|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Branding||News 9 (in HD)|
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
K39JH-D Strong City
K47LR-D Elk City
News 9 Now (DT2)
|Owner||Griffin Communications, LLC
(Griffin Licensing, LLC)
|First air date||December 20, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||World's Tallest Video|
|Sister station(s)||KOTV-DT, KQCW-DT|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
9 (VHF, 1953-2009)
39 (UHF, 2003-2009)
9 (VHF, 2009-2010)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
KWTV-DT, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 39), is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. It is the flagship television station of locally-based Griffin Communications. The station's studios are located on Kelley Avenue (adjacent to the studios of PBS member network OETA), and its transmitter its located near the John Kilpatrick Turnpike/Interstate 44, both on the city's northeast side.
- 1 Digital television
- 2 History
- 3 Programming
- 4 News operation
- 5 References
- 6 External links
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|9.1||1080i||16:9||News9||Main KWTV-DT programming / CBS|
|9.2||480i||News9 N||News 9 Now|
News 9 Now is a news simulcast/rebroadcast channel that previously operated as cable-only News Now 53 from December 3, 1996 to March 30, 2011. Owned by Griffin Communications, in cooperation with Cox Communications, it also runs a three-hour block of E/I-compliant children's programming on Saturdays. KWTV also uses the subchannel to carry CBS network programming in place of the main channel during severe weather emergencies and runs select programs from the network that are not cleared to air on the station's main channel.
KWTV shut down its analog transmitter on February 17, 2009 (the original target date of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion in the United States, which Congress had moved the previous month to June 12), and continued digital broadcasts on its former analog channel allocation of VHF channel 9. Due to reception problems in parts of central Oklahoma, KWTV was granted permission by the FCC to operate an secondary signal on its former UHF digital channel 39 under special temporary authorization in October 2009, using PSIP virtual channel 9.2. On March 9, 2010, the FCC issued a Report & Order, approving the station's request to move its digital signal from channel 9 to channel 39.
On April 20, 2010, KWTV filed a minor change application on its new channel 39 allotment, that was granted on June 10. Short-lived service interruptions began on July 29 to allow viewers to rescan their digital tuners to carry the UHF channel 39 signal. On August 16, 2010, the digital signal on UHF channel 39 added a virtual channel on 9.1, in addition to the 9.2 PSIP channel. KWTV terminated its digital signal on channel 9 and began to permanently operate only on channel 39 on August 30, 2010 at 12:30 p.m.
The development of the station came about as local grocery magnate John Toole Griffin noticed that many homes around the Oklahoma City area had outdoor television antennas in order to receive WKY-TV (channel 4), Oklahoma's first television station, which had debuted in June 1949, this led Griffin to decide to expand into television and apply for a broadcast station license with the Federal Communications Commission. KWTV first signed on the air on December 20, 1953, founded by Griffin and his brother-in-law Jimmy Leake, both of whom also owned KOMA (1520 AM), initially broadcasting its signal from a shorter temporary tower near the KWTV studios on Kelley Avenue as its permanent transmitter tower was still under construction. The station has been a CBS affiliate since its sign-on, owing to KOMA's longtime affiliation with the CBS Radio Network, and is one of the few television stations in the United States that has had the same callsign, ownership, primary network affiliation and over-the-air channel allocation throughout its history. The first program broadcast on KWTV featured station employees introducing themselves and the departments of the station they were employed at.
The Griffins chose the callsign KWTV (for "World's Tallest Video") for the station, in reference to the 1,577 feet (481 m) transmitter tower (which was the tallest free-standing broadcast tower in the world at the time and was activated in 1954), over using the KOMA calls used by its sister radio station. Todd Storz, creator of the Top 40 radio format, purchased KOMA in 1958, separating it from KWTV. Griffin and Leake bought out the partners that held minority interest in the station in 1963; Leake then sold his interest to Griffin in 1968, in return for Griffin's share of two other television stations: Tulsa station KTUL and Little Rock station KATV. By the 1970s, KWTV became the first station in the market to begin recording news footage on videotape instead of film. In the late 1970s, it also became the market's first television station to broadcast on a 24-hour programming schedule. Griffin retired in 1990, and turned over control of the station to his son David.
On August 18, 1993, KWTV partnered with Cox Communications and Multimedia Cablevision to create a new 24-hour local cable news channel through a condition of a retransmission consent agreement that Griffin Television renewed with the two cable providers. This channel debuted on December 3, 1996 as News Now 53, available in the Oklahoma City area on Cox cable channel 53, and featured rebroadcasts and live simulcasts of KWTV's news programming (News Now 53 was initially seen only in the city proper, before its carriage expanded to Oklahoma City's outlying suburbs following Cox's January 2000 acquisition of Multimedia Cablevision from the Gannett Company), the channel later expanded to the Tulsa market after Griffin Communications purchased that city's CBS affiliate KOTV in 2000 with that station's newscasts being shown in that area also on Cox channel 53 (Cox Communications acquired TCI's Tulsa service area one year earlier during that company's merger with AT&T Corporation).
Tragedy struck the station on January 26, 2001, when a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 that was transporting nine members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team (including two players and six members of the coaching staff) and KWTV sports director Bill Teegins (who also served as a radio announcer for the university's football and basketball games) crashed in a field near Strasburg, Colorado. The plane departed from Jefferson County Airport following a game against the University of Colorado Buffaloes, when the pilot became disoriented while flying through heavy snow on the way to Stillwater Regional Airport; all ten men on board were killed (two memorials have since been erected in remembrance: one at the crash site, and another at OSU's Stillwater campus outside of Gallagher-Iba Arena featuring a statue of a kneeling cowboy).
That same year, KWTV entered into a content partnership with The Oklahoman that resulted in the merger of both their websites in 2001, under the "NewsOK" brand; this collaboration ended in early 2008 (though the NewsOK website continues to exist as the website for The Oklahoman). Ironically the Gaylord family, who ran the newspaper from 1907 to 2011 (when the paper's owner OPUBCO Communications Group was sold to The Anschutz Corporation), built and signed on competitor KFOR-TV in 1949, owning that station until 1976.
On October 25, 2010, KWTV became the Oklahoma City market's first television station (and Oklahoma's fifth, the others before then being Tulsa stations: KJRH-TV, KTUL and KWTV sister stations KOTV and KQCW-DT) to carry syndicated programming in high definition, as well as the first in the market to run traditional advertisements and promos produced by the station and its affiliated network during local commercial breaks in the format.
KWTV currently carries the majority of CBS's program schedule, although does not air all CBS programming in pattern: its main channel is one of a handful of CBS affiliates that does not air CBS This Morning Saturday and it delays the second half-hour of Face the Nation to early Monday mornings (both shows air on the News 9 Now subchannel, with the former program being shown after the Saturday morning newscast and the latter airing in the half-hour following digital channel 9.1's airing of Face the Nation's first half-hour).
For a brief period in the early 1990s, KWTV preempted CBS News Sunday Morning; it also ran out of pattern The Price Is Right (at 11 a.m.) and The Young and the Restless (at 3 p.m.) from 1993 to 1999. CBS' Saturday morning children's program block (currently titled Cookie Jar TV) also aired in a split pattern until September 2010, with one half-hour airing at 5:30 a.m., while the block's other programs usually ran from 8-10:30 a.m. Until March 28, 2011, KWTV ran The Late Late Show on a half-hour delay at 12:07 a.m. due to its weeknight airing of Seinfeld (which is now seen on KOKH).
From 2000 to 2011, KWTV served as the broadcast home of Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball games produced through the Cowboys Sports Network, broadcasting three games each season (usually airing on a Wednesday or Saturday during primetime hours).
KWTV presently broadcasts 36½ hours of locally-produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays and 3½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the second-largest local newscast output among Oklahoma City's broadcast television stations, falling behind KFOR-TV's weekly news total by four hours. Since 2006, the station has operated a Bell 407 helicopter for newsgathering called "SkyNews9 HD", which was the market's first to be equipped with a high definition video camera (though helicopter images were not broadcast in HD until October 2010); this helicopter replaced "Ranger 9", which had a camera installed below the helicopter's nose (dubbed "EagleVision") in 2000, and was the first helicopter in the state used for daily newsgathering (having debuted one day before KOCO's "Sky 5" in 1980). KWTV also provides local weather updates for the Clear Channel-owned Oklahoma News Network and four radio stations owned by Tyler Media Group: KOKC, KOMA, KMGL and KRXO.
The station's newscasts have had a long ratings rivalry with KFOR-TV for the most-watched newscast in the market, and has long been one of CBS' strongest affiliates. KWTV had the highest-rated late evening newscast in the United States during the May 2006 sweeps period, and its 10 p.m. newscast was the top-rated newscast in the nation in May 2007, and placed as the most-watched in the market during the February 2012 sweeps period. KWTV's newscasts compete for the #1 ratings slot with KFOR in most timeslots where both stations run local newscasts.
KWTV partners with Tulsa sister station KOTV-DT to provide feature stories filed by the latter during its newscasts, as well as to cover news events occurring within the Tulsa market; both stations collaborate in the production of the Oklahoma Sports Blitz sports wrap-up program on Sundays. Though the Ogle family has had a long association with KFOR-TV dating back to when Jack Ogle joined that station as anchor in the 1950s with Kent and Kevin Ogle now with that station today, Kelly Ogle serves as KWTV's weeknight co-anchor, and provides an op-ed segment weeknights on the 10 p.m. newscast titled My Two Cents. After the Prime Time Access Rule was imposed by the FCC that cut 30 minutes from the major broadcast networks' nightly primetime schedules – reducing them to three hours – in 1971, KWTV created Oklahoma City's first hour-long 6 p.m. newscast (predating KFOR-TV's 6 p.m. news hour by 25 years). That newscast was split into two half-hour broadcasts at 5 and 6 p.m. in 1976, with the CBS Evening News airing in between at 5:30 p.m. From 1966 to 1971, KWTV used the Eyewitness News format later used by ABC affiliate KOCO.
KWTV places a significant emphasis on weather and is known for the severe weather coverage formerly headed by chief meteorologist Gary England, as well as for having the top weather technology in the United States. Oklahoma native England is the state's longest-serving television meteorologist (assuming the title upon his 32nd year at the station in 2004, from Jim Williams, who worked for KFOR-TV from 1958 to 1990), having been with KWTV from October 1972 to August 28, 2013, after which he the transitioned into an executive role at KWTV owner Griffin Communications as vice president of corporate relations; former KFOR-TV meteorologist David Payne, who joined KWTV as 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. meteorologist in February 2013, took over as chief meteorologist on August 29, 2013. In 1973, KWTV installed the United States' first television weather radar, first utilized on May 24 of that year to cover an F4 tornado that caused extensive damage in Union City (the original film of that televised warning from 1973 was used in later years during promotions for the station's severe weather coverage). The first commercial Doppler radar in the nation was installed at KWTV in 1981, and shortly after had detected a tornado near Binger, which was broadcast live by a photographer inside the station's news helicopter.
In 1986, England developed the country's first television weather alert system called "First Warning" (while First Warning manually updated watches and warnings, the similarly-developed First Alert created by KOCO-TV in the late 1980s, was the first automatically updated system). KWTV debuted MOAR (for "Massive Output Arrayed Radar"; though colloquially referred by Gary England as the "Mother of All Radars") on May 8, 2003 to track an F4 tornado that hit Moore; the radar used enhanced street-level mapping to detect the path of tornadoes and uses GPS to track the location of KWTV's storm spotters. In 2000, the station introduced "I-News", internet-enabled software for personal computers that alerts users to severe weather alerts and breaking news. In February 2007, KWTV debuted "Storm Monitor" (later known by its standard brand name of ESP for "Early Storm Protection"), which utilized VIPIR technology to measure a mesocyclone's strength and its tornado-producing potential.
From the 1980s to 2006, England and the KWTV weather staff presented "Those Terrible Twisters" during the spring and summer months, a program that toured local Oklahoma communities providing tornado safety information and promoted the station's efforts in providing severe weather coverage; these extended to half-hour specials that aired each spring on KWTV, which also showcased storm footage shot by KWTV storm spotters alongside behind-the-scenes video of KWTV's storm coverage. In 1998, KWTV was one of the first stations in the United States to introduce a computer forecasting system that predicted hour-by-hour future weather conditions. During a tornado outbreak that affected Oklahoma City on June 13, 1998, a camera on the station's transmitter tower caught the live collapse of an auxiliary tower operated by KFOR-TV and its former radio sister WKY.
In November 2006, KWTV debuted a high definition-ready news set designed and built by FX Group. On August 2, 2010, the 4 p.m. newscast was reformatted from a traditional newscast into a more feature and lifestyle-driven program. On October 24, 2010, beginning with the 10 p.m. newscast, KWTV became Oklahoma City's second and Oklahoma's fourth television station (after KJRH-TV/Tulsa, KFOR-TV and KXII/Ardmore) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition (the graphics, logo, slogan and CBS Enforcer News Music Collection theme music that debuted with the change, were also adopted by KOTV that same day upon its newscasts' upgrade to widescreen standard definition broadcasts). On January 24, 2011, KWTV expanded its weekday morning newscasts with the addition of a third hour of the program at 4 a.m.
- Four Star Report (1953–1958)
- Big 9 News (1958–1960 and 1980–1981)
- Channel 9 Report (1960–1962)
- Newsscope (1962–1964)
- Channel 9 News (1964–1966)
- Eyewitness News (1966–1971)
- Newsroom 9 (1971–1980)
- Newsline 9 (1981–1997)
- News 9 (1997–2010)
- News 9 in High Definition / News 9 HD / News 9 in HD (2010–present)
- "Television 9, Eyewitness News, In Supercolor" (1966–1971)
- "Newsroom 9, Oklahoma's News in Color" (1971–1975)
- "All The News on Newsroom 9" (1975–1979)
- "We're Coming On, The Big 9 is There" (1979–1981)
- "Count On 9" (1982–1986)
- "The Spirit of Oklahoma" (1986–2000; also formerly used on now sister station KOTV)
- Variations: "Working In The Spirit of Oklahoma", "In The Spirit of Oklahoma"
- "More Local, More Meaningful" (2000–2003)
- "Making a Difference" (2007–2010)
- "Oklahoma's Own" (2010–present)
- "Stay with NEWS9, We'll Keep You Advised" (weather slogan, has also been read from 1981 to 2000 as "Stay with TV-9, we'll keep you advised" and prior to 1981 "Stay with Channel 9, we'll keep you advised.")
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Current on-air staff
- Alex Cameron - weekdays at noon; also investigative reporter, and KWTV creative services director
- Dana Hertneky - weekend mornings (5:00-8:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Lacie Lowry - weekdays at 4:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Robin Marsh - weekdays at 4:00 p.m.
- Bobbie Miller - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Stan Miller - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Kelly Ogle - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Tammy Payne - weekday mornings (4:00-5:00 a.m.)
- Amanda Taylor - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also consumer reporter ("Consumer Watch")
- Karl Torp - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also fill-in weeknight anchor
- David Payne (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4:00 and weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Nick Bender - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Jed Castles (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Matt Mahler - meteorologist; weekend mornings (5:00-8:00 a.m.)
- Lacey Swope - meteorologist; weekday at noon; also weather producer and weekday morning fill in
- Dean Blevins - sports director; weeknights at 5:00 and 6:00 and Sundays-Fridays at 10:00 p.m.; also co-host of Oklahoma Sports Blitz
- Chuck Fisher - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00 and 10:00 and Sundays at 5:30 p.m.; also Friday Football Blitz host/sports reporter
- Steve McGeehee - sports mobile journalist; also fill-in sports anchor
- Toby Rowland - sports reporter and contributor
- Evan Anderson - general assignment reporter
- Rachel Calderon- weekday morning reporter;also fill in morning anchor
- Justin Dougherty - general assignment reporter
- Jim Gardner - Bob Mills SkyNews 9 HD pilot/reporter
- Heather Hope - general assignment reporter
- Adrianna Iwasinski - crime reporter
- Ken Johnson - weekday morning traffic reporter (4:00-7:00 a.m.); heard on KOKC-AM
- Michael Konopasek - weeknight 10:00 p.m. reporter
- Chris McKinnon - general assignment reporter
- Lisa Monahan - general assignment reporter
- Steve Shaw - weeknight 10:00 p.m. reporter
- Deanne Stein - general assignment reporter and 405moms.com content producer
- Dr. Mary Ann Baumann - medical contributor
- Irven Box - legal analyst
- Jennifer Eve - "Together at the Table" food segment
- Ron Hays - agricultural contributor
- Jim McWhirter - retirement planning contributor
- Scott Mitchell - political analyst
- Sarah Roe - "Money Saving Queen" contributor
News 9 StormTrackers (storm spotter unit)
- Chris Beverage
- Alan Broerse - also weekday morning weather producer (4:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Hank Brown
- Patty Brown
- Amy Castor
- Val Castor
- Marty Logan
- James Menzies
- Tom Pastrano
- Bobby Payne
- Rob Satkus
Notable former on-air staff
- Paul Bouchereau - meteorologist (1992-2001); now working in sales at KSBI
- Roger Cooper - weeknight news anchor (early 1980s)
- Gary England - chief meteorologist (1972-2013); now Vice President of Corporate Relations and Weather Development at Griffin Communications
- Shon Gables - weekend morning anchor/reporter (1998-2001; now at WFAA/Dallas-Fort Worth)
- Chris Harrison - weekend sports anchor/reporter (1993-1997; now host of ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette)
- Ed Murray - news anchor (1980-2011); now host of "Mind Games: High School Edition" at KSBI
- Jenifer Reynolds - news anchor (1990s); now host of "Mind Games: College Edition" at KSBI and "Discover Oklahoma" for Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation
- Patti Suarez - lead news anchor (1981-1991; now a film/stage actress under the name Patti Davis Suarez)
- Harry Volkman - chief meteorologist (1954-1960; later at WBBM-TV, WGN-TV and WFLD in Chicago)
- Mike Boettcher - reporter (1978-1980) ABC News Correspondent
- RabbitEars TV Query for KWTV
- KWTV to repurpose News Now 53
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- CDBS Print
- KWTV to shut down VHF channel 9 permanently
- Interview with Griffin Communications president David Griffin from "KWTV 50th Anniversary Special", 2003.
- Interview with longtime KWTV employee Spec Hart from "KWTV 50th Anniversary Special", 2003.
- TV Station, Cable Operators to Provide Local Broadcast Cable Channel, Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News / The Daily Oklahoman (via HighBeam Research), August 18, 1993.
- Witness of Oklahoma State University plane crash describes 'ball of fire', CNN, January 28, 2001.
- N81PF accident description
- Gary England Celebrates 40 Years on KWTV, TVSpy, October 16, 2012.
- Weather won’t be the same, Oklahoma Gazette, August 28, 2013.
- "Weathering the Storm: Tornadoes, Television, and Turmoil" by Gary England. University of Oklahoma Press, 1996.
- http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=13379520 News 9 Launches 'Oklahoma's Own' Campaign in High Definition with New Logo
- News9.com - Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KWTV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KWTV-DT