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KPPX-TV, virtual channel 51 (UHF digital channel 31), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Phoenix, Arizona, United States that is licensed to Tolleson. Owned by Ion Media Networks, KPPX-TV maintains offices on Camelback Road on the northeast side of Phoenix, and its transmitter is located atop South Mountain on the city's south side.

History[]

In February 1981, during an open window for low-power TV station applications, San Bernardino, California-based Community Service Television Company applied for a construction permit to build a translator station on channel 51, to serve Phoenix from atop South Mountain.

Two years later, on March 28, 1983, Saul Dresner filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allot UHF channel 51 to Tolleson, Arizona, for a full power television station. He presented sufficient evidence to support the allotment and expressed interest in applying for a station, and the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on June 9. On May 29, 1984, having received Mexican concurrence, the FCC allotted UHF channel 51 to Tolleson.

On November 23, Great Arizona Broadcasting Co., owned in part by Dresner, submitted an application to build a full power television station on the new allocation. More than twenty competing applications followed, and the FCC set up a hearing before an administrative law judge to determine which applicant would be the most qualified to build and operate the new station. Great Arizona Broadcasting subsequently withdrew its application, and on November 18, 1987, Judge Edward Luton released a decision granting the application of Aztec Broadcasting Corp., and denying the nine applications which remained.

Several of the denied applicants appealed the decision, and the FCC scheduled a hearing before a Review Board on May 6, 1988, to present exceptions to the initial decision. After hearing the arguments, the Review Board reversed the initial decision, and granted a permit to Hector Garcia Salvatierra instead. The FCC granted the construction permit on December 21, 1988. More appeals followed, and on September 5, 1990, the FCC released a Memorandum Opinion and Order upholding the decision of the Review Board. The decision was again appealed, this time to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and on October 7, 1991, the Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the FCC Review Board.

The new station was originally proposed for bilingual operations using stereo and separate audio program, but activity on the construction permit stopped. In March 1993, while the full power construction permit remained inactive, the FCC issued a construction permit for the low power translator station that had submitted an application twelve years earlier. The permit was valid until September 1994, and the new station received the call sign K51EI. K51EI was not constructed in the allotted time, and shortly before the permit expired, Community Service Television Company requested a six-month extension, which was granted in December 1994. However, in January 1995, Salvatierra secured a site license to build his station's facilities on South Mountain, then requested and received the call letters KAJW the following month. The K51EI permit was allowed to expire in June 1995, and in February 1996, the permit was canceled and call sign deleted.

On July 31, 1996, Salvatierra entered into an agreement with Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks). Under terms of the agreement, Salvatierra created a new ownership entity called America 51, L.P., sold 49% interest of the new company to Paxson for $5.4 million, transferred the construction permit and site license to Paxson to build the television station, and gave them the right to purchase the remainder of the company for $6.6 million once the TV station had been on air for one year. Salvatierra filed the pro forma application the following week to assign the construction permit from Hector Garcia Salvatierra to America 51, L.P.

The station changed its call letters to KPPX in March 1998 to reflect its pending affiliation with Paxson's new Pax TV network (now Ion Television), and the station signed on the air February 15, 1999, broadcasting under Program Test Authority until its license was granted on April 20, 2000. Salvatierra sold the remaining interest in the company to Paxson Communications in November 2000.


TV stations in Arizona
KPPX, Tolleson

KHRR-DT3, Tucson

TV stations in Phoenix metropolitan area
KNAZ 2 (NBC)
KTVK 3 (Ind)
KPHO 5 (CBS)
KMOH 6 (AZA)
KAZT 7 (Ind)
KAET 8 (PBS)
KSAZ 10 (Fox)
KDTP 11 (Daystar)
KPNX 12 (NBC)
KFPH 13 (UMas)
KNXV 15 (ABC)
K18DD-D 18 (Evine)
K19FD 19 (Hope)
KPAZ 21 (TBN)
KTVP-LD 22 (3ABN/Hope/LLBN)
K18JL-D 25 (AFTV)
KTVW 33 (UNI)
KKAX-LP 36 (Youtoo)
K38IZ-D 38 (Ind)
KTAZ 39 (TLM)
KEJR-LD 40 (AZA)
KPDF-CD 41 (Rel)
KVPA-LD 42 (ESTRELLA)
KPHE-LD 44 (LATV)
KUTP 45 (MNTV)
KDPH-LP 48 (Daystar)
KFPB-LD 50 (Nuestra)
KPPX 51 (Ion)
KASW 61 (CW)
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