Fox 13 Salt Lake City Highlights
Fox 13 (KSTU), is a Fox-affiliated television station located in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. KSTU first aired in 1978. Live news broadcasts are displayed. When no news is being broadcast live, you’ll see a replay of recent newscasts.
Fox 13 Salt Lake City Details
KSTU, virtual channel 13 (UHF digital channel 28), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. KSTU’s studios are located on West Amelia Earhart Drive in the northwestern section of Salt Lake City, and its transmitter is located on Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains, southwest of Salt Lake City. The station has a large network of broadcast translators that extend its over-the-air coverage throughout Utah, as well as portions of Nevada.
The station first signed on the air on October 24, 1978 under the ownership of Massachusetts-based Springfield Television, which also owned NBC affiliate WWLP in Springfield, Massachusetts and ABC affiliate WKEF in Dayton, Ohio. It was the first independent station in Utah, as well as the first new commercial station to sign on in Salt Lake City since KUTV (channel 2) hit the airwaves 24 years earlier.
Salt Lake City had a fairly long wait for an independent station compared to other cities of its size; it had been big enough on paper to support one since the early 1960s. However, the Salt Lake City market is one of the largest and most mountainous markets in the country, covering all of Utah and large slices of Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming. The market’s three commercial stations, as well as PBS members KUED and KBYU-TV, all needed massive networks of low-power translators to cover it. Additionally, at the time the only available allocations were on the UHF band, and UHF stations have never covered mountainous territory very well. The expense associated with building a translator network, combined with the limitations of UHF, scared off most prospective investors until the 1970s. By the mid-1970s, however, cable television—a must for acceptable television in much of Utah, even in today’s digital era—had gotten enough penetration in the market to lessen the need for translators and make an independent station viable.
The station originally broadcast on UHF channel 20 using a transmitter originally used for WWLP’s partial satellite, WRLP-TV in Greenfield, Massachusetts (which closed down shortly before KSTU’s sign-on). KSTU’s programming at the time was typical for an independent station—cartoons, off-network classic sitcoms, classic movies, and drama series. Springfield Television merged with Adams Communications in 1984. On October 6, 1986, the station became a charter affiliate of Fox. However, like most Fox affiliates early in the network’s history, it was still essentially programmed as an independent. Fox initially ran only late night programming at launch and when it added primetime programming in April 1987, it only aired such programs on Saturdays and Sundays. It would not air a full week’s worth of programming until 1993.