|Branding||The CW KFRE 59|
|Channels||Digital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 59 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||59.1 The CW
59.2 Estrella TV
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(TTBG/KFRE License Sub, LLC)
|First air date||July 17, 1985|
|Call letters' meaning||FREsno|
|Sister station(s)||KMPH-TV, KBAK-TV, KBFX-CD|
|Former callsigns||KMSG-TV (1985-2001)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
59 (UHF, 1985-2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1985-1988)
The WB (2001-2006)
|Transmitter power||360 kW|
KFRE-TV (pronounced "K-Free") is the CW affiliate for the Fresno, California market. It broadcasts on digital UHF channel 36. The station is a sister station of KMPH-TV. KFRE-TV is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The station is licensed to Sanger, with studios in Fresno and a transmitter in Auberry.
KFRE-TV began in 1985 as independent station KMSG-TV. The station ran Spanish programming in the afternoons and evenings as well as English-language religious programs about 6 hours a day in the mornings. It ran mostly English-language home shopping shows overnight. The Spanish programming came from Net Span, the nation's second Spanish-language network. Net Span changed its name to Telemundo in 1987, and a year later the English programs disappeared from channel 59's schedule.
On January 1, 2001, as a result of Telemundo moving its affiliation to KNSO, that station dropped its LMA with KMPH, and KMSG became KMPH's new LMA partner. The station also picked up KNSO's former WB network affiliation and changed its call letters to KFRE-TV, branding itself on-air as "WB 59". The KFRE calls had originally been on what is now KFSN-TV from 1956 to 1971. The WB had aired on three stations in the Central Valley before settling down on channel 59.
A year later Pappas purchased KFRE. A few seasons later, KFRE began carrying 4Kids TV on Sunday mornings after KMPH dropped it. 4Kids TV was ousted at the end of 2008 and KFRE-TV now airs Weekend Marketplace as the current Sunday morning block.
On January 10, 2006, KFRE-TV launched a new 11:00 p.m. newscast produced by sister station KMPH. Anchor Allison Ruddell was on every weeknight and Derrol Nail was on the weekends. The newscast was canceled on February 5, 2007 due to low ratings compared to the "big three" affiliates. Allison Ruddell was transferred over to KMPH's midday newscast, but left the station in July 2007 while Derrol Nail left the station in January 2008. In the fall of 2006, as a result of UPN and WB merging to for the CW network, KFRE became the CW affiliate in the market.
KFRE-TV was the home to Fresno State Bulldogs sports until 2008, when they moved to KAIL. It was also the Fresno over-the-air home for the San Francisco Giants until 2007-08 when the Giants also moved to KAIL. As of 2008, it is now the home to the Oakland Athletics.
On May 10, 2008, 13 of Pappas' stations, including KFRE, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As a result of the bankruptcy, Pappas Telecasting had until February 15, 2009 to sell these stations. On January 16, 2009, it was announced that most of these stations, including KFRE, would be sold to New World TV Group, after the sale received United States bankruptcy court approval; the stations would eventually come under the Titan TV Broadcast Group banner. TTBG announced the sale of most of its stations, including KFRE-TV, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group on June 3, 2013. The sale was finalized on October 3.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|59.1||1080i||16:9||KFRE-DT||Main KFRE-TV programming / The CW|
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KFRE-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KFRE-TV