Sutro Tower is a 977-foot tall self-supporting steel structure which is shared by ten television stations and four FM radio stations to enable them to broadcast their signals to the general public.

Sutro Tower is owned and operated by Sutro Tower Inc. (STI), an independent corporation founded in 1968 by the owners of KTVU-2, KRON-4, KPIX-5, and KGO-TV 7. The owners hold equal shares in Sutro Tower, Inc.

STI owns the tower and the service building, but not the broadcast equipment installed there. STI acts as "landlord" and leases space on the tower to local television and radio stations, dispatch and paging operators and other wireless communications services.

Space is leased at below-market rates to certain community-based broadcasters (e.g. KQED-Channel 9 and KMTP-Channel 32 ).

Shareholders of Sutro Tower, Inc. lease space from the tower at regular market rates.

This is KGO-TV's "Sutro Cam" located 1,390 feet above sea level on Sutro Tower over looking the San Francisco skyline (About halfway up at the tower waist). Many live shots of the city are from this camera.

For other views of the city, try here.

1948 - KPIX becomes the first Bay Area television station to go on the air, sending out its signal from the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. Within a year, KGO-TV and KRON also receive their licenses and begin transmitting from Mount Sutro and Mount San Bruno, respectively.

1952 - KPIX relocates its antenna to the Sutro Mansion near Mt. Sutro in the same facilities as KGO-TV.

1956 - ABC applies to the FCC for a broadcast facility at the Sutro Mansion site. KRON applies for one at Mount San Bruno.

1956 - After disqualifying Mount San Bruno as a potential site the Federal Aviation Agency approves the Sutro Mansion site for the location of San Francisco's future tall tower. San Francisco's Planning Commission approves conditional use permit for ABC to build the tower, and architects and builders begin the formal deign.

1968 - The owners of KTVU, KRON, KPIX, AND KGO-TV incorporate Sutro Tower, Inc., the company that will build, own and operate the tower.

1971 - Ground is broken for construction of Sutro tower.

1972 - Construction of Sutro Tower is completed, and crews begin installing transmitters, transmission lines and broadcast antennas.

July 4, l973 - Sutro Tower's tenant stations begin broadcasting signals throughout the Bay Area from their antennas on Sutro tower.

1998-2000 - Local activists continue to grumble over a variety of issues related to Sutro tower, including HDTV deployment.

2001 - Sutro Tower was Tower Site of the Week on 6/6/2001.

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This page last updated 3/22/2007