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|Channels||Digital: 18 (UHF)|
|Branding||The Valley's MyTV|
|Affiliations||4.1: Antenna TV (O&O) / MyNetworkTV (secondary)|
4.2: Rewind TV
4.4: Estrella TV
4.5: Court TV Mystery
|Owner||Nexstar Media Group |
(Tribune Broadcasting Company II, LLC)
First air date
|October 4, 1953|
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|Genevieve Beryl Tichenor |
(wife of founding owner McHenry Tichenor)
|HAAT||397.2 m (1,303 ft)|
Public license information
KGBT-TV, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 18), is a primary Antenna TV owned-and-operated television station and secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate licensed to Harlingen, Texas, United States and serving the Lower Rio Grande Valley metropolitan area. Owned by Irving-based Nexstar Media Group, it is part of a duopoly with Brownsville-licensed dual NBC/CBS affiliate KVEO-TV (channel 23). Both stations share studios on West Expressway (I-2/US 83) in Harlingen, while KGBT-TV's transmitter is located in La Feria, Texas.
KGBT-TV's roots lie in the 1941 establishment of KGBT radio, an independent radio station with a staff of eleven people. The station was owned by the Harbenito Broadcasting Company. KGBT became an affiliate of the CBS Radio Network in 1943.
KGBT-TV signed on in 1953 as a CBS Television affiliate, mirroring its radio cousin. KGBT-TV was founded by Tichenor Media System, Inc., a regional conglomerate of Spanish-language radio stations. Tichenor owned the KGBT radio station until 2003 when the company merged with Univision Communications.
Before 1976, KGBT shared ABC programming with NBC affiliate KRGV-TV. When KRGV-TV became an ABC affiliate, KGBT-TV took on a secondary NBC affiliation until 1981 when KVEO-TV signed on. In 1986, Tichenor decided to exit the English-language broadcasting market by selling KGBT-TV to the Draper Holdings Business Trust, the owner of WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland. In 1998, Draper sold KGBT-TV to Cosmos Broadcasting, the broadcasting division of the Liberty Corporation for an undisclosed price of $42 million. Cosmos came directly under the Liberty banner in 2001 when Liberty sold off its insurance business.
Sale to Raycom Media and resale to Barrington Broadcasting
On August 25, 2005, Liberty Corporation announced that they would sell all 15 stations to Raycom Media. Following the merger, the company announced that KGBT was sold to an unspecific buyer. The sale was necessary to help meet Federal Communications Commission (FCC) restrictions on station ownership. The Liberty deal was then completed on January 31, 2006.
Shortly afterwards, on March 27, 2006, KGBT-TV was sold again to Barrington Broadcasting, as part of a group deal to acquire 11 other Raycom stations, effectively becoming the only former station from the Liberty catalog to be bought out by Barrington. The FCC approved the deal in June 2006 and the purchase closed August 11.
Sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group
On February 28, 2013, Barrington sold KGBT-TV to the Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a larger deal which involved 18 television stations. The sale was completed on November 25. This effectively made them sister stations of KEYE-TV in Austin, KFDM in Beaumont (including its LMA with KBTV-TV), WOAI-TV and KABB-TV in San Antonio (including its LMA with KMYS-TV), KVII-TV in Amarillo and KDBC-TV in El Paso.
On May 8, 2017, Sinclair announced that it would be acquiring Tribune Media in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.9 billion. Had it received regulatory approval from the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, KGBT would have gained two more sister stations, Dallas CW affiliate KDAF and Houston CW affiliate KIAH.  The deal was canceled by Tribune in August 2018.
Sale to Nexstar Media Group
On January 27, 2020, Sinclair announced that it would sell WDKY-TV in Lexington, Kentucky and the non-license assets of KGBT (including its CBS affiliation and syndication contracts) to Nexstar Media Group as part of a settlement between the two companies over Sinclair's failed acquisition of Tribune Media, which was ultimately acquired by Nexstar. KGBT-TV's CBS affiliation, news department, and syndicated programming moved to KVEO's second subchannel the next day, thus bringing an end to KGBT's affiliation with CBS after 66 years. The .1 subchannel went dark, but the station's other subchannels remained active. On-air operations mostly remained unchanged, though over-the-air viewers were asked to rescan their sets to continue watching CBS. Few viewers lost access to CBS programming due to the high penetration of cable and satellite in the area. Channel 4.1 was reactivated on July 19, 2021, carrying Antenna TV, which had no previous affiliate in the market.
Also on July 19, Nexstar announced that it would acquire KGBT outright from Mission Broadcasting, which bought the station earlier in May. The deal was completed on September 15. The sale to Nexstar reunited KGBT-TV, along with WDKY-TV, with KXRM-TV/KXTU-LD in Colorado Springs and WTTA in Tampa Bay, of which Sinclair owned from 2013 to 2014, when it was traded to Media General for several of the stations. On October 1, 2021, MyNetworkTV (which was carried on KFXV and KMBH as a secondary affiliation) moved to KGBT also as a secondary affiliation. Later that year, KVEO gave up its studio in Brownsville and moved the combined operation to KGBT's former studio in Harlingen.
This section needs expansion with: further information on the history of KGBT's news operation. You can help by adding to it. (October 2011)
24/7 Weather Lab
KGBT-TV was the first news station in the metropolitan area with its own live weather radar, which was called "Live Super Doppler." KGBT-TV broadcast a 24-hour weather station, which provided updated local forecasts.
On April 29, 2008, KGBT-TV's 43-year veteran weatherman, Larry James, retired. James was a veteran of the station's "glory days" during the late 1960s and 1970s when the station produced the top-rated newscast in the Rio Grande Valley.
KGBT-TV formerly aired "Sports Extra", an extended sports segment that aired during the 10 p.m. newscasts on Fridays and Sundays. The main focus of the Friday segment was local high school football games, while the Sunday edition provided the highlights of high school, college and professional football, and generally featured a panel of local sports writers and sports talk radio personalities, who break down high school football games and provide analysis.
Prior to the start of the high school football season, KGBT produced Action 4 Sports: Countdown to Kickoff. The hour-long special briefly previewed each team in the Rio Grande Valley. As of September 2008, "Sunday Sports Extra" is in association with 956 Sports. 956sports.com provides commentators who share their input and provide analysis.
Notable former on-air staff
The station's digital signal is multiplexed.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|4.1||480i||16:9||KGBT-HD||Antenna TV & MyNetworkTV|
|4.5||KGBT4.5||Court TV Mystery|
KGBT's broadcasts became digital-only, effective June 12, 2009.
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