Mesa / Phoenix, Arizona
Branding Channel 12 (general)
12 News (newscast)
Slogan The Leader in HD
Channels Analog: 12 (VHF)

Digital: 36 (UHF)

Affiliations NBC
Owner Gannett Company
Licensee Multimedia Holdings Corporation
First air date April 23, 1953
Call letters' meaning PhoeNiX
Former callsigns KTYL-TV (1953-1955)
KVAR (1955-1959)
KTAR-TV (1959-1979)
Transmitter Power 316 kW (analog)
819 kW (digital)
Height 555 m (analog)
534 m (digital)
Facility ID 35486
Website 12 News' Website

KPNX is a full-service TV station, serving the Phoenix, Arizona TV market as the NBC affiliate. It's studios & offices are located in Phoenix & it's transmitter is on South Mountain in Phoenix, but it's licensed to the nearby city of Mesa. It's owned by the Gannett Company, which also owns The Arizona Republic newspaper.

The station broadcasts in analog on VHF ch. 12 & in DT on UHF ch. 36. As a full-service station, it's carried on all local cable TV systems & appears on the local stations lineup on all of the satellite TV systems. It's rebroadcast on full power satellite station KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff & on a network of LP translators throughout northern & central Arizona.


KPNX is the only major English-language commercial TV station in Phoenix to never change it's primary affiliation. It was founded in 1953 as KTYL-TV, owned by the Harkins Theatre Group & was a sister station to KTYL radio AM 1490, now KXAM & FM 104.7, now KZZP. The original studios were located in Mesa, it's city of license. It's appearance brought the metro Phoenix area a full-time NBC affiliate; the other 3 networks shared time on KPHO-TV, as did NBC prior to 1953. Ch. 12 carried some DuMont programming prior to that network's demise in 1956.

John J. Louis, owner of KTAR-AM 620, bought ch. 12 in 1955 & changed it's call letters to KVAR. The station then became KTAR-TV 4 years later. It moved into it's current facility in Phoenix in 1959, after the FCC allowed stations to locate their studios outside the city of license. Over the years, the Louis family bought several other broadcasting outlets, including WQXI-TV in Atlanta, Georgia (now WXIA-TV) & WPTA-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Eventually, the Louis family's broadcasting interests became known as Pacific & Southern Broadcasting, headquartered in Phoenix with KTAR-AM-TV as the flagship stations.

Advertising mogul Karl Eller bought Pacific & Southern in 1968 & combined it with his existing business to form Combined Communications. Eller was also one of the original founding owners of the city's first major professional sports team, the Phoenix Suns of the NBA. Ch. 12 carried Suns games for years, from the team's 1968 inception until the 1980s, when Suns telecasts moved to KNXV-TV ch. 15.

KTAR-TV was the Phoenix pioneer of what some call "happy-talk" news when it debuted "Action News" in late 1973, with long-time anchor Ray Thompson paired up with Bob Hughes, weatherman Dewey Hopper (lately with Air America Radio affiliate KPHX 1480 & a long-time weather forecaster in Sacramento) & sportscaster Ted Brown.

Combined Communications merged with Gannett in 1979, in what was @ that time the biggest media merger in U.S. history. Combined's ownership of KTAR-AM-TV had been grandfathered earlier in the decade when the FCC forbade common ownership of TV & radio stations in the same market, but with the Gannett merger, KTAR-AM-TV lost it's grandfathered protection. Gannett opted to keep ch. 12 & sell off the radio station. KTAR-TV then renamed itself KPNX, since the radio station had held the call letters first.

The station had ranked 3rd in the ratings for many years behind ABC affiliate KTVK & CBS affiliate KTSP (now KSAZ). That changed in 1994, when every major English-language commercial station in Phoenix changed affiliations except KPNX. After the market shake-up, KPNX finally reached the #1 position in the ratings, dropping former leader KTVK to 2nd place.

In 1997, the FCC allocated UHF ch. 36 as the station's DT companion channel & construction began the following year. KPNX launched it's DT channel in June of 2000. On December 29 2005, the station began carrying NBC Wx+ on subchannel 12.2, making it the 1st station in Phoenix to offer a 24-hour local weather channel. KPNX achieved another first in Arizona on November 2, 2006 when it began broadcasting local news programming in HD.

DTV Edit

The station's DT channel is multiplexed:

Digital channels
Channel Programming
12.1 KPNX-DT
12.2 NBC Wx+

Analog-to-DT conversionEdit

After the analog TV shutdown & DT conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17 2009, KPNX will move it's DT broadcasts back to it's present analog ch. number, 12.

Programming Edit

KPNX's news operations (12 News) is among 1 of the highest rated news operations in Arizona during primetime news hours. It's evening newscasts have dominated ratings for the several ratings periods.

While rivals KSAZ & KTVK produce more individually separate local newscasts, KPNX airs the largest amount of news (local & national) in the market, running about 30 hours a week of local news, along with 25 hours a week of national news from NBC (Today Show, NBC News, etc). It also runs syndicated first-run talk & reality shows (Live with Regis & Kelly being 1 of them, which has aired on Ch. 12 since it's debut [as Live with Regis & Kathie Lee] in the 1980s) along with the entire NBC schedule.

KPNX-DT airs programming from NBC Wx+, a 24-hour weather service showing national forecasts & weather conditions, on it's 12.2 subchannel & on a separate channel on the local cable systems. Wx+ also has local inserts, shown @ left, allowing KPNX weather staff to show conditions & forecasts for the Phoenix market, including northern Arizona. In addition, weather conditions & forecasts from around the region are displayed on the left & @ the bottom of the screen (known as an "L-bar").

Station identification Edit

Over the years, KPNX has used a legal station identification that did not comply with FCC regulations, which require that in the legal identification broadcast aurally or visually, a station must state it's call sign, followed by it's city of license. For many years KPNX identified as "Phoenix/Mesa" rather than "Mesa/Phoenix" as required. But beginning in 2008, has begun using a new, FCC-compliant station ID on it's analog & primary DT channels (shown @ left, top). On it's Wx+ programming on 12.2, KPNX still identifies using non-compliant ID & does not air separate ID @ the top of the hour (shown @ left, bottom).

Current news personalitiesEdit

12 News TodayEdit

  • Tram Mai
  • Scott Light
  • Meteorologist Sarah Walters
  • Beat the Traffic Reporter Anna Laurel

Arizona MiddayEdit

  • Jan D'Atri
  • Destry Jetton

12 News Midday @ NoonEdit

  • Tram Mai or Scott Light or Kim Covington
  • Meteorologist Sarah Walters or Jerrid Sebesta or Caribe Devine

12 News Evening Edition @ 4:30Edit

  • Mark Curtis
  • Fay Fredricks
  • Meteorologist James Quinones
  • Beat the Traffic with Anna Laurel

12 News Evening Edition @ 5Edit

  • Mark Curtis
  • Lin Sue Cooney
  • Sports Director Kevin Hunt
  • Meteorologist James Quinones
  • Beat the Traffic with Anna Laurel

12 News Evening Edition @ 6Edit

  • Mark Curtis
  • Lin Sue Cooney
  • Sports Director Kevin Hunt
  • 12 News Wx+ Meteorologist James Quinones
  • Beat the Traffic with Anna Laurel

12 News @ 10Edit

  • Mark Curtis
  • Lin Sue Cooney
  • Fay Fredricks (live reporter & substitute anchor)
  • Meteorologist James Quinones
  • Sports Director Kevin Hunt

12 News Saturday MorningsEdit

  • Syleste Rodriguez
  • Joe Dana
  • Weather Forecaster Caribe Devine

12 News Sunday MorningsEdit

  • Melissa Gonzalo
  • Brahm Resnik
  • Weather Forecaster Caribe Devine

12 News Weekend EveningsEdit

  • Brahm Resnik
  • Kim Covington
  • Weather Forecaster Caribe Devine
  • Bruce Cooper (Saturday only)

Arizona HighwaysEdit

  • Robin Sewell - host & executive producer

12 Sports TeamEdit

  • Sports Director Kevin Hunt (Sunday-Thursday)
  • Bruce Cooper (Friday, Saturday & Sports Tonight)
  • Chris Holden
  • Joe Pequeno

12 News Wx+ TeamEdit

  • Meteorologist James Quinones
  • Meteorologist Sarah Walters (NWA/AMS)
  • Forecaster Caribe Devine
  • Meteorologist Jerrid Sebesta (AMS-CBM)

Call 12 For Action (Consumer/Investigative News Team)Edit

  • Dave Cherry
  • Rick DeBruhl

General Assignment ReportersEdit

  • Melissa Blasius
  • Andy Harvey
  • Kevin Kennedy
  • Brandon Kline
  • Anna Laurel (Beat the Traffic)
  • Nicole McGregor
  • Hannah Mullins
  • Syleste Rodriguez
  • Tammy Rose (Sky 12 Pilot/Reporter)
  • Veronica Sanchez
  • Sarah Sevier(web Reporter)
  • Jennifer Vogel

Former PersonalitiesEdit

  • Kent Dana, Anchor (1979-2004); now weeknight anchor @ KPHO-TV
  • Jineane Ford, Anchor (1991-2007); most recently anchored Arizona Midday' (Still fills in as Arizona Miday Anchor)'
  • Sean McLaughlin, Chief Meteorologist (1992-2004); moved @ first to MSNBC/NBC Wx+, now @ KPHO)
  • Ron Hoon, now morning show host @ KSAZ-TV
  • Marianne McClary, Morning anchor (1990-1995); now @ KMAX/KOVR Good Day Sacramento in Sacramento, California)
  • Vince Leonard, Anchor (1980-1989); retired
  • Dave Marquis, Reporter (1980s-1993); now @ KXTV in Sacramento
  • Blair Meeks, General Assignment Reporter (until 2003)
  • Trayce Hutchins, Reporter (1990s); now co-anchors morning show @ WGCL-TV in Atlanta
  • Deiah Riley, Anchor/Reporter (until 1999); now @ WFTS-TV in Tampa, Florida)
  • Jill Miles, Weekday Morning Anchor (1990s)
  • Linda Alvarez, Anchor (1977-1985); no longer in broadcasting. Last @ KCBS-TV (no longer @ the duopoly KCBS/KCAL)
  • Andy Cerota, Reporter (Late 1990s-early 2000s); now general assignment reporter @ KTRK in Houston
  • Rick Crabbs, Helicopter Pilot; now helicopter pilot @ KSAZ-TV
  • Pat Finn Host of "Finn & Friends" 1989-1990, Now host of California Lottery's The Big Spin
  • Aubrey Aquino, Traffic Reporter; now entertainment reporter for DECO Drive in Miami, Florida
  • Kathleen Mascarenas, Anchor/Reporter (1990s); former editor of Latino Future magazine; current owner of Mas Video Productions & Passport Media, LLC
  • Minerva Perez, Anchor/Reporter (1980s); no longer in broadcasting.
  • Carolyn Mungo, Reporter (1990s now managing editor @ KRIV in Houston)
  • Kim Holcomb, Reporter (until 2006, currently @ KING-TV in Seattle)
  • Dan Plante, Anchor (1990s)
  • Al Owen, Reporter & Entertainment Editor (1980-1984) Moved from KPNX to Entertainment Tonight
  • Jerry Foster, Sky 12 Pilot/Reporter
  • Fred Roggin, Sports; now @ KNBC-TV
  • Mitch Truswell, Anchor/Reporter (1997-2003); noon anchor & investigative reporter for KVBC in Las Vegas
  • Kathy Kirschner, Reporter/Anchor
  • Mary Kim Titla, Reporter (1993-2005); publisher of Native Youth Magazine online; seeking Congressional seat in 2008
  • Julie Watters, Anchor/Reporter (1991-2002); Executive Producer @ Glendale 11, a cable TV government access channel
  • Dawn Witt, Reporter (2000-?); Homemaker & author
  • Bill Denney, Sports (1980s-1990s); deceased
  • Bob Salter, Anchor/Reporter
  • Bill Austin, Weather (1980s)
  • Patti Kirkpatrick, Anchor (1980s), now @ local independent station KTVK.
  • Steve Pascente, Sports; deceased
  • Bill Kelly, Weather


  • "Hello Phoenix, Hello Arizona" (1980-1990)
  • "Come Home to the Best, Only on Ch. 12" (1988-1990 using NBC's Come Home to the Best, Only on NBC campaign)
  • "The 1-2 (pronounced like one-to) watch for NBC" (Used in radio promos for primetime shows, used infrequently for TV promos)
  • "12 Stands for Local News"
  • "The Leader in HD, Local TV Redefined"
  • "It's All On 12 News" (since 2008)

References In MoviesEdit

A reporter for KPNX appears in the 1978 made-for-TV movie A Fire In The Sky. Elizabeth Ashley portrayed fictional Ch. 12 reporter Sharon Allan. The movie aired as a 3-hour event on NBC.


External linksEdit