KDVR, virtual channel 31 (UHF digital channel 36), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Denver, Colorado, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, as part of a duopoly with CW affiliate KWGN-TV (channel 2). The two stations share studios on East Speer Boulevard in Denver’s Speer neighborhood (to the immediate south of the studios of ABC affiliate KMGH-TV, channel 7); KDVR’s transmitter is located atop Lookout Mountain, near Golden. On cable, the station is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 13 and CenturyLink Prism channel 31.
KFCT (virtual channel 22, UHF digital channel 21) in Fort Collins operates as a full-time satellite of KDVR; this station’s transmitter is located atop Horsetooth Mountain just outside the city. KFCT covers areas of northern Colorado, being that area’s only full-power television station, that receive a marginal to non-existent signal from KDVR, though there is significant overlap between the coverage areas of both KDVR and KFCT’s signals otherwise (including in Fort Collins proper and the nearby cities of Greeley, Windsor and Longmont). KFCT is a straight simulcast of KDVR; on-air references to KFCT are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during newscasts and other programming. Aside from the transmitter, KFCT does not maintain any physical presence locally in Fort Collins.
KDVR presently broadcasts 51½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 8½ hours each weekday and 4½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays).
In early 2000, KDVR began plans to produce a prime time newscast to compete with KWGN’s longer-established 9:00 p.m. newscast. The station built a “news and technology center” at 100 East Speer Boulevard (near downtown Denver), to house the new news department; KDVR moved its operations into the building on April 15, 2000. The news department launched three months later on July 16, with the premiere of Fox 31 News at 9 O’Clock; as a result, KDVR became the last Fox-owned station to begin producing local newscasts (until WJZY in Charlotte, North Carolina, which Fox had acquired in April 2013, launched its news operation in January 2014). The program was originally anchored by Ron Zappolo (who previously served as a sports anchor at KCNC and KUSA) and Libby Weaver (who joined the station from WMAQ-TV in Chicago and had formerly hosted the syndicated entertainment news program Extra), who both served as lead anchors for the newscast from its inception until Weaver’s departure in 2012.
KDVR expanded news programming to mornings on March 22, 2004, with the debut of Good Day Colorado, which was created to compete with KWGN’s weekday morning newscast, WB2 Morning News (now titled Daybreak). Initially a 2½-hour newscast beginning at 5:30 a.m., Good Day expanded over time into a four-hour block beginning at 5:00 a.m. In January 2005, KDVR began producing a 5:00 p.m. newscast on Saturday evenings; this was later followed by the launch of a half-hour 5:30 p.m. newscast on weekdays in September 2008.
After entering into the local marketing agreement, major changes were made to KDVR and KWGN’s news programming to benefit both stations as best as possible. While it does hinder both stations, KDVR and KWGN each produce weekday morning newscasts that run concurrently from 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. Besides competing with KWGN, the final two hours of the newscast also compete with the KUSA-produced weekday morning newscast on KTVD. KWGN discontinued its 5:30 p.m. newscast on January 12, 2009, while KDVR pushed back its early evening newscast to 5:00 p.m. and expanded it to an hour. Two months later on March 30, KWGN moved its prime time newscast two hours earlier to 7:00 p.m. (an unusual timeslot for a network-affiliated station in the Mountain Time Zone) to avoid competition with KDVR’s 9:00 p.m. newscast and scaled back the program to weekdays only, leaving a KUSA-produced prime time newscast on KTVD as KDVR’s only news competition in the latter slot. There is a considerable amount of sharing between KDVR and KWGN in regards to news coverage, video footage and the use of reporters; though both outlets maintain their own primary on-air personalities (such as news anchors and meteorologists) that only appear on one station; several KWGN on-air staffers that remained with the station after the LMA was formed joined KDVR’s news staff with the consolidation of news departments, with most of KDVR’s news staff appearing on KWGN’s newscasts as well. On June 28, 2010, KDVR added a half-hour 10:00 p.m. newscast titled Fox 31 Nightside, which focuses on more hard-hitting stories than the local news programs seen on the other major network affiliates during the same timeslot.
During breaking news coverage of the fatal crash of a news helicopter rented by KOMO-TV in Seattle on March 18, 2014, the station briefly aired a Twitpic image of an adult penis sticking out from unzipped pants (immediately following images of Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, and a baked food dish) as Good Day Colorado co-anchor Kurt Yuhnke searched for user-submitted pictures from the crash’s aftermath on social media during the segment; some of the four anchors could be heard gasping, as master control operators quickly tossed back to the studio while Yuhnke switched to a photo from the crash site. In a statement apologizing for the incident, KDVR/KWGN news director Ed Kosowski clarified that the photo “did not come from the tablet” being used by Yuhnke and stated that the station would be “taking immediate steps to prevent such an accident from happening again.” On June 1, 2014, KDVR debuted #COpolitics – From the Source, an unconventionally formatted Sunday morning political discussion program that is taped at The Source food market in Denver.