KATV

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KATV
KATV 2012 Logo.png
Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Arkansas
BrandingKATV 7 or Channel 7 (general)
Channel 7 News (newscasts)
SloganThe Spirit Of Arkansas (general)
Working for You (news)
ChannelsDigital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
AffiliationsABC
OwnerAllbritton Communications Company
(sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group pending)
(KATV, LLC)
First air dateDecember 19, 1953
Call letters' meaningArkansas TeleVision
Former channel number(s)Analog:
7 (VHF, 1953-2009)
Transmitter power1000 kW
Height515 m
Facility ID33543
Transmitter coordinates34°47′50.7″N 92°29′20.8″W / 34.797417°N 92.489111°W / 34.797417; -92.489111
Websitewww.katv.com
 
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KATV
KATV 2012 Logo.png
Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Arkansas
BrandingKATV 7 or Channel 7 (general)
Channel 7 News (newscasts)
SloganThe Spirit Of Arkansas (general)
Working for You (news)
ChannelsDigital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
AffiliationsABC
OwnerAllbritton Communications Company
(sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group pending)
(KATV, LLC)
First air dateDecember 19, 1953
Call letters' meaningArkansas TeleVision
Former channel number(s)Analog:
7 (VHF, 1953-2009)
Transmitter power1000 kW
Height515 m
Facility ID33543
Transmitter coordinates34°47′50.7″N 92°29′20.8″W / 34.797417°N 92.489111°W / 34.797417; -92.489111
Websitewww.katv.com

KATV, channel 7, is an ABC affiliated television station serving the Little Rock television market and central Arkansas. The station is owned by Allbritton Communications Company.

The station broadcasts its digital signal via UHF channel 22, using its former analog assignment of 7 as its virtual channel via PSIP. It is also available on Comcast analog cable channel 8, with its HD simulcast on Comcast Digital Cable channel 231 in Little Rock.

Until it collapsed January 11, 2008, the KATV Tower near Redfield, Arkansas, transmitted KATV's analog and digital signals. The station's analog license continued to reference this site while the station was broadcasting in analog from a temporary site, and in HDTV on a subchannel of KWBF (channel 42, now KARZ-TV). KATV began broadcasts on February 1, 2009 from a new digital transmitter located on Shinall Mountain, near the Chenal Valley neighborhood of Little Rock.

Digital programming[edit]

KATV's digital signal on UHF 22 is multiplexed:

ChannelAspectVideoProgramming
7.116:9720pMain KATV programming / ABC
7.24:3480iRTV
7.3Live Well Network

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KATV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate.[1] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 22. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 7.

In 2005, KATV launched a 24-hour news and weather channel, called KATV News Now, which features rebroadcasts of KATV's newscasts. This channel competes directly with KTHV's THV2 24-hour news and weather channel. Before the collapse of KATV's tower, KATV News Now aired over virtual digital channel 7-2 (physical RF digital channel 22-2). Digital broadcast of KATV News Now have not yet resumed as of February 1, 2009, the date on which broadcasts began from KATV's new tower on Shinall Mountain. KATV News Now continues to be available online at www.katv.com; it remained online even after the tower collapse, and has recently been restored on Comcast Digital Cable in Little Rock.

KATV has since launched a 24-hour weather channel called AccuWeather 24/7 on digital subchannel 7.3, the subchannel is affiliated with The AccuWeather Channel and airs the FCC-mandated minimum amount of E/I programming each week.

On August 23, 2011, Disney-ABC Television Group announced an affiliation agreement with KATV to carry Live Well Network, a lifestyle-oriented digital broadcast network; the network's subchannel placement has yet to be determined, though it is likely to replace either RTV programming on digital channel 7.2 or the AccuWeather 24/7 feed on digital channel 7.3.[2]

History[edit]

First KATV logo, 1953

KATV debuted on December 19, 1953, originally in Pine Bluff. The station was an ABC affiliate; during the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[3]

KATV is Little Rock's oldest continually operating television station, beating KARK-TV (channel 4) by a few months. Less than a year after sign-on, KATV moved from Pine Bluff to Little Rock and took over the studio of KRTV, a failed UHF station that had been Arkansas' first television station. The new operations were on North Beech Street near Kavanaugh in the Pulaski Heights section of Little Rock; however, the station burned on Halloween night in 1957.

Air personalities during early years of operation included the station's first announcer, Don Curran, the first news director, Bill Hadley, and news announcer, Oscar Alagood. News cameramen included Bob Donaldson and Lou Oberste. Donaldson would later lead the film department at the University of Arkansas Medical School for many years, and Oberste would work at the Arkansas Department of Tourism.

1990 KATV logo

KATV then moved to a two story building at 310 West 3rd Street. The first floor had been a furniture store. The second floor had been studios for a radio station and insurance agency. The television station called the tired old building home for about seven years and it was here where Robert Doubleday became one of the youngest television station managers in the country. He was 26 and it was 1959. It would be Doubleday who would lead the station into a competitive position in the Little Rock broadcasting market. There was a major fight in federal court with the FCC and citizens of Pine Bluff over location of the facility in Little Rock. The station lost and until recently had maintained a major presence in Jefferson County.

Doubleday remained as manager until 1968 when he was promoted to President of both KATV and sister station, KTUL in Tulsa. Doubleday was replaced by Thomas Goodgame, who had served as General Sales Manager for a number of years. Goodgame would later move to Tulsa as General Manager and eventually become president of Westinghouse Television. The station moved to the Worthen Bank building in October 1970. The bank had constructed a new building in downtown Little Rock.

The Arkansas political scientist and pollster Jim Ranchino dropped dead of a heart attack as he was waiting to offer election commentary on KTAV on the night of November 7, 1978. Ranchino had been appearing on the station at election time since 1972. He was a professor at Ouachita Baptist University[4] and an ally of Bill Clinton, who was elected governor of Arkansas on the night that Ranchino collapsed and died in the studio.[5]

KATV's studio on Fourth Street in Little Rock

KATV, along with sister station KTUL (channel 8) in Tulsa, Oklahoma and original sister station KWTV (channel 9) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were founded by John Griffin (whose company would later become today's Griffin Communications) and Jimmy Leake. The Leake family became sole owners of KATV and KTUL in 1968, and owned the stations until 1983, when both stations were sold to the current owner, Allbritton Communications Company. On July 29, 2013, Allbritton announced that it would sell its entire television group, including KATV, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[6]

2000-2008 station logo

In February 1999, KATV aired ads for the theatrical animated film Doug's 1st Movie during an ABC network broadcast of Disney's Doug. Nearly eight years later, in 2007, the FCC fined KATV $8,000 for violating limits on commercials during children's programming. KATV appealed, claiming the error was due to a last-minute insertion order from ABC. However, it lost the appeal in April 2010.[7]

KATV has used the Circle 7 logo since 1965, though it is traditionally associated with owned-and-operated ABC stations, KATV is one of several non-O&Os to have used it. KATV's use of the Circle 7 logo predates even the variant Circle 7 once used by Allbritton's flagship WJLA in Washington D.C. before it switched to the standard version. However, unlike WJLA and most of the O&Os, KATV only uses the ABC logo with the Circle 7 occasionally, usually in screen-corner bugs where the Circle 7 covers the standard ABC bug. KATV also first placed the Circle 7 inside a square in the 1990s; WJLA now uses that as well, though neither station uses it consistently. In fall 2008, KATV discontinued use of the square Circle 7 logo.

KATV's broadcast service area[edit]

Before the recently collapsed tower was built in 1965, KATV broadcast from a smaller tower near Jefferson (south of Redfield).

KATV's broadcast area comprises mostly central Arkansas. However, many sections of the state were able to receive KATV's signal. Western sections of Bolivar and Coahoma Counties in west central Mississippi were sble to receive KATV's signal. KATV was also carried on cable systems in those areas, including Greenville, Cleveland, Clarksdale, Drew, and Harrison.

On July 6, 2004, a spectacular intense high MUF Sporadic-E opening allowed Mike Bugaj[8] to receive KATV[9] (channel 7, Little Rock, Arkansas) in Enfield, Connecticut, 1,176 miles (1,892 km) away.[10]

Tower collapse[edit]

The former KATV tower

The KATV Tower collapsed on January 11, 2008, while workers were adjusting guy wires.[11] KATV's analog signal returned to the air a couple of weeks later from an auxiliary tower of competitor KTHV. In addition, Equity Media Holdings, based in Little Rock, initially helped restore KATV's signal to cable and satellite systems.[11] Equity carried KATV's digital signal through its station KWBF (now KARZ-TV)—originally as 42.3 in SDTV, later as 7.1 in HDTV. KATV's analog signal was never interrupted on Comcast's Little Rock system due to a direct studio feed, though the HDTV feed was initially interrupted; Comcast also delivered KATV's signal to other cable and satellite providers.[12]

The tower was also used by the Arkansas Educational Television Network for analog broadcasts into central Arkansas via KETS Channel 2. Its analog signal was unavailable until June 13, 2008, when a temporary analog antenna was installed at the Clear Channel Broadcasting Tower Redfield, where its digital signal already originated.

KATV eventually received approval to replace this tower with a new tower on Shinall Mountain, where Little Rock's other major network affiliates (and both of its present backup signals) are located.[13]

Programming[edit]

KATV broadcasts all of ABC's schedule, however, until ABC dropped the program on August 28, 2010, KATV pre-empted Power Rangers due to lack of educational content. KATV still airs Jimmy Kimmel Live! a half-hour later than ABC's recommended timeslot (ABC recommends that its affiliates air Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 10:35 in the Central time zone). Current syndicated programming includes Jeopardy!, The Dr. Oz Show, and Wheel of Fortune.

KATV broadcasts six syndicated programs in High Definition; those shows being "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy!," "The Dr. Oz Show," and "Katie."

In addition, the station airs select Arkansas Razorbacks basketball and football games not televised by ESPN, Fox Sports Net or other cable television outlets via the Razorbacks Television Network during the college basketball season, usually on weekends and occasionally on weekday evenings.

News operation[edit]

KATV broadcasts a total of 31 1/2 hours of local news per week (with 5 1/2 hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturdays and one hour on Sundays). KATV is currently one of only two Little Rock stations (CBS affiliate KTHV debuted a Saturday morning newscast in April 2010) carrying a weekend morning newscast, a Saturday edition of Channel 7 News Daybreak.

From 2001 to 2005, KATV rebroadcast its 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts weeknights on then-Pax affiliate KYPX (now KMYA-DT). This ended in 2005 due to two factors: the first being Pax's rebranding as i: Independent Television (now ION Television) with KYPX instead becoming the flagship station of Retro Television Network, and Pax's earlier decision to cut ties with its news share agreements with major network affiliates in the markets it had an affiliate, due to financial troubles. KATV was one of a few non-NBC affiliates to rebroadcast its newscasts on a Pax affiliate.

On September 20, 2010, KATV expanded its weekday morning newscast to 2½ hours, moving the start time to 4:30 a.m.[14] On September 10, 2011, KATV began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition, the station is the last in the Little Rock market to make the transition (KTHV became the first station in the market to produce its newscasts in high definition in December 2010, and KARK and KLRT both began producing its newscasts in HD in April 2011, making the transition within five days of one another).

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

Station slogans[edit]

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff (as of May 28, 2011)[17][edit]

Anchors

Channel 7 Futurecast Weather

Sports team

Reporters

Former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]