KABC-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, is the West Coast flagship station of the ABC television network, licensed to Los Angeles, California, United States. The station is owned by the ABC Owned Television Stations subsidiary of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. KABC-TV's studios are located in the Grand Central Business Centre of Glendale, and its transmitter is located on Mount Wilson.

KABC-TV
KABC 1.png
Los Angeles, California
Branding ABC 7

(general)

ABC 7 Eyewitness News(newscasts)

Slogan Welcome to the Circle
Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Translators (see article)
Affiliations ABC
Owner Disney/ABC(ABC Holding Company, Inc.)
First air date September 16, 1949
Call letters' meaning K

American

Broadcasting

Company

Sister station(s) KSPN, KDIS
Former callsigns KECA-TV (1949–1954)
Former channel number(s) Analog:7 (VHF, 1949–2009)

Digital: 53 (UHF)

Transmitter power 28.7 kW
Height 978 m
Facility ID 282
Transmitter coordinates 34°13′37″N 118°3′58″W
Website www.abc7.com

In the few areas of the western United States where viewers cannot receive ABC programs over-the-air, KABC-TV is available on satellite to subscribers of DirecTV.

History

An early KECA-TV logo slide from the 1950s.

Channel 7 first signed on the air under the call sign KECA on September 16, 1949. It was the last television station licensed to Los Angeles operating on the VHF band to debut and the last of ABC's five original owned-and-operated stations to make its debut, after San Francisco's KGO-TV, which signed on four months earlier.[citation needed] It was also the last of the Los Angeles "classic seven" TV stations which were originally on the VHF dial, prior to the 2009 digital conversions.[citation needed] (No other stations debuted in Los Angeles until 1962, when the first two UHF Los Angeles stations launched (KIIX [now KWHY-TV] and KMEX-TV, channels 22 and 34, respectively).[citation needed]

The station's call sign was named after Los Angeles broadcasting pioneer Earle C. Anthony, whose initials were also present on channel 7's then-sister radio station, KECA (790 AM, now KABC). On February 1, 1954, KECA-TV changed its call sign to KABC-TV.[citation needed]

Originally, KABC-TV was located at the ABC Television Center, now called The Prospect Studios, on Prospect Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, east of Hollywood. In 2000, KABC-TV moved to nearby Glendale into a new state-of-the-art facility designed by César Pelli, as part of the Disney Grand Central Creative Campus (GC3), in the Grand Central Business Centre on the site of the former Grand Central Airport. The station is currently located four miles (6 km) east (along the corridor of the Los Angeles Riverand State Route 134) of ABC's West Coast headquarters on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.[citation needed]

KABC-TV has used the Circle 7 logo since 1962 (the same year ABC created and implemented its current logo) and augmented its bottom left quadrant with the ABC network logo in 1997. The station's news anchors and reporters wear Circle 7 lapel pins when they appear on camera, a practice that had once been standard at each of the original five ABC-owned stations.[citation needed]

On February 4, 2006, KABC-TV became the first television station in the state of California to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition using HD cameras in the studio. Along with the in-house upgrades, the station debuted its updated news set and theme music to Frank Gari's Eyewitness News.[citation needed]

KABC-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, at noon on June 12, 2009,[citation needed] as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 53, which was among the high band UHF channels (52–69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 7 for post-transition operations.After the transition occurred, some viewers had difficulty receiving KABC's signal, despite operating at a high effective radiated power of 25,000 watts. On March 31, 2009, KABC-TV filed an application with the FCC to upgrade its signal strength to 28,700 watts. It was granted a construction permit on March 3, 2011.

In July 2010, The Walt Disney Company became engaged in a carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable. This dispute involved KABC-TV and three other ABC owned-and-operated stations, Disney Channel and the ESPNfamily of networks. If a deal had not been made, all of the Disney-owned channels would have been removed from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks systems across the United States. The companies reached a long-term agreement to keep the stations and their sister cable channels on Time Warner Cable and its co-managed systems on September 2, 2010.

Digital channel 7.3 previously carried programming from The Local AccuWeather Channel; it was replaced with a standard-definition feed of the Live Well Network in 2010. On April 15, 2015, the comedy network Laffreplaced the standard-definition feed of LWN on 7.3. ABC Stations rebranded Live Well Network on .2 as Localish on February 17, 2020 to add an outlet for the Localish lifestyle content.

Programming

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
7.1 720p 16:9 KABC-DT Main KABC-TV Progamming/ABC
7.2 480p LOCLish Localish
7.3 ThisTV This TV
7.4 QVC2 QVC2

Syndicated programming

In addition to the ABC network schedule, syndicated programs on KABC-TV (as of September 2020) include Tamron Hall, Live with Kelly and Ryan, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.

News programming

KABC-TV currently broadcasts 51 hours, 25 minutes of locally produced newscasts each week (with 7 hours, 35 minutes each weekday and seven hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). As is typical of ABC stations and major network affiliates in general,[citation needed] KABC-TV produces an hour-long newscast at 4 p.m. on weekend afternoons. KABC-TV formerly operated a news bureau in California's state capital of Sacramento, sharing resources with sister stations KGO-TV in San Francisco and KFSN-TV in Fresno; the bureau was closed in 2014.[citation needed] The station also has bureaus located within its viewing area, in Riverside and Orange. In the 1980s, the station also had a bureau located in Ventura.[citation needed]

Lew Irwin Reports, the station's first locally produced newscast, debuted in 1957.[citation needed] Initially, the 15-minute program was broadcast Monday through Saturday at 11:00 p.m. and featured Irwin delivering a news summary prepared by KABC Radio news writers, followed by a seven-minute feature written by Irwin that included footage shot for the program by the MGM-owned newsreel company Telenews. Irwin interviewed a host of public figures for the program, including former PresidentHarry S. Truman, former Senator John F. Kennedy, philosopher Bertrand Russell, actor Marlon Brando, H-bomb scientist Edward Teller, and poets Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg.[citation needed] Irwin's features often included news-breaking investigations into such controversial topics as migrant workers, police brutality, proprietary hospitals, disc jockey payola, the Hollywood blacklist, and the John Birch Society. In a letter to the chief of ABC News, James Hagerty, in 1961, Sandburg wrote: "He is one of the great reporters in America today. I could make a case that he is one of the most useful citizens."[citation needed] In 1962, a new KABC-TV program director for the station mounted a second newscast on the station (following John Daly's network newscast in the early evening) presented by Ed Fleming, who had previously worked for rival KNXT. A few months later, he decided to feature Fleming and Irwin on both the early-evening and late-night newscasts, with Fleming delivering the news and Irwin a long-form feature. After numerous clashes between the program director and Irwin, Irwin resigned in 1962 citing creative differences. He was eventually succeeded by KCOP newscaster Baxter Ward, who was backed by the station's first staff film crew.[citation needed]

KABC-TV first adopted the Eyewitness News format for its newscasts in February 1969, not long after it became popular on New York City sister station WABC-TV. Like the other ABC-owned stations, KABC-TV used the "Tar Sequence" cue from the soundtrack of the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke as its theme music, and continued to use it even after other channels adopted an updated version of the theme, the Frank Gari-composed "News Series 2000". Later on, the original Cool Hand Luke theme was used by the station only during the main newscast.[citation needed] The station's newscasts used a synthesized version of the old theme (composed by Frank Becker) during the mid-1980s, before KABC-TV picked up the "News Series 2000" package in 1990. In 1995, KABC began using Gari Media Group's "Eyewitness News" music package, which remains as the station's news theme.[citation needed]

Bill Bonds and Stu Nahan were KABC-TV's first anchor team under the Eyewitness News banner.[citation needed] Within two years, unable to upend the dominance of KNXT (now KCBS-TV)'s The Big News and Eleven O'Clock Report with Jerry Dunphyand KNBC's Newservice format, Bonds returned to his previous ABC assignment at WXYZ-TV in Detroit and Nahan became the station's lead sportscaster.[citation needed] A succession of anchors – Joseph Benti, Barney Morris, John Schubeck and Judd Hambrick – followed, but the newscast gained its greatest growth in August 1975 when KABC-TV hired Dunphy as its lead anchor, following his firing from KNXT.[citation needed] Though initially paired with newcomer John Hambrick, Dunphy later partnered with reporter Christine Lund, and that duo led KABC-TV to local news supremacy well into the 1980s.[citation needed]Others who have reported or anchored for KABC-TV include Lisa McRee, Harold Greene, Tawny Little, Laura Diaz, Paul Moyer, Chuck Henry, Johnny Mountain, George Fischbeck, Judd Rose, and Bill Weir.[citation needed] Former KABC-TV sports reporters and anchors include former NFL players Lynn Swann, Gene Washington, Jim Hill, and Bob Chandler; and former Major League Baseball player (and current Los Angeles Dodgers radio analyst and play-by-play announcer) Rick Monday.[citation needed]

In the highly competitive Los Angeles media market, Eyewitness News has long engaged in several initiatives to connect with local viewers, and is quite beloved in Southern California for its "neighborhood news" approach. One such early effort was to actually originate a local newscast from a typical Southern California suburban family home. In the spring of 1972, a contest was held, asking the public to write letters telling KABC why an edition of the newscast should be produced at their home. The winner was Joseph Jensen from Sepulveda (now known as North Hills), and on June 13, the 11 p.m. edition of Eyewitness Newsoriginated live from the Jensen family dining room, with anchormen John Schubeck and Joseph Benti seated at the Jensen dinner table, reading the latest headlines. The Jensen family surrounded the newsmen, dressed in their "Sunday best." Camera equipment, lights, microphones and a remote broadcast truck (similar to the ones used at sporting events), to connect the house to the ABC Television Center, were employed to help with the broadcast.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the station's newscasts often included spirited miniature debates and commentaries reflecting various political viewpoints. Several notable politicians and political pundits appeared on these segments, including Proposition 13 backer Howard Jarvis, former U.S. Representative and Senator John Tunney, Bruce Herschensohn, Bill Press and Baxter Ward. In addition, KABC-TV aired brief editorials from the station's general manager, most notably John Severino, who served throughout the 1980s. This practice was discontinued in 1990.[citation needed]

During the 1980s, KABC-TV was one of a few stations in the country to run a three-hour block of local newscasts on weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. The station was the first in the region to introduce an hour-long newscast at 4 p.m., first anchored by Jerry Dunphy and Tawny Little in September 1980.[citation needed] Before this, the station ran two hours of news from 5 to 7 p.m. The station reduced this block by one half-hour in 1990, when it moved World News Tonight from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For a time in the late 1980s, its 6:30 p.m. newscast was titled Eyewitness Update and served as a final recap of the day's news, similar in nature to an 11 p.m. newscast. KABC-TV is one of three ABC stations on the West Coast to air World News at 6:30 p.m. (the two other ABC stations to do this being KGTV in San Diego and KAEF in Eureka); most other ABC stations in the western United States run the program at either 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. When the network soap opera Port Charles ended its run in 2003, KABC-TV expanded its midday newscast to a full hour. Occasionally, KABC-TV has aired the live East Coast edition of World News Tonight at 3:30 p.m.; ABC has faced allegations that this additional airing is intended to increase the program's total audience.

On January 13, 2014, KABC-TV began producing an hour-long evening newscast on Anaheim-based independent KDOC-TV(channel 56); the newscast airs seven nights a week. Concurrently, KDOC also added a midnight rebroadcast of KABC's 11 p.m. newscast. KABC is the fifth ABC owned-and-operated station to enter into a news share agreement (after WTVD, KGO-TV, WPVI-TV and KFSN-TV). On May 31, 2016, KABC added a 3 p.m. newscast on weekdays, competing with KTLA's newscast at that time slot. On September 10, 2018, KABC became the third television station in the market to expand its weekday morning newscast to three hours, with an additional half-hour at 4:00 a.m.[citation needed]

On September 30, 2015, the KABC-TV studios in Glendale were evacuated due to a bomb threat. The station's employees were evacuated and forced the station off-the-air; the suspect who was responsible for the threat was a 22-year-old Glendale man, who was arrested on October 14, 2015. As a result, the 4:00 p.m. newscast was temporarily moved outside the studio, while the police swept the studio with bomb-sniffing dogs inside. At 4:42 p.m., the station's employees were allowed to re-enter the studio and the newscast continued from the studio after the threat.

In February 2017, the station's news helicopter, AIR7HD, received an upgrade and debuted two new features: XTREME Vision and SkyMap7. XTREME Vision uses an advanced zoom lens and is able to track vehicle speeds in real time. SkyMap7 uses augmented reality to allow viewers to see street names overlaying the camera, which allows for the identification of streets at night. Both features are powered by the SHOTOVER F1 Live.

Ratings

The introduction of the Eyewitness News format, followed by the addition of syndicated staples such as The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, Live with Kelly and Ryan and its predecessors in 1991, and Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in 1992, has allowed KABC-TV to maintain a substantial ratings advantage over its competition. Leveraging the strength of its sizeable lead-in at 3 p.m. by the now-defunct Oprah, KABC-TV has long held first or second in the ratings for its 4 to 6:30 p.m. news block. However, ratings leads for the morning and late news have typically been expensive battles with local stations KTLA and KTTVin the morning, and KNBC (and recently KCBS-TV) at 11 p.m.

With its across-the-board ratings success in hand, the station has been known to run quick five-second promos throughout the day that feature the slogan, "ABC7 – #1 in news, #1 in Southern California." This is a throwback to its openers during the 1980s, when the station proudly proclaimed itself "Number One in Southern California." On November 1, 2015, the station debuted a new set along with new graphics.

Social Media

KABC-TV, as well as the other Disney owned television stations, has a large presence on several social media platforms. In May 2014, KABC-TV claimed to be the first local TV station in the United States to surpass one million likes on Facebook.

Notable current on-air talent

Anchors

  • Marc Brown - weeknights at 5 and 11pm; also an reporter (1989-present)
  • Ellen Leyva - weeknights at 3, 4 and 6pm (1995-present)
  • Colleen Sullivan - weekdays at 3pm
  • David Ono - weeknights at 4 and 6pm (2003-present)
  • Jovana Lara - weekdays at 11am
  • Philip Palmer - weekdays at 11am (1998-present)
  • Leslie Sykes - weekday mornings (4-7AM) (1994-present)
  • Brandi Hitt - weekday mornings (4-7AM)
  • Veronica Miracle - weekends at 4, 5, 6, and 11pm
  • Jory Hands - weekends at 4, 5, 6, and 11pm

Weather

  • Leslie Lopez - weekdays 4:30-7 a.m. and 11 a.m.; (2015-present)
  • Dallas Raines (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) – Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.; (1984-present)
  • Kimi Evans - weekend mornings; (2017-present)
  • Danny Romero – weekend evenings 4, 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.; (2005-present)

Traffic

  • Scott Reiff – weekday mornings AIR7HD
  • Brandi Hitt – weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.)
  • Danny Romero – weekday afternoons

Sports

  • Rob Fukuzaki – sports director, weeknights at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.; (1994-present)
  • Curt Sandoval – weekends at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., weekday sports reporter; (1999-present)
  • Ashley Brewer – fill-in sports anchor/reporter

Reporters

  • Adrienne Alpert - general assignment reporter; also host of Eyewitness Newsmakers; (1996-present)
  • Lori Corbin ("Food Coach" / food/nutrition/exercise)
  • Marc Cota-Robles - general assignment report & fill-in anchor; (2014-present)
  • Denise Dador ("Health Specialist"); (1998-present)
  • Chelsea Edwards - general assignment reporter & fill-in anchor; (2015-present)
  • Eileen Frere (Orange County Bureau Chief); (2001-present)
  • Sid Garcia - general assignment reporter; (1997-present)
  • Carlos Granda - general assignment reporter; (1998-present)
  • Josh Haskell - general assignment reporter; (2017-present)
  • Rob Hayes - general assignment reporter; (2004-present)
  • Jade Hernandez - general assignment reporter
  • Miriam Hernandez - general assignment reporter; (1998-present)
  • Leticia Juarez - Inland Empire reporter; (2010-present)
  • Dave Kunz ("Automotive Specialist")
  • Britni McDonald
  • Rob McMillan (Inland Empire Bureau Chief)
  • Nannette Miranda (Sacramento Bureau Chief)
  • John North (politics)
  • George Pennacchio ("Entertainment Guru")
  • Amy Powell - general assignment reporter
  • Subha Ravindhran
  • Leo Stallworth - general assignment reporter
  • Leanne Suter

AIR7HD

Pilot reporters:


  • Scott Reiff – AM Traffic, Breaking News
  • Bill Thomas – Afternoons/Evening, Breaking News reporter
  • J.T. Alpaugh – Alternate Breaking News reporter, fill-in

Notable former staff

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

Station slogans

  • The Southland's #1 News Team (mid 1970s-early 1980s)
  • Let Us Be The One on Channel 7 (1976-1977; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • We're Still The One on Channel 7 (1977-1978; 1979-1980; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • We're The One You Can Turn To, Channel 7 (1978–1979; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • You and Me and Channel 7 (1980-1981; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Now Is The Time, Channel 7 is The Place (1981-1982; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Come on Along with Channel 7 (1982-1983; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • That Special Feeling on Channel 7 (1983-1984; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • We're With You on Channel 7 (1984-1985; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Number One in Southern California (early 1980s–1985)
  • You'll Love It on Channel 7 (1985–1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Together on Channel 7 (1986-1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Something's Happening on Channel 7 (1987-1988; 1988-1989; 1989-1990; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Los Angeles is Watching Channel 7 (1990-1991; 1991-1992; localized version of "America`s Watching ABC" campaign)
  • If It's Los Angeles, It Must Be Channel 7 (1992-1993; localized version of "It Must Be ABC" campaign)
  • Watched By More Southern Californias, Channel 7, ABC (1993-1996; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • TV Is Good, on ABC-7 (1997-1998; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • We Love TV, on ABC-7 (1998-1999; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Southern California's News Leader (2000–2006; general slogan)
  • Number One in News, Number One in Southern California (2006–2007; alternate news slogan)
  • Southern California's First High Definition News (2006–2007; news slogan)
  • First in HD (2007–present; news slogan)
  • The team that defines breaking news (2007–present; news slogan)

Movie umbrella titles

  • The Big Show (1960s)
  • Movie 7 (1969–1990)
  • The 6:00 Movie (1967–1971)
  • The 6:30 Movie (1971–1974)
  • The 3:30 Movie (1974–1980)
  • ABC7 Movie Special (1996, 2005–present)
  • ABC7 Prime Movie Special (2003–2004)
  • Channel 7 Midnight Movie (1993–1995)
  • Channel 7 Late Movie (1995–1998)
  • The Vampira Show (1954–1955)
  • The Saturday/Sunday Afternoon Movie (1969–1980s)
  • Hollywood Theatre (1980s–1998)
  • ABC7 Weekend Afternoon Movie (1998–2007)
  • The Saturday/Sunday Night Movie (1969–1996)
  • The Monday Night Movie (1970–1981)
  • The ABC7 Saturday/Sunday Night Movie (1996–2007)
  • Insomniac Theatre (1992–2004)
  • Classic Theatre (1988–1995)

Gallery