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KENS 5 logo.svg
San Antonio, Texas
City of license San Antonio
Branding KENS 5 (general)
KENS 5 Eyewitness News (newscasts)
(Pronounced "KENS" as one word)
Slogan Coverage You Can Count On;
South Texas' #1 Newscast;
San Antonio's News Leader
Channels Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Gannett Company
(KENS-TV, Inc.)
First air date February 15, 1950
Call letters' meaning K
Express-News Station
Former callsigns KEYL (1950-1954)
KGBS-TV (1954)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
5 (VHF, 1950-2009)
55 (UHF, 1997-2009)
Former affiliations Secondary:
DuMont (1950-1955)
ABC (1950-1957)
Paramount Television Network (1950-1953)
NTA Film Network (1956-?)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 441 m
Facility ID 26304
Transmitter coordinates 29°16′11″N 98°15′55″W / 29.26972°N 98.26528°W / 29.26972; -98.26528
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KENS, virtual channel 5 (digital channel 39), is the CBS-affiliated television station in San Antonio, Texas. The station is owned by Gannett Company. Its studios are located on Fredericksburg Road in northwest San Antonio between Wonderland of the Americas Mall and the South Texas Medical Center complex, while its transmitter is located in Elmendorf, Texas.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
5.1 1080i 16:9 KENS-HD main KENS programming / CBS
5.2 480i 4:3 KENS-SD Estrella TV[2]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KENS discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 55, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to UHF channel 39,[3][4] using PSIP to display KENS' virtual channel as 5 on digital television receivers. This move also allowed former sister station KCWX (which prior to the conversion, did not have an over-the-air digital signal) to begin digital broadcasts on channel 5.

Prior to November 2008, KENS-DT was on channel 55, which was vacated early by the station to allow Qualcomm to begin testing for its now-defunct MediaFLO mobile television service, which transmitted via the former UHF channel 55 allocation. In the interim period between November 2008 and June 2009, KENS-DT's digital signal was broadcast on a subchannel of KWEX-DT (mapped to virtual channel 5.1), which broadcast on channel 39 prior to the transition; since the entire KWEX schedule was at the time 480i standard definition, KENS continued broadcasting in full 1080i high definition without any problems between the two operations. After the digital transition was complete, KENS-DT retained the channel 39 facilities, while KWEX-DT launched its permanent digital operations on channel 41 (the station's previous analog frequency).


Channel 5 signed on the air on February 15, 1950 as KEYL, a primary CBS affiliate with secondary affiliations with DuMont, Paramount Television Network,[5] and ABC (shared with WOAI-TV). It was co-owned with KABC radio (680 kHz, now KKYX). KEYL was one of Paramount's strongest affiliates, carrying nearly the entire network line-up. Among the Paramount programs that KEYL aired were Armchair Detective,[5] Latin Cruise,[5] Hollywood Reel,[6] Hollywood Wrestling,[7] Time For Beany,[8] and Movietown, RSVP.[9]

A year after its launch, Storer Broadcasting (which had good relations with CBS) bought the stations. On February 1, 1954, KEYL changed it call letters to KGBS-TV, with KABC becoming KGBS-AM on March 1. [10] In November of that year, Storer had to sell KGBS-AM-TV to the San Antonio Express-News, in order for Storer to complete its purchase of WXEL-TV (now WJW) in Cleveland, Ohio because the company would have been one VHF station over the Federal Communications Commission's new ownership limit of seven television stations, with no more than five of those on VHF, which went into effect that year. (At the time, newspapers could own television and/or radio stations in the same market provided that such ownership complied with the FCC-mandated ownership limits of each property in effect at the time.) The Express-News changed the stations call letters to KENS-AM-TV. (Storer later recycled the KGBS calls on what is now KTNQ and KAMP-FM in Los Angeles.)

KENS was the second station to begin broadcasting in San Antonio, three months behind WOAI-TV. DuMont ceased most network operations in 1955, but would honor network commitments until 1956; at that point, DuMont disappeared from the station's schedule. It lost ABC when KONO-TV (now KSAT-TV) signed on in 1957, leaving KENS as a full-time CBS affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[11]

In early 1962, the Express-News and KENS-AM-TV were purchased by Harte-Hanks Communications; the radio station was sold off a few months later since Harte-Hanks was not interested in radio station ownership at the time. When the FCC tightened its cross-ownership rules in the early 1970s, Harte-Hanks sought grandfathered protection for its San Antonio media combination. However, while the FCC granted such protection to several media combinations across the country, it would not do the same to the Harte-Hanks combination in San Antonio. Accordingly, in 1973, Harte-Hanks opted to keep KENS-TV and sell the Express-News to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

In the mid-1980s, KENS broadcast a short-lived second channel, exclusively on Rogers Cablevision channel 24, called KENS II. Programming seen on KENS II, cable station under the direction of station manager Larry Smith with Harte-Hanks Communications included: replays of Eyewitness News newscast, broadcasts of Ron Taylor and Janie Groves classified real estate programming; and a few locally produced programs and specials such as Richard Courchesne and Michael Saul’s Auto TV, and Barney Regets’ computer generated musical video kaleidoscope created earlier at UA Columbia’s Consumer Cable 29.

In 1993, Harte-Hanks acquired what at the time became the second incarnation of KENS radio (1160 kHz). In September 1997, Harte-Hanks sold its remaining media properties, including the KENS stations, to the E. W. Scripps Company in order to concentrate on direct marketing. At the same time, Belo Corporation announced that it would swap its controlling stake in the Food Network to Scripps in exchange for the KENS stations. The Harte-Hanks/Scripps deal and the transfer of Belo's stake in the Food Network to Scripps were both completed on October 15 of that year. At that time, Belo took over the operation of the KENS stations through a time brokerage agreement. Belo completed its purchase of the KENS stations on December 4, 1997. The second incarnation of KENS radio was sold to Disney/ABC in 2003, becoming Radio Disney station KRDY.

KENS remained closely associated with the Express-News, even though the station and newspaper have been under separate ownership for many years. The station shared its main website with the newspaper until the end of 2008, when the news partnership agreement between KENS and the Express-News expired. The station launched on January 26, 2009 (initially using Belo's own in-house CMS operations, but now operated via the Broadcast Interactive Media CMS.) has been recognized with Lone Star Emmy Awards and the 2011 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Large-Market Website.

Prior to late April 2010, KENS also managed UPN, later The CW, affiliate station KCWX through a local marketing agreement (LMA). (That station has since switched to MyNetworkTV.)

Immediately following the digital transition on June 12, KENS and several other Belo stations officially dropped the -TV suffix from their legal call signs.

On June 13, 2013, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire Belo.[12] The sale was completed on December 23.[13]


KENS is one of the broadcasters of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, and has also broadcast game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! since 1999 (which formerly aired on KMOL (now WOAI-TV). KENS also features The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and its own talk show Great Day SA.

News operation[edit]

KENS broadcasts a total of 30 hours of local news per week (with 5 hours on weekdays, 3 hours on Saturdays and two hours on Sundays).

Former news director Bob Rogers was and remains KENS' most successful and longest-running news director. Under Rogers, KENS shot to first place, a rank it holds today. He was also responsible for hiring, coaching and helping the careers of many local and national news anchors, reporters and correspondents; he retired from the station in the late 1990s.

The station also produces a local morning talk show titled Great Day SA, airing weekdays at 9 a.m.; the program debuted on September 8, 2003 and features local and national music artists, celebrities, and local human interest stories. Formerly hosted by 1994 Miss USA Lu Parker and later Kristina Guererro (who later was a reporter at Inside Edition, and is currently an entertainment reporter for E!), Great Day SA is currently hosted by reporter Bridget Smith, along with GDSA reporter Eileen Teves, morning meteorologist Paul Mireles, and "Traffic Watch" reporter Kellie Patterson.

When The Early Show abandoned the local/national hybrid format and replaced it with a national format on January 7, 2008, KENS decided to cut its weekday morning newscast from three hours to two, airing from 5-7 am. Also at the same time, Itza Gutierrez left as anchor for the Saturday morning newscast to become a stay-at-home mother (she has since been replaced by Stacia Willson, who was later promoted to the weekday noon newscast and replaced by Natalie Tejeda on Saturday mornings).

Emmy-Award winning longtime anchor Chris Marrou, who worked at KENS for 36 years beginning in 1973, retired in 2009. Marrou and other well-known anchors, helped KENS dominate the 5, 6, and 10 pm newscasts from the 1970s through the early 2000s. In 2009, KENS announced that Chris Marrou's replacement would be Jeff Vaughn (previously with NBC affiliate KSHB in Kansas City) and co-anchor the 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts starting in January 2010.

A long-running, weeknight segment of the news was the Eyewitness Newsreel in which former anchor Chris Marrou narrated a faux, old-style newsreel at the end of the 10 p.m. newscast. The Newsreel usually consisted of humorous segments of local news juxtaposed with out-of-context snips of CBS news anchors, politicians or celebrities "commenting" on the situation. Marrou wrote the segment each weeknight. After anchor Chris Marrou's retirement from the station in 2009, the "Eyewitness Newsreel" segment was also retired.

On August 2, 2010 KENS debuted a half-hour weekday newscast at 4 p.m., making KENS the first San Antonio station to air a newscast during the 4 p.m. hour.[14] On January 10, 2011 KENS expanded its weekday morning newscast to 2½ hours, adding an extra half-hour at 4:30 a.m.[15]

At the beginning of June 2008, KENS began to run ads about "the biggest thing in KENS' history", however that ad specifically would not say exactly what, only that it would happen on June 30, 2008. On June 30, 2008, KENS became the first television station in the San Antonio market to produce its newscasts in high definition. Currently, all four local stations carry their newscasts in HD. KENS was followed by KSAT (which began airing in upconverted 16:9 and later made the switch), then WOAI (which launched with a new set, and was the first station to broadcast in HD not only in studio but in the field as well), and finally KABB, the local Fox affiliate.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • The San Antonio/South Texas Report (1950–1954)
  • Your Esso Reporter (1954–1962)
  • Television 5/TV-5 News (1962–1970)
  • (Channel 5/KENS 5)Eyewitness News (1970–present)[16][17]

Station slogans[edit]

  • "5 Alive" (1976-1979)
  • "Eyewitness News: San Antonio's Top-Rated (Satellite) Newscast" (1979–1987)
  • "The One for You" (1983-1987)
  • "Coverage You Can Count On" (1998–present)
  • "San Antonio's #1 Newscast" (2002–2008)
  • "South Texas' #1 Newscast" (2008–present)
  • "San Antonio's News Leader" (2008–present)
  • "San Antonio's Only High Definition Newscast" (2008–2009)
  • "South Texas' First High Definition Newscast" (2009–present)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

On-air staff[edit]

Current on-air staff[18][edit]


  • Phil Anaya - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Barry Davis - Sunday mornings; also "Eyewitness Wants To Know" feature reporter
  • Sarah Forgany - weekday mornings Eyewitness News This Morning (4:30-7 a.m.)
  • Jeff Goldblatt - weeeknights at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
  • Karen Grace - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Deborah Knapp - weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5 p.m.
  • Mat Garcia - weekday mornings Eyewitness News This Morning (4:30-7 a.m.)
  • Sarah Lucero - weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Danielle Saar - weekday morning traffic reporter; Great Day SA co-host
  • Stacia Willson - weekdays at noon; also reporter

KENS 5 First Alert Weather Team

  • Bill Taylor - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Paul Mireles (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings Eyewitness News This Morning (4:30-7 a.m.), Great Day SA (9-10 a.m.) and noon
  • Jared Silverman (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings, Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.

KENS 5 Sports Team

  • Joe Reinagel - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Vinnie Vinzetta - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.; also sports reporter


  • Wyatt Andrews - Washington, D.C. correspondent
  • Dillon Collier - general assignment reporter
  • Joe Conger - general assignment and "I-Team" investigative reporter
  • Gary Cooper - general assignment reporter
  • Brix Fowler - general assignment reporter
  • Eric Gonzales - general assignment reporter
  • Marvin Hurst - weekday morning reporter
  • Mayra Moreno - general assignment reporter
  • Jenny Suniga - weekday morning reporter

Great Day SA

  • Bridget Smith - host
  • Eileen Teves - reporter

Belo News Bureaus

  • Angela Kocherga - Border Bureau (Mexico) reporter
  • Sue Turner - Washington Bureau reporter

Notable former on-air staff[edit]


  1. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KENS
  2. ^ "Four Belo Stations Grab Estrella TV". Broadcasting & Cable. May 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  3. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ CDBS Print
  5. ^ a b c "Hollywood shows on KEYL". San Antonio Light. 1950-02-19. p. 54. 
  6. ^ "Radio & Television Listings". San Antonio Express (San Antonio, TX). 1953-08-23. p. 23. 
  7. ^ "TV Programs For All Week". San Antonio Express (San Antonio, TX). 1953-01-25. p. 69. 
  8. ^ San Antonio Express (San Antonio, TX). 1951-06-28. p. 9. 
  9. ^ "Spotlighting the Dial". San Antonio Express (San Antonio, TX). 1950-03-24. pp. 14B. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956. 
  12. ^ "Gannett to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5B". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Associated Press. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ Gannett Completes Its Acquisition of Belo, TVNewsCheck, Retrieved 23 December, 2013
  14. ^ Antonio, San (March 12, 2010). "KENS-TV will create early afternoon newscast". 
  15. ^ KENS Slots New 4:30 A.M. Newscast,, December 16, 2010. Retrieved 12-17-2010.
  16. ^ KENS open 1988
  18. ^ Bios

External links[edit]