary affiliation. Good Morning America was the first ABC program shown on KNXV, following the first round of changes at the end of August 1994. KNXV then picked up World News Now, Nightline, and ABC's Saturday morning cartoons when the station officially dropped its Fox affiliation on December 15. The rest of ABC's programming moved to KNXV on January 9, 1995. KNXV kept about one-third of its syndicated programming, with the rest moving to other stations.

KNXV carried the majority of Arizona Cardinals National Football League games that were not blacked out in the meantime, until they returned to KSAZ in December of 1994. The Cardinals were part of the National Football Conference, which had their games on CBS until the end of the 1993 season, moving to Fox the next year. The move of the NFC from CBS to Fox was a major catalyst of the Fox-New World deal. After becoming a full-time ABC affiliate, KNXV was limited to airing the Cardinals' games on Monday Night Football - the first of which would be in 1995: a Christmas Day contest against the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Dallas Cowboys, in Tempe (the Cowboys won 37-13 to clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs; coincidentally, the Super Bowl was also played in Tempe).

By this time, KNXV was also airing newscasts at 6 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Over the years, KNXV has added more first-run syndicated shows, such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. In 2006, KNXV began a 4 p.m. newscast, the first in the market, replacing aJeopardy! rerun, and in June 2007, it became the fourth TV station in Arizona (after local NBC affiliate KPNX, KTVK, and KVOA, the NBC affiliate in Tucson) to produce high-definition newscasts. KNXV has also become the home of preseason games for the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals. Today, KNXV is a typical ABC affiliate, producing a decent amount of local news, and clearing nearly all of the network's programs in their intended time slots. It is the largest (by market size) ABC affiliate on a UHF channel. However, KNXV has been one of ABC's weakest affiliates after switching in 1994. In stark contrast, KTVK dominated the ratings when it was affiliated with ABC.

During the 2007 Little League World Series, this caused a conflict with ABC's coverage of one of the preliminary-round games. The plan was to move the baseball game to ESPN, thereby interrupting the national feed on Cox Communications and other cable providers in the market. Those getting KNXV by way of satellite would watch the baseball game on an alternate channel. Meanwhile, the Cardinals would play theHouston Texans in a preseason game on KNXV beginning at 1 p.m. local time. KNXV would then rebroadcast the LLWS game on tape delayat about 4:30 pm that afternoon.[5]

Helicopter crash

Main article: 2007 Phoenix news helicopter collision

Tragedy struck the newsroom on July 27, 2007, when helicopters from KNXV-TV and KTVKcollided above Steele Indian School Park, near Third Street and Indian School Road, after following a police car pursuit in downtown Phoenix.[6] All four people on both helicopters were killed, including KNXV pilot Craig Smith and photographer Rick Krolak.[7] The ABC15 helicopter was broadcasting live at the time of the collision and footage of this broadcast subsequently circulated on media-sharing sites such as YouTube. The investigation concluded that pilot error caused the crash.[8]

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Channel Format Programming
15.1 720p KNXV-DT
15.2 480i "GoAZ.TV" Traffic and AccuWeather

KNXV ceased analog broadcasts at 12:01 am on June 12, 2009, just minutes after the start of the day mandated by the Federal government for TV stations to cease analog transmissions across the country. KNXV moved its digital signal from channel 56 (due to the phaseout of channels 52-69) to channel 15 at 2 am, local time.[9][10]


KNXV is the third station in the Phoenix market to air Jeopardy! & Wheel of Fortune. The two shows were first seen on KSAZ from 1983/1984-1994, then on KTVK from 1994-2003.

News operation

In 2009, KNXV began training its staff of photojournalist and reporter employees to take on the role of a multi-media journalist, this is commonly referred to in the industry as a "one man band" operation. Employees in this classification generate story ideas, shoot, edit, write, and publish the content.

On April 1, 2009, Fox Television Stations and E. W. Scripps Company announced the creation of the Local News Service (LNS) model in the Phoenix, Detroit and Tampa Bay markets. The service pools news gathering efforts for general market news events. Each station provides employees to the pool service in exchange for the sharing of video.[11] KPHO-TV signed on to the Phoenix LNS model shortly after the announcement.[12] KNXV is one of ten television stations that air consumer reports from John Matarese of fellow ABC affiliate (and Scripps sister station) WCPO in Cincinnati.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • News 15 (1994-1995)
  • ABC News 15 (1995–1997)
  • News 15 (1997–2002)
  • ABC 15 News (2002–present)

Station slogans

  • We're # (number) Fun (1979-early 1980s)
  • Don't Let Fox 15 Weekends Pass You By (1987–1988; localized version of Fox ad campaign)
  • No Chit-Chat, More News (mid 1990s)
  • We Won't Waste Your Time (1990s)
  • Live. Local. Latebreaking. (late 1990s-2000)
  • ABC15, Your Valley News Leader (2002–present)
  • Always On. (website promotion, to 2009; still used infrequently)
  • Make the Switch to ABC 15 (2005–present)
  • Less Chit Chat... More News (morning news promotion, 2005–present)
  • Arizona's New Homepage (website promotion, 2009)
  • Everything Arizona (website promotion, late 2009–present)

News team

Current on-air staff

  • Susan Casper - weekdays mornings "Daybreak" and "Now@9"; also reporter
  • Michael Hagerty - traffic anchor; weekday mornings "Daybreak"
  • Steve Irvin - weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Katie Raml - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Stephanie Sandoval - Sonoran Living host and co-executive producer; also fill-in weekday morning anchor
  • Rebecca Thomas - weekday mornings "Daybreak" and "Now@9"; also reporter
  • Kirk Yuhnke - weekday mornings "Daybreak" and "Now@9"; also reporter
Weather team
  • Allison Miller Fill in weather meteorologist
  • Sports team
    • Craig Fouhy - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
    • Jeff Heisner - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m., also sports reporter

    All KNXV reporters shoot and edit their own reports.

    Multi-media journalists

    • Dave Biscobing
    • Christina Boomer
    • Kyle Burke
    • Jodie Heisner
    • Angie Holdsworth
    • Chris Kline - web reporter; also producer
    • Daphne Munro - "Smart Shopper" feature reporter
    • Jennifer Parks
    • Corey Rangel
    • Mary Ellen Resendez
    • Jay Reynolds
    • Rudabeh Shahbazi
    • Christopher Sign
    • Tim Vetscher
    • Brian Webb
    • Brien McElhatten

    Investigative team

    • Joe Ducey
    • John Matarese - consumer reporter
    • Lori Jane Gliha

    Past on-air staff

    • Marc Bailey - anchor (1995–1998; now at XETV-TV in San Diego)
    • Andi Barness - Daybreak anchor/traffic reporter/"Sonoran Living Live" contributor
    • Bill Bellis - Meteorologist (2003-2010, now at WFLD-TV in Chicago starting in February)
    • Nicole Beyer
    • Manuel Bojorquez - reporter (currently serving in the same capacity for WSB-TV in Atlanta)
    • Jenn Burgess - Daybreak anchor/reporter (?-2009, quit after extended absence from anchor table)
    • Kim Dillon - meteorologist (?-early 2000s; moved to KTVK, but terminated following conviction on theft charges in Phoenix, Arizona)
    • Jonathan Elias - anchor (2002–2007; moved to WBZ-TV in Boston in June 2007)
    • Christina Estes - reporter (started own public relations business)
    • Lisa Fletcher - anchor (2002–2007; now a national correspondent for ABC News)
    • Darya Folsom - anchor (now at KRON-TV in San Francisco)
    • Kathryn Garcia - reporter (2006–2008; now working for PR firm in Texas)
    • Rob Koebel, General Assignment Reporter until 2004; terminated after revelations that he violated ethical standards by running a story favorable to Sheriff Joe Arpaio during his reelection campaign. It was also revealed that Koebel made financial contribution to Arpaio's campaign.[13] Working for WFTX since October, 2009.
    • Kaj Goldberg - weekend weather anchor (2005–2007; moved to KCBS-TV in Los Angeles)
    • Tracy Kornet - Daybreak co-anchor/co-host of Sonoran Living Live (now at KTVT/KTXA in Dallas-Ft. Worth)
    • Tony Kovaleski - investigative reporter (1994–1997; moved to KPRC in Houston and KMGH in Denver)
    • Kris Long - anchor (now anchor/managing editor at KPSP-LP in Palm Springs, CA)
    • Ross Palombo - reporter (now at CBS News in New York)
    • Christi Paul - anchor/reporter/weather anchor (now anchor at HLN)
    • Cary Pfeffer - weekend reporter/anchor (?-2006; started own communication business; occasionally presented Horizon program onKAET)
    • Kathy Reilly (Lee) - morning and midday anchor (1994–1999; currently Public Relations Director at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, Baltimore, MD)
    • Craig Smith - "Chopper15" pilot/morning reporter (killed in a helicopter crash on July 27, 2007)
    • Ken Smith - "Chopper15" pilot/reporter (no relation to Craig Smith; currently the helicopter reporter at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas)
    • Amy Troy - weekend anchor/reporter (2002–2005, moved to KGW-TV in Portland, OR in 2005)
    • Mitch Truswell - reporter (late 2009)
    • Bob Woodruff - reporter (1994–1996; co-anchored ABC World News briefly in 2006 before being seriously injured during an explosion in Iraq)




    1. ^ "Another television station approved for Phoenix". Tucson Daily Citizen: p. 24. 1975-02-19.
    2. ^ "New Phoenix TV to Stress News Programs". Yuma Daily Citizen: p. 13. 1975-02-21.
    3. ^ "Phoenix TV Station Can't Go on Air". Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff AZ): p. 3. 1977-01-04.
    4. ^ Meisler, Andy (1994-08-29). "Murdoch's Raid Brings a Shuffling of TV Stations in Phoenix". The New York Times.
    5. ^ "What’s on TV? Little League Dominates August Lineup". Little League Online. 2007-08-01. Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2007-11-04.
    6. ^ "4 Dead As 2 Helicopters Tracking Police Pursuit Collide". KPHO-TV website. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
    7. ^ "4 dead in ABC15, Channel 3 chopper crash". KNXV-TV website. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
    8. ^ Wessman, Katrina (2009-01-28). "NTSB: Both pilots responsible in ABC15, 3TV chopper crash". ABC15 website. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
    9. ^ "DTV Transition Status Report". FCC CDBS database. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
    10. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds". FCC CDBS database. 2006-05-23. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
    11. ^ "Fox, Scripps Create Local News Service". Broadcasting & Cable. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
    12. ^ "Chicago stations join to share video crews for ENG". BroadcastEngineering. May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
    13. ^ Rubin, Paul (25 January, 2007). "Boob's Tube: Here's how publicity hound Joe Arpaio used a TV station to try to destroy rival Dan Saban with a bogus rape claim". Phoenix New Times. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2008-09-25.

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