KFDM

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KFDM
KFDM.png
Kdfm dt2 2011.png
Beaumont - Port Arthur - Orange, Texas - Lake Charles, Louisiana
Branding KFDM Channel 6 (general)
6 News (newscasts)
Southeast Texas CW (on DT2)
Slogan You Can Count On Us!
Channels Digital: 25 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(KFDM Licensee, LLC)
First air date April 24, 1955
Call letters' meaning Kall For Dependable Magnolene (see article) or FreeDoM Communications (former owner)
Sister station(s) KBTV-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
6 (VHF, 1955-2009)
Digital:
21 (UHF, -2011)
Former affiliations The WB (DT2 until 2006)
Transmitter power 350 kW
Height 254 m
Facility ID 22589
Transmitter coordinates 30°8′24.6″N 93°58′44.4″W / 30.140167°N 93.979000°W / 30.140167; -93.979000
Website www.kfdm.com

KFDM is a television station licensed to Beaumont, Texas and serving the Beaumont/Port Arthur market. The station operates on physical channel 25 or virtual channels 6.1 (which is affiliated with CBS) and 6.2 (The CW). The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. It also serves the Lake Charles, Louisiana market as the market's default CBS station.

Digital television[edit]

When The WB and UPN announced their merger as The CW in 2006, KFDM's new CW subchannel was seen only on digital cable. After negotiating with Time Warner Cable, The CW became available to all cable subscribers in February 2007.

Channel Video Aspect Programming
6.1 1080i 16:9 Main KFDM programming / CBS
6.2 480i 4:3 "Southeast Texas CW"

On April 7, 2010, the FCC issued a Report & Order, granting KFDM's channel change from channel 21 to channel 25.[1] The reasoning was viewers in the eastern sections of the viewing area had difficulty receiving their signal on channel 21. On April 7, 2011, KFDM completed its move to channel 25.

History[edit]

KFDM-TV commenced broadcasting on April 24, 1955 and is the oldest on air TV station in the Beaumont/Port Arthur market (there was a short lived UHF TV 31 that preceded KFDM by a year or so but went dark (off the air) in less than a year of its sign on). The call sign was borrowed from its then sister radio station KFDM (AM 560), which was founded in 1924 by Magnolia Petroleum Company; the calls stood for "Kall For Dependable Magnolene," the brand name for Magnolia's motor oil line (and by coincidence can also stand for later owner Freedom Broadcasting). KFDM used the "-TV" suffix in its call sign to differentiate from KFDM radio until 1964 (when KFDM radio was sold and became KLVI) and again from 1980 until 2009. Original Chief Engineer, Harold Bartlett (ham callsign W5KWA), oversaw all technical aspects of the station from its construction until his retirement in July, 1980. His assistant, Richard Kihn, took over immediately as "acting" Chief Engineer after Bartlett's retirement, and was appointed Chief Engineer on August 4, 1980. Kihn retired as of 10/26/2012 and was replaced by Jim Hobbs.

KFDM-TV would be sold by Beaumont Broadcasting to A.H. Belo Corporation in 1969.[2] In 1983, Belo merged with Corinthian Broadcasting, owner of Houston's KHOU-TV, which caused concern with the Federal Communications Commission, which at the time did not normally allow common ownership of two stations with overlapping signals (as was the case with the Grade B signals of KFDM and KHOU). As a result, Belo would sell KFDM-TV to Freedom Communications in 1984.

Freedom Communications announced on November 2, 2011 that it would bow out of television and sell its stations, including KFDM, to Sinclair Broadcast Group.[3] The deal would make KFDM the fourth Sinclair-owned television property in the state of Texas and the first in Eastern Texas (Sinclair already owns the duopoly of KABB and KMYS in San Antonio and has completed its purchase of Austin's KEYE-TV on January 3, 2012). Sinclair began operating KFDM under a time brokerage agreement from December 1, 2011 until the group deal was consummated on April 2, 2012.[4]

On August 22, 2012, Nexstar Broadcasting Group filed with the FCC to sell its Fox affiliate KBTV-TV to Deerfield Media (a company also involved in Sinclair's acquisition of stations from Newport Television[5]); following the acquisition, KFDM took over operation of the station under a shared services agreement.[6] The sale was completed on December 3.[7]

News operation[edit]

The popular 1970s KFDM weekday news team consisted of Beaulieu, Burandt, weatherman Gary Powers, and sportscaster Cy Hurst. KFDM was awarded in 2005 by the Texas chapter of the Associated Press for their coverage of Hurricane Rita. KFDM was also awarded a regional Emmy award in 2006, also for their coverage of Rita.

Greg Bostwick has been with the station over 30 years and approximately 20 of those years as chief meteorologist. He endured Hurricane Rita's wrath in downtown Beaumont with weeknight anchor Bill Leger.

Former KFDM Manager, Larry Beaulieu was with the station since 1974 when he was hired as News Director. He teamed for over 15 years with Cecile Burandt, who was the first female anchor hired in the Beaumont area. Beaulieu retired on September 29, 2011,[8] and was replaced the following December by longtime station employee Rix Garey.[4]

In April 2011, KFDM became the second station in Southeast Texas (after KBMT) to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition.[9]

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • Channel 6 News (1980s-early 1990s)[10]
  • 6 News (early 1990s-present)[11]
  • The Morning Show (5AM morning newscast; 2013–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "You Can Count On Us!" (1970s-present)
  • "The Choice of Southeast Texas" (late 1990s–early 2000s)
  • "Always. Everywhere." (secondary slogan; 2010–present)
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On-air staff[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

Anchors
  • Dan Gresham - weekday mornings on The Morning Show (5:00-7:00 on KFDM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on KBTV)
  • Nicole Murray - weekdays at noon; also reporter
  • Kelli Phillips - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Greg Kerr - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
  • Sheldra Brigham - weeknights at 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. (BOTH on KBTV); also "Money Matters" segment producer
  • Jennifer Gordy - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 9:00 (KBTV) and 10:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • James Ware - weekday mornings on The Morning Show (5:00-7:00 on KFDM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on KBTV)
KFDM 6 Weather
  • Greg Bostwick (member, AMS) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. (KFDM); weekdays at 3:00 and weeknights at 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. (KBTV)
  • Dana Melancon - meteorologist; weekday mornings on The Morning Show (5:00-7:00 on KFDM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on KBTV) and weekdays at noon
  • Kerry Cooper - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 9:00 (KBTV) and 10:00 p.m.
Sports team
  • Mike Friedman - sports director; weeknights at 5:30 (KBTV), 6:00, 9:00 (KBTV) and 10:00 p.m.
  • Andrew Chernoff - sports anchor/reporter; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 9:00 (KBTV) and 10:00 p.m.
Reporters
  • Megan Dillard - weekday morning reporter on The Morning Show (5:00-7:00 on KFDM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on KBTV)
  • Justin Hinton - general assignment reporter
  • Leslie Rangel - general assignment reporter
  • Lauren Huet - general assignment reporter
  • Haley Bull - general assignment reporter

Former on-air staff[edit]

News/station personnel[edit]

  • John Cain - technical director/supervisor
  • Honey Narducci Young - 5 and 10 p.m. technical director
  • Kenny Deville - studio technician
  • Scott Lawrence - executive producer (was formerly a reporter/weekend anchor during the 1980s)
  • Marcus Powers - 5 and 10 p.m. producer
  • Rena Guillory - morning producer
  • Tom Wright - managing editor
  • Jim Hobbs - Director of Engineering for Sinclair, Beaumont (including KBTV)
  • Larry O'Donnell - engineer
  • David Lowell - News Director
  • Rix Garey - General Manager

References[edit]

External links[edit]