Region 8 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||We are Region 8!|
Digital: 8 (VHF)|
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
8.3 CW+ (soon)
(sale to Gray Television pending)
(KAIT License Subsidiary, LLC)
|First air date||July 15, 1963|
|Call letters' meaning||
(AIT also sounds like eight)
|Sister station(s)||WMC-TV, KFVS-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||
8 (VHF, 1963–2009)
9 (VHF, 2003–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1963–1965)|
|Transmitter power||28.2 kW|
|Height||531 m (1,742 ft)|
|Public license information:||
KAIT, virtual and VHF digital channel 8, is a dual ABC/NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States. The station is owned by Raycom Media. KAIT's studios are located on County Road 766 in Jonesboro, and its transmitter is located in Egypt, Arkansas.
KAIT first signed on July 15, 1963 as an independent station, a venture of Fort Smith businessman George Hernreich. It has been affiliated with ABC since 1965. The Hernreich family sold the station to Channel Communications in 1984. That company, in turn, sold KAIT to Cosmos Broadcasting, the broadcasting arm of South Carolina-based insurer Liberty Corporation, in 1986. Liberty exited the insurance business in 2000, bringing the Cosmos stations directly under the Liberty banner. Current owner Raycom Media obtained the station in 2005 through its purchase of Liberty. For many years, KAIT also operated a low-powered translator station K11JW operating on Channel 11 in nearby Blytheville, Arkansas.
KATV (channel 7) and KARK (channel 4) in Little Rock and the signals of other Little Rock area VHF stations adequately covered parts of the KAIT viewing area before the digital transition. Several cable systems in the KAIT viewing area, including Jonesboro and Blytheville, have carried KATV for decades. In compliance with syndex and must-carry regulations, some systems may black out KATV and KARK when either station airs the same program as KAIT, usually during the daytime and primetime hours, except for breaking news, weather bulletins, and regularly-scheduled newscasts. Other cable systems in parts of the KAIT viewing area that are within in the Little Rock television market that also carry KATV, such as in Searcy and Heber Springs, carry both stations without restrictions.
KAIT shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, 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 VHF channel 9 to channel 8 for post-transition operations.
Pending sale to Gray Television
On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including KAIT), and Gray's 93 television stations) under the former's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion – in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom – will result in Gray's entry into Arkansas with KAIT.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|8.1||720p||16:9||KAIT-AB||Main KAIT programming / ABC|
|8.2||720p → 1080i||KAIT-NB||NBC Region 8|
|8.3||TBA (480i or 720p)||KAIT-CW||KAIT CW (soon)|
Both KAIT and KAIT-DT2 clear their respective network's entire schedule. Outside of ABC programming, syndicated programming on KAIT includes Wheel of Fortune, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Kelly and Ryan, and Judge Judy.
KAIT presently broadcasts 24½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (4½ hours on weekdays and 1 hour on weekends).
In addition to reporting on local news stories, members of KAIT's reporting staff are also employed as photojournalists for the station. On October 15, 2007 beginning with the 5 p.m. newscast, KAIT's local newscasts were rebranded, replacing the former K8 News branding with Region 8 News, a branding the station had used during much of the 1980s. The station's longtime slogan "Good Neighbors You Can Turn To" (also "Your Good Neighbor Station") was also replaced with a new slogan ("Always Tracking. Always Watching. Always On.")
On September 16, 2011, KAIT announced that upgrade its newscasts to high definition, and broadcast from a new set; the following night, fellow ABC affiliate KATV in Little Rock started broadcasting its local newscasts in HD. On October 17, 2011 beginning with its 11 a.m. newscast, KAIT became the fourth station in Arkansas (the first in Jonesboro) to broadcast its local newscast in high definition.
Although not owned by the same company, KAIT frequently forms a partnership with the Jonesboro Radio Group for community projects and promotions. The three Jonesboro Radio Group stations involved in the partnership are KEGI 100.5 FM, KDXY 104.9 FM and KJBX 106.3 FM. An audio simulcast of KAIT's 6 p.m. newscast airs Monday-Friday evenings on KJBX.
Notable former on-air staff
- Rodger Bumpass - announcer, film processor, cameraman, audio technician, and technical director (best known for providing the voice of Squidward Tentacles on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants)
- Hogan Gidley - News/Weather Anchor
KAIT's home market only comprises Craighead, Clay, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, and Sharp counties in Arkansas. With KAIT's 28,200 watts worth of effective radiated power, KAIT's signal can extend into nearby portions of all neighboring markets (e.g. the Memphis, Little Rock, Springfield, MO, and Cape Girardeau, MO–Paducah, KY markets). Even after the digital transition of 2009, KAIT's over-the-air signal can still be picked up as far south as Forrest City, as far north as Hendrickson, Missouri, as far west as Mountain View and as far east as Tiptonville, Tennessee and Caruthersville, Missouri. Some of the northern suburbs of Memphis can also pick up at least a grade B signal.
- Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
-  Archived November 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Jonesboro Gets New Fox TV Affiliate - Talk Business & Politics". Talk Business & Politics. June 7, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018.
- John Eggerton (June 25, 2018). "Gray Buying Raycom for $3.6B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
- Dade Hayes (June 25, 2018). "Gray Acquiring Raycom For $3.65B, Forming No. 3 Local TV Group". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KAIT
- KAITDT (KAIT-DT) TV Listings, TV Shows, and Schedule - Zap2It
- KAIT-TV Programming Info from TitanTV
- KAITDT2 (KAIT-DT2) TV Listings, TV Shows, and Schedule - Zap2It
- "KAIT launching new CW affiliate in Region 8". KAIT. 25 Jul 2018. Retrieved 26 Jul 2018.
- Troy Diggs (2007-04-25), KAIT - Midday Promo - 2000, retrieved 2017-10-12
- Coverage Maps for the Jonesboro, Arkansas media market. Federal Communications Commission (2009).
- KAIT Contour Map
- New Wave Communications Programming Changes for the New Year