KFTA-TV

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KFTA-TV
KFTA24.png
Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Arkansas
United States
City of license Fort Smith
Branding Fox 24 (general)
Fox 24 News Edge (newscasts)
KNWA (KFTA-DT2 subchannel)
Slogan It's About Time! (general)
The Area's Only 9 P.M. Newscast (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF)
& KNWA-DT 50.2 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Subchannels 24.1 Fox
24.2 NBC
Affiliations Fox (2006-present)
Owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date November 12, 1978 (1978-11-12)
Call letters' meaning ForT Smith, Arkansas
Sister station(s) KNWA-TV, KTVE-TV,
KOLR-TV, KTAL-TV,
KARK-TV, KLRT-TV,
KASN, KARZ-TV
Former callsigns KLMN-TV (1978-1982)
KPOM-TV (1982-2004)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (UHF, 1978-2009)
Former affiliations Primary:
CBS (1978-1980)
NBC (1980-2006)
Secondary:
NBC (2006-2008)
Transmitter power 600 kW
1,000 kW (KNWA-DT2)
Height 300 m
267 m (KNWA-DT2)
Facility ID 29560
29557 (KNWA-DT2)
Transmitter coordinates 35°42′36″N 94°8′15″W / 35.71000°N 94.13750°W / 35.71000; -94.13750
36°24′47.8″N 93°57′16.8″W / 36.413278°N 93.954667°W / 36.413278; -93.954667 (KNWA-DT2)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.rivervalleyhomepage.com

KFTA-TV, virtual channel 24, is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Arkansas River Valley and Northwest Arkansas that is licensed to Fort Smith. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 27 from a transmitter south of Artist Point. Owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the station is sister to the NBC affiliate KNWA-TV; the two share studios on Dickson Street in Downtown Fayetteville,[1] with a sales office and bureau on Kelley Highway in Fort Smith. Syndicated programming on KFTA includes My Name Is Earl, The Office, Two and a Half Men, and Friends.

History[edit]

The station debuted on November 12, 1978 as KLMN-TV, the area's third television station. It took the CBS-affiliation from KFPW-TV / KTVP-TV (now KHBS/KHOG). In 1980, it swapped affiliations with KFSM-TV and became the area's NBC-affiliate. Two years later, the station changed its calls to KPOM-TV (People On the Move).

Channel 24 struggled during its early years. Besides being the area's newest station, it was hampered by the fact it was a UHF station in a market that is very mountainous. Despite its 2.5 million watt Effective radiated power, it only provided a Grade B signal to Fayetteville and could not be seen at all in Rogers and points north. For most of this station's first ten years on the air, viewers in the northern part of the area had to rely on cable to watch the station. Much of the far northern part of the market got a better signal from KSNF in Joplin, Missouri (which, incidentally, switched from CBS to NBC in 1982).

In 1986, the station was sold to the Oklahoma City-based Griffin Television (owners of the longtime CBS-affiliate KWTV in Oklahoma City), who immediately set about solving the reception problem. It signed-on full-time satellite KFAA-TV in 1989 to provide a better signal in Fayetteville and the northern part of the market. In 2004, Griffin Television sold KPOM / KFAA to Nexstar,[2] the stations changed their calls to KFTA-TV and KNWA-TV respectively and the latter became the main station. The two stations' operations were merged in a new studio in the historic Campbell-Bell Building in downtown Fayettevillewith KFTA's original studio remaining as a bureau.

In 2006, Nexstar announced that KFTA would become the Fox affiliate for the area, leaving KNWA as the area's sole NBC affiliate. However, KFTA would continue to show NBC daytime programming until 2008. At the same time, Nexstar announced that KFTA would be sold to Mission Broadcasting, although it would continue to be operated by Nexstar under a local marketing agreement with KNWA. The network change took place on August 28 even though Equity Broadcasting, the owner of the former Class A Fox-affiliate KPBI-CA, challenged the sale of KFTA with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).[3] As of May 19, 2013, Nexstar remains the official owner of KFTA, according to FCC records, due to Nexstar's supplemental application of a clarification of waiver (which the FCC has not yet acted on).

With some programming exceptions, the two stations simulcasted from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until KFTA's sale was approved. The two now air separate programming schedules.

In October 2012, KNWA/KFTA moved to its current facility on Dickson Street.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
24.1 720p 16:9 KFTA-DT Main KFTA-TV programming / Fox
24.2 480i 4:3 KNWA-DT Simulcast of KNWA

KFTA and KNWA each carry the others signal in standard definition as subcarriers of their digital stations alongside their main signals in high definition. This is necessary because KNWA's analog signal only aired at 182,000 watts. That station has a transmitter southeast of Garfield.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KFTA-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, in November 2008 analog, because of an analog transmitter failure.[5] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 27,[6] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 24.

Newscasts[edit]

KPOM and KFAA relaunched a local newscast in 1999. An earlier local broadcast had aired under various titles until 1992. Currently, KFTA maintains a bureau at its original studios on Kelley Highway in Fort Smith. On October 24, 2012, KFTA and KNWA started producing its newscast in high definition.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]