KHMT, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 22), is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Billings, Montana, United States that is licensed to Hardin. The station is owned by Mission Broadcasting; Nexstar Media Group, which owns Billings-licensed ABC affiliate KSVI (channel 6), operates KHMT under joint sales and shared services agreements. The two stations share studios on South 24th Street West in Billings; KHMT's transmitter is located in unincorporated southeastern Yellowstone County (southeast of Indian Arrow). On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channel 4 in both standard and high definition.

Hardin/Billings, Montana
United States
CityHardin, Montana
BrandingFox 4
ChannelsDigital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
TranslatorsK06QO-D (6 VHF) Martinsdale
K17KZ-D (17 UHF) Harlowton
K46LY-D (32 UHF) Livingston
Affiliations4.1: Fox (1995–present)
4.2: Grit
4.3: Laff
OwnerMission Broadcasting, Inc.
OperatorNexstar Media Group
(via JSA/SSA)
First air dateNovember 26, 1980 (1980-11-26)
Call letters' meaningHardin MonTana
Sister station(s)KSVI
Former callsignsKOUS-TV (1980–1995)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
4 (VHF, 1980–2009)
Former affiliationsNBC (1980–1987)
ABC (1987–1993)
Dark (1993–1995)
UPN (secondary, c. 1997–2006)
Transmitter power1000 kW
Height247.5 m (812 ft)
Facility ID47670
Transmitter coordinates45°44′25″N 108°8′20.3″W
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile


The station signed on November 26, 1980 as KOUS-TV,[1] owned by a company that shared two stockholders with KYUS-TV (channel 3) in Miles City.[2] In 1982, KOUS became a primary NBC affiliate, which Billings lacked at the time; while the station already carried some NBC programming, it had primarily been an independent station.[3] Since 1968, NBC had largely been relegated to secondary clearances on CBS affiliate KTVQ (channel 2) and ABC affiliate KULR-TV (channel 8)—as was PBS until 1984. Billings was one of the last markets in the nation to receive full service from all three networks. In 1984, the ownership of KOUS and KYUS was formally consolidated when KOUS' owners bought KYUS for $200,000; afterward, KYUS, which had been a separate station, became a satellite of KOUS.[4] This created an instance of a satellite station older than its parent, as KYUS signed on in 1969.

In 1987, NBC chose to move its affiliation from KOUS-TV to KULR-TV (which had been a primary affiliate of the network from 1958 to 1968) effective that August;[5] at that time, the stations swapped affiliations, and channel 4 picked up KULR's former ABC affiliation.[6] That September, KOUS' programming began to be simulcast in Bozeman on new station KCTZ.[7] Shortly afterward, the station's owner changed its name from KOUS-TV, Inc. to Big Horn Communications.[7]

KOUS-TV's tower was located 18 miles (29 km) east of Billings, which resulted in difficult reception in portions of the city;[8][9] as a result, in 1987,[10] the station established a translator, K25BP channel 25, in Billings.[8] Big Horn subsequently obtained a construction permit for channel 6 in Billings (a channel that was originally intended to be used on a noncommercial basis in Miles City before being reallocated to Billings).[8] On January 8, 1993, KOUS-TV signed off from channel 4, and the KOUS intellectual unit moved to channel 6 as KSVI, which inherited KOUS' ABC affiliation.[9] KOUS' satellite stations, KYUS-TV and KCTZ, immediately became satellites of KSVI;[11][12] translator K25BP also began to carry channel 6's programming.[8] (KYUS is now a satellite of KULR-TV, while KCTZ is now KBZK, a satellite of KXLF-TV in Butte.)

The following year, Big Horn sold the channel 4 license to the National Indian Media Foundation,[13] which entered into a local marketing agreement with KSVI.[14] The agreement allowed channel 4 to resume broadcasting August 16, 1995 as Fox affiliate KHMT, operating from the same tower it had used as KOUS.[9][14][15] Under the foundation's ownership, KHMT claimed to be the only full power television station to have 100 percent Native American ownership;[14] the station was also the first primary Fox affiliate in Montana.[16] Between 1991 and 1994, Foxnet served as the network's cable-only affiliate for the Billings market; this ended when KSVI became a secondary affiliate of Fox, which lasted for approximately one year.[17] By 1997, KHMT had added a secondary affiliation with UPN,[18] shared with KSVI;[19] this continued[20] until that network shut down in 2006.

Wolf Mountain Broadcasting, the subsidiary of the National Indian Media Foundation that became the station's licensee in 1997,[21] sold KHMT to VHR Broadcasting in 2002.[22] In 2003, Mission Broadcasting acquired the station from VHR;[23][24] the sale coincided with the merger of Quorum Broadcasting (which by then owned KSVI) with Nexstar.[25]

Digital channels

KHMT's broadcasts became digital-only, effective June 12, 2009.[26]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming [27]
4.1720p16:9KHMT-DTMain KHMT programming / Fox
Jewelry Television (overnights)

News operation

KOUS-TV first started a news operation in 1982; this newscast was short-lived and was eventually canceled.[9] As KHMT, another news operation, shared with sister station KSVI, was launched on April 18, 2002;[28] after 18 months, the newscasts were canceled in September 2003, following Nexstar taking control of the stations.[25] Though the news operation had won Montana Broadcasters Association and Associated Press awards during its run, it was not successful in the ratings:[29] KHMT's primetime newscast reportedly pulled in only 3 percent viewing shares, putting it behind KTVQ and KULR in a distant third. At the time, Nexstar said ending the news operation would mean the difference between a profit and a loss.[25]

In addition, local media reported that law enforcement officials reportedly had misgivings about the over-aggressive reporting of KHMT's news team.[25]


  1. Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1982 (PDF). 1982. p. B-113. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  2. "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 29, 1979. p. 75. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  3. "In Brief" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 26, 1982. p. 112. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  4. "David, Ella Rivenes". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  5. "In Brief" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 9, 1987. p. 145. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  6. Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1988 (PDF). 1988. p. C-41. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  7. Felker, Alex D. (July 15, 1988). "In re Applications of BEE BROADCASTING ASSOCIATES, A Limited Partnership … Station KCTZ(TV), Bozeman, Montana". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  8. Smith, Doug (December 1993). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 7. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  9. Johnson, John C. "Montana Radio and TV Photos". John in Arizona. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  10. "Application Search Details (K25BP)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  11. Smith, Doug (August 1993). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 6. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  12. Caton, William F. (September 17, 1993). "In Re Application of BIG HORN COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Assignor) and KCTZ COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Assignee) For Consent to Assign the License for Station KCTZ(TV), Channel 7, Bozeman, Montana". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 20, 2015. We note that KCTZ(TV) has primarily rebroadcast the programming of commonly owned KSVI(TV), Billings, Montana…
  13. "Application Search Details (KHMT, 1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  14. "Re: MM Docket Nos. 91-211, 87-8, 94-150, 92-51 and 87-154" (PDF). Electronic Comment Filing System. Federal Communications Commission. July 8, 1997. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  15. Smith, Doug (August 1995). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 11. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  16. Flint, Joe (July 24, 1995). "WILL MURDOCH APPEAR AT ABC AFFIL MEETING?". Variety. Retrieved September 2, 2015. …the network has landed its first primary affiliate in Montana with new station KHMT Billings.
  17. Smith, Doug (July 1994). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. pp. 5–6. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  18. "Listing of channel lineups in TV Guide Montana Edition". Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  19. "UPN Affiliate Stations (Montana)". Archived from the original on October 6, 1999. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  20. "UPN Affiliate Stations (Montana)". Archived from the original on August 19, 2006. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  21. "Application Search Details (KHMT, 2)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  22. "Application Search Details (KHMT, 3)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  23. "Application Search Details (KHMT, 4)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  24. "Application Search Details (KHMT, 5)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  25. Falstad, Jan (September 30, 2003). "KULR sold; ABC-6/Fox-4 drop local news". Billings Gazette. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  26. "". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  27. "RabbitEars.Info". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  28. Falstad, Jan (April 13, 2002). "Falstad Column: Kmart, Penske will close 550 tire centers". Billings Gazette. Retrieved September 24, 2015. KSVI, the Billings ABC affiliate, and KHMT, the Fox Television affiliate licensed in Hardin, are teaming up on a local newscast which starts Thursday evening…
  29. Eggerton, John (October 5, 2003). "Nexstar Nixes Newscasts". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
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