|Branding||ABC 31 KLAX (general)
ABC 31 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Covering Central Louisiana|
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
|Owner||Pollack/Belz Communications Co., Inc.|
|First air date||March 3, 1983|
|Call letters' meaning||Louisiana and AleXandria|
|Sister station(s)||KWCE-LP, KIEM-TV|
|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|
KLAX-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for Central Louisiana licensed to Alexandria. It broadcasts a standard definition digital signal on 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. Owned by the Pollack/Belz Broadcasting Company, KLAX is sister to low-powered MeTV affiliate KWCE-LP and the two outlets share studios on England Drive/LA 498 in Alexandria.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|31.1||720p||16:9||KLAX-DT||Main KLAX-TV programming / ABC|
KLAX was launched on March 3, 1983 originally operating as an independent station, owned by Don Lyons and his wife, the former Rebecca Payton (1937-2012), a native of Saline in Bienville Parish, via their company, Cypress Communications. The Lyonses came to Alexandria from Many, where they had formerly owned and operated radio station KWLA.
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 had a secondary affiliation with ABC; Cypress Communications originally intended to sign on KLAX as an ABC affiliate, but the network initially rejected their request. Cypress Communications 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; KLAX 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.
KLAX established a fully staffed and produced local news department in the 1980s. The operation was shut down in 2001 being unable to compete with longtime dominant KALB. A news operation was revived in 2008 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 6pm.