KKYK is owned by Hallmark National Mortgage Corporation. Until 2009, it was owned by Equity Media Holdings; Little Rock was Equity's corporate headquarters and the master control for all its television stations.
The station's repeater, KKYK-CA, was founded on May 5, 1995 as K22FA, later becoming KKYK-LP in 1996. The low-power station was originally an affiliate of Network One, but later became an affiliate of The WB. In 1999, the full power station, KKYK-TV signed on in Camden, and KKYK-LP became its repeater.
In 2001, the station became KYPX, and swapped affiliations with then sister-station KWBF. The station, and its repeater, remained affiliates of PAX until 2005, when PAX became i. The station opted out of this new network, and instead became the flagship station of the Retro Television Network.
On June 30, 2006, the station ceased analog operations, and began broadcasting in digital on its former analog assignment, UHF channel 49. The station also changed call signs, and became KKYK-DT, one of the few stations in the United States to bear the suffix. KKYK can still be seen on analog channel 20 in Little Rock, however, via its repeater KKYK-CA. (Formerly broadcasting on channel 22, KKYK-CA was forced to move to accommodate the digital signal of ABC affiliate KATV.)
KKYK-DT had been operating at reduced power (70 kW under special technical authority) and was also seen on KWBF's digital signal as channel 42.2 (ATSC UHF 44). KWBF was sold at the end of January 2009 and is now KARZ-TV; following the sale, the new owners dropped KKYK from KARZ's digital signal.
On January 4, 2009, a contract conflict between Equity and Luken Communications, L.L.C. (who had acquired RTN in June 2008) interrupted the programming on many RTN affiliates. As a result, Luken moved RTN operations to its headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and dropped all Equity-owned affiliates, including KKYK, immediately, though Luken vows to find a new affiliate for RTN in the area; RTN (under its new initials RTV) later reappeared as a subchannel of KATV. The station also reneged on a deal with the Southland Conference to carry Central Arkansas University basketball games in the interim .
The station was an affiliate of This TV from February to June 2009 (This TV has since moved to a KARZ-TV subchannel). On April 10, 2009, Equity Media announced a fire sale of all television stations - KKYK has been set for an asking price of $15 million, the highest price for any of the stations in the sale. In the auction, which took place on April 16, the station had sold to the Bank of Little Rock. However, that July, a sale to Hallmark National Mortgage Corporation was announced.Arkansas State Bank Department records and FCC filings related to the sale show Hallmark National is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Little Rock.
In 1998, the station began a 9 p.m. newscast, the first primetime newscast in the Little Rock market (Fox affiliate KLRT (channel 16) did not debut its 9 p.m. newscast until 2004); the newscast was cancelled after less than a year on the air. As a Pax affiliate, KKYK ran rebroadcasts of the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts from ABC affiliate KATV (channel 7), one of a few Pax affiliates to rebroadcast local newscasts from a non-NBC station.
Former on-air staff
- Mark Franken - chief meteorologist (1999)
- Tamara Henry - 9PM anchor (1999)
- Tim Jernigan - sports director (1999)
- Doug Krile - 9PM anchor (1999)
- ^ What’s Wrong with MyTV?
- ^ TV Newsday: "Financial Dispute Disrupts RTN Diginet", 1/5/2009.
- ^ http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Sports/249737/
- ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/195976-Equity_Media_Sets_Auction_For_Stations.php?rssid=20065
- ^ "Takers found for 60 Equity stations". Television Business Report. April 18, 2009. http://www.rbr.com/tv-cable/tv_deals/14101.html. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- ^ "Three more Equity contracts filed". Television Business Report. July 24, 2009. http://www.rbr.com/tv-cable/tv_deals/15981.html. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
- ^ Report of the Bank Commissioner of Arkansas, 2008(p. 131 of PDF, numbered p. 125)
- ^ KKYK Asset Purchase Agreement (from FCC sale application)
- ^ FCC Form 314, Exhibit 12 (from FCC sale application)