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KVOS-TV is an independent television station licensed in Bellingham, Washingtonmarker. The station's over-the-air transmissions are on digital channel 35. While it is licensed in Bellingham, it primarily serves an audience in southwestern British Columbiamarker, including Vancouvermarker and Victoriamarker. Because of this, KVOS has decided to use both Canadian and American TV ratings at the start of each program, the only station on either side of the border to do so. However, as of early 2007 only US ratings have been shown.

KVOS' OTA channel 35 transmitter is situated atop Mt. Constitution on Orcas Islandmarker in the San Juan Islandsmarker, at an altitude of approximately 800 meters above the adjacent terrain. The OTA channel 35 signal is very well-received throughout the British Columbia Lower Mainlandmarker, southern Vancouver Islandmarker, and much of northwest Washington.

According to the FCC, Bellingham is part of the Seattle market, and therefore KVOS is officially a Seattle market station. However, while some viewers in the Seattle area are able to receive the station over the air, syndex rules have forced the station off the cable lineup in Seattle itself.


KVOS signed on June 3, 1953; owned by Bellingham businessman Rogan Jones along with KVOS-AM. Its first broadcast was a kinescope of Elizabeth II's coronation. Since Canada had no television stations west of Ontariomarker at that point, the Britishmarker government flew film of the BBC's coverage to Vancouver, where the Mountiesmarker escorted it to the border. The Washington State Patrol then drove the film to Bellingham. The station's original slogan was "Your Peace Archmarker Station, serving Northwest Washington and British Columbia."

KVOS initially experienced financial trouble, despite Jones thinking that he could successfully support a television station in a city the size of Bellingham. A powerful transmitter on Orcas Island did not solve the problem. In 1955, Jones, realizing that most of his audience was across the border, incorporated KVOS in Canada, establishing a subsidiary company in Vancouver. The subsidiary, KVOS-TV Limited, brought in revenue for the station by allowing many Vancouver-area businesses to buy advertising time on the station, which is still the case today. KVOS-TV continued to broadcast from Bellingham, with much of its audience based in southwestern British Columbia.

After just nine years of owning KVOS-TV, in 1962 Jones sold the station to Miamimarker-based Wometco Enterprises.

KVOS began as an affiliate of DuMont upon sign-on in 1953 and remained so until DuMont folded in 1956. From January 1, 1955 until the late 1970s, KVOS was a CBS affiliate. In the late 1970s, KVOS sharply reduced its carriage of CBS programming to resolve two commercial disputes. First, Seattle's CBS affiliate, KIRO-TVmarker had launched complaints against the station and CBS regarding duplicate transmission of CBS programming in the Seattle media market. Second, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations seeking to increase Canadian content and reduce the number of Americanmarker broadcast network stations retransmitted on cable television systems in Canadamarker put pressure on the station.

While KVOS nominally retained its CBS affiliation up to 1987, carrying a few CBS programs such as 60 Minutes, the station primarily carried a diverse mix of syndicated and locally-produced programming, including locally-produced news and public affairs programs. The station also carried a number of programs syndicated from the Canadian Citytv system, which did not have a station in Vancouver; this ceased when Citytv acquired CKVUmarker.

In 1987, KVOS was sold to Ackerley Communications. In the early 1990s, due to Federal Communications Commission syndicated exclusivity rules affecting the Seattle media market, KVOS was dropped from most Seattle cable television systems.

In 2001, after being carried on cable channel 12 on many systems in the Vancouver/Victoria television market for a long time, KVOS was bumped up the dial to different cable channels, such as channel 23 in Vancouver, 46 in Nanaimo and points northwest and eventually 70 in Victoria, due to the launch of Victoria station CIVImarker, which is now carried on channel 12 on many systems in the area.

The station came under the ownership of Clear Channel Communications in 2003, following that company's purchase of Ackerley.

On November 16, 2006, Clear Channel announced that it would be selling all of its television stations including KVOS-TV, after being bought by private equity firms. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Providence Equity Partners' Newport Television. Providence Equity initially announced that it would not keep KVOS or KFTYmarker in Santa Rosa, Californiamarker; instead, those stations were to be resold to LK Station Group. However, LK could not obtain financing, so KVOS will remain with Newport. (KFTY was eventually sold to High Plains Broadcasting, with Newport operating the station.)

In 2008, KVOS filed an application to the FCC to change its transmitter location from Mount Constitution to Granite Fallsmarker ( ) to serve the Seattle market and lessen its signal into Canada. This application was dismissed on July 16, 2009.

On February 17, 2009, KVOS ceased its over-the-air signal in analog.


Currently, KVOS airs programming such as Seinfeld, Scrubs, The King of Queens, Still Standing, Reno 911!, Law & Order: SVU, Stargate: Atlantis, Cold Squad, ReGenesis and Family Feud, Retro-shows like The Cosby Show, Roseanne, Cheers, Star Trek, M*A*S*H, Magnum, P.I., The Rockford Files, plus classics like Perry Mason, Matlock and The Andy Griffith Show, are also current favorites of KVOS viewers. Other features between shows include On Scene and Daily Planner. KVOS also runs a variety of religious, paid, and children's programs (the latter mainly to meet American E/I rules); and a nightly movie, showcasing notable films from the 1950s to today.

KVOS has produced a variety of local shows over the years. The religious program Anchor first aired in 1968 with host, Pastor Len Ericksen. Anchor ran for 30 years, becoming one of the longest running shows of its kind on television. KVOS also produced many news, feature, public affairs, and informational programs as well. The 10:30 Report, Weeks End and Cana West helped launch the careers of well known names like Andy Anderson and Al Swift, who both went on to successful careers in politics. Some other feature programs have included Kids Stuff, Pacific Style, Pacific Issues, Sports Probe and Red's Classic Theatre with famed BC radio personality Red Robinson from 1989 to 2001. Another famous B.C. radio personality, Jack Cullen, hosted Owl Prowl Television Theatre in the 1950s: two reels of footage from that show are held by the City of Vancouver Archives. In the late 80’s, WeatherView started a tradition with local forecasts at the top of every hour.

Then on the morning of May 21, 1990, NewsView hit the air, originally starting as a half-hour show. NewsView featured a variety of local and regional news, sports, and weather for northwest Washington and the border communities of British Columbia. Anchor Ty Ray, reporter Joe Bates and Weatherman Greg Otterholt hosted the 90 minute show from 6:30am to 8am. Due to low advertising revenues, however, KVOS ended NewsView on January 23, 2007, after 16½ years on the air. Various syndicated programming replaced NewsView in the 6:30-8 a.m. time slots.

KVOS began airing Northwest Notebook, hosted by Ty Ray, in February 2007. The show featured interviews with newsmakers from Northwest Washington and the Lower Mainland. Ray also hosted Daily Planner, a community calendar that aired six times a day.


Image:KVOS 76.png|Logo used from 1976 to 1979.Image:KVOSlogo.jpg|Logo used from 1979 to 1988.


  1. [1]
  4. City of Vancouver Archives records database, accessed March 2009

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