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Channel 4, Hastings (Superior)

City of License: Superior, NE

First Air Date: October 1, 1965

Operating Power: 23.5 kw

Original Call Letters: KHTL TV

Network Affiliation: ABC

Issued To: Bi-States Company

Through the Years

  • 1965

    October 1, 1965- KHTL-TV  Superior, NE signed on as part of the ABC-affiliated Nebraska Television Network.  Owner:  Bi-States Company (F. Wayne Brewster 61.1%, Willard F. Anderson 10%, C.E. Freas Jr. 13.9%, William S. Bivens 2.8%, Donald Brewster 1.1%, William F. Anderson 1.1%).  Bi-States also owns KHOL TV in Kearney and KHPL-TV in Hayes Center and signed on KHQL TV channel 8 Albion, NE on December 3, 1964.

    The station operates as a semi-satellite of KHOL TV.  The four Bi-States stations begin branding as the Nebraska Television Network .

  • 1966

    May, 1966- Granted construction permit for 100 kw visual and 19.1 aural at 1133 feet.  Aural power later reduced to 12.1 kw.

  • 1974

    June 3, 1974-Bi-States sells the stations to NTV Enterprises for $1.9 million.
    KHTL TV calls changed to KSNB TV, as its signal reached parts of Kansas in addition to Nebraska.

  • 1979

    Joseph Amaturo buys the NTV stations in an $8.5 million deal funded by the sale of his KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri.

  • 1983

    November 1, 1983- KCNA, the former KHQL-TV is split off from NTV to become an independent stations under the call letters KBGT-TV.

  • 1985

    Amaturo Group sells KSNB-TV, KHGI-TV and KWNB-TV to Gordon Broadcasting for $10 million.  The sale separates the NTV stations from KBGT channel 8, which was separately sold a year later to Citadel Communications (Phillip Lombardo, President) and became KCAN, a satellite of Sioux City, IA’s KCAU-TV.  Citadel later moved KCAN to Lincoln as a stand-alone station, KLKN TV.

  • 1989

    Gordon Broadcasting planned to sell the NTV stations to Sterling Communications for $11 million.  However, the Sterling sale failed to close, and in May, ownership reverted to Joseph Amaturo under a court-appointed receivership.  The next month, Chicago-based Heller Financial sued Gordon Broadcasting;  Gordon had borrowed $7 million from Heller to purchase the stations and still owed the entire principal plus $1.6 million in interest on the loan.

  • 1991

    Joseph Girard appointed successor receiver.  During this time, NTV was put on the market; a bid by Pappas Telecasting in 1990 received court approval, but the company failed to obtain financing.  Television meteorologist John Coleman later sought to purchase the stations.

  • 1993

    Under Girard, who operated NTV through Girard Communications, KHGI-TV, KWNB-TV, and KSNB-TV were sold to Fant Broadcasting, owner of WNAL-TV in Gadsden, AL for $2 million.  The Fant purchase took a year to come together because the receivership status required the company to buy NTV’s assets on an individual basis.

  • 1994

    Added secondary Fox affiliation.

  • 1996

    In July, Fant agreed to sell KSNB-TV, KHGI-TV, and KWNB-TV to Pappas Telecasting (Harry Pappas) for $12.75 million.  Pappas immediately assumed control of the NTV stations through a local marketing agreement that began on July 1.

    In September, 1996, KSNB-TV as well as the Lincoln and Beatrice translators, switched to rebroadcasting KTVG  and Fox.  KHGI and KWNB remained with ABC.

  • 1997

    Pappas sold its right to acquire KSNB to Colins Broadcasting Company for $10 (with Colins paying $333,333 to Fant), as channel 4’s signal overlapped with Pappas’ Omaha station, KPTM, channel 42.;  Pappas also entered into an LMA with Colins to continue operating KSNB.

  • 1999

    February 17, 1999- The sales of KHGI TV and KWSNB TV to Pappas and KSNB TV to Colins was approved by the FCC.

    May 24, 1999-  Sale is completed.

  • 2000

    Secondary affiliation with Pax Network.

  • 2009


    KSNB-TV converts to exclusively digital broadcasting on the national transition date, on UHF channel 34, then returns to VHF channel 4 as VHF low channels are easier to receive with rooftop antennas.

    Fox affiliates KSNB/4 (Superior) and its satellite mother ship KTVG/17 (Grand Island) operated by Pappas Telecasting are replaced by KCWL/51 Lincoln, when the latter flips from CW to Fox as part of the digital transition. KCWL signs off on June 9 and then returns June 12 in digital form as KFXL, a new satellite of KTVG/17 (Grand Island.)

    In August, Pappas Telecasting rebrands its chain of Fox affiliates in the Lincoln/Tri-Cities market as “KFXL, Fox Nebraska.”   This includes KSNB/4.1 and KTVG/17.1 (Grand Island).  The other two are KHGI/13.2 (Kearney) and KWNB/6.2 (Hayes Center).

    December 1, 2009-  KISNB is silenced when Pappas Telecasting’s time brokerage agreement with KSNB licensee Colins Broadcasting expired.  With the shutdown, KSNB analog translators K18CD (Lincoln) and KWAZ-LP/35 (Lincoln) also leave the air.

  • 2010

    KSNB is up for sale and may have to move to a new transmitter site in order to return because KSNB”s former transmitter site is owned by Pappas Telecasting.  In a recent FCC filing, KSNB owner Colins Broadcasting stated the termination of the LMA agreement with Pappas came after “several years of litigation and disputes” and that it has been unable to reach an agreement with Pappas to use the licensed transmitter site.

    November, 2010-To keep the license active, Colins is approved to broadcast a temporary, 225-watt signal at lower power.  The station intermittently operated for some time, carrying the Three Angels Broadcasting Network, (3 ABN), a Christian media television and radio network which broadcasts Seventh-Day Adventist religious programming.

  • 2011

    September, 2011- KSNB is granted a move to the KTMX/104.9 (York) tower near Cordova, roughly 50 miles northeast of the original site and close to Lincoln and  use 23.5kW on Channel 4, which would theoretically provide coverage to Lincoln, Hastings and Grand Island.

  • 2012

    November, 2012-  Gray Communications reaches a deal to buy KSNB-TV/4 (Superior) from Colins for $1.25 million.  Both Colins and Gray are seeking a failing station waiver to create a TV duopoly in the Lincoln/Tri-Cities market because the market does not have enough stations to allow duopolies.  In support of its failing station waiver request, Colins says KSNB has no measurable audience, is losing money, and Gray was the only organization willing to enter good-faith negotiations to buy the stations.  Gray owns CBS affiliate KOLN/10 (Lincoln) and satellite KGIN/11 (Grand Island.)

    KSNB recently moved is transmitter to a site near York, about ten miles west of KOLN’s tower, with theoretical rooftop coverage extending from Grand Island to Lincoln and beyond.  More importantly, KSNB’s status as a full-power stations gives it must-carry rights on cable and satellite systems across the market, which stretches from Lincoln to the Colorado and South Dakota borders and into northern Kansas.  The deal also includes to low-power translator stations in Lincoln.

    The large Lincoln/Tri-Cities market at this time is essentially two separate viewing regions joined together by the KOLN/KGIN simulcast, with different ABC affiliates on either end of the market and an NBC affiliate that serves the Tri-Cities but not Lincoln.  The owner of the Tri-Cities ABC affiliate operates the Lincoln-licensed FOX affiliate and rebroadcasts FOX programming on its subchannel.  Further complicating matter, Omaha stations are seen in Lincoln over the air and on cable.

  • 2013

    February 13, 2013- KSNB is acquired by Gray Television Group through a failed station waiver. The FCC, in approving the duopoly in Lincoln, agreed that KSNB qualified as a failing station which has criteria including low audience share, negative cash flow, and benefits to the public interest.  After the FCC granted the assignment of the license to Gray, the sale was officially completed on February 25.

    April 1, 2013- takes the MYNetwork TV affiliation for CH4.1 held by Gray on KOLN/KGIN.

  • 2014

    Local news and programming transfer to KSNB 4.1 and MeMy Network to 4.2.

    Gray TV merges with Hoak Media’s NBC affiliate, KHAS TV (channel 5).  Gray takes over programming, equipment and other non-license assets, fires all of its staff, the Hoak and Gray silence channel 5 on June 13.  Original plans during the merger called for KHAS TV to be sold to Excalibur Broadcasting to satisfy duopoly rules.  Gray would have operated the station under an LMA.  However, increased FCC scrutiny of LMAs prompted Gray to shut down KHAS TV.

    With KSNB/4.1 (Superior) now taking over the former KHAS TV facilities, the NBC and KHAS TV newscasts are moved to KSNB/4.  The programming is to be simulcast on Gray’s KOLN/10.2 (Lincoln) and KGIN/11.2 (Grand Island).  KOLN/10.1 and KGIN/11.1 carry CBS.

    September, 2014-  The sale price of now-silent former NBC affiliate KHAS-TV/5 (Hastings) is $75,000, according to a document filed with the FCC.  Legacy Broadcasting, LLC, (owned by Sherry Nelson and Sara Jane Ingram of Mississippi and Charles Harker of California) is buying the station from Hoak Media after Gray TV assigned its right to purchase the station to Legacy.  Legacy’s purchase only includes the license, a transmitter, and transmitting antenna; it will rent tower space from Gray and change KHAS TV’s callsign to KHNL.  Legacy Broadcasting is not related to a the Nebraska radio company with a similar name.  Meanwhile, KSNB/4 (Superior) is re-banded as  “NBC Nebraska.”  In August, KSNB replaced Gray-owned WOWT in Omaha on Time Warner Cables, channel 6 position.

  • 2017

    March, 2017-Shannon Booth will lead the Lincoln and North Platte market stations, which includes NBC affiliates KSNB (Superior-Hastings-Lincoln) and KNOP (North Platte, and FOX affiliate  KIIT-LD (North Platte) as well as CBS affiliates KOLN/KGIN (Lincoln-Grand Island) and KNPL-LD (North Platte).  Booth worked at several stations before starting at Gray’s KCRG (Cedar Rapids, IA) in 1998, where she worked in news, operations, and promotions and is currently director of brand marketing and creative services.

    October, 2017-  KSNB is one of two Lincoln TV signals off the air after the collapse of the 500-foot tower that carried the signals of Sinclair FOX affiliate KFXL-TV/51.1 (RF channel 15) and a translator of Gray NBC affiliate KSNB on channel 18.  The tower at 4100 Industrial Avenue was owned by David Bratcher and was constructed in 1990. Both stations continue to be available  on cable and satellite, and both arfe seen on other transmitter serving other parts of the market.  Lincoln residents can also receive Omaha’s FOX KPTM/42 and NBC on WOWT/6 over the air.

    KSNB-TV/4.1 rebrands as “Local 4.”  The stations had used the “NBC Nebraska” slogan since 2014, when Gray moved the affiliation from the former KHAS-TV/5 (Hastings) to KSNB and divested KHAS TV’s license to comply with ownership caps.  KSNB TV uses the former KHAS TV building in Hastings.  Its community of license, Superior, is located about 40 miles southwest of Hastings, while its transmitter is located 50 miles east of Hastings near York.  Gray continues to  use “NBC Nebraska” brand on stations in the North Platte and Scottsbluff markets.

  • 2018

    August 30, 2018- adds ION affiliation to 4.3.

  • 2020

    In January, the KOLN tower near Beaver Crossing collapsed in an ice storm.  That August, Gray sought approved to make major upgrades to KSNB TV’s transmitter.  In filing with the FCC, Gray called the only channel 4 facility “grossly inadequate” and “unsuitable for digital broadcasting when it was installed”; Gray noted that Colins had limited resources and had used older equipment that failed to meet signal coverage expectations.  It also proposed to change KSNB TV’s city of license from Superior to York and switch the station from low-VHF channel 4 to ultra high frequency (UHV) channel 24, with the new transmitter being co-sited at the rebuilt Beaver Crossing site.   The FCC approved the channel and license on August 23, 2021.

  • 2022

    March, 2022- Beaver Crossing is reactivated with KSNB-TV at 1410 feet, now on channel 24 DT and licensed to York, beginning broadcasting from the new permanent site.