KNAZ-TV is a commercial television station licensed to Flagstaff, Arizona, United States. It is a full-time satellite of Phoenix-based NBC affiliate KPNX (channel 12, licensed to Mesa) that is owned by Tegna Inc. KNAZ broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 22 (or virtual channel 2 via PSIP) from a transmitter located southeast of Flagstaff in rural Coconino County. It is the only full-power television station in northern Arizona that broadcasts programming from a major English-language television network, but as a full satellite station, it originates no programming. KNAZ does operate one translator station: K06AE-D (channel 6) in Prescott.


The station was founded by Wendell Elliott, Sr. as KOAI-TV and began operations on May 2, 1970. Elliott had managed a television station in Dodge City, Kansas in the 1950s, had founded a station in Ensign, Kansas, and was a founder of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in 1951. Elliott died in 1974, and control of the station passed to a group headed by his son, Wendell Elliott, Jr. For most of the earlier part of its history, the station was unable to afford microwave feeds for network or syndicated programming. Instead, it operated with what was called a "dirty feed," where station engineers switched to and from the signal of KTAR-TV (now KPNX) in Phoenix and had to cover up KTAR-TV's local content (including commercials and news) with its own programming. Programming included a daily live one hour program immediately following the Today show, evening "rip and read" newscasts with a single talent and locked-down cameras, plus a weekly program of news from the Navajo Nation, spoken in Navajo. Little else is known about the early operations of the station, but Northern Arizona University maintains an archive of KOAI-TV material from 1975 and later.

The group headed by the younger Elliott sold the station to Capitol Broadcasting Company (not related to the Raleigh, North Carolina-based television corporation of the same name) in January 1981 and shortly afterward on March 23, the station adopted the call letters KNAZ-TV,[1] which had been briefly used at what is now KAZT-TV in Prescott prior to its sign-on. Also in 1981, KNAZ maximized its signal strength to the full 100 kW allowed for a low-band VHF station.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a succession of sales and transfers of control involving KNAZ-TV. In 1984, the station was transferred from Capitol Broadcasting Company to Standard Life Insurance Company, then to Grand Canyon Television in 1988. Grand Canyon Television was placed into receivership in 1991, then transferred to W.A. Franke in 1992. Finally, in May 1997, Gannett, owner of KPNX, acquired KNAZ-TV from Grand Canyon Television, along with KMOH-TV of Kingman. Already an NBC affiliate, KNAZ was made a partial satellite station of KPNX.

In the late 1980s, the station produced three newscasts a day at 5 p.m. (branded as News at Five), 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (branded as News 2 Nite), as well as Northland Outlook, a local community affairs talk show and From the Bleachers, a Sunday evening sports wrap-up show featuring local high school and college sports. Shortly after the station was placed into receivership, all in-house production, except for local newscasts, was cancelled.

In December 2005, Gannett announced its intention to sell KNAZ, but as of September 2008, no suitable buyer had surfaced. KNAZ ceased production of local newscasts and became a full satellite of KPNX on August 15, 2008, citing inadequate advertising revenues and a lack of satellite carriage as factors in the decision. A Flagstaff bureau was established to cover Northern Arizona news. The only on-air references to the station are in KPNX's legal IDs.

TV stations in Arizona
KPNX/KNAZ, Mesa/Flagstaff

KVOA, Tucson

TV stations in Phoenix metropolitan area
KTVK 3 (Ind)
KAZT 7 (Ind)
KSAZ 10 (Fox)
KDTP 11 (Daystar)
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K19FD 19 (Hope)
K18JL-D 25 (AFTV)
KKAX-LP 36 (Youtoo)
K38IZ-D 38 (Ind)
KPDF-CD 41 (Rel)
KDPH-LP 48 (Daystar)
KFPB-LD 50 (Nuestra)
KPPX 51 (Ion)
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