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KXLF: Butte, Montana

KBZK: Bozeman, Montana

Branding KXLF: KXLF 4

KBZK: Z7 (general) Montana's News Station (newscast)

Slogan Fair. Accurate. To the Point.
Channels Digital:

KXLF: 5 (VHF) KBZK: 13 (VHF)

Affiliations CBS/MTN

The CW (DT2)

Owner Evening Post Publishing Company

(KXLF: KXLF Communications, Inc.) (KBZK: KCTZ Communications, Inc.)

First air date KXLF: August 14, 1953

KBZK: September 1, 1987

Call letters' meaning

KXLF: XL Radio Network KBZK: BoZeman

Former callsigns KXLF: none

KBZK: KCTZ (1987-2000)

Former channel number(s) Analog:

KXLF: 6 (VHF, 1953-1958) 4 (VHF, 1958-2009) KBZK: 7 (VHF, 1987-2009)

Former affiliations

KXLF: NBC (primary, 1953-c. 1970) DuMont (secondary, 1953-1955) ABC (secondary, 1953-1996) KBZK: Fox (until 2000)

Transmitter power KXLF: 8 kW

KBZK: 18.9 kW

Height KXLF: 576 m

KBZK: 271 m

Facility ID KXLF: 35959

KBZK: 33756

Transmitter coordinates KXLF:

46°0′27″N 112°26′33″W / 46.0075°N 112.4425°W / 46.0075; -112.4425 KBZK: 45°40′22.4″N 110°52′2.4″W / 45.672889°N 110.867333°W / 45.672889; -110.867333 (KBZK)


The station operates a semi-satellite in Bozeman, KBZK channel 7. In 2007, KBZK launched a separate newscast from their studios in Bozeman, specifically for the Bozeman market.


[hide]*1 History


KXLF was founded on August 14, 1953. It is Montana's oldest television station, and was co-owned by industry pioneer Ed Craney along with KXLF radio (AM 1370, now KXTL) In 1955, Carney sold KXLF-AM-TV to Joe Sample, president of Garryowen Corporation and owner of KOOK-TV in Billings (now KTVQ).

KXLF's first home was the second floor of a Pay N Save food and drug store in downtown Butte. However, the studio soon suffered heavy damages because of a burglary to the grocery store downstairs. The burglars cut a hole in the floor of the studio and used the studio camera cable to climb down and gain access to the grocery store. A few months later, the cable was replaced and the studio was up and running for good.

KXLF originally carried programming from all three networks, but was a primary NBC affiliate, like its parent radio station, which was part of the "Z-Bar Network" that included radio affiliates in Portland, Spokane, Helena, Great Falls, Missoula, and Bozeman. All local programming was done live in the studio, including shows and commercials. Some of Butte's local shows in the 1950s were "The Oldtimer," featuring John Diz, "This Afternoon with You," hosted by Darian Carkeet, "What's New?" hosted by Ed Craney and "KXLF the Clown," featuring Wes Haugen, and "Shadow Stumpers" where viewers called in to identify what object's shadow was on TV.

The year 1957 was a time of change for KXLF. A complicated operation saw a transmitter placed on top of a mountain east of Butte, subsequently dubbed XL Heights. The transmitter tower was directly positioned on the Continental Divide, thereby giving the station the moniker "The Continental Divide Station." The new transmitter location made an off-air signal available for KXLJ in Helena (now KTVH) creating the first TV "network" in Montana. That same year, KXLF found a permanent home in the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad station on Montana Street. The station was built in 1916 and features a 95-foot clock tower. In the late 1990s, the station installed a live webcam atop the clock tower, which offers a live view of downtown Butte.

In 1958, KXLF-TV and KOOK-TV, in association with separately-owned KFBB-TV in Great Falls and KMSO-TV in Missoula (now KECI), formed the Skyline Network, forerunner of the Montana Television Network. KFBB was later replaced by Great Falls' other station, KRTV.

In March 1966, the FCC merged Butte and Missoula into a single television market. KXLF-TV became the NBC affiliate for the merged market; it kept the secondary ABC affiliation but lost CBS to KGVO-TV (as KECI was then called). In 1970, Sample expanded his Montana network by building KPAX-TV in Missoula, which operated as a semi-satellite of KXLF for several years. Sometime in the early 1970s, KXLF became a primary CBS affiliate.[1] It continued to air ABC in the off-hours until KWYB signed on in 1996.

In the 1970s, the depot became one of Butte's first major restoration projects. It continues to serve as an example of historic restoration. In 1984, Sample sold the MTN stations to SJL Broadcasting, who in turn sold them to Evening Post Publishing Company in 1994.

KXLF's newscasts at 5:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. have long dominated the market, in no small part because they are the only local newscasts in the area. In addition to local news, KXLF produces a noon news segment, and a half hour weekly news show called "Focus".

KXLF is the technical operations center for all of Evening Post Publishing Co. properties in Montana. The station operates its programming and commercials with an automated playout system and video servers. Programming and commercials are microwaved from Butte to Bozeman's KBZK and Helena's KXLH.

For many years, KXLF was responsible for operating KXLH-LP in Helena. However, in late 2007, KXLH's operating responsibilities were transferred to sister station KRTV. Programming and commercials still originate at KXLF for KXLH.

KBZK formerly served as the area's Fox affiliate, broadcasting under the call letters KCTZ.

Digital television

After the DTV conversion on June 12, 2009, KXLF was one of more than 10 stations asking for a power increase because of the problems with VHF digital signals, particularly VHF-LO frequencies.[2]


Current on-air talent

Current Anchors

  • Beth Saboe - Montana This Morning Anchor(also reporter)
  • Laurel Staples -weekdays KXLF 5:30 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Donna Kelley - weekdays KBZK&KXLF 5:30 and 10:00 p.m


  • Dan Boyce - KBZK reporter
  • Mark Martello -KBZK reporter
  • Melanie Yuil -KXLF Reporter


  • Adam Bell - Morning Weather
  • Mike Heard -weeknights 5:30 and 10 p.m.


  • Shane Ewing - weeknights KBZK & KXLF 5:30 and 10 p.m.

Notable staff

Joe Wren (Sports Anchor) worked as sports director here from 1989-1994. Now a major market sports anchor/reporter for FOX-13 in Salt Lake City.

News/Station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Montana's News Station (2003-present)

Station slogans

  • Fair. Accurate. To the Point. (2003-present)

[2] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==News openings==



  1. ^ Listing of channel lineups in TV Guide Montana Edition
  2. ^ Eggerton, John (2009-06-29). "Boise Station Gets Power Boost". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-07-01.

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