KSTC-TV, virtual channel 5.2 (UHF digital channel 45), is an independent television station licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States and serving the Twin Cities television market. The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, as part of a duopoly with Saint Paul-licensed ABC affiliate and company flagship KSTP-TV (channel 5); it is also sister to radio stations KSTP (1500 AM), KSTP-FM (94.5 MHz), and KTMY (107.1 FM). The five outlets share studios on University Avenue, on the Saint Paul–Minneapolis border; KSTC-TV's transmitter is located at Telefarm Towers in Shoreview. It is the only television station in the area with its own mascot, Dr. Chuck Ells, who is often seen at community events. The former mascot was the "45 Guy".
|Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Branding||45TV (RF channel)|
45TV News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Television with Variety|
|Channels||Digital: 45 (UHF)|
(to move to 30 (UHF))
Virtual: 5.2 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||5.2: Independent (2000–present)|
5.4: Antenna TV
5.6: This TV
|First air date||June 19, 1994|
|Call letters' meaning||KSTP Twin Cities|
(co-owned with KSTP)
|Sister station(s)||KSTP-TV, KSTP, KSTP-FM, KTMY|
|Former callsigns||KVBM (1994–2000)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
45 (UHF, 1994–2009)
44 (UHF, 2002–2009)
|Former affiliations||HSN (1994–2000)|
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Height||428 m (1,404 ft)|
430 m (1,411 ft) (CP)
|Public license information||Profile|
KSTC-TV also serves the Mankato market (via K14KE-D in nearby St. James through the local municipal-operated Cooperative TV [CTV] network of translators), as that area does not have an independent station of its own.
The station began operations under the KVBM call letters. Although Federal Communications Commission (FCC) records indicate that a license for this station was granted in 1987, it did not take to the airwaves until June 1994. The station aired Minnesota Department of Transportation traffic information as well as the Home Shopping Network until it was purchased by Hubbard Broadcasting on April 24, 2000. Hubbard relaunched the station as KSTC on September 11. In order to get attention for the switch from KVBM to KSTC, Hubbard ran an advertising campaign around the theme of people with an assortment of ages saying "I'm 45!" to build word of mouth about what the phrase meant, knowing few in the market ever watched KVBM (or even knew a channel 45 existed) and would be curious about what the phrase actually referred to.
In 2003, KSTC began broadcasting its digital signal. KSTC-DT, on ATSC channel 45.1 in standard definition, simulcast the station's regular content. On 45.2 was HDnet in high definition (the network's only ever over-the-air presence outside of encrypted over-the-air subscription services). After its contract with the network ended, channel 45.2 was taken off-the-air. It signed-on again December 1, 2006 as a high definition sports channel which included a schedule of live Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves games in the format, along with Minnesota State High School League sports. On or around June 30, 2010, KSTC began carrying This TV in standard definition, with KSTC's main channel beginning to be transmitted in high definition with sports content merged into the main KSTC schedule.
Until late 2008, KSTC heavily promoted its ties to KSTP-TV. It branded itself as "FORTY5," and used a logo in which the "Y" in "FORTY" was converted into a digital "4" superimposed on channel 5's longtime "groovy 5" logo.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.2||720p||16:9||KSTCDT1||Main KSTC-TV programming|
KSTC-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 45, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 44 to channel 45. In October 2011, KSTP and KSTC unified all of their over-the-air channels as virtual subchannels of KSTP. As a result, the PSIPs of KSTC changed. The main KSTC channel is now on 5.2, with This TV now being tuned to 5.6.
As an independent station, the station runs a variety of syndicated programming mostly consisting of off-network shows. Indeed, Hubbard signed on KSTC primarily as a home for a large inventory of syndicated programming that KSTP-TV no longer had time to air. Movies considered one and two-star are aired frequently while some locally produced material is aired each week. In the few years it has been operating under the KSTC call letters, several other low-budget programs made specifically for this station have come and gone. These included a weekly horror movie broadcast under the name Horror Incorporated (hosted by Count Dracula played by Jake Esau, the actual owner of the countdracula.com domain name). The last incarnation of Horror Incorporated was hosted by Uncle Ghoulie (Thom Lange), Carbuncle (Tim McCall), 13 (Sasha Yvonne Walloch), Gordon the Gorilla, and Wolfie. As of 2004, at least one KSTC-specific program was still airing: Nate on Drums, a comedy and variety show hosted by Nate Perbix, is reportedly syndicated to a network of stations across Minnesota.
Today, most local programs come from KSTP including On the Road with longtime KSTP reporter Jason Davis and Sports Wrap. In 2004, KSTC announced a six-year over-the-air partnership with the Minnesota Timberwolves allowing the station to broadcast a number of the team's regular-season and postseason basketball games. Also that year, the station entered into an eleven-year partnership with the Minnesota State High School League to broadcast state athletic tournaments as well as educational and student programs. KSTC pays the league $9.7 million in rights fees and provides an additional $10.6 million worth of promotion for those tournaments and other league programs. KSTC-TV also televised Minnesota Golden Gophers men's basketball games from 2006 to 2007.
In 2009, KSTC and the MSHSL extended their broadcast partnership until 2021. Starting in 2010, some tournaments were broadcast online. Additionally in December 2004, they established a multi-year partnership to air Minnesota Wild hockey games. Other sports have also aired on the station in the past including Minnesota Twins and Saint Paul Saints baseball, boxing, and even Robot Wars-style combat between mechanical competitors. As of summer 2006, KSTC has been including actual viewers in their programming promotions. Most include a viewer describing their favorite scene or character from one of the shows on the station. The station may also take on the responsibility of airing shows from ABC whenever KSTP cannot do so as a result of extended breaking news or severe weather coverage, or special programming.
In the early 2000s, KSTC experimented with carrying a two-hour extension of KSTP's weekday morning newscast from 7 to 9 a.m. On July 19, 2009, KSTP began to produce daily newscasts for KSTC full-time, this originally included weekend shows but these were dropped. The newscasts run for two hours starting at 7 a.m. and for an hour at 9 p.m, which respectively compete with Fox owned-and-operated station KMSP-TV (channel 9)'s in-house morning newscast and KMSP's primetime newscast at 9 p.m. The KSTC newscasts are broadcast in high definition.
The broadcast signal of KSTC is extended by way of six translators in central and southern Minnesota. All broadcast in digital.
|Call letters||Channel||City of license||Transmitter location||Note|
|K16CO-D||16||Alexandria||east of Garfield along MN 22|
|K34NV-D||34||Frost||along MN 254|
|K29LV-D||29||Jackson||south of town along U.S. 71|
|K25II-D||25||Redwood Falls||east of Morton near MN 19|
(in the Mankato market)
|along MN 6 at the Watonwan and Brown County line|
|K19IH-D||19||Willmar||north of town on First Street North|
- RabbitEars - Digital TV Market Listing for K14KE-D
- The Webpage of Cooperative TV (CTV)
- CTV Channel Listing via the Cooperative TV (CTV) Website
- RabbitEars TV Query for KSTC
- Where to Watch Me-TV: KSTP
- Me-TV Signs With Stations in New Markets
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- CDBS Print
- KSTC: Channel rescan notice Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- "Entertainment". KSTC-45. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
- KSTC45.com – KSTC-TV official website
- KSTP.com – KSTP-TV official website
- MeTVTwinCities.com – MeTV Twin Cities official website
- TwinCities.AntennaTV.tv – Antenna TV Twin Cities official website
- TwinCities.ThisTV.com – This TV Twin Cities official website
- 45 institute of Laughter – Dr. Chuck Ells, head of the 45 Institute of Laughter website
- RabbitEars.info website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KSTC-TV