Kansas – KSNT

About KSNT

The station first signed on the air on December 28, 1967 as KTSB. It was originally owned by Ralph C. Wilson Jr., founding owner of the NFL football franchise, the Buffalo Bills. It was the second commercial television station to sign on in the Topeka market, and the first full-powered UHF station in Kansas. The station has been an NBC affiliate from its debut. Unlike most then two-station markets, KTSB did not take a formal secondary affiliation with ABC, however it did clear a few shows aired by that network. It had little need to air many ABC programs as the network's two closest affiliates—KMBC-TV in Kansas City and KQTV in St. Joseph—both provide over-the-air signals that decently cover Topeka. After sharing ABC programming with CBS affiliate WIBW-TV (channel 13) for channel 27's first 16 years of operation, both stations lost the local rights to the network when KLDH (channel 49, now KTKA-TV) signed on in June 1983, becoming the market's first full-time ABC affiliate.

In 1982, George Hatch—owner of the Kansas State Network, a chain of NBC-affiliated stations originating at KARD-TV (now KSNW) in Wichita—purchased the station from Wilson. Later that year on August 16, the station changed its call letters to KSNT, as part of an effort to help viewers think of the KSN stations as part of one large network. Over the next few years, the station branded itself under the "KSN" name, but only provided limited simulcasts with KSNW and its three full-time satellite stations in western Kansas (KSNG in Garden City, KSNC in Great Bend and KSNK in McCook, Nebraska); as such, KSNT essentially acted as a de facto semi-satellite of KSNW.

SJL Communications (owned by George Lilly) purchased the station, along with KSNW, from Hatch in 1988; Lilly eventually had part of the microwave system that linked the two stations dismantled in a cost cutting effort. In 1995, Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises acquired the Kansas State Network group as well as KSNT. On March 9, 2000, Lee Enterprises announced that it would sell its 16 television station properties, in order to focus on its newspaper and online businesses. Exactly two months later on May 9, 2000, Lee sold KSNT to Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, as part of a $562.5 million group deal involving KSNW and its satellite stations, and CBS affiliate KMTV-TV in Omaha, Nebraska.

On May 15, 2005, Emmis Communications announced that it would sell its 16 television stations in order to concentrate on its portfolio of radio stations. On September 15, Emmis sold KSNT, KSNW and its satellites as well as CBS affiliate KOIN in Portland, Oregon, and Fox affiliate KHON-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii to the Montecito Broadcast Group (formerly SJL Broadcast Group) for $259 million; the sale was finalized on January 27, 2006.

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