| Oklahoma City, Oklahoma |
|Branding||Oklahoma's News 4|
|Slogan||Looking Out 4 You|
|Channels|| Digital: 27 (UHF)|
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|Translators||K33JM-D 33 Mooreland |
K35MQ-D 35 Weatherford
K45JZ-D 32 Elk City
K34JJ-D 34 Hollis
K40JP-D 23 Sayre
K39JH-D 18 Strong City
K18LY-D 18 Selling
K20JD-D 20 Cherokee/Alva
K20BR-D 20 Gage
|Owner|| Tribune Broadcasting |
(sale to Nexstar Media Group pending )
(Tribune Broadcasting Oklahoma City License, LLC)
|First air date||June 6, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||FOuR (refers to former analog – and current virtual – channel, 4)|
|Former channel number(s)|
|Transmitter power||790 kW |
600 kW (application)
|Height||489 m (1,604 ft)|
467 m (1,532 ft) (application)
|Transmitter coordinates|| Coordinates: |
|Public license information|| Profile |
KFOR-TV, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 27), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company, as part of a duopoly with independent station KAUT-TV (channel 43). The two stations share studios on Britton Road (near U.S. 77) in the McCourry Heights section of northeast Oklahoma City; KFOR's transmitter is located near 122nd Street, also on the city's northeast side. On cable, KFOR is available on Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse channel 4 in standard definition (and on Cox digital channel 704 and U-verse channel 1004 in high definition) in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area; it is also available on channel 4 on most cable systems elsewhere within the Oklahoma City DMA as well as on DirecTV and Dish Network.
In most telecommunications organizations, a virtual channel is a method of remapping the program number as used in H.222 Program Association Tables and Program Mapping Tables to a channel number that can be entered via digits on a receiver's remote control. A "virtual channel" was first used for DigiCipher 2 in North America and then later used and referred to as a logical channel number (LCN) for private European Digital Video Broadcasting extensions widely used by the NDS Group and NorDig in other markets.
Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz), also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one meter to one tenth of a meter. Radio waves with frequencies above the UHF band fall into the super-high frequency (SHF) or microwave frequency range. Lower frequency signals fall into the VHF or lower bands. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is strong enough for indoor reception. They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.
Digital terrestrial television is a technology for broadcast television in which land-based (terrestrial) television stations broadcast television content by radio waves to televisions in consumers' residences in a digital format. DTTV is a major technological advance over the previous analog television, and has largely replaced analog which had been in common use since the middle of the 20th century. Test broadcasts began in 1998 with the changeover to DTTV beginning in 2006 and is now complete in many countries. The advantages of digital terrestrial television are similar to those obtained by digitising platforms such as cable TV, satellite, and telecommunications: more efficient use of limited radio spectrum bandwidth, provision of more television channels than analog, better quality images, and potentially lower operating costs for broadcasters.
The station is also carried on cable providers throughout much of western and southern Oklahoma, extending as far away as Guymon (which is in the Oklahoma Panhandle section of the Amarillo market) and Idabel (part of the Shreveport–Texarkana market). The station is carried on Cable One and other cable systems on the Oklahoma side of the Ada–Sherman market as an alternate NBC affiliate, albeit with NBC programs blacked out due to the presence of Ada-licensed KTEN, in compliance with FCC regulations allowing local network affiliates to prohibit cable providers from carrying duplicative network content from an out-of-market station.
Guymon is a city in and the county seat of Texas County, Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,442, an increase of 6.5 percent from 10,472 in 2000. Cattle feedlots, corporate pork farms, and natural gas dominate its economy, with wind energy production and transmission recently diversifying landowners' farms.
The Oklahoma Panhandle is the extreme northwestern region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, consisting of Cimarron County, Texas County and Beaver County, from west to east. As with other salients in the United States, its name comes from the similarity of its shape to the handle of a pan.
Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States. It is also the largest city in the Texas Panhandle, and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The estimated population was 199,826 as of 2017. The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 276,020 in four counties as of 2017. The metro population is projected to surpass 310,000 in 2020.
Fascinated with the medium since the late 1930s, Edward K. Gaylord—publisher of the morning Daily Oklahoman and evening Oklahoma Times newspapers—brought television to Oklahoma on an exhibitory basis in mid-November 1939, when his Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) sponsored a six-day demonstration of telecasts and broadcast equipment at the Oklahoma City Municipal Auditorium (now the Civic Center Music Hall) in downtown Oklahoma City, which featured appearances by performers from NBC and Gaylord's radio station, WKY (930 AM). During November and early December 1944, OPUBCO conducted a similar, 19-city television exhibition tour across central and western Oklahoma (open to residents who had purchased war bonds) that included performances from WKY personalities and demonstrations by television technicians.
Edward King Gaylord, often referred to as E.K. Gaylord, was the owner and publisher of the Daily Oklahoman newspaper, as well as a radio and television entrepreneur. Born in Atchison, Kansas and educated in Colorado, he worked on several publications before moving to Oklahoma and buying an interest in the Daily Oklahoman. He built the publication into a statewide newspaper and took over its parent company in 1918.
The Oklahoman is the largest daily newspaper in Oklahoma and is the only regional daily that covers the Greater Oklahoma City area. The Alliance for Audited Media lists it as the 59th largest U.S. newspaper in circulation. The Oklahoman experienced a 42% circulation decline from 2007 to 2012. The Oklahoman has been published by GateHouse Media since October 1, 2018.
The Oklahoma Times was a newspaper published in Oklahoma City.
On April 16, 1948, Gaylord submitted a permit application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to build a television station that would transmit on VHF channel 4. He waited to make the submission so as to ensure that any financial burden would be limited until revenue from existing OPUBCO assets was able to offset the station's profit losses. When the FCC granted the license for the proposed television station to Gaylord on June 2, 1948, Gaylord requested to assign WKY-TV as the television station's call letters, applying the base WKY callsign that had been used by his AM radio station shortly after it signed on in 1922 and also assigned to its FM sister on 98.9 (now defunct, frequency now occupied by KYIS) when it signed on in July 1947.The station began test broadcasts, accompanied by music playing over the test pattern slide, on April 21, 1949. Television set owners in Oklahoma and neighboring states called to report reception of the WKY test signal, which was transmitted each afternoon until regular broadcasts commenced. The test signal operated at low power for three days, after a lightning strike caused minor damage to a junction box on the transmission tower during the early morning of April 27. Closed-circuit transmissions began on May 27, with a wrestling match at the Oklahoma City Stockyards Coliseum.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government created by statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC serves the public in the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.
Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz), with corresponding wavelengths of ten meters to one meter. Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF).
A broadcast license is a type of spectrum license granting the licensee permission to use a portion of the radio frequency spectrum in a given geographical area for broadcasting purposes. The licenses generally include restrictions, which vary from band to band.
Channel 4 officially signed on the air at 7:00 p.m. on June 6, with an inaugural broadcast that included speeches from Gaylord, executive vice president/general manager Proctor A. "Buddy" Sugg, and Governor Roy J. Turner; a topical feature by Gaylord and Sugg on the new television medium; and a film outlining programs that would air on WKY-TV. It was the first television station to sign on in the state of Oklahoma (KOTV in Tulsa – which had its license approved the same day as the grant of the WKY-TV license to Gaylord – would not debut until October 22), and the 65th to sign on in the United States. WKY-TV's original studio facilities were based at the Municipal Auditorium (near Colcord Drive and Walker Avenue, 0.5 miles [0.80 km] west of WKY radio's facilities at the Skirvin Tower Hotel on Park and Broadway Avenues), with production facilities in the Freede Little Theatre on the second floor. Following a second round of renovations to the building due to a fire that caused $150,000 in damage on November 17, 1948, most of the technical and production equipment was replaced, and soundproofing material was installed in the auditorium to limit disruptions between production of local programs and stage productions that would be held elsewhere in the building. The radio station's 968-foot (295 m) broadcast tower, located between Kelley Avenue and the Broadway Extension in northeast Oklahoma City's Britton section, was the site of an accident in which the assembly carrying the WKY-TV transmitter antenna fell 8 feet (2.4 m) (at the tower's 600-foot [180 m] mark) while being hoisted for installation; the antenna suffered minor, albeit repairable dents.
A general manager or GM is an executive who has overall responsibility for managing both the revenue and cost elements of a company's income statement, known as profit & loss (P&L) responsibility. A general manager usually oversees most or all of the firm's marketing and sales functions as well as the day-to-day operations of the business. Frequently, the general manager is responsible for effective planning, delegating, coordinating, staffing, organizing, and decision making to attain desirable profit making results for an organization.
The Governor of Oklahoma is the head of state for the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Under the Oklahoma Constitution, the governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the Oklahoma executive branch, of the government of Oklahoma. The governor is the ex officio Commander-in-Chief of the Oklahoma National Guard when not called into federal use. Despite being an executive branch official, the governor also holds legislative and judicial powers. The governor's responsibilities include making yearly "State of the State" addresses to the Oklahoma Legislature, submitting the annual state budget, ensuring that state laws are enforced, and that the peace is preserved. The governor's term is four years in length.
Roy Joseph Turner was an American businessman and governor of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Born in 1894, in Oklahoma Territory, he served in World War I, became a prominent businessman and eventually became the 13th governor of Oklahoma.
Channel 4 has been an NBC television affiliate since its debut, inheriting those rights through WKY radio's longtime relationship with the progenitor NBC Red Network, which had been affiliated with that station since December 1928 (WKY-TV did not air its first NBC program, Who Said That? , until June 17). It also maintained secondary affiliations with CBS, ABC and the DuMont Television Network. Originally broadcasting Sunday through Fridays from 7:00 to 9:45 p.m., the station expanded its broadcast hours markedly over the next two years: WKY-TV began broadcasting seven days a week on February 11, 1950, when it started offering programs on Saturday evenings, and by 1951, when it added a morning schedule of local and network programs, was airing 90 cumulative hours of programming per week. Channel 4's initial local programming included some WKY radio shows that were adapted for television, including variety series Wiley and Gene (hosted by singers and WKY performers Wiley Walker and Gene Sullivan) and children's program The Adventures of Gizmo Goodkin. In July 1951, the operations of WKY-AM-TV were integrated into a proprietary studio facility, which included television soundstages that were engineered to also allow origination of WKY radio programs, built just east of the Britton Road transmission tower (WKY radio had earlier moved into the facility on March 26).
CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, But the network's second corporate headquarters and News headquarters remains in New York City, New York at their broadcast center on 77 West 66th Street in Lincoln Square in Upper West Side Manhattan.
OPUBCO management challenged a proposal under the FCC's "Sixth Report and Order" – which ended the agency's four-year-long freeze on licensing grants and realigned VHF channel assignments in many American media markets to alleviate interference issues – that would have resulted in channel 4 being reassigned to Tulsa and WKY-TV being moved to VHF channel 7. The company cited the cost of installing a temporary antenna, the potential effects on WKY radio's transmissions, and the need for viewers to replace their existing outdoor antennas with models capable of receiving high-band VHF signals in its response seeking to stay on channel 4. In April 1952, the FCC rescinded its request for WKY-TV to change frequencies, citing in part, feasible co-channel assignment separation from CBS affiliate KRLD-TV (now Fox owned-and-operated station KDFW) in Dallas, and the proposal's potential generation of signal interference issues in adjacent markets with other television stations transmitting on the same channel (the channel 7 allocation was reassigned to Lawton, where it would become occupied by present-day ABC affiliate KSWO-TV).On July 1, 1952, WKY-TV became among the first six television stations in the country – along with fellow NBC stations WBAP-TV (now KXAS-TV) in Fort Worth, KPRC-TV in Houston, WOAI-TV in San Antonio and WDSU in New Orleans, and secondary NBC affiliate KOTV (now exclusively a CBS affiliate) in Tulsa – to begin transmitting network programming over a live coaxial feed. The milestone was inaugurated that morning with a message by Today host Dave Garroway welcoming the stations in commencing live network telecasts; at that time, WKY increased its programming to 111 hours per week.
In 1953, OPUBCO—whose founder had long been an advocate for Oklahoma's educational system—donated $150,000 worth of existing WKY-TV broadcasting equipment to the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) for its proposed station on channel 13 (flagship station KETA-TV, which would sign-on in April 1956).Because of the licensing freeze instituted by the FCC in September 1948, WKY-TV was the only television station in the Oklahoma City market until 1953; its initial two UHF-based competitors—KTVQ (channel 25, allocation now occupied by Fox affiliate KOKH-TV) and KLPR-TV (channel 19, allocation now occupied by Cornerstone Television affiliate KUOT-CD)—made their respective debuts on October 28 and November 8 of that year. Though KTVQ and KLPR respectively signed on as basic affiliates of ABC and DuMont, channel 4 continued to carry selected programs from the two networks, with ABC programming being retained through a secondary basic affiliation; in contrast, WKY disaffiliated from CBS one month prior to KWTV (channel 9) signing on as an affiliate of that network on December 20. WKY-TV remained a primary NBC and secondary DuMont affiliate until the latter network discontinued operations in August 1956. In 1958, Enid-based ABC affiliate KGEO-TV (channel 5) changed call letters to KOCO-TV, refocusing its coverage area to include Oklahoma City and assuming the local ABC programming rights; this left WKY-TV exclusively affiliated with NBC.
On April 8, 1954, channel 4 became one of the first American television stations not owned by a network to produce and transmit local programs in color, beginning with a five-minute telecast hosted that evening by E.K. Gaylord; it also carried select NBC network programs in the format, with children's program The Paul Winchell Show was the station's first network color telecast. (Before the FCC had approved a color transmission standard, Gaylord had ordered color broadcasting equipment being developed by RCA—which included two RCA TK40 color cameras—in September 1949.) The cooking show Cook's Book became the first regular program to broadcast in color from the WKY studios and first in the state to do so, while dance program Sooner Shindig became the first live color program in the country to originate from the studios of a network-affiliated station. When NBC became the first network to commence color telecasts on May 1, WKY-TV provided color feeds of the Anadarko Indian Festival to the network for broadcast on Today and Home .Local variety series The Hank Thompson Show also became the first color broadcast of a variety program. In 1955, WKY-TV became the first network affiliate to feed a full-length color program to a television network, transmitting coverage of a square dance convention in downtown Oklahoma City to NBC; it also transmitted closed-circuit images of a surgical procedure in color (WKY-TV had become the first Oklahoma television station to air a surgical procedure via closed circuit telecast four years earlier in February 1950).
The Oklahoma Publishing Company, through its WKY Radiophone Company subsidiary, eventually acquired or launched other television and radio stations during and after its stewardship of WKY-TV, including: WSFA (TV) and WSFA (AM) (now WLWI [AM]) in Montgomery, Alabama (in 1955);WTVT in Tampa, Florida (in 1956); WUHF-TV (now WVTV) in Milwaukee (in 1966); KTVT in Fort Worth (in 1962); KHTV (now KIAH) in Houston (built and signed on by the company in 1967); and KTNT-TV (now KSTW) in Tacoma, Washington (in 1973). WKY-TV served as the company's flagship station, and in October 1956, OPUBCO renamed its broadcast group, the WKY Television System. In December 1954, a half-hour WKY-TV special, Gift of God, which outlined the medical and legal aspects of corneal transplants and included a film of a transplant operation project, led to the development of a statewide eye bank through a partnership with the Lions Clubs of Oklahoma and Lions Sight Conservation Foundation; by 1957, more than 16,400 donor cards (700 of which were received within 1½ hours after the special's initial airing, including one signed by then-Oklahoma Governor Raymond Gary) were signed to permit donation of participants' eyes to the bank after their deaths and 346 Oklahomans (including two who had underwent transplant surgery within 48 hours of the broadcast) had received corneal transplants to restore their sight.
In 1958, WKY became one of the first local television stations in the U.S. to acquire a videotape recorder; intended primarily for use by the station's news department, the recording equipment was also used for some program production, including those it distributed to NBC for national broadcast. One such videotaped show, the Stars and Stripes Show, premiered on NBC that year as the first network television program to be produced by a local station. Ownership of OPUBCO's Oklahoma City-based print and broadcast properties was transferred to Edward L. Gaylord, after his father, E.K. Gaylord, died of natural causes on May 30, 1974 at the age of 101.
In July 1975, Oklahoma Publishing sold WKY-TV to Universal Communications (a subsidiary of the Detroit-based Evening News Association) for $22.697 million. The Gaylords – which would later rechristen their broadcasting division as Gaylord Broadcasting – sold channel 4 to comply with FCC rules of the time that prohibited a single company from owning more than seven television stations nationwide, as it chose to purchase ABC affiliate WVUE-TV (now a Fox affiliate) in New Orleans and independent station WUAB (now a CW affiliate) in Cleveland as well as make building improvements to the Britton Road studio using proceeds from the sale. The sale coincided with the FCC's passage of new cross-ownership rules that prohibited media companies from owning newspapers and full-power broadcast television and radio outlets in the same market, restricting media companies to owning only either a print or broadcast property within an individual market. However, OPUBCO filed for a "grandfathering" waiver (which the agency allowed companies to seek to maintain existing newspaper-broadcasting combinations under special circumstances) to retain WKY radio, the Oklahoman, and the Times. The transaction was approved by the FCC on October 29.
On January 5, 1976, the station's call letters were changed to KTVY, in order to comply with a since-repealed FCC rule that prohibited separately owned TV and radio stations that were based in the same media market from sharing the same call letters. The WKY call letters had been assigned to its former radio sister before the "K"/"W" border definition assigned by the FCC was shifted to the Mississippi River in 1935; as such, upon changing them, channel 4 would have had to adopt a callsign starting with "K"—the KTVY calls were presumptively chosen as an anagram of its original WKY-TV calls— in any event.(WKY radio—which, in March 1977, moved to a new facility just west of the Britton Road building—was sold to Citadel Broadcasting in 2002, it is now owned by Cumulus Media; the Times ceased publication as a separate newspaper and was folded into the Oklahoman in March 1984; the Gaylord family sold the OPUBCO properties to The Anschutz Corporation in 2011). On June 6, 1985, KTVY became the first Oklahoma station to broadcast in stereo, initially broadcasting NBC network programs, local programs and certain syndicated shows that were transmitted in the audio format; taking advantage of the new format, channel 4's daily sign-ons and sign-offs began to feature music videos, some of which were tailored to the station's public service campaigns.
On September 5, 1985, the Gannett Company announced that it would purchase the Evening News Association for $717 million, thwarting a $566-million hostile takeover bid by L.P. Media Inc. (owned by television producer Norman Lear and media executive A. Jerrold Perenchio). As FCC rules then prohibited a single company from owning two commercial television stations in the same market, Gannett was required to sell either KTVY or KOCO-TV, the latter of which had been owned by Gannett since its 1979 acquisition of Combined Communications Corporation.On November 15, 1985, Gannett sold KTVY, fellow NBC affiliate WALA-TV (now a Fox affiliate) in Mobile, Alabama and CBS affiliate KOLD-TV in Tucson, Arizona to Miami, Florida-based Knight Ridder Broadcasting for $160 million (with KTVY selling for a reported $80 million). The sale to Gannett was completed on January 13, 1986, with the Knight-Ridder transaction being approved by the FCC on February 19.
On February 28, 1989, Knight Ridder—which, 3¾ months earlier on October 8, 1988, announced its intent to sell its eight television stations to reduce its $929-million debt load and to help finance its $353-million acquisition of online information provider Dialog Information Services—sold channel 4 to Palmer Communications, then-owner of fellow longtime NBC affiliates WHO-TV in the company's headquarters of Des Moines and KWQC-TV in Davenport, Iowa, for $50 million; the sale was approved by the FCC on May 8.
On April 22, 1990, the station's call letters were changed to KFOR-TV, in reference to its over-the-air channel assignment.(The KFOR call letters were formerly used by a now-defunct television station on channel 10 in Lincoln, Nebraska [now occupied by CBS affiliate KOLN] that operated from May 1953 to March 1954; the KTVY call letters were later used by a full-power television station in Goldfield, Nevada [later KEGS, now defunct] from 2002 to 2005, and its Las Vegas-based low-power repeater [later KEGS-LP, also now defunct] from 1997 to 2005.) It also adopted the generalized promotional brand "4 Strong" (an analogue to the longer-established "5 Alive" moniker used by KOCO-TV from 1977 to 1994), and retitled its newscasts from News 4 Oklahoma (which had been in use since March 1984) to News Team 4. Subsequently, on May 11, the station began maintaining a 24-hour programming schedule seven days a week, adding a mix of syndicated programs and infomercials as well as hourly local news updates to fill overnight timeslots. (As KTVY, the station had first adopted a 24-hour schedule on weekends in 1978, in order to air overnight feature films on Fridays and Saturdays.)
On November 7, 1991, Palmer announced it had signed a letter of intent to sell KFOR, WHO-TV and Des Moines radio stations WHO (AM) and KLYF (now KDRB) for $70.2 million to New Canaan, Connecticut-based Hughes Broadcasting Partners, a group formed earlier that year with its purchase of ABC affiliate WOKR-TV (now WHAM-TV) in Rochester, New York. The sale agreement was terminated on April 2, 1992, after Palmer management rejected the bid submitted by Hughes Broadcasting representatives. In a lawsuit against Palmer, majority owner VS&A Communications Partners LP asked a Delaware court to force Palmer, which claimed it had no binding obligation to negotiate or reach a formal agreement, into resuming negotiations to reach a definitive sale contract. Hughes formally gave up its pursuit of the transaction, months after the judge presiding the case ruled that the agreement between VS&A and Palmer was not binding.Coinciding with the start of that year's Summer Olympics, KFOR inaugurated the "NewsChannel 4" moniker for its news branding on July 25, 1992 (the title would be extended to full-time use in May 1997); the "4 Strong" moniker was concurrently discontinued, opting to use the phoneticism "K-FOR" as a general identifier, sometimes accompanied by the slogan "Oklahoma's News Channel".
On May 14, 1996, The New York Times Company (through its Memphis-based broadcasting subsidiary) announced that it would purchase KFOR-TV and WHO-TV from Palmer Communications for $226 million (with KFOR selling for $155 million); the sale received regulatory approval less than two months later on July 3, and was finalized on July 16. 125 mph [201 km/h]) collapsed due to straight-line wind gusts to near 105 mph (169 km/h)—which also caused minor damage to KOCO-TV's studio facility, located 1.1 miles (1.8 km) to the east of the KFOR studios—produced by a supercell thunderstorm that also spawned four tornadoes across northern sections of Oklahoma City that evening. On October 11, 2000, The New York Times Company entered into a joint sales agreement with Pax TV owned-and-operated station KOPX-TV (channel 62, now an O&O of successor Ion Television), as part of a broader agreement between the Times Company and Paxson Communications that also involved stations in Des Moines and Scranton–Wilkes-Barre. Until the agreement ended on July 1, 2005 (coinciding with Pax's rebranding as i: Independent Television), KFOR handled advertising sales services for channel 62, while KOPX carried NBC programs on occasions when conflicts with special event programming prevented them from airing on KFOR, and aired rebroadcasts of channel 4's 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. newscasts on a delayed basis.On June 13, 1998, the WKY-AM-TV transmitter tower (which had been used as an auxiliary tower for KFOR-TV and WKY radio, and was designed to withstand winds in excess of
On September 14, 2005, Viacom Television Stations Group sold UPN owned-and-operated station KAUT-TV (channel 43, now an independent station) to The New York Times Company, creating a duopoly with KFOR upon the sale's November 4 closure.On January 4, 2007, the Times Company sold its nine television stations to Local TV, a holding company operated by private equity group Oak Hill Capital Partners, for $530 million; the sale was finalized on May 7. On July 1, 2013, the Chicago-based Tribune Company (which formed a management company for the operation of both Tribune Broadcasting and Local TV's television stations in December 2007) acquired the Local TV stations for $2.75 billion. The sale, which was completed on December 27, reunited KFOR with former sister station KIAH (which Tribune had acquired from Gaylord Broadcasting in 1995).
On August 5, 2014, during a staff luncheon held at the soundstage within the original Britton Road studios that housed KAUT's news set, duopoly president and general manager Wes Milbourn announced plans to construct a new facility on a ten-acre (4.0 ha) plot of land directly adjacent to the existing studio building to house the operations of KFOR-TV and KAUT-TV. Construction of the facility began in January 2015, and was completed in early August 2017. The facility—designed under an open floorplan to improve workflow and encourage collaboration between employees of the station's individual departments—incorporates two production studios (the main studio, which was named in honor of after veteran anchor Linda Cavanaugh upon her retirement on December 15, 2017, provides a backdrop of the newsroom structured similarly to the set used from 1992 until the anchor desk was walled off from the former studio's newsroom in 2006, and incorporates an 80-inch [203 cm] razored monitor); an expanded weather center within the production studio housing KFOR's main news set; two control rooms that relay high definition content; and several conference rooms dedicated to former channel 4 employees (such as the Barry Huddle Room, named in honor of late longtime sports anchors Bob Barry Sr. and Bob Barry, Jr.). The building's exterior was built with reinforced steel, concrete and protective glass to resist a direct hit from a tornado or extreme straight-line winds, which would allow KFOR to broadcast uninterrupted during significant severe weather events affecting Oklahoma City proper. KFOR/KAUT's news, sales and marketing departments, and all other operations moved to the new Britton Road studio on August 19, 2017 (commencing broadcasts with that evening's edition of the 10:00 p.m. newscast), ending KFOR's 65-year tenure at the original 444 East Britton Road building. The older building was later razed after operations were moved into the new building to make room for public parking space near the newer building. Coinciding with the move, KFOR-TV changed its branding to Oklahoma’s News 4 (although print and online TV listings mistitle the station's newscasts as "KFOR News 4"), adopting an alteration of the Tribune Creative West-designed graphics package developed for the Fox affiliates it owned prior to the Local TV purchase in 2012, and replacing the Wow and Flutter-composed custom theme that had been in use since 1997 with Stephen Arnold Music's NBC chimes-derived "The Rock."
On May 8, 2017, Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group—owner of Fox affiliate KOKH-TV and CW affiliate KOCB (channel 34)—entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune. (Ironically, Sinclair attempted to purchase the Palmer stations in 1996, in a proposal with River City Broadcasting—which Sinclair, which in turn was purchasing then-UPN affiliate KOCB from Superior Communications at the time, would acquire later that year—that would have resulted in River City acquiring KFOR in exchange for allowing Sinclair to buy WHO-TV from Palmer; Sinclair's purchase of the River City stations precluded this, because of FCC rules that then prohibited duopolies.) Because Sinclair and Tribune each owned two television stations in the Oklahoma City market, with KFOR and KOKH both ranking among the market's four highest-rated stations in total day viewership, the companies were required to sell either KFOR or KOKH (and optionally, KAUT and KOCB) to another station owner in order to comply with FCC local ownership rules.
On April 24, 2018, in an amendment to the Tribune acquisition through which it proposed the sale of certain stations to both independent and affiliated third-party companies to curry the DOJ's approval, Sinclair announced that it would sell KOKH-TV to Standard Media Group (an independent broadcast holding company founded by private equity firm Standard General to assume ownership of and absolve ownership conflicts involving nine Sinclair- and Tribune-owned stations located in markets where both groups have television properties) in a $441.1-million group deal. Sinclair would have effectively acquire KFOR-TV's license and intellectual assets directly, while retaining ownership of KOCB, which it opted not to include in the Standard Media sale; as a result, channel 34 would have formed a new legal duopoly with KFOR-TV had Sinclair assumed ownership of that station, and would have migrated its operations into KFOR/KAUT's Britton Road studios following a six-month transitional period in which Sinclair would have continued to provide services to KOKH for six months after the sale's completion. However, because FCC rules prohibit common ownership of more than two full-power stations in a single market, Sinclair would have spun off KAUT-TV to affiliate company Howard Stirk Holdings for $750,000; however, it would have assumed control of that station through shared services and joint sales agreements with Stirk.Less than one month after the FCC voted to have the deal reviewed by an administrative law judge amid "serious concerns" about Sinclair's forthrightness in its applications to sell certain conflict properties, on August 9, 2018, Tribune announced it would terminate the Sinclair deal, intending to seek other M&A opportunities. Tribune also filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Sinclair engaged in protracted negotiations with the FCC and the DOJ over regulatory issues, refused to sell stations in markets where it already had properties (such as KAUT-TV), and proposed divestitures to parties with ties to Sinclair executive chair David D. Smith that were rejected or highly subject to rejection to maintain control over stations it was required to sell.
On December 3, 2018, Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Media Group announced it would acquire Tribune in an all-cash deal valued at $6.4 billion, including the assumption of Tribune-held outstanding debt. The deal—which would make Nexstar the largest television station operator by total number of stations upon its expected closure late in the third quarter of 2019—would give the KFOR/KAUT duopoly additional sister stations in Lawton–Wichita Falls (NBC affiliate KFDX-TV and SSA partners KJTL [Fox] and KJBO-LP [MyNetworkTV]), Wichita (the Kansas State Network group of NBC affiliates, led by flagship KSNW), Fort Smith–Fayetteville (NBC affiliate KNWA-TV and Fox affiliate KFTA-TV, which are part of an ownership conflict with Tribune-owned CBS affiliate KFSM-TV and MyNetworkTV affiliate KXNW), Joplin–Pittsburg (NBC affiliate KSNF and ABC-affiliated SSA partner KODE-TV), Amarillo (NBC affiliate KAMR-TV and SSA partners KCIT [Fox] and KCPN-LP [MyNetworkTV]) and Shreveport–Texarkana (NBC affiliate KTAL-TV and SSA partners KMSS-TV [Fox] and KSHV-TV [MyNetworkTV]).
KFOR-DT2 is the Antenna TV-affiliated second digital subchannel of KFOR-TV, broadcasting in standard definition on UHF digital channel 29.2 (or virtual channel 4.2 via PSIP). On cable, KFOR-DT2 is available on Cox Communications digital channel 247 in the Oklahoma City area, as well as on select other cable providers throughout the market (including Suddenlink Communications systems in Enid, Perry, Stillwater, Chickasha, Purcell, Seminole and Pauls Valley, and Vyve Broadband systems in Chandler, Holdenville and Shawnee).
In March 2004, KFOR-TV launched a digital subchannel on virtual channel 4.2, which was originally formatted as an automated local weather channel (branded as the "4Warn Forecast Channel"), displaying feeds of the station's two Doppler radar systems (then branded as the "4Warn Edge" and the "4Warn Storm Tracker") as well as local and regional weather forecasts.In February 2005, KFOR-DT2 became an affiliate of NBC Weather Plus under the brand "4Warn 24/7"; around this time, Cox Communications began carrying KFOR-DT2 on digital channel 247. Following Weather Plus' shutdown on December 1, 2008, the subchannel returned to an automated format, carrying successor service NBC Plus. On December 31, 2011, KFOR-DT2 became an affiliate of Antenna TV, taking over the programming rights from the then-operational KFOR-DT3. In addition, from September 16, 2012 until September 2013, some Antenna TV programs were simulcast on KAUT during the overnight and early morning hours to compensate for current-day syndication rights.
KFOR-DT3 is the Justice Network-affiliated third digital subchannel of KFOR-TV, broadcasting in standard definition on UHF digital channel 29.3 (or virtual channel 4.3 via PSIP). On cable, KFOR-DT3 is available on Cox Communications digital channel 224 in the Oklahoma City area.
KFOR launched a third digital subchannel on virtual channel 4.3 on April 21, 2011, as a charter affiliate of Antenna TV, by way of the Tribune Broadcasting-owned classic television network's affiliation agreement with then-KFOR parent Local TV; after the latter subchannel took over the rights to the Antenna TV affiliation on December 31, 2011, KFOR-DT3 continued to carry the network's programming feed in tandem with KFOR-DT2 until the station decommissioned its DT3 subchannel on January 15, 2012. KFOR-DT3 was relaunched on December 22, 2017, as an affiliate of the Justice Network under an expansion of an existing affiliation agreement that Tribune reached with the Cooper Media-owned network in August 2016.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||KFOR-DT||Main KFOR-TV programming / NBC|
KFOR-TV began transmitting a digital television signal on UHF channel 29 on June 1, 1999, becoming the first television station in Oklahoma City and the state of Oklahoma as a whole to begin operating a digital signal; until KFOR-DT began broadcasting on a full-time basis on May 1, 2002, the digital feed only transmitted NBC prime time and sports programming as well as a limited schedule of local programs carried by the main analog signal. The station discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, VHF channel 4, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 40, The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 27, using PSIP to display KFOR-TV's virtual channel as 4 on digital television receivers.
KFOR-TV currently broadcasts the entire NBC schedule, with the only programming preemptions being those necessitated due to breaking news or severe weather events that require extended coverage. (In some instances, these programs may either be diverted to KAUT-TV or rebroadcast on KFOR on tape delay in place of NBC's overnight programming.) Syndicated programs broadcast by KFOR-TV as of September 2018 [update] include Rachael Ray , The Doctors , Jeopardy! , Inside Edition and Right This Minute . (Oklahoma City is one of a small number of U.S. television markets in which Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are carried on separate stations; Wheel airs on ABC affiliate KOCO-TV.)
Historically, although NBC was far less tolerant of preemptions than its fellow major network rivals and channel 4 was one of the network's stronger affiliates, the station has either preempted or aired out of pattern certain NBC network programs to make room for other local or syndicated programs, including an occasional prime time show. From the 1970s to the mid-1990s, it preempted a selected number of NBC late morning daytime shows in order to run syndicated and locally produced programs; this was especially prevalent under Palmer Communications ownership, when KFOR preempted NBC's late-morning talk shows and soap operas during the early 1990s, clearing only the afternoon soaps Days of Our Lives and Another World . For most of the soap's NBC run, from 1982 to 1985, KTVY preempted Search for Tomorrow , which was carried instead by then-independent station KOKH-TV; p.m. at the time) to air on a 2½-hour tape delay to accommodate it until Search was cancelled by the network in 1986.channel 4 began clearing Search in September 1985, which concurrently forced Days (which many NBC stations in the Central Time Zone normally aired at 12:30
The station also preempted the final two hours of NBC's Saturday morning cartoon lineup from the late 1970s until 1992. In August 1992, KFOR chose to preempt the Saturday edition of Today and nearly the entire TNBC lineup (with the exception of Saved by the Bell , and later its spinoff The New Class , when it debuted in 1993), in favor of a new two-hour local morning newscast and a mix of educational children's shows and syndicated lifestyle programs. The station also delayed Late Night (during its David Letterman and Conan O'Brien runs) to 12:07 a.m. from the late 1980s until 2006 in order to run syndicated newsmagazines and game shows in the program's recommended 11:35 p.m. timeslot. Following its acquisition by The New York Times Company, KFOR-TV began clearing the entire NBC schedule in the fall of 1996; at that time, it reduced its weekend morning newscasts to an hour on Saturdays and 90 minutes on Sundays (cutting the 7:00 a.m. hour) in order to accommodate the weekend Today broadcasts (a Sunday 6:00 a.m. newscast was added by 2002), and began to carry the remainder of the TNBC block and a third hour of the NBC daytime lineup.
One of the station's most successful early local programs was The Adventures of 3-D Danny, a space-themed afternoon children's program that ran from 1953 to 1959. Hosted by Danny Williams as Supreme Galaxy Chief Dan D. Dynamo, the show—which showcased cartoon shorts between segments—was set in the fictional Space Science Center (of which Dynamo served as superintendent and from where he periodically traveled in a time machine known as the "synchro-retroverter"). Ratings for 3-D Danny often beat those of ABC's The Mickey Mouse Club , making it the first local television program in the country to achieve that feat. Williams joined the station in 1950 as host of an eponymous daily talk show as well as appearing as Spavinaw Spoofkin on The Adventures of Gizmo Godkin. He also served as an announcer for WKY-TV's Friday and Saturday night professional wrestling telecasts, and from 1967 to 1984, hosted the local midday talk-variety show Dannysday (which featured among Williams' co-hosts over its 17-year run, Mary Hart, before she became a household name as co-anchor of Entertainment Tonight ).The format typified by Dannysday was reprised with the mid-morning infotainment show AM Oklahoma, hosted by Ben and Butch McCain (then working respectively as news and weather anchors for the station's 6 a.m. newscast as well as its local news updates during Today); the program was canceled after nine months. According to The Oklahoman, the brothers continued anchoring and weather duties until June 1987 when it was announced they would be moving to KOCO-TV that August.
Another children's show with a similar local cultural impact was Foreman Scotty's Circle 4 Ranch. Airing from 1957 to 1971, it was hosted by Steve Powell (who, with Williams, created and hosted WKY-TV's The Giant Kids Matinee) in the role of the titular cowboy. Scotty was accompanied by a cast of supporting characters that included ranch-hand sidekick Cannonball McCoy (played by station announcer Wilson Hurst), and several played by Danny Williams including fellow sidekick Xavier T. Willard. The show also featured prize giveaways including the Golden Horseshoe, whose winner was selected through the "Magic Lasso," a cut-out slide that was superimposed on-screen over the audience, and honorary rides on a wooden horse named Woody for children in the studio audience who were celebrating their birthday. At its peak, the show had a 1½-year backlog of kids who wanted to be part of the show's audience.
In 1966, WKY-TV became the originating studio for The Buck Owens Ranch Show (the first season of which was produced by local businessmen Bud and Don Mathis, founders of locally based Mathis Brothers Furniture, the former of whom played the "ranch foreman" that joked and bantered with Owens). The half-hour syndicated country-variety series was seen in over 100 U.S. markets at its height, and was perhaps the most successful program of its kind that was not produced in Nashville (where most television programs of the country genre have been filmed). Regular acts that appeared included Owens' band, the Buckaroos, Kay Adams, the Hager Twins, Susan Raye and Owens' sons Buddy Alan and Mike Owens. Yongestreet Productions forced Owens to discontinue the Ranch Show in 1973, due to music duplication with the longer-running Hee Haw (both of which featured Roy Clark as his co-host).
Other noted local programs aired on channel 4 have included The Wallace Wildlife Show, a pioneering, regionally syndicated fishing show hosted by former WKY radio disc jockey Don Wallace from 1965 to 1988 (and was the highest-rated U.S. television program of that genre during the 1974-75 season); The Scene, an American Bandstand -style Saturday afternoon dance show hosted by WKY radio DJ Ronnie Kaye, which ran from 1966 to 1974 and courted such famed musicians as James Brown, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Otis Redding, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Ike and Tina Turner; a local version of PM Magazine ; The Jude 'n' Jody Show, a country-variety program hosted by singers Jude Northcutt and Jody Taylor (later owners of local furniture store Jude 'n' Jody and Sons) that ran on channel 4 and other Oklahoma City stations at various points from 1954 to 1982; and three horror movie showcases hosted by John Ferguson as "Count Gregore", a local version of Shock Theater from 1958 to 1962, Thriller Theater from 1962 to 1964 and Sleepwalker's Matinee from 1973 to 1979. (Ferguson—who worked as a staff announcer for channel 4 in 1955 before going on to play multiple characters on 3-D Danny—would reprise the Count Gregore character on several similar horror-thriller showcases that aired on KOCO-TV, KOKH-TV, KOCB, KAUT-TV and local cable access channels in the Oklahoma City market at various points through the late 2000s.)
In August 1949, WKY-TV reached a deal with the University of Oklahoma to air Oklahoma Sooners football home games. The station's first live Sooners telecast aired on October 1 of that year, with a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Owen Field (now Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium).WKY-TV also originated the first televised college football analysis program: airing from 1953 to 1963, Bud Wilkinson’s Football (later retitled Inside Football with Bud Wilkinson) was a 15-minute – later 30-minute – show that featured the Sooners' three-time national championship head coach as he discussed the previous week's game strategy, demonstrated through film footage and using figurines positioned on a miniature football field. At its peak, the show was syndicated to television stations in 45 markets across the U.S. In 1966, a wrestling match between the Sooners and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys became the first to be televised live on the station.
From 1978 to 1984, channel 4 (as KTVY) aired an hour-long condensed broadcast of the most recent Sooners football game, with wraparound segments co-hosted by then-head coach Barry Switzer. The Oklahoma Playback—which aired on Sunday afternoons during the college football season—was also syndicated to stations throughout the U.S. (mainly in the Southwest, with KDOC-TV in Anaheim, California among the program's few out-of-region carriers), and briefly aired on the Five Star Cable Sports Network (a now-defunct channel owned by OU alumnus, oilman and former Texas Rangers owner Eddie Chiles). Around this time, the University of Oklahoma and then-Oklahoma City mayor Andy Coats led a legal challenge to regulations imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 1951 that restricted the number of college football games that could be televised live in a single season; however, KTVY occasionally broadcast live games through NCAA waivers that allowed certain games to be broadcast within a team's home market as they were being held. The rules, which were imposed out of concern that the broadcasts negatively affected game attendance, were overturned in a 7-2 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 1984.
From 1982 to 1997, channel 4 also aired college basketball games involving the Sooners. These telecasts—consisting of between ten and twelve regular season games each year, most of which aired on Saturday afternoons—originated under a direct revenue-sharing deal with the university, before expanding to encompass the Oklahoma State Cowboys and other fellow members in the Big Eight Conference (which evolved into the Big XII in 1996) under an agreement with Raycom Sports in 1985—transferring to ESPN Plus in 1993—in an agreement that also gave the station the local broadcast rights to select college football games involving Big Eight teams to which ABC did not hold the national television rights and the first three rounds of its men's basketball tournament.Since KFOR-TV lost the local syndication rights to the ESPN-produced Big XII basketball telecasts to KOCB in 1998 to 2014, sports programming on the station comes mainly through NBC Sports.
As of September 2017 [update] , KFOR-TV broadcasts 40½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with seven hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among Oklahoma City's broadcast television stations. In addition, the station produces Flashpoint, a political discussion show focusing on state and national issues (moderated by weeknight anchor Kevin Ogle, with former Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Turpen and former Oklahoma State Senator and Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb as panelists ), which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Because it produces Rise and Shine for sister station KAUT-TV, channel 4 does not produce live news updates during the first two hours of the weekday editions of NBC's Today, choosing instead to air brief weather segments that were recorded earlier that morning during the production of Oklahoma's News 4 This Morning (KFOR does produce live news updates for broadcast during the Saturday edition of Today and Sunday Today with Willie Geist).
The station operates a Bell 206L-4 LongRanger IV helicopter for newsgathering, "Bob Moore Chopper 4", named through a brand licensing agreement with area car dealership franchise Bob Moore Auto Group in January 2010. The helicopter caught footage of an F5 tornado that killed 36 people on May 3, 1999 as it tracked from Amber to Midwest City (this video was used for eleven years in promos for "Chopper 4"),and an EF5 tornado that hit Moore on May 20, 2013, which was broadcast nationally on The Weather Channel. KFOR became the first Oklahoma station to broadcast aerial helicopter footage in high definition on March 11, 2010.
Channel 4's news department began operations along with the station on June 6, 1949, originally consisting of 10-minute-long newscasts at sign-on and sign-off, using wire copies of local news headlines read by anchors over still newspaper photographs. Bruce Palmer, the station's first news director, wanted to provide more immediacy to news coverage; he believed the restrictions placed on television news would result in broadcasts detailing only a limited number of stories at a time, outside of weather reports, and foresaw that television news would concentrate on films or photographs to help tell the story. The television station's news department utilized news staff from WKY radio to serve as reporters and photographers (a collection of 16 mm news footage shot by WKY-TV between 1953 and 1979 was donated in 2013 to the Oklahoma Historical Society, which made the films available on its website and a dedicated YouTube channel). Within a few years, WKY had employed a staff of 44 Oklahoma-based reporters and additional correspondents in three surrounding states.In 1950, WKY-TV became one of the first television stations in the country to employ a mobile broadcasting unit to conduct live broadcasts that would be relayed to the Oklahoma City studio or to film on-scene footage on kinescope for later broadcast; the unit—which had its electronic equipment installed by station engineers—employed up to three cameras, one of which was stationed on a special platform on the roof of the bus, and included a 12-inch television receiver built onto its side to display the direct-to-studio feed (this vehicle was replaced in 1969, with a proprietary mobile color unit). Among the events that the unit was sent to cover during the station's early years were the Oklahoma Republican and Democratic State Conventions, both of which were relayed live from the Municipal Auditorium, respectively in February and April 1952.
In January 1951, WKY-TV became the first station in the U.S. to provide coverage of state legislature sessions, which were conducted from the Oklahoma State Capitol twice a week.Channel 4 claimed to have made the fastest showing of any sound on film ever to have been processed and aired on television at the time, when on February 8, 1952, WKY-TV aired anchor John Field's introductory remarks that were filmed 15 minutes prior to that evening's newscast. The Houston film processor used by the station allowed WKY-TV to broadcast news coverage only a few hours after it was shot on-scene. The station is also purported to be the first in the U.S. to allowed access to film a court proceeding on December 13, 1953, while covering the trial of accused murderer Billy Eugene Manley. A WKY-TV film crew (led by reporter Frank McGee) was placed in a specially constructed, enclosed booth in the rear of the trial's courtroom at the Oklahoma County Courthouse, with a microphone hidden near the front of the court recording the proceedings. A small button was placed on the desk of Judge A. P. Van Meter to allow him to automatically discontinue operation of the cameras at any time. The swearing in of the jury, some testimony and Manley's sentencing was filmed for later news broadcasts.
The station's ascendance in the local news ratings occurred primarily under the stewardship of longtime news director Ernie Schultz (who joined the station as a reporter and photographer in 1955, before being promoted to news director and anchor of the noon newscast in 1964).The station hired top-drawer talent and based its journalistic style around in-depth reporting. In 1972, Pam Henry—who contracted polio at 14 months old, and had served as the national poster child for the March of Dimes in 1959—was hired by channel 4 as an assignment reporter, becoming the first female to work as a news reporter on Oklahoma television; after a brief stint working in Washington, D.C., Henry would later work at other television stations in Oklahoma City and Lawton as well as a 16-year run as manager of news and public affairs at OETA. From 1973 to 1978, WKY-TV aired Spectrum, a weekly prime time public affairs show with a newsmagazine format, which incorporated feature segments on local stories and people of importance and issues affecting Oklahoma's minority community. A documentary featured on the program, Through The Looking Glass Darkly (produced and reported by eventual NBC News correspondent Bob Dotson, about the history of blacks in Oklahoma), became the first program from an Oklahoma television station to win an Emmy Award in 1974.
The station is well known in the Oklahoma City market for the longevity of its anchors as well as the two families that have had roots with the station. In 1979, Linda Cavanaugh—who began her broadcasting career at the station on October 17, 1977 as an assignment reporter and news photographer; she was promoted to lead anchor of the weekend newscasts in June 1978 – became the first female to co-anchor an evening newscast at channel 4 when she was appointed as lead co-anchor for the station's 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts, alongside George Tomek (who also became lead anchor of the station's midday newscast that same year) and Brad Edwards, respectively. Cavanaugh's co-anchors throughout her tenure also included Gary Essex (1981–1982), Jerry Adams (1982–1987), Jane Jayroe (1984–1987), Dan Slocum (1987–1990), Bob Bruce (1990–1992), Devin Scillian (1992–1995) and finally, Kevin Ogle (1996–2017). In 1989, Cavanaugh and chief photographer Tony Stizza were awarded the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting for its documentary "From Red Soil to Red Square," which detailed life in the Soviet Union, a principal trade partner with Oklahoma's agricultural industry, under the territory's glasnost. The two partnered on several other projects including Tapestry, a 1996 documentary on the lives of several survivors of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building one year after the terror attack, which was honored with four Emmys, a National Gabriel Award Certificate of Merit as well as several accolades by, among others, the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. Cavanaugh holds the record as the longest-serving news anchor in Oklahoma television, having served as primary co-anchor at KTVY/KFOR for 38 years until her retirement from broadcasting on December 15, 2017. (She is also the second-longest-tenured television news personality in Oklahoma, behind only Gary England, who served as chief meteorologist at rival KWTV for 41 years from 1972 to 2013.) Replacing her on the 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. broadcasts was Joleen Chaney, who first joined KFOR as a weekend evening anchor/reporter in 2008, and after a two-year reporting stint at KWTV beginning in June 2014, returned as co-anchor of the weekday 4:00, 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts in July 2016; Heather Holeman, who first served as weekday morning anchor/reporter from 2000 to 2007 and returned to KFOR in 2015 as a weekday morning traffic reporter, concurrently replaced Cavanaugh as 4:30 p.m. and Chaney as 5:00 p.m. co-anchor.
The Ogle family have been part of the station in some manner since the 1960s. Jack Ogle joined WKY-TV as its main news anchor in 1962, and became known for his interpersonal, "good-ol'-boy" approach to his on-air delivery; his tenure also featured prominent anchor/reporters George Tomek, Ernie Schultz and Jerry Adams. After Schultz moved to a role as WKY-TV's director of information, Ogle became news director in 1970 and served in that capacity for seven years; he continued to occasionally appear on channel 4 as well as rivals KOCO and KWTV after departing as anchor/news director role to do regular commentary pieces. p.m. co-anchor/reporter for KOCO-TV). In 2006, Kevin began hosting The Rant, a segment airing most Monday through Thursdays during the 10:00 p.m. newscast that features viewer opinions on a selected news story, with the Thursday edition serving as an "open topic" forum featuring positive and critical comments on multiple subjects.His eldest son, Kevin Ogle, first worked at channel 4 as a reporter from 1986 to 1989; he returned as a weekend evening anchor/reporter in 1993, before being promoted to weeknight co-anchor in 1996. Middle son, Kent, was hired as a reporter in 1994; after brief stints anchoring the weekend morning and, later, weekend evening newscasts starting in 1994, Kent was moved to the weekday morning and noon newscasts in 1997 (two of Jack's other descendants, youngest son Kelly Ogle and granddaughter by way of Kevin, Abigail Ogle, respectively serve as evening co-anchor at KWTV and weeknight 6:00
The late Bob Barry, Sr. was also a fixture for many years, starting his television career at WKY-TV as its lead sports anchor in 1966, while maintaining his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the Oklahoma Sooners (a position to which Barry was appointed by Bud Wilkinson in 1961; Barry called radio broadcasts of OU, and later Oklahoma State, football and basketball games with Jack Ogle until 1974). Barry became sports director in 1970, holding that position for 27 of his 42 years at Channel 4; he remained a part-time evening sports anchor until his retirement in May 2008. His son, Bob Barry, Jr., became weekend sports anchor/reporter at KTVY in 1982, working along Bob Sr. for 25 years and assuming his father's role as sports director in 1997; the younger Barry—who was known for his jovial, off-the-cuff style—served as KFOR's sports director and weeknight sports anchor until the day prior to his death in a motorcycle accident in June 2015. Collectively, including a posthumous win by Bob Barry Jr. in 2016, the Barrys earned 22 "Sportscaster of the Year" awards from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (Bob, Sr. holds the record for most wins with 15).In February 2016, Brian Brinkley (who joined KFOR as weekend sports anchor in 1991) succeeded Barry Jr. as sports director.
The station is known for its In Your Corner series of consumer advocacy reports, which focus on investigations into reported scams, area businesses accused of ripping off consumers, and occasionally, issues of corruption in Oklahoma state and local governments. Debuting in 1981, the segment was created and originally conducted by Brad Edwards, who joined channel 4 as a reporter/photographer in 1973, before being promoted to 10:00 p.m. anchor four years later. Edwards also started several community initiatives overseen by the station that help low-income residents, including "Warmth 4 Winter" (a partnership with The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command and local dry cleaners to collect donated winter coats and other winter clothing for needy Oklahomans) and "Fans 4 Oklahomans" (a drive held each summer to collect boxed fans for donation to the elderly and poor who cannot afford or do not have air conditioning). Following Edwards's death due to complications from endocarditis, vasculitis and a brain aneurysm in May 2006, duties for the "In Your Corner" segment were rotated between anchors Lance West and Ali Meyer, and assignment reporters Scott Hines and Cherokee Ballard in the interim until Hines was promoted to a full-time consumer investigative reporting role in 2007.
On January 5, 1981, KTVY moved its early evening newscast one hour earlier to 5:00 p.m. and expanded it to one hour (it was the first station in Oklahoma City to air an hour-long newscast in that timeslot, predating the launch of KOKH-TV's own 5:00 p.m. news hour by 34 years). The move resulted in the station shifting NBC Nightly News to 6:00 p.m., airing on a half-hour delay from its network-recommended slot. The early-evening newscast was split into two half-hour programs at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., bookended by Nightly News, on August 19, 1985. In May 1990, KFOR-TV implemented the "24-Hour News Source" concept, which was the subject of a trademark infringement lawsuit filed that month by KOCO-TV, which claimed it held the local rights to the brand name. Providing news headlines in time periods not occupied by the station's regular long-form newscasts or its half-hourly updates during Today, channel 4 began to produce 30-second-long news updates that aired at or near the top of each hour during local commercial break inserts within syndicated and NBC network programs, even during prime time and overnight slots (producers and other newsroom personnel anchored the segments for several years during the 1990s). The station continued to utilize the hourly newsbrief format exclusively in daytime and late fringe slots until 2006, when they were reduced to two afternoon segments serving as de facto promotions for the evening newscasts. Upon joining KFOR in July 1991, Galen Culver (who is currently married to Saturday morning anchor Tara Blume) started Is This a Great State or What?, a regular feature airing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the 5:00 p.m. newscast that focuses on stories of interesting places and people around Oklahoma.
Just prior to and following the adoption of the NewsChannel 4 brand in August 1992, KFOR-TV began to slowly expand its local news programming, starting under the direction of then-general manager Bill Katsafanas and news director Melissa Klinzing, who enacted the strategy to gear KFOR as "the CNN of the [Oklahoma City] market". On June 15 of that year, the station added a weekday afternoon, lifestyle-focused newscast at 4:30 p.m. (originally titled First News at 4:30). Two months later on August 15, channel 4 became the second Oklahoma City station to debut weekend morning newscasts, originally airing Saturdays and – beginning on August 23 – Sundays from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m.; then on August 17, KFOR expanded its weekday noon newscast to a full hour. In September 1993, KFOR debuted Flashpoint, a half-hour Sunday morning talk show that was originally moderated by Devin Scillian (who developed a program of the same title and format at WDIV-TV in Detroit in 1996). Following their run as analysts for channel 4's coverage of the 1992 presidential election, news producer Mary Ann Eckstein, who later became KFOR's news director in 1996, developed the program around panelists and former Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates Mike Turpen and Burns Hargis. Hargis left the show in 2008 to become president of Oklahoma State University–Stillwater and was replaced by former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys (who left the show in June 2019 to focus on his job as CEO of local real estate investment firm Humphreys Capital, with former-State Senator-turned-Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb replacing him as the conservative on the panel).
During coverage of the April 19, 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing, the station erroneously reported during that day's coverage that a member of the Nation of Islam had called in to the station to take credit for the bombing (which was actually orchestrated by Timothy McVeigh, who associated himself with the Patriot movement, and Terry Nichols), even though it cautioned that the claim might have been a crank call; similarly, in the aftermath of the bombing, then-KFOR reporter Jayna Davis reported on a story which claimed that McVeigh was seen drinking beer with a former Iraqi soldier in an Oklahoma City tavern (Davis would later write a 2005 book, The Third Terrorist , which looked at the conspiracy theory that a Middle Eastern man had been involved in planning the bombing). On May 1, 1995, KFOR debuted a half-hour extension of its 6:00 p.m. newscast—replacing first-run syndicated programs that the station had traditionally aired in the 6:30 timeslot, and originally serving to provide proceedings of the aftermath of and developments in the investigation into the Murrah Building bombing—focusing primarily on national and international news headlines that was modeled similarly to ABC, CBS and NBC's national evening newscasts. KFOR-TV has avidly competed with KWTV for first place among the market's local television newscasts for decades. It had placed second behind KWTV in the morning and late evening news timeslots. Nielsen later found an error in KFOR's ratings reports in September 2008, in which share points were mistakenly assigned to KFOR's 4.1 digital multicast signal from 2005 to 2008; the corrected ratings showed that it had placed #2 in all timeslots at that time, a rarity given the ratings declines that NBC's programming and its affiliates' local newscasts overall had suffered beginning in 2004.
On June 5, 2006, KFOR-TV began producing a half-hour weeknight 9:00 p.m. newscast for KAUT-TV (which competes against Fox affiliate KOKH-TV's hour-long newscast that debuted in May 1996); it expanded news programming on KAUT with the debut of a two-hour extension of its weekday morning newscast on September 8, 2008. On July 12, 2009, starting with its 10:00 p.m. newscast, KFOR became the first commercial television station in the Oklahoma City market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition (it also upgraded its severe weather ticker to be overlaid on HD programming without having to downconvert the content to standard definition); the Is This a Great State or What? segments began to be produced in HD that January and the KAUT newscasts were included in the overall upgrade. On September 7, 2011, KFOR-TV launched a half-hour 4:00 p.m. newscast that features an emphasis on viewer interaction through social media, mixing news, lifestyle and entertainment stories with trending stories on the internet and web videos. On August 27, 2012, KFOR expanded its weekday morning newscast to three hours, with the addition of an hour at 4:00 a.m.
KFOR-TV is one of two stations within the Oklahoma City market that is known for its comprehensive coverage of severe weather affecting the state. The station's Doppler radar system, branded as "4WARN Storm Scanner", provides live dual-Doppler radar data from sites at the Oklahoma City studios and near Newcastle (the latter of which operates at 1 million watts); both also utilize data from National Weather Service (NWS) radar sites nationwide. KFOR also provides local weather updates for six iHeartMedia-owned radio stations: KTOK (1000 AM), KGHM (1340 AM), KBRU (94.7 FM), KXXY-FM (96.1 FM), KTST (101.9 FM) and KJYO (102.7 FM).
Channel 4 is claimed to be the first television station in the United States to have established a professional meteorological department, as a result of the 1951 hire of weather director Wally Kinnan. It also claims to have hired the first local broadcast meteorologist in Oklahoma, Harry Volkman, who joined WKY-TV in March 1952 after a two-year stint at KOTV in Tulsa.On September 5, 1954, it became the first television station to broadcast a tornado warning, doing so for a tornadic thunderstorm approaching Meeker that afternoon. WKY-TV reporter Frank McGee relayed a tornado forecast issued by and intended to be released exclusively to Tinker Air Force Base staff over the phone to Volkman. General manager P.A. Sugg – who, with Oklahoma U.S. Senator Mike Monroney, had been pushing the U.S. Government to overturn a ban on disseminating tornado alerts to the public, believing the high fatality risk and the need to allow residents to take safety precautions outweighed government concerns that it would incite panic – instructed Volkman to deliver an on-air bulletin of the "tornado risk" for central Oklahoma that afternoon. Though he had apprehension of facing arrest for violating government rules, Volkman agreed to deliver the warning after Sugg volunteered to take responsibility. Volkman narrowly avoided being fired by OPUBCO management upon finding out that viewers in the tornado's path sent letters thanking him and WKY-TV for the warning (Volkman would remain at channel 4 until 1954, when he became a meteorologist at KWTV).
In 1958, WKY-TV became the first Oklahoma television station to install a weather radar system, utilizing a converted surplus military radar that was used until 1970. Kinnan had earlier developed methodology to predict and detect tornadoes using radar by identifying wind patterns to predict precipitation movement, despite the NWS's belief that there was no method possible to predict them with a degree of accuracy. [ citation needed ]That year also saw the hiring of Jim Williams, who would later succeed Volkman's successor, Bob Thomas, as the station's chief meteorologist; Williams formerly held the record as the state's longest-serving television meteorologist, working at channel 4 for 32 years until his retirement in 1990 (Gary England, who served as KWTV's chief meteorologist for 41 years from October 1972 until August 2013, surpassed Williams for the title in 2005). Mike Morgan—who replaced one of Williams' two short-lived successors, Wayne Shattuck, who himself was Morgan's direct predecessor for the same position at KOCO-TV—took over as KFOR's chief meteorologist in 1993. In 1986, KTVY became the first television station in the country to introduce colorized Doppler radar. In 1995, KFOR became the first television station to transmit images over cell phones with the development of "First Video," technology which allowed the station's news crews to send photos and video of severe weather over mobile relays for broadcast (KWTV claims to have originated this method with a similar system developed by former anchor Roger Cooper in 1992, which allowed near-moving video to be relayed to the station over cell phones). The "First Video" technology won a Heartland Emmy for technological broadcast innovation in 1996.
In recent years, KFOR has been locked in a competition KWTV and, to a lesser extent, KOCO for having the top weather technology in the U.S. In 1997, KFOR debuted "The Edge," a radar system which updated radar data in near-real-time intervals (with Morgan having once claimed that it was "20 to 25 minutes" ahead of NEXRAD data, which has a five- to 10-minute update run on average, used by KFOR's two principal competitors) and incorporated street-level mapping.Following the May 1999 tornadoes, with which KFOR's coverage (as well as KWTV and KOCO's) were credited for their extensive warning, Morgan was criticized by other area meteorologists, including Gary England, for taking a "chicken little" approach to tornado coverage, either by providing too much coverage of tornadoes that do not pose an immediate threat to life and property or by misidentifying benign cloud formations in thunderstorms. In April 2013, KFOR partnered with veteran storm chaser Reed Timmer to help supplement the station's storm chasing fleet, providing coverage of severe weather events.
KIAH, virtual channel 39, is a CW-affiliated television station licensed to Houston, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company. KIAH's studios are located adjacent to the Westpark Tollway on the southwest side of Houston, and its transmitter is located near Missouri City, in unincorporated Fort Bend County. The station is also available on Comcast Xfinity and AT&T U-verse channel 5.
KTVT, virtual channel 11, is a CBS owned-and-operated television station licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, United States and serving the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. The station is owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation, as part of a duopoly with independent station KTXA, also licensed to Fort Worth. The two stations share primary studio facilities on Bridge Street, east of downtown Fort Worth; KTVT operates a secondary studio and newsroom—which also houses advertising sales offices for both stations, as well as the Dallas bureau for CBS News—at the CBS Tower on North Central Expressway and Coit Road in Dallas. KTVT's transmitter is located on Tar Road in Cedar Hill, just south of the Dallas–Ellis county line.
KWTV-DT, virtual channel 9, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. It serves as the flagship television property of locally based owner Griffin Communications, and is part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate KSBI. The two stations share studios on Kelley Avenue and 74th Street in northeast Oklahoma City, adjacent to the studios and main offices of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) PBS member network; KWTV's transmitter is located near the John Kilpatrick Turnpike, also on the city's northeast side.
KOCO-TV, virtual channel 5, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of Hearst Communications. KOCO-TV's studios and transmitter are located on East Britton Road —between North Kelley and North Eastern Avenues—in the McCourry Heights neighborhood of northeast Oklahoma City, within two miles (3.2 km) of the facilities of competing duopoly stations.
KTUZ-TV, virtual channel 30, is a Telemundo-affiliated television station serving Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States that is licensed to Shawnee. It is the flagship station of locally based Tyler Media Group, and is operated as part of a duopoly with Univision affiliate KUOK. It is also a sister station to Estrella TV affiliate KOCY-LP.
KAUT-TV, virtual channel 43, is an independent television station licensed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company, as part of a duopoly with NBC affiliate KFOR-TV. The two stations share studios on East Britton Road in the McCourry Heights section of northeast Oklahoma City; KAUT's transmitter is located further east on Britton Road, across from the studios of ABC affiliate KOCO-TV.
KJRH-TV, virtual channel 2, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. KJRH-TV's studios are located on South Peoria Avenue and East 37th Street in the Brookside district of midtown Tulsa, and its transmitter is located near South 273rd Avenue East and the Muskogee Turnpike in southeastern Tulsa County. On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 2.
KOTV-DT, virtual channel 6, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by Griffin Communications, as part of a duopoly with Muskogee-licensed CW affiliate KQCW-DT. The two stations share studios at the Griffin Communications Media Center on North Boston Avenue and East Cameron Street in the downtown neighborhood's Tulsa Arts District; KOTV's transmitter is located on South 273rd East Avenue in Broken Arrow. On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 6 in standard definition and digital channel 1006 in high definition.
KTUL, virtual channel 8, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. KTUL's studios are located at Lookout Mountain in southwestern Tulsa; its transmitter is located on South 321st Avenue East, adjacent to the Muskogee Turnpike, in unincorporated southeastern Tulsa County. On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 8 in standard definition and digital channel 1008 in high definition.
The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) is a state network of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television stations serving the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The authority operates as a statutory corporation that holds the licenses for all of the PBS stations operating in the state; it is managed by an independent board of gubernatorial appointees, and university and education officials, which is linked to the executive branch of the Oklahoma state government through the Secretary of Education.
KOKH-TV, virtual channel 25, is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with CW affiliate KOCB. The two stations share studios and transmitter facilities on East Wilshire Boulevard on the city's northeast side.
KOCB, virtual channel 34, is a CW-affiliated television station licensed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with Fox affiliate KOKH-TV. The two stations share studios and transmitter facilities on East Wilshire Boulevard on the city's northeast side.
Griffin Communications is a media company based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The company began as a subsidiary of successful Muskogee-based Griffin Foods, which features a popular line of pancake and waffle syrups and other foods.
Central Oklahoma is the geographical name for the central region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It is also known by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism designation, Frontier Country, defined as the twelve-county region including Canadian, Grady, Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Payne, Lincoln, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Okfuskee, and Hughes counties.
KTVQ, UHF analog channel 25, was an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, which operated from November 1, 1953 to December 15, 1955. The station was owned by the Republic Television and Radio Company. KTVQ's studios were located on Northwest 19th Street and North Classen Boulevard in northwest Oklahoma City's Mesta Park neighborhood, and its transmitter was located atop the First National Bank Building on North Robinson and Park Avenues in downtown Oklahoma City.
Michael Charles Carroll Morgan is an American television meteorologist. Since January 1993, he has served as a meteorologist for KFOR-TV, an NBC-affiliated television station in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Morgan – who, as its chief meteorologist, does weather segments for KFOR's 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts each weeknight, in addition to helming the station's severe weather coverage – is a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Weather Association (NWA).
Kevin Bowman Ogle is an American television news anchor. He currently serves as a lead anchor for KFOR-TV, an NBC-affiliated television station in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Kevin anchors the station's weeknight 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Joleen Chaney, does occasional reports including the "Bottom Line" financial segments seen during the station's 6:30 p.m. newscast, and occasionally fills in as anchor of the 9 p.m. newscast on Independent station KAUT-TV. Ogle also serves as moderator of the locally produced Sunday morning political affairs talk show Flashpoint, alongside panelists Mike Turpen and former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys.
Robert Guyton "Bob" Barry Sr. was an American television and radio sportscaster, and was formerly the weeknight sports anchor during the 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma NBC affiliate KFOR-TV, until his retirement in 2008. He also previously served as the station's sports director. Barry graduated from Classen High School in 1946, and studied journalism at the University of Oklahoma before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1951. Barry is known for being the longtime voice of the University of Oklahoma Sooners sports teams.
Robert Bonnin Barry Jr., sometimes known by the abbreviated nickname "BBJ", was an American sportscaster.
KFOR-TV, channel 10, was a VHF television station in Lincoln, Nebraska, that operated from May 1953 to March 1954.