|Eureka Springs/Fort Smith/
|Branding||KXNW 34 (general)
5 News (newscasts)
Channel 5 (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 34 (PSIP)
34.2 Antenna TV
|Affiliations||MyNetworkTV (2006–2009, 2012–present)|
(Tribune Broadcasting Fort Smith License, LLC)
|First air date||June[when?] 2000|
|Call letters' meaning||K X North West Arkansas (viewing area)|
|Former callsigns||KWBS-TV (2000–2004)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
34 (UHF, 2000–2009)
Pax TV (2000–2003)
Lick TV (2003–2004)
The WB (2004–2006)
MeTV/RTV/Tuff TV (2009–2012)
Univision (until 2012, via KXUN-LP)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW
1000 kW (KFSM-DT2)
286 m (KFSM-DT2
|Public license information:||Profile
KXNW, UHF digital channel 34, is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for Northwest Arkansas that is licensed to Eureka Springs. The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of Tribune Media Company as part of a duopoly with Fort Smith-based CBS affiliate KFSM-TV (channel 5). Both stations share studios located on North 13th Street in downtown Fort Smith.
Channel 34 began operations in 2000 as KWBS-TV, which stood for WB Springfield; however, original station owner Equity Broadcasting decided to make another new station, KWBM (channel 31), as the WB-affiliate for Springfield, and KWBS instead affiliated with Pax (now Ion Television). KWBS dropped the Pax-affiliation in 2003 in favor of the Equity-owned Lick TV, which was a short-lived network that broadcast wrestling events. But one year, later the station dropped that network and finally affiliated with The WB as its Northwest Arkansas affiliate. This was accompanied by a call-letter change to KWFT.
After it was announced in January 2006 The WB and UPN would close down to form The CW in September, KWFT changed its call-letters to KBBL-TV on July 6, 2006. However, its Fort Smith repeater retained the KWFT-LP call sign, which to this day it still uses. The KBBL-TV call-letters were almost certainly not inspired by the KBBL-TV of The Simpsons, even though both stations are located in a DMA with the same name as the Simpsons' fictional hometown. Equity likes to use former radio call-letters from its hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas as TV call letters, and the KBBL call sign was once used by a Little Rock radio station.
Around the same time as the call-letters change, KBBL-TV was announced as joining the Retro Television Network (then owned by Equity) after The WB ceased operations, but as a result of KPBI-CA (channel 46) losing its Fox-affiliation to KFTA-TV (channel 24) and joining MyNetworkTV, channel 34 changed its call letters to KPBI on September 22, 2006 and began to carry KPBI-CA's programming schedule (KFDF-CA, the station that was originally scheduled to join MNTV, ended up becoming the RTV affiliate). As of October 30, 2011, KPBI has dropped from RTV in favor of the Me-TV programming.
After failing to find a buyer at a bankruptcy auction, KPBI was sold to Pinnacle Media in August 2009 (after having initially been included in Silver Point Finance's acquisition on June 2 of several Equity stations) with Pinnacle assuming control under a local marketing agreement on August 5 that same year. Pinnacle Media officially took ownership on November 3, 2009 and was restructured into Riverside Media in August 2010 with a change in the minority (40%) ownership in the company.
It was announced on August 12, 2009 that KPBI would switch to RTV, which had been dropped from KFDF in January after the network severed its ties with Equity. The area's MyNetworkTV-affiliation subsequently moved to a new digital subchannel of KFSM-TV, which today airs on KXNW-DT1.
As of spring 2016, the over-the-air digital signal for the KXNW-DT1 simulcast on KFSM-DT2 was upgraded the into 720p high definition; thus offering a high definition feed for MyNetworkTV for the first time in the Fort Smith/Eureka Springs, Arkansas area (and the entire Arkansas River Valley and Northwest Arkansas area and Beyond), with the Antenna TV programming being segregated out into its very own devoted Sub-Channel (via KFSM-DT3 Channel 5.3, also simulcast over KXNW-DT2 Channel 34.2); by fall 2016, the originating KXNW-DT1 feed was also upgraded into 720p 16:9 high-definition and a simulcast of the Antenna TV feed of KFSM-DT3 was eventually added to KXNW-DT2 (thereby moving the simulcast of KFSM-TV / CBS to a new third sub-channel). With Antenna programming moved over to KFSM-TV's third sub-channel (and, later, KXNW's second sub-channel also), Tribune Broadcasting was then able to start replacing the hours programmed by Antenna TV with traditional syndicated programming, resembling most of Tribune Broadcasting's other MyNetworkTV affiliates.
Purchase by Local TV and then by Tribune
On September 1, 2011, Local TV, the owners of the CBS-affiliate KFSM, filed papers with the Federal Communications Commission to purchase KPBI for $784,000 through a "failing station" waiver. This is necessary because the Fort Smith-Fayetteville DMA has only seven "unique" full-power television stations (though the ABC-affiliate KHOG-TV is a satellite of Fort Smith-based parent KHBS, the FCC considers the parent and its satellite together as all one unit). That number of unique full-power stations is normally not enough to legally support a duopoly. The sale to Local TV was completed on January 5, 2012; on that day, the station's callsign was changed to KXNW. Immediately upon consummation, all remaining Me-TV and RTV programming was dropped in favor of a simulcast of KFSM digital subchannel 5.2, which carries MyNetworkTV programming during primetime hours on weeknights, syndicated programming during the daytime hours and at select time periods on weekend mornings and afternoons and a part-time affiliation with Antenna TV on weekdays from 1-7 a.m., Saturdays from 1-8 a.m., and 6 p.m.-6 a.m. and Sundays from 6-8 and 9-10 a.m., and 12-6 a.m. In addition, KXNW's digital subchannel 34.2 dropped Univision and began simulcasting KFSM's CBS-affiliated main channel 5.1.
On July 1, 2013, Local TV announced that its stations would be acquired by the Tribune Broadcasting. The sale was completed on December 27. With the completion of the deal, KFSM and KXNW became Tribune's smallest stations by market size (previously, the company's New Orleans duopoly of WGNO and WNOL-TV held this distinction).
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|34.1||720p||16:9||KXNW-DT||Main KXNW programming / MyNetworkTV|
|34.2||480i||4:3||Ant TV||Simulcast of KFSM-DT3|
|34.3||1080i||16:9||KFSM DT||Simulcast of KFSM-TV|
Because it was granted an original construction permit after the FCC finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997, the station did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead, at the end of the digital TV conversion period for full-service stations, KPBI was required to turn off its analog signal and turn on its digital signal (called a "flash-cut").
As of December 2008[update], this station was scheduled to go dark on in 2009. According to the station's DTV status report, "On December 8, 2008, the licensee's parent corporation filed a petition for bankruptcy relief under chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code... This station must obtain post-petition financing and court approval before digital facilities may be constructed. The station ceased analogue broadcasting on February 17, 2009, regardless of whether digital facilities are operational by that date. The station filed authority to remain silent if so required by the FCC."
While the DTV Delay Act extended this deadline to June 12, 2009, Equity applied for an extension of the digital construction permit in order to retain the broadcast license after the station goes dark.
On March 12, 2012, KXNW began airing a weekday morning newscast at 7 a.m. and a nightly newscast at 9 p.m. that are produced by KFSM. The latter newscast competes with the primetime newscast which airs seven days a week on KFTA-TV (one hour on weekdays, and a half-hour on weekends). Although KFSM upgraded its newscast productions to high definition during summer 2012, the KXNW newscasts remain in downscaled 4:3 standard definition since neither its main channel nor its simulcast on KFSM-DT2 is transmitted in HD. As of October 24, 2012, the KXNW newscasts are the only ones in the Fort Smith–Fayetteville market that are seen in neither widescreen nor high definition.
- "Equity stations still on the block". Television Business Report. April 20, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
- "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
- "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. August 14, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
- "KPBI Fort Smith, Ark., Drops MNT For Retro TV". TVNewsCheck. August 12, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
- Jessell, Harry A. (January 5, 2009). "Financial Dispute Disrupts RTN Diginet". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KFSM
- RabbitEars TV Query for KXNW
- Antenna TV Interactive Affiliate Map
- Seeking Duopoly In Fort Smith, Ark., TVNewsCheck, September 2, 2011.
- "Media Bureau Call Sign Actions" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. October 31, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- Channick, Robert (July 1, 2013). "Acquisition to make Tribune Co. largest U.S. TV station operator". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
- Company Completes Final Steps of Transaction Announced in July, Tribune Company, 27 December, 2013
- RabbitEars TV Query for KXNW
- "Final DTV Channel Plan from FCC97-115". Transmitter.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- "FCC DTV status report". Fjallfoss.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-17.