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Bakersfield, California
Branding KBAK (general)
Eyewitness News (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 33 (UHF)
Virtual: 29 (PSIP)
Subchannels 29.1 CBS (HD)
58.2 Fox
Affiliations CBS (1953-1974 and since 1996)
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(Sinclair Bakersfield Licensee, LLC)
First air date August 1953[1]
Call letters' meaning BAKersfield
Sister station(s) KBFX-CD, KMPH-TV,
Former callsigns KAFY-TV (1953–1954)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
29 (UHF, 1953–2009)
Former affiliations ABC (secondary 1953–1959, primary 1974–1996)
Transmitter power 110 kW
Height 1128 m
Facility ID 4148
Transmitter coordinates 35°27′10.1″N 118°35′28.1″W / 35.452806°N 118.591139°W / 35.452806; -118.591139
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.bakersfieldnow.com

KBAK-TV, channel 29, is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Bakersfield, California, USA. KBAK-TV is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which also operates the local Fox affiliate, KBFX-CD, from a shared facility in Bakersfield. The station's transmitter site is on Breckenridge Mountain.


KBAK signed on in August 1953 as KAFY-TV owned along with KAFY radio (AM 550, now AM 1100). It is Bakersfield's oldest television station; KERO-TV followed a month later. It was a primary CBS affiliate, sharing ABC programming with KERO-TV until KLYD-TV (channel 17, now KGET-TV) signed on in 1959.

In February 1954, shortly after becoming a full CBS affiliate, channel 29 changed its calls to the current KBAK-TV.[1] In 1974, KBAK swapped affiliations with channel 17, then known as KJTV, and became an ABC affiliate. [2] [3] As a CBS and later ABC affiliate, KBAK had aired all of its color programs in color, and went to full color in 1967.

From the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, KBAK was owned by Chicago-based Harriscope Broadcasting, which also owned WSNS in Chicago (now a Telemundo O&O) and a partial stake in KRQE in Albuquerque (now owned by LIN TV). In the late 1980s, KBAK started signing off only on Fridays, and Saturdays, which as a CBS affiliate it continued to do until May 2008, when the sign-offs on KBAK and KBFX were discontinued and were replaced by a simulcast of the Kern Weather Channel, which is also available on digital cable systems in the Bakersfield area.

In 1986, Harriscope sold KBAK to Burnham Broadcasting, which also owned KHON-TV in Honolulu and would later acquire WVUE in New Orleans, WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama and WLUK in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1995, Burnham sold most of its stations to SF Broadcasting, a joint venture between Fox and Savoy Pictures, but KBAK was not included in the sale to SF Broadcasting, and was instead spun off to Westwind Communications, a locally-based company linked to former Burnham executives.

In 1995, McGraw-Hill cut an affiliation deal with ABC which called for all of its stations, including KERO-TV, to become ABC affiliates. Largely by default, KBAK rejoined CBS when KERO picked up ABC in March 1996.

On August 6, 2007, Westwind Communications announced the sale of KBAK and KBFX-CA to Fisher Communications of Seattle. [4] The deal closed on January 1, 2008. This marked a re-entry to the Central Valley for Fisher, who previously bought and sold KJEO (now KGPE) in Fresno in the late 1990s.

Former KBAK logo, used until 2010.

In mid-May 2010, KBAK became the first station in Bakersfield to begin broadcasting local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. Then on January 16, 2011, KBAK took it one step further to become the first station in Bakersfield to launch local news in true high definition. [2] The KBFX shows were included in the upgrade to HD; however, they are presented in downconverted standard definition widescreen on KBAK-DT2 (which serves as a full-power companion to KBFX's low-power Class A digital terrestrial signal).

KBAK-TV, KBFX, and Fisher Communications' other holdings were sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group in a transaction announced on April 10, 2013.[3][4] The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.[5] The transaction marked a re-entry into California for Sinclair since it sold off its Sacramento station KOVR to CBS at the end of April 2005.

The current announcer for KBAK and KBFX is nationally recognized voice-over Eric Gordon.[6]

News operation[edit]

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • KAFY Television Newsreel (1953–1959)
  • The Big News (1959–1966)
  • The Night Report (1966–1969)
  • The Television 29 News (1969–1973)
  • The Hal Lafoon News (1973–1974)
  • 29-TV ABC News (1974–1977)
  • The News Today (1977–1979)
  • TeleNews 29 (1979–1981)
  • NewsForce 29 (1981–1985)
  • News 29 (1985–1992)
  • (Channel/CBS 29) Eyewitness News (1992–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • 29 is New for You (1980)
  • We're Comin' on Strong (1981)
  • Our Strength is Our People (1982)
  • See the Difference (1986)
  • The Hometown Team (1988)
  • The Southern Valley's News Leader (1990s–1997)
  • Experience You Can Trust (1997–2003)
  • Live, Local, Latebreaking (1999–2000)
  • CBS 29 and You (2001–2003)
  • 29, The Eyewitness News Station (2003–2010)
  • Investigating Stories Others Don't (2006–present)
  • Breaking News, Alerts and Investigations (2008)

News themes[edit]

Package Composer Years Used
Fanfare for the Common Man Aaron Copland, Arrangement by Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1979–1980
Allegro Frank Gari Communications 1989–1997
Millennium 3 Shelly Palmer 1997–2001
Impact (V.1, V.2, V.3, V.4) 615 Music 2001–2003
Right Here, Right Now 615 Music 2003–2008
The Viper 615 Music 2008–2012
Aerial Stephen Arnold Music 2012-present

News team[edit]

  • Amity Addrisi - weekday mornings on Eyewitness News Mornings (5-7 on KBAK and 7-9 a.m. on KBFX)
  • Courtney Bryant - weeknights at 5, 6, 10 (KBFX) and 11 p.m.
  • Rob Finnerty - weekday mornings on Eyewitness News Mornings (5-7 on KBAK and 7-9 a.m. on KBFX)
  • Tom Murphy - weekdays at noon and 12:30 p.m. (KBFX)
  • Caitlin Rearden - weekends at 5, 6, 10 (KBFX) and 11 p.m.; also general assignment reporter
  • Kurt Rivera - weeknights at 5, 6, 10 (KBFX) and 11 p.m.

Weather team
  • Miles Muzio - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6, 10 (KBFX) and 11 p.m.
  • Aaron Perlman - weather anchor; weekday mornings on Eyewitness News Mornings (5-7 on KBAK and 7-9 a.m. on KBFX) and weekdays at noon and 12:30 p.m. (KBFX)
  • Anthony Bailey - weather anchor; weekends at 5, 6, 10 (KBFX) and 11 p.m., also general assignment reporter
Sports team
  • Greg Kerr - sports director; weeknights at 5, 6, 10 (KBFX) and 11 p.m.
  • Jon Tritsch - sports anchor; weekends at 5, 6, 10 (KBFX) and 11 p.m., also sports reporter
  • Kyndell Nunley - multimedia journalist
  • Carol Ferguson - crime and government reporter
  • Jose Gaspar - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Josh Helmuth - weekday morning reporter on Eyewitness News Mornings (5-7 on KBAK and 7-9 a.m. on KBFX)
  • Tom Murphy - general assignment reporter
  • Kristine Frazao - Sinclair National Correspondent
  • Sheila Gray - Sinclair National Correspondent
News Director
  • Cristi Jessee


  1. ^ The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says August 23, while the Television and Cable Factbook says August 20.
  2. ^ Eyewitness News 1st to air local HD programming
  3. ^ "Sinclair acquiring Fisher Communications". bakersfieldnow.com. April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ Colman, Price (April 10, 2013). "Sinclair poised to buy Fisher stations". TVnewscheck.com. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sinclair Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ KBAK intends to make DTV switch Feb. 17, KBAX/KBFX, Feb 4, 2009

External links[edit]