|Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Branding||KARK 4 HD (general)
KARK 4 News HD (newscasts)
|Slogan||Count on KARK 4|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||April 15, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||ARKansas|
|Sister station(s)||KLRT-TV, KASN, KARZ-TV,
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1954–2009)
|Former affiliations||DuMont (secondary, 1954–1955)|
|Transmitter power||989 kW|
KARK-TV, virtual channel 4, is the NBC-affiliated television station for Central Arkansas that is licensed to Little Rock. Owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the station is sister to MyNetworkTV affiliate KARZ-TV (channel 42). Nexstar also operates Fox affiliate KLRT-TV (channel 16) and CW affiliate KASN (channel 38) under an outsourcing agreement, owned by Mission Broadcasting. All four share studios on West Capitol Avenue in Downtown Little Rock, one block east of the Arkansas State Capitol.
It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 32, using its former analog channel assignment of 4 as its virtual channel via PSIP, from a transmitter on Shinall Mountain near the Chenal Valley section of the city. On cable, the station is available on Comcast channel 5 in standard definition and digital channel 232 in high definition.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||KARK-DT||Main KARK-TV programming / NBC|
KARK-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, on February 17, 2009, the original date in date which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.
This station is Little Rock's second oldest having started on April 15, 1954. KATV was the first beating KARK to the airwaves by almost five months. In 1966, its original owners sold the station to Mullins Broadcasting, the owner of KBTV (now KUSA-TV) in Denver. When John C. Mullins (owner of the company) died in 1969, the Mullins estate sold both stations in 1972 to Combined Communications which merged with the Gannett Company (which, ironically, currently owns rival station KTHV) seven years later. In 1983, Gannett sold KARK to Southwest Media, a subsidiary of United Broadcasting, a one-time owner of WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire which also owned KDBC-TV in El Paso, Texas and WTOK-TV in Meridian, Mississippi.
In 1988, United Broadcasting sold off all of its stations with KARK going to Morris Multimedia. In 2003, Morris Multimedia sold KARK and WDHN in Dothan, Alabama to Nexstar who eventually consolidated most sports operations from KARK with those of its sister stations in Northwest Arkansas: NBC affiliate KNWA-TV and Fox affiliate KFTA-TV. The two NBC affiliates additionally share certain news resources with some reports filed by KNWA personnel occasionally used during KARK broadcasts. Since 2007, the two stations have also co-produced a daily newscast at Noon Monday through Friday, Arkansas at Noon, with news anchors in Little Rock and Fayetteville.
In October 2008, Nexstar announced that it would purchase MyNetworkTV affiliate KWBF from Equity Media Holdings for $4 million. This purchase was granted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval on December 23 of that year. However, although the purchase was to have been completed at the end of January 2009, its consummation was ultimately delayed nearly a month and a half until March 12. In the interim, Nexstar took over the operations of KWBF through a time brokerage agreement.
As of February 1, KWBF changed its calls to KARZ-TV and began airing an hour-long prime time newscast at 7 pm that is produced by KARK. MyNetworkTV programming airs one hour later (from 8 to 10 pm) than most other Central Time Zone affiliates. KARZ may also take on the responsibility as an alternate NBC affiliate by airing that network's programs when KARK cannot do so such as during a breaking news emergency.
On July 19, 2012, Newport Television reached a deal to sell 22 of its 27 stations to Nexstar, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Cox Media Group. KLRT-TV and KASN were among the twelve that would be sold to Nexstar. However, since Nexstar already owns KARK and KARZ, the licenses for KLRT and KASN was transferred to Mission Broadcasting to comply with FCC regulations prohibiting common ownership between two of the four largest stations in a single market. The deal was consummated on January 3, 2013. On February 2, The KLRT/KASN operations were consolidated with KARK and KARZ at KARK's downtown Little Rock studios, making this the first time where four full-power television stations in one market, carrying four of the six largest English-language networks (NBC, Fox, CW and MyNetworkTV) being controlled by one company; and all four being housed in one facility.
Outside of local newscasts, the station produces Talkin' Outdoors at the Corner Café, which airs immediately after Today on Saturday mornings, is produced by KARK and is a special interest program showcasing outdoor recreation in cooperation with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
KARK made national news in early 2006 by declining to air the NBC program The Book of Daniel. The station's General Manager Rick Rogala at the time issued two statements regarding the issue. The first issued January 4, 2006 stated: "Our relationship with NBC always provided for the right to reject programming. I am reaffirming that right to let them know I will not allow them to make unilateral decisions affecting our viewers." The statement continued: "If my action causes people in our community to pay more attention to what they watch on television, I have accomplished my mission."
Two days later a second statement was released citing concerns about FCC rules regarding obscenity: "My first obligation to my station is to protect the license granted by the FCC. Current regulations could subject this station to severe punishment, up to and including revocation of our license if even a single person's objection to the FCC found material broadcast by our station to be indecent or obscene. Subsequent viewing of the material within The Book of Daniel leaves me no choice but to do my job and uphold the standards of our community." In part because of KARK's pre-emption of the series, along with other affiliates, combined with low ratings in general for the series, the program was cancelled after three episodes and finished its run streaming on NBC.com. KWBF (the future KARZ) instead aired the series after The WB's Friday night schedule.
KARK broadcasts a total of 25 hours of local news and sports programming per week. They also broadcast 12.5 hours of news programming on sister station KARZ. Between the two stations, the news operation broadcasts about 37.5 hours of news programming a week. Monday through Fridays, a two-hour weekday morning news program known as KARK 4 News HD Today broadcasts from 5 until 7 a.m. They air additional two-hour morning news show on sister station KARZ from 7-9 a.m. The midday newscast airs from 12-12:50 p.m. Monday through Friday (from 12:50-1:00 p.m., KARK airs Tracey & Company). During the evening KARK broadcasts newscasts at 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday, at 6 p.m. Monday through Saturdays, and every night at 10 p.m. The station also produces a half-hour primetime newscast at 7 pm on sister station KARZ. Sunday programming also includes the weekly sports program Razorback Nation Pig Trail (produced in conjunction with KNWA).
For many years, KARK was the top-rated station for news in Little Rock. However, its newscast ratings plummeted in the mid-1990s as ABC affiliate KATV took the lead in the market. Even with the decrease, KARK remained in second place through most of the latter half of the 1990s then fell to third for a brief period in the early-2000s. This station has since regained many of its viewers and is a very competitive television station today. A significant aspect of its broadcasts today is emphasis of Arkansas-oriented content over national stories. As mentioned above, both KARK and KARZ converted to a high definition news presentation as of April 20, 2011.
In recent years, due to NBC's prime-time struggles in the Nielsen ratings, KARK's newscasts have remained in third place for the most part although close enough to remain competitive with KATV, KLRT, and KTHV.
At the beginning of the 2010–11 television season, Nexstar took the first step of preparing the station for high definition news broadcasting through the purchase of JVC HD cameras for studio broadcasting, and then the build-out of a new set in early April. On April 20, 2011, KARK became the third station in the market, and the first Nexstar-owned station to broadcast its newscast in high definition. The station's former logo, which was reminiscent of that currently used by Nashville NBC affiliate WSMV since 1994, was also changed at the same time.
On April 2, 2012, KARK debuted a half-hour weekday noon newscast titled Arkansas Today, anchored by Mallory Hardin and meteorologist/co-host Greg Dee (who also appear on the station's weekday morning newscast); the statewide newscast features news stories filed by reporters from all four Nexstar-owned NBC stations serving Arkansas as well as a sports segment produced by Fayetteville sister station KNWA-TV, focusing on University of Arkansas athletics, called Razorback Nation. KNWA, along with KTAL-TV/Shreveport-Texarkana and KTVE/Monroe-El Dorado simulcast the program and utilize their own on-air weather staff to provide local weather inserts during the broadcast that target their specific viewing areas (the coverage areas of KTVE and KTAL include several counties in southern Arkansas (ten in KTAL's viewing area, fourteen in KTVE's), though both stations primarily serve parts of northern Louisiana and KTAL also serves parts of northeast Texas).
- The Night Report (1950s)
- Report to Arkansas (early 1960s)
- The Sixth Hour Report/The Eleventh Hour Report (mid-1960s–1970s)
- (Channel) 4 Eyewitness News (1970s–1993; during the mid-1980s the station was branded as NewsCenter 4 but kept Eyewitness News as its newscast title)
- News 4 (1993–2001)
- News 4 Arkansas (2001–2004)
- KARK 4 News (2004–present)
- KARK 4 News HD (2011–present)
- "We're 4 Arkansas" (1978–1981)
- "The NewsCenter of Arkansas" (mid-1980s–1988)
- "Say Hello" (1984–1986; during period station used Frank Gari's "Hello News")
- "NewsCenter 4, Arkansas's Choice" (1984–1986; used on news promos)
- "Straight from the Heart" (late 1980s)
- "4 The People" (general) / "Your 24-Hour News and Weather Source" (news, 1990–1993)
- "Arkansas' 24-Hour News and Weather Channel" (1993–1997)
- "Where The News Comes First" (1997–2001)
- "Updated, Local, Relevant" (2007–2011; news slogan)
- "Count on KARK 4" (2011–present)
- "Your Weather Authority" (weather slogan)
+ denotes personnel seen exclusively on KARK ++ denotes personnel seen exclusively on KLRT
- + Bob Clausen - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also weeknight 5:00 p.m. reporter
- + Ashley Ketz - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
- + Mallory Hardin - weekday mornings (5:00–7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon (Arkansas Today)
- + Matt Mosler - weekday mornings (5:00–7:00 a.m.)
- * Brittney Johnson -Weekends (Saturday 6 and 10) (Sundays 5 and 10) also general assignment reporter
4WARN Weather (KARK) / FOX 16 Pinpoint Weather (KLRT)
- + Keith Monahan (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- + Steve Adamson (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:00 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Greg Dee (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (5:00–7:00 on KARK and 7:00–9:00 a.m. on KLRT) and weekdays at noon (Arkansas Today)
- ++ Jeff Baskin (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. (KLRT)
- ++ Natalie Walters - meteorologist; weekends at 9:00 p.m. (KLRT)
- Aaron Peters - Razorback Nation host and KNWA main sports anchor
- Mike Irwin - Razorback Nation sports reporter
- Hubert Tate General assignment reported
- Dustin Barnes - general assignment reporter
- Josh Berry - general assignment reporter
- Roby Brock - business and financial analyst; also Talk Business host
- Susanne Brunner - general assignment reporter
- David Goins - general assignment reporter
- Brittney Johnson - general assignment reporter
- Jocelyn Tovar - general assignment reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- Isiah Carey - reporter (now at KRIV in Houston)
- Mike Francis - chief meteorologist (now chief meteorologist at WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia)
- RabbitEars TV Query for KARK
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations fro the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- [dead link]
- Newport Sells 22 Stations For $1 Billion, TVNewsCheck, July 19, 2012.
- "Almost 30 Lose Jobs at KARK, KLRT as TV Owners Consolidate". Arkansas Business. January 29, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Updated: Mission Closes $60M Deal for KLRT, KASN; Chuck Spohn Out as General Manager Arkansas Business, January 4, 2013
- [dead link]
- "KARK & KARZ Continue News Advancement to Full HD". ArkansasMatters.com. September 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK-TV Purchases JVC HD Cameras". Tvtechnology.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK 4 News Enters Final Stage of HD Conversion". ArkansasMatters.com. March 3, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- Nexstar Launches Statewide Ark. Newscast, TVNewsCheck, April 2, 2012.
- "KARK Eyewitness News Open Early 1980s". Youtube. September 13, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK Eyewitness News 5 pm Open late 1980s". Youtube. February 18, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK News 4 Arkansas 2004 Open". Youtube. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK 4 News at Noon Open 2010". Youtube. April 1, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK-TV: News Open 2011". Youtube. July 25, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "1986 KATV/KARK Little Rock Arkansas". "Youtube". Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK Little Rock '88". "Youtube". April 24, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK-TV 1994 Open". "Youtube". March 18, 1992. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "KARK NBC 4 Weekday 10 pm News Open (August 2010)". "Youtube". September 1, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- KARK 4 Team Bios, ArkansasMatters.com. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- ArkansasMatters.com - Official KARK/KARZ-TV Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KARK
- KARK Station Profile & Public Inspection Files