|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
|City of license||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Branding||KOCO 5 (general)
KOCO 5 News (newscasts)
Me-TV Oklahoma City
|Slogan||Live. Local. Latebreaking. (primary)
"We'll Give You the First Alert" (weather)
|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|
|Public license information:||Profile
KOCO-TV, virtual channel 5 (VHF digital channel 7), is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation. The station maintains studio and transmitter facilities located on East Britton Road in the McCourry Heights section of northeast Oklahoma City (located within two miles of competing stations: KFOR-TV to its immediate west, KWTV to its southwest and KOKH-TV to its southeast).
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 News operation
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The station first signed on the air as KGEO-TV on July 2, 1954. Founded by Cimarron Television, it was originally licensed to Enid, and was the only full-power VHF station in northern Oklahoma. Channel 5 has been an ABC affiliate since its debut; during the late 1950s, the station also had a brief affiliation with the NTA Film Network. The station moved its city of license and relocated its operations to Oklahoma City in 1958 (similar to the transfer of the license and studio relocation of Muskogee's KTVX, now KTUL, to Tulsa in 1957), after Oklahoma's northern counties were absorbed into the Oklahoma City television market. Channel 5's move returned a full-time ABC affiliate to Oklahoma City: KTVQ (channel 25, frequency now used by Fox affiliate KOKH-TV) operated as a full-time ABC station from 1953 until it shut down in 1956; WKY-TV (channel 4, now KFOR-TV) also held a secondary affiliation with the network from 1949 to 1953 and again from 1956 to 1958. After moving to Oklahoma City, KOCO operated from a studio facility near Northwest 63rd Street and Portland Avenue; however, 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, as it was growing in popularity in television markets throughout the nation (KWTV, channel 9, was the first in the Oklahoma City market to adopt the format from 1966 to 1971). Despite using the Eyewitness News concept, KOCO's newscasts remained a distant third place in the ratings for many years against dominant WKY-TV/KTVY/KFOR-TV and KWTV. During this period, KOCO ran its early evening newscast at 5:30 p.m. (instead of the 6 p.m. timeslot exclusively used by most stations at the time) until the early 1980s, when it introduced a 5 p.m. newscast; ABC's World News Tonight then moved to the 5:30 p.m. timeslot followed by another local newscast at 6 p.m. (all three broadcasts 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 developed by Peters Productions and popularized on Combined's Atlanta station WXIA-TV and Tribune Broadcasting's WPIX in New York City as the brand rolled out to most of Combined's television stations. During the "5 Alive" era, local newscasts on KOCO were titled 5 Alive NewsCenter and later 5 Alive News.
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 stopped using 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 acquiring the market's first helicopter for aerial newsgathering. These investments helped KOCO to improve its ratings fortunes from 1980 to 1982, when its newscasts briefly overtook KWTV for second place and even battled longtime powerhouse KTVY for first. By 1983, KOCO settled into a solid second place as KWTV rose from a distant third all the way to first, displacing KTVY from the #1 ratings position it held for decades. However, this did not last as KOCO's news ratings fell back to last place by the late 1980s, where it lingered for years.
From the 1970s to the 2000s, KOCO was known for preempting or delaying ABC programs: All My Children aired one hour early at 11 a.m. weekdays before moving to 12 p.m. on January 2, 2008 after the cancellation of its noon newscast, remaining there until the soap ended its run and was replaced by The Chew in September 2011. ABC's Saturday morning lineup was also affected: The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show and The Ewoks were preempted in favor of the locally-produced Home Showcase in 1987; while Power Rangers aired in an early (5 a.m.) 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 Saturdays and This Week on Sundays by one hour due to its weekend morning newscast, and preempts the ABC News Brief seen during ABC Daytime programming; KOCO also occasionally preempts ABC primetime shows if a locally produced special is scheduled.
During the 1980s and 1990s, KOCO developed the first automated weather warning system for television use, and was the first in the country to send storm photographs over cellular telephone (both earned the station a Regional News Emmy Award) and to have mobile a Doppler radar system. Later in the decade, 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. 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 the same 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 Cincinnati, Ohio sister station WLWT 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 (which was renamed as Hearst Television in May 2009). The station brought back the Eyewitness News format for its newscasts in 1998, under the news brand Eyewitness News 5, which was used until April 2013.
The Britton Road studios were struck by straight-line winds during a tornado outbreak that affected northern Oklahoma City on June 13, 1998 as a KOCO photojournalist positioned outside the Channel 5 studios was shooting live video of the approaching storm during the station's severe weather coverage; believing a tornado had struck, then-weekend meteorologist Mike LaPoint exclaimed to then-chief meteorologist Rick Mitchell on-air "Rick, it's on the ground!" as all three ran to take shelter in the station's main building. The studio and transmitter facility lost power, knocking out KOCO's over-the-air signal for almost 24 hours (though a direct fiber optic studio feed kept the station's programming available on local cable providers). A fence on the KOCO studio grounds was toppled and its radar dome sustained dents.
KOCO served as the default ABC affiliate for the Sherman-Ada market beginning in 1998, when KTEN dropped its secondary ABC affiliation and became a full-time NBC affiliate; this lasted until KTEN launched an ABC-affiliated subchannel on May 9, 2010, however, KOCO remains available on cable and satellite providers within that market. Through this former status, it was the only Oklahoma City television station to offer extensive live 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 two of 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.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||1080i||16:9||KOCO-HD||Main KOCO-TV programming / ABC|
From 2005 to April 2008, KOCO digital subchannel 5.2 ran a feed of the station's weather radar "Advantage Doppler HD" with NOAA Weather Radio audio from WXK85. From April 2008 to January 23, 2011, the 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 Louisiana residents who evacuated to Oklahoma City. 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 to 30, 2012 due to the late start date of KOCO's Me-TV affiliation).
On October 1, 2012, 5.2 became 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 is occasionally used to run ABC programs when extended severe weather or breaking news coverage airs on KOCO's main channel.
KOCO-TV is one of several Hearst-owned stations that broadcasts its digital signal in the 1080i high definition format, instead of ABC's preferred 720p format. KMBC's Hearst-owned sister ABC affiliates KMBC-TV in Kansas City, WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WCVB-TV in Boston and KETV in Omaha also broadcast HD programming in this format.
KOCO-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, 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 VHF channel 7, using PSIP to display KOCO-TV's virtual channel as 5 on digital television receivers. After the switchover, the reduced broadcast radius of KOCO's digital signal created some reception gaps in parts of southern and north-central Oklahoma that previously, at best, received a Grade B signal from its analog signal. A new digital transmitter was installed in May 2010 to help extend KOCO's signal reception to the affected areas.
KOCO-TV presently broadcasts 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 station's Britton Road studios with the latter utilizing live VIPIR data from 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 Cumulus Media-owned area radio stations KATT-FM, KWPN, KQOB-FM, WWLS-FM, KKWD and KYIS-FM.
As 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 (presently, the longest-serving member of channel 5's on-air news staff is evening anchor Jessica Schambach, who joined the station in 2002 as a reporter). KOCO has increased its 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 Saturday morning newscast from 8-9 a.m.; that program was later dropped, but returned in 1996 as a two-hour program starting at 10 a.m. Also in 1996, its weekday morning newscast was 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 1997 to 2003 run of the ABC soap opera Port Charles. During its waning years as a Gannett-owned station in the mid-1990s, KOCO had its own investigative unit, known as the "I-Team", led by now-former investigative reporter Terri Watkins. 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 its 10 p.m. newscast on Sundays from 35 minutes to one hour, absorbing the Sunday Sports Xtra wrap-up program, which was reduced to a 15-minute segment at the tail end of the newscast. The week of January 2, 2008 saw further changes to its news schedule: the noon newscast was cancelled (in lieu of a midday newscast, a 30-second weather update airs before ABC Daytime programming in that timeslot), the 5 p.m. newscast was also expanded 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 content to standard definition.
KOCO's newscasts were presented with pillarboxing from October 2009 until the station began broadcasting local newscasts in widescreen standard definition on October 11, 2010. Prior to the upgrade to HD, news footage was upconverted to the 16:9 picture format from 4:3 in the control room for broadcast of certain stories as some cameras used by KOCO for newsgathering did not shoot in native widescreen. An hour-long extension of the station's weekend morning newscasts debuted on July 31, 2010, running from 8-9 a.m. This was followed on September 22, with the expansion of the weekday morning newscast to 4:30 a.m., becoming Oklahoma's first television station to expand its morning newscasts before 5 a.m. Sports segments on the station used the Sports Xtra umbrella title until February 2012, this brand (originally stylized as Sports Extra) had dated back to 1992 under Gannett ownership when the station debuted a Sunday night sports wrap-up show under that name; from that timeframe to 2004, KOCO produced Prep Sports Extra, a 15-minute wrap-up show that ran on Friday nights during the high school football season (it has since been renamed High School Playbook).
On April 18, 2013, KOCO became the third commercial station in Oklahoma City to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. With the switch to HD, KOCO began using Hearst's new standardized graphics (developed by the Orlando graphics hub at sister station WESH) and music package (Strive by inthegroovemusic).
- 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 (1994–1998; renamed Oklahoma's 5 News from 1997 to 1998)
- Eyewitness News 5 (1998–2013)
- KOCO 5 News (2013–present)
- "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; 1994–2012)
- "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (1998–present; news slogan)
- "America's #1 ABC Station" (2007–2009)
- "Believe in Oklahoma" (2007–2012; originally used in special reports relating to the Oklahoma Centennial)
- "One of America's Leading ABC Affiliates" (2009–2012)
- "We'll Give You the First Alert" (weather slogan; 2012–present)
Current on-air staff
- TDB - weekend mornings (5:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.)
- Morgan Chesky - Fridays and Saturdays at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Wendell Edwards - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Paul Folger - Sundays at 5:30, Monday-Thursdays at 5:00 and 6:00 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Erielle Reshef - Fridays and Saturdays at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Jessica Schambach - Sundays at 5:30, Monday-Thursdays at 5:00 and 6:00 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.
- Dan Thomas - weekend mornings (5:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.); also weekday morning reporter
- Katy Blakey - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.); 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 5:00 and 6:00 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.
- Steve Carano - meteorologist; weekend morning fill-in
- Jonathan Conder - meteorologist; Fridays and Saturdays at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Danielle Dozier - meteorologist; weekend mornings (5:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.)
- Brad Sowder (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- KOCO 5 Sports
- Bryan Keating - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and Sunday-Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.
- Abigail Ogle - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 10:00, and Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
- Carson Cunningham - sports anchor; fill-in, also sports reporter
- TBA - "Sky5" pilot
- TBA - weekday morning traffic reporter ("Traffic Watch"; 4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Rob Hughes - general assignment reporter
- Kim Passoth - general assignment reporter
- Michael Seiden - general assignment reporter
- Hearst Television Washington Bureau
- Hallie Jackson - weekday morning national correspondent
- Nikole Killion - national correspondent
- Sally Kidd - national correspondent
- Tara Mergener - fill-in national correspondent
- FAST Unit Storm Chasers
- Chad Bradley - FAST Unit 51
- Chris Caldwell - FAST Unit 55
- Gary Clouch - FAST Unit 56
- Chance Coldiron - FAST Unit 53
- 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 - meteorologist (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)
- Rick Mitchell - Chief Meteorologist (198x - 2011); now at KXAS-TV
- "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.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOCO
- Me-TV Adds Five More Hearst Stations, TVNewsCheck, July 24, 2012.
- Where to Watch Me-TV: KOCO
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- KOCO Step Closer To New Antenna
- News Team, KOCO.com. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- KOCO.com - Official KOCO-TV website
- MeTVOklahomaCity.com - Official Me-TV OKC website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOCO
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K18HX
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K21IT
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K26IR
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K42IB
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K43KT
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOCO-TV