Rapid City, South Dakota
Branding KOTA Territory (general)

KOTA Territory News (newscasts)

Slogan Coverage You Can Count On
Channels Digital: 2 (VHF)Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels 3.1 ABC3.2 RTV

3.3 This TV

Translators (see below)
Affiliations American Broadcasting Company
Owner Duhamel Broadcasting
First air date July 1, 1955
Call letters' meaning South DaKOTA (pronounced as "kota")
Former channel number(s) Analog:3 (VHF, 1955-2009)
Former affiliations Primary:CBS (1955-1976)

ABC/CBS (1965-1976) Secondary: ABC (1955-1965) NBC (1955-1958, 1976-1988)

Transmitter power 8 kW
Height 174 m
Facility ID 17688
Transmitter coordinates 44°4′7.7″N 103°15′5″W / 44.068806°N 103.25139°W / 44.068806; -103.25139

KOTA serves a large area in western South Dakota, eastern Montana, eastern Wyoming and the Nebraska panhandle. It calls its vast coverage area "KOTA Territory."


KOTA debuted on the air on July 1, 1955 as the first television station in western South Dakota. It originally carried programming from all three networks, though it was a primary CBS affiliate. It was owned by local Rapid City businesswoman Helen Duhamel along with KOTA radio; her family still owns the station today.

When KRSD, the original channel 7 in Rapid City, signed on in 1958, it took the NBC affiliation, sharing ABC with KOTA.

In 1965, KOTA took on an unusual "joint primary" affiliation with CBS and ABC, slightly favoring CBS. It was certainly quite a struggle to fit as many network shows as possible onto the schedule, especially in the daytime, so KRSD had to take up some of the slack. But KRSD always had a painfully weak signal which, by 1966, had deteriorated to the point of unacceptability. KRSD finally gave up on December 31, 1971.

Fortunately for KOTA, the original Prime Time Access Rule had taken effect by this time, which made it easier for the station to clear shows from both CBS and ABC. From January 1972 until June 1976, KOTA had only PBS station KBHE as a competitor; NBC had to be piped in on cable from KOA-TV in Denver (now KCNC-TV).

The coverage of KOTA satellite KDUH in Scottsbluff clashed with the coverage of KSTF, a satellite of KYCU-TV in Cheyenne (now KGWN), especially with CBS programs. In February 1976, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded a channel 7 license to KEVN, in order to relieve KOTA of its heavy network load and to end the duplication problem in Scottsbluff. When KEVN opened on July 11, 1976, it took all CBS programming. KOTA and its satellites became primary ABC affiliates. As consolation, both stations added secondary NBC affiliations.

Then in November 1988, KELO-TV in Sioux Falls put a Rapid City satellite of its own on the air, KCLO, which took the CBS affiliation. KOTA then became a full-time ABC affiliate, leaving KEVN with NBC and, eventually, Fox.

In 2009, KOTA-TV and its satellite stations added the Retro Television Network and This TV on their digital subchannels.


KOTA's programming is also shown on a network of three satellite stations:

Station City of license Channels First air date ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
KDUH-TV Scottsbluff, Nebraska Digital: 7 (VHF)Virtual: 4 (PSIP) March 5, 1958 32 kW 475 m 17683 41°50′27.7″N 103°4′28.8″W / 41.841028°N 103.074667°W / 41.841028; -103.074667 (KDUH-TV)
KHSD-TV Lead, South Dakota Digital: 10 (VHF)Virtual: 11 (PSIP) November 2, 1966 34.8 kW 576 m 17686 44°19′35.1″N 103°50′9″W / 44.326417°N 103.83583°W / 44.326417; -103.83583 (KHSD-TV)
KSGW-TV Sheridan, Wyoming Digital: 13 (VHF)Virtual: 12 (PSIP) December 28, 1977 50 kW 372 m 17680 44°37′23″N 107°7′2.3″W / 44.62306°N 107.117306°W / 44.62306; -107.117306 (KSGW-TV)

KDUH is a semi-satellite of KOTA, airing separate commercials. It once produced its own full-length newscasts as well. However, due to recent cutbacks, KDUH's newscasts have been reduced to inserts in KOTA's newscasts. KHSD and KSGW are full repeaters of KOTA.

KDUH is also carried as the local ABC affiliate on Dish Network's Cheyenne-Scottsbluff local feed. Since KTWO-TV in Casper, which is carried on KLWY's digital subcarrier, isn't carried on Dish, KDUH effectively serves as the local ABC station for satellite subscribers in southeastern Wyoming.

When KHSD was being launched, the Duhamels made a deal with KDIX-TV in Dickinson, North Dakota (now KXMA) to provide programming for that station, as KDIX was close enough to Dickinson that its engineers would be able to pick up KHSD's signal. Consequently, KDIX was practically a satellite of KOTA from November 1966 until KEVN signed on nearly a decade later.

On-air staff

Current on-air staff


  • Helene Duhamel - weeknights at 5:30PM (also "Family Healthcast" reporter)
  • Alicia Garcia - weeknights at 10PM (also consumer reporter)
  • Jason Tarr- weekends
  • Makenzi Henderson - weekends at 10PM (also producer and reporter)
  • Cindy Davis - weekdays at noon (also producer)
  • Eric Gardner - weekday mornings and 5:30PM


  • Rachael Embler - general assignment reporter
  • Katy Urban - general assignment reporter
  • Jason Tarr - general assignment reporter

Weather team

  • Mike Modrick (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5:30 and 10PM
  • Eric Gardner (NWA Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon
  • Justin Fanfarilli - Meteorologist; weekends at 10PM (also producer/general assignment reporter)
  • Dick Horkey - Meteorologist; fill-in

Sports team

  • Vic Quick - Sports Director; weeknights at 5:30 and 10PM (lover of cheese)
  • Chris Neyenhouse - Sports Anchor; weekends at 10PM (also general assignment reporter)

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Newsline (19??–1989)
  • KOTA Territory News (1989–present)

Station slogans

  • You'll Love It on KOTA Territory (1985-1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Together on KOTA (1986-1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1990-2000)
  • Your Local News Leader (2000-2003)
  • Live. Local. (2003-2006)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (2006-present)

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