|Branding||ABC 31 KLAX (general)
ABC 31 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Covering Central Louisiana|
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
(sale to Northwest Broadcasting pending)
(Pollack/Belz Communication Company, Inc.)
|First air date||March 3, 1983|
|Call letters' meaning||Louisiana and AleXandria|
|Former channel number(s)||31 (UHF analog, 1983–2009)
32 (UHF digital, –2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1983–1985)
UPN (secondary, 1995–1997)
|Transmitter power||200 kW|
|Height||333 m (1,093 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
KLAX-TV is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Alexandria, Louisiana, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 31 from a transmitter in the Kisatchie National Forest southwest of Dry Prong. The station can also be seen on Suddenlink channel 3 and in high definition on digital channel 720. Owned by the Pollack/Belz Broadcasting Company, KLAX is sister to low-powered MeTV affiliate KWCE-LP (analog channel 27, which is simulcast on KLAX's second digital subchannel) and the two outlets share studios on England Drive/LA 498 in Alexandria.
Plans for KLAX began in late 1979 when Jim Richards, who owned KSYL radio, formed Cypress Communications with the intent on launching a new television station on one of the two available commercial UHF stations (channel 31 or 41). Although the station planned to sign on in 1981 as an ABC affiliate, there were numerous delays with ordering proper equipment, and ABC originally rejected KLAX's affiliation. KLAX was launched on March 3, 1983 originally operating as an independent station, airing a mixture of syndicated programming, movies, and, for a short period of time, a prime-time newscast.
On September 23, 1985, it became the area's ABC affiliate with Monday Night Football serving as the first program that the station aired as a network affiliate. Prior to this, area cable companies had piped in either WBRZ from Baton Rouge or KATC out of Lafayette, and local station KALB-TV (channel 5) had a secondary affiliation with ABC. Fortunes soon eroded for Cypress Communications over debts accrued during construction of KLAX, and the station was put up for sale in 1986 with former KPLC owner Russell Chambers seeking a co-ownership with Rollins Inc., but this deal fell through. Cypress Communications filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 1987, and then they sold the station to current owner Pollack/Belz Broadcasting on June 3, 1988.
KLAX became one of two default ABC affiliates for the Monroe area (along with KTBS) in 1994 after that city's former ABC affiliate, KARD, became a Fox station. Most cable companies in the Monroe area carried KLAX, and it briefly branded itself as "Louisiana's Superstation" to capitalize on its expanded footprint into Monroe. This situation continued until 1998 when KAQY signed-on and took the ABC affiliation. During this time, due to the SyndEx rules, programming airing on other stations in Monroe was replaced by CNN Headline News.
KLAX also had a secondary affiliation with UPN from 1995 until 1998 when now-sister station KWCE-LP signed-on (when UPN shut down and merged with The WB to form The CW in 2006, KWCE-LP joined RetroTV). KLAX-TV upgraded its master control to allow the broadcast of high definition programming in 2012, becoming one of the last ABC affiliates and major network stations in the United States to upgrade from standard definition. Concurrent with the upgrade, KLAX-TV took on a MeTV affiliation on both its second digital subchannel and KWCE-LP.
During November 2016, KLAX's high-power transmitter received a power surge, rendering it unusable. Until late February 2018 when the station installed a new transmitter, KLAX broadcast over the air with a signal from its low-powered transmitter, making it difficult to receive over the air in the Greater Central Louisiana area.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|31.1||720p||16:9||KLAX-DT||Main KLAX-TV programming / ABC|
KLAX has made many attempts in broadcasting local news ever since signing on in 1983. Its first attempt, known as Prime News 31, premiered in October 1983 and lasted approximately one year. Said newscast aired at 9 p.m. local time, one hour before most evening newscasts. The station planned a new newscast shortly after gaining an ABC affiliation but scrapped the plan as Cypress Communications' fortunes eroded; however, in October 1986, KLAX premiered a morning newscast called Sun-Up and a news-talk show called Good Company, which aired prior to ABC World News Tonight. KLAX's longest-running and fully staffed local news department began October 3, 1988 shortly after it was acquired by Pollack-Belz. This newscast, called Cenla 31 First News, aired at 5 and 10 p.m., and eventually expanded into 6 p.m., as well. The newscast later became known as 31 LAX Action News in 1996, and it was known as that until the operation shut down on March 1, 2001 being unable to compete with longtime dominant KALB, replacing the 6 p.m. newscast with Louie Anderson's Family Feud and the 10 p.m. newscast with Mama's Family. A news operation was revived on February 5, 2007 in partnership with the Independent News Network (INN). The news anchor, meteorologist, and sports anchor are provided by the centralized news operation and other personnel from INN can fill-in as necessary. KLAX maintains local reporters who contribute content to newscasts seen weeknights at 6 and 10. The shows are taped in advance and originate from INN's facility on Tremont Avenue in Davenport, Iowa until INN moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 2013. KLAX's only live newscast airs at 6 p.m. and is repeated at 10 p.m.
- "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 8, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.