is the NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...
-affiliated television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...
for Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...
. It broadcasts a high definition
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...
digital signal on UHF channel 21 (PSIP virtual channel 36) from a transmitter in the West Austin Antenna Farm
West Austin Antenna Farm is an antenna farm on the west side of Austin, Texas near Loop 360 and Westlake Drive. It is used by stations such as KTBC and KXAN-TV....
north of West Lake Hills
West Lake Hills is a city in Travis County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,116 at the 2000 census, and 3,021 in the 2005 census estimate. The city of West lake Hills is a relatively wealthy suburb of Austin, located on the west side of Austin on the edge of the Hill Country...
. Owned by the LIN TV Corporation, the station is sister to MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV is a television broadcast syndication service in the United States, owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a division of News Corporation...
KBVO is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for Austin, Texas that is licensed to Llano. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 27 from a transmitter eight miles southeast of the city near the intersection of TX 71 and Llano County Road 307...
and CW affiliate KNVA
KNVA is the CW-affiliated television station for Austin, Texas. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 49 from a transmitter in the West Austin Antenna Farm north of West Lake Hills. Owned by 54 Broadcasting, the station is operated by the LIN TV Corporation through a local...
. All three share studios on West Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard between the Clarksville section of Austin and the University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...
programming on KXAN includes: Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin, which premiered in 1975. Contestants compete to solve word puzzles, similar to those used in Hangman, to win cash and prizes determined by spinning a large wheel. The title refers to the show's giant carnival wheel that...
Griffin's first conception of the game used a board comprising ten categories with ten clues each, but after finding that this board could not be shown on camera easily, he reduced it to two rounds of thirty clues each, with five clues in each of six categories...
, The Doctors
The Doctors is an American syndicated talk show airing daily in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Sweden and Finland. It debuted on September 8, 2008. The hour-long daytime program is produced by Phil McGraw and his son Jay McGraw and is distributed domestically and globally by CBS Television...
and Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray, also known as The Rachael Ray Show, is a talk show starring Rachael Ray that debuted in syndication in the United States and Canada on September 18, 2006....
The station first went on-the-air on February 12, 1965 as KHFI-TV
, originally broadcasting on channel 42. It was owned by the Kingsbury family along with KHFI radio (AM 970, now KLGO
KLGO is Austin and central Texas', United States, first Christian Teaching and Talk radio station. KLGO is known as The WORD 99.3 and 98.5. It began broadcasting in its new FM home on January 20, 2006 after operating for 30 years on the AM band as KIXL 970....
at 99.3 FM; and 98.3 FM
KHFI-FM is an Austin, Texas radio station playing Top 40 and licensed to Georgetown, Texas, with an ERP of 100,000 Watts from a transmitter site near West Lake Hills, Texas.-History:...
, now at 96.7). KHFI was the second television station in Austin, signing on a little more than twelve years after KTBC-TV (channel 7).
It logically should have signed-on as Austin's NBC station, since up to that time all three networks had been shoehorned on KTBC , a primary CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...
affiliate. However, due to contractual obligations, it spent more than a year and a half as an independent
An independent station is in the category of television terminology used to describe a television station broadcasting in the United States or Canada that is not affiliated with any television network....
before joining NBC in 1966. Unlike most affiliates with the network in then two-station markets
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area , Television Market Area , or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media including newspapers and Internet content...
, KHFI did not take on a secondary ABC
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...
affiliation. The Kingsburys would later bring in Henry Tippie as a partner, and in 1973 were granted FCC
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...
permission to move KHFI-TV to channel 36.
With the channel change came a new set of call letters, KTVV
. Also, the station boosted its broadcast power to five million watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...
s, which more than doubled its coverage area. What was then known as LIN Broadcasting purchased the station in 1979. The new owners changed the call sign to the current KXAN-TV
in 1987. Even with the increased power, channel 36's signal was marginal in some parts of the Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is a vernacular term applied to a region of Central Texas featuring tall rugged hills consisting of thin layers of soil atop limestone or granite. It also includes the Llano Uplift and the second largest granite monadnock in the United States, Enchanted Rock, which is located...
such as Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg is the seat of Gillespie County, in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 Census estimate, the city had a population of 10, 530...
. UHF signals usually do not travel very far in rugged terrain. In 1991, LIN signed-on KLNO
in Llano to improve KXAN's reach in the Hill Country. Even with the power boost, channel 36's signal is marginal at best in much of the Hill Country. It changed its calls to KXAM-TV
after about a month on-air and to the current KBVO
in 2009. This call sign, named after the University of Texas' mascot "Bevo
Bevo is the name of the mascot of the sports teams at the University of Texas at Austin, a Texas longhorn steer with burnt orange coloring. The shape of the Longhorn's head and horns gives rise to the school's hand symbol and saying, Hook 'em Horns...
", was formerly used on the new channel 42 which is now KEYE-TV
KEYE-TV, digital channel 43 , is the CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas. It is owned by the Four Points Media Group, LLC Sinclair Broadcasting Group has announced a purchase of the the Four Points stations, and has begun operating KEYE-TV through a local service agreement in anticipation of FCC...
and is shared with sister station KBVO-CA.
KXAN is one of two stations in Austin (the other being KVUE-TV) to retain its original network affiliation in the wake of a network swap between KTBC and Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...
station KBVO (now KEYE-TV, channel 42) in 1995. On October 21, 2009, KBVO became a separate station after picking up MyNetworkTV from KNVA. That station carried the network as a secondary affiliate, known on-air as "MyNetworkTV on The CW Austin", from its launch on September 5, 2006. Programming from MyNetworkTV aired on KNVA Monday through Saturday nights from 9 to 11. In mid-September 2009, that station moved the network to a 10 to midnight slot to make room for a nightly 9 o'clock newscast to compete with Fox affiliate KTBC
KTBC, channel 7, is the Fox owned-and-operated television station in Austin, Texas. Studios are located in downtown Austin at the corner of 10th and Brazos Streets , and its transmitter is located in the city....
. To date, KNVA was one of two stations in the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
to carry The CW and MyNetworkTV (the other being KWKB
KWKB is a television station that broadcasts on digital channel 25 and is the CW affiliate for Eastern Iowa. KWKB is licensed to Iowa City, but its studios and transmitter are located north of West Branch. KWKB serves the greater Eastern Iowa area including Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and...
in Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City is a city in Johnson County, State of Iowa. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a total population of about 67,862, making it the sixth-largest city in the state. Iowa City is the county seat of Johnson County and home to the University of Iowa...
, which is now the only station which carries the full schedules of both netlets/programming services).
KXAN's current tower built in 1996, replaced an older one that dated to 1964. Of the fifteen towers on the hill, theirs is the tallest and the highest structure in Austin. In addition to its transmission antenna, the mast also incorporates a camera with views of downtown to the east and the hills to the west. KXAN is the Austin broadcast television home of the San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....
sharing coverage with sister station KBVO.
After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion
The DTV transition in the United States was the switchover from analog to exclusively digital broadcasting of free over-the-air television programming...
on June 12, 2009 , KXAN's digital signal remained on its current pre-transition channel 21. However, through the use of PSIP
The Program and System Information Protocol is the protocol used in the ATSC digital television system for carrying metadata about each channel in the broadcast MPEG transport stream of a TV station and for publishing information about television programs so that viewers can select what to watch...
, digital television receivers will display the virtual channel
In telecommunications, a logical channel number , also known as virtual channel, is a channel designation which differs from that of the actual radio channel on which the signal travels....
KXAN and LIN TV were locked into a contract dispute with Suddenlink Communications
Suddenlink Communications, formerly Cebridge Connections, is a top-10 cable broadband services provider in the United States with approximately 1.4 million subscribers. Suddenlink operates in 18 states in primarily medium-sized communities. With its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, MO,...
which serves portions of the Austin designated market area such as Pflugerville
Pflugerville is a city in Travis and Williamson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 16,335 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 39,653...
Georgetown is a city and also the county seat of Williamson County, Texas, United States with a population of 47,400 at the 2010 census. Southwestern University, founded in 1840, is the oldest university in Texas and is located in Georgetown, about 1/2 mile east of the historic square...
. The dispute centered around KXAN's failure to grant retransmission consent
Retransmission consent is an option granted to US television stations as part of the law that granted such stations the option to elect must-carry rights. Under retransmission consent, a full-power US television station may elect to negotiate with a cable system operator for carriage of its...
to Suddenlink. The previous contract expired on December 31, 2007 and the station was removed from the Suddenlink lineup. KXAN claimed that it was seeking "fair value" for its programming. However, a press release from Suddenlink management indicated that the dispute included consideration for other stations owned by LIN TV outside of Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...
Beginning on January 3, 2008, Suddenlink began transmitting the signal of Temple
Temple is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. Located near the county seat of Belton, Temple lies in the region referred to as Central Texas. Located off Interstate 35, Temple is 65 miles north of Austin and 34 miles south of Waco. In the 2010 Census, Temple's population was 66,102, an...
-based NBC affiliate KCEN-TV
KCEN-TV, virtual channel 6, is the NBC affiliate for Waco, Killeen and Temple, Texas. Licensed to nearby Temple, it is owned by London Broadcasting. It was founded in 1953 by Frank W. Mayborn, publisher of the nearby Temple Daily Telegram newspaper...
to restore the network's programming to the areas affected. This is allowed under FCC rules because KCEN is a "significantly viewed" station in Williamson County
Williamson County is a county located on both the Edwards Plateau to the west, consisting of rocky terrain and hills, and Blackland Prairies in the east consising of rich, fertile farming land, The two areas are roughly bisected by Interstate 35...
even though that county is located in the Austin market. On March 24, the dispute was settled between Suddenlink and KXAN and its programming was restored to Suddenlink viewers the following day. The terms of the settlement were not announced though it is widely believed that KXAN had lost thousands of viewers. Despite its cable carriage problems, the station surprised many observers by placing first in the 5 to 7 weekday morning time period during the May 2008 sweeps period.
Time Warner Cable
KXAN-TV and LIN TV were locked in another contract dispute with Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable is an American cable television company that operates in 28 states and has 31 operating divisions...
which serves a very large majority of the Austin metropolitan area. LIN TV ceased transmissions on Time Warner Cable systems nationwide at Midnight Central Daylight Time on October 3, 2008. Free over-the-air stations such as KXAN have long allowed cable companies to carry their signal for free. Cable networks are paid as much as ten cents per day per customer for their content and LIN TV wanted Time Warner to pay them less than one cent per cable customer per day. The general manager for KXAN Eric Lassberg stated that the cable company "does not have to pass that cost along to the viewers unless they want to". On October 3, Time Warner replaced KXAN with a continuous loop of instructions on how to hook up a television to a computer on Time Warner Cable. Some days later this was replaced by the digital tier movie channel Starz Kids and Family. In the early morning hours of October 29, KXAN returned to the Time Warner lineup. At present no details have been released on the deal though some have pointed out to speculate that KXAN could not afford to be without over 67% of their previous viewers during the critical November ratings period.
For most of its first thirty years on-the-air, KXAN was a distant runner-up to KTBC. Despite efforts to produce a newscast of major market quality (early newscasts deliberately copied the look of WNBC
WNBC, virtual channel 4 , is the flagship station of the NBC television network, located in New York City. WNBC's studios are co-located with NBC corporate headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan...
in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
), it was usually unable to make a dent in KTBC's dominance. Another setback was as a UHF station, KTVV/KXAN had a hard time maintaining a local share as an NBC affiliate due to nearby NBC affiliates in the nearby San Antonio
WOAI-TV, virtual channel 4 , is the NBC affiliate television station serving the San Antonio, Texas metropolitan area. Its transmitter is located in Elmendorf, Texas, with its studios located in downtown San Antonio....
and Temple/Waco markets. However, after KTBC switched to Fox in 1995, KXAN's ratings slowly picked up. By the latter part of the 1990s, channel 36 had overtaken channel 7 for the lead. Since then, it has regularly traded the top spot in the market with KVUE.
On December 23, 2008, KXAN became the third station in Austin to broadcast their local news in high definition starting with the weekday noon newscast. On September 28, 2009, the station began producing a nightly 9 o'clock broadcast on KNVA known as KXAN Austin News at 9
to compete with KTBC.
- KHFI-TV News (1965–1973)
- Eyewitness News
Eyewitness News is a style of news broadcasting used by local television stations in different markets across the United States. It refers to a particular style of television newscast with an emphasis on visual elements and action video...
- NewsCenter 36 (1980s)
- News 36 (1984-1996)
- KXAN News 36 (1996–2004)
- KXAN News (2004–2007, 2011-present)
- KXAN Austin News (2007–2011)
- "Building a Better Texas" (1990-1996; general slogan, also used on KXAS in Dallas-Ft. Worth)
- "Your 24-Hour News Service
The 24 Hour News Source brand was a common name used by American television stations starting in the early 1990s for brief hourly news updates, usually running 30 seconds to a minute in length. At its peak, dozens of stations across the U.S. were producing these brief news updates...
" (1990-1996; news slogan)
- "First. Best. Live." (1996–2000)
- "Your Central Texas News Leader" (2000–2004)
- "Your News and Weather Source" (2004–2007)
- "KXAN is Austin News" (2007–2009)
- "Keeping You Connected" (2009–2011)
- "In-Depth. Investigative." (2011-present)
Current on-air staff
First Warning Weather
- Sally Hernandez - weekday mornings and noon
- Robert Hadlock - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Leslie Rhode - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- David Scott - weekend evenings
- Chris Willis - weekday mornings and noon; also investigative reporter
- Shannon Wolfson - weeknights at 9 p.m. (on KNVA); also reporter
- Jim Spencer (NWA
The National Weather Association is an American professional association with a mission to support and promote excellence in operational meteorology and related activities...
Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6, 9 (on KBVO) and 10 p.m.
- TBD - weekend mornings
- Shawn Rutherford - weekday mornings and noon
- Natalie Stoll - weekend evenings and reporter
- Roger Wallace - Sports Director; weeknights at 6, 9, and 10 p.m.
- Brian Sanders - weekend evenings
- Leila Rahimi - sports reporter
- Erin Cargile
- Reagan Hackleman
- Josh Hinkle
- Jackie Ingles
- Chris Sadeghi
- Doug Shupe
- Jim Swift - South Austin photographer
- Kate Weidaw - weekday morning reporter