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Ktvo

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KTVO, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 33), is a dual ABC/CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Kirksville, Missouri, United States, serving the Honey Lands area of Northeastern Missouri and Southeastern Iowa. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. KTVO's studios are located on US 63 two miles (3.2 km) north of Kirksville, with a secondary studio, news bureau and advertising sales office on South Market Street in downtown Ottumwa, Iowa. The station's transmitter is located northwest of Downing, Missouri, along US 136.

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted the "Freeze of '48"—the nationwide halt to reorganize TV frequencies—on April 14, 1952 the VHF channel 3 was assigned to the Kirksville, Missouri market.[2] This prime channel attracted the attention of North Missouri Broadcasting Partners, a group led by former U.S. Congressman Sam "Wat" Arnold and Sam Burk, owners of Kirksville radio station KIRX, who had already been discussing the feasibility of adding a television station to their operations.[2] Hoping to defray the costs and risk of the new venture, in early 1953 the Kirksville group joined with another led by James J. Conroy, owner of KBIZ in Ottumwa, Iowa. In return for shares in KBIZ, the Kirksville group would allow construction of a tower and transmitter site whose signal would cover both Kirksville and Ottumwa. Following FCC approval, a 1,100-foot (340 m) tower was built near Downing, Missouri.[2]

KTVO signed-on November 21, 1955 airing an analog signal on VHF channel 3. However, by time of sign-on the Kirksville group felt the venture held little hope for profitability and had sold all shares back to Conroy.[2] For much of its early history KTVO was a primary CBS affiliate, although its single market status allowed it to cherry-pick the most popular programming from NBC and ABC. At first, Arnold and Burk's fears that the Ottumwa/Kirksville Designated Market Area (DMA) was too small to support a television station were proven true[2] but Conroy persevered, believing southeastern Iowa and northeastern Missouri would be proud to have a locally based station. This was not a surprise, given that KTVO was the area's only channel until 1986, when KOIA-TV (channel 15, now Fox affiliate KYOU-TV) began operations.

On January 7, 1964, Conroy sold KTVO to the Post Corporation, a media conglomerate of newspapers and broadcasting properties based in Appleton, Wisconsin. The new owners renovated and expanded the KTVO facilities in Ottumwa, shared for the station's first twenty years with then co-owned KBIZ-AM 1240.[2] On June 1, 1968, KTVO switched primary affiliation to ABC, although the station continued carrying a few CBS and NBC shows until 1974. The year 1976 brought great change to KTVO. The Post Corporation received FCC approval to erect a new 2,000-foot (610 m) tower near Colony, Missouri. This new height and location would allow KTVO's signal to reach the lucrative Quincy, Illinois–Hannibal, Missouri DMA while still serving its two original cities of license.[2] As part of the upgrade KTVO's main studios were moved from Ottumwa to a newly constructed building three miles north of Kirksville, with a secondary studio remaining in Ottumwa and a news bureau to be established in Quincy. With more room to grow in their new Kirksville facility, in the early 1980s KTVO operated a short-lived, low-power UHF station, K40AI, channel 40. A large bulk of K40AI's schedule was made up of programming from the now-defunct Satellite Program Network. K40AI also re-purposed a small amount of the syndicated programming aired on KTVO at the time, such as Solid Gold. In 1984, Gillett Corporation bought the Post Corporation Stations; however, due to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership limit of five VHF television stations that was in effect at the time, KTVO was spun off to a local telecommunications company called "Gillbro Communications". Federal Broadcasting (later Federal Enterprises) acquired the station in 1987.

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