|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Branding||Fox 25 (general)
Fox 25 News (news)
|Channels||Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 25 (PSIP)
K42AG-D Strong City
K49KK-D Elk City
Zuus Country (DT2)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(KOKH Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||February 2, 1959|
|Call letters' meaning||OKlaHoma|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
25 (UHF, 1959–2009)
|Former affiliations||Educational independent (1959–1979)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
KOKH-TV, virtual channel 25 (UHF digital channel 24), is a Fox-affiliated television station located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a duopoly with CW affiliate KOCB (channel 34). Both stations share studios on Wilshire Boulevard on the city's northeast side with KOKH's transmitter located near the facility.
- 1 Digital television
- 2 History
- 3 News operation
- 4 References
- 5 External links
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|25.1||720p||16:9||KOKH-HD||Main KOKH-TV programming / Fox|
In August 2010, Sinclair signed a groupwide affiliation deal with The Country Network, a digital subchannel network featuring country music videos, to the 28 of the company's stations. KOKH-TV launched digital subchannel 25.2 on November 4, 2010, with the addition of The Country Network (which was renamed Zuus Country on June 1, 2013).
KOKH-TV shut down its analog transmitter on February 17, 2009 (the original date of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion in the United States), and continued to broadcast its digital signal on its pre-transition UHF channel 24. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KOKH's virtual channel as 25. After terminating regular programming on analog channel 25, the station offered nightlight programming for two weeks before it permanently shut off analog signal.
Prior history of channel 25
The UHF channel 25 frequency in Oklahoma City was originally occupied by KTVQ, which first signed on the air in 1953. The station served as the market's original ABC affiliate. KTVQ was hampered by low viewership as only a small percentage of Oklahoma City area television sets were even capable of receiving UHF stations as set manufacturers were not required to equip televisions with UHF tuners until the Federal Communications Commission passed the All-Channel Receiver Act in 1961, with UHF tuners not included on all newer sets until 1964. The station shut down in 1956, with NBC affiliate KTVY (channel 4, now KFOR-TV) picking up ABC as a secondary affiliation for two years until KGEO-TV moved its operations and changed its city of license from Enid to Oklahoma City in 1958, under the callsign KOCO-TV (in a move similar to transfer of the city of license and studio location of Muskogee's KTVX to Tulsa in 1957, when it became the present-day KTUL).
KOKH station history
As an independent station
The current incarnation of channel 25 as KOKH debuted on February 2, 1959 as an educational independent station owned by the Oklahoma City Public Schools district. In the summer of 1979, the station was purchased by Blair Broadcasting at 6 a.m. on October 1, 1979, KOKH switched to a general entertainment format, becoming Oklahoma's first commercial independent station. It was a typical UHF independent station featuring a mix of cartoons, classic sitcoms and movies. KOKH would gain a competitor exactly one month later on November 1, 1979, when KGMC (channel 34, now KOCB) signed on the air with a similar programming format; followed by KAUT (channel 43) on September 24, 1980, which initially featured an all-news format during daytime hours and subscription service VUE, before it transitioned to a general entertainment format within a year. By 1983, the Oklahoma City market had three commercial independent stations that each competed for the best syndicated programs.
In 1986, Blair Broadcasting restructured into Reliance Capital Group LP, in order to prevent a hostile takeover by some of the company's minority stockholders. Reliance Capital sold all of Blair's television stations to Gillett Communications on December 31, 1986. In 1988, Pappas Telecasting Companies developed a proposal to purchase KOKH, in which the company would acquire the programming inventories of KGMC and KAUT and move those stations' programs as well as the market's Fox affiliation (KAUT became a charter station of the network when Fox debuted in October 1986) to KOKH. The proposal would have had Seraphim Media-owned channel 34 affiliate with the Home Shopping Network, while Heritage Broadcasting would sell KAUT to the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, converting that station into an educational station. This agreement eventually fell apart and the purchase proposal by Pappas was shelved in 1989, with all three stations continuing with their general entertainment formats. KOKH eventually did find a new owner as Busse Broadcasting purchased the station from Gillett in 1989.
As a Fox affiliate
In a deal similar to the earlier Pappas proposal, Heritage Broadcasting traded KAUT to the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority in August 1991, turning channel 43 into a PBS member station. Heritage purchased KOKH in turn, and moved KAUT's entire programming inventory, including the Fox affiliation, over to KOKH (channel 43, whose callsign had changed to KTLC at the time, reverted to an entertainment format as UPN affiliate KPSG in June 1998 after its purchase by Paramount Stations Group in January of that year; presently owned by Local TV, channel 43 switched back to the KAUT calls in November 1998, after the death of station founder Gene Autry).
In August 1996, Heritage Media began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The following month, it asked for stockholder approval of a 2-for-1 forward stock split, which was later approved, putting Heritage Media in a very marketable position. That fall, News Corporation expressed an interest in purchasing outstanding stock belonging to Heritage Media at $20.50 per share with the sale being approved by Heritage's stockholders in late spring 1997. FCC approval was dependent upon the divestiture of most or all of the Heritage stations, as new ownership would place News Corporation over the number of stations that a single company could own at that time. News Corporation's main interest in purchasing Heritage Media was the in-store marketing subsidiary ACTMEDIA, which would make it the world's largest in-store marketing company.
Sinclair Broadcast Group showed interest in the Heritage stations, although it already owned stations in several markets where Heritage had stations, including locally with KOCB. Sinclair purchased Heritage Media's broadcasting properties in late summer 1997, turning KOKH over to Sullivan Broadcasting for $60 million. Sinclair in turn began operating KOKH under a local marketing agreement with KOCB in the Spring of 1998. Sinclair purchased KOKH outright in 2003, creating the market's first television duopoly with KOCB. During the late 1990s, KOKH moved away from running cartoons and classic sitcoms, shifting more toward talk shows, reality series and court shows, but continued to feature more recent sitcoms on its schedule. By the early 2000s, KOKH's daytime schedule (from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) switched to lineup entirely made up of court shows (such as Divorce Court, Judge Mathis, The People's Court and Judge Joe Brown) and during the 2006-07 season, it became one of the only stations in the United States to broadcast every syndicated court show that was available in syndication at the time.
In September 2002, KOKH dropped the "Fox 25" branding from verbal usage (though its channel 25 position continued to be incorporated into the station's logo), alternatingly identifying itself in station promos as either "Fox Oklahoma City" or "Oklahoma City's Fox", before reverting to the "Fox 25" branding full-time in 2006. In November 2005, KOKH began serving as the local broadcaster of the Oklahoma Lottery's nightly drawings, which were also simulcast on KOCB; this ended when the lottery transitioned to computerized drawings in July 2009 (presently, the Pick 3, Pick 4, Cash 5 and Hot Lotto numbers now air during the station's 9 p.m. newscast, Powerball drawings continued to air Wednesday and Saturday nights at 9:59 p.m. on both stations until 2013; Mega Millions is not carried by either KOKH or KOCB, even though Oklahoma participates in the multi-state lottery, the drawings of both multi-state lotteries can be seen in the market on cable through Chicago-based superstation WGN America).
On March 5, 2012, KOKH and KOCB became the last stations in the Oklahoma City market to begin carrying syndicated programs, station promos and other commercials in high definition. On May 15 of that year, Fox extended its affiliation agreement with KOKH and Sinclair's 19 other Fox-affiliated stations for five years on May 15, 2012, which will keep KOKH affiliated with the network until at least 2017.
KOKH presently broadcasts 34 hours of locally-produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). In addition, the station produces a sports wrap-up and discussion program on Sunday evenings after its 9 p.m. newscast called Fox 25 Sports Sunday, hosted by sports director Myron Patton, sports anchor Curtis Fitzpatrick and WWLS-FM radio host Jim Traber. The news department also produces Oklahoma's Most Wanted, a local segment based on former Fox series America's Most Wanted that has aired during the Saturday edition of the 9 p.m. newscasts since 2005.
KOKH also provides local weather updates for six radio stations owned by Tyler Media Group: KJKE, KKNG, KTUZ-FM, KEBC and KTLR. Unlike most stations, KOKH does not offer breaking news cut-ins between newscasts regularly (though there are occasional cut-ins for important local breaking news events). KOKH is one of the only television stations in the country in which the chief meteorologist does not work the evening shift, as Jeff George was transferred to weekday mornings in May 2009. As is the case with competitor KOCO, KOKH's anchor and reporter staff experiences fairly heavy turnover, leading to the unfamiliarity that some of its on-air personalities have in the market (the longest-serving on-air news staff members presently on the station are chief meteorologist Jeff George and weekday morning reporter Terre Gables, who both joined KOKH in 2006).
KOKH aired brief 90-second news updates (under the title Newstouch 25) each hour from 6:00 a.m. until sign-off (usually around 1:30 a.m.) from October 1, 1979 to July 1991 (featuring anchors such as Mike Monday, Karie Ross, 1985 Miss Oklahoma Felicia Ferguson, current KWTV anchor Kelly Ogle and Janis Walkingstick), with updates pre-recorded for some morning and late night airings. Until the late 1980s, the station also produced 90-second weather briefs called Weathertouch 25 that aired on the half hour during the broadcast day; the segments (featuring weathercasters such as Ross Dixon, Dan Satterfield and Kevin Foreman) utilized the first colorized radar scan converter and satellite picture colorizer in Oklahoma, with live radar data coming from the National Weather Service's Will Rogers World Airport terminal Doppler site. The station also produced several public affairs and interview programs including Meet The Mayor, Woman to Woman and Sunday PM.
After the April 19, 1995 bombing of downtown Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Fox urged KOKH station management to develop a full-scale news department. On May 1, 1996, it began producing a half-hour 9:00 p.m. weeknight newscast. Debuting as The Nine O'Clock News, the program was originally anchored by Kirsten McIntyre and former KOCO and KWTV news anchor Jack Bowen. Under Sullivan ownership, KOKH expand the weeknight broadcast of The Nine O'Clock News to one hour, doing so in August 1998; this was followed by the addition of hour-long 9:00 p.m. weekend newscasts in September 1999. In 2001, KOKH rebranded its primetime newscast as the Fox Primetime News at Nine. Around the time the station was acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group outright, the company began providing national news segments on the group's news-producing stations with the March 2003 launch of News Central; while local news segments continued to be provided at the KOKH studios (though time devoted to local news stories decreased due to the national news segments) and the station maintained its own locally-based anchors and reporters, weather forecasts and sports segments were produced out of studios at Sinclair's headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland.
The first time that KOKH programmed news outside its established 9:00 slot was in early 2004, when it premiered a half-hour weeknight 10:00 p.m. newscast (it is currently one of the few Fox stations that produces a newscast in the traditional late news timeslot, 10:00 p.m. in the Central Time Zone, that does not produce newscasts in midday or early evening time periods). As part of corporate cutbacks at Sinclair's news operations, the company shuttered its News Central division with all national segments ending on March 31, 2006, KOKH subsequently began producing local weather and sports segments in-house once again. That December, KOKH launched Fox 25 Sports Sunday as a 15-minute Sunday evening sports wrap-up program at 9:45 p.m., before it expanded three months later to a half-hour program and moved to 10:00 p.m. On April 9, 2007, KOKH debuted a three-hour weekday morning newscast (initially running from 6:00-9:00 a.m., instead of the 5:00 a.m. start time common with many local morning newscasts around the United States at the time; the program expanded to four hours starting at 5:00 a.m. on January 4, 2010). On October 11, 2010, KOKH became the first Oklahoma City area station to stream its local newscasts, breaking news and severe weather coverage on mobile devices (including Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Palm devices). On January 31, 2011, KOKH debuted Good Day Oklahoma as an hour-long extension of its morning newscast; the program (which airs at 9:00 a.m. on weekdays) features interviews, discussions on offbeat news stories and community event information, along with weather and half-hourly news updates.
On August 14, 2013, KOKH became the fourth overall and the last remaining English language station in the Oklahoma City market to begin broadcasting its newscasts in high definition; this leaves Champaign, Illinois sister station WICD as the only remaining Sinclair station with a functioning news department that was owned prior to the company's series of station acquisitions that began with the 2010 purchase of the Four Points Media Group properties that has yet to upgrade their news production to HD; locally, this leaves Telemundo affiliate KTUZ-TV (channel 30) as the only station in Oklahoma City that continues to produce its newscasts in 4:3 standard definition.
- Newstouch 25 (news updates; 1979–1991)
- Fox 25 News (1996–present)
NOTE: Although the newscasts are each currently known under individual names ("Morning News", "Primetime News at Nine" and "Late Edition"), reporters identify the newscast at the end of reports as "Fox 25 News".
- "Your Great Movie Station" (1979–1982)
- "All-American 25" (1981–1982)
- "Oklahoma's Greatest Movie Station"/"KOKH-TV 25 Gives You the Stars" (1982–1986)
- "Oklahoma's Own" (1987–1994; slogan also used by CBS affiliate KWTV since 2010)
- "We're Your Fox in Oklahoma City, Fox 25" (1996–2000)
- "Where Local News Is First" (2001–2003)
- "All the News You Need, One Hour Earlier" (2004–2007)
- "We Love TV" (2005–2007; also used as a slogan for ABC in the late 1990s)
- "First When It Matters" (2006–2008; weather slogan)
- "Get It First" (2007–present)
Current on-air staff
KOKH-TV's primary news anchors are Mike Brooks (weeknights at 9 and 10 p.m.), Kisha Henry (weekends at 9 p.m.; also weeknight reporter), Wendy Suares (weekday mornings on Fox 25 Morning News from 5-9 a.m. and Good Day Oklahoma from 9-10 a.m.), Mark Taylor (weekends at 9 p.m.; also weeknight reporter) and Bill Young (weekday mornings on Fox 25 Morning News from 5-9 a.m. and Good Day Oklahoma from 9-10 a.m.).
The Fox 25 StormWatch Weather team includes chief meteorologist Jeff George (weekday mornings on Fox 25 Morning News from 5-9 a.m. and Good Day Oklahoma from 9-10 a.m., also weeknight fill-in meteorologist), meteorologist Jon Slater (AMS Seal of Approval; weeknights at 9 and 10 p.m.), and meteorologist Kyle Roberts (weekends nights at 9 p.m.; also weekday mornings fill-in meteorologist).
The station's sports team includes sports director Myron Patton (weeknights at 9 and 10 p.m., also co-host of Fox 25 Sports Sunday; formerly weekend sports anchor from 2000 to 2001), sports anchor Curtis Fitzpatrick (weekends at 9 p.m., also co-host of Fox 25 Sports Sunday and fill-in weeknight anchor), sports reporter Sam Gannon and commentator Jim Traber (co-host of Fox 25 Sports Sunday).
The station's reporting staff includes general assignment reporters Phil Cross (also investigative reporter and photographer), Danielle Dupuy (weekday morning reporter from 6-9 a.m.; also Good Day Oklahoma national headlines anchor), Priscilla Luong, Jordan Lucero, Hunter Scott, Rebecca Schleicher, Tiffany Tatro and Christine VanTimmeren; weekday morning features reporter Terre Gables and film critic Craig W. Sanger (seen Friday mornings).
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOKH
- Sinclair Broadcast Group to Air The Country Network, PRNewswire, August 24, 2010.
- John Blair & Co. Will Sell 3 TV Stations, Including KOKH, The Journal Record (via Questia Online Library), November 12, 1986.
- Unexperienced Gillett Predicts Few Changes as Owner of KOKH-TV, The Journal Record (via Questia Online Library), December 20, 1986.
- KGMC to Operate Under Agreement, The Journal Record (via Questia Online Library), February 18, 1989.
- KOKH-TV Fox 25 to Challenge Major Network Affiliates, The Journal Record (via Questia Online Library), August 23, 1991.
- News Corporation to acquire Heritage Media Corporation.
- Sinclair to Sell KOKH-TV to Sullivan; Sale Contingent on News Corporation-Heritage Merger
- Sinclair to Sell Burlington/Plattsburgh TV Stations; Also Completes Purchase of Certain Heritage TV Stations
- Oklahoma's lottery expands with daily 'Pick 3' game, The Journal Record, November 9, 2005.
- Sinclair Reups With Fox, Gets WUTB Option, TVNewsCheck, May 15, 2012.
- KOKH FOX 25 Late Edition Open, 2009
- KOKH FOX 25 Morning News Open + Talent, 2009
- Meet The FOX 25 News Team
- KOKH Announces Addition of Two Reporters, TVSpy, April 15, 2013.
- OKCFox.com - Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOKH-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOKH-TV