KWYB, virtual channel 18 (UHF digital channel 19), is a dual ABC/Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Butte, Montana, United States. The station is owned by the Cowles Company. KWYB's studios are located on Harrison Avenue in Butte, and its transmitter is located on XL Heights east of the city.

Butte, Montana
United States
BrandingABC Montana (general)
ABC Montana Local News (newscasts)
Fox Montana (on DT2)
SloganMontana Right Now
ChannelsDigital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 18 (PSIP)
Subchannels18.1 ABC
18.2 Fox/MyNetworkTV[1]
18.3 SWX Right Now[2]
TranslatorsKWYB-LD 28 Bozeman
K26ON-D 26 Deer Lodge, etc.
OwnerCowles Company
(Cowles Montana Media Company)
First air dateSeptember 27, 1996 (1996-09-27)
Sister station(s)KULR-TV, KTMF
Former channel number(s)18 (UHF analog, 1996–2009)
Transmitter power110.7 kW
Height585.2 m (1,920 ft)
Facility ID14674
Transmitter coordinates46°0′23.7″N 112°26′33″W
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

The station's signal is rebroadcast on low-power translators KWYB-LD (channel 28) in Bozeman and K26ON-D (channel 26) in Deer Lodge.


On January 9, 1992, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted an original construction permit to Continental Television Network (CTN) for a full-service station on channel 18 to serve Butte. The station, at first known by its application identification number, 910225KE, soon took the call letters KWYB. The station signed on September 27, 1996.

In February 2001, CTN sold KWYB, along with KWYB-LP in Bozeman, KTMF in Missoula, KTMF-LP in Kalispell and KTGF in Great Falls, to Max Media of Montana. They were the first television station acquisitions in Montana for Max Media.

On September 30, 2013, the Cowles Company acquired Max Media's Montana television station cluster (which, in addition to KWYB and KTMF, included KFBB-TV in Great Falls, KHBB-LD in Helena, and NBC affiliate KULR-TV in Billings) for $18 million.[3][4] The sale was completed on November 29.[5]

KWYB-LD history

On May 30, 1996, the FCC granted an original construction permit to Louise K. Corbin for a low-power station on channel 28 to serve Bozeman. The station was given callsign K28FB and was quickly built. K28FB was licensed on January 14, 1997. In May 1997, Continental Television Network purchased the station and six months later, changed its calls to KWYB-LP.

In February 2001, CTN sold the station to Max Media of Montana as part of the same transaction as KWYB and participated in the same newscasts as KWYB. KWYB-LD was also included in Cowles' 2013 purchase of Max Media's Montana stations.

Digital television

KWYB digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
18.1720p16:9KWYB-ABMain KWYB programming / ABC
MyNetworkTV (11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m. Monday - Friday)
Jewelry Television (overnights)
18.3480iSWXKWYB-DT3 / SWX Right Now[2]

On June 14, 2002, the FCC granted a construction permit to build KWYB-DT on UHF channel 19. The station received Special Temporary Authority (STA) on April 22, 2003 to broadcast at reduced power. As of August 2006, the station has not completed its final digital facilities and continues to broadcast per the STA. KWYB has elected to move to channel 19 once the transition to digital television is completed.

KWYB-LD digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7]
28.1720p16:9KWYBLABMain KWYB-LD programming / ABC
MyNetworkTV (11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m. Monday - Friday)
Jewelry Television (overnights)
28.3480iSWXKWYB-LD3 / SWX Right Now[2]

On August 11, 2006, the FCC granted "flash-cut" authorization to KWYB-LD, and on August 11, 2009, analog station KWYB-LP shut down and digital station KWYB-LD commenced broadcasting on channel 28.

KWYB-DT2/KWYB-LD2 (Fox Montana)

Since July 13, 2009, a KWYB subchannel has been carrying Fox programs. Fox is broadcast on digital channel 18.2, and, like 18.1, is available in 720p high definition.[8] Previously, Fox was available on KBTZ analog channel 24. Max Media obtained broadcast rights when Equity Media Holdings filed for bankruptcy, taking KBTZ and a number of other Fox affiliates in the state silent, as the company did not build out digital transmitters before the June 2009 digital transition. Currently, programming from Fox-owned MyNetworkTV is seen in a delayed manner from 11:05 p.m. to 1:05 a.m., and is carried completely unbranded.

News operation

Under Continental Television Network, KWYB (along with its sister stations) aired no local newscasts, but soon after Max Media acquired the stations, they began to make plans for a regional newscast for the stations, to debut in early 2002. They launched the newscast, produced by Independent News Network of Davenport, Iowa and branded Big Sky News, in October 2002, but the newscast generated controversy, in part because it tried to simultaneously serve the needs of five communities over 200 miles (320 km) apart, and in part because the newscast did not actually originate in Montana, but rather, in a city approximately 1,050 miles (1,690 km), with only one reporter actually assigned to and located in Butte.

Max Media launched another attempt at a regional newscast for KWYB and its other stations in February 2005, this time branded Montana News Network, produced in Great Falls at KFBB-TV. This newscast was subsequently discontinued, and for several years the only local newscast on the station was a ten-minute late newscast, 10@10. As of September 2015, KWYB airs a statewide morning newscast (produced in Billings by KULR-TV) and full early evening and late newscasts, as well as a primetime newscast on its Fox subchannel.


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