KBMY signed on for the first time on March 31, 1985; bringing the full ABC schedule to western North Dakota and eastern Montana for the first time ever, making this area one of the last in the nation with full network service. KMCY followed on June 19. Before 1985, portions of ABC programming were carried by the KX Television and Meyer Television groups. Prior to K44HR's inception, cable television subscribers in the Williston area received Denver's KMGH-TV on cable for ABC programming. Dickinson, located in the Mountain Time Zone, also received KMGH until K42FY signed on.
The stations do not produce much local content, serving mainly as "pass-throughs" for automated programming. This is somewhat surprising, since they are sister stations to WDAY-TV/WDAZ-TV, one of the strongest ABC affiliates in the nation. KMCY largely simulcasts KBMY, aside from local commercials. The Dickinson station directly repeated KBMY, while the Williston station repeated KMCY.
From the 1990s until 2007, KBMY and KMCY were known collectively as "ABC West". That year, the stations changed their monikers in favor of the station identities for their area. From 2002 until 2008, KBMY/KMCY was in a local marketing agreement, or LMA, with western North Dakota's Fox affiliate, KNDX/KXND. The LMA allowed KBMY/KMCY to share the facilities, staff, and some equipment of KNDX/KXND.
In May 2009, KBMY/KMCY were picked up on the digital subchannels of KX Television sateelites KXMA and KXMD in Dickinson and Williston, respectively, and the low-power translators of KBMY/KMCY serving Dickinson and Williston went off-air.
The LMA with KNDX/KXND ended in 2008, with Forum opting to partner with Reiten Television in KBMY/KMCY's local operations. Most operations have been consolidated at Forum's flagship station, WDAY-TV in Fargo. Forum still has some advertising sales and engineering staff for KBMY/KMCY in Bismarck, but they are now housed at KXMB's studios. KBMY and KMCY's programming (except for Good Morning West Dakota) is transported from WDAY-TV's studios to Bismarck via leased microwave relay bandwidth furnished by Prairie Public Broadcasting's statewide digital terrestrial microwave network (the only permanent full-time video link from Fargo to Bismarck for television broadcasting). The signal is then sent to KXMB, where it then is exported via a studio to transmitter link (STL) from KXMB's studios to KBMY and KMCY's transmitters.
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