KSDK, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 35), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to St. Louis, Missouri, United States. The station is owned by Tegna Inc. KSDK's studios are located on Market Street in Downtown St. Louis, and its transmitter is located in Shrewsbury, Missouri. On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channels 5 (standard definition) and 705 (high definition), and on AT&T U-verse channels 5 (SD) and 1005 (HD).
The station first signed on the air as KSD-TV on February 8, 1947; it was owned by the Pulitzer Publishing Company, publishers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and owners of KSD radio (550 AM, now KTRS). It was the ninth television station to sign on in the United States, the first station in Missouri and the second commercial station located west of the Mississippi River, following KTLA in Los Angeles, which had signed on just 17 days earlier. In the early days, KSD produced much of its own programming and developed its own talent pool. Many St. Louis television pioneers from KSD-TV came from radio, including Frank Eschen, Kay Morton, Russ Severin and Dave Russell.
Because of a freeze on new television station licenses imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), KSD-TV was the only television station in the St. Louis market, until WTVI (channel 54, now KTVI channel 2, a Fox affiliate) signed on in August 1953. Channel 5 has always been an NBC affiliate, owing to KSD radio's longtime affiliation with the NBC Red Network; the station is currently the longest-tenured affiliate of any major broadcast television network. In its early years, channel 5 also carried secondary affiliations with CBS, DuMont and ABC. In the early 1960s, Channel 5 became the first St. Louis television station to broadcast in color.
After Pulitzer sold KSD radio to Combined Communications Corporation in 1979 (prior to Combined's merger into the Gannett Company that same year), KSD-TV's call letters were modified to the current KSDK on July 10, 1979. Four years later, Pulitzer traded channel 5 to Multimedia, Inc. in return for WFBC-TV (now WYFF) in Greenville, South Carolina and WXII in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in what was a rare instance of one company's flagship station being traded for another. During the 1980s and 1990s, KSDK was the highest-rated NBC affiliate in the country, and it remains the most-watched NBC affiliate in the top 30 markets to this day, despite the network's overall ratings decline that has occurred since the 2004–05 season.
In 1989, KSDK dropped the Eyewitness News branding and rebranded its newscasts as NewsChannel 5; the station also began to operate on a 24-hour-a-day schedule. On July 24, 1995, Multimedia was purchased by the Gannett Company, with the acquisition finalized on December 4. In 1998, KSDK debuted the "Window on St. Louis," a streetside studio located in the same downtown St. Louis building that also houses KSDK's other studios. The local program Show Me St. Louis broadcasts from this studio, which welcomes the public to take part in the telecasts. The Window on St. Louis is modeled on Today's "Window on the World."
In an attempt to provide St. Louisans with local and national election results during the 2004 elections, KSDK partnered with PBS member station KETC (channel 9) to simulcast election coverage. The KSDK/KETC partnership continued through September 2005, when, along with radio partners KYKY (98.1 FM) and KEZK (102.5 FM), a telethon for Hurricane Katrina relief was simulcast.
KSDK produced the first broadcast of any local program in St. Louis in high definition, when it broadcast the St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2005. Incidentally, the 2005 parade also marked the final year that the event, which had been a Thanksgiving Day tradition on KSDK, would be broadcast on the station, as the parade moved to CBS affiliate KMOV (channel 4) in 2006.
Around the first week of October 2012, Gannett entered a dispute against Dish Network regarding compensation fees and Dish's AutoHop commercial-skip feature on its Hopper digital video recorders. Gannett ordered that Dish discontinue AutoHop on the account that it is affecting advertising revenues for KSDK. Gannett threatened to suspend its contact with the satellite provider should the skirmish continue beyond October 7 and Dish and Gannett fail to reach an agreement. The two parties eventually reached an agreement after extending the deadline for a few hours.
On June 29, 2015, the Gannett Company split in two, with one side specializing in print media and the other side specializing in broadcast and digital media. KSDK was retained by the latter company, named Tegna.
|TV stations in Missouri|
| KSDK, St. Louis|
|TV stations in the Greater St. Louis and Metro East Illinois areas|
| KTVI 2 (Fox) |
KMOV 4 (CBS)
KSDK 5 (NBC)
KPTN-LD 7 (HSN)
KETC 9 (PBS)
KPLR 11 (CW)
WPXS 13 (Daystar)
KDTL-LD 16 (RTV)
KEFN-CD 20 (EWTN)
KNLC 24 (MeTV)
K25NG-D 25 (3ABN)
W29CI-D 29 (3ABN)
KDNL 30 (ABC)
KBGU-LP 33 (Buzzr)
K38HD-D 38 (HSN)
WODK-LD 45 (Cozi TV)
WRBU 46 (Ion)
W50CH 50 (Ind)