|Branding||KTBS 3 (general)|
KTBS 3 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||On Your Side (general)|
News When You Need It;
First in News, First in HD (news)
Local Lives Here (6:00 p.m. newscast)
The Calm During The Storm (weather)
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF)|
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
|Owner||Wray Properties Trust|
|First air date||September 3, 1955|
|Call sign meaning||Tri-State|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
3 (VHF, 1955–2009)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Height||563 m (1,847 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
KTBS-TV, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 28), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Shreveport, Louisiana, United States and also serving Texarkana, Texas. The station is owned by the locally based KTBS, LLC (owned by the Wray Properties Trust, which is managed by Betty Wray Anderson, John D. Wray, and Edwin N. Wray, Jr.), as part of a duopoly with Minden-licensed CW affiliate KPXJ (channel 21). The two stations share studios on East Kings Highway on the eastern side of Shreveport and transmitter facilities near St. Johns Baptist Church Road (southeast of Mooringsport and Caddo Lake) in rural northern Caddo Parish. KTBS-TV is one of a handful of TV stations today to have locally based ownership.
On cable, the station is available on Comcast Xfinity channels 4 (standard definition) and 1003 (high definition) in Shreveport; Suddenlink channel 5 (SD and HD) in Bossier City; NewWave Communications channels 7 (SD) and 200 (HD) in Blanchard, Vivian, Springhill and Mansfield; and Cable One channels 3 (SD) and 1003 (HD) in Texarkana and Fouke, Arkansas. KTBS is also carried on some cable providers in the Tyler–Longview–Lufkin–Nacogdoches market (alongside local ABC affiliates KLTV and KTRE) in East Texas, although certain programs are subject to blackout due to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s network non-duplication and syndication exclusivity rules.
Early history; as a primary NBC/secondary ABC affiliate
The VHF channel 3 allocation was contested between three groups that competed for approval by the FCC to be the holder of the construction permit to build and license to operate a new television station on the first commercial VHF allocation to be assigned to Shreveport. On June 27, 1952, one week before the FCC released a Report and Order reallocation memorandum that lifted a four-year moratorium on new television broadcast license applications, Shreveport-based KTBS Inc. (a family-led group owned by George D. Wray Sr., Edwin N. Wray Sr., George D. Wray Jr., Charles W. Wray and John A. Hendrick) filed the initial application for the permit. Another Shreveport-based company, International Broadcasting Corp. (a consortium that owned local radio station KWKH [1130 AM and 94.5 FM; the latter is now KRUF] and was managed by William H. Bronson, Robert Ewing Jr., Wilson Ewing, Henry R. Clay and Toulmin Brown, the latter of whom was an assistant secretary principal to Shreveport Times parent Times Publishing Co.), filed its own application for the permit on July 3.
A wrench in International Broadcasting's application was a concurring proposed merger between Shreveport's two major daily newspapers, the Shreveport Times and the Shreveport Journal. On December 4, 1953, the FCC Broadcast Bureau reversed a hearing examiner's decision and approved KTBS Inc.'s request to subpoena International Broadcasting/KWKH for a "merger" agreement between the Times and the Journal, contending that the testimony of KWKH president William H. Bronson in respect to the agreement alone was insufficient and that the agreement be submitted for review in judging the KWKH application. KTBS Inc. respesentatives contended the agreement was relevant "because the [Times Publishing Company and the Journal Publishing Company, the newspapers' respective owners] publish the only major newspapers in Shreveport" and because Times Publishing would be the business agent for both newspapers and exert control of KWKH. On June 16, 1954, FCC Hearing Examiner Basil Cooper issued an initial decision looking to grant the construction permit application for channel 3 to KTBS Inc. The FCC Broadcast Bureau granted exclusive rights to the permit to Shreveport Television Company on February 16, 1955, formally denying KRMD and Southland Television's respective bids, finding that KTBS Inc. was a more qualified permittee due to its local ownership, integration of ownership and management, and had more extensive participation by its ownership in local affairs.
The KWKH application was denied due to critical deficiencies under FCC's diversification of media of communications policy, citing its ownership of two clear channel radio stations (KWKH-AM and KTHS [now KAAY] in Little Rock, Arkansas) and its parent's ownership of three newspapers (the Times, and the Monroe Morning World and The News-Star in Monroe) in neighboring states would produce a concentration of broadcast and newspaper facilities by a single company, but noted that the Times's joint printing agreement with the Shreveport Journal produced "no disservice to the public interest" due to the lack of a forced combination in print advertising. (A petition by KWKH to reconsider the grant of the channel 3 permit to KTBS Inc. was denied in May 1955, with the FCC admonishing KWKH for "repetitious[...], reckless and unsupported" charges in its petition that a KTBS principal witness committed perjury, and its "assertions and insinuations" that the agency did not give "fair, impartial" consideration to the evidence submitted; a subsequent appeal by International Broadcasting/KWKH seeking to overturn the grant, was denied by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in March 1956.) The Wray-led group subsequently requested and received approval to assign KTBS-TV as the television station's call letters; the base KTBS callsign – standing for "Tri-State Broadcasting System," the moniker that the Wrays used for the other radio stations they owned in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas – had been used by the Wray-owned namesake radio station on 710 AM (now KEEL) since 1929, and applied to its FM sister on 96.5 (now KVKI-FM) upon its sign-on in 1953. (The calls can also be taken to reference the three cities in its service area, "Texarkana, Bossier, Shreveport".)
KTBS-TV first signed on the air on September 3, 1955; it was the third television station to sign on in the present day Shreveport–Texarkana market and the second to be licensed to Shreveport, after Shreveport-based KSLA (channel 12), which signed on the air on January 1, 1954; and Texarkana, Texas-licensed KCMC-TV (channel 6, now KTAL-TV), which debuted on August 16, 1953. The station originally operated as a primary NBC affiliate, owing to KTBS radio's longtime relationship with the progenitor NBC Red Network. It also maintained a secondary affiliation with ABC, the rights to which it shared with KSLA-TV, which had carried a secondary affiliation with that network since it signed on. The station has maintained studio facilities located at 312 East Kings Highway since its inception, sharing its facility with KTBS radio. The radio stations were sold off in the late 1950s, but the Wrays (who are also the owners of a car dealership franchise in Shreveport) have retained channel 3 to this day.
As a full-time ABC affiliate
In March 1961, NBC reached an agreement with KCMC-TV to become the network's primary affiliate for the enlarged Shreveport–Texarkana market. KCMC owner Camden News Publishing Co. – which, in 1960, received permission to move the station's transmitter to a site 2.3 miles (3.7 km) south-southwest of Vivian, in a move that would consolidate Shreveport and Texarkana into a single television market – was in the process of expanding its service area to encompass and its primary operations to serve the Shreveport area. KTBS's contract with NBC was not scheduled to expire until September 1962, though, with the planned relocation of KCMC to cover Shreveport, there had been speculation that KTBS and KTAL would swap primary affiliations before the contract was set to expire. On September 3, 1961, KTAL took over as the exclusive NBC affiliate for the Shreveport–Texarkana market; KTBS-TV concurrently became the market's exclusive ABC affiliate as well as the second full-time ABC affiliate in the state of Louisiana (after WVUE-TV [now a Fox affiliate] in New Orleans, which became a full-time ABC station in 1957). Over the years, KTBS has become one of the strongest ABC affiliates in the country. In an era where most broadcast television stations are owned by large broadcasting companies that own multiple stations, KTBS is one of the few major network affiliates that has remained under local ownership. It became the first of the local big three affiliates in Shreveport and second television station in the market to launch stereo broadcasting, doing so in May 1987.
In January 1999, KTBS, LLC assumed partial operational responsibilities for Pax TV owned-and-operated station KPXJ (channel 21) under a joint sales agreement (JSA) with its owner at the time, Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks). Under the terms of the agreement, which was modeled similarly to other outsourcing agreements between Paxson and an owner of a local major network affiliate during that timeframe, KTBS also rebroadcast its 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts on channel 21. On June 17, 2003, Paxson announced it would sell KPXJ to KTBS, LLC for $10 million; the FCC rejected the application as agency ownership rules prohibited common ownership of two television stations in a single market if there are fewer than eight independent full-power station owners. As such, Paxson reached an agreement to sell the KPXJ license to Minden Television Company LLC (owned by Lauren Wray Ostendorff, daughter of Edwin N. Wray Jr., part-owner of KTBS), an indirect subsidiary of Wray Properties Trust, for $10 million. After the purchase was finalized, the Wrays converted KPXJ into the market's UPN affiliate.
On December 30, 2008, KTBS, LLC (by way of Wray Properties Trust) filed an application with the FCC to purchase KPXJ from Minden Television for $10.3 million, which would create the market's first (and only) legal television duopoly. As the Shreveport–Texarkana market has only eight full-power television stations (the minimum required to create a duopoly under FCC rules), it is the only duopoly legally allowed in the market. KTBS, LLC included in its license transfer request a "failing station waiver," indicating that KPXJ was in an economically non-viable position—noting that the station had lost revenue for the previous three years, and had averaged only a 1 audience share point for all but two sweeps ratings books while never reaching over a 4% share—and that FCC should relax ownership limits that apply to the Shreveport–Texarkana market so that Channel 21 could stay on the air; that limit (found in CFR§73.3555(b)(2) of the FCC's rules) permits ownership duopolies in markets with at least eight full-power stations, whereas Shreveport–Texarkana has only seven. The transfer was completed on August 3 of that year, officially making KTBS-TV and KPXJ directly owned sister stations.
KTBS-DT2 is the Local AccuWeather Channel-affiliated second digital subchannel of KTBS-TV, broadcasting in widescreen standard definition on UHF digital channel 28.2 (or virtual channel 3.2 via PSIP). On cable, KTBS-DT2 is available on Xfinity digital channel 222 in Shreveport, Suddenlink digital channel 139 in Bossier City, and Cable One channel 28 in Texarkana.
KTBS launched a digital subchannel on virtual channel 3.2 in 2004, which originally carried a live feed of the station's Doppler radar – known as "Mega 3 Doppler" – accompanied by an audio simulcast of NOAA Weather Radio station WXJ97. In April 2008, the subchannel became an affiliate of The Local AccuWeather Channel, under the brand "KTBS 24-Hour Weather". Alongside carrying regional and national forecast segments provided by the AccuWeather-operated network, KTBS also produces pre-recorded local forecast segments presented by meteorologists from the station's "Storm Team 3" weather staff – which are updated two to three times per day – for the subchannel. In 2014, the subchannel switched to primarily carrying simulcasts of pre-recorded weather updates in 15-minute intervals as well as loops of weather radar and satellite imagery, and near-real-time video from the station's various SkyCams around the Ark-La-Tex (accompanied by a ticker showing current conditions from both primary observation sites and station-volunteered cooperative observers, and three-day weather forecasts for cities within the KTBS viewing area).
KTBS-DT3 is the local news-formatted third digital subchannel of KTBS-TV, broadcasting in widescreen standard definition on UHF digital channel 28.3 (or virtual channel 3.3 via PSIP). On cable, KTBS-DT3 is available on Xfinity digital channel 201 in Shreveport, Suddenlink digital channel 140 in Bossier City, and Cable One channel 29 in Texarkana. The subchannel is also available as a livestream via KTBS-TV's website.
On September 1, 2002, KTBS launched KTBS Cable News, a 24-hour local cable news channel that was originally available on Comcast in Shreveport and Cox Communications (which sold its northwestern Louisiana systems to Cebridge Connections [now Suddenlink Communications] in May 2006) in Bossier City that primarily aired simulcasts of KTBS's morning, midday and evening newscasts as well as rolling repeats of the station's most recently aired newscast. KTBS Cable News shifted to an over-the-air simulcast on virtual channel 3.3 in July 2005; as a result, the service began carrying a three-hour block of educational programming aimed at older children and teenagers on Saturday afternoons to fulfill subchannel compliance guidelines included in the Children's Television Act.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|3.1||720p||16:9||KTBS-HD||Main KTBS-TV programming / ABC|
|3.2||480i||KTBS-WX||KTBS 24-Hour Weather|
|3.3||KTBS-24||KTBS 24-Hour News|
KTBS-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, 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 28, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.
KTBS-TV currently broadcasts the complete ABC network schedule (it did not begin clearing the entire network lineup until April 2018, when it reduced its Sunday 5:00 p.m. newscast to a half-hour in order to start carrying the Sunday edition of ABC World News Tonight, which had been preempted by KTBS since the mid-1990s.)
The station may preempt some ABC programs in order to air long-form breaking news or severe weather coverage, or occasional specials produced by KTBS' news department. ABC shows preempted or otherwise interrupted by such content may either be rebroadcast on tape delay over KTBS' main channel in place of regular overnight programs. Station personnel also gives viewers who subscribe to AT&T U-verse, DirecTV, Dish Network and other pay television providers within the KTBS viewing area that do not carry KTBS-DT2 the option of watching the affected shows on ABC's desktop and mobile streaming platforms or its cable/satellite video-on-demand service the day after their initial airing. Syndicated programs broadcast by KTBS-TV as of December 2019[update] include Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Wendy Williams Show, Jeopardy!, Inside Edition and Dr. Phil.
For many years, one of the most watched Sunday programs on KTBS has been The First Word, broadcasts of the morning worship services at the large First Baptist Church of Bossier City that began airing on channel 3 in June 1983. KTBS was the market's broadcaster of the Louisiana Lottery's televised drawings from the lottery's inception in 1993 until April 2009, when the rights to the midday and evening drawings were acquired by KTAL; KTBS re-acquired the rights to the drawings in 2012, and now air on sister station KPXJ at 9:59 p.m., with a replay being carried on channel 3 during KTBS 3 News at 10:00.
KTBS aired the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon for several decades leading up to 2015, when the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) discontinued the telethon; nearly all of its tenure carrying the telethon was spent as the Ark-La-Tex region's "Love Network" affiliate, having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit the organization. KTBS was, due to the long-time ABC affiliation, one of the few "Love Network" affiliates to still air the telethon during its last two years (as the MDA Show of Strength), during which time it was aired as part of the ABC network schedule (on September 1, 2013, and again on its last telecast, August 31, 2014). Other fundraisers held by the station include the KTBS M*A*S*H B*A*S*H Blood Drive, and the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway (its participation in the latter was notable for being the giveaway's first television broadcast partner in the U.S.).
As of September 2018[update], KTBS-TV broadcasts 33½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours each weekday and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among all broadcast television stations in the Shreveport–Texarkana market. In addition, KTBS-TV produces an additional 17 hours of locally produced newscasts each week for KPXJ (with three hours each on weekdays and one hour each on Saturday and Sundays), along with producing the hour-long high school football highlight show Friday Football Fever, which airs on KPXJ on Friday nights during the fall months. In total, KTBS produces 50½ hours of local newscasts each week between the two stations.
In addition to the station's main studios on Kings Highway, KTBS operates a news bureau located on Jefferson Avenue in Texarkana, Arkansas. During the weeknight 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts, the station airs news segments featuring stories from the East Texas area. KTBS may simulcast its long-form severe weather coverage on KTBS-DT2 and/or KPXJ in the event that a tornado warning is issued for any county in its Ark-La-Tex viewing area.
News department history
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, KTBS became engaged in very competitive race with CBS affiliate KSLA for first place in overall news viewership, occasionally trading places with one another in certain time periods. At present, channel 3 generally places second, behind KSLA, in the early and late evening time periods among total viewers. During the May 2008 ratings period, KTBS's newscasts placed number one in several time periods.
In September 2000, in conjunction with the joint sales agreement that Paxson had signed with KTBS-TV, KPXJ began airing tape delayed rebroadcasts of that station's 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts Monday through Fridays at 5:30 and 10:30 p.m. (the latter beginning shortly before that program's live broadcast ended on channel 3). The rebroadcasts were discontinued on September 1, 2003, coinciding with the station's assumption of the UPN affiliation and the transfer of KPXJ to the Wray family's stewardship. On that date, KTBS began producing a nightly, half-hour prime time newscast at 9:00 p.m. for channel 21 (the first locally produced prime time newscast to be offered in the Shreveport–Texarkana market); that program, which utilizes the same format as the 10:00 p.m. newscast on KTBS, expanded to a full hour on August 3, 2009. On September 12, 2005, KTBS began producing a half-hour weekday 7:00 a.m. newscast for KPXJ, predating the debut of a two-hour-long 7:00 a.m. newscast on Fox affiliate KMSS-TV (channel 33) by two years. (That newscast was expanded to one hour in February 2012, and was later shifted to 9:00 a.m. in September 2013, placing it in direct competition with a half-hour newscast in that slot on KSLA).
On October 15, 2008, KTBS began broadcasting its newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. On June 28, 2010, KTBS expanded its 6:00 p.m. newscast to one hour, becoming the first station in the market to carry an hour-long 6:00 p.m. newscast (CBS affiliate KSLA began broadcasting an hour-long 6:00 p.m. newscast a short time later); as a result, KTAL is the only Big Three affiliate in the market to carry syndicated programming during the 6:30 half-hour. In July 2010, KTBS expanded the weekend edition of its 10:00 p.m. newscast to one hour (again, KSLA quickly followed suit with an hour-long newscast at 10:00 p.m. on weekends).
On August 30, 2010, KTBS expanded its weekday morning newscasts to 2½ hours, by moving its start time to 4:30 a.m. (one of the few stations in a non-Top 50 Nielsen market to begin their weekday morning newscast at 4:30). On October 14, 2010, beginning with the station's 5:00 p.m. newscast, KTBS became the first television station in the Shreveport–Texarkana market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition (rival KSLA began producing its news programming in high definition the next morning).
In December 2012, KTBS became ensnared over the controversial firing of meteorologist Rhonda Lee. The station claims that she (and another newscaster) were fired for violating the station's policy on responding to Facebook comments, while supporters of Lee claim that she was fired for her decision to respond to a racist and sexist comment. On August 22, 2016, KTBS began producing an hour-long weekday afternoon newscast at 4:00 p.m. for KPXJ (titled KTBS 3 News at 4:00 on KPXJ 21), making it the first television station in the market to offer a local newscast to air in that timeslot. (The program would soon gain a competitor when KSLA launched its own hour-long 4:00 p.m. newscast two weeks later on September 7.)
Notable former on-air staff
- Bob Griffin – weekend morning anchor (deceased)
Out-of-market cable coverage
KTBS is carried on various cable providers outside of the Shreveport-Texarkana market. The station is carried as far as Longview, Texas to the west, Mount Pleasant, Texas to the northwest, El Dorado, Arkansas to the northeast, Jonesboro, Louisiana to the southeast, and Carthage, Texas to the southwest.
The station became one of two default ABC affiliates (alongside KLAX-TV in Alexandria) for the Monroe–El Dorado market after that market's ABC affiliate, KARD-TV, became a Fox affiliate in April 1994; the market would not receive an ABC affiliate of its own again until KAQY signed on the air in December 1998 (that station would go dark in 2014, and return to the air the next year as a MeTV station; ABC is now carried in the market on KNOE's 8.2 subchannel identifying itself as KAQY).
- A clip from KTBS' newscast was featured in the movie Meet Joe Black.
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- "KTBS in Stereo," Shreveport Journal, May 27, 1987, Page 6E
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