KOLD-TV, virtual channel 13 (UHF digital channel 32), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Tucson, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by Gray Television, which also operates Fox affiliate KMSB (channel 11, owned by Tegna Inc.) and MyNetworkTV affiliate KTTU (channel 18, owned by Tucker Broadcasting with advertising sales handled by Tegna) through separate shared services agreements. The three stations share studios on North Business Park Drive on the northwest side of Tucson (near the Casas Adobes neighborhood), which also house the Raycom Design Group, an in-house firm that designs graphics packages for Raycom Media's former television stations. KOLD's transmitter is located atop Mount Bigelow. The station also operates a fill-in translator on VHF channel 13, whose transmitter is located atop the Tucson Mountains west of Tucson.
On November 13, 1952, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a construction permit to country singer Gene Autry for VHF channel 13 in Tucson. Two months later, on January 13, 1953, the Old Pueblo Television Company, owned by Autry, signed the station on the air as KOPO-TV, the second television station in Arizona, and first in Tucson. Known as "Lucky 13", KOPO played up the "13" angle, coming on the air at 1:13:13 p.m., the 13th second of the 13th minute of the 13th hour of the 13th day of the year. It was a sister station to KOPO radio (AM 1450, now KTZR; and 98.3 FM, now KOHT). The station originally operated from studio facilities located on West Drachman Street close to downtown Tucson.
Channel 13 took the CBS affiliation due to its radio sisters' long affiliation with CBS Radio. It also had a secondary DuMont affiliation. In 1957, the station changed its call letters to KOLD-TV, playing off its sister station, KOOL-TV (now KSAZ-TV in Phoenix). KOOL and KOLD remained sister stations until Autry's Golden West Broadcasters sold off KOLD to Universal Communications, the broadcasting arm of the Detroit-based Evening News Association, in 1969.
Universal Communications was acquired by the Gannett Company as part of Gannett's purchase of the Evening News Association in 1986. Gannett had owned the Tucson Citizen since 1977, and FCC regulations of the time forced Gannett to sell KOLD along with KTVY (now KFOR-TV) in Oklahoma City and WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama to Knight Ridder Broadcasting after just one month of ownership. The News-Press & Gazette Company acquired KOLD in 1989, when Knight Ridder bowed out of broadcasting.
In 1993, Atlanta-based New Vision Television bought NPG's entire television station group of the time, which included CBS affiliates KOLD, WJTV in Jackson, Mississippi and its semi-satellite WHLT in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, NBC affiliates WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia and WECT in Wilmington, North Carolina, and ABC affiliate KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1995, New Vision sold all of its stations to another Atlanta-based company, Ellis Communications (New Vision later rebuilt with smaller-market stations, and later resold the group to LIN TV). Ellis, in turn, was sold the next year to a media group funded by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, who purchased two additional broadcasting groups (AFLAC's broadcasting unit and Federal Broadcasting) several months later. That same year, KOLD relocated its longtime studios on West Drachman Street to their current location on North Business Park Drive on the northwest side of Tucson. The three groups merged in 1997 to form Raycom Media.
Raycom website reformatting
During 2011, the Raycom station Web sites were redesigned to a uniform format (previously, the Raycom station sites were a hodgepodge of different formats that were inherited from their previous owners). Raycom was once Worldnow's largest client in number of station Web sites, but was dwarfed in total market coverage in Spring 2012 by Fox Television Stations, which relaunched its Web sites during that time.
On November 15, 2011, Dallas-based broadcasting company Belo Corporation, then-owner of local Fox affiliate KMSB and MyNetworkTV affiliate KTTU, announced that it would enter into a shared services agreement with Raycom Media beginning in February 2012, resulting in KOLD taking over the two stations' operations and moving their advertising sales department to the KOLD studios. All remaining positions at KMSB and KTTU, including news, engineering and production, were eliminated and master control operations moved from Belo's Phoenix independent station KTVK to KOLD. KOLD also took over operations of KMSB's website. Though FCC rules disallow common ownership of more than two stations in the same market, combined SSA/duopoly operations are permissible (with such operations existing in Youngstown, Ohio, Topeka, Kansas, Duluth, Minnesota, Nashville and Honolulu).
Sale to Gray Television
On June 25, 2018, yet another Atlanta-based business, Gray Television, announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including KOLD-TV), and Gray's 93 television stations) under Gray's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion – in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom – will result in KOLD-TV becoming the first station that Gray had ever acquired in Arizona. The arrangements with KMSB and KTTU would remain unchanged. The sale was approved on December 20, and was completed on January 2, 2019.
|TV stations in Arizona|
|TV stations in Tucson, Arizona|
|KFTU 3 (UMás) |
KVOA 4 (NBC)
KUAT 6 (PBS)
KGUN 9 (ABC)
KMSB 11 (Fox)
KOLD 13 (CBS)
KUDF-LP 14 (AZA)
KTTU 18 (MNTV)
K35OU-D 21 (HSN)
KUAS 6 (PBS)
KPCE-LP 29 (Daystar)
KHRR 40 (TLM)
KUVE 46 (UNI)
KWBA 58 (CW)