KPHO-TV, channel 5, is a CBS-affiliate television station located in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. KPHO-TV is owned by the Meredith Corporation, and has its studios located on Interstate 17 in the Alhambra Village section of Phoenix, with its transmitter is located on South Mountain in Phoenix. KPHO extends its signal throughout northern Arizona by way of more than a dozen translators.

Phoenix, Arizona
Branding CBS 5 (general)

CBS 5 News (newscasts)

Slogan Telling It Like It Is
Channels Digital: 17 (UHF)Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels See below
Affiliations CBS (1949-1953 and 1994-present)
Owner Meredith Corporation
First air date December 4, 1949
Call letters' meaning PHOenix
Former channel number(s) Analog:5 (VHF, 1949-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1955-1994)NBC (secondary, 1949-1953)

ABC (secondary, 1949-1955) DuMont (secondary, 1949-1955) NTA Film Network(secondary, 1956-1961)

Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 507 m (1,663 ft)
Facility ID 41223
Transmitter coordinates 33°20′3.3″N112°3′43.1″W


KPHO is Arizona's oldest television station, signing on December 4, 1949.[1] It was originally owned by a group of entrepreneurs—one of whom, John Mullins, would later launch KBTV (now KUSA-TV) in Denver, Colorado. The original group also included shareholders of Phoenix Broadcasting, which operated KPHO radio (910 AM, now KGME); the television station, originally known as KTLX, had its call letters changed to the current KPHO-TV shortly before it took to the air. The Meredith Corporation purchased the KPHO stations on June 25, 1952.[2]

As the only television station in Phoenix during the first three-and-a-half years of operation, it carried programming from all four networks of the time: CBS (primary affiliation), NBC, ABC and the now-defunct DuMont Television Network.[2] NBC disappeared from KPHO's schedule when KTYL-TV (channel 12, now KPNX) signed on April 23, 1953, followed by CBS when KOOL-TV (channel 10, now KSAZ-TV) signed on a few months later, on October 24. KPHO remained a dual ABC-DuMont affiliate (with ABC programming shared between KPHO-TV and KOOL-TV) until February 28, 1955, when KTVK (channel 3) signed on and took the ABC affiliation full-time. KPHO became an independent station when DuMont ceased network operations in 1956. During the late 1950s, the station was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[3] KPHO-TV lost its sister station when Meredith sold KPHO radio in 1971.

As an independent station, channel 5 programmed a schedule of movies, off-network series, and a nightly newscast at 9:00 p.m. It also produced The Wallace and Ladmo Show, a children's show which aired weekday mornings from 1954 until 1989 (when it was decided by the stars of the show that it would end). During the 1970s, KPHO became a regional superstation available on cable in much of Arizona and New Mexico, as well as parts of California, Utah and Nevada.

KPHO logo, used from 1997 to 2002.

KPHO was the sole independent English-language television station in Phoenix until 1979, when KNXV-TV (channel 15) signed on with general entertainment during the day and subscription TV at night. (KNXV became a full-time general entertainment station by 1983.) Even though KPHO was the leading independent station in the market, the new Fox network opted to affiliate with KNXV in 1986 after the E. W. Scripps Company purchased the station, promising to upgrade its syndicated programming and to launch a newscast. Although it never did begin a newscast, landing the Fox affiliation made KNXV a very strong competitor against KPHO. By the late 1980s, News 5, its news operation, comprised two newscasts: a weekday 11:30 newscast and Arizona's first primetime newscast at 9:30pm (years before KSAZ became a Fox station with a 9pm newscast).

KSAZ-TV evicted CBS on September 12, 1994 upon that station's sale to New World Communications becoming final. CBS then moved to KPHO at that time. Initially, KPHO continued to run a couple cartoons and a moderate number of sitcoms during local time. By January 1995, the cartoons were gone, and then the station gradually added more newscasts and talk/reality shows,[5] with the sitcoms being phased out and moved to KTVK, KUTP (channel 45), and KASW (channel 61). KPHO has generally been one of CBS's weaker affiliates after switching in 1994 due in large part to the station's lack of a strong inventory of syndicated programming although its 10 p.m. newscast took the lead among English-language stations in total households in the November 2009 sweeps period. In stark contrast, KOOL/KTSP/KSAZ had been one of CBS's strongest affiliates and was in strong second at the time of the switch.

KPHO logo, used from 2002 to 2008.

In 1994, a massive shift in network affiliations occurred in the market in the wake of KSAZ taking the Fox affiliation as a result of a group-wide affiliation deal with incoming owner New World Communications. CBS briefly wooed the ABC affiliate KTVK, whose then locally-based ownership declined in hopes of renewing with ABC. But on June 30, 1994, CBS agreed to a long-term contract with Meredith, allowing KPHO-TV to rejoin the network nearly 40 years after the two sides' initial split. The centerpiece of the deal was a renewal of CBS's affiliation with Meredith's Kansas City station, KCTV; it also called for a switch at another of KPHO-TV's sister stations, WNEM-TV in Bay City, Michigan, to CBS from NBC.[4]. (The ABC affiliation eventually went to KNXV when Scripps cut an affiliation deal which called for four of that company's non-ABC affiliates to switch to ABC; KTVK then replaced KPHO as the market's main independent station.) Phoenix was one of just four television markets where the CBS affiliation moved from one VHF station to another during the U.S. television network affiliate switches of 1994.

On February 24, 2009 it was announced that KPHO-TV, KTVK and KPNX would share a helicopter starting March 1, 2009.[6][7][8]

On March 14, 2009, KPHO became the fourth station in Phoenix to switch to high definition newscasts.

On April 1, 2009, Fox Television Stations and E. W. Scripps Company announced the creation of the Local News Service model in the Phoenix, Detroit and Tampa 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.[9] KPHO-TV signed on to the Phoenix LNS model shortly after the announcement.[10]


KPHO is a typical CBS affiliate, clearing the entire network schedule and airing five hours of local news daily, complemented by syndicated fare and paid programming. KPHO airs one hour of local news at 5 p.m., so the CBS Evening News is shown at 6 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m., when most CBS stations in the Mountain Time Zone air the network news. In addition, KPHO features the only 6:30pm local newscast in the Phoenix market. Better Arizona, a national daily lifestyle program, features locally-produced inserts. That program airs weekday mornings at 10 a.m., with The Price Is Right airing at 9 a.m. (one hour earlier than CBS's recommended time slot).

Digital television

KPHO's HDTV logo prior to 2008

Channel Format Programming
5.1 1080i KPHO-DT
5.2 480i Weather Now

Digital channels

Prior to 2009, a 5.3 subchannel was added for NCAA tournament coverage, with analog channel 5 breaking from 5.1 in order to create coverage of all four games.

KPHO switched its analog broadcasts to a digital nightlight service at 11:59 p.m. on 12 June 2009, just minutes before the end of the day mandated by the Federal government for TV stations to cease analog transmissions across the country. KPHO continues digital broadcasts on its pre-transition channel number, 17.[11][12] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KPHO-TV's virtual channel as 5.

For 30 days after the switch to digital, KPHO's analog channels served as a "nightlight" station to remind TV viewers of the switch to digital.[13]

News operation

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • News in Focus (1950s)
  • Arizona TV Newsreel (1950s)
  • 3-Star News/Tomorrow's Headlines (1950s–1960s)
  • 6 O'Clock Report/10 O'Clock Final (1960s)
  • TV-5 News (?-1973)
  • Eyewitness News (1973–?)
  • News 5 (1980s–1994 & 2002–2004)
  • Arizona 5 News (1994–1990s)
  • CBS 5 News (1990s–2000 and 2004–present)
  • TV-5 News (2000–2002)

Station slogans

  • 5'll Getcha (late 1970s)
  • 5 is the Place (early 1980s)
  • First in Arizona (mid 1980s)
  • Local, Live, Latebreaking (c. mid-late 1990s)
  • Welcome Home, Arizona (mid 1990s; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Be in the Know with KPHO (late 1990s)
  • Your Valley News Station (2002-2003)
  • Live. Latebreaking. Investigative. (2004-2009)
  • Telling It Like It Is (2009-present)

Notable on-air staff[14]

Current on-air staff

Current anchors
  • Catherine Anaya - weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6:30 and 10 p.m.; also reporter
  • Nicole Crites - weekday mornings and noon; also reporter
  • Peter Busch - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Sean McLaughlin - weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
CBS 5 Valley Pinpoint Weather
  • Chris Dunn (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
  • Paul Horton - meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon, also reporter
  • Jason Kadah NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m. (also special reporter)
  • Randy Kollins - meteorologist; fill-in
Sports team
  • Eric Sperling - sports anchor; weeknights at 5, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
  • Scott Smith - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m., also sports reporter
  • Jason Barry - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Elizabeth Erwin - general assignment reporter
  • Steve Filmer - general assignment reporter
  • Elias Johnson - general assignment reporter
  • Lisa Leigh Kelly - general assignment reporter
  • Tammy Leitner - "5 Investigates" investigative reporter
  • Cara Liu - general assignment reporter
  • Morgan Loew - "5 Investigates" investigative reporter
  • Nadine Toren - morning traffic reporter
  • Pat McReynolds - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Donna Rossi - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Heather Moore - freelance general assignment reporter
Helicopter pilots/reporters

(As part of a Local News Service the helicopter is shared with KTVK and KPNX and operated by Helicopters Inc.)

  • Scott Clifton
  • Jimmy Castanza
  • Tammy Rose

Former news staff

Name: Position at KPHO: Years Active: Whereabouts:
Jay Alan Primetime anchor and reporter 1995-2000 news/talk radio host at Newstalk 1530 KFBK Sacramento
Jon Brictson sports sirector/anchor 1980s news anchor for Glendale, AZ public access
Jeff Butera general assignment reporter to 2009 Relocated to Florida with wife, who also worked at the station.
Mike Chamberlin morning anchor and weekend sports reporter 2005 - 2008 Retired to become pursue a career in Christian music.[14]
Ken Coy news anchor 1970s to ? unknown
Gary "Cruzer" Cruz weeknight sports anchor 2000-2009 unknown
Roger Downey morning, noon, 9 pm anchor 1977 to July 5, 2002 PIO, Arizona Medical Board
Julie Durda morning traffic & weather 2006 to 2007 weather reporter at WSVN
Elise Finch meteorologist to 2004 now at WCBS-TV.
Jack Gates Reporter 1974-1980 currently at Channel 4 San Diego.
Mike Harvey Chief Meteorologist 2002-2006 now at WTKR-TV.
Bob Jeswald meteorologist unknown chief meteorologist at WRBL-TV.
Christien Kafton Anchor, Reporter 2000-2003 now at KNTV.
Jeff Kelly morning/noon meteorologist mid-1990s to 2006; previously at rival KPNX KPAX-TV Missoula, MT Chief Meteorologist
Ted Koppy morning/noon news anchor with Christina Wofford mid-1990s to 2002 6 pm and 11 pm news anchor at WTNH-TV.
Mark Lodato general assignment reporter 1995 to 2006 news director of Cronkite NewsWatch at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication since Fall 2006.
Gina Maravilla morning news anchor with John Overall 1996 to 2006 weekday morning traffic at KTVK
Omadelle Nelson general assignment reporter 2006 to 2009 unknown
John Overall Morning news anchor 2002 to 2006 weekend anchor at KVOA-TV in Tucson
Jennifer Parks general assignment reporter to 2009 general assignment reporter at KNXV, also reporter for KTAR-FM.
Fred Powers anchor unknown Deceased[15]
Ted Simons weekend sports 1980 to ?? host of Horizon public affairs program on KAET
Diana Sullivan Midday Anchor and 5:30 p.m. Anchor 2000 to 2008 unknown
June Thomson primetime news anchor 1994 to 2000 unknown
Stu Tracey lead weatherman 1970s to 1990s unknown
Linda Turley morning, noon, 9 pm anchor ?? to late 1990s syndicated columnist in Ahwatukee Foothills News
Rich Robertson 5 Investigates reporter 1995 to 1998 R3 Investigations, Mesa, AZ.
CJ Ward 5 Investigates reporter 1995 to 1998 anchor, KEYT, Santa Barbara, CA.

Digital subchannels

On December 20, 2006, KPHO began broadcasting CBS 5 Weather Now on digital subchannel 5.2.[15] CBS 5 Weather Now is located on Cox Communications digital channel 85, Qwest Choice TV channel 64, and CableOne Digital channel 461.


KPHO is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:



  1. ^ "TV Transfers". 1972 Broadcasting Yearbook. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
  2. ^ a b "Early History of KPHO". KPHO-TV website. 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  3. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
  4. ^ "Meredith Shifts Stations to CBS." New York Times 30 June 1994; p6
  5. ^ Meisler, Andy (August 29, 1994). "Murdoch's Raid Brings a Shuffling of TV Stations in Phoenix". New York Times: pp. 2. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
  6. ^ "3 TV stations to share helicopter to cover the news". azcentral. February 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  7. ^ "Channels 5, 3, 12 To Share Chopper". KPHO. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  8. ^ "Phoenix TV stations to share news helicopter". KTAR. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  9. ^ "Fox, Scripps Create Local News Service". Broadcasting & Cable. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  10. ^ "Chicago stations join to share video crews for ENG". BroadcastEngineering. May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  11. ^ "DTV Transition Status Report". FCC CDBS database. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  12. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds". FCC CDBS database. 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  13. ^ "Phoenix TV goes digital, can you still see our signal?". KNXV-TV. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "KPHO Phoenix launches 24-hour local weather channel". TVNEWSDAY. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2008-12-01.

External links

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