||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (July 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Lafayette/Lake Charles, Louisiana
|Branding||KATC TV 3, Acadiana's News Channel|
|Slogan||KATC is everywhere.|
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
(KATC Communications, LLC)
|First air date||September 19, 1962|
|Call letters' meaning||Acadian
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
3 (VHF, 1962–2009)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KATC, virtual channel 3, is the ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Lafayette, Louisiana; the station is owned by Cordillera Communications, the television subsidiary of the Evening Post Industries. The station's studios are located on Eraste Landry Road on the city's South side and its transmitter (which became operational on November 6, 2007) is located near Branch, Louisiana.
The station began operations on September 19, 1962, and was locally owned by Acadian Television Company. Conventional wisdom suggested it should have signed on as an NBC affiliate, but instead it took the ABC affiliation full-time. Previously, ABC had been limited to off-hours clearances on CBS affiliate KLFY-TV. This was a very unusual move for a then two-station market, especially one of Lafayette's size. Usually, ABC, as the smallest and weakest network, was relegated to secondary status on one or both of the existing stations. However, Lake Charles' KPLC-TV and Baton Rouge's WBRZ-TV (the latter now a fellow ABC affiliate) provided at least grade B coverage to much of the market. In contrast, no ABC affiliate even put a grade B signal into the area. Acadian Television apparently figured that if it linked up with ABC, it would not get much local competition.
KATC coined the term "Acadiana" in the early 1960s and popularized it throughout south Louisiana. In early 1963, the ABC affiliate received an invoice erroneously addressed to the Acadiana Television Corp; someone had typed an extra "a" at the end of the word "Acadian." The station started using it to describe the region covered by its broadcast signal.
Acadian Television sold the station to Loyola University New Orleans in 1982, making it a sister station to New Orleans' CBS affiliate, WWL-TV. In the late 1980s, Loyola divested their broadcast properties, with WWL-TV going to a group of station employees (Rampart Operating Partnership) in 1990 and KATC going to investment firm Merrill Lynch in 1986. In 1993, the station joined other ABC affiliates, including WBRZ in not airing the pilot to NYPD Blue. In 1995, The Evening Post Publishing Company purchased the station. In 2003, the station started broadcasting in stereo.
KATC continued to use its transmitter for its analog signal located south of Crowley, Louisiana until the mandated digital date of June 12, 2009. KATC is also the ABC affiliate of record for Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana, since that area does not have an ABC affiliate of its own. KATC, due to its strong signal can also be seen in most of the Baton Rouge region.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|3.1||720p||16:9||KATC-HD||Main KATC programming / ABC|
KATC shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, 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 28. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.
The station produces local news and talk programming, with such shows as Good Morning Acadiana, Friday Night Football and "hard-news" newscasts that air weekdays at 5, 6, and 10 p.m., Saturdays at 6 and 10 p.m., and on Sundays at 5:30 and 10 p.m. On April 16, 2012, KATC began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. The station also debuted a brand new logo, graphics package and new set and redesigned newsroom.
Historically, KATC was a very distant runner-up to KLFY. Although its various owners have always poured significant resources into its news department, KATC was hamstrung by KLFY's seven-year head start. However, in recent years as viewing habits have changed, KATC is now winning all newscasts where they compete against KLFY.