|Slogan||The Star of West Texas|
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)|
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||9.1: NBC (1981–present)|
9.2: Bounce TV
(KWES Television, LLC)
|First air date||December 1, 1958|
|Call letters' meaning||WESt Texas|
|Former channel number(s)|
|Transmitter power||94.4 kW|
|Height||391.3 m (1,284 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
KWES-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 9, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Odessa, Texas, United States and serving the Permian Basin area. The station is owned by Tegna Inc. KWES-TV's studios are located on West County Road 127 in Midland, and its transmitter is located near Notrees, Texas.
Until January 2019, KWES-TV operated a full satellite station, KWAB-TV (channel 4, now KCWO-TV) in Big Spring; this station was retained by Gray Television upon its purchase of KWES' previous owner, Raycom Media, and subsequent resale of KWES to Tegna. KCWO is now part of a duopoly with Gray's CBS affiliate KOSA-TV (channel 7), and operates as the CW+ affiliate for the Midland–Odessa market.
The station began broadcasting on December 1, 1958 as KVKM-TV in Monahans, Texas, an ABC affiliate. It was originally owned by Tri-Cities Broadcasters, which co-owned KVKM radio (1340 AM; now KCKM 1330). Initially broadcasting from a 777-foot (237 m) tower between Kermit and Monahans (shared with the radio station), KVKM-TV moved to a 1,080-foot (330 m) tower at the edge of the Caprock on February 1, 1963. For a brief period of time in the early 1960s, starting on December 30, 1961, the station operated a semi-satellite TV station, KVLF-TV, on channel 12 in Alpine (also serving Marfa and Fort Davis) that also featured localized programming to the Alpine, Sul Ross State University and the Big Bend region. Said TV station was owned by Big Bend Broadcasters, who also owned KVLF radio (1240 AM). KVLF-TV went off the air by 1965 as cable penetration provided residents of the Alpine area with television coverage from the Midland–Odessa market.
Grayson Enterprises (named for Sidney Grayson but after 1964 not owned) bought the station in 1969 and renamed it KMOM-TV, for Monahans-Odessa-Midland. Grayson added other stations to his operation during the late 1960s and 1970s, including KCCN (now KKEA) in Honolulu, Hawaii, KLBK-TV in Lubbock, Texas, and KTXS-TV in Abilene/Sweetwater, Texas, among others.
Under Grayson's ownership, KVKM added two satellite stations: KWAB, and KAVE-TV (channel 6) in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The latter station served as a KVKM/KMOM satellite from 1966 until 1969, when KVKM was sold to Grayson, and KAVE became a satellite of KELP-TV in El Paso. KAVE later sold to Stanley Marsh 3 and continued as a satellite of KVIA-TV in El Paso. (KAVE later became KOCT, a satellite of KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico.)
However, Grayson Enterprises ran into license renewal trouble in 1968, 1971, 1974, and 1977 for some of its stations. These stations were accused of fraudulent billing, program and transmitter log fabrication, main studio violations, failure to make required technical tests, and other issues. The stations had their renewals deferred and hearings ordered as a result.
The case was settled in what was then described as a "distress sale", in which Grayson's stations were broken up and sold to minority-controlled groups (nowadays known as historically-underutilized groups) at a reduced price. The parameters of such a sale were defined by this sell-off. As a result, Grayson sold both stations to Permian Basin Television Corporation in 1980, while KLBK and KTXS went to Prima, Inc. (whose principals were African American).
The station swapped affiliations with KMID-TV (channel 2) on June 11, 1981 and joined NBC. Simultaneous with the affiliation swap, channel 9 changed its call letters to KTPX-TV and moved its studio operations to a new building on County Road 127 in Midland. Permian Basin Television sold the station to MSP Television in 1985. Drewry Communications bought the station in 1991. On August 16, 1993, the call letters were changed to KWES-TV. (KTPX-TV is now assigned to the Ion Television affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma.)
In addition to NBC programming, KWES became the home of Dallas Cowboys preseason television broadcasts in 2011, gaining the rights from Fox affiliate KPEJ-TV (channel 24). The rights gave Drewry all Dallas Cowboys preseason rights in West Texas, as KTLE-LP had held the Spanish-language rights since 2006. KWES held Houston Texans preseason TV rights in 2002 and 2003 (during a period when NBC did not hold any NFL rights), but ratings were low due to the broadcasts being tape-delayed until Sunday afternoon. KWES chose to let go of the Texans preseason rights, and they weren't picked up again until 2010 when KPEJ picked them up. KWES lost the rights to the English-language broadcasts of Cowboys preseason games in 2013.
KWES lost rights to LATV on December 29, 2013, but they were able to gain the rights to The CW from KWWT. On June 12, 2014, KWES-DT2's CW feed was made available to local Dish Network subscribers on Channel 10.
Sale to Gray Television and resale to Tegna
On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television, owner of KOSA-TV, announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including KWES and KWAB, and Gray's 93 television stations) under Gray's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion—in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom—required divestment of either KWES or KOSA due to FCC ownership regulations prohibiting common ownership of two of the four highest-rated stations in a single market (as well as more than two stations in any market). Gray announced it would retain KOSA, and sell KWES to an unrelated third party. On August 20, it was announced that Tegna Inc. would buy KWES and sister station WTOL in Toledo, Ohio for $105 million. Although KWES-TV was divested, Gray retained KWAB and converted it to a CW+ affiliate under the callsign KCWO, with a simulcast on KOSA's second digital subchannel. The sale was completed on January 2, 2019. This made KWES a sister station to 11 other stations across Texas, including fellow NBC affiliate KCEN-TV in Temple (and its semi-satellite KAGS-LD in College Station); CBS affiliates KENS in San Antonio, KHOU in Houston and KYTX in Tyler; ABC affiliates KBMT in Beaumont, KIII in Corpus Christi, KVUE in Austin and WFAA in Dallas; and Fox affiliates KIDY in San Angelo and KXVA in Abilene.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|9.1||1080i||16:9||KWES-DT||Main KWES-TV programming / NBC|
KWES-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, 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 relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 13 to channel 9 for post-transition operations. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 9.
- http://www.americanradiohistory.com/hd2/IDX-Business/Annuals/Archive-BC-YB-IDX/60s-OCR-YB/1964-YB/1964-BC-YB-OCR-Page-0093.pdf#search=%22kvkm alpine abc%22
- "London Broadcasting Acquires KWES-TV". KWES NewsWest 9. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
- "London adds a market, leaves a crater". Television Business Report. January 16, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
- Jessell, Harry A. (August 10, 2015). "Raycom Buying Drewry For $160 Million". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- Raycom Media Completes $160 Million Acquisition of Drewry Communications Broadcasting & Cable, Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018.
- Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- John Eggerton (June 25, 2018). "Gray Buying Raycom for $3.6B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
- Dade Hayes (June 25, 2018). "Gray Acquiring Raycom For $3.65B, Forming No. 3 Local TV Group". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
- "TEGNA to Acquire the Leading Television Stations WTOL in Toledo, OH, and KWES in Odessa-Midland, TX". Tegna Inc. August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- "Call Sign History", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- "RESCAN: New channels coming to CBS7 lineup". CBS7.com. Gray Television. December 31, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "Gray Completes Acquisition of Raycom Media and Related Transactions", Gray Television, January 2, 2019, Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KWES
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.