|Branding||ABC 23 or 23 ABC (general)
ABC 23 News or 23 ABC News (newscasts)
|Slogan||We Cover Kern County|
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||23.1 ABC (HD)
42.2 Azteca America (SD)
23.3 Me-TV (SD)
|Owner||E. W. Scripps Company
(Scripps Media, Inc.)
|First air date||September 26, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||KERn County's TV Outlet|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
10 (VHF, 1953–1963)
23 (UHF, 1963–2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953–1984)
|Transmitter power||10.8 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KERO-TV, channel 23, is a television station located in Bakersfield, California, US. KERO-TV is owned by the broadcasting division of the E. W. Scripps Company, and is an affiliate of the ABC television network. The studios are located on 21st Street in downtown Bakersfield, and its transmitter is based on Breckenridge Mountain.
KERO-TV went on the air on September 26, 1953, on channel 10 as an NBC affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. KERO-TV was first owned by a local interest, Kern County Broadcasters, along with KERO radio (1230 AM, now KGEO). The TV station, along with KERO radio, originally broadcast from the lobby of the El Tejon Hotel, which was located at the corner of Truxtun Avenue and Chester Avenue. KERO-TV later moved to its current studios at 321 21st Street.
The radio and TV stations were broken up in late 1955, when KERO radio was sold. Wrather-Alvarez Broadcasting, parent of KFMB-AM-TV in San Diego, purchased KERO-TV in early 1957; when the Wrather–Alvarez partnership broke up a year later, Jack Wrather kept KERO-TV and the San Diego stations as part of his newly renamed Marietta Broadcasting. In 1959, Wrather merged Marietta Broadcasting into Buffalo, New York-based Transcontinent Television Corporation.
One of KERO-TV's best remembered shows was Cousin Herb's Trading Post, a local variety series in the 1950s. The show's host, Herb Henson was a country musician, and often featured local artists such as Buck Owens and Tommy Collins, who would come to popularize the "Bakersfield Sound". Another local favorite was The Uncle Woody Show in the 1960s and 1970s. Radio and TV personality Casey Kasem also used the KERO studios to tape a weekly musical TV variety show entitled SheBang in the mid-to-late 1960s, while a disc jockey at KRLA in Los Angeles.
As a result of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) making both the Bakersfield and Fresno television markets all-UHF through what was termed as deintermixture, KERO-TV moved to channel 23 on July 1, 1963 and simulcasted on channels 10 and 23 for two months, channel 10 being shut off at the end of August of the same year.
In 1964, as part of Transcontinent's exit from broadcasting, KERO-TV was sold to magazine publisher Time-Life. Another publishing firm, McGraw-Hill acquired KERO-TV in 1972 along with three other Time-Life stations—KOGO-TV (now KGTV) in San Diego, KLZ-TV (now KMGH-TV) in Denver and WFBM-TV (now WRTV) in Indianapolis.
KERO remained as an NBC affiliate until March 1984, when it switched to CBS. In March 1996, as part of a corporate affiliation deal between McGraw-Hill and ABC, KERO picked up the ABC affiliation from cross-town rival KBAK-TV, and in the process became the second television station in the Bakersfield market (after KGET), and one of a handful of television stations in the United States, to have been an affiliate of all of the traditional Big Three television networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC).
In May 2007, KERO along with its sister stations began to use the same news music of the ABC O&O's Eyewitness News New Generation package and branded themselves as "ABC 23", however KERO is not owned or operated by ABC. KERO is the Bakersfield home for Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers pre-season games.
KERO launched the first weekend morning news in Kern County on September 14, 2013. The show airs from 6–7 and from 8–9 a.m.
On September 8, 2014, the station dropped the Sony game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune due to Scripps's chain-wide effort to replace the shows in their markets with lower-cost local and chain-produced programming. The programs moved to KBAK, and were replaced with two Scripps-produced programs, newsmagazine The List and game show Let's Ask America.
KERO news anchors Jackie Parks and Todd Karli, a husband and wife team, currently anchor KERO 23 News at 5 & 6 p.m. Former news anchor Burleigh Smith (died 1990) is considered by many to be the father of television news in Bakersfield. Smith produced and anchored at KERO from 1954–1960, and again from 1973–1990.
Other longtime KERO news personalilties include Don Rodewald (who hosted the afternoon movie), George Day, and Sunny Scofield. MSNBC "Live & Direct" host Rita Cosby, was a KERO reporter in the 1980s.
Lloyd Lindsay Young joined the station in 2005, as chief weathercaster. His trademark intro is "Hellooooo (insert city name)". He is also known for his outrageous weather pointers which are sent in by viewers. Submissions are usually outrageous & have ranged from a mannequin leg, to a dildo. On September 17, 2008, the Bakersfield Californian reported that Young has departed KERO-TV after more than three years there. No reason was given for his departure, which followed the broadcasts of September 16, 2008. Rusty Shoop, who is known throughout Bakersfield, and was a former KERO weather anchor, replaced Young. Shoop earlier suffered a brain aneurysm and this was his first TV appearance since the illness. Shoop started on October 27, 2008. After being at KERO-TV for a year, Rusty Shoop retired from broadcasting on December 9, 2009 for medical reasons from his brain aneurysm he suffered back in January 2007. On January 18, 2010, Jack Church, who was chief meteorologist from 1999–2001 replaced Rusty Shoop and was the chief meteorologist from January 18, 2010 until May 5, 2011.
Notable former staff
- Andrew Amador – morning anchor/reporter (2005–2007)
- Barry Zoeller – 10 and 11 p.m. anchor/news director (until 2000)
- Frank Gifford
- Lloyd Lindsay Young – chief weathercaster (2005–2008)
- Lynn Noel – public affairs director
- Pablo Pereira – meteorologist (now with KTTV in Los Angeles)
- Randy Price (currently at WCVB-TV In Boston)
- Rita Cosby
- Rusty Shoop – chief weathercaster (1984 and 2008–2009)
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice, November 10, 1956: 13
- "Speidel-Fischer Bcstg. Buys 75% Interest in WQOK." Broadcasting – Telecasting, December 12, 1955, pg. 9. 
- "Asprin, please." Broadcasting – Telecasting, April 2, 1956, pg. 74. 
- "KERO-TV going for $2.15 million." Broadcasting – Telecasting, January 7, 1957, pg. 7. 
- "Wrather buys out Alvarez." Broadcasting – Telecasting, May 12, 1958, pg. 9. 
- "New station combine formed." Broadcasting – Telecasting, February 16, 1959, pg. 9. 
- "Transcontinent tie with Marietta gets ok." Broadcasting – Telecasting, May 18, 1959, pp. 74, 76.  http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC-IDX/59-OCR/1959-05-18-BC-0076.pdf]
- "Vhf-to-uhf change approved for KERO-TV." Broadcasting, November 19, 1962, pg. 78. 
- "Transcontinent sale: last of its kind?" Broadcasting, February 24, 1964, pp. 27–28. 
- "McGraw-Hill buys into TV in a big way." Broadcasting, November 2, 1970, pg. 9. 
- McGraw-Hill Sells TV Group To Scripps, TVNewsCheck, October 3, 2011.
- "Scripps completes McGraw-Hill Stations Buy". TVNewsCheck. December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KERO
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KERO-TV