KTUU-TV’s history can be traced back nearly seven decades. On October 15, 1953 KFIA (First In Anchorage), owned by Kiggins and Rolling of San Diego, Calif., was issued a broadcast license. Midnight Sun Broadcasting Company, owned by the Lathrop Company and managed by Al Bramstedt Sr., then purchased KFIA on December 28, 1954. Midnight Sun invested in a new transmitter tower and in 1955, KFIA became KENI-TV. In 1959, Midnight Sun Broadcasting Company sold KENI-TV to All Alaska Broadcasting Company, which later became Midnight Sun Broadcasters Inc. On September 19, 1966, Channel 2 became the first station in Alaska to transmit in color when it aired an episode of That Girl. On June 3, 1981, Zaser and Longston of Bellevue, Wash. purchased KENI-TV, where it then became KTUU-TV, Channel 2 Broadcasting Company. Then on July 1, 2008, Schurz Communications Inc. of South Bend, Ind. purchased KTUU-TV, becoming Northern Lights Media. On February 15, 2016, Gray Television, Inc. of Atlanta, GA purchased KTUU-TV, Northern Lights Media.
Channel 2 News broadcasts 22 hours of local news coverage every week. With bureaus in Anchorage and Juneau (when Alaska state lawmakers are in session), the Channel 2 News and Sports teams gather stories for the largest viewing area in the country. In Lower 48 terms, it’s a viewing area stretching from Minnesota to Arizona and South Carolina to California, covering more than 586,000 square miles. That’s an area greater than California, Texas and Montana combined. Channel 2 newscasts are also simulcast on Anchorage radio stations KHAR and KFQD, as well as broadcast live statewide to more than 230 rural communities on the Alaska Rural Communications System (ARCS). News stories and newscast segments can also be found on the station’s website, KTUU.com and digital platforms. In Southcentral Alaska (Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, Kenai), Channel 2 News consistently reaches 70 percent of households per week. Statewide, nearly 83 percent of all Alaskans watch a KTUU newscast every week. On the Internet, KTUU.com receives nearly 40,000 hits per day.
Bringing stories about Alaskans to Alaskans and the rest of the world is the driving force behind the Channel 2 News and Sports teams. That’s why when it comes to gathering those stories, Alaska’s borders are not boundaries. Beyond Alaska, coverage has taken reporters and photographers nationally to New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Texas, California, Hawaii, as well as the Grand Canyon. Internationally, stories have taken crews to Canada, Russia, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Guam, South Korea, Norway, Ireland, as well as stringer coverage of Alaska-based soldiers and airmen deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having the state’s first and only satellite uplink truck and fly-away uplink kit allows Channel 2 News to bring coverage from anywhere in the state to Alaskans -- such as the first live broadcasts from: Prudhoe Bay (the nation’s largest oil field), the 7,000-foot base camp of Mt. McKinley and from the middle of Resurrection Bay. In addition, Channel 2 News crews have brought Alaskans special live coverage of events such as the launch of the first Alaskan into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery; the Iditarod Sled Dog Race; the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race; the Mount Marathon mountain race; the Great Alaska Shootout; the ’94, ’98, ’02, ’10, ’14 Winter Olympic Games; ’01 Special Olympics World Winter Games; World Eskimo and Indian Olympics; the Alaska Federation of Natives Conferences; Anchorage Aces hockey playoffs; Boys and Girls High School state basketball tournament.
Channel 2 News’s dedication to bringing Alaskans timely, accurate and compelling stories has not gone unnoticed. The station has earned numerous statewide, regional, and national awards including: The Northwest Regional Emmy for Overall Excellence from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; Station of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) in ’06, ’08, and ’10; the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall News Excellence in ’03, ’05, ’06; Emmys for local documentaries; Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards; National Academy of Television of Arts and Sciences award for Community Service; RTNDA/Unity Award; countless Best Newscast and Community Service awards from the Alaska Press Club and Alaska Broadcasters Association; as well as regional and national Edward R. Murrow and Emmy awards for Continuing News Coverage, Best News Cast, Feature Reporting, News Series, and a variety of local documentaries.Channels 2′s talented journalists have also earned countless individual awards for their work including: Emmys for best photography, best writing, overall body of work; Edward R. Murrow awards for writing, best documentary; NPPA photographer of the year; the National Federation of Press Women’s Awards for best stories and newscasters; as well as Alaska Press Club and Alaska Broadcasters Associations awards in all categories.