KXAS-TV

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Not to be confused with KSAX or KSAS-TV.
KXAS-TV
KXAS-TV logo.png
Fort Worth/Dallas, Texas
United States
City of license Fort Worth, Texas
Branding NBC 5 (general)
NBC 5 News (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 41 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels 5.1 NBC
5.2 Cozi TV
Affiliations NBC (O&O)
Owner NBCUniversal
(Station Venture Operations, LP)
First air date September 29, 1948 (1948-09-29)
Call letters' meaning TeXAS
Sister station(s) KXTX-TV
Former callsigns WBAP-TV (1948–1974)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
5 (VHF, 1948–2009)
Transmitter power 891 kW
Height 506 meters (1,660 ft)
Facility ID 49330
Transmitter coordinates 32°35′7″N 96°58′6″W / 32.58528°N 96.96833°W / 32.58528; -96.96833
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.nbcdfw.com

KXAS-TV, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 41), is an NBC owned-and-operated television station serving the DallasFort Worth Metroplex that is licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations subsidiary of NBCUniversal, and is part of a duopoly with Telemundo owned-and-operated station KXTX-TV (channel 39). The two stations share studios located at The Studios at DFW at the CentrePort Business Park on Amon Carter Boulevard (near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) in Fort Worth, and its transmitter is located south of Belt Line Road in Cedar Hill.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on September 28, 1948 as WBAP-TV (although it first broadcast over a closed-circuit system more than three months earlier on June 20); it was the first television station to sign on in the state of Texas, the second, after KDYL-TV in Salt Lake City (now KTVX), located between St. Louis and Los Angeles) and the 25th to sign on in the United States. The station was founded by Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Amon G. Carter, who also owned longtime NBC Blue Network affiliate WBAP (820 AM). The following year, the two stations were joined by WBAP-FM (96.3 FM, now KSCS). When the construction permit application was submitted to the Federal Communications Commission on June 21, 1946, Carter had originally requested to use KCPN (for "Carter Publications News") as the station's call letters, before choosing the calls used by its sister radio station three months before it signed on. The Broadcast Hill studios were in the latter stages of construction on the night the station began broadcasting; WBAP-TV was knocked off the air for 17 minutes that evening due to a power outage that interrupted its inaugural programming.

Channel 5 originally operated from studio facilities located at Broadcast Hill on Barnett Street in eastern Fort Worth – the first studio facility in the United States that was designed specifically for television broadcasting, where the 400-foot (120 m) tower that transmitted its signal (supporting microwave and remote antennas) was also based In 1957, a taller tower was built at the west end of the studio property. By the time channel 5 signed on, it was obvious that Dallas and Fort Worth were going to be collapsed into single television market due to the close proximity of the two cities. However, Carter, who had long been a booster for the Fort Worth area, did not care whether Dallas residents could view channel 5. WBAP-TV and its FM sister moved to the 1,500-foot (460 m) Cedar Hill candelabra tower shared by WFAA (channel 8) and KRLD-TV (channel 4, now KDFW) in 1957, reportedly only after NBC threatened to strip the station of its affiliation. Before this, WFAA-TV served as the NBC affiliate for the eastern half of the market.

On July 1, 1952, WBAP-TV became one of the first five television stations in the country to transmit network programming over a live feed. WBAP-TV was the first television stations to convert its local programming to color; the conversion to color broadcasts on May 15, 1954 was preceded by a dedication of its new color facilities from Carter and RCA chairman David Sarnoff. During NBC's coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, news reports from WBAP-TV's studios were transmitted in color, with NBC broadcasting the coverage in New York City from a black and white studio. On November 24, 1963, a remote unit owned by then-independent station KTVT (channel 11, now a CBS owned-and-operated station) that was loaned to WBAP-TV[1] and set up at Dallas Police Headquarters, fed the live images of accused Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald being gunned down by Jack Ruby to the NBC network. It was the first time that a murder had been witnessed live on U.S. network television.

The station was owned by the Carter family trusts until 1974, when the FCC barred common ownership of newspapers and television stations in the same market except for a few grandfathered combinations. The FCC grandfathered Belo's newspaper/radio/television combination of the Dallas Morning News, WFAA-TV and the WFAA radio stations (570 AM, now KLIF and 97.9 FM, now KBFB), but declined to grant protection for the Star-Telegram, WBAP radio and KSCS (as WBAP-FM had been renamed in 1973). The Carters then decided to break up their media empire; WBAP-TV was then sold to LIN Broadcasting for $35 million, the sale was finalized in the summer of 1974; the station's callsign was subsequently changed to KXAS-TV. Meanwhile, the Star-Telegram, WBAP-AM and KSCS were sold to Capital Cities Communications (the newspaper is now owned by the McClatchy Company, while the two radio stations are now owned by Cumulus Media).

On January 25, 1986, Thomas Stephens, who had been served divorce papers from his wife the day before, shot and killed himself with .357-caliber pistol on-air during KXAS's live coverage of a standoff at a local 7-Eleven store. Stephens, believing they encouraged her to seek the divorce, shot his wife's two co-workers, killing one and wounding the other. His wife, Patricia, slipped away while he was talking to police over the phone.[2] In 1987, the Cedar Hill tower was severely damaged when an F-4 military aircraft on approach to Dallas Naval Air Station clipped several guy wires, briefly knocking KXAS, WFAA and KDFW off the air for a few seconds of the first few minutes of the incident. Auxiliary facilities were improvised at the nearby tower belonging to KXTX-TV (channel 39) – a tower that itself would collapse while undergoing maintenance in 1996. KXAS opted to build new transmitter facilities to the east of the old tower, on acres of land that had been owned by the station since the 1960s.

KXAS logo, used 2000–2012.
Alternate on-air logo used 2000–2012.

When AT&T Corporation acquired LIN Broadcasting in 1994, its broadcasting assets were spun off into a separate company known as LIN TV Corporation. That year, KXAS was approached by CBS to become the market's new affiliate after New World Communications signed a deal to switch twelve of its stations, including longtime CBS affiliate KDFW (which the company was in the process of acquiring from Argyle Television), to Fox; KXAS turned down the offer, which prompted CBS to sign a deal with Gaylord Broadcasting to affiliate with KTVT, joining the network in July 1995.

LIN TV wholly owned channel 5 until March 1998, when it sold a 76% share of KXAS to NBC, in exchange for a 24% share of San Diego's KNSD (which NBC had recently purchased from New World Communications) and cash. The joint venture between NBC and LIN was named Station Venture Holdings, LLC.[3] As part of the deal, NBC took control of KXAS' operations.[4] Although not a traditional arrangement, NBC's assumption of control over KXAS made it a de facto owned-and-operated station.

In 2001, NBC purchased KXTX (which aligned that station with Telemundo – which NBC had purchased two years earlier, taking the affiliation from longtime outlet KFWD (channel 52) – in January 2002), creating a duopoly between that station and KXAS. On November 19, 2009, a fire in the electrical room of the station's Broadcast Hill studios knocked both stations off the air; fire alarms went off at 9:30 p.m., which led to the studio being evacuated, disrupting the 10:00 p.m. newscasts on KXAS and KXTX.[5] In February 2013, LIN Media withdrew itself from the Station Venture Operations joint venture as part of a corporate reorganization. As a result, NBC gained full ownership of KXAS and regained full ownership in KNSD.[6]

In June 2012, NBCUniversal announced plans to construct a new 75,000-square-foot facility in Fort Worth (located at the CentrePort Business Park on the former site of Amon Carter Field) to house KXAS, KXTX and NBCUniversal's other Dallas-based operations (including the NBC News Dallas bureau). Construction of the facility began that month,[7] and was completed in September 2013. Sales and marketing departments, and NBC's ArtWorks graphics firm began migrating to the facility in early October; all other operations – including KXAS and KXTX's news departments – moved to the Carter Boulevard studio by November 1, ending KXAS's 65-year tenure at Broadcast Hill.[8][9]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[10]
5.1 1080i 16:9 KXAS-HD Main KXAS-TV programming / NBC
5.2 480i COZI Cozi TV

KXAS also operates a Mobile DTV feed of subchannel 5.1, broadcasting at 1.83 Mbit/s.[11][12]

Logo for NBC DFW Nonstop until 2012.

Digital subchannel 5.2 previously carried NBC Weather Plus, until the network shut down on December 1, 2008.[13] On December 23,[citation needed] the channel was revamped as NBC Plus,[14] an automated service featuring local weather information, alongside audio from NOAA Weather Radio station KEC55 in Fort Worth, and alternately from KEC56 in Dallas.[citation needed] On May 4, 2011, programming on 5.2 switched to a format carried only on the subchannels of NBC's O&Os called NBC Nonstop (under the branding "NBC DFW Nonstop"), which featured a mix of originally-produced news and lifestyle programming and rebroadcasts of KXAS newscasts;[15] NBC Nonstop relaunched as Cozi TV on December 20, 2012. The channel is also available to Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and Grande Communications customers in the Metroplex.[16]

In January 2009, KXAS began carrying Universal Sports on digital subchannel 5.3.[14] Universal Sports converted to a cable- and satellite-exclusive service on December 31, 2011, dropping its over-the-air subchannel affiliations.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KXAS-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, 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 transition period UHF channel 41,[17][18] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 5.

As part of the SAFER Act,[19] KXAS kept its analog signal on the air starting with a brief test pattern at noon that day, followed by a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters to inform viewers of the digital transition that ran until June 26.

Programming[edit]

Atypical for a network-owned station, KXAS does not carry the entire NBC schedule; the station does not clear the entirety of NBC's weekday overnight lineup – it carries the rebroadcast of the fourth hour of Today but does not clear the network's broadcast of CNBC's Mad Money, opting to air syndicated progamming instead. In addition, KXAS also airs the NBC Kids block on a one-hour delay due to the 9:00 a.m. hour of its Saturday morning newscast (which bookends the Saturday edition of Today), resulting in the third hour of the block being shifted to Sundays whenever network sports telecasts are scheduled on Saturdays during the noon hour in order to meet FCC educational programming quotas. Syndicated programs broadcast by KXAS-TV include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Extra, Steve Harvey, On the Red Carpet and The Meredith Vieira Show.

During the 1970s and 1980s, KXAS often aired many of NBC's daytime programs out of pattern, which were recorded off the network live feed, then aired on a one-day delay. Channel 5 also cleared only the first 60 minutes of The Tonight Show around this time; host Johnny Carson blasted the station's decision not to carry the then 90-minute program in its entirety (the only NBC affiliate to do so) during a 1978 edition of the program.

KXAS served as the "Love Network" affiliate of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon for 38 years from 1973 until 2011, when the telethon was reduced to a six-hour primetime telecast on the Sunday before Labor Day; it moved to independent station KTXA (channel 21) to avoid interfering with NBC's Sunday primetime schedule – however, NBC's Sunday primetime lineup during the week of the telethon consists mainly of Dateline NBC as well as reruns or feature films (in its latter years on KXAS, substantial portions of the telethon had been preempted due to the station's NBC entertainment and sports programming commitments).[20] The broadcast moved to ABC in September 2013 (as a result, it is now carried locally by WFAA).[21]

News operation[edit]

KXAS presently broadcasts 36½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays). In addition to the newscasts seen on KXAS, the station also produces 2½ hours of newscasts each weekday for its Cozi TV digital subchannel in the form of a half-hour 6:30 p.m. newscast.[22] The station also produces the political discussion program Lone Star Politics, which airs over the final 20 minutes of the 8:00 a.m. hour of its Sunday morning newscast. KXAS maintains a news bureau located on McKinnon Street in central Dallas.

Historically, KXAS has placed second or third overall in local news viewership. According to the local Nielsen ratings for the February 2011 sweeps period, KXAS placed second in the 6:00 a.m. time period among total viewers and adults age 25–54 years old; this in direct comparison to the same time period the year before, when it placed first in that timeslot, aided by NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. KXAS placed third at 5:00 p.m. among total viewers and adults 25-54, in last place at 6:00 p.m. among both total viewers and with adults 25-54, and placed third at 10 p.m. with total viewers and last with 25-54 year olds.[23]

For the May 2011 sweeps period, the 10:00 p.m. newscast placed last among adults 25-54 and in third with total viewers (overall, all four stations showed year-to-year gains in total viewers while only KXAS was down slightly among 25-to-54-year-olds); the station's morning newscast had placed third in both demographics. In total viewers, the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts also finished in last place among the Metroplex's late newscasts, though the 5:00 p.m. newscast was in third (behind KTVT) in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic (the 6:00 p.m. newscast placed last behind KTVT among adults 25-54). The morning newscast was the only KXAS newscast to rank above third place in total viewership (though it, along with KTVT and WFAA's morning newscasts all lost viewers in both key demos to KDFW, which ranked first).[24]

The station's evening newscast, which was long known as The Texas News, was the highest-rated local television program in the United States during the station's early years; it originally maintained a newsreel format before switching to a live-on-tape broadcast on August 1, 1969. In the late 1960s, Fort Worth native Bob Schieffer began his broadcast career at WBAP-TV as a reporter and anchor of the 10:00 p.m. newscast. Schieffer went on to Washington, D.C. as a reporter for WTTG and the now-defunct Metromedia news service, then embarked on a long career with CBS News. KXAS is locally known for its weather coverage; it claims to be the first station to have hired only full-time meteorologists. One of its first, Harold Taft, was employed with the station for 42 years from 1949 to 1991, and developed first televised weather forecast in the U.S. for the station; Taft was known for using hand-drawn weather maps to illustrate his forecasts, which were replaced by computerized graphics in November 1982. On March 28, 2000, while an F3 tornado was ripping through downtown Fort Worth, a tower camera operated by the station caught the tornado live on-air during the 6:00 p.m. newscast as KXAS chief meteorologist David Finfrock was warning viewers at home about the tornado warning in effect for Tarrant County.

On September 7, 2007, KXAS-TV became the second television station in the Dallas-Fort Worth market (after WFAA) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. On January 16, 2009, KXAS began sharing its news helicopter with Fox owned-and-operated station KDFW through a Local News Service agreement formed between NBC Owned Television Stations and Fox Television Stations.[25]

News staff[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

  • Marc Fein - weekday mornings on NBC 5 Today (4:30-7:00 a.m.)

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ November 22, 1963 - A Breakfast with JFK
  2. ^ Texas gunman kills self on TV, Chicago Sun-Times (via HighBeam Research), January 12, 1986.
  3. ^ "Company Overview of Station Venture Operations Lp". Company profiles. Business Week. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Myerson, Allen (23 October 1997). "Hicks, Muse, Aided by NBC, Sweetens Lin Television Bid". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Electrical Fire Forces NBC 5 Off the Air, KXAS-TV, November 20, 2009.
  6. ^ "LIN exits NBC joint venture, plans reorg". RBR.com. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  7. ^ KXAS to begin construction on new FW studios by end of June, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 11, 2012.
  8. ^ NBC 5 begins move from longtime home on Broadcast Hill in Fort Worth, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 1, 2013.
  9. ^ KXAS Opens State-of-the-Art Building, TVNewsCheck, October 1, 2013.
  10. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KXAS
  11. ^ http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=atscmph
  12. ^ http://www.mdtvsignalmap.com/
  13. ^ Greppi, Michelle (2008-10-07). "NBC Shutting Down Weather Plus". TelevisionWeek. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  14. ^ a b "Station Ownership in the Top 25 Markets" (PDF). broadcastingcable.com. January 24, 2009. p. 7. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Malone, Michael (2010-10-21). "Exclusive: NBC Local Media Sets 'Nonstop' Launch Dates". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  18. ^ CDBS Print<! – Bot generated title – >
  19. ^ "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ NBC5 (KXAS-TV) will be no-show for this year's notably shortened MDA telethon (updated) - Uncle Barkley's Bytes (Posted June 20, 2011)
  21. ^ "‘MDA’ Telethon Heads to Primetime on ABC". Variety. June 17, 2013. 
  22. ^ New "DFW Nonstop" digital channel spreads the NBC5 brand with array of lifestyles/news programming and a signature 6:30 p.m. newscast anchored by Jane McGarry
  23. ^ CBS11 and Fox4 dominate Feb. sweeps while once dominant WFAA8 takes a beating, UncleBarky.com, March 3, 2011.
  24. ^ Fox4 paces May "sweeps" local newscast ratings, with WFAA8 also scoring points (with some sleight-of-hand trickery at 10 p.m.), UncleBarky.com, May 26, 2011.
  25. ^ "Fox, NBC Expand LNS Relationship". Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  26. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-5kdXllydQ

External links[edit]