KIAH is a television station operating in digital on UHF channel 39 in Houston, Texas. KIAH is owned by the Tribune Company, and is affiliated with The CW Television Network. The station's studios are located in Houston, and its transmitter is based in unincorporated Fort Bend County near Missouri City, Texas.
|Branding||CW 39 (general)
|Channels||Digital: 38 (UHF)|
(KIAH Inc., debtor-in-possession)
|First air date||January 6, 1967|
|Call letters' meaning||KIAH = airport code forGeorge Bush Intercontinental Airport|
|Former callsigns||KHTV (1967–1999)
KHWB (1999–2006) KHCW (2006–2008)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
39 (UHF, 1967–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1967–1995)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||29°34′6″N 95°29′57″W|
The station began broadcasting on January 6, 1967 as KHTV (Houston TeleVision). The station took the place of the now-defunct KNUZ-TV, which was a DuMont affiliate during the middle 1950s. It was originally owned by the WKY Television System, a subsidiary of Oklahoma Publishing Company. After the company's namesake station in Oklahoma City was sold in 1976, the WKY Television System becameGaylord Broadcasting, named for the family which owned Oklahoma Publishing.
As Houston's first general-entertainment independent station, KHTV aired a schedule of programs including children's shows, syndicated programs, movies, religious shows, and some sports coverage. One of its best known locally produced programs was "Houston Wrestling", hosted by local promoter Paul Boesch. It aired Saturday evenings, having been taped the night before at the weekly live shows in the Sam Houston Coliseum. From 1983 to 1985, it was known as KHTV 39 Gold. It was the leading independent station in Houston as competitors entered the market. During this time, KHTV was distributed to cable companies as a regional superstation of sorts, reaching systems as far east as Lafayette, Louisiana.
As a WB affiliate
Prior to its launch in January 1995, The WB Television Network agreed to affiliate with KHTV and three of its sister stations, KTVT in Fort Worth, WVTV in Milwaukee, and KSTW inTacoma, Washington. However, after CBS lost its affiliation with KDFW-TV in the Dallas-Fort Worth market to Fox, a result of Fox's alliance with New World Communications, Gaylord Broadcasting chose to align both KTVT and KSTW with CBS.
Not pleased with Gaylord's about-face, The WB voided its group affiliation contract with Gaylord, and later took the broadcaster to court for breach of contract. This left Houston as the only top 10 television market without programming from the new network in its first few months; this status came to an end in the fall of 1995, when KHTV was acquired by Tribune Broadcasting, which held an ownership stake in The WB network. Channel 39 became a WB affiliate shortly afterward, and began to call itself Houston's WB39. In 1999, the station changed its call letters to KHWB to reflect its affiliation. The station subsequently dropped references to its channel number, becoming Houston's WB.
From The WB to The CWOriginal CW 39 logo, used from 2006 to 2008; prior to July 15, 2008, the logo featured the KHCW call letters.
Following the 2006 closure of The WB and UPN networks and creation of The CW, KHWB became The CW's Houston affiliate; a few months later, theFederal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a call-sign change from KHWB to KHCW (Houston's CW), which became official on April 27, 2006. On September 13, 2006, KHCW rebranded from Houston's WB to CW 39, restoring the channel number to its branding; until June 2007 (during The CW's first television season), it occasionally referred to itself as The New CW 39 on occasion. The station celebrated its 40th anniversary on January 6, 2007.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KIAHTVHoustonChannel39.JPG ]On July 15, 2008, Channel 39 changed its call letters to KIAH as part of a branding campaign emphasizing the station's local orientation (KIAH is the ICAO airport code for George Bush Intercontinental Airport). Due to sagging ratings for The CW, Tribune wanted its stations including KIAH to reimage themselves and de-emphasize the network's branding. The station changed to the simplified Channel 39 branding as of August 29, 2008, although Channel 39, The CW was used during network
promotions. However, in January 2011, it was simplified again to just 39 for regular programming, and CW 39 returned in network promotions (though retaining the numeric 39 introduced with the 2008 rebranding); the CW 39 branding returned full-time on March 28, using the slogan "Real Houston" to continue to emphasize KIAH's local orientation.
The station's digital signal, UHF 38, is multiplexed:Digital television
|39.1||main KIAH/The CW programming|
KIAH ended programming on its analog signal, on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States, and remained on its current pre-transition channel number, 38  PSIP is used to display KIAH's virtual channel as 39.
Since the station signed on as an independent, KIAH (when it was KHTV) aired hourly news updates during commercial breaks between programming. In August 1990, the station began producing newscasts at 7 and 11 p.m. entitled Houston TV News, later simply called 39 News. The move was made to fill a gap that KRIV had left open, as it had previously aired news at 7 p.m., but had moved it to 9 p.m. in 1989 as the Fox network had developed a primetime schedule. The 11 p.m. newscast was supposed to cater to people who had missed the traditional 10 p.m. newscasts, though both proved unsuccessful and the news department was ultimately disbanded in May 1992.
KHWB did not attempt to go back into news programming until 1999, when Tribune Broadcasting decided to call for the introduction of news programming on all of its then-The WB affiliated stations, which served as de facto owned-and-operated stations as Tribune owned a partial stake in The WB; in 2000, the station launched a half-hour newscast, WB 39 News at Nine (later renamed Houston's WB News at Nine) to compete with KRIV. For a brief time in 2006, it was also known as Channel 39 News due to the upcoming affiliation change from The WB to The CW; it then became CW 39 News at Nine. The station's Chief Meteorologist, Keith Monahan, has won numerous awards for his weather reports including several Texas Lone Star Awards and multiple first place finishes in Texas AP judging, and was honored with a Lone Star Emmy in 2006 and a Lone Star Emmy nomination in 2007 for the Best Weathercast in Texas.
The station permanently expanded the newscast to an hour on June 30, 2008 (previously it had been expanded to the full hour on breaking news occasions), and contemplated launching a morning newscast in 2010, along with plans to unveil a new set and begin to broadcast its news in high definition (the morning newscast ultimately never launched). Additionally on August 29, 2008, the station rebranded the newscast to simply 39 News at Nine.
On September 28, 2009, KIAH launched an hour-long 5 p.m. newscast, which competes against 5 p.m. newscasts on KPRC-TV, KHOU, KTRK-TV, and KRIV. On May 10, 2010, the station debuted a new set and began airing its newscasts in high definition. KIAH was technically the last English-language network-affiliated station in the Houston market to have made the upgrade. However, like most Tribune-owned stations with in-house originated high-definition newscasts, the locally-originated live field reports are also in HD. (KTRK also uses some HD field footage in its newscasts.) By contrast, KPRC, KHOU, and KRIV still use 16:9 widescreen standard definition for live field video.
In March 2011, KIAH relaunched its newscasts and became the pilot station for a new Tribune-developed news format, NewsFix. Described by KIAH General Manager Roger Bare as "a newsreel updated for the 21st century," NewsFix de-emphasizes the traditional use of anchors and reporters (Houston radio personality Greg Onofrio serves as narrator and makes an on-screen appearance at the end of the newscast), preferring instead to allow those involved in a news story to tell the viewer what's going on. If NewsFix proves successful on KIAH (where it officially debuted on March 19, 2011, after originally being slated for a fall 2010 launch), the format may eventually be rolled out to some of Tribune's other stations; according to Tribune spokesperson Gary Weitman, NewsFix would be a fit for stations "that don't have a strong legacy news product or where the local news tradition may not be as strong as it is in other markets."
- The 11 O Clock Report/Channel 39 News (1967-
- NewsWatch 39
- 39 News (1991–1992 and 2008–2011)
- Houston TV News (1990–1991)
- WB 39 News (2000–2002)
- Houston's WB News (2002–2006)
- Channel 39 News (2006)
- CW 39 News (2006–2008)
- NewsFix (2011-present)
- News When You Want It (1990–1991; news slogan)
- News to Talk About (2009–2011; local variant of The CW's "TV to Talk About" ad campaign)
- Real Houston (2011–present)
Former on-air staff
- Alan Ashby - sports director
- Jim Bergamo - weekend anchor/reporter (now at KVUE-TV in Austin, TX)
- Jan Glenn - reporter and host of rodeo coverage
- Ken Jones - reporter
- Jim McKrell - station spokesman who later became an anchor and after the newscast had ended, he hosted station-produced specials - actor, "Teen Wolf"
- David Scott - weekday anchor (now reporter and weekend anchor at KXAN-TV in Austin, TX)
- Lori Tucker - weekday anchor (now at WATE-TV in Knoxville, TN)
- Kathie Turner - weekday weather anchor
- Irv White - sports anchor
- Alan Hemberger – weekday anchor (2000–2008) weekends (2008–2010)
- Alex Radow – weekend sports anchor (Now working as sports producer/reporter at KTRK-TV in Houston)
- Andrea Nguyen – reporter
- Soofia Aleem - reporter (now Executive Director of South Asian Chamber of Commerce in Houston)
- Hailey Frances – multimedia journalist(now at WXMI Grand Rapids)
- Matt Robbins – multimedia journalist
- Matt Lavine - fill-in meteorologist (2008)
- Mike Rockwood – multimedia journalist
- Elizabeth Lee - reporter
- Cris Martin - fill-in meteorologist (2006; now at WOFL Orlando, Fla.)
- Katie McCall - reporter (2002–2007; now at KTRK)
- Casanova Nurse - weekend meteorologist (2006–2008; now chief meteorologist at WTXL-TV in Tallahassee, Fla.)
- Katisha Cosley - anchor/reporter (Now at KTRK)
- Keith Monahan - Chief Meteorologist (2000-2011) (now a backup weatherman at KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado)
- Kristi Powers - meteorologist (now at KRIV)
- Kris Sava - reporter (2002–2007)
- Donna Savarese - anchor/reporter
- Jared Silverman - meteorologist (now at KENS-TV in San Antonio)
- Jason Volentine – general assignment reporter (now at WXMI Grand Rapids)
- Jorge Vargas – weeknights Sports Director (2000-2011)
- Justin Horne - Meteorologist (now at KSAT-TV in San Antonio)
- Leticia Juarez – reporter/anchor (2009–2010; now at KABC-TV in Los Angeles)
- Dennis Spellman - reporter (2000–2009; now VP of External Affairs at the Houston Housing Authority)
- Sherry Williams - weekday anchor (2000–2008; now at KHOU)
- Mia Gradney – weeknights at 5 and 9 p.m.
- Jene Rockwood – Meteorologist; weekends at 9 p.m.
- David Solano - Sports Anchor; Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m.; also fill-in anchor
- Marci Izard – general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Mayra Moreno – multimedia journalist; also fill-in anchor
- Steve Simon – general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Mark Garay – multimedia journalist; also fill-in anchor
- ^ NewsInc. News Briefs . . . Tribune to buy KHTV-Houston, NewsInc., October 16, 1995. HighBeam Research. (February 17, 2011).
- ^ a b Barron, David (2008-06-26). "One more time: Channel 39 decides to change call letters yet again". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- ^ McGuff, Mike (March 28, 2011). "KIAH 39 becomes CW39 again with new look starting today". mikemcguff.com blog. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- ^ http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/6251131.html
- ^ CDBS Print
- ^ Lone Star Chapter of NATAS – Emmy Awards
- ^ Hoffman: Channel 39 amps up its nightly news | Ken Hoffman | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
- ^ "KIAH VP-GM Describes New, Anchor-less Newscast...," from Media Bistro, 3/14/2011
- ^ a b Barron, David (July 23, 2010). "Channel 39 changing its newscast format". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- ^ "KIAH's 'NewsFix': The Anticipated TV News Revolution Begins Saturday, But We Won't Be Covering It," from houstonpress.com, 3/15/2011