KZJO, virtual channel 22 (UHF digital channel 25), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Seattle, Washington, United States and also serving Tacoma. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of the Fox Corporation, as part of a duopoly with Tacoma-licensed Fox affiliate KCPQ (channel 13). The two stations share studios on Westlake Avenue in Seattle's Westlake neighborhood; KZJO's transmitter is located near the Capitol Hill section of Seattle.
The station operates two UHF translators, and KZJO rebroadcasts KCPQ's programming on its second digital subchannel in widescreen standard definition to provide that station to areas in the eastern portion of the Seattle market that receive weak signal coverage from KCPQ's Bremerton transmitter.
The station began broadcasting as KTZZ-TV on June 22, 1985. The call letters stood for Television 22, the Zs closely resembling numeral 2s. At the time the station signed on, there was a hole in the Seattle market for cartoons and sitcoms. While KSTW (channel 11) was running such programming, KCPQ counter-programmed with more adult fare like dramas, game shows, and movies. As such, KTZZ signed on with a lineup of classic off-network sitcoms, westerns, cartoons, movies, and dramas. Initially the station was profitable under the ownership of Alden Television, Inc. Originally, to keep people from changing channels, the station broadcast only its station identification—no commercials—between the closing credits of one show and the opening credits of the next show. One Christmas season, as snow fell in the Puget Sound area, viewers were treated to a gag in which someone pretending to be a janitor (Rob Thielke) takes control of the station for a few moments to deliver "the news" which was mostly a fake weather forecast which began "The weather outside is frightful. But inside it's quite delightful. As long as I've got no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."
KTZZ began with a very promising start with fairly strong syndicated shows. In 1989, the station was sold to Dudley Broadcasting. By 1988, KCPQ and KSTW had strong lineups, including much of the children's programming available. KTZZ was losing ground and unable to acquire strong off-network syndicated shows. With KCPQ now in the kids business, the best cartoons were now airing on KSTW and KCPQ, leaving KTZZ with leftovers (which still was about 5 hours worth of cartoons a day). KTZZ was also the home, for several years, of the eclectic Seattle talk show The Spud Goodman Show. Producing the weekly interview/music/feature show was an ambitious undertaking for a small station, and the program relied heavily on a large staff of volunteers. The programming costs became too high for KTZZ. As a result, KTZZ began airing CBS shows pre-empted by KIRO-TV (channel 7), along with paid programming and brokered shows. It still ran some conventional syndicated products, but they were essentially programs that no other stations wanted.
On January 11, 1995, KTZZ affiliated with the newly-formed Warner Brothers television network. The WB had initially signed KSTW in 1993 as its Seattle affiliate; however, that station's owner, Gaylord Broadcasting, backed out of the deal a year later to affiliate with CBS. KTZZ picked up syndicated cartoons formerly on KSTW in 1995, added more off-network sitcoms and moved away from the brokered format. As it began airing programming from The WB, KTZZ was helped in part by the fact that KCPQ was moving towards news and more first-run syndicated talk, courtroom, and drama shows.
Dudley Communications sold KTZZ, along with sister station WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Emmis Communications in 1998; the two stations were then promptly dealt to Tribune Broadcasting in exchange for WQCD in New York City. Tribune changed the station's call letters to KTWB-TV (The Warner Brothers Network) on April 26, 1999. After Tribune acquired KCPQ in early 1999, KTWB's license was transferred to a trustee in the short-term until the FCC's approval of television duopolies later that year, though Tribune managed and operated the station during this period via a local marketing agreement. In 2004, KTWB revised its on-air brand from WB 22 to Seattle's WB as part of a groupwide branding effort.
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner announced that the company would merge the operations of The WB with CBS Corporation's UPN (which CBS acquired one month earlier in December 2005 following its split from Viacom), to form a joint venture called The CW Television Network. The network signed a ten-year affiliation agreement with Tribune Broadcasting for 13 of the 16 WB affiliates that the company owned at the time. KTWB was one of the three Tribune stations passed over for an affiliation as CBS-owned UPN affiliate KSTW (which was included in 11 of 14 CBS-owned UPN affiliates) was chosen as The CW's Seattle-Tacoma charter station. KTWB was slated to revert to an independent station, but on May 15, 2006, Tribune announced that it would affiliate channel 22 (and two other WB affiliates that were not included in the CW affiliation deal) with MyNetworkTV, a competing network created by News Corporation that is run by the company's Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television units.
On July 14, 2006, channel 22's call letters were officially changed to KMYQ to reflect its new affiliation, and the station's brand name was changed to myQ² (alluding to its parent station, KCPQ, which brands as Q13 Fox) on August 7, 2006. On March 31, 2008, KMYQ became just the second MyNetworkTV affiliate in the Pacific Time Zone to utilize an early primetime schedule from 7–9 p.m. (the first was KQCA/Sacramento, which has since moved MyNetworkTV programming back to its recommended 8–10 p.m. timeslot).
On September 13, 2010, the station moved its MyNetworkTV programming to 11 pm. KMYQ changed its call letters to KZJO and rebranded as JOEtv that same day; the branding remains, though the 'casual' elements of it have been completely played down. On September 19, 2011, the station moved MyNetworkTV programming yet again, this time, back one hour to 12 a.m. As of the 2015-16 season it airs even later, from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and is rarely promoted on air, if at all, to the point that the station's website said erroneously for several years it dropped the network, though this is not the case and MyNetworkTV continues to air in that latter time slot.
Aborted sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group
On May 8, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group—which has owned ABC affiliate KOMO-TV (channel 4) and Univision affiliate KUNS-TV (channel 51) since it acquired the duopoly from Seattle-based Fisher Communications in 2013—entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune. Sinclair was precluded from acquiring KCPQ directly, as both it and KCPQ rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Seattle−Tacoma market in total day viewership and broadcasters are not currently allowed to legally own more than two full-power television stations in a single market. It was later announced that Sinclair would initially keep KOMO/KUNS and sell KCPQ/KZJO to a third party to be determined later, leaving most analysts to believe that Fox Television Stations would acquire KCPQ/KZJO, making KZJO a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station. On April 24, 2018, Sinclair changed its plans for KZJO and decided instead to acquire the station and form a new duopoly with KOMO; the arrangement would also result in Sinclair selling KUNS to partner company Howard Stirk Holdings, with Sinclair retaining control of the latter through joint sales and shared services agreements, which would form a virtual triopoly in the Seattle market. On May 9, 2018, Fox Television Stations announced that it would buy KCPQ as part of a $910-million deal that also involved six other Tribune-owned stations (Fox affiliates KTXL/Sacramento, KSWB-TV/San Diego, KDVR/Denver, WJW/Cleveland and KSTU/Salt Lake City, and CW affiliate WSFL-TV/Miami).
On July 18, 2018, the FCC voted to have the Sinclair–Tribune acquisition reviewed by an administrative law judge amid "serious concerns" about Sinclair's forthrightness in its applications to sell certain conflict properties. Three weeks later on August 9, Tribune announced it would terminate the Sinclair deal, intending to seek other M&A opportunities. Tribune also filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Sinclair engaged in protracted negotiations with the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division over regulatory issues, refused to sell stations in markets where it already had properties, and proposed divestitures to parties with ties to Sinclair executive chair David D. Smith that were rejected or highly subject to rejection to maintain control over stations it was required to sell.
Pending sale to Nexstar Media Group
On December 3, 2018, Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Media Group announced it would acquire the assets of Tribune Media for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. Should Nexstar choose to acquire the duopoly, the deal—which would make Nexstar the largest television station operator by total number of stations upon its expected closure late in the third quarter of 2019—would result in KCPQ and KZJO becoming Nexstar's first television station properties located within Washington State. (The group's closest station to Seattle is CBS affiliate KOIN in Portland, Oregon, whose associated media market includes portions of southwestern Washington, including the Portland suburb of Vancouver.) However, reports preceding the purchase announcement stated that, as it did during the group's failed purchase by Sinclair, Fox Television Stations may seek to acquire certain Fox-affiliated stations owned by Tribune—with KCPQ potentially being a candidate for resale—from the eventual buyer of that group.
|TV stations in Washington|
|TV stations in the Puget Sound Region, including Seattle, Tacoma and Everett|
|KOMO 4 (ABC) |
KING 5 (NBC)
KIRO 7 (CBS)
K08OU-D 8 (3ABN)
KCTS 9 (PBS)
KSTW 11 (CW)
KVOS 12 (H&I)
KCPQ 13 (Fox)
KCKA 15 (PBS)
KONG 16 (Ind)
KTBW 20 (TBN)
KZJO 22 (MNTV)
KBCB 24 (SBN)
KRUM-LD 24 (Ind)
KBTC 28 (PBS)
KWPX 33 (Ion)
KFFV 44 (Ind)
KUSE-LD 46 (AAT TV)
KUNS 51 (UNI)
KWDK 56 (Daystar)