KCVU Fox 20 is a Fox Network affiliated television station based in Chico, California. The station is owned and operated by Sainte Partners II, L.P. of Modesto, California. Fox 20 is seen on cable channel 2 on Comcast in Chico, Charter Cable in Redding, and Suddenlink in Eureka by way of KBVU, a semi-satellite in Eureka.
It was founded in 1986 and it hit the airwaves as KBCP in 1990. It was a home shopping channel until 1994, when KBCP flipped the call sign to KCVU reflecting its new Fox affiliation. It replaces an affiliation on KRCR-TV seen on non-ABC hours since the network's inception in 1986. KRCR's other two satellites in Eureka and Fort Bragg had Fox as well as ABC. More Fox coverage was provided by KTXL and KTVU on Chico and Redding cable systems.
KCVU was founded by Chester Smith in 1989. The company's chief executive officer and current general manager is Robert Castro. Its transmitter and license is located near Paradise, California. KCVU's sister stations include MyTV Northern California (KRVU 21 Redding, KZVU 22 Chico, KEMY 33 Eureka), KUCO-TV Univision 27, KXVU-TV Telemundo 17, and KKTF-TV TeleFutura 35; Medford, Oregon's KFBI-TV My 48 and KMCW-TV Telemundo 14. Sainte also operates KVIQ, the CBS affiliate in Eureka, KUVU the CW affiliate in Eureka, KEUV, the Univision affiliate in Eureka, and THIS TV in Eureka, Chico-Redding and Medford-Klamath Falls.
KCVU terminated analog channel 30 on December 22, 2008. The station was re-branded to Fox 20 (for its physical digital channel; this differs from most digital signals, which identify using their analog channel). It still may be seen in analog via translator on channel 8 in Oroville and channel 38 in Redding until both translators go digital in the near future.
KBVU and KVIQ went digital on November 28, 2008, and were rebranded from Fox 29 and CBS 6 to Fox 28 and CBS 17, respectively.
On August 21, 2009, KCVU and KBVU replaced the digital simulcast of MyNetworkTV with This TV on their DT2 subcarriers.
Fox 20 has a sister station, KBVU FOX 28 in Eureka. KBVU is a stand along full power digital station. Program deals are occasionally done in concert with KEMY and KVIQ. KEMY MY 33 in Eureka and KRVU MY 21 in Chico are the same station designed to cover both the Chico-Redding and Eureka DMAs.
Contract dispute with Northland Cable
On May 6, 2007, KCVU replaced Medford Fox affiliate KMVU on Northland Cable Television channel 13 in both Mt. Shasta and Yreka when KMVU and Northland could not come to an agreement to remain on the cable system. (Northland also carried sister station MyTV Northern California on cable channel 2, but will be replaced with KFBI-LP of Medford) Northland had been blocked from airing Fox Network programming as a result. However, in a report from the Siskiyou Daily News on February 8, 2008, it appears that the dispute is settling down and Northland is working with KMVU and KCVU to return either channel to both cable systems. KNVN replaced KMVU on channel 13 in Mt. Shasta and channel 11 in Yreka. KHSL-TV started to air on channel 6 in Yreka and KDRV is also on channel 6 in Mt. Shasta. KMVU finally won the contract dispute and KCVU will no longer air on both cable systems because all Fox affiliates are under syndex. KMVU and all the other local stations are fed to Yreka via OTA translator and has a fiber-optic link to Mt. Shasta except for KNVN which uses a Dish Network feed.
Regionally distributed, Locally-produced programs
Fox 20 provides facilities and services to tape local programs from its studios in Chico. There are currently no local programs scheduled. (Two of the station's longtime regional programs, Issues & Answers and Pray Northstate, were cancelled in 2010 by management.)
Regional Programs formerly produced by or at Fox 30/Fox 20
Spotlight - hosted by Lisa Shaw, then Katey Bailey (2002 2003)
- Pilot was called Community Spotlight hosted by Shaw in September 2002
Issues & Answers - hosted by Georgie Hall, Ron Pate, Peter Hansen and George Szendrey (1998-2010)
Pray Northstate - Hosted by Pastor Jim Wilson (2005-2010, started on KGEC-TV, forced off the air by the FCC)
Randy & Monica: Almost Live! - hosted by Randy and Monica Zachary (2007 2008)
[Real] Music - nine episodes with musical performances by local or visiting musicians (2004-2005)
Local news & relationship to KRCR
From February 2004 to June 2005, Fox 30 News at 10:00 pm was produced by KRCR-TV, utilizing that station's news department.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
||Main KCVU/KBVU programming / FOX
On December 22, 2008, KCVU terminated its analog facilities due to lack of funding and used its existing digital facilities, as did its other debt-ridden rivals KHSL and KNVN. The virtual channel was changed from 30 to 20 and the station was rebranded as "Fox 20 Digital." KBVU was also rebranded as "Fox 28" and is also seen on an analog translator.
KCVU, KHSL-TV, and KNVN ceased analog operations on December 22, 2008.
||20.1 / 28.1 (Fox)
||20.2 / 28.2 (This TV)
||Butte & Glenn Counties
||2 & 702 (HD)
||Shasta & Tehama Counties
||2 & 780 (HD)
|Suddenlink (via KBVU)
||2 & 102 (HD)
|New Day Broadband
|Windjammer (via Satellite)
Dish Network launched Chico/Redding HD locals on May 6, 2009. DirecTV will do the same later in 2011.
Like many other HD channels on Charter Cable in Redding, KCVU-DT can be picked up on basic cable by connecting the cable directly into an HDTV with a built-in QAM tuner, channel 104.4, This TV can be picked up on 104.7. It can also be picked up the same way on Comcast Cable in Chico, corresponding directly to the over the air number.
The Eureka television market (DMA #195)was the only TV market in California not available on DISH Network until June 3, 2010, at which time it became available.The Eureka local channels are not yet available on DirecTV, but will be by the end of 2011.
Fox programs broadcast from 8-10 pm are broadcast in high definition, as are sporting events on such as Major League Baseball, NASCAR and NFL Football. Unlike co-owned market competitors KHSL and KNVN, however, none of KCVU's syndicated programming (most of which is distributed in high definition) is broadcast in HD. It is unknown when this will change.
Death of Chester Smith
The Sacramento Bee and Chico Enterprise Record reported that Chester Smith, founder of Sainte Partners, died on August 8, 2008, at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California at age 78. He was survived by his wife Ann and his children. Despite Smith's death, Sainte continued to own and operate KCVU and its sister stations in the Sainte family.
Former General Managers
- Melvin J. Querio, founding GM (1993 1996, died)
- Nick Clark (1996 1998)
- John Stahl (1998 2003, now GM at KHSL-TV)
- Doug Holroyd (2003 2012)