KTXL, channel 40, is a Fox Broadcasting Company-affiliated television station in Sacramento, California, owned by the Tribune Company. Its studios and offices are located in South Sacramento, and its transmitter is near Walnut Grove, California.

Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, California
Branding FOX40 (general)

FOX40 News (newscasts)

Slogan So FOX40(general)

What Matters To You.(newscasts) Northern California's Breaking News Source(online only)

Channels Digital: 40 (UHF)

Virtual: 40 (PSIP)

Subchannels 40.1 KTXL-DT

40.2 Antenna TV

Affiliations Fox
Owner Tribune Company

(Channel 40, Inc.)

First air date October 26, 1968
Call letters' meaning Television

XL = Roman numeral 40

Former channel number(s) Analog:

40 (UHF, 1968-2009) Digital: 55 (UHF, 1997-2009)

Former affiliations Independent (1968-1986)

LATV (DT2, 2007-2011)

Transmitter power 950 kW
Height 601 m
Facility ID 10205
Transmitter coordinates 38°16′18″N 121°30′18″W


The channel 40 frequency in Sacramento was first occupied in September 1953 by KCCC-TV, affiliated with all four television networks: ABC, CBS, NBC and the DuMont Television Network. KCCC's first broadcast was the 1953 World Series. The station became a primary ABC affiliate by 1955, after KCRA-TV and KBET-TV (now KXTV) signed on, respectively taking over NBC and CBS full time; and dropped DuMont after that network folded in 1956. [1] It was the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto area's first television station. However, as a UHF station, it suffered in the ratings because TV sets were not required to have UHF tuning until 1964. Although its fate was sealed when the first VHF stations signed on in the area, it managed to hang on until 1957. The ABC affiliation moved to KOVR after KCCC signed off when an agreement was made between KCCC-TV and KOVR to merge operations and end KCCC programming. The now-silent channel 40 was then sold to a group of broadcasters who would return the station to the air in 1959 as KVUE, broadcasting from studios near the old Californiastate fairgrounds off Stockton Boulevard. The station operated for about six months before falling silent again. This time, the station's license was returned to the Federal Communications Commission.

In the mid-1960s the FCC began to accept bids for a new station on channel 40. Camellia City Telecasters, a group headed by Jack Matranga, former owner and co-founder of KGMS radio in Sacramento, was granted the license. On October 26, 1968, KTXL signed on for the first time, operating as an independent station for nearly the first two decades of its existence. It was then known as TV 40. The station gained a huge advantage early on when its original owner won the local syndicated rights to a massive number of movies, including classic and contemporary films. At one point, it had one of the largest film libraries in the Sacramento area. In addition, KTXL ventured into in-house productions, such as the children's program "Captain Mitch", Horror Movie TV Host Bob Wilkins and "Big Time Wrestling". The latter show aired until 1979, and was syndicated to several stations in California, Utah, Alaska and Hawaii. Channel 40 was one of the few stations to hold syndicated rights to the entire Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes cartoon libraries (up until recently, different companies held different components of the cartoon output).

In 1974, KTXL became the first area station to air a 10pm newscast (originally only five days a week, and later seven days a week—the station's news history is noted below under Newscasts), and in 1977 began a summer tradition by showcasing some of the greatest films ever made in annual "Summer Film Festivals".

In 1981, channel 40 made television history by showing the 1978 movie The Deer Hunter (and later many other movies) uncut and unedited, complete with objectionable material—this kind of policy has been tightened somewhat in succeeding years.

All of this made KTXL one of the leading independent stations in the West. It also attained regional-superstation status via land-microwave relay to nearly every cable system north of the Bay Area, as well as several cable systems in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Idaho andMontana.[citation needed]

KTXL has long been known for ending a program or movie before the closing credits, and viewers should know this is not the way these shows/films were intended to be seen.

KTXL started broadcasting from its new 2000-foot "Monster Tower" in October 1985, significantly increasing its signal strength and adding stereo capability. Initially, the station would only turn on the stereo signal during stereo programming. This sometimes resulted in the staff forgetting to turn it on right at the beginning of a stereo program.

In 1986, KTXL became a charter affiliate of the newly-formed Fox Broadcasting Company, and eventually took on the branding as FOX40 from then on. In the following year, Camellia City Telecasters sold KTXL to Renaissance Broadcasting. Currently, the morning and nightly newscasts follow a "Smart News and Analysis" format, while following the lead of many ten o'clock newscasts by reserving its sportscasts for the final segment (in an attempt to lure many viewers to all-night cable sports channels such as ESPN, Comcast Sports Net, and Fox Sports Net for further sports coverage). Most Fox affiliates, since the mid-1990s, have moved their daytime programming lineup away from classic sitcoms and cartoons toward a talk show format. However, for more years until recently, KTXL was among a few stations to be an exception to this: the daytime lineup was still filled with sitcoms to this day, even still holding syndication rights to The Andy Griffith Showafter many decades, though many shows from the 1980s and 1990s air, but a few talk shows and reality/court shows were known to fill the lineup. In place of the station's own children's lineup after Captain Mitch's retirement, the station aired Fox Kids until the network eliminated the lineup in 2002.

KTXL, along with NBC-affiliate KCRA-TV, are the only two stations in Sacramento to retain affiliation with the same network from the beginning, unaffected by network swaps in 1995 and 1998.

KTXL became a Tribune-owned station when the company purchased Renaissance Broadcasting in 1997. When the station's new owners took over, they bulk-erased a lot of old locally-produced programming, and threw all the 16 mm film in the dumpster. Most of the film was rescued by collectors though, and some of these promo films (as well as other videotaped openings and promos from throughout KTXL's history) can be seen on YouTube.

Digital television

KTXL installed the first high-power digital TV transmitter in Sacramento operating on Channel 55 in November 1999. On June 12, 2009, turned off its analog signal upon the switch to digital television and moved its digital signal to channel 40, and the tower height was increased to 2,030 feet.

The station became a charter affiliate of parent company Tribune Broadcasting's new digital multicast channel Antenna TV upon its launch on January 1, 2011, it is carried on digital subchannel 40.2.[1] The network, whose programming will consist of classic sitcoms from the 1950s to the 1990s during the afternoon and evening, and movies during the morning and late night hours, debuted on Tribune-owned stations in other markets as well as stations owned by Local TV, LLC on the same date.

News operation

In 1974, KTXL initiated the Sacramento area's first Ten O'Clock News, with Dave Preston as news anchor, Jan Jeffries as weather and news anchor, and Ken Gimblin as sports anchor. When Preston left for unknown reasons, Jeffries was left to do the news with substitute weather anchors. Other news and sports anchors continued the format until 1979, when the news was revived by Pete Wilson as NewsPlus, in a format that went beyond regular newscasts (hence the "Plus" in the show's title). Such anchor teams as Andy Asher and Regina Cambell, and later Lauraine Woodward and Ted Mullins helmed the now-hour-long newscast until KTXL began its Fox affiliation, and evolved into the current format of what is now known as FOX40 News at 10.

In the summer of 2005, KTXL debuted the FOX40 Morning News, which originally ran from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. opposite KMAX's Good Day Sacramento, and the first hour of KQCA's morning newscast. On September 8, 2008, the newscast was reformatted to FOX40 Live and was expanded to 4.5 hours from 4:30 to 9 a.m. The station hired well-known former Sacramento morning radio personality Paul Robins as presenter; and introduced a new news set adorned with flat-screens and an accompanying kitchen set. KTXL joins KCRA and KMAX with 4:30am newscasts.

KTXL now competes at 10:00 p.m. with KOVR and the KCRA-produced half-hour news program on KQCA. Channel 40 tops the ratings in "demos", and often comes in first or second in overall viewership at 10 p.m. On September 8, 2008, longtime KCAL-TV/KCBS-TV Los Angeles anchor-reporter Jaime Garza joined Donna Cordova as co-anchor of the weeknight "FOX40 News at Ten."

On September 14, 2009, KTXL debuted an 11 a.m. midday newscast (which competes against KXTV) and a 5:30 p.m. weeknight newscast to its newscast schedule. For over a decade, Fox, which has no network newscasts aside from its cable news division, has motivated its affiliates and stations to air more local news; the Tribune-owned Fox affiliates (including KTXL) did not yet follow this practice until recently.

On December 18, 2009, KTXL announced the station would begin broadcasting every newscast in high definition within a month. On January 7, KTXL launched its high definition broadcast during its 10 p.m. newscast. Though KTXL was technically the last English-language station in the Sacramento market to launch a high definition newscast, it was the first station to broadcast all local news video in 720p HD.

For its high definition transition, KTXL upgraded its live broadcasting trucks, its satellite truck, studio and field cameras and other equipment to send and receive full high definition video and audio. This is in contrast to two other English stations in town – KCRA and KXTV – who broadcast widescreen, standard definition video during field reports (KOVR also shoots field video in high definition but downconverts much of the field footage to widescreen standard definition). Thus, KTXL is the only station in the market to broadcast all of its local video in true high definition.

Nodar Kumaritashvili crash video controversy

On February 12, 2010, KTXL obtained a video copy of the infamous Nodar Kumaritashvili 2010 Winter Olympic luge accident before several other media outlets and posted the video to its website[2]. KTXL made the editorial decision to post the video to its website, ahead of several major national and international outlets. The video clip has raised some controversy among editorial board at news organizations and journalism critics as to whether the footage should be broadcast or posted online at all (for a brief period of time, the footage was available on, but was removed several times throughout the day after the International Olympic Committee filed copyright take-down notices). A station staff member told a Seattle newspaper the decision to post the video clip, and leave it on the website, was made after questions arose as to the safety of the luge track, citing fair use of the video[3]. The station also aired the complete video, though with occasional pauses, over commentary by the station's sports anchor, during its 5:30 p.m. newscast that evening.

The video was later syndicated out under the "" branding to several other Tribune-owned websites.[4]

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • The Ten O'Clock News (1974–1979 and 1986–1995)
  • Ten O'Clock News Plus (1979–1986)
  • FOX40 News (1995–present)

Station slogans

  • The Exciting World of TV-40 is Bringing It Home to You (1979–1981)
  • Take Off with Forty! (1984–1985)
  • TV-40, Go For The Stars (1985–1986)
  • Northern California's First Primetime News (1995–2008)
  • We Report to You (2008–2010)
  • What Matters to You (2010–present)
  • Northern California's Breaking News Source (online slogan; 2009–present)

On-air staff

(Year person joined KTXL in parentheses)

Current on-air staff


(In alphabetical order)

FOX40 Weather Team

(In order of rank)

Sports Team

(In order of rank)

  • Jim Crandell - Sports Director; weeknights at 10 p.m. (1984)
  • Mark Demsky - Sports Anchor; weekends at 10 p.m. (2004)

(In alphabetical order)

Former on-air staff

  • Natalie Bomke - (2007–2010, now at KRIV in Houston)
  • Darsha Phillips - general assignment reporter (2008–2010, now at KABC in Los Angeles)
  • Thomas Drayton - anchor (2002-September 2008, now at WTXF in Philadelphia)
  • Michelle Franzen - reporter/fill-in anchor (1995–1998; now with NBC NewsChannel in New York)
  • Darla Givens - meteorologist (1996–1999; now at KXTV)
  • Mike Bond - reporter (1989–2005, whereabouts unknown)
  • Adam Housley - reporter (1999–2001; now a Los Angeles bureau reporter at Fox News)
  • Gary Radnich - sports anchor (now at KRON-TV and KNBR radio in San Francisco)
  • Rick Reynolds - reporter (1984–1988; later news director at KOVR from 1991–2001)
  • Jamie Soriano - reporter (2007–2009, whereabouts unknown)
  • Pete Wilson - NewsPlus creator/co-anchor (1979–1983; later at KGO-TV and KRON-TV in San Francisco; died of heart attack in July 2007)
  • Monica Woods - chief meteorologist (1995–1999; now at KXTV)


External links


  1. ^
  2. ^,0,6397786.story Video Shows Death Of Olympic Luger On Historic Track
  3. ^ Seattle Pi: Nodar Kumaritashvili luge crash video online, with difficulty
  4. ^,0,7127380.story Olympic Lugers Will Start Lower on Track After Deadly Crash
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