|Albuquerque–Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|City||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Channels||Digital: 26 (UHF)|
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|Branding||KOB 4 (general)|
KOB Eyewitness News 4 (newscasts)
KOB Eyewitness News (secondary)
|Slogan||KOB stands 4 New Mexico.|
4.2: This TV
|Owner||Hubbard Broadcasting |
First air date
|November 29, 1948|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
4 (VHF, 1948–2009)
ABC (1948–September 1953)
CBS (1948–October 1953)
Call sign meaning
|From former sister stations KKOB-AM/FM|
|HAAT||1,277 m (4,190 ft)|
Public license information
KOB, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 26), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States and also serving the state capital of Santa Fe. The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting. KOB's studios are located on Broadcast Plaza just west of downtown (across the street from dual CBS/Fox affiliate KRQE, channel 13), and its transmitter is located on Sandia Crest, east of Albuquerque.
KOB-TV started operations on November 29, 1948, after Albuquerque Journal owner and publisher Tom Pepperday won a television license on his second try. Pepperday, who also owned KOB radio (770 AM), had previously applied for one in 1943. It is the oldest television station in New Mexico, as well as the third-oldest television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast (behind WBAP-TV (now KXAS-TV) in Fort Worth, and KDYL-TV (now KTVX) in Salt Lake City). Initially, channel 4 ran programming from all four networks—NBC, ABC, CBS and DuMont. However, it has always been a primary NBC affiliate owing to its radio sister's long affiliation with NBC radio.
Later, in May 1952, the KOB stations were purchased by magazine publisher Time-Life (later Time Inc.) and former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Wayne Coy. It was Time-Life's first television asset. In 1953, two new TV stations signed on within a week—KGGM-TV (channel 13, now KRQE) signed on and took CBS, followed by KOAT which took ABC; DuMont shut down in 1956.
Stanley E. Hubbard, founder of Hubbard Broadcasting, bought KOB-AM-TV from Time-Life in 1957, and has owned the station since. KOB's radio cousins were sold off in 1986 and are now known as KKOB and KOBQ. Despite the change, many people still confuse the television and radio stations today. In 2005, KOB-TV entered into a news partnership with KKOB.
Although the KOB radio stations had long amended their callsigns, KOB-TV didn't drop the "-TV" suffix until June 13, 2009, when the FCC allowed a limited opportunity for stations to change their suffixes (adding "-TV" or "-DT") or drop them in the wake of the digital transition that was completed the previous day.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||KOB-DT||Main KOB-TV programming / NBC|
In September 2006, KOB-TV began broadcasting NBC WeatherPlus on digital subchannel 4.2, at first inserting its Doppler weather radar during time reserved for local segments. In December 2008, WeatherPlus was replaced with KOB's own locally programmed weather station. Weekly E/I programming required of broadcast television stations by the FCC came from NASA TV on weekend mornings.
On February 7, 2011, the subchannel began to carry programming from This TV. On June 30, 2016, Comet TV was added as a third digital channel, airing science fiction programs. Both Comet and This TV are partially owned by MGM Television.
KOB-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, 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 26. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.
As part of the SAFER Act, KOB-TV kept its analog signal on the air until June 30 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.
Satellite stations and translators
Two stations rebroadcast KOB's signal and insert local content for other parts of the media market:
|Station||City of license||Channels||First air date||Former callsigns||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Public license information|
|October 20, 1972||KIVA-TV (1972–1983)||30 kW||125 m (410 ft)||35321||Profile|
|June 24, 1953||KSWS-TV (1953–1985)||40 kW||533 m (1,749 ft)||62272||Profile|
KOBF went on air in 1972 as KIVA-TV. It operated at about half of the class maximum (158 of 316 kW) from an antenna 410 feet (125 m) above average terrain. The station had always been an NBC affiliate.
Up until March 2007, KOBF had broadcast a fifteen-minute Four Corners news, weather and sports segment, Eyewitness News 12, during KOB news broadcasts every weekday at 6 and 10 p.m. KOBF also produced four 5-minute news cut-ins every weekday morning during the Today show from 7–9 a.m. with local news and weather information, as well as a local high school sports program called Four Corners Gameday every Friday night during the academic year. Communities throughout the Four Corners region came to rely and depend on KOBF for local news, weather and sports information complementing the statewide coverage from KOB in Albuquerque.
On March 1, 2007, most of the extra news and all of the extra sports content was ended for viewers of KOBF. KOB management fired three of the four members of the news department, in addition to two technical directors and the news director, Scott Michlin, who had been with KOBF for 17 years. A similar practice of providing local newscasts had been done at KOBR, but to a much smaller extent. Those local broadcasts also ceased on March 1, 2007. KOBF and KOBR now serve as bureaus feeding a story or two each day for the statewide newscasts on KOB from Albuquerque. Each is staffed by one news reporter/photographer.
KOBR has been a KOB satellite since 1983, after previously operating as a free-standing local station with a primary NBC affiliation and later as a satellite of NBC affiliate KCBD-TV in Lubbock, Texas. A separate article about KOBR includes more extensive details about the history of the Roswell station.
KOB formerly operated a third satellite station, KOBG-TV channel 6 in Silver City, which signed on in 2000. Its transmitter was located at . KOBG had a permit to construct a digital station on channel 8, but these facilities were never built. After the digital transition on June 12, 2009, KOBG began operating with facilities on channel 12 identical to that of low-power translator stations under special temporary authority, and was formally replaced with a translator (K12QW-D) on April 26, 2011, though its license was not canceled until August 3.
The last letter of the satellite station callsigns stands for the city or county where the station is located. KOBG was in Grant County.
In addition to KOB and its two satellite stations, there are dozens of low-powered repeaters that carry KOB's programming throughout New Mexico, as well as a handful in Colorado and Arizona, which include:
- 1: Translator of KOBR.
- 2: Translator of KOBF.
In February 2019, Las Cruces-based K42DJ, which was owned by the News-Press & Gazette Company and rebroadcast the Azteca América subchannel of El Paso, Texas-based KVIA-TV, was transferred to Hubbard and began to rebroadcast KOB instead as K22NM-D. This provided Las Cruces over-the-air access to an in-state NBC affiliate in addition to the main NBC affiliate serving Las Cruces, Nexstar's KTSM-TV.
KOB broadcasts 32½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours each weekday, three hours on Saturdays, and two hours on Sundays). During the school year, KOB broadcasts a weekly 15-minute sportscast, New Mexico Gameday, dedicated to high school sports.
When KOAT's top anchorman, Dick Knipfing, was fired on June 4, 1979, KOB hired him to anchor their newscasts. Although KOAT sued to keep Knipfing off the air until the following year, an opinion from the United States District Court allowed the anchorman to proceed with his plans to begin anchoring channel 4 on August 1, creating the first big-dollar anchor in Albuquerque, and allowing him to stand out in the industry as the "anchorman wars" moved to smaller markets. Knipfing's salary at that time was approximately $90,000. However, channel 4 was never able to overtake KOAT in the news ratings.
KOB produced an hour-long nightly newscast for Albuquerque's then-Fox affiliate, KASA, from September 2000 through September 14, 2006, called Fox 2 News at Nine. The next day, KRQE took over production of that newscast as that station's parent company, LIN TV, began taking over KASA's operations as it purchased the station.
On September 26, 2010, KOB began producing and broadcasting its newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition, and debuted new on-air graphics and a new station logo (the logo used for its newscasts is very similar to that used by Swedish television channel TV4 for its programming) on that date as well.
On February 13, 2020, the 10 p.m. newscast was renamed KOB 4 NightBeat, switching the newscast from its former Eyewitness News format to a looser talk-based news format. It is believed that it will be only for the late newscast, but could expand depending on viewer input.
- "KOB-AM-TV sale; official announcement made." Broadcasting - Telecasting, March 10, 1952, pg. 30. 
- "Time sells KOB-AM-TV stations." Broadcasting - Telecasting, January 14, 1957, pp. 96-97. 
- "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "STA purpose statement" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 17, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "KOBG-TV Children's Television Programming Report". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Harding, Kevin R. (August 3, 2011). "Re: KOBG-TV, Silver City, New Mexico" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "Page Not Found". kobtv.com.
- Gallagher, Hugh. "KOAT Fires Knipfing, Hires 2 Replacements". The Albuquerque Journal. June 5, 1979. A-1.
- Tessier, Denise. "Knipfing Allowed To Be KOB Anchorman." The Albuquerque Journal. July 7, 1979. C-5.
- Official website
- Official website – This TV New Mexico
- KOB in the FCC's TV station database
- KOBF in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOB-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOBF-TV