KETV

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KETV
KETV Logo.png

MeTV KETV.png
Omaha, Nebraska
United States
Branding KETV 7 (general)
KETV NewsWatch 7 (newscasts)
Slogan More Complete Coverage (primary)
Your Favorite Source For Local News (secondary)
Channels Digital: 20 (UHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
Subchannels 7.1 ABC
7.2 Me-TV
Affiliations ABC
Owner Hearst Television
(KETV Hearst Television, Inc.)
First air date September 17, 1957
Former channel number(s) Analog:
7 (VHF, 1957–2009)
Former affiliations Secondary:
The Local AccuWeather Channel (2010–2011)
Transmitter power 700 kW
Height 396 m (1,299 ft)
Facility ID 53903
Transmitter coordinates 41°18′32″N 96°1′34.2″W / 41.30889°N 96.026167°W / 41.30889; -96.026167
Website ketv.com

KETV, virtual channel 7 (UHF digital channel 20), is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The station is owned by Hearst Television and its studios are located near 27th and Douglas in downtown Omaha. The transmitter is located on a "tower farm" near North 72nd Street and Crown Point Avenue in north-central Omaha. The station is also available on Cox Communications cable channel 9. Syndicated programming featured on KETV includes Rachael Ray, The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, The Queen Latifah Show and Wheel of Fortune.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
7.1 1080i 16:9 KETV-DT Main KETV programming / ABC
7.2 480i 4:3 KETV-ME Me-TV[2]

In July 2006, KETV launched digital subchannel 7.2 as a 24-hour local weather channel, "Weather Now," an affiliate of The Local AccuWeather Channel with local weather information supplied by KETV's meteorologists; "Weather Now" was also carried on local cable providers and was streamed on the station's website.[3] On September 1, 2011, KETV replaced "Weather Now" with the classic television network Me-TV.[4]

KETV is one of several Hearst-owned ABC stations, and among a handful of ABC affiliates, that broadcasts high definition programming in the 1080i resolution format rather than 720p like most ABC stations.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KETV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 20,[5][6][7] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 7.

History[edit]

KETV first signed on the air 57 years ago in 1957 on September 17; it was Omaha's third television station (behind WOW-TV, channel 6, now WOWT and KMTV, channel 3). The station has been an ABC affiliate from its debut (and the only one in Omaha that has never changed its affiliation); KETV is the second full-time ABC affiliate in the Omaha market; KOLN-TV in Lincoln previously served as Omaha's ABC affiliate for much of 1953 and 1954 until the Federal Communications Commission split off Lincoln into its own separate market from Omaha. Incidentally, until KLKN-TV signed on from Lincoln in 1996 (by then, KOLN had switched to CBS), KETV served as the default ABC affiliate for Nebraska's state capital; to this day, KETV still retains significant viewership in Lincoln, and the station operates a news bureau in the city. Channel 7 was originally owned by the World Publishing Company, publisher of the Omaha World-Herald. It associated itself with the newspaper early on, branding itself as "Omaha World-Herald Television."

Peter Kiewit, Jr. bought World Publishing in 1962.[8] Due to a change in FCC regulations that barred the common ownership of newspapers and television stations in a single market, Kiewit sold the station to Pulitzer Broadcasting Company in 1976. In 1984, KETV introduced its current logo, which is a variation of the widely used Circle 7 logo, the logo received a slight update in 2000. In 1998, Pulitzer sold its entire broadcasting division, including KETV, to Hearst-Argyle Television (the predecessor of the present-day Hearst Television).

On July 4, 2003, KETV's transmitter tower (at the north 72nd St. tower farm) collapsed during the addition of a digital television antenna. Because the collapse occurred late at night, there were no injuries, however KETV was knocked off the air as a result. The station was forced to broadcast from its shorter auxiliary tower for over a year. A new transmitter was erected almost 200 feet east of where the former transmitter stood on the tower farm and was completed in late 2004.

On July 9, 2012, a conflict between Hearst Television and Time Warner Cable caused KETV to be taken off the provider's systems in the Lincoln market.[9] This blackout lasted until July 19, 2012, when a carriage deal was reached between Hearst and Time Warner Cable.[10]

On June 5, 2013, Hearst Television announced the purchase of the historic Burlington Station, the former train station will be remodeled into a modern state-of-the-art broadcasting and web media facility for KETV. The renovation is expected to take two years.[11][12]

News operation[edit]

KETV presently broadcasts 27½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with four hours on weekdays, 3½ hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays). The station operates a Doppler weather radar called Super Doppler 7, which is located near the station's transmitter site near North 72nd Street and Crown Point Avenue. The high resolution weather radar was built in 2007; the radar at the Crown Point site is used in addition to the weather radar (now referred to on-air as "Classic Super Doppler 7") that has been located atop the station's studios in downtown Omaha since the 1970s.

For the last three decades, the station's newscasts have been branded as NewsWatch 7. Under its current ownership, the title was revised in 2000 to KETV NewsWatch 7. KETV was the first station in the market to have a full-time meteorologist beginning in the early 1970s, the first station to use live weather radar in the late 1970s, and was the second station to utilize Doppler weather radar in the early 1990s. In November 2006, KETV overtook long-time ratings leader WOWT to become the top-rated news station in the Omaha market. Since then, WOWT and CBS affiliate KMTV have fought for second place with KETV far in front of either station.

Among the many KETV alumni is John Coleman who worked at the station in the 1960s. Coleman later appeared as the meteorologist for Good Morning America before going on to develop and launch The Weather Channel in 1982. That same year, then-KETV chief meteorologist, Charlie Martin took a job at Weather Channel to become one of the cable channel's first on-camera meteorologists. Martin, who worked at KETV from the late 1970s through the early 1980s, was known on TWC as Charlie Levy.

Since 1982, KETV has been known for its weekly Crimestoppers segments, and has contributed to the arrest and conviction of more than 1,000 wanted felons. KETV has also had a long-running hotline and webpage called 7 Can Help, which has and continues to contribute to helping the greater Omaha community through financial grants, high utility bill relief, and services for area children. 7 Can Help has also been known to intercede on behalf of senior citizens with matters such as getting benefits that have been otherwise denied them.

In October 1996, KETV began televising all of its local newscasts from a "working newsroom" set known as "The Newsplex"; the multi-million dollar broadcast facility (which is very similar in design to the newsroom set that has been used by Fox affiliate KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City since around the same time frame) remains in use. In the years prior to the "Newsplex", reporters and anchors had to type their news stories in a separate newsroom and deliver them to the NewsWatch 7 set located on the opposite side of the building. In February 2006, KETV reformatted its investigative unit as the NewsWatch 7 "I-Team", in an effort to bring more attention to in depth investigative stories, along with health and consumer reporting. On February 1, 2010, KETV became the third television station in Omaha to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition, which included the introduction of updated graphics. As of December 2013, KETV's news operation is the only TV news operation in Omaha not broadcasting in high-definition.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • The Coca-Cola Report (1957–1963)
  • KETV News (1963–1970)
  • KETV Omaha News at 10 O'Clock (1970–1971)
  • KETV News Service (1971–1976)
  • NewsWatch 7 (1976–2000)
  • KETV NewsWatch 7 (2000–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "The One To Count On" (1987–1996)
  • "More Complete Coverage" (1996–present; primary news slogan)
  • "Omaha's News Leader" (2004–present; secondary news slogan)
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On-air staff[edit]

Current on-air staff[13][edit]

Anchors
  • Amanda Crawford - weekend mornings on First News Weekend; also weekday morning reporter
  • David Earl - weekend mornings on First News Weekend; also weekday morning reporter
  • Alex Hoffman - weekday mornings on First News (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • Melissa Fry - Monday-Fridays at 5:00, and Fridays at 6:00 and 10:00pm; also reporter
  • Jeremy Maskel - Fridays at 5:00, and Fridays and Saturdays at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Rob McCartney - Monday-Thursdays at 6:00 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.
  • John Oakey - weekday mornings on First News (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • Brandi Petersen - Sundays at 5:30, Sunday-Thursdays at 10:00 and Monday-Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.
  • Adrian Whitsett - Monday-Thursdays at 5:00 p.m.; also reporter
Weather Now Team
  • Bill Randby (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; Monday-Thursdays at 5:00 and 6:00, and Sunday-Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.
  • Kyle Gravlin (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings on First News
  • Holly McCarthy (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Fridays at 5:00; Fridays and Saturdays at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 5:30 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Matt Serwe - meteorologist; weekday mornings on First News (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
Sports team
  • Andy Kendeigh - sports director; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Thor Tripp - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
Reporters
  • Julie Cornell - general assignment reporter
  • Tony Cornett - general assignment reporter
  • Jobeth Devera - FirstNews Traffic reporter
  • Chinh Doan - general assignment reporter/FirstNews weekend reporter
  • Kristyna Engdahl - general assignment reporter
  • Molly Miles - general assignment reporter
  • Dave Roberts - general assignment reporter

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Michael Scott - weeknight anchor (1984-1990), moved on to work at Entertainment Tonight but has a lasting legacy in the City of Omaha for being one of the most eligible bachelors in the city

References[edit]

External links[edit]