KXLT-TV to return to the airwaves in Rochester in Sept.
KXLT-TV, which left television screens in December 1988, will return to the air in two months as part of Star Television Network Inc., a national group of independent stations.
The Rochester UHF outlet and sister station KXLI-TV of St. Cloud are scheduled to light up again on Sept. 29 with their ``TV Heaven'' format of classic television series and movies, KXLI-KXLT Business Manager Mariana Reid said Friday.
They are among 24 charter stations in the new Star network, which operates from Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.
Star is billing itself as the first general network to advertise only with ``direct response'' commercials. They are paid advertisements that ask viewers to respond by phone or by mail.
As previously was the case, KXLT will be seen on Channel 47 and will pick up its programming from KXLI. Reid said both stations hope to secure channels on WestMarc cable systems in Rochester and St. Cloud.
Star also holds a federal permit to build a station in Austin, but has not yet exercised it.
KXLT will debut with 22 hours of programming a day. Eight will be the TV Heaven classics, which will be shown exclusively on the network, according to Star officials.
KXLT and other Star stations also will broadcast at least four hours a day of ``infomercials'' -- ads that often look like documentaries or interview shows -- or shorter direct-response ads, they said.
Star Chairman Dale W. Lang was president and a major stockholder of Halcomm Inc., which had operated KXLT and KXLI. He foreclosed and acquired the stations last year when the corporation could not pay back a $9.6 million loan he had given.
Lang and some partners previously tried to put together a Minnesota Independent Network with 11 stations strung from Rochester in the southeast to Bemidji in the north. However, that network never was organized.
KXLI and KXLT are the only Minnesota stations in the Star network. Other outlets generally are located in metropolitan centers in East and the West, including: Daytona Beach, Fla.; San Jose, Calif.; Spokane, Wash.; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City; Anchorage, Alaska; and Cincinnati.
All but two are UHF stations. ``Most UHF stations are operating at a loss,'' said Lang, whose Lang Communications publishes national consumer magazines. ``Through affiliation with Star, the stations' total operating costs may be reduced by as much as 50 percent.''
Member stations can reach more than 20 million viewers, the company said.
KXLT will be operated by a nine-member staff at KXLI in St. Cloud and will have no local staff initially, Reid said.