|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Branding||KOCO 5 (general)
KOCO 5 News (newscasts)
Me-TV Oklahoma City
|Slogan||Live. Local. Latebreaking.|
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
K26IR-D Strong City
K43KT-D Elk City
|Owner||Hearst Television, Inc.
(Ohio/Oklahoma Hearst Television Inc.)
|First air date||July 2, 1954
(in Enid, Oklahoma; moved to Oklahoma City in 1958)
|Call letters' meaning||Oklahoma City
|Former callsigns||KGEO-TV (1954-1958)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
5 (VHF, 1954-2009)
The Local AccuWeather Channel (2008-2011)
This TV (2011-2012)
|Transmitter power||65.7 kW|
KOCO-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station serving Central and Western Oklahoma that is licensed to Oklahoma City. Owned by Hearst Television, it broadcasts a high-definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 (virtual channel 5.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter near its Britton Road studios on the city's northeast side (located within two miles of competing stations: KFOR-TV to its immediate west, KWTV to its southwest and KOKH-TV to its southeast).
Digital television 
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||720p||16:9||KOCO-HD||Main KOCO-TV programming / ABC|
Since October 1, 2012, KOCO digital subchannel 5.2 has been the market's Me-TV affiliate as part of a five-year affiliation extension signed on July 24, 2012 that saw KOCO and four other stations join the network alongside Hearst's eight existing Me-TV affiliates. The subchannel may be used to air ABC programming due to extended severe weather or breaking news coverage seen on KOCO's main channel.
From 2005 to April 2008, 5.2 ran the station's weather radar "Advantage Doppler HD" with NOAA Weather Radio audio from WXK85. From April 2008 to January 23, 2011, the 5.2 subchannel operated as "First Alert Weather 24/7" (affiliated with The Local AccuWeather Channel, with some daily E/I children's programming); it ran a simulcast of WDSU/New Orleans's coverage of Hurricane Gustav in September 2008 for evacuees that came to Oklahoma City from Louisiana. From January 24, 2011 to September 30, 2012, digital channel 5.2 served as the market's This TV affiliate (sharing the affiliation with KSBI-DT 52.2 from September 17-30, 2012 due to the late start date of KOCO's Me-TV affiliation).
Analog-to-digital conversion 
KOCO-TV shut down its analog transmitter on June 12, 2009 as part of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion in the United States, and continued to broadcast its digital signal on its pre-transition digital channel 7. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KOCO's virtual channel as 5. After terminating regular programming on analog channel 5, its digital broadcast radius covered a smaller area than the former analog signal, creating some reception gaps in parts of southern and north-central Oklahoma that previously received a Grade B signal at best. A new digital transmitter was installed in May 2010 that would help extend reception of the KOCO digital signal to the affected areas.
Early history 
Channel 5 signed on the air as KGEO-TV on July 2, 1954, its original city of license was Enid, making it the only full-power VHF station in northern Oklahoma. The station has been an ABC affiliate since its debut, although during the late 1950s, the station also had a brief affiliation with the NTA Film Network. The station relocated its city of license to Oklahoma City in 1958, after Oklahoma's northern counties were absorbed into the Oklahoma City television market. Channel 5's arrival returned a full-time ABC affiliate to Oklahoma City, following the 1956 shutdown of KTVQ (the UHF channel 25 frequency used by KTVQ from 1953 to 1956 is now used by Fox affiliate KOKH-TV), WKY-TV also carried ABC programming through a secondary affiliation both before KTVQ's sign on and after it ceased operations. Following the move to Oklahoma City, KOCO operated from a studio facility near the intersection of Northwest 63rd Street and Portland Avenue. After KOCO moved to Oklahoma City, the station continued to operate a news bureau in Enid, which closed in the mid-1990s.
Combined Communications acquired KOCO from Cimarron Television in 1970. In 1974, KOCO adopted the Eyewitness News format for the first time, as the news format had first achieved popularity in TV markets throughout the nation (KWTV was the first in the market to use the Eyewitness News moniker from 1966 to 1971). Despite using the Eyewitness News concept, KOCO's newscasts stayed at a distant third place in the ratings for many years against dominant WKY-TV/KTVY/KFOR-TV and KWTV. KOCO's early evening newscast ran at 5:30 p.m. during this time frame instead of the 6 p.m. timeslot used by most stations until the introduction of a 5 p.m. newscast in the early 1980s, ABC's World News Tonight then moved into the 5:30 p.m. timeslot followed by another local newscast at 6 p.m. (all three programs were the market's most-watched news programs in those time periods during the November 2006 sweeps period). In 1977, KOCO adopted the "Alive" branding concept that was developed by Peters Productions and popularized on Combined's Atlanta station WXIA-TV and Tribune Broadcasting's WPIX/New York City as the branding rolled out to most of the Combined-owned television stations. During the "5 Alive" era, local newscasts on KOCO were titled as 5 Alive NewsCenter and eventually 5 Alive News.
Gannett ownership 
Combined Communications merged its television properties with the Gannett Company in 1979. KOCO continued to brand itself as "5 Alive" until 1994, even as many of Combined's stations ended their use of the "Alive" moniker following the merger. Gannett invested in the former Combined stations, constructing a new studio facility for KOCO near its East Britton Road transmitter site in the early 1980s and bringing the market's first helicopter for aerial newsgathering. These investments helped KOCO to improve its ratings fortunes in the Oklahoma City market from 1980 to 1982, when the station's newscasts briefly overtook KWTV for second place and even battled longtime powerhouse KTVY for first place. By 1983, KOCO settled into a solid second place as KWTV rose from a distant third all the way to first place, displacing KTVY from the #1 ratings position that it held for decades. This did not last however as KOCO's news ratings fell back to last place by the late 1980s, where it lingered for years. KOCO also developed the first automated weather warning system for television use, and was the first in the country to send storm pictures over cellular telephone (both earning the station a Regional News Emmy Award) and to have mobile a Doppler weather radar system. In later years, it would become the first station to send video over cellular telephone (earning a Regional Emmy nomination) and the first to distribute full-screen video over cell phones.
From the 1970s into the 2000s, KOCO was known for preempting or delaying some ABC programs: due to the station's noon newscast, it ran All My Children one hour early at 11 a.m. weekdays until the noon newscast's cancellation in December 2007 (AMC moved to 12 p.m. on January 2, 2008, where it remained until it ended in September 2012; The Chew has aired in the noon slot since September 26, 2011). The network's Saturday morning lineup was not immune either with The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show and The Ewoks preempted for the locally-produced Home Showcase in 1987; while Power Rangers aired in an early morning timeslot from 2003 to 2006, when KOCO and Hearst's other ABC stations dropped the program due to lack of E/I content. Jimmy Kimmel Live! ran on a one-hour delay at 12:07 a.m. from 2003 to 2011, due to the station's rebroadcast of Oprah. The station currently delays the Litton's Weekend Adventure block on Saturday mornings and This Week on Sundays by one hour due to its morning newscast on weekends, and preempts ABC News Briefs seen during ABC Daytime programming; KOCO also preempts ABC primetime shows in the event of special programming.
On July 24, 1995, Gannett Company entered into a merger agreement with Multimedia Inc., with the acquisition finalized on December 4 of that year. FCC rules at the time prohibited cross-ownership of a television station and a cable provider in a single market, so Gannett was granted a temporary waiver to operate both KOCO-TV and Multimedia Cablevision (which served Oklahoma City's surrounding suburbs), that expired in December 1996.
Hearst Television ownership 
Argyle Television Holdings II acquired KOCO and WLWT/Cincinnati in January 1997, through a trade deal that sent WZZM/Grand Rapids and WGRZ/Buffalo, New York to Gannett. Argyle merged with Hearst Broadcasting in August of that year to form Hearst-Argyle Television (renamed to Hearst Television in May 2009). In 1998, the station's newscasts returned to the Eyewitness News format under the news brand Eyewitness News 5, which lasted until April 2013.
The Britton Road studios were struck by a tornado (or straight-line winds) during a tornado outbreak that affected northern Oklahoma City on June 13, 1998 as a photojournalist with the station that was taping a live shot of the approaching storm was positioned outside the Channel 5 studios during coverage of the storm; then-meteorologist Mike LaPoint exclaimed to then-chief meteorologist Rick Mitchell "Rick, it's on the ground!" as both men and the photojournalist ran to take shelter in the station's main building. The studio and transmitter lost power, knocking out KOCO's over-the-air signal until it was restored the following evening (though the station's programming remained available on cable through a direct fiber optic studio feed). Damage to the KOCO studios was limited to a toppled fence and dents to its radar dome.
KOCO formerly served as the default ABC affiliate for the Sherman-Ada market as that market did not have a full-time ABC affiliate of its own following KTEN's decision to end its secondary ABC affiliation and become a full-time NBC affiliate in 1998, this lasted until KTEN launched an ABC-affiliated subchannel on May 9, 2010; KOCO continues to be available in the market on cable and satellite providers within that market. Through this former status, it was the only Oklahoma City television station to offer complete coverage of an EF4 tornado that killed eight people in Lone Grove on February 10, 2009.
KOCO ranked as one of ABC's highest-rated affiliates according to Nielsen Media Research from 2009 to 2012, along with its Hearst-owned sister stations WISN-TV/Milwaukee and KMBC-TV/Kansas City. In December 2010, KOCO became the second station in the Oklahoma City market (after KWTV-DT) and Oklahoma's sixth television station to carry syndicated programming in high definition.
News operation 
KOCO-TV presently broadcasts a total of 29 hours of locally-produced newscasts each week (with four hours on weekdays and 4½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). The station's Doppler weather radars are presented on-air as "Advantage Doppler HD" and "Advantage Doppler 3D", operating at the main studios in Oklahoma City with the latter utilizing live VIPIR data from several radars operated by regional National Weather Service forecast offices. KOCO also provides news content to Community Newspaper Holdings publications The Norman Transcript and the Enid News & Eagle. KOCO also provides local weather updates for the Enid News and Eagle as well as six area radio stations owned by Cumulus Media: KATT-FM, KWPN, KQOB-FM, WWLS-FM, KKWD and KYIS-FM.
As is the case with competitor KOKH, one of KOCO's weaknesses has been the turnover rate of the station's anchors and reporters, leading to the unfamiliarity that some of its on-air personalities have in the market (the longest-serving member of the station's on-air news staff presently is evening anchor Jessica Schambach, who joined the station as a reporter in 2002). KOCO has made a bigger commitment to news and weather coverage in recent years, with these efforts helping propel the station's 5 p.m. newscast to first place in the ratings in 2004, followed by its first-ever outright win at 6 p.m. in November 2006.
In 1992, KOCO debuted a morning newscast from 8-9 a.m. on Saturdays; that program was later dropped, but returned in 1996 as a two-hour program starting at 10 a.m. That same year, its weekday morning newscast expanded from one hour to a 90 minute broadcast from 5:30-7 a.m., before eventually expanding to two hours in 1999; the midday newscast at noon also expanded to one hour, before reverting to a half-hour program during the run of the ABC soap opera Port Charles from 1997 to 2003. During its waning years as a Gannett-owned station in the mid-1990s, KOCO had its own investigative unit (under the "I-Team" name that is also used for investigative reporting teams on other Gannett stations such as KSDK/St. Louis). From 1998 to 1999, the station's weather staff provided hourly weather updates during regular programming near the start of each hour, similar to the hourly news updates that KFOR-TV had been airing around that same timeframe.
The station expanded its weekend morning newscasts in February 2006, with the addition of a two-hour newscast from 7-9 a.m. on Sundays. That same year, the station expanded 10 p.m. newscast on Sundays from 35 minutes to one hour, absorbing the station's sports wrap-up segment Sunday Sports Xtra, which was reduced 15 minutes at the tail end of the program. The week of January 2, 2008 saw changes to the scheduling of its news programming: the noon newscast was cancelled, replaced with a 30-second weather update before ABC Daytime programming in that timeslot (this resulted in none of Oklahoma's standalone ABC affiliates having news programs during midday timeslots, as KTUL/Tulsa and KSWO-TV/Lawton also do not produce one). The 5 p.m. newscast was also extended to Saturday evenings, while the Saturday and Sunday morning newscasts were moved to an earlier, uniform timeslot from 5 to 7 a.m. In October 2009, KOCO upgraded its severe weather, school closings and news tickers to be overlaid on high definition programming without having to downconvert HD programming to standard definition.
Newscasts on the station were broadcast with pillarboxing from October 2009 to October 11, 2010, when the station began broadcasting local newscasts in widescreen standard definition. Prior to the upgrade to HD, news footage was upconverted to widescreen from the 4:3 picture format in the control room for broadcast for certain stories as some cameras used by KOCO for newsgathering did not shoot in native widescreen. On July 31, 2010, the station's weekend morning newscasts expanded with an hour-long extension debuting from 8-9 a.m. This was followed on September 22, with the expansion of the weekday morning newscast to 4:30 a.m., making KOCO Oklahoma's first television station to extend its morning newscasts before 5 a.m. Sports segments on the station used the Sports Xtra umbrella title until February 2012, this brand (originally used as Sports Extra) had dated back to its Gannett ownership when the station debuted its Sunday night sports wrap-up show under that name as a Gannett station in the early 1990s; from that timeframe to 2004, KOCO produced Prep Sports Extra as a 15-minute wrap-up show on Friday nights during the high school football season.
On April 18, 2013, KOCO became Oklahoma City's third commercial station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. With the switch to HD, KOCO debuted the new Hearst-mandated standardized graphics and music package (Hearst News Package by Fuze Artz).
News/station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- KGEO-TV News (1954–1958)
- The Big News (1958–1964)
- Newscope (1964–1974)
- Channel 5 Eyewitness News (1974–1977; Eyewitness News branding previously used by KWTV from 1966–1971)
- 5 Alive NewsCenter (1977–1983)
- 5 Alive News (1983–1994)
- 5 News (1994–1997)
- Oklahoma's 5 News (1997–1998)
- Eyewitness News 5 (1998–2013)
- KOCO 5 News (2013-present)
Station slogans 
- "The NewsCenter of Oklahoma" (late 1970s–early 1980s)
- "Hello Oklahoma" (early 1980s–1986, when the station used Frank Gari's Hello News)
- "Something's Happening on 5 Alive" (1987–1989; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "The Station Where You Get More News" (1992–1994)
- "The One to Count On" (1994–1998)
- "We'll Keep You Ahead of the Storm" (weather slogan; 1994-present)
- "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (1998–present; news slogan)
- "America's #1 ABC Station" (2007–2009)
- "Believe in Oklahoma" (2007–present; originally used in special reports relating to the Oklahoma Centennial)
- "One of America's Leading ABC Affiliates" (2009–present)
News team 
- Katy Blakey - weekend mornings; also weekday morning reporter
- Morgan Chesky - Fridays and Saturdays at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.; also reporter
- Wendell Edwards - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.); also reporter
- Paul Folger - Sundays at 5:30, Monday-Thursdays at 5 and 6 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10 p.m.; also reporter
- Erielle Reshef - Fridays and Saturdays at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.; also reporter
- Jessica Schambach - Sundays at 5:30, Monday-Thursdays at 5 and 6 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10 p.m.
- Maggie Stokes - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.); also reporter
- Dan Thomas - weekend mornings; also weekday morning reporter
- First Alert Weather
- Damon Lane (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; Sundays at 5:30, Monday-Thursdays at 5 and 6 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10 p.m.
- Steve Carano - meteorologist; weekend morning fill-in
- Danielle Dozier - meteorologist; weekend mornings
- Rusty McCranie (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Fridays and Saturdays at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Brad Sowder (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.)
- KOCO 5 Sports
- Bob Irzyk - sports director; weeknights at 6 and Sundays-Thursdays at 10 p.m.
- Bryan Keating - sports anchor; Saturdays at 5, 6 and 10, and Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
- Carson Cunningham - sports anchor; fill-in, also sports reporter
- Chad Browning - "Sky5" pilot
- Rachel Calderon - weekday morning traffic reporter ("Traffic Watch")
- Naveen Dhaliwal - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Rob Hughes - freelance reporter
- Patti Moon - freelance reporter
- Kim Passoth - weekday morning reporter
- Michael Seiden - general assignment reporter
- Hearst Television Washington Bureau
- Sally Kidd - Washington D.C. bureau reporter
- Nikole Killion - Washington D.C. bureau reporter
- FAST Unit Storm Chasers
- Chad Bradley - FAST Unit 51
- Chris Caldwell - FAST Unit 55
- Gary Clouch - FAST Unit 56
- Mark Fryklund - FAST Unit 5
- Chris Lee - FAST Unit 2
- George McKinnis - FAST Unit 52
- Jack Quirk - FAST Unit 54
- Dan Ryan-FAST Unit 11
- Jimmy Taylor - FAST Unit 13
Notable former on-air staff 
- Ed Birchall (a.k.a. "Ho Ho the Clown") - children's television personality (1959–1988) [D]
- Dean Blevins - sports director (1990–1994; now at KWTV in same position)
- Mick Cornett - sports anchor/morning news anchor/reporter (1981–1999; now Mayor of Oklahoma City)
- Jane Jayroe - anchor/reporter (1977–1980 and 1985–1992; former Miss America 1967)
- Ben McCain - news anchor (1987–1994; now actor and producer/host/reporter at Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles)
- Butch McCain - weatherman (1987–1994; now actor/weather anchor at KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado)
- Mike Morgan - chief meteorologist (1989–1992; now at KFOR-TV in same position)
- Cameron Sanders - reporter (1982–1983; later correspondent for CNN and host of NPR's Marketplace)
- Mark Rodgers - sports director(2002–2009; Now spokesperson for Hudiburg Auto Group's Television Ads) and Host of Middle Of The Day Show for WWLS The Sports Animal
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOCO
- Me-TV Adds Five More Hearst Stations, TVNewsCheck, July 24, 2012.
- Where to Watch Me-TV: KOCO
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- KOCO Step Closer To New Antenna
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice, November 10, 1956: 13
- Home Showcase TV Show Premiers/Saves Time For Buyers, The Journal Record (via HighBeam Research), May 2, 1987.
- THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Expanding in TV, Gannett Agrees to Buy Multimedia, The New York Times, July 25, 1995.
- Gannett, Multimedia announce merger agreement, Gannett press release, December 4, 1995.
- Gannett Deal Yields Ownership Conflict, The Journal Record (via HighBeam Research), July 26, 1995.
- Argyle Television to swap television stations in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Buffalo, N.Y. to Gannett for television stations in Cincinnati and Oklahoma City, Business Wire (via HighBeam Research), November 20, 1996.
- Gannett enters into agreement with Argyle Television, Business Wire (via HighBeam Research), November 20, 1996.
- News Team, KOCO.com. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- KOCO.com - Official website for KOCO-TV
- MeTVOklahomaCity.com - Official website for KOCO-DT2 "Me-TV Oklahoma City"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOCO
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOCO-TV