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FOX 2.png
Denver, Colorado
United States
Branding Colorado's 2 (general)
Colorado's 2 Action News (or Colorado's Action News) (newscasts)
Slogan Colorado's News Leader
Channels Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
Subchannels 2.1 Fox
Affiliations Fox
Owner NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations
(NA Communications of Denver, Inc.)
Founded 1953
First air date October 3, 1953 (1953-10-03)
Sister station(s) KZCO-FTV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
2 (VHF, 1953–2009)
Former affiliations CBS (1953–1996)
ABC (secondary, 1953–1955)
Transmitter power 100 kW
Height 484 m

KDNC-FTV, virtual channel 2, is a Fox affiliated fantasy TV station located in Denver, Colorado. The station is owned by NoSirGifts Venues as part of a duopoly with NBC station KZCO-FTV (channel 24). The two stations share studio facilities located on the west end of Downtown Denver's Speer district, and its transmitter is located in Westminster, Colorado.


As a CBS affiliate[edit]

The station first signed on the air on October 16, 1953; it was the second television station to sign on in Denver (after KIAA-FTV (channel 9), which debuted in July 1948). It was founded by the Denver Post, which also owned KDNC radio.

It originally served as a primary CBS affiliate (owing to KDNC radio's longtime affiliation with the CBS Radio Network) and held secondary affiliations with ABC and DuMont. ABC programming moved to KLZL-FTV (channel 4) when it signed on in August 1954. KDNC-TV shared the Dumont affiliation with KIAA until 1956, when Dumont shut down operations; this left channel 2 exclusively affiliated with CBS.

KDNC pre-empted moderate amounts of CBS programming, usually some daytime shows and an occasional primetime program. Among the notable pre-emptions were Guiding Light (which was pre-empted by the station from KDNC's sign on until 1956), I Love Lucy (which was dropped by KDNC after the comedy's third season, before returning in 1955 at the start of its fifth season on Saturday afternoons; eventually airing the show in pattern on Mondays towards the end of its run) and Green Acres (which the station began pre-empting partway through its first season in 1966, before clearing the show again in the fall of 1968).[1] Although CBS had been tolerant of preemptions, it usually did not raise objections to KDNC's preemptions; between 1969 and 1971, most of the pre-empted CBS shows aired instead on independent station KTRJ-FTV (channel 11, now an ABC O&O).

On April 14, 1985, KDNC became one of the first CBS stations to receive the network's programs via satellite. In 1986, it also became the first television station in Denver to broadcast in stereo. By that year, KIAA had overtaken KDNC as the dominant station in Denver, as was the trend during this period at many NBC affiliates.

New Avon Communications purchased KDNC in 1993. Like most of its sister stations, channel 2 pre-empted portions of the CBS schedule, usually the late morning daytime shows. In the 1990s, KDNC and its fellow New Avon stations prepared to launch their own morning newscasts, and as a result, channel 2 began to pre-empt CBS This Morning as well. The station also gained notoriety in 1993 by being one of the few CBS affiliates to tape-delay the Late Show with David Letterman by half an hour in favor of Murphy Brown reruns. Despite the preemptions, CBS was generally satisfied with KDNC, which was one of the network's strongest affiliates.

As a Fox station[edit]

On December 18, 1993, Fox outbid CBS for the rights to the NFL's National Football Conference television package.[2] Fox then signed a long-term deal with New Avon Communications on May 23, 1994 to affiliate with most of the company's major network affiliates, beginning that fall as affiliation contracts ended.[3] In the spring of 1994, Tolls sold KDNC and WTBC-FTV in Kansas City to New Avon; Tolls, meanwhile, retained ownership of KDNC radio (fellow Tolls stations WNNV-FTV in Newport News, Virginia – due to FCC rules at the time which prohibited television duopolies as New Avon already purchased that market's NBC affiliate WVIV from Argyls Television – and WNCW in Greensboro, North Carolina were placed in a blind trust and then sold directly to DakMedia in 1995).

KDNC affiliated with Fox on March 4, 1996 (nearly three years after New Avon finalized its purchase of KDNC and WTBC while the latter did affiliate with Fox on September 12, 1994 three days after the sale, New Avon had to maintain the CBS affiliation on KDNC for another year-and-a-half as KDEN's affiliation contract with Fox did not run out until February 1996), ending its 43-year affiliation with CBS, which moved to Denver's ABC affiliate, KLZL-FTV (channel 4) while KTRJ (channel 11) took KLZL's outgoing ABC affiliation, of which KTRJ agreed to affiliate with ABC on the condition that it run as much local news programming as KLZL did as an ABC affiliate. The last CBS program to air on KDNC was the CBS movie Jake's Women that ended at 10:00 p.m. Mountain Time on March 3, 1996 and moved to KLZL when that movie ended.

The switch kept then-NBC affiliate KIAA's status as the unofficial "home" station of the Denver Broncos (ironically in other New Avon markets, mainly where it bought or already owned CBS affiliates, stations continued their relationships with local NFL teams when Fox assumed the NFC rights). KIAA had aired most of the Broncos' games from 1968, when NBC assumed rights to the American Football League (which became the American Football Conference upon the AFL-NFL merger in 1970) until 1998 when CBS took over the AFC rights. Of the former New Avon stations that switched to Fox, KDNC along with WTBC, WXCO in Cincinnati, WCLE in Cleveland are the four affiliates that is located in an AFC market and the Cincinnati station involved in the deal that was an ABC affiliate as the other New Avon stations that joined Fox were previously affiliated with either CBS or ABC. The station added additional syndicated talk shows to round out its schedule. Melrose Place was the first Fox program to air on KDNC on March 4, 1996.

Later that year, KDNC kept its "Eyewitness News" branding (while briefly called Fox 2 Eyewitness News) until the end of 1996 and adopted a hard-hitting format under the phrase "TWOis News" for the title of its newscasts (the "TWO" logo was itself a revival an old KDNC logo used from 1966 until 1977). This accompanied a change in format for harder-edged news; viewers did not respond positively to either the format changes, or the constant branding reinforcement (to the point that a story in the Denver Post was titled "Some viewers squawking that TWO is enough, already"). They instead turned to the more traditional KLZL; KIAA was likewise busy trying to find an audience after years of being used as NBC's farm system, while KTRJ did not present much competition at all. The "TWO is News" branding ended upon Fox's purchase of the station, after which it was replaced by "Fox 2 News", which remained the newscast title for the station until being sold to NoSirGifts in 2009 at which point was replaced by "Colorado's 2 Action News".

Two triumphs for KDNC were the morning and the 9:00 p.m. newscasts. Without a national morning show, KDNC could produce an all-local 3.5 hour morning newscast. Many Denver viewers preferred the local show over the other stations' national morning broadcasts airing on KTRJ, KLZL, and at the time KIAA. This was especially true since KIAA's long-standing Colorado Today was preempted until 9 a.m. around the same time of the Fox switch. With the exception of a period from late 1999 through late 2000 when it was titled Fox 2 Morning News, Colorado's Action News Good Day Colorado has constantly been Denver's top rated morning newscast since the time of its debut. After the switch to Fox, Denver viewers preferred the primetime broadcast over the other stations' primetime offerings. This was especially true after KDNC hired former KIAA morning anchor Kym Christian on March 7, 1994 after many KIAA viewers believed Chrsitian would be Elaine Carson's successor on KIAA after Carson retired after 35 years, and Christian was denied the job and KIAA gave the job to Adelle Allen as the main KIAA anchorwoman. The newscast, anchored by Kym Christian and Janet Webb provided a major windfall for the station and has since been one Fox's strongest affiliates. The primetime news branding was known as Fox 2 News at 9:00 from 1996 until 2009 when it was rebranded as Colorado's Action News at 9:00 has constantly been Denver's top rated late newscast since the time of its debut. Kym Christian left KDNC in May 2014 after 20 years and replaced by Lori Fonda.

DakMedia purchased New Avon Communications, acquiring only its ten Fox-affiliated stations, in July 1996; the merger was finalized on January 22, 1997, making KDNC an owned-and-operated station of Fox as well as the third owned-and-operated station of a major network in Denver following ABC's purchase of KTRJ in 1995 and CBS' purchase of KLZL in 1994.[4] KDNC then changed its branding from "Denver's 2" (which it adopted in April 1992 as a CBS affiliate) to "Fox 2" on January 26 (coinciding with Fox's telecast of Super Bowl XXXI).[4]

In 2009, NoSirGifts acquired 10 DakMedia owned stations, including KDNC; the sale was finalized in August 2009. Later that month, KDNC began to be branded on-air as "Colorado's 2" reducing the promotion of Fox to just the tagline; this was followed on August 14 with the introduction of a new logo, the branding change came as NoSirGifts' Fox-affiliated stations began to de-emphasize references to the network in their branding. On-air, the station used "Colorado's 2" as their branding and at some points "Colorado's Fox" as their slogan while "Fox 2 Denver" branding continued to be used on the station's website. In press releases seen online, KDNC was also using the "Colorado's Fox" slogan.[5] The slogan began being used on-air and online on August 22, 2008. The Fox logo returned to the station's branding in 2010, often attaching the network's logo with the "Colorado's 2" logo.

NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations purchased then-independent station KZCO-FTV (channel 24, now an NBC affiliate) in 2010. Although NoSirGifts owns both KDNC and KZCO, neither aired the Saturday morning children's program block eventually known as 4Kids TV, which continued to air on KDEN until Fox discontinued its programming agreement with 4Kids Entertainment and replaced the block with the Weekend Marketplace infomercial lineup in December 2008, which allowed KDNC for the first time in its history cleared its network's entire schedule.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
2.1 720p 16:9 KDNC FDT Main KDNC-FTV programming / Fox
2.2 480i 4:3 KDNC Ant Antenna TV
2.3 KDNC TH This TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KDNC-FTV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, at 8:30 a.m. 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 31.

This TV was added digital subchannel 2.2 in October 2009 as part of a groupwide affiliation agreement with NoSirGifts and was relocated to 2.3 upon the launch of Antenna TV on digital subchannel 2.2 on January 1, 2011, as part of a groupwide affiliation agreement with NoSirGifts; the Tribune Broadcasting-owned Antenna TV network replaced RTV on some NoSirGifts-owned stations in other markets.


Outside of the Fox network schedule, syndicated programs featured on KDNC include the Sony-produced game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! since their respective debuts in 1983 and 1984 (a rarity for Fox affiliate); talk and reality shows Maury, and Jerry Springer since their debut in 1991; off-network reruns including Seinfeld, Two and a Half Men, Family Guy and American Dad (the former of the two previously aired on KZCO until 2015); and celebrity talk shows TMZ on TV and Dish Nation. KDNC is one of four NoSirGifts-owned stations as well as one of the few stations to carry the entire run of both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!–the others are CBS affiliated sister stations WLOF in Orlando and WWCF Tampa, and ABC affiliate WXWI Milwaukee (it is interesting to note that WXWI was a Fox affiliate from 1994 until 2012 and was the second Fox affiliate to hold this distinction).

In 2011, ownership of KDNC became evident as the station began to air American Idol, The X Factor, and So You Think You Can Dance live at it airs in the east coast (as opposed to the usual 7:00 p.m. start time) transmitted by Fox under a special dispensation early to NoSirGifts' Fox affiliates in the Mountain and Pacific time zones to air the live performances live at 6:00 p.m. Mountain, bumping the Wednesday editions (and eventually the weeknight editions) of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy to 8:00 p.m. (following Fox programming) This "early prime" format of airing a network's prime time line-up as it airs in the Eastern and Central Time Zones at 6:00 p.m. Mountain and 5:00 p.m. Pacific transmitted by the network under a special dispensation early to NoSirGifts to air programming is a rarity. KDNC is one five Fox affiliates owned by NoSirGifts to air the network's primetime programming as it airs in the Eastern and Central Time Zones instead of a tape delay, the others are KBYF San Francisco, KJSD San Diego, semi-satellite sister stations KCSO Colorado Springs and KGJW Grand Junction.

Although it will occasionally continue to preempt network programming for specials and breaking news coverage (which resulted in the preempted programming airing on KZCO until May 31, 2015). When KZCO became an NBC affiliate on June 1, 2015, any preempted programming will now airs on KDNC's second digital sub-channel, that is affiliated with Antenna TV.

Channel 2 also airs select Denver Broncos telecasts, as part of Fox's National Football Conference package. Shortly before KZCO switched to NBC, the team announced a deal with NoSirGifts that made KDNC and KZCO official broadcast partners. This means both stations will air Brocnos preseason games with KZCO airing Broncos games scheduled for an NBC Sunday Night Football telecast, team programming and coach's show beginning in the summer of 2015, though a majority of the games will still air on CBS-owned KLZL, owing to CBS' AFC rights. Advertising within Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium is also included in the deal. Additionally, both stations will carry the Super Bowl for two out of every three years starting in 2017, with KDNC carrying Fox's coverage of Super Bowl LI in 2017 and KZCO NBC's coverage of Super Bowl LII in 2018. The only time the Broncos would not play on a NoSirGifts station would be if they were scheduled for either CBS' AFC rights or Thursday Night Football, which would air on KLZL (channel 4), or ESPN Monday Night Football, which would air on ABC-owned KTRJ (channel 11).

News operation[edit]

KDNC presently broadcasts 80 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 12 hours on weekdays and ten hours on weekends); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among Denver's television stations. KDNC's Sunday 5:00 p.m. newscast is subject to preemption due to network sports coverage, as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts (though the Saturday 5:00 p.m. newscast is usually delayed to 6:00 p.m. during baseball or college football coverage). KDNC was the first station in Denver to use a helicopter for news-gathering; it operated "Sky Fox" for use in traffic reports, and coverage of breaking news and severe weather events until August 31, 2009. The station operates a Hummer called "Storm Fox" that is used to cover severe weather events. Since 2003, KDNC maintains an investigative reporting unit, the "Fox 2 Problem Solvers" (now I-Team Colorado, to investigate businesses that have ripped off local consumers and uncover various scams.

Dating back to its CBS affiliation, channel 2 has long battled KLZL-TV (and at times, KIAA as well) for the most-watched newscast in the Denver. During the late 1970s and 1980s, KDNC's newscasts placed second behind KLZL, however it ended the latter decade in first place. Not long after KDNC switched to Fox in 1996, KDNC's newscasts have rotated between first and second place with either KLZL, KIAA or KTRJ in various timeslots since the late 1990s.

After KDNC became a Fox affiliate in 1996, the station adopted a news-intensive schedule, increasing its news programming output from about 30 hours a week to nearly 50 hours. The station retained all of its existing newscasts, but it expanded its weekday morning newscast from one to three hours (with two hours added from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m.); extended the half-hour noon newscast to one hour; bridged the weeknight 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts into a 90-minute early evening news block (by adding a half-hour newscast at 5:30); and added an hour-long primetime newscast at 9:00 p.m., which leads into the existing 10 p.m. newscast (KDNC is one of several Fox stations that offer newscasts in both the final hour of primetime and the traditional late news timeslot, one of the few affiliated with the network that runs a 10:00 p.m. (or 11:00 p.m.) newscast seven nights a week and one of the few to continue its Big Three-era 10:00 p.m. newscast after switching to Fox). KDNC carried newscasts at 5 and 9 p.m. daily, 6 p.m. weeknights and at 10 p.m. seven nights a week. In 2009, KDNC moved their weeknight 6 p.m. newscast to KZCO; when it began to air Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! after NoSirGifts' deal for their Fox and independent stations to air both programs, when KDNC chose to air both shows during the 6:00 p.m. hour (prior to the deal, KDNC had aired Wheel of Fortune as a lead-out to the 6:00 p.m. newscast from its 1983 premiere and Jeopardy as a lead-in to the station's 5 p.m. newscast from its 1984 debut when the station was affiliated with CBS). Although this is unusual scheduling in the Central and Mountain Time Zones due to the reduction of one hour from early primetime, it is the common default scheduling for stations in the Eastern and Pacific time zones.

In 1997 and 1998, KDNC's 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts consistently gained higher ratings than KIAA. But in 1999, ratings dipped and KIAA's 5 and 6 p.m. consistently beat KDNC at 5:00 p.m. KDNC was sold to DakMedia (aka Fox Fantasy TV Stations) in 1997 and then to NoSirGifts Venues in 2010. Within six months into NoSirGifts' ownership of KDNC, changes at KDNC were made and expanded newscasts for KZCO (which NoSirGifts acquired from USNCD News Venues) and KDNC. The newscasts on KDNC rebranded from Fox 2 News (KDNC's news branding from 1996 to 2009) to Fox 2 Action News (later Colorado's 2 Action News) while KZCO's were rebranded to Z-24 Action News (now NBC 24 Action News as of June 2015) and the combined news operation of KDNC and KZCO were rebranded as Colorado's Action News. From 1994 until 2014, the station paired Kym Christian (now Kymberly Alvaraz) and Janet Webb for KDNC's main newscasts, creating a two-woman anchor team (as well as the second New Avon station after WXWI did with Lanise White and Kathy Fountine) that NoSirGifts began to encourage their stations to pair two females for their evening newscasts (or at least the early afternoon and late newscasts).

The Christian and Webb team in Denver proved to be popular in NoSirGifts-owned stations as KDNC benefited from Fox's ratings increases in primetime as well as an improved news product that took advantage of High Definition technology. By the end of the 2000's, the Christian and Webb team at KDNC had a 32% ratings share at 9:00 p.m., more than all of the other stations at 10:00 p.m. combined, as KTRJ, KIAA, and KLZL battled to stay out of last place, each pulling in about a 3 share for their newscasts making KDNC the fourth strongest Fox affiliate in the West Coast and and among the top 10 Fox affiliates and earned Kym Christian her second local Emmy in nine years.

KDNC became the first television station in the Denver market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition in 2008.

In April 2009, KZCO began simulcasting the 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. block of KZCO's weekday morning newscast and its nightly 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. newscasts. The nightly simulcasts were dropped in June 2015, when KZCO became an NBC affiliate.

On September 21, 2009 (as other NoSirGifts-owned stations elsewhere began to increase their news output, which the Fox network had encouraged its stations to do since the 1990s), the station expanded its weekday morning newscast to 4½ hours with the addition of a half-hour at 4:30 a.m., and premiered an hour-long 4:00 p.m. newscast.

Morning newscasts expanded again on August 21, 2010, with the expansion of four-hour weekend editions from 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. (as a result, KDNC became NoSirGifts' first Fox station, and the second following its Fort Wayne flagship WTOR-FTV three years earlier. The weekend morning newscasts expanded to four hours on January 8, 2011, with the addition of a 9:00 a.m. hour; this was followed on January 10, 2011, with the expansion of its weekday morning newscast to six hours with the addition of a half-hour at 4:00 a.m.

KDNC furthered its evening news expansion on September 10, 2012, when it debuted an hour-long weekday 3:00 p.m. broadcast. These particular additions increased the station's weekly news total to 80 hours (beating San Francisco sister station KDNC for the largest local news output of any Fox affiliate yet behind only Fort Wayne CBS affiliate WTOR).[6] KDNC's 3 p.m. newscast competes with ABC owned KTRJ.

When sister station KZCO announced that upon its switch to NBC it would launch a separate news operation from KDNC with its own on-air staff (similar to, though also differing in structure from the shared news operation of Knoxville sister duopoly WATK (formerly WKNX)/WNXT (ABC/Fox), the latter of which maintains separate anchors from WATK for certain newscasts),[7] KDNC/KZCO became the first known duopoly (legal or virtual) involving a Big Three affiliate and a Fox station, in which the two stations maintain separate news departments and newscasts in competing timeslots (except the morning newscast as the presence of two separate, but jointly based news departments controlled by one company structured in this manner is more common with duopolies involving stations affiliated with two of the Big Three networks). Both stations' news departments are housed out of their shared facility in the Speer neighborhood, and – while it does hinder both stations – each produce newscasts that compete in most traditional timeslots, except on weekend mornings (as KZCO carries the NBC Kids lineup), weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (as KZCO airs syndicated programming), weekdays at noon and 6:00 p.m. (as KDNC airs syndicated programming), and weekends at 6:00 p.m. (as KDNC airs syndicated programming in both periods, with sports programming periodically airing on either station). There is also a considerable amount of sharing between KZCO and KDNC 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 their respective station (Janet Webb is a notable exception as she anchors newscasts on both stations, remaining as lead anchor of channel 2's 9:00 p.m. newscast but transferring her 4:00, 5:00, and 10:00 p.m. duties from KDNC to KZCO following the NBC switch).[8]

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

  • Julia Passalt - anchor seen weekdays at noon and 4 (2016-present)

Notable former on-air staff[edit]


  1. ??
  2. CBS, NBC Battle for AFC Rights // Fox Steals NFC Package, Chicago Sun-Times (via HighBeam Research), December 18, 1993.
  3. "Fox Gains 12 Stations in New Avon Deal". May 23, 1994. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "KDNC to become 'Fox 2' in wake of network takeover". January 23, 1997. 
  5. ??
  6. ??
  7. "NBC affiliation switch means major changes at KZCO". February 11, 2015. 
  8. ??

External links[edit]

Template:Denver FTV Template:Fox-FTV Colorado Template:NoSirGifts