KCIT

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KCIT
KCIT 14 logo.png
Amarillo, Texas
United States
Branding KCIT Fox 14 (general)
KCIT Fox 14 News (newscasts)
Slogan Keeping It Local
Channels Digital: 15 (UHF)
Virtual: 14 (PSIP)
Subchannels 14.1 Fox
14.2 Grit
14.3 Bounce TV
14.4 Escape
Translators
Affiliations Fox (since 1986)
Grit (DT2; since 2016)
Bounce TV (DT3; since 2016)
Escape (DT4; since 2016)
Owner Mission Broadcasting
(Mission Broadcasting, Inc.)
Operator Nexstar Media Group
First air date October 24, 1982; 34 years ago (1982-10-24)[1]
Call letters' meaning CIT = See It
Sister station(s) KAMR-TV
KCPN-LP
Former callsigns KJTV (1982–1985)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
14 (UHF, 1982–2009)
Former affiliations Primary:
Independent (1982–1986)
Secondary:
FNN (1982–1985)
PTEN (1993–1995)
DT2: This TV (2010–2016)
Transmitter power 925 kW
Height 464 m (1,522 ft)
Class DT
Facility ID 33722
Transmitter coordinates 35°20′33.2″N 101°49′21.6″W / 35.342556°N 101.822667°W / 35.342556; -101.822667
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.myhighplains.com

KCIT, virtual channel 14 (UHF digital channel 15), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Amarillo, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Mission Broadcasting, which also owns low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate KCPN-LP (channel 33); Nexstar Media Group, which owns NBC affiliate KAMR-TV (channel 4), operates KCIT and KCPN under a shared services agreement. All three stations share studio facilities located on South Fillmore Street and Southeast 11th Avenue in downtown Amarillo (across from the studio facility of ABC affiliate KVII-TV); KCIT maintains transmitter facilities located on U.S. Route 87 and Reclamation Plant Road in rural unincorporated northern Potter County.

History[edit]

As an independent station[edit]

The station first signed on the air on October 24, 1982 as KJTV. Not counting satellite stations, it was the fourth commercial television station — after KAMR-TV (channel 4, which signed on as KGNC-TV on March 18, 1953), KFDA-TV (channel 10, which signed on April 4, 1953), and KVII-TV (channel 7, which signed on the air on December 21, 1957) — and the first commercial UHF outlet to sign on in the Amarillo market. It was founded by owned by Ray Moran. Operating as an independent station, channel 14 maintained a programming inventory typical of an non-network-affiliated outlet, consisting of first-run and off-network sitcoms and drama series, classic off-network westerns (with films from the genre airing on Friday nights under the sponsored Western Theater umbrella), feature films in prime time and on weekend afternoons (with those airing on Monday through Thursday evenings presented under the Star Movie umbrella) and cartoons. KJTV also carried business news programming from the Financial News Network each weekday afternoon until 1985.

Channel 14, however, housed older transmission equipment and was fairly prone to technical problems during its run as an independent. The station's transmitter failed on its first night of operation, and did not return to the air until the following morning. Its programming was fed to the Amarillo facility from an off-air receiver relayed by microwave link from sister station KJAA in Lubbock (now also a Fox affiliate, which assumed the KJTV call letters in 1986); this method of relaying the signal produced a blurred feed. Most of its transmission equipment, while new, was also of low quality. Commercials aired during program breaks were played on 34-inch (1.9 cm) tape decks that suffered from repeated picture glitches at the beginning and end of each ad. The picture format was also substandard, with RF interference being prevalent over the audio feed as the equipment was housed in a room next to the station's transmission tower (located along U.S. Route 87/287 at KVII's original transmitter facility), which housed an older model RCA transmitter dish that produced a low-power, 128-kW signal that barely covered the entire Amarillo metropolitan area.

Moran sold the station to Ralph Wilson Industries, owned by Detroit businessman and Buffalo Bills founder Ralph Wilson, in the fall of 1984; the sale received regulatory approval on December 11, 1984. Wilson heavily invested in the station, constructing a state-of-the-art studio and office facility on South Fillmore Street in downtown Amarillo, and a 1,522-foot (464 m) transmitter tower north of Amarillo that produced a more powerful signal that reached much of the Texas Panhandle. Subsequently, on August 11, 1985, the station changed its call letters to KCIT, a phoneticism for "See It" ). Around that time, the station changed its on-air branding to "TV-14 KCIT". During its later years as an independent station and its early years as a Fox affiliate, KJTV/KCIT heavily relied on sponsorships from Amarillo area businesses for its programming, including among others, local car dealerships Don Judd Dodge (now defunct) and John Chandler Ford (now Tri-State Ford), and furniture retailer Heath Furniture (which would later be purchased by Richmond, Virginia-based Heilig-Meyers in 1997).[2][3][4]

As a Fox affiliate[edit]

In the summer of 1986, News Corporation approached Amarillo Television about turning KCIT into a charter affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company. Channel 18 joined Fox when the network inaugurated programming on October 9, 1986. Though it was technically a network affiliate, KCIT continued to be programmed as a de facto independent station as Fox's initial programming lineup consisted solely of a late-night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. Even after its programming expanded with the launch of a three-hour Sunday night lineup in April 1987, Fox aired its prime time programming exclusively on weekends until September 1989, when it began a five-year expansion towards a nightly prime time schedule. Until Fox began airing prime time programs on all seven nights of the week in January 1993, KCIT continued to air a movie at 7:00 p.m. on nights when the network did not offer any programming.

In the winter of early 1991, Wilson sold KCIT to the Epic Broadcasting Corporation, owner of fellow Fox affiliate KJTL in the group's headquarters of Wichita Falls; the sale was approved by the FCC on March 11, 1991. In September 1993, KCIT began maintaining a secondary affiliation with the Prime Time Entertainment Network (PTEN), carrying first-run drama series from the programming service in late night until September 1995.[5] In October 1994, channel 14 gained a sister station when Wicks signed on low-power independent station K65GD (channel 65, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate KCPN-LP on UHF channel 33). On August 31, 1995, Epic acquired KCIT, K65GD, KJTL and its Wichita Falls sister station K35BO (now MyNetworkTV affiliate KJBO-LP) from the Wicks Broadcast Group. At that time, the station changed its on-air branding to "Fox 14," and implemented a logo similar to that used by KJTL – then Epic's flagship station – that remained in use until 1994.[6][7]

On January 6, 1999, Wicks sold announced that it would sell KCIT and KCPN-LP to Mission Broadcasting for $13 million. The day before the Mission Broadcasting purchase announcement, on January 5, Boston-based Quorum Broadcasting announced that it would purchase KAMR-TV from U.S. Broadcast Group as part of a $64-million, three-station deal). The acquisition of KCIT and KCPN was among the first station acquisitions for Mission, which originated as an arm of its creditor Bastet Broadcasting; the Bexley, Ohio-based group had formed partnerships with the Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Quorum to operate many of Mission's stations in markets that did not have enough television stations to allow a legal duopoly between two commercial broadcast outlets. Quorum took over the operations of KCIT and KCPN on June 1, 1999, under joint sales and shared services agreements with Mission, under which KAMR would handle news production, engineering, security and certain other services as well as handling advertising sales for the two stations.[8][9][10][11][12] KAMR subsequently vacated its longtime studio facility on North Polk and Northeast 24th Streets, and relocated its operations seven miles (11 km) south to KCIT/KCPN's Fillmore Street facility.[13] On September 12, 2003, Quorum merged with Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group for $230 million;[14][15] when the sale was finalized on December 31, 2003, Mission transferred the SSA involving KCIT and KCPN to Nexstar in conjunction with that group's acquisition of KAMR.[16]

On February 25, 2013, the over-the-air signals of KCIT, KAMR and KCPN were knocked off the air for more than 18 hours as a result of electricity fluctuations that shut off cooling pumps on the stations' transmitter tower off of U.S. 287 during a major blizzard that crippled much of the Texas Panhandle. Snow drifts of up to 4 feet (1.2 m) prevented station employees from accessing the site until the morning of February 26, in order to restore power to the transmitters. All three stations remained available to Suddenlink Communications systems in the area through a direct fiber feed.[17]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[18]
14.1 720p 16:9 KCIT-HD Main KCIT programming / Fox
1$.2 480i 4:3 Grit Grit
14.3 Escape Escape
14.4 Bounce Bounce TV

Subchannels[edit]

KCIT launched a digital subchannel on virtual channel 14.2 in 2010, which originally served as an affiliate of This TV. On June 15, 2016, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it had entered into an agreement with Katz Broadcasting to affiliate 81 stations owned and/or operated by the group — including KAMR-TV and KCIT — with one or more of Katz's four digital multicast networks, Escape, Laff, Grit and Bounce TV (the latter of which is owned by Bounce Media LLC, whose COO Jonathan Katz serves as president/CEO of Katz Broadcasting).[19]

As part of the agreement, on August 25 of that year, KCIT launched three digital subchannels to serve as affiliates of three of the Katz networks: the station began carrying Grit on virtual channel 14.2 (displacing This TV, which did not obtain a replacement affiliate in the market and is now only available in fringe areas in far eastern New Mexico via repeaters of Albuquerque NBC affiliate KOB-TV), Bounce TV on channel 14.3 (which also temporarily remained available on the main channel of low-power station KAUO-LD [channel 15] until January 2017) and Escape on channel 18.4; the Laff affiliation rights for the Amarillo market instead went to KAMR, which launched a tertiary subchannel on the same date.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KCIT discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009).[20] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 15, using PSIP to display KCIT's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 14 on digital television receivers.

Programming[edit]

KCIT currently carries the entire Fox network schedule (consisting of prime time, Saturday late night, and sports programming, as well as some special reports produced by Fox News). Syndicated programs broadcast on KCIT (as of September 2016) include The People's Court, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, Divorce Court, Judge Mathis, Last Man Standing and The Big Bang Theory [21]

To comply with programming guidelines imposed by the Children's Television Act, the station also carries a half-hour of educational children's programming on Monday through Saturday mornings at 8:00 a.m., consisting solely of programs from the Steve Rotfeld Productions-distributed Xploration Station, a live-action E/I block which normally airs on most Fox stations and select other minor network affiliates on weekend mornings.

Sports programming[edit]

Since September 1994, KCIT has served as the television partner of the Dallas Cowboys for the Amarillo market. Channel 18 currently holds the local rights to air preseason games and various team-related programs during the regular season from the team's syndication service (including the Cowboys Postgame Show, Special Edition with Jerry Jones and the head coach's weekly analysis program The Jason Garrett Show, along with specials such as the Making of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Calendar and postseason team reviews). Most Cowboys telecasts carried on KJTL are those carried by Fox, which through the network's contract with the National Football League (NFL), holds primary broadcast rights to the National Football Conference (NFC). In addition to carrying Fox-televised games involving in-conference opponents, since 2014, Cowboys games carried on the station also include certain cross-flexed games against opponents in the American Football Conference (AFC) that were originally scheduled to air on CBS.

Newscasts[edit]

As of September 2016, KAMR-TV produces 3½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week for KCIT (with a half-hour each on weekdays, Saturday and Sundays). As the duopoly partner of KAMR, the station may also simulcast long-form severe weather coverage from the NBC affiliate in the event that a tornado warning is issued for any county in its viewing area of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles.

Local newscasts debuted on channel 14 in October 1985, with a half-hour-long 9:00 p.m. newscast, titled Channel 14 News (later retitled as TV-14 News upon the 1985 callsign switch and then as Fox News in 1986). In its early years, the prime time newscast — the first such newscast to debut in the Amarillo market — was paired alongside the syndicated national news program Independent Network News (produced by New York City independent station WPIX, now a CW affiliate). KCIT shut down its news operation in the fall of 1995, with channel 14's news programming consisting solely of 60-second news and weather updates that aired during commercial breaks within the station's daytime and evening programming for the next four years. The news updates, branded as Fox 14 News, were discontinued in 1999, following the sale of KCIT and KCPN-LP to Mission Broadcasting and the formation of the SSA with NBC affiliate KAMR.

A news outsourcing agreement was established between KCIT and KAMR two years later, resulting in the return of a nightly prime time newscast to channel 14, which made its debut on March 11, 2001. The half-hour show, titled Fox 14 News @ 9, originated from a secondary set at KAMR/KCIT/KCPN's facility on South Fillmore Street in downtown Amarillo. Originally co-anchored by Kelly James and Paige Smith (née Cook) on Sundays through Friday nights and Mel Hernandez on Saturdays, the newscast was structured to match the "Fox attitude" in an effort to court younger viewers, incorporating entertainment, health and lifestyle news segments and a fast-paced sports segment (similar in pacing to that of the Headline Sports segment aired at the time by CNN Headline News), alongside a conventional style of news coverage that would appeal to Texas Panhandle viewers.[22]

In May 2003, KCIT became the subject of a defamation lawsuit by Canadian, Texas resident Gabriel Brown, in which he accused the station and the United Way of Amarillo and Canyon of falsely identifying him in a story about a domestic abuse claim by Brown's wife, Jennifer Brown, who said Gabriel (whose name was not disclosed in the aired report) beat her when she received services from a United Way agency, which compiled information for a story that aired on the 9:00 p.m. newscast that March about community resources for abused women without verifying the claims. Jennifer later filed a countersuit against her husband on grounds that the suit was meritless, and sought damages resulting from ten years of spousal abuse. The original lawsuit was dismissed by Potter County District Court Judge Patrick Pirtle on September 23, citing Gabriel's failure to file responses to orders demanding evidence of defamation.[23][24][25]

The KAMR-produced newscast would later gain additional prime time news competitors in the 9:00 timeslot during the late 2000s: CBS affiliate KFDA-TV launched a prime time newscast for sister independent station KZBZ-LP (now KTXC-LP) in September 2006, which was followed by the launch of a newscast produced by ABC affiliate KVII-TV for CW-affiliated DT2 subchannel in September 2012. In 2005, KAMR began producing a one-hour extension of its weekday morning newscast for KCIT, which was eventually cancelled after two years due to poor ratings. On January 15, 2008, the 9:00 p.m. newscast – which had aired for a half-hour since its debut – was expanded to a one-hour-long broadcast; it would revert to a half-hour in September 2011. In July 2012, KAMR began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition, becoming the market's second Big Three network affiliate (after CBS affiliate KFDA-TV) to upgrade its newscasts to the format; KCIT's prime time show was included in the upgrade.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Television Factbook states KCIT's sign-on date as October 29.
  2. ^ Amarillo Daily News, March 14, 1988; also see Amarillo Daily News Friday issues such as October 27, 1989; March 18, 1988; and April 6, 1990.
  3. ^ Max Albright (August 8, 1997). "Chain store buys Heath Furniture". Amarillo Globe-Times. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  4. ^ Greg Rohloff (April 12, 2001). "Heilig-Meyers to close stores in Amarillo, elsewhere". Amarillo Globe-Times. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Updated 1993 PTEN list". alt.tv.babylon-5. Retrieved November 23, 2011 – via Google Groups. 
  6. ^ Elizabeth Rathbun (July 31, 1995). "Patterson picks up seven radio stations. (Patterson Broadcasting Inc.)(Brief Article)". Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. Retrieved August 21, 2017 – via HighBeam Research. 
  7. ^ See, for example, "Ad for KCIT". Clarendon Enterprise. Clarendon, Texas. April 23, 1992. p. 5 – via SmallTownPapers. 
  8. ^ Greg Rohloff (January 7, 1999). "2 city TV stations sold". Amarillo Daily News. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  9. ^ Alisa Homes (February 1, 1999). "CHANGING HANDS.(TV and radio station acquisitions)". Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. Retrieved August 21, 2017 – via HighBeam Research. 
  10. ^ "MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER FOR KCIT ACQUISITION COMPANY AND BSP BROADCASTING, INC.". Federal Communications Commission. December 11, 1997. Retrieved August 21, 2017 – via University of North Texas. 
  11. ^ "Mission Broadcasting of Wichita Falls, Inc. SEC Form S-4 filing". Nexstar Broadcasting Group/U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. December 31, 2001. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Mission Broadcasting of Wichita Falls, Inc. SEC Form S-4 filing". Nexstar Broadcasting Group/U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. March 27, 2002. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ Chip Chandler (October 24, 2000). "Channel Surfer: KAMR gives peek at new sets, changes". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  14. ^ "NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP TO ACQUIRE QUORUM BROADCASTING" (Press release). Nexstar Broadcasting Group. September 12, 2003. Retrieved August 21, 2017 – via U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  15. ^ "Nexstar to acquire Quorum Broadcasting". Dallas Business Journal. American City Business Journals. September 12, 2003. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Nexstar completes $230M buy of Quorum Broadcast". Dallas Business Journal. American City Business Journals. December 31, 2003. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  17. ^ Chip Chandler (February 26, 2013). "Station GM: Power woes knock stations off-air during storm". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  18. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KCIT". RabbitEars. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Bounce TV, Grit, Escape, Laff Multicast Deal Covers 81 Stations, 54 Markets". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  20. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2017. 
  21. ^ "KCITDT (KCIT-DT) - TV Listings". Zap2It. Gracenote. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Channel Surfer: Fox 14 News @ 9 launches Sunday". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. March 6, 2001. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  23. ^ Greg Cunningham (May 8, 2003). "Canadian man sues KCIT-TV, United Way". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  24. ^ Greg Cunningham (May 10, 2003). "Woman files countersuit to United Way, KCIT-TV suit". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  25. ^ Greg Cunningham (October 2, 2003). "Judge tosses suit against United Way". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 

External links[edit]