|Branding||KAEF ABC 23 (general)|
North Coast News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Passionately Pursuing the Truth - Severe Weather First|
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)|
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
|Translators||K50MR-D (UHF) South Eureka/Loleta|
|Affiliations||23.1: ABC (1989-present)|
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
(Sinclair Media Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||August 1, 1987|
|Call letters' meaning||Arcata Eureka Fortuna|
|Sister station(s)||KBVU, KECA-LD, KEUV-LP, KUVU-LP|
|Former callsigns||KREQ (1987-1989)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
23 (UHF, 1987-2009)
|Former affiliations||Fox (1987-1994; secondary from 1989)|
silent (April-October 1989)
LWN (DT3, 2011-2013)
|Transmitter power||45 kW|
|Public license information|
(semi-satellite of KRCR-TV
Redding/Chico, California) Profile
(semi-satellite of KRCR-TV
Redding/Chico, California) CDBS
KAEF-TV, virtual channel 23 (UHF digital channel 22), is an ABC-affiliated television station serving Eureka, California, United States that is licensed to Arcata. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, it is sister to two low-power stations: dual CW/MyNetworkTV affiliate KECA-LD (channel 29), and Univision affiliate KEUV-LP (analog channel 31); Sinclair also operates Eureka-licensed Fox affiliate KBVU (channel 28) under joint sales and shared services agreements with owner Cunningham Broadcasting. However, Sinclair effectively owns KBVU as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. All of the stations share studios on Sixth Street in downtown Eureka; KAEF-TV's transmitter is located along Barry Road southeast of the city.
Although it identifies as a station in its own right, KAEF is considered a semi-satellite of KRCR-TV (channel 7) in Redding/Chico, While it has its own studios in Eureka, some internal operations are based at KRCR's studios along Auditorium Drive in Redding.
KAEF began broadcasting August 1, 1987 as KREQ, a Fox affiliate owned by Mad River Broadcasting. During this period, the station lost money on a monthly basis, in part because KREQ was, for all intents and purposes, a UHF independent station (at the time, Fox only offered a nightly late night program and weekend primetime programming, and would not air an entire week's worth of programming until 1993) in a small market dominated by two VHF network affiliates, NBC affiliate KIEM-TV (channel 6) and CBS affiliate KVIQ (channel 6).
In June 1988, Mad River put KREQ up for sale; in 1989, it sold the station to California Oregon Broadcasting (COBI), owner of KRCR-TV. COBI already owned two radio stations in Eureka, KFLI (790 AM, now KEJY) and KEKA-FM (101.5), which were sold off as a condition of the purchase of channel 23. Mad River took KREQ off the air, citing financial problems, on April 30, 1989; that October, COBI returned channel 23 to the air as KAEF (Arcata Eureka Fortuna), an ABC affiliate and semi-satellite of KRCR-TV. Prior to 1989, ABC programming was limited to off-hours clearances on KIEM and KVIQ; through KRCR, KAEF still offered some Fox programming in off-hours until KBVU signed on in 1994.
California Oregon Broadcasting sold KAEF, along with KRCR-TV and its other satellite station, KFWU in Fort Bragg, to Lamco Communications for $11.925 million in 1995. Lamco sold its stations, including KAEF and KRCR, to BlueStone Television in 2004; BlueStone, in turn, was acquired by Bonten Media Group for $230 million in 2007. KAEF added the "-TV" suffix to its call sign on July 1, 2009.
KAEF-TV became a sister station to Fox affiliate KBVU (channel 28) in 2012, after Bonten (via KRCR-TV) took over the sales operation for KBVU in August and the entire station in December through a local marketing agreement with Esteem Broadcasting, which has functioned as a shell corporation for Bonten since 2008.
Dish Network and KAEF, via KRCR, had been at odds for quite sometime regarding carriage of the station on the satellite system. KRCR was asking for reimbursement and made their feeling public. As a result, on December 8, 2013, Dish halted carrying KRCR on their system. General manager Andrew Stewart went to the internet at the station's website to share his frustrations with the viewers and called out Dish Network. On January 12, 2014, DISH restored KRCR and KAEF and associated stations to its line-up. On January 17, 2017, KAEF was once again removed from Dish Network's lineup as part of a new dispute. KAEF is back on Dish (return date not known.)
On April 21, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its purchase of KAEF-TV as part of its $240 million acquisition of Bonten Media Group; the purchase also gave it control of KBVU, KECA-LD, and KEUV-LP. The sale was completed on September 1.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|23.1||720p||16:9||KAEFDT||Main KAEF-TV programming / ABC|
On August 23, 2011, Disney-ABC Television Group announced that KAEF would carry Live Well Network as part of an affiliation agreement with Bonten Media Group; the network was added to a new third subchannel. Live Well Network was replaced by Movies! on November 18, 2013.
KAEF-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, 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 22. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.
KAEF airs much of the same programming as KRCR, sometimes at different times. There are also some programs that only air on KAEF while some only air on KRCR, as the stations are in different media markets. Such programs include Ellen, Dr. Phil, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!.
KAEF presently broadcasts 15 hours of newscasts each week (with 3 hours on weekdays). KAEF produces 5 of those hours at its Eureka studios; the morning newscast, Daybreak, is simulcast from KRCR-TV in Redding. There are currently no newscasts on the weekends. Scott Rates is the news director and evening anchor at the station. Rates has also been a reporter in San Francisco and Orlando.
KAEF discontinued its original news operation on February 6, 2001, due to low ratings;ABC 23 News had generally been the third-ranked news operation in the Eureka market. Following the cancellation, the only Eureka-specific news content on the station was a weather segment produced by KRCR-TV. Local news returned to KAEF-TV on November 17, 2014; the news operation also produces a primetime newscast for sister station KBVU.
KAEF has one translator station:
|Station||City of license||Channel||Founded||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter Coordinates|
|K21OO-D1||South Eureka/Loleta||21(UHF)1||October 15, 1992||0.328 kW||141 m||8272|