KTVT

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KTVT
CBS 11 KTVT Logo.png
Fort Worth/Dallas, Texas
United States
City of license Fort Worth, Texas
Branding CBS 11 (general)
CBS 11 News (newscasts)
Slogan Coverage You Can Count On (news)
CBS 11 is Always On (general)
Only CBS 11 (secondary)
Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
Subchannels 11.1 CBS
Affiliations CBS (O&O)
Owner CBS Corporation
(CBS Stations Group of Texas, Inc.)
First air date September 11, 1955; 59 years ago (1955-09-11)
Call letters' meaning TeleVision for Texans
Sister station(s) TV: KTXA,
Radio: KJKK, KLUV, KMVK, KRLD, KRLD-FM, KVIL
Former callsigns KFJZ-TV (1955–1960)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
11 (VHF, 1955–2009)
Digital:
19 (UHF, 1999–2009)
11 (VHF, 2009–2012)
Former affiliations Independent (1955–1995)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 533.9 m (1,752 ft)
Facility ID 23422
Transmitter coordinates 32°32′36.00″N 96°57′32.00″W / 32.5433333°N 96.9588889°W / 32.5433333; -96.9588889
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.cbsdfw.com

KTVT, virtual channel 11 (UHF digital channel 19), is a CBS owned-and-operated television station serving the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex that is licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, United States. It is owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation, as part of a duopoly with independent station KTXA (channel 21). The two stations share primary studio facilities located on Bridge Street (off of I-30), east of downtown Fort Worth; KTVT operates a secondary studio (which also handles advertising sale departments for both stations) at the CBS Tower on North Central Expressway (north of NorthPark Mall) in Dallas; KTVT maintains transmitter facilities located south of Belt Line Road in Cedar Hill.

History[edit]

As an independent station[edit]

The station first signed on the air on September 11, 1955 as KFJZ-TV; it was the first independent station to sign on in Texas. The station was founded by the Roosevelt family, owners of the Texas State Network, and was sister station to KFJZ radio (1270 AM, now KFLC; unrelated to the present-day KFJZ at 870 AM). In 1959, it gained a sister FM station, KFJZ-FM (97.1, now KEGL). During the late 1950s, the station was briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1] The station originally operated from facilities located on West Freeway (in the present-day location of I-30) in Fort Worth. Channel 11 originally signed on daily at 2:30 p.m. and signed off at midnight. In 1960, the Texas State Network sold channel 11 to NAFI Telecasting Corporation (which also owned Chris-Craft Industries at the time); the station's call letters were then changed to KTVT on September 1. In July 1966, KTVT began broadcasting its programming in color, which was inaugurated with the broadcast of the Miss Texas Pageant.

NAFI sold the station to the Oklahoma City-based WKY Television System, a subsidiary of the Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) in 1971; Oklahoma Publishing later renamed its broadcasting arm Gaylord Broadcasting. Under Gaylord's stewardship, channel 11 (or "The Super Ones", as it was later referred to in continuity) became the leading independent station in the Southwestern U.S.; at the time, it carried a broad range of cartoons, off-network sitcoms, westerns and drama series, movies and public affairs programming. Like Gaylord's other independent stations, KTVT's programming was mainly aimed at rural and suburban residents in the outer portions of the Metroplex. KTVT was further aided in its status as it was a VHF station, whereas its future competitors were on the UHF band. KTVT's main competitor in the 1970s was KXTX-TV (channel 39), which was owned by the Christian Broadcasting Network and ran a number of religious programs. While the station gained three additional competitors in the 1980s – future sister station KTXA (channel 21) in October 1980; KTWS-TV (channel 27, now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station KDFI) in January 1981; and KNBN-TV (channel 33, now CW affiliate KDAF) in May 1980 – KTVT was the only independent station in the market that was profitable.

KTVT's popularity also spread outside of the Metroplex from the late 1970s onward, as it attained superstation status along the lines of WTBS (now WPCH-TV) in Atlanta, WGN-TV in Chicago and WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV) in New York City. KTVT transmitted its signal via satellite to C-band satellite subscribers and to about 400 cable systems across the country, mainly in the southwestern United States, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. At its height, it was available on nearly every cable system in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as large portions of Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. This status would later hamper OPUBCO president Edward L. Gaylord's efforts to purchase a controlling interest in the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team, whose games were carried on KTVT from 1984 (one year before Gaylord purchased a minority share of the team) until 1994. Channel 11 was also the flagship station of the highly-popular local pro wrestling program Saturday Night Wrestling, and aired a two-hour Saturday night wrestling program titled Championship Sports; KTVT also broadcast Dallas Mavericks NBA games from the mid-1980s until 1994, and Dallas Stars NHL games during the 1993–94 season. In the 1980s, the West Freeway underwent a widening project, this forced the station to move its operations to its current facility on Bridge Street; the former facility was torn down to make way for the additional freeway lanes.

Transition to CBS[edit]

In late 1993, Gaylord announced that KTVT – along with sister stations KHTV (now KIAH) in Houston, and KSTW in Tacoma, Washington – would become charter affiliates of The WB, a new broadcast television network that launched in January 1995. Not long afterward, longtime CBS affiliate KDFW (channel 4) announced it would affiliate with Fox, as part of a long-term affiliation deal between that network and KDFW's new owners, New World Communications. About to find itself without an affiliate in the Metroplex, CBS approached Gaylord for an affiliation with channel 11, after KXAS turned down an offer to affiliate with the network; the two parties came to an agreement – CBS signed both KTVT and KSTW as affiliates (KSTW, which took the CBS affiliation in Seattle from KIRO-TV, would trade affiliations with that station and join UPN after it was sold to Paramount Stations Group in February 1997). Upset by Gaylord's blindsided move, The WB later filed an injunction in court to in an effort to dissolve their arrangement; The WB later signed KXTX-TV as its interim Metroplex affiliate.[2]

The entire CBS network schedule moved from KDFW to KTVT on July 1, 1995. That day, The WB changed affiliates once again, moving from KXTX to KDAF, a Fox O&O that the network sold to Renaissance Broadcasting after signing the deal with New World. Channel 11 had already been carrying some CBS programs for about a year prior to the affiliation switch; it had picked up The Price Is Right and The Bold and the Beautiful, when KDFW dropped them in favor of Donahue and an expanded midday newscast as part of its transition to Fox. KTVT effectively lost its status as a superstation with its conversion into a "Big Three" affiliate; it disappeared from all cable systems outside of Texas, as well as satellite, by the end of 1995.

Gradually, the station began taking on the format of a major network affiliate, expanding its local news programming and acquiring more first-run syndicated programs. KTVT also used the same red and yellow boxed diagonal "11" logo and graphics package as its Seattle sister station KSTW during this time, and adopted the slogan "The Eye of Texas" in reference to its CBS affiliation and the network's signature Eyemark logo; the station also sold its inventory of syndicated sitcoms and cartoons to KTXA.

Gaylord had already begun winding down its television interests at the time of the network switch, and exited television altogether when it sold KTVT to CBS in 1999.[3] The following year, Viacom bought CBS, creating a duopoly with then-UPN station KTXA as CBS's owned-and-operated stations were integrated into Viacom's Paramount Stations Group. As part of the deal, KTXA's operations moved from the Paramount Building in downtown Dallas and were integrated with KTVT at its facility in Fort Worth.

On August 26, 2013, KTVT/KTXA moved its Dallas offices to 12001 North Central Expressway (two blocks north of the previous Dallas facility at 10111 North Central). The office tower (within which KTVT's Dallas newsroom and the duopoly's advertising sales offices occupy the top floor) was renamed CBS Tower. The station's primary studios and other technical and business operations remain in east Fort Worth.[4]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[5]
11.1 1080i 16:9 KTVT-DT Main KTVT programming / CBS

Analog-to-digital transition[edit]

KTVT shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 19 to VHF channel 11.[6] Due to widespread reception problems and a resulting 57% loss of its household viewership, KTVT was granted permission via special temporary authorization by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move back to channel 19 on July 23, 2009.[7] On the same day, sister station KTXA was given permission via an STA to move back to its pre-transition UHF digital channel 18.[8] The channel change went into effect on August 4, 2009. Prior to that time, KTXA simulcast KTVT's programming on digital subchannel 21.2. KTVT broadcast on both channels 11 and 19 until November 2012, each using the virtual channel "11.1," which caused many digital television receivers to display channel 11.1 twice when tuning sequentially.

On September 10, 2009, the FCC issued a Report & Order, approving KTVT's move from channel 11 to channel 19.[9] On October 21, 2009, it filed a minor change application for its new allotment, for which the FCC granted a construction permit on November 19, 2009.[10] On November 26, 2012, KTVT terminated operations on VHF channel 11 and moved to its new channel 19 transmitting facilities (shared with KTXA).[11][12]

Programming[edit]

Syndicated programs broadcast by KTVT include Dr. Phil, The Queen Latifah Show, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, Inside Edition, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, with weekend telecasts of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (all of which are distributed by corporate cousin CBS Television Distribution). As a CBS owned-and-operated station, KTVT carries the network's entire programming schedule, with the majority of programs airing in pattern. However, it is one of the few CBS stations in the Central Time Zone (alongside those such as sister stations WBBM-TV in Chicago and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, and affiliates such as WTVF in Nashville, KOLR in Springfield, Missouri and WHBF-TV in Davenport, Iowa) that airs the soap opera The Young and the Restless at 11:30 a.m.; most prefer to air it at 11:00 a.m. as a lead-in to their midday newscasts. Like many of its CBS-owned sister stations, it also airs Let's Make a Deal at 9:00 a.m. weekdays, instead of the 2:00 p.m. timeslot where the program is carried nationally (this scheduling is most common with the network's O&Os as well as select affiliates in the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, where Let's Make a Deal would normally air in the 3:00 p.m. timeslot).

KTVT also serves as the "official station" of the Dallas Cowboys, airing shows involving the team, including the head coach's weekly program, the Cowboys post-game show, and specials such as the Making of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Calendar and post-season team reviews. KTVT only airs regular season Cowboys afternoon games in which the team plays against an AFC team, in accordance with the National Football League's contract with CBS (KDFW holds the primary local rights to the team's game telecasts through Fox's contract with the league's National Football Conference division). KTVT airs such a game every other year on Thanksgiving Day.

News operation[edit]

KTVT morning newscast title card.

KTVT presently broadcasts 30 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays, one hour on Saturdays and 1½ hours on Sundays). In addition, the station produces two sports programs on Sunday nights after the 10:00 p.m. newscast: the sports highlight show The Score and the football highlight program Blitz: Cowboys/Desperados Report, which are both hosted by sports director Babe Laufenberg. For most of the time since joining CBS, KTVT has been one of the network's weaker stations in terms of overall and local news viewership. However in the February 2011 sweeps period, the station's 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. timeslots placed first in total viewers for the first time in the station's history.[13] That May, KTVT overall had placed second in both total viewership and adults 25-54 by small margins for the first time in its history; this is in comparison to the May sweeps period a year before, in which Channel 11 won in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. The 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts all saw ratings increases in both demographics placing second.[14]

KTVT first established a news department in the 1970s while it was still an independent station, airing a half-hour local newscast at noon and a 15-minute newscast at 10:00 p.m. – airing as an intermission within its late primetime movie – each weekday. On August 20, 1990, KTVT launched half-hour primetime newscasts at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. each weeknight, the latter being the first newscast in the 9:00 timeslot to be offered by a commercial television station in the Metroplex (predating KDFW's addition of its own late evening newscast in that slot when it switched from CBS to Fox in July 1995, and the formation of KDAF's news department with the debut of its own 9:00 p.m. newscast in 1999; PBS member station KERA-TV (channel 13) previously carried a 9:00 p.m. newscast from 1970 to 1976); the 7:00 p.m. newscast was cancelled in 1992, leaving only the 9:00 broadcast, which was expanded to one hour.

Indeed, one main reason that CBS approached KTVT to become its new Metroplex affiliate was that it was the only non-Big Three station in the market with a functioning news department. After becoming a CBS affiliate on July 1, 1995, KTVT debuted an hour-long weekday morning newscast at 6:00 a.m. and a half-hour early evening newscast at 6:00 p.m., while the 9:00 p.m. newscast was moved to 10:00 p.m.; weekend evening newscasts were also added (its former 9:00 p.m. newscast ran only on Monday through Friday nights). During its first few years as a CBS affiliate, KTVT used the "11 on Eleven" title for its 10:00 p.m. newscast (as did Seattle sister station KSTW, which used a modified 11 at 11 branding on its 11:00 p.m. newscast), used to emphasize that the day's top headlines and the first weather forecast would be aired in the first 11 minutes of the newscast, before the first commercial break.

Newscasts were added and dropped from the schedule during KTVT's first decade with CBS. In February 1996, the station added noon and 5:00 p.m. newscasts on weekdays. In January 1999, the station added a 6:30 p.m. newscast that lasted until September 2000, when the station debuted an hour-long 4:00 p.m. newscast; that program was cancelled in September 2002, but returned as an hour-long newscast two years later in January 2004, and was trimmed to a half-hour in September 2005. The noon newscast was later dropped in 2004. In 2006, the station discontinued its weekend morning newscasts, due to budget cuts imposed by CBS Corporation (as such, KTVT is the only one of the "Big Four" stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth market that does not have a morning newscast on Saturdays and Sundays). On January 11, 2010, KTVT expanded its 4:00 p.m. newscast once again, now to one hour leading into the 5:00 p.m. newscast. On September 24, 2007, KTVT became the third television station in the Dallas-Fort Worth market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high-definition. In 2010, KTVT switched to the new CBS O&O standardized graphics package (originally used by WCBS-TV in New York City and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles), and began using the CBS Enforcer News Music Collection by Gari Media Group as its news theme. KTVT restored a midday news program to its schedule on August 12, 2013, with the debut of a half-hour 11:00 a.m. newscast.

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

  • Babe Laufenberg - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m., also host of The Fan Sports Show (on KTXA), "The Score" and "Blitz: Cowboys/Desperados Report"
  • Steve Pickett - general assignment reporter

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]