KBMY-TV is the local ABC affiliate station. It is owned by Fargo’s Forum Communications, who also owns The Fargo Forum and WDAY-TV. From 1985-1989, KBMY produced a local newscast in competition with KXMB-TV and KFYR-TV. It was the last local newscast launched until West Dakota FOX launched a 9:00 p.m. cast in 2014.
The FCC granted KBMY-TV a broadcast license in 1985. The B and M of the call letters represent Bismarck while the Y was requested by Forum Communications to match its other stations (including WDAY and KSFY).
In accordance with the licensing agreement, KBMY launched a local news operation, airing a 10:00 p.m. newscast. The KBMY news bureau ceased four years later, in 1989. 12 employees, more than half of its Bismarck staff, was laid off and its broadcast license was jeopardized as a result, due to a stipulation that it produce “a substantial amount of local programming.” Despite this, KBMY-TV continues local broadcasts to this day.
Dewey Heggen was station manager, Becky Jones was news directory, and Chuck Peterson was in charge of advertising. Its on-air talent also included Mike Kramer, , Jon Hegre, and Ray Fanning.
Despite its FCC challenge, KBMY-TV continues local broadcasts to this day, albeit without a local newscast. It later held joint sales agreements, first with KNDX, then with KXMB, to sell local advertising until Nexstar’s acquisition of Reiten Television in 2016.