KSWT, is a full-service television station serving the Yuma, Arizona/El Centro, Californiatelevision market. Licensed to Yuma, it serves as the CBS affiliate. It broadcasts locally in digitalon VHF channel 13, and is owned by the Pappas Telecasting Companies of Visalia, Californiaunder the name Pappas Telecasting of Arizona.

Yuma, Arizona/El Centro, California
Branding KSWT News 13
Slogan Desert News Now
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Subchannels 13.1 CBS13.2 Universal Sports

13.3 Estrella TV

Translators (see below)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Pappas Telecasting Companies

(Pappas Arizona License, LLC)

Founded July 23, 1962[1]
First air date December 2, 1963[2]
Call letters' meaning SouthWest


Former callsigns KBLU-TV (1963-1978)

KYEL-TV (1978-1991)

Former channel number(s) Analog:13 (VHF, 1962-2009)

Digital: 16 (UHF)

Former affiliations Primary:CBS (1963-1970)

NBC (1970-1988) ABC (1988-1994) The CW (DT2, 2006-2010) Secondary: Telemundo (1990s-2000)

Transmitter power 20 kW
Height 480 m
Facility ID 33639
Transmitter coordinates 33°3′18.1″N114°49′42.3″W

KSWT serves a very large area encompassing portions of two countries, including parts of two American states, Arizona and California, and two Mexican states, Baja California and Sonora. Some viewers in the Coachella Valley whose homes face south to Imperial Valley can receive KSWT over the air, and viewers in Mexicali and San Luis Río Colorado have clear reception.Syndicated programming on KSWT includes: Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray, and The Doctors.



When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted the freeze on new television station applications in 1952, they allocated VHF channels 11 and 13 for broadcast television service in Yuma. Valley Telecasting quickly applied for and opened KIVA on channel 11, becoming the city's first television station in October 1953. Wrather-Alvarez Broadcasting followed with a January 1956 application to build KYAT on channel 13, but failed, and in September 1958, the construction permit was dismissed.[3][4][5] By November 1961, more than eight years after the arrival of local television, Yuma was still a one-station town.

In November 1961, Robert Crites, owner and manager of local CBS-affiliated radio station KBLU, formed a partnership, called Desert Telecasting, and applied to the FCC on November 30, 1961 for a construction permit to build a station on channel 13. New England Industries had filed a competing application for the same channel nearly a month earlier, but on July 23, 1962, the FCC granted the construction permit to Desert Telecasting, and KBLU-TV came into existence, to be the market’s CBS television affiliate.[1][6] It would not be an easy road to sign-on, as Bruce Merrill, owner of both KIVA and the local cable television system, was convinced that the market could not support a second local television station and fought to keep the new station from opening. Merrill opposed a KBLU-TV partnership restructure, an extension of time to construct the station, and a proposal to increase power, then, in September 1963, filed a "motion to stay" to prevent KBLU-TV from building its facilities.[7][8][9] All of Merrill’s petitions were denied, and on the evening of December 2, 1963, one hour after receiving notice of program test authority, KBLU-TV began broadcasting.[2]

The station expanded its coverage to El Centro in 1965 with another increase in power, and relocation of its transmitter from within the city of Yuma to a site atop Black Mountain, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Yuma, at a much greater height above average terrain. It also opened an office and studio in El Centro to better serve the Imperial Valley.[10] On December 7, 1966, Desert Telecasting filed an application to transfer the stations to Eller Telecasting, part of Eller Outdoor Advertising Company. Ownership of the station would pass to Karl Eller, but the station would continue to be managed by Crites, who became president of Eller Telecasting.[11] KBLU-TV became part of Combined Communications in 1968, when its parent, Eller Outdoor Advertising Company, merged with KTAR Broadcasting Company.[12][13]

The sudden demise of KIVA in January 1970 spelled more changes for KBLU-TV, which immediately moved to acquire the NBC affiliation, while the CBS affiliation passed to new station KECC-TV (now KECY-TV).[14] KBLU-TV also took over the television studio facilities formerly occupied by KIVA.

In July 1977, Combined Communications announced that it was selling both radio station KBLU and TV station KBLU-TV, but to different owners. The TV station would keep its NBC affiliation, but was to be sold to Chapman Television of Tuscaloosa, effective January 1, 1978, pending FCC approval.[15] As FCC rules in effect at the time prohibited two stations to share call letters unless commonly-owned, and the radio station was keeping the KBLU call letters, Chapman requested the call sign KYEL-TV (for Yuma EL Centro). The call sign was found to be in use, but it was on a ship which had not been in service since 1803.[16] The FCC approved the sale on November 1, 1977 and on January 1, 1978, KBLU-TV became KYEL-TV.[17]


KYEL-TV logo of NBC's "Come on Home" campaign from 1987

Chapman Television did not keep the station long, selling it to Service Broadcasters, Inc. in November 1978, who, in turn, sold it to Beam Broadcasters in November 1983 (later known as Beacon Broadcasters). In September 1991, Beacon Broadcasters sold the station to KB Media, who promptly renamed the station KSWT. It remained an NBC affiliate until shortly after KYMA went on the air, when it took the ABCaffiliation. In September 1994, CBS affiliate KECY-TV flipped to Fox, and KSWT took over the CBS affiliation once again.[18] In February 1998, KB Media sold the station to Eclipse Media, and then in September 2000, Eclipse Media sold the station to Pappas Telecasting. KSWT also included Telemundo programming during the overnight hours in the 1990s, until local affiliate KESE-LP began operations. KSWT aired some PAX programming during afternoons beginning in 2000, but had reverted to full-time CBS by 2004.

Logo for KSWT-DT2 as a CW affiliate.

In September 2006, The CW network launched nationwide, and KSWT added the network as a digital subchannel on 13.2. Adding the subchannel soon became a problem, as Time Warner Cable, the dominant local cable provider, placed the CW programming on channel 740, in a costlier digital cable package. KSWT requested that the channel be placed in the basic package on channel 6, where the market's cable-only WBaffiliate, branded KWUB, had resided.[19] After several months of negotiations, the differences were settled, and in December 2006, KSWT 13.2 was placed on cable channel 6. In 2010, The CW moved to KECY's third digital subchannel, which inherited KSWT-DT2's cable carriage; KSWT replaced CW programming with a standard definition simulcast of its main programming.


As a CBS affiliate, KSWT airs a typical mix of network and syndicated fare, with occasional paid programming. Its only original programming is local news, and it is one of only two stations in the viewing area to air local news in English (the other is KYMA). Monday through Friday, the station features an hour-long 4 PM newscast, called "KSWT First News", followed by the half-hour network newscast. At 5:30 PM, following the network news, KSWT airs another hour-long newscast, called "KSWT Early News", and finally, at 10 PM, KSWT has a half-hour newscast called KSWT Late News. On Saturday and Sunday, only the late newscast airs. Unlike most CBS affiliates, it does not carry newscasts on weekday mornings, weekdays at noon or early evening newscasts on weekends.

KSWT's CW programming relied almost exclusively on network and syndicated fare, with paid programming overnights. It aired a block of children's programming on Saturday mornings and movies on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The subchannel aired no local programming.

Time zone note

All times in this article are given in Mountain Standard Time.

On-air staff

Current on-air staff

  • Jim Brinson - Anchor 6 and 10pm
  • Susana Mendoza - Co-Anchor 6 and 10pm
  • Roland Maldonado - Anchor 4 and 5:30pm
  • Jennifer Jones - Weekend Anchor, 10pm
  • John Patrick - Meteorologist, 4, 5:30, 6 and 10PM
  • Joey Norton - Friday Meteorologist, 4, 5:30, 6 and 10PM, Weekend Meteorologist, 10pm
  • Ruth Castillo - Reporter
  • Felicia Martinez - Reporter
  • Stephanie Sanchez - Reporter

Notable former on-air staff




  • Andrew Amador, (Main Anchor, now commercial actor, Los Angeles)
  • Gary Anderson (Anchor, now lecturer at George Washington University)
  • Beau Bagley (sports director, now weekend sports at KTSM-TV)
  • Tyler Baldwin (main anchor, now at KTVK)
  • David Bataller (Sports Director, now weekend sports at KFSN)
  • Aaron Brillhart (Meteorologist, now weather producer at WSVN, Miami)
  • Ian Cohen - (Sports Director, now producer at Rachael Ray Show)
  • Patrick Crawford (Meteorologist, now at KHBS)
  • Doug Currin (main anchor, now morning anchor at WBRE)
  • Melody Dunn (Anchor, now recording artist in Nashville, TN)
  • Bernadette Flores (reporter, now reporter at KBAK-TV)
  • Liz Frizoli, (Sports, now Social Worker, Boston Area)
  • Gaby Gonzalez - (Main Anchor, now Director of Communications, [|ADOT], Yuma)
  • Tierra Griffiths (Anchor, now in PR with MassMedia Corporate Communications, Phoenix)
  • Dave Hecht (US Navy Public Affairs)
  • Rob Hughes (anchor/reporter, now at KJCT, Grand Junction)
  • Steve Iandoli (Sports anchor, now at NECN)
  • Dave Kartunen (10pm anchor 2000-2001, now anchor/reporter at WHDH in Boston)
  • Katherine Kisiel (Anchor, married to former KSWT news anchor Chris Willis, now at KTBC)
  • Bob Lenertz (News Director, now retired)
  • Lena Lewis (Main anchor, now Anchor/Reporter at KUSI-TV in San Diego)
  • Shanna McCord (now newspaper reporter for Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Gasia Mikaelian (Anchor/reporter, now at KTVU in San Francisco)
  • Nick Montes (anchor/reporter, now reporter/anchor KTVN-TV in Reno, NV)
  • Jennifer Musa (reporter/anchor, now reporter at KSWB-TV)
  • Aaron Pearlman (Meteorologist, now at KBAK-TV)
  • Carissa Planalp (Reporter, now at KMSB-TV in Tucson)
  • Laura Rillos (weekend anchor/reporter, now reporter at KVAL-TV)
  • Lorraine Rivera (weekend anchor/reporter, now weekend anchor/reporter at KVOA)
  • Kacie Talamante (Anchor/Reporter, now reporter at KMSB-TV, Tucson)
  • Autumn Sam (weekend sports, now weekend sports at WSB-TV)
  • Vanessa Shirley (main anchor, formerly weekend anchor/reporter at WKOW)
  • Aileen Simborio (weekend anchor, now anchor/reporter at KSNW)
  • Gary Somerset (Anchor/reporter, now in media relations for the Government Printing Office)
  • Hank Tester (Now anchor at WTVJ-TV, Miami)
  • Nadine Toren (anchor, now traffic reporter at KPHO-TV, Phoenix)
  • Jasmine Viel (main anchor, now reporter at KION-TV/KCBA in Salinas, CA)
  • Ashley Webster (now Overseas Market Editor in London for Fox Business Network)
  • Chris Willis (News Director/main anchor, now at KXAN)

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • The Big News (1963-1967)
  • Topline News (1967-1973)
  • NewsCenter 13 (1973-1991)
  • NewsChannel 13 (1991-1998)
  • CBS 13 Southwest News (1998-2001)
  • KSWT News (2001-2006)
  • KSWT News 13 (2006-present)

Station slogans

  • KYEL-TV, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • KYEL-TV, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We're KYEL-TV, Just Watch Us Now (1982-83; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • KYEL-TV, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • KYEL-TV, Let's All Be There (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to KYEL-TV (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come on Home to KYEL-TV (1987-1988; last localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Something's Happening on TV-13 (1988-1990; first localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • America's Watching TV-13 (1990-1992; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • If It's TV-13, It Must Be ABC (1992-1993; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • The Spirit of the Southwest (1998-2001; localized version of CBS 'Welcome Home' ad campaign)
  • We're Your Station! (2001-2009)
  • Desert News Now (2009-present)


Both programming streams of KSWT had been rebroadcast on stations licensed to Wellton-Mohawk, Arizona, until the translator stations' licensee, Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation & Drainage District, shut down the stations on August 18, 2009.[22] KSWT is available via Dish Network.


  1. ^ a b "Channel 13 Is Allocated To Yuma TV Firm", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 10, 1962-07-25
  2. ^ a b "KBLU-TV On the Air", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 2, 1963-12-03
  3. ^ "Second Television Station for Yuma Approved by FCC", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1956-01-26
  4. ^ "Rejection Urged For Proposed Yuma TV Station", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1958-06-26
  5. ^ "Yuma TV Petition Rejected by FCC", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1958-09-18
  6. ^ "Battle Looms for Channel 13 Here", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1961-12-05
  7. ^ "KIVA Opposes Petitions Presented by KBLU-TV", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1963-04-12
  8. ^ "KBLU-TV Request To Hike Visual Power Is Opposed", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1963-06-06
  9. ^ "KIVA Seeks To Halt Work On KBLU-TV", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1963-09-17
  10. ^ "KBLU Plans Increase In Power", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 12, 1965-08-22
  11. ^ "Public Notices", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 11, 1966-12-16
  12. ^ "Yuma TV and Radio Outlets in Merger Plan", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1967-12-27
  13. ^ "Legal Advertisements", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 23, 1968-05-22
  14. ^ "Networks Turn Over", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 5, 1970-02-01
  15. ^ "Yuma KBLU sold; radio, TV to split", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 1, 1977-07-21
  16. ^ Johnson, Christina (1977-08-05), "Change is coming to local tv station", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 30
  17. ^ "KBLU radio-TV split is approved by FCC", Yuma Daily Sun, The: 21, 1977-11-01
  18. ^ "New Fox affiliates KECY-TV Yuma-El Centro, Ariz., and KARD-TV Monroe, La., drew strong November sweeps numbers.". Broadcasting & Cable. 1995-01-02. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  19. ^ Reynolds, Sarah (2006-11-29). "Time's Almost Up for KSWT, Time Warner Negotiations". The Sun (Yuma AZ). Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  20. ^ "KNBC-TV Talent Biographies". Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  21. ^ "Fox News Bios". Retrieved 2009-07-27.
  22. ^ "Station Search Details". FCC CDBS Database. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2010-10-26.

External links