KTFN, virtual channel 65 (UHF digital channel 20), is a UniMás-affiliated television station licensed to El Paso, Texas, United States and also serving Las Cruces, New Mexico. The station is owned by Entravision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Univision affiliate KINT-TV (channel 26). The two stations share studios on North Mesa Street/Highway 20 in northwest El Paso; KTFN's transmitter is located atop the Franklin Mountains on the El Paso city limits.
The station first signed on the air with a live Petra concert on June 22, 1991 as KJLF-TV, which stood for King Jesus Lives Forever. It originally served as an English-language outlet, formatted as religious independent station. The station was founded by Sara Warren and Pete E. Meryl Warren III—who had signed on KCIK-TV (channel 14, now KFOX-TV) in August 1979—and was run by the Warren family, with John Warren serving as the station manager. Initially, KJLF-TV ran mostly Christian-oriented programs mixed with several hours of secular programs such as sporting and hunting shows, westerns, some older sitcoms, public domain movies and low-budget barter cartoons. The original prime time lineup included Remington Steele, 21 Jump Street and Lou Grant. Gradually, the religious programming decreased and was replaced with more classic sitcoms and cartoons, causing the station to evolve into a more traditional independent. One notable original employee, Keith Leitch, began working in June of 1991 at the age of 16 years old in master control and went on to start One Ministries, Inc., which purchased a full power TV station in the San Francisco TV market, KQSL.
KJLF became a charter affiliate of The WB upon the network's launch on January 11, 1995, and its call letters were changed to KKWB (in reference to the station's network affiliation). The station was sold to White Knight Broadcasting in 1998. After KMAZ (channel 48, now KTDO) dropped its affiliation with UPN and switched to Telemundo in 1998, KKWB began carrying UPN programming as a secondary affiliation and acquired many of the syndicated programs that were part of KMAZ's inventory.
The station was sold to the Entravision Communications Corporation in 2001; White Knight had originally agreed to sell KKWB to Univision Communications, who assigned their right to acquire the station to Entravision that October. The sale was opposed by The WB, who filed a lawsuit seeking to block the sale and the concurrent sale of Killeen sister station KAKW to Univision, as KKWB's contract with The WB was not slated to expire until January 11, 2005, and the terms of the sales called for both stations to drop their WB affiliations in favor of Spanish-language programming supplied by Univision. On January 29, 2002, the station became an affiliate of TeleFutura (the forerunner of UniMás) and changed its callsign to KTFN in reflection of its new affiliation. After the switch, WB and UPN network programming in El Paso was provided on cable via their networks' flagship stations in Los Angeles; WB network programming was only available via KTLA, while UPN programming was only available via KCOP-TV—both of which were carried on Time Warner Cable in the area—for the remainder of their runs. This switch left southern New Mexico without a WB affiliate until February 2003, when KRWB-TV (a satellite of KWBQ) began broadcasting (albeit only to the southeastern portion of that state). The WB and UPN ceased operations in September 2006 and merged their programming as part of a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Time Warner to form The CW, whose affiliate is KVIA-TV (channel 7), which carries the network's CW Plus feed on its second digital subchannel.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|65.1||720p||16:9||KTFN-DT||Main KTFN programming / UniMás|
|65.2||480i||TRCRIME||True Crime Network|
|65.4||4:3||BIENSTR||Bienestar TV (Spanish Religious)|
KTFN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 65, at noon 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 51. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 65, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
After regular programming was discontinued on its analog signal, the station, as well as sister station KINT-TV, transmitted a repeated crawl in Spanish informing viewers about the digital transition and advising viewers of their options to continue receiving programming, which ran until KINT permanently ceased analog transmissions at 11:59 p.m.