KGUN-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 9, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Tucson, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, as part of a duopoly with Sierra Vista-licensed CW affiliate KWBA-TV (channel 58). The two stations share studios on East Rosewood Street in East Tucson; KGUN's transmitter is located atop Mount Bigelow, northeast of Tucson. Known as "K-GUN", the station operates one low-power translator: K16EO-D (channel 27) in Oro Valley.
|Branding||KGUN 9 (general)|
KGUN 9 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||On Your Side|
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)|
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
|Translators||K16EO-D 27 (UHF) Oro Valley/Tucson|
9.3: Antenna TV
9.4: Bounce TV
|Owner||E. W. Scripps Company|
(Scripps Broadcasting Holdings LLC)
|First air date||June 3, 1956|
|Call letters' meaning||former owner's interest in GUN collecting and the Westerns that were filmed in Tucson|
|Former callsigns||KDWI-TV (1956–1957)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
9 (VHF, 1956–2009)
35 (UHF, 2005–2009)
|Transmitter power||36.5 kW|
|Height||1,140 m (3,740 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
The station was founded in 1955 by rancher D. W. Ingram of the Tucson Television Company, Inc., who gave the station his initials, KDWI-TV. It began broadcasting on June 3, 1956. On January 24, 1957, Ingram sold it to H. U. Garrett. Garrett changed the station's call sign to KGUN on March 14, 1957. The change came in part because Garrett was concerned about possible negative connotations with the letters "DWI." Garrett was also an avid Western fan and gun collector, and thought having "gun" in the station's calls would be apropos. The station's original studios were located on North 6th Avenue in Tucson.
Garrett sold the station to Cincinnati meatpacker Henry S. Hilberg, who renamed the licensee to KGUN-TV, Inc., on February 1, 1961. Hilberg sold both KGUN and WEHT in Evansville, Indiana to Gilmore Broadcasting in 1964. Gilmore then sold it to May Broadcasting in 1968. May would sell KGUN and sister station KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska) to Lee Enterprises in December of 1986. Lee in turn sold all of its stations to Emmis Communications in 2000. In 2005, Emmis liquidated all of its television properties, sending KGUN and control of KMTV to the Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast Group, which already owned four radio stations in Tucson. The sale was finalized in December 2005.
On March 18, 2008, Journal announced plans to buy CW affiliate KWBA-TV from Cascade Broadcasting Group for undisclosed terms, creating a duopoly with KGUN-TV. On June 3 of that year, the Federal Communications Commission issued a failing station waiver which allowed Journal to buy KWBA, which blamed the loss of its rights to broadcast Arizona Diamondbacks baseball and continued financial losses as the reason for the sale (the special waiver was necessary since the Tucson market already had two co-owned duopolies at the time, and a Journal purchase of KWBA would leave the market with only seven unique station owners). In the waiver, Journal said it would launch a newscast produced by KGUN on the station. The acquisition was completed on July 23, 2008.
On July 30, 2014, it was announced that the E. W. Scripps Company would acquire Journal Communications in an all-stock transaction. The combined firm will retain their broadcast properties, including KGUN, and spin off their print assets as Journal Media Group. The deal made KGUN a sister station to Phoenix's ABC affiliate, KNXV-TV, along with connecting it through statewide coverage to existing sister station and ABC affiliate KTNV-TV in Las Vegas. The FCC approved the deal on December 12, 2014. It was approved by shareholders on March 11, 2015. The merger was completed on April 1, 2015.
The station digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|9.1||720p||16:9||KGUN-DT||Main KGUN-TV programming / ABC|
In January 2009, KGUN added Mexicanal, on its digital channel 9.2. It also carried TheCoolTV until the stations parent company filed a lawsuit against TheCoolTV for non-payment, and dropped the networks from all of its stations. KGUN-TV soon replaced it with Live Well Network. In October 2012, Antenna TV replaced Mexicanal. In January 2015, Live Well Network was replaced on 9.3 with This TV when Live Well Network announced plans of its shut down. This TV was moved to sister station KWBA-TV when Laff was added to KGUN in July 2015.
In 1997, the FCC assigned UHF channel 35 to KGUN for digital operations. The station was granted an application to build its digital operations in October 2001 and, after several extensions, brought KGUN-DT to air in August 2005.
KGUN-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 35 to VHF channel 9. As with all of Journal's television stations, following the digital transition, as of June 19, 2009, KGUN added the -TV suffix to its callsign (the station had previously used the KGUN-TV callsign from 1957 to 1987, when it dropped the suffix).
An ABC affiliate, KGUN broadcasts the network's schedule, supplemented by syndicated and local programming, most of which is local news.
Local programming has been a tradition at KGUN since its sign-on. Retrospectively, KGUN's standing in the Tucson market in its early years, and the reputation it scored during that time, was unusual for an ABC affiliate, as it was quite rare for that network to be on par with CBS or NBC until the 1970s.
KGUN aired The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon from 1969 until the Muscular Dystrophy Association ended the telethon after the 2014 edition; nearly all of this time was spent as the "Love Network" affiliate in the city. The longevity of its airing on an ABC station meant that it was one of the few "Love Network" affiliates to still air the telethon during its last two years, during which time it was aired as a two-hour short form ABC network telecast under the new title MDA Show of Strength in 2013 and 2014. In 1972, it acquired the rights to air the Fiesta de los Vaqueros rodeo parade, the world's longest non-mechanized parade, which was transferred to KOLD in 2006.
A long-standing ratings champion at the station was Marshall KGUN; its many hosts included Burt Oien, Jack Jacobson and Bob Love. KGUN-TV, in collaboration with an out-of-town production company named Romper Room Inc. (which was acquired by Hasbro in 1969 and renamed Claster Television before that company was dissolved in 2000), aired the local version of Romper Room during the 1960s (among the hosts of the Tucson version of the show were Jane Harrison). Additionally, it aired the Mexican Theater (a showcase of Spanish-language films) and also held the Saturday Night Chiller Movies with host Dr. Scar.
Syndicated programming currently featured on KGUN-TV includes Right This Minute, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and Live with Kelly and Ryan; the station is one of the few in the United States to have aired the game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune from their debuts in syndication. KGUN aired another game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire from its 1999 debut on ABC until September 2, 2013 (by which time the show had long moved into syndication), when the show was dropped in favor of Inside Edition. Millionaire would return to the station in September 2014 (where it would remain until its cancellation 4½ years later), while Inside Edition was moved to NBC affiliate KVOA.
On April 26, 2010, KGUN began producing a lifestyle and entertainment magazine program called The Morning Blend, a program which was adapted from Journal flagship station WTMJ-TV. The program airs weekdays from 11 a.m. to noon and replaced KGUN's 11 a.m. newscast.
KGUN presently broadcasts 19½ hours for locally produced newscasts per week (3½ hours each weekday, 1 hour on weekends).
KGUN-TV started its own news operation in 1961, when it hired Mac Marshall to cover the news; previously, all newscasts that aired on KGUN were the film-recorded newscasts from ABC itself; as such, no locally-based newscasts were made. Its newscasts originally aired under the title of Panorama 9 and underwent various names, including a stab at the NewsCenter 9 motif before arriving at the current KGUN 9 On Your Side title in 2006 (although the slogan and format had been used at KGUN since the 1980s). KGUN's newscasts were originally videotaped in black-and-white, although the station had the city's first color film chain; it was during the 1968 elections that KGUN's newscasts began airing entirely in color.
Pat Stevens started at KGUN as a Weather Forecaster and worked her way up to News Director, and, as a result, she made national news by becoming the first female news director at a network affiliate. The long wave of news anchors at this station has included Fred Allison, Nina Trasoff, Andy Nadell, Ed Sorensen, Stephanie White and Jennifer Waddell over the years. Dave Silver became KGUN's sports director in 1983, and this was followed by the 1984 launch of Guy Atchley's career at the station, which has spanned 34 years; he retired on March 30, 2018.
On April 23, 2011, KGUN became the third station in Tucson to begin airing local newscasts in high definition.
On April 21, 2014, KGUN began airing a one-hour extension of its weekday morning newscast on KWBA from 7–8 a.m. titled Good Morning Tucson Extra. This replaced the simulcast of the weekday 7–9 a.m. portion of The Jon Justice Show from sister-station KQTH-FM.
KGUN began airing the "Don't Waste Your Money" consumer reports filed by John Matarese of its sister station WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio in early 2016; the station is one of twenty-two in the United States currently broadcasting them.
Notable former on-air staffEdit
- "Journal of Wis. to purchase KGUN-TV". Arizona Daily Star. 2005-08-23. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- "Tucson, Arizona's KGUN Television, Channel 9!". kgun9.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2001. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- "TV Transfers" (PDF). 1972 Broadcasting Yearbook. Retrieved 2009-01-12.[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1998-04-22. Retrieved 2019-04-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Emmis Announces Sale of Nine Television Stations". Emmis Press Release. 2005-08-22. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- [dead link]
-  Archived June 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Glauber, Bill (30 July 2014). "Journal, Scripps deal announced". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Scripps, Journal Merger Complete". broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Staff. "Scripps, Journal Communications Complete Merger And Spinoff". netnewscheck.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- "RabbitEars.Info". rabbitears.info. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
- MDA press release: "Star Lineup Set for MDA Show of Strength Telethon this Labor Day Weekend", August 20, 2014. Archived August 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- USA Today: "MDA ends Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon", May 1, 2015.
- "MDA Telethon Ends Historic Run, Urgent Fight for Families Continues," Archived 2015-05-03 at the Wayback Machine press release from Muscular Dystrophy Association (5/1/2015)
- "Nancy Claster, 82, Miss Nancy of 'Romper Room,' Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
- "Update of classic may get to educate a new generation RETURN TO 'ROMPER ROOM'". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
- "Show times scheduled to change on KGUN9". www.jrn.com. Rikki Mitchell. Archived from the original on 2015-01-07. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- Jim Conigliaro. "The Morning Blend - KGUN9". KGUN. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Rademacher, Kevin. "KGUN to introduce hour-long newscast tonight." Inside Tucson Business 6 January 1997: 9–10.
- Staff. "KWBA Tucson To Launch New Morning Newscast". tvnewscheck.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.