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KATU logo.svg
Wpxt dt2.png
CityPortland, Oregon
BrandingKATU (pronounced "K-2")
Affiliations2.1: ABC (1964–present)
2.2: MeTV
2.3: Comet
2.4: Stadium
First air date
March 15, 1962 (60 years ago) (1962-03-15)
Former call signs
KOXO (CP, 2/23/1961–6/14/1961)[1]
Former channel number(s)
2 (VHF, 1962–2009)
43 (UHF, 1998–2019)
Independent (1962–1964)
Call sign meaning
pronounced "K-2"
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID21649
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT524 m (1,719 ft)
Transmitter coordinates45°30′57.8″N 122°44′3.1″W / 45.516056°N 122.734194°W / 45.516056; -122.734194
Public license information

KATU (channel 2) is a television station in Portland, Oregon, United States, affiliated with ABC. It is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group[2] alongside La Grande–licensed Univision affiliate KUNP (channel 16). Both stations share studios on NE Sandy Boulevard in Portland, while KATU's transmitter is located in the Sylvan-Highlands section of the city.


A construction permit for channel 2, Portland's last available channel allocation on the VHF band, was issued to Fisher's Blend Station, Inc., (later known as Fisher Communications) in 1958.[citation needed] However, KATU did not begin broadcasting until March 15, 1962, originally operating as an independent station.[3] For its entire history, it has operated from a converted laundry on NE Sandy Boulevard; it is the only one of the original five full-power stations in Portland that still operates from its original studio. The station's transmitter was originally located atop Livingston Mountain, about 7 miles (11 km) NNE of Camas, Washington.

On January 19, 1964, KATU moved its transmitter site 21 miles (34 km) to Portland's West Hills to improve its signal coverage.[citation needed] Just over a month later, it took over the ABC affiliation in Portland away from KPTV (channel 12) on March 1, 1964. This made KATU the fourth television station in the Portland market in less than a decade to have affiliated with ABC full-time (after KLOR [channel 12, frequency now occupied by KPTV], KGW [channel 8], and KPTV). It is also Portland's longest-lasting ABC affiliate to date.

From December 2008 to June 11, 2009, KATU (and the other Fisher-owned stations) were not carried by Dish Network due to a dispute over retransmission consent compensation.[4] On April 10, 2013, KATU and Fisher Communications' other holdings were acquired by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[5][6] The Federal Communications Commission granted its approval of the deal on August 7,[7] and the sale was completed the following day.[2]

On May 8, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media – owner of CW affiliate KRCW-TV (channel 32) – for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune, pending regulatory approval by the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. KUNP would not have been affected as its contours do not overlap with either KATU or KRCW. However, as current FCC rules forbid broadcasters from legally owning more than two full-power television stations in a single market and require at least eight distinct owners after the creation of a duopoly (there would be too few remaining if a new one is created), the companies would have been required to sell either KATU or KRCW to another station group in order to comply with FCC ownership rules preceding approval of the acquisition; however, a sale of either station to an independent buyer was dependent on later decisions by the FCC regarding local ownership of broadcast television stations and future acts by Congress.[8][9][10][11][12]

On July 18, 2018, the FCC voted to have the Sinclair–Tribune acquisition reviewed by an administrative law judge amid "serious concerns" about Sinclair's forthrightness in its applications to sell certain conflict properties.[13][14][15][16][17][18] Three weeks later on August 9, Tribune announced it would terminate the Sinclair deal, intending to seek other M&A opportunities. Tribune also filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Sinclair engaged in protracted negotiations with the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division over regulatory issues, refused to sell stations in markets where it already had properties, and proposed divestitures to parties with ties to Sinclair executive chair David D. Smith that were rejected or highly subject to rejection to maintain control over stations it was required to sell.[19][20][21][22][23][24]


Syndicated programming[edit]

Syndicated programming on KATU (as of January 2022) includes Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Drew Barrymore Show, and Sony game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune (since 1992; previously, they had aired on KOIN-TV).

News operation[edit]

A KATU News van in 2007, sporting the old logo.
Debra Knapp of KATU on set interviewing Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

KATU presently broadcasts 33½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours each weekday and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). During the November 2006 and February 2007 sweeps periods, KATU finished in third place overall in the local newscast ratings, behind KGW and KPTV.[citation needed] In 2006, KATU won two Edward R. Murrow Awards, including an investigative piece reported by Anna Song on a newborn baby that was left severely brain damaged by OHSU hospital.[citation needed] Song also won dual first place (2006) Associated Press Awards in Best Writing, and Best Investigative Reporting.[citation needed]

On October 11, 2007, KATU became the third television station in Portland to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. In April 2008, KATU introduced a revamped set that expanded to the entire studio that was designed specifically for high definition broadcasts in 2009. Previously, the studio was divided in half, with one side the news set and the other the AM Northwest set. The new set was one of the most expensive projects in KATU history.[citation needed]

KATU started testing high definition newscasts on August 8, 2009. The full rollout premiered during their 4 p.m. newscast on August 17, 2009, making it the second station in the Portland market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Technical information[edit]


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[31]
2.1 720p 16:9 KATU Main KATU programming / ABC
2.2 480i MeTV MeTV
2.3 Comet Comet

On June 25, 2012, KATU switched its second digital subchannel from This TV to MeTV.

On January 15, 2016, KATU switched its third digital subchannel from GetTV to Comet TV.

On September 6, 2017, KATU activated its fourth digital subchannel and added Stadium.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

On July 17, 2008 at 6:15 p.m., KATU conducted a test for viewers to determine whether their television sets were ready for the digital television transition by turning off its analog signal for 10 seconds, which the station conducted other times through the spring of 2009.

KATU shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 43,[32][33] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2. During the last segment of the station's 11 p.m. newscast, anchor Steve Dunn reported from KATU's master control facility giving last-minute information on the digital television transition before the switch occurred.


City of license Callsign Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Owner
Astoria K26DB-D 26 5 kW 365 m (1,198 ft) 21650 46°17′9.3″N 123°53′54.5″W / 46.285917°N 123.898472°W / 46.285917; -123.898472 (K26DB-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Baker Valley K27MX-D 27 1 kW 579 m (1,900 ft) 5959 44°35′56.5″N 117°47′1.7″W / 44.599028°N 117.783806°W / 44.599028; -117.783806 (K27MX-D) Blue Mountain Translator District
(in Eugene market)
K08PZ-D 8 0.1 kW 339 m (1,112 ft) 21648 44°30′16.9″N 122°57′36″W / 44.504694°N 122.96000°W / 44.504694; -122.96000 (K08PZ-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Hood River K28CQ-D 28 1.2 kW 373 m (1,224 ft) 12431 45°44′30.4″N 121°34′47.2″W / 45.741778°N 121.579778°W / 45.741778; -121.579778 (K28CQ-D) Rural Oregon Wireless Television
La Grande (Mt. Harris) K32LY-D 32 544 m (1,785 ft) 5951 45°26′14.4″N 117°53′52.7″W / 45.437333°N 117.897972°W / 45.437333; -117.897972 (K32LY-D) Blue Mountain Translator District
La Grande (Mt. Fanny) K35GA-D 35 0.4 kW 768 m (2,520 ft) 5958 45°18′34.4″N 117°44′1.7″W / 45.309556°N 117.733806°W / 45.309556; -117.733806 (K35GA-D)
Lincoln City, etc. K32NK-D 32 5 kW 308 m (1,010 ft) 21660 44°45′22.4″N 124°2′53.4″W / 44.756222°N 124.048167°W / 44.756222; -124.048167 (K32NK-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Madras K26NX-D 26 0.63 kW 26 m (85 ft) 30805 44°34′44.4″N 121°9′13.1″W / 44.579000°N 121.153639°W / 44.579000; -121.153639 (K26NX-D) Rural Oregon Wireless Television
(in Yakima/Kennewick, WA market)
K28FT-D 28 1 kW 170 m (558 ft) 11496 45°49′54.4″N 118°15′40.8″W / 45.831778°N 118.261333°W / 45.831778; -118.261333 (K28FT-D) Citizens TV, Inc.
(in Yakima/Kennewick, WA market)
K34DI-D 34 2.1 kW 518 m (1,699 ft) 5962 45°12′46.4″N 119°17′45″W / 45.212889°N 119.29583°W / 45.212889; -119.29583 (K34DI-D) Rural Oregon Wireless Television
Prineville K35LD-D 35 1 kW 675 m (2,215 ft) 21651 44°26′16.4″N 120°57′17.1″W / 44.437889°N 120.954750°W / 44.437889; -120.954750 (K35LD-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Rainier K31HK-D 31 0.2 kW 227 m (745 ft) 131076 46°9′45.4″N 122°51′9.4″W / 46.162611°N 122.852611°W / 46.162611; -122.852611 (K31HK-D) Rural Oregon Wireless Television
Rockaway Beach K23NS-D 23 0.975 kW 387 m (1,270 ft) 49334 45°44′37.3″N 123°56′27.4″W / 45.743694°N 123.940944°W / 45.743694; -123.940944 (K23NS-D)
The Dalles K18HH-D 18 1 kW 562 m (1,844 ft) 21657 45°42′42.4″N 121°7′2.2″W / 45.711778°N 121.117278°W / 45.711778; -121.117278 (K18HH-D) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Tillamook K34PJ-D 34 683 m (2,241 ft) 21662 45°12′50.3″N 123°45′15.4″W / 45.213972°N 123.754278°W / 45.213972; -123.754278 (K34PJ-D)
Grays River, WA
Lebam, WA
K20NL-D 20 591 m (1,939 ft) 21653 46°27′39.3″N 123°33′2.5″W / 46.460917°N 123.550694°W / 46.460917; -123.550694 (K20NL-D)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FCC History Cards for KATU".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Sinclair Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Murphy, Francis (March 17, 1962). "Behind the Mike" (regular media column). The Oregonian, Section 2, p. 3. Excerpt: "KATU went on air smoothly Thursday night as guests who had gathered in new studio sat before monitors to watch opening show."
  4. ^ Mike Rogoway (December 18, 2008). "DISH drops KATU from its lineup". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "Sinclair acquiring Fisher Communications". katu.com. April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  6. ^ Colman, Price (April 10, 2013). "Sinclair poised to buy Fisher stations". TVnewscheck.com. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Stephen Battaglio (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion plus debt". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  9. ^ Cynthia Littleton (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast Group Sets $3.9 Billion Deal to Acquire Tribune Media". Variety. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Todd Frankel (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, giving it control over 215 local TV stations". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings, LLC. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Liana Baker; Jessica Toonkel (May 7, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast nears deal for Tribune Media". Reuters. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  12. ^ Harry A. Jessell; Mark K. Miller (May 8, 2017). "The New Sinclair: 72% Coverage + WGNA". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  13. ^ Todd Shields (July 16, 2018). "Sinclair and Tribune Fall as FCC Slams TV Station Sale Plan". Bloomberg News. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  14. ^ Harper Neidig (July 16, 2018). "FCC chair rejects Sinclair-Tribune merger". The Hill. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Feder, Robert (July 16, 2018). "FCC throws Sinclair/Tribune deal in doubt". RobertFeder.com. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  16. ^ Benjamin Hart (July 16, 2018). "FCC Throws Wrench Into Sinclair Media Megadeal". New York. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Edmund Lee (July 18, 2018). "Sinclair Tries to Appease F.C.C., but Its Tribune Bid Is Challenged". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Lorraine Mirabella (July 18, 2018). "FCC orders hearing even as Sinclair changes plans to sell TV stations to address concerns about Tribune deal". Baltimore Sun. Tronc. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "Tribune Terminates $3.9 Billion Sinclair Merger, Sues Broadcast Rival". The Wall Street Journal. News Corp. August 9, 2018.
  20. ^ Mark K. Miller (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Kills Sinclair Merger, Files Suit". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  21. ^ Christopher Dinsmore (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Media pulls out of Sinclair Broadcast merger". Baltimore Sun. Tronc.
  22. ^ Edmund Lee; Amie Tsang (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Ends Deal With Sinclair, Dashing Plan for Conservative TV Behemoth". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Jon Lafayette (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Ends Deal with Sinclair, Files Breach of Contract Suit". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  24. ^ Brian Fung; Tony Romm (August 9, 2018). "Tribune withdraws from Sinclair merger, saying it will sue for 'breach of contract'". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC.
  25. ^ Harrison, James. "Richard "Dick" Bogle (1930–2010)". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  26. ^ Schulberg, Pete (April 28, 1993). "Jack Faust of 'Town Hall': big shoes to fill". The Oregonian, p. B7.
  27. ^ Schulberg, Pete (February 19, 1997). "Now you see your favorite weatherperson, now you don't". The Oregonian, p. B1.
  28. ^ Nicholas, Jonathan (February 26, 2003). "25 bucking the trend". The Oregonian, p. C1.
  29. ^ "Anchors and Reporters: Rob Marciano". CNN.com. Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  30. ^ "Layoffs at Portland's KATU-TV include Brian Wood, others". OregonLive.com. March 3, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  31. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KATU
  32. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  33. ^ CDBS Print

External links[edit]