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In 1952 Harry Truman was in the last years of his presidency and the hot new thing in Denver was an exotic technology called television. On October 12th 1952 KBTV Channel 9 began broadcasting a mixture of ABC and CBS network programs as well as local news and other programming, the beginning of a legacy that continues well into a new century. When Channel 9 was born, only a few homes had TV sets, but that changed over time until virtually everyone had access to one.
After originally broadcasting from a temporary location, the station moved into its home at 1089 Bannock Street in Denver in 1953, where it stayed until moving to our current location at 500 Speer Blvd in 1992. After initially sharing programming from a variety of networks, Channel 9 became an ABC affiliate for more than 40 years until switching to our current NBC partnership in 1995. Channel 9’s call letters changed from KBTV to KUSA in 1984.
Max Goldberg is widely considered the “father” of Channel 9 for organizing the original group of investors and lobbying for an FCC license, the key ingredient for all radio and television broadcasters. In 1955, John Mullins bought the station, which he owned until his death in 1969. In 1971, a company called Combined Communications Corporation bought the station, making it part of a group that would eventually merge with Gannett, now one of the largest media companies in the country with TV stations in 32 American cities and a newspaper group that includes USA Today.
In the beginning, Channel 9 was merely a single TV channel. Today, we broadcast programming on KUSA Channel 9 as well as KTVD Channel 20 (since 2006) and digital channels 9.2 (24 hour weather programming) and 20.2 (Me TV). In addition, 9NEWS is now very much 9news.com. launched in the 1990s and now a vital news source for Coloradoans that updates news, weather and sports 24 hours a day. Our community efforts have defined 9NEWS for decades. Programs like the 9Health Fair, 9Cares Colorado Shares, 9Who Care and 9Teachers Who Care are all aimed at making our community better, stronger and healthier. The story of 9NEWS is an evolution of people and technology. Film to videotape. Black and white to color. Analog to digital. But one thing that hasn’t changed since 1952 is our commitment to bring Colorado the best programming possible.
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