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KATU, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 43), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Portland, Oregon, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group,[1] as part of a duopoly with La Grande-licensed Univision affiliate KUNP (channel 16). The two stations share studios and offices located on NE Sandy Boulevard in northeastern Portland; KATU's transmitter is located in the Sylvan-Highlands section of the city.


KATU logo.png

Me-TV KATU Portland.png
PortlandSalem, Oregon
Vancouver, Washington
United States
City Portland, Oregon
Branding KATU (general)
KATU News (newscasts)
(pronounced "K-2")
Slogan On Your Side
Channels Digital: 43 (UHF)
(to move to 24 (UHF))
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
Subchannels 2.1 ABC
2.2 MeTV
2.3 Comet
2.4 Stadium
Affiliations ABC (1964–present)
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(possible resale to another owner to be determined if Sinclair's acquisition of Tribune Media is approved)
(Sinclair Portland Licensee, LLC)
First air date March 15, 1962 (56 years ago) (1962-03-15)
Call letters' meaning pronounced "K-2"
Sister station(s) KUNP
Former channel number(s) Analog:
2 (VHF, 1962–2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1962–1964)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
678 kW (CP)
Height 524 m (1,719 ft)
Facility ID 21649
Transmitter coordinates 45°30′57.8″N 122°44′3.1″W / 45.516056°N 122.734194°W / 45.516056; -122.734194
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile



A construction permit for channel 2, Portland's last available channel allocation on the VHF band, was issued to Fisher's Blend Station, Inc., (later known as Fisher Communications) in 1958.[citation needed] However, KATU did not begin broadcasting until March 15, 1962, originally operating as an independent station.[2] The station's transmitter was originally located atop Livingston Mountain, about 7 miles (11 km) NNE of Camas, Washington.

On January 19, 1964, KATU moved its transmitter site 21 miles (34 km), to Portland's West Hills to improve its signal coverage.[citation needed] Just over a month later, it took over the ABC affiliation in Portland away from KPTV (channel 12) on March 1, 1964. This made KATU the fourth television station in the Portland market in less than a decade to have affiliated with ABC full-time (after KLOR, KGW—channel 8, and KPTV). It is also Portland's longest-lasting ABC affiliate to date. KATU is the only one of the first five television stations in Portland to have operated out of the same studio (at 2153 NE Sandy Boulevard) since it went on the air, although the building had earlier been used as a laundry for many years.

In 2002, KATU-TV celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, it updated its on-air graphics, and introduced a new news set; the station also aired stories from past newscasts.[citation needed] From December 2008 to June 11, 2009, KATU (and the other Fisher-owned stations) were not carried by Dish Network due to a dispute over retransmission consent compensation.[3]

On April 10, 2013, KATU and Fisher Communications' other holdings were acquired by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[4][5] The Federal Communications Commission granted its approval of the deal on August 7,[6] and the sale was completed the following day.[1]

Digital televisionEdit

Digital channelsEdit

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7]
2.1 720p 16:9 KATU-HD Main KATU programming / ABC
2.3 480i 4:3 Comet Comet
2.4 Stadium Stadium

On June 25, 2012, KATU switched its second digital subchannel from This TV to MeTV.

On January 15, 2016, KATU switched its third digital subchannel from GetTV to Comet TV.

On September 6, 2017, KATU activated its fourth digital subchannel and added Stadium.

Analog-to-digital conversionEdit

On July 17, 2008 at 6:15 p.m., KATU conducted a test for viewers to determine whether their television sets were ready for the digital television transition by turning off its analog signal for 10 seconds, which the station conducted other times through the spring of 2009.

KATU shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 43,[8][9] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2. During the last segment of the station's 11 p.m. newscast, anchor Steve Dunn reported from KATU's master control facility giving last-minute information on the digital television transition before the switch occurred.

News operationEdit

A KATU News van in 2007, sporting the old logo.
Debra Knapp of KATU on set interviewing Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

KATU presently broadcasts 33½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). During the November 2006 and February 2007 sweeps periods, KATU finished in third place overall in the local newscast ratings, behind KGW and KPTV.[citation needed] In 2006, KATU won two Edward R. Murrow Awards, including an investigative piece reported by Anna Song on a newborn baby that was left severely brain damaged by OHSU hospital.[citation needed] Song also won dual first place (2006) Associated Press Awards in Best Writing, and Best Investigative Reporting.[citation needed]

On October 11, 2007, KATU became the third television station in Portland to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. In April 2008, KATU introduced a revamped set that expanded to the entire studio that was designed specifically for high definition broadcasts in 2009. Previously, the studio was divided in half, with one side the news set and the other the AM Northwest set. The new set was one of the most expensive projects in KATU history.[citation needed]

KATU started testing high definition newscasts on August 8, 2009. The full rollout premiered during their 4 p.m. newscast on August 17, 2009, making it the second station in the Portland market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.

Notable current on-air staffEdit

Notable former on-air staffEdit


KATU's signal is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:

Low-power translators in Mitchell and Wasco have been discontinued.


KATU Heliport (FAA LID: 21OR) is a private heliport on the roof of KATU TV's building in Portland, Oregon.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Sinclair Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ Murphy, Francis (March 17, 1962). "Behind the Mike" (regular media column). The Oregonian, Section 2, p. 3. Excerpt: "KATU went on air smoothly Thursday night as guests who had gathered in new studio sat before monitors to watch opening show."
  3. ^ Mike Rogoway (2008-12-18). "DISH drops KATU from its lineup". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  4. ^ "Sinclair acquiring Fisher Communications". April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ Colman, Price (April 10, 2013). "Sinclair poised to buy Fisher stations". Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  7. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KATU
  8. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  9. ^ CDBS Print
  10. ^ Schulberg, Pete (April 28, 1993). "Jack Faust of 'Town Hall': big shoes to fill". The Oregonian, p. B7.
  11. ^ Schulberg, Pete (February 19, 1997). "Now you see your favorite weatherperson, now you don't". The Oregonian, p. B1.
  12. ^ Nicholas, Jonathan (February 26, 2003). "25 bucking the trend". The Oregonian, p. C1.
  13. ^ "Anchors and Reporters: Rob Marciano". Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  14. ^ FAA 5010 for 21OR.

External linksEdit