The Broadcasting Bullens: One Family’s Contribution to Cache Valley Newspaper, Radio, and Television: Northern Utah Community Television (NUCTV)
Northern Utah Community Television (NUCTV)
In 1965, Reed Bullen received a license for a cable television franchise in Logan and began making plans to for a new television station to serve Cache Valley. Over the next five years, Reed founded Northern Utah Community Television (NUCTV) with the financial support of the Bonneville International Corporation, a broadcasting company owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to that time, most valley residents had depended on antennas to get signals from stations in Salt Lake City. Reed’s new system of “complex antenna arrays, electric processing and modern coaxial cable” was the first large-scale effort to bring a cable to multiple cities in Cache Valley. The cable station was even among the first of its kind in Utah, having been registered by the Federal Communications Commission as UT0004.[i]
In 1971, NUCTV finally commenced operation. First managed by Kent Gardner, the company charged $5.95 for basic cable, which included KUTV, KBYU, KSL, a local channel that rebroadcast Aggie football games, and more as nationwide channels became available. While the service was initially only available in Logan, by 1979 NUCTV spread to North Logan and River Heights, and it eventually reached Providence, Mendon, Millville, Nibley, Hyde Park, Wellsville, and Hyrum.[ii]
Jonathan Bullen became the manager of NUCTV. Growing up, he worked as a janitor, disc jockey, and later manager of his father’s radio station. As supervisor of the local cable service, he helped the company to expand throughout Cache Valley.[iii]
Bonneville International Corporation sold its interest in Northern Utah Community Television to Reed Bullen. The company was thenceforth called The Cable Company.
Jonathan purchased The Cable Company and Cache Valley Broadcasting Company from his father. He also began servicing cable to locations such as Clarkston, Newton, and Paradise, Utah.
Jonathan sold his interest in The Cable Company to Sonic Cable. The cable company that was once run by the Bullen family has now been absorbed by Comcast.
The Bullen family sold KVNU to the Cache Valley Media Group. KVNU, now in its seventy-fifth year of operation, continues to exist as a local weather, sports, and news station in Cache Valley.