|Branding||KOKI Fox 23 Tulsa (general)
Fox 23 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Covering News That Matters (news)
Accurate. Dependable. (weather)
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 23 (PSIP)
23.3 Escape (TV network)
|Owner||Cox Media Group
(Cox Television Tulsa, LLC)
|First air date||October 26, 1980|
|Call letters' meaning||OKlahoma Independent
(possible disambiguation from Oklahoma City's Fox-affiliated station KOKH-TV)
|Sister station(s)||TV: KMYT-TV
Radio: KJSR, KRAV-FM, KRMG (AM), KRMG-FM, KWEN
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
23 (UHF, 1980–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1980–1986)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KOKI-TV, virtual channel 23 (UHF digital channel 22), is a Fox-affiliated television station located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The station is owned by the Cox Media Group subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV-affiliate KMYT-TV (channel 41). The two stations share studio facilities located on Memorial Drive and East 27th Street South (near I-44) in southeastern Tulsa; KOKI maintains transmitter facilities located between East 93rd Street South and the Muskogee Turnpike in southeastern Tulsa County (near Broken Arrow). On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 5 and AT&T U-verse channel 23. There is a high definition feed available on Cox Communications digital channel 1005 and AT&T U-verse channel 1023.
Prior history of channel 23 in Tulsa
The UHF channel 23 allocation in Tulsa was originally occupied by KCEB, which signed on the air on March 13, 1954 as the second television station in Tulsa (after KOTV, channel 6). Founded by oilman Elfred Beck, it originally operated as an ABC affiliate, but also carried programming from NBC and the DuMont Television Network as secondary affiliations. However, as electronics manufacturers were not required to include UHF tuners on television sets at the time, ABC and NBC allowed KOTV (channel 6) to continue "cherry-picking" each network's stronger shows. The station operated from a studio facility located on the Lookout Mountain section of west Tulsa.
KCEB lost the NBC affiliation to KVOO-TV (channel 2, now KJRH-TV) months before it signed on that December, followed by the loss of the remaining ABC programs that KOTV was not already carrying to KTVX (channel 8, now KTUL) when it debuted in September 1954. This left the station exclusively with DuMont, a non-viable fourth network that itself would soon fold in 1956. The low viewership that KCEB suffered due to the lack of wide availability led the station to cease operations on December 10, 1954. KCEB's former Lookout Mountain studio facility was sold to original KTVX owner John Toole Griffin; channel 8 moved its operations into that building the following year, where it remains to this day. Beck retained the construction permit, and partnered with Ernest Moody and Claude Hill to bring KCEB back on the air.
In the spring of 1966, Beck was advised by the Federal Communications Commission to either re-activate channel 23 by April 11, or surrender the construction permit. Beck sought buyers for the station; however, several deals fell through. Local jeweler Ernest Moody, Claude Hill (owner of radio station KOCW-FM (97.5, frequency now occupied by KMOD-FM)) and Beck partnered for a planned relaunch of KCEB in September 1967, which never materialized.
KOKI station history
As an independent station
KOKI-TV first signed on the air on October 23, 1980; the station was founded by a group of prominent corporate executives and community leaders in the Tulsa area, known as "Tulsa 23, Ltd", which was awarded the new UHF channel 23 license by the Federal Communications Commission. The partnership was led by managing partner Benjamin F. Boddie and investors that included former Williams Companies CEOs John H. Williams and Charles P. Williams, who were also responsible for the redevelopment of over nine square blocks and one million square feet of new office and retail construction of downtown Tulsa including the establishment of the Williams Center, the Bank of Oklahoma Tower (the state's tallest office tower at the time, at 52 stories and 660 feet (200 m)) and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. As reported in the Tulsa World, the ownership team featured well-known names in Tulsa leadership of that era which also included Robert E. Thomas, Walter H. Helmerich II, C.W. Flint, Robert V. Sellers and Jim Lavenstein (the latter served as KOKI's original general manager).
Originally branded as "Tulsa 23," KOKI (standing for "Oklahoma's Independent") originally operated as the first independent station in Tulsa and was the first commercial television station to sign on in the market since KVOO-TV debuted 26 years earlier. The station's original studio facilities were located on 46th Place in southeast Tulsa. Its initial programming featured a blend of cartoons, older movies, westerns, drama series and a few classic sitcoms; KOKI-TV had fairly decent viewership, still, the station was mediocre in terms of programming. It generally bought syndicated programs second and third-hand, after other area stations had passed on offers to acquire them, and did not bid for any stronger programs. In fact, some sitcoms and other programs that the station carried were not even airing in the market locally. Its main competitor, KCGT (channel 41, now MyNetworkTV-affiliated sister station KMYT-TV), was even weaker and ran mostly network shows rejected by the local "Big Three" affiliates (KOTV, KJRH and KTUL), religious shows and barter programming.
In 1983, Time-Life Inc. (now Time Warner) filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against KOKI over the use of the slogan "We Are Your Movie Star" – which had also used been around that same time by Time-Life-owned premium cable channel Cinemax. That October, a Tulsa Federal District Court judge ruled in favor of KOKI in the case.
As a Fox affiliate
KOKI became a charter affiliate of the fledgling Fox network when the network on October 9, 1986; however, it essentially remained an independent station as Fox only provided an hour of network programming a day at launch, in the form of the late-night talk show The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, and would not even expand into primetime until April 1987 (its primetime lineup, meanwhile, would not expand to seven nights a week until September 1993); the station eventually branded as "Fox 23". On March 6, 1989, Houston-based Clear Channel Television, Inc. entered into an agreement to buy KOKI from Tulsa 23, Ltd.; the sale was finalized in early 1990. Clear Channel significantly upgraded channel 23's programming, adding more recent sitcoms, higher-quality movies and some first-run talk shows.
During the 1990s, KOKI gradually eliminated classic sitcoms from its daytime schedule in favor of adding more talk, reality and court shows. More recent sitcoms were added to the station's schedule during the evening hours. In 1994, Clear Channel began managing channel 41, whose call letters had changed to KTFO in 1991, under a local marketing agreement. As children's programs began to disappear from syndication, KOKI increased its syndicated programming inventory with even more talk and reality shows.
In 2001, Clear Channel moved the operations of KOKI and KTFO from its facility on South Yale Avenue into a newly converted state-of-the-art building located at 2625 South Memorial Drive (formerly constructed and owned by the Oertle's Family Discount Store and later rented by a Burlington Coat Factory store), merging both stations with Clear Channel's local radio station properties. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its television stations to private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, which placed the stations into a broadcast holding company called Newport Television.
On August 11, 2011, 25-year-old William Boyd Sturdivant II (who had a history of mental issues and criminal activity including arrests for burglary and drug possession, and also reportedly once walked 250 miles (400 km) from Tulsa to Dallas) was found wandering around outside the facility housing KOKI, KMYT and the Clear Channel radio stations. Sturdivant was chased onto the roof of the station, after which he climbed up to 150 feet (46 m) on the 300-foot (91 m) transmission tower located outside the facility; Sturdivant (who was nicknamed "Tower Man" by local news outlets in Tulsa and around Oklahoma) moved between 75 and 100 feet (30 m) at various points during the 150+ hour standoff (which became the longest standoff in the history of the Tulsa Police Department, breaking a record originally set during a 1993 standoff involving a murder suspect that lasted 32 hours). The standoff ended at around 6:40 p.m. on August 16, after a retired police negotiator was sent up the tower on a crane to talk Sturdivant down.
On July 19, 2012, Newport Television announced the sale of KOKI and KMYT (along with the Jacksonville, Florida virtual duopoly of WAWS and WTEV-TV) to the Cox Media Group. As Cox Media Group is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, the purchase placed the station under common ownership with the area's major cable operator Cox Communications, creating the first instance in which a company owned a television station and a cable provider in the same market since the FCC repealed its ban on cross-ownership between cable providers and broadcast television stations within the same market in 2003. The sale to Cox also placed KOKI and KMYT under common ownership with Cox's Tulsa radio station cluster (KRMG (740 AM and 102.3 FM), KRAV-FM (96.5), KWEN (95.5 FM) and KJSR (103.3 FM)). The FCC approved the transaction to Cox on October 23, 2012, and the deal was finalized on December 3. Despite being no longer associated with its former Clear Channel radio partners, KOKI-TV continues to be based from the same studio locations, although its new Cox Radio partners are located separately in south Tulsa.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|23.1||720p||16:9||KOKI-DT||Main KOKI-TV programming / Fox|
KOKI-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, 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 UHF channel 22. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.
KOKI-TV currently carries the entire Fox network schedule (primetime, Saturday late night and sports programming, the Saturday morning infomercial block Weekend Marketplace and the political talk show Fox News Sunday), with program preemptions only occurring due to extended breaking news and severe weather coverage. Syndicated programs broadcast by KOKI include Maury, The Doctors, The Queen Latifah Show, The Wendy Williams Show and Family Feud among others. The station also produces an hour-long talk/lifestyle program Tulsa Live (originally titled Great Day Green Country from its September 2010 debut until June 2014), which airs weekday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
KOKI-TV presently broadcasts 48 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with eight hours on weekdays and four hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among the broadcast television stations in the Tulsa market and the highest among overall in the state of Oklahoma. In addition, the station produces the 10-minute sports highlight program Fox 23 Sports This Weekend, which airs Saturdays and Sundays at 9:50 p.m.
Although KOKI is a relative newcomer to the field of local newscasts, the station has managed to make significant viewership gains in the Tulsa market since the inception of its news department. The station has also gained a reputation in the Tulsa area for its "Solving Problems" investigative reports, helping area residents that have been scammed by local businesses; the investigative unit was originally known as the "Fox 23 Problem Solvers" until 2007, when it was changed to its current name in order to avoid confusion with NBC affiliate KJRH's similarly named "2NEWS Problem Solvers" investigative unit.
From the station's sign-on in 1980 until January 2002, KOKI's news programming consisted solely of 60-second news and weather updates that aired during commercial breaks within the station's daytime and evening programming from a small studio. At the time of the network's launch, it was one of only a few Fox stations that were not owned by the network offering some local news programming, albeit KOKI's news presence was relatively minor. On January 26, 1997 (immediately following Fox's telecast of Super Bowl XXXI), KOKI premiered First Weather on Fox 23, a nightly weather forecast segment that aired interspersed within its syndicated programming; it was led by a five-minute segment at 10:00 p.m., with two additional minute-long updates at 10:35 and 11:05 p.m.; First Weather ran on the station until shortly before the debut of KOKI's newscasts.
Clear Channel Communications eventually decided to start a full-fledged news department for KOKI. On February 3, 2002, following Fox's telecast of Super Bowl XXXVI, the station debuted an hour-long nightly primetime newscast at 9:00 p.m.; as a result, it became the first independently produced newscast to debut in the Tulsa market since KGCT's news department folded 20 years earlier in 1982. News programming on KOKI expanded quickly over the next few years. Five months later in June 2002, KOKI added an early evening newscast at 5:30 p.m. each weeknight; its early evening newscast expanded to one hour the following year with the debut of an additional half-hour newscast at 5:00 p.m. KOKI expanded news programming to weekday mornings in April 2006, when it premiered the four-hour Fox 23 News This Morning (branded as Fox 23 News Daybreak for the first two hours), which airs from 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. (at the time, it competed with KOTV's morning newscast of the same length, that station moved the 8:00 a.m. hour of the program to CW-affiliated sister station KQCW (channel 19) in January 2008); the newscast replaced paid programming and children's programs that had previously aired in that time period, its syndicated children's programs were moved to Sunday mornings as a result. Two months later in June 2006, the station debuted an hour-long noon newscast, which competes solely against KOTV's own hour-long newscast in that timeslot (KJRH's midday newscast airs one hour earlier at 11:00 a.m., while KTUL does not produce its own midday newscast). On January 18, 2010, KOKI began producing a half-hour weeknight 10:00 p.m. newscast.
On January 16, 2011, starting with the 9:00 p.m. newscast, KOKI became the second television station in the Tulsa market (behind KJRH-TV) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. The station also began using a logo and graphics package (a modified version of the package originally created for fellow Fox affiliate KSWB-TV in San Diego) by Hothaus Creative Design that was based on the visual appearance of Fox's owned-and-operated stations. On September 23, 2013, KOKI debuted a half-hour weeknight 6:00 p.m. newscast. KOKI subsequently debuted three-hour newscasts on weekend mornings on January 3, 2014, running from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays and 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Sundays, becoming the second station in the Tulsa market (after KJRH-TV) to carry a morning newscast on both Saturdays and Sundays. In January 2014, the station adopted a modified version of the graphics package used by former San Francisco sister station and fellow Fox affiliate KTVU (now owned by Fox), and dropped its O&O-styled logo coloring in favor of a silver and red logo.
The 2000 comedy-drama film Where the Heart Is, which was set in northeastern Oklahoma, featured a fictional depiction of KOKI incorporating live trucks and microphones with flags bearing the station's logo in a scene in which lead character (Natalie Portman) is interviewed by a reporter from the station after giving birth in a Wal-Mart. However at the time of the film's release, the station's only news programming consisted of hourly updates, as its news department would not be formed for another two years.
- Clear Channel Communications Moves into New Tulsa, Okla., Building, Tulsa World (via HighBeam Research), August 25, 2002.
- "Clear Channel". Clear Channel. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Man still on station tower, KOKI-TV, August 12, 2011.
- Record-shattering standoff continues into a third day, KRMG, August 13, 2011.
- OU defensive back's father used compassion to coax man down from Tulsa tower, NewsOK.com, August 17, 2011.
- Newport Sells 22 Stations For $1 Billion, TVNewsCheck, July 19, 2012.
- FCC Repeals TV/Cable Cross Ownership Rule, Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, February 27, 2003.
- "Federal Communications Commission". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Federal Communications Commission". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOKI
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Federal Communications Commission FCC 07-138". Retrieved 2012-11-24.
- CDBS Print.
- Fox 23 KOKI-TV; Newsroom Spotlight, Broadcasting & Cable (via HighBeam Research), October 21, 2002.
- KOKI to Add 6:00 p.m. News in September TVSpy, August 7, 2013.
- Tulsa's KOKI-TV Expanding Green Country's Weekend News Coverage Cox Media Group, December 3, 2013 (the press release states the program was originally set to run from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays, see schedule for correct times).
- www.fox23.com - KOKI-TV official website
- www.fox23.com/s/station/my41tulsa - KMYT-TV official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOKI-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOKI-TV