|Kansas City, Missouri-
Kansas City, Kansas
|City of license||Kansas City, Missouri|
|Channels||Digital: 51 (UHF)
Virtual: 50 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||50.1 Ion Television
50.3 Ion Life
|Owner||Ion Media Networks
(Ion Media Kansas City License, Inc.)
|First air date||October 29, 1969|
|Call letters' meaning||PaXson Entertainment|
|Former callsigns||KCIT-TV (1969–1971)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
50 (UHF, 1969–1971, 1978–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1969–1971, 1978–1998)
Pax TV (1998–2005)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KPXE-TV, virtual channel 50 (UHF digital channel 51), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas, United States. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. KPXE maintains offices located on Oak Street and Cleaver Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri; and its transmitter is located on that city's Brown Estates section. On cable, the station is available on SureWest channel 15, Time Warner Cable channel 16 and AT&T U-verse channel 50. There is a high definition feed provided on Time Warner Cable channel 1016 and Surewest digital channel 705 and AT&T U-verse channel 1050.
The station first signed on the air on October 29, 1969 as KCIT-TV (probably standing for "Kansas City Independent Television"); it was originally owned by Allied Broadcasting. Channel 50 was the first independent station in the Kansas City market, and the first new commercial station to sign on in the area since short-lived DuMont Television Network affiliate KCTY (on channel 25) in the 1950s. KCIT filled its schedule mostly with programming that the network affiliates in the market – KCMO-TV (channel 5, now KCTV), KMBC-TV (channel 9), and WDAF-TV (channel 4) -- turned down. However, in some cases, the network affiliates turned down so many shows that even KCIT could not air them all. It also managed to produce a few local programs. One of them was Torey and Friends, hosted by popular children's host Torey Southwick. Landing Southwick was a major coup for the station, as he had been on KMBC-TV since 1960.
However, KCIT received competition in August 1970, when KBMA-TV (now KSHB-TV) began broadcasting on channel 41. KBMA had wealthier owners and a stronger signal than channel 50; KCIT lost its early appeal as a result. Around this time, Allied Broadcasting had gotten into severe financial straits. By late June, the station had bumped its sign-on time to 2:30 p.m. By the end of the month, the station had finally decided to call it quits. For the last week in June and the first week of July, it was only on the air for two hours a day – the minimum required to cover the license. The first iteration of Channel 50 signed off for good on July 7, 1971. KBMA became the sole independent station in Kansas City for several years afterward until KEKR-TV (channel 62, now KSMO-TV) signed on in September 1983. The KCIT call letters are now assigned to the Fox affiliate on channel 14 in Amarillo, Texas.
The channel 50 license remained dormant for seven years; at the time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was not willing to delete UHF licenses. The station returned to the air on December 17, 1978 as KYFC-TV, a religious station named after its owner, Kansas City Youth For Christ. Its lineup remained largely consistent of religious programming through the 1980s, but a few "family-friendly" secular shows had been added to its schedule. The station ran newscasts from CNN Headline News at least once a day for several years, replacing the commercials with other announcements.
Pledges to support the commercial-free station declined during the 1990s. Station managers also grew concerned about the cost of converting to digital operations, something they were reluctant to pass on to their financial supporters. In 1997, the station was sold to Paxson Communications (the forerunner to Ion Media Networks), and began to air infomercials and programming from The Worship Network shortly thereafter, along with some religious programs. It also changed its call letters to KINB. In 1998, the station changed its callsign again, this time to KPXE; on August 31 of that year, the station became a charter affiliate of Pax TV. In 2001, KPXE entered into a joint sales agreement with NBC affiliate KSHB, as part of an agreement between Paxson Communications and three E.W. Scripps Company-owned stations, allowing KSHB-TV's evening newscasts to be rebroadcast on KPXE on a half-hour delay; this arrangement ended after Pax TV rebranded as I: Independent Television in 2005.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Network|
KPXE-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 50, 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 51. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 50.
- PAX TV Enters Into Joint Sales Agreements With the E.W. Scripps Company's NBC-Affiliated Stations in Kansas City, West Palm Beach and Tulsa, Business Wire, January 10, 2001. Retrieved February 16, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KPXE
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Ion Television Website for KPXE-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KPXE
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KPXE-TV
- David Johnson's history of the late, lamented KCIT-TV