|City of license||Monterey|
|Branding||KION CBS 46 (general)
Central Coast News (newscasts)
Central Coast CW (DT2)
|Slogan||Right Now (primary)
Your Eye on the Central Coast (secondary)
A New Leader is Emerging (station)
Great Deals, Everyday (Central Coast Deals promo)
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)|
46.2 The CW
The CW (secondary)
|Owner||Cowles Publishing Company
(Cowles California Media Company)
|First air date||February 2, 1969|
|Call letters' meaning||Your I (Eye) ON The Central Coast (former slogan)
Keep It ON (former slogan)
|Sister station(s)||KCBA, KMUV-LP|
|Former callsigns||KMST (1969-1993)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
46 (UHF, 1969-2009)
|Transmitter power||46 kW|
|Website||KION's official website
Central Coast CW
KION-TV is a full-power television station in Salinas, California, broadcasting on digital channel 32 as a CBS affiliate. The stations continues to use UHF channel 46 as its virtual channel through the use of PSIP. KION-TV shows local news, weather, and sports programming, as well as syndicated and community-affair programs. Owned by Cowles California Media Company, a subsidiary of the Spokane, Washington-based Cowles Publishing Company, the station is sister to low-powered Telemundo affiliate KMUV-LP and full-service Fox affiliate KCBA. The latter is owned by Seal Rock Broadcasters but operated by Cowles through a shared services agreement.
KION can be seen on channel 5 on most cable systems. While most transmitters for the Monterey Peninsula is located on Fremont Peak, KION's transmitter is currently located on Mount Toro, about 10 miles south of Salinas.
KION originally started out as KMST-TV (Monterey-Salinas Televsion) on February 2, 1969 as a CBS affiliate, taking it over from NBC affiliate KSBW which had it as a secondary. KMST was available in markets that reached from the Monterey Bay area to San Jose, California. Retlaw Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Retlaw Enterprises (a company owned by relatives of Walt Disney), acquired KMST from its original local owners in 1979.
By 1993, San Jose's TCI cable opted to drop KMST. Later that year Retlaw sold the station to a partnership between Harron Communications and Smith Broadcasting (with Smith Broadcasting controlling the joint venture). Through a share of Smith Broadcasting, current Newport Television CEO Sandy DiPasquale held a small stake in Channel 46 at that time. The new owners changed Channel 46's call sign to KCCN-TV. The next year Smith Broadcasting sold its share of the station to Harron in order to purchase KSBW. At that time KCBA (Fox 35), then owned by the Ackerley Group, signed a local marketing agreement with KCCN with Ackerley taking over the operations of both stations. The beginning of the LMA came at a time when CBS' ratings were (relatively speaking) at one of the lowest points in the network's history while Fox's ratings were on the rise. Although KCCN was longer-established, KCBA became the senior partner in the LMA. In 1997 KCCN changed its call letters again, this time to KION.
Late in 1998, Ackerley bought KION outright from Harron and sold KCBA to Seal Rock Broadcasters. It took more than a year for this transaction to receive Federal Communications Commission approval due to the then-pending license renewals for both stations, and the deal was completed on January 12, 2000. However, Ackerley continued to operate KCBA through an LMA with its new owners, resulting in KION now becoming the senior partner in the LMA. By that time CBS' ratings had recovered to the competitive level of ABC and NBC. Two years later, Ackerley merged with Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel added the -TV suffix to KION's legal call sign when what was then KTXX (AM 1460, also owned by Clear Channel) took the KION call letters on August 14, 2002. From 1995 to 2003 KION and KCBA carried UPN programs such as WWF/E SmackDown! and the 2002 version of The Twilight Zone as a secondary affiliate.
On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to spin off its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting holding company established by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.
However, Newport Television could not keep KION or Telemundo affiliate KMUV-LP due to Providence Equity Partners' partial ownership of several media properties (specifically, several radio stations owned by Univision Radio that are located just outside the Monterey/Salinas Nielsen market) which serve parts of the market. KION and KMUV were sold to the Cowles Publishing Company, the owner of KHQ-TV and The KHQ Television Group in Spokane, Washington. The deal closed on May 7, 2008. On that day, Cowles Publishing took over the LMA for KCBA from Newport Television. However, for some time afterward, Newport Television's website continued to list all three stations (KION, KCBA and KMUV) as being owned and/or operated by Newport. Subsequently, KION and the other former Clear Channel/Newport stations now owned by Cowles switched their web site CMS providers from Inergize Digital to WorldNow.
KION-AM 1460 is no longer co-owned with TV 46, as Clear Channel continues to operate the radio station. The radio station's logo still echoes that of KION-TV's previous logo, with a "1" and a "0" added to turn "46" into "1460".
Man on the Couch is a promo that consists of a man sitting on a couch and showing previews for upcoming shows on KION (including its second digital subchannel) and KCBA, as well as on KCOY and KKFX. Each program preview consists either of a man commenting on the preview or saying the time slot and the branding. The man is framed in such a way, that you are only able to see the back of the mans head while he watches television. The man on the couch is performed by production and promotion employees from the station. The original man on the couch was performed by Marc Derro and is currently performed by Jeffrey Meza. All four station's schedules are shown on its website, although Man on the Couch's website itself is hosted by KION. "Man on the Couch" is not shown on KMUV due to its programming from Telemundo, and the fact that the station is in Spanish.
Central Coast Deals is a marketing promo shown on KION (including its second digital subchannel), KCBA, KCOY, and KKFX. The promo consists of a deal that appears to attract consumers and giving gift certificates that generally is 50 percent off the discount price of what would be the normal price of a gift certificate. It is noted that it is exclusive to those four stations. Broadcasts for KION and KCBA uses a 16:9 format for station ID's, however, no station ID is shown (KION's second digital subchannel continues to show it in 4:3 ratio). There is a Spanish version of "Central Coast Deals" shown on KMUV, although it uses a Spanish version of the slogan.
As of 2010, syndicated programming includes Live with Regis and Kelly, Judge Joe Brown, and Judge Judy during the daytime, as well as The Insider, and Entertainment Tonight before primetime, in which none of the syndicated programming except the latter two and selected comedy reruns are currently in high definition. Weekend programming includes reruns of Criminal Minds, Cold Case, Without a Trace and Two and a Half Men.
KION's broadcasts had become digital-only since February 17, 2009 using UHF channel 32. The stations virtual channel via PSIP remains UHF 46, its historical analog channel from 1969 to 2009. KION's channels are multiplexed:
|46.1||1080i||16:9||Main KION programming / CBS|
|46.2||480i||4:3||Central Coast CW|
KION has morning and evening newscasts seven days a week, totaling 23 hours of news per week (including the broadcast on KCBA). On weekdays, a two-hour morning news block begins at 5 a.m., followed by a half-hour newscast at 5, 6, and 11 p.m., respectively. KION also produces its half-hour 10 p.m. newscast over on KCBA, seven nights a week. On weekends, asides from the KCBA broadcast, while KION does not have weekend morning newscasts, KION only has half-hour newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. The CBS Evening News has its timeslot at 5:30 p.m. due to current ownership. KION previously had the CBS Evening News at 6 p.m.
In October 2009, KION became the first station in the Salinas - Monterey market to begin broadcasting local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen high definition. The 10 p.m. newscast on KCBA was included in the upgrade. KION and KCBA broadcast news in high definition using HD studio cameras, HD field cameras and a new HD control room installed in August 2009. Live shots are still done using upconverted widescreen standard definition signals. KCBA and KION were the only stations in the Monterey Bay and on the Central Coast to broadcast their news in HD until August 25, 2010, when rival KSBW started to broadcast the majority of its local news, as well as weather and sports segments, in HD. This comes after KSBW had been the first to launch a widescreen newscast a few weeks before KION, though the KSBW newscasts were in merely widescreen standard definition, and no pillarboxes were inserted until late-February 2010. Sports segments originate from the KCOY studios and are currently in 16:9 widescreen.
Under current ownership (as of May 2010), the slogan has changed from "Your Eye on the Central Coast" to "Right Now" at the start of newscasts. This slogan is used on other Cowle media stations in California, where they are also branded as Central Coast News, however, the slogan mirrors other stations in that group, including The KHQ Television Group. KION has previously used the "Central Coast News" branding in the 1990s when it was branded as "KCCN Central Coast News".
As of late 2010, KION and KCBA introduced a new slogan, "A New Leader is Emerging." The new promos include viewership, news, weather, and political coverage. In addition, weekend weather anchors also produces weather segments for sister stations KCOY and KKFX.
On January 6, 2012, sister stations KCOY and KKFX announced that in an effort to cut costs, a round of layoffs was announced that includes the elimination of the sports department, cutting the morning show produced at the Santa Maria studios to only one hour on weekdays, and having the evening newscasts to be based at the KION/KCBA studios. Layoffs at KCOY/KKFX include chief meteorologist Jim Byrne and sports anchor Kevin Roose, although KCOY weeknight anchor Arturo Santiago will shift to reporting duties.
Friday Night Blitz is a special segment which covers local high school football. The show is aired and recorded during the 10 p.m. newscast on KCBA and the 11 p.m. newscast on KION. One hour earlier than KSBW's sports show currently titled "High School Playbook Blitz". The show features a "Game of the Week" segment which viewers vote for each week. The game of the week is featured during their evening newscasts on KION and KCBA . The shows include live coverage and interviews from players and coaches.
During High School Basketball season, Central Coast News features local scores and highlights from local teams along with player and coach interviews similar to Friday Night Blitz.
During Central Coast newscasts on KION, viewers can ask questions directly via the station's website relating to local issues that was presented by various anchors and presenters can respond during various newscasts.  Many promos about KION questions are often viewed during commercial breaks as well as on station IDs.
(as of October 29, 2011)
(+ indicates personality based in Santa Maria)
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