|Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Branding||KATV 7(general)Channel 7 News (newscasts)|
|Slogan||The Spirit Of Arkansas
(general) Working for You (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)Virtual: 7 (PSIP)|
|Owner||Allbritton Communications Company
|First air date||December 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||Arkansas TeleVision|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:7 (VHF, 1953-2009)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
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, both signals were broadcast from the KATV Tower near Redfield, Arkansas. Its analog license continued to reflect 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). It began broadcasts on February 1, 2009 from a new digital transmitter located on Shinall Mountain, near the Chenal Valley neighborhood of Little Rock.
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 TV 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.
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 of 1970. The bank had constructed a new building in downtown Little Rock.
KATV, along with sister station KTUL (channel 8) in Tulsa, Oklahoma and original sister stationKWTV (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.
In February 1999, KATV aired ads for the theatrical animated film Doug's 1st Movie during a 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.
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
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 have been known to receive KATV's signal. KATV is also carried on cable systems in those areas, including Greenville, Cleveland, Clarksdale, and Drew.
Tower collapseThe KATV Tower collapsed January 11, 2008 while workers were adjusting guy wires. 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. Equity is presently carrying KATV's digital signal through its station KWBF--originally as 42.3 in SDTV, now 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.
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.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|7.1||Main KATV programming / ABC HD|
|7.2||Retro Television Network|
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 24/7 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.
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 Nightline a half-hour later than ABC's recommended timeslot (ABC recommends that its affiliates air Nightline at 10:35 in the Central time zone). Current syndicated programming includes Jeopardy!, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah,Wheel of Fortune, and According to Jim, with weekend rebroadcasts of According to Jim, and telecasts of The Tim McCarver Show.
KATV broadcasts four syndicated programs in High Definition; those shows being Oprah, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy! and The Dr. Oz Show.
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.
KATV broadcasts a total of 28 hours of local news per week (with five hours on weekdays, two 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. Until the 1990s, rival station KARK was the market leader. Since then, KATV has consistently placed second behind market leader KTHV.
From 2001 to 2005, KATV rebroadcast its 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts weeknights on then-Pax affiliate KYPX (now KKYK-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. On October 28, 2010, KATV announced that it would begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition in within the next several months, although no set date for the upgrade was announced. As of April 20, 2011, it is the last remaining "Big Four" network-affiliated station in Little Rock that has yet to make the upgrade.
- Arkansas Newsreel (1953–1962)
- KATV News (1962–1974)
- Newscene 7 (1974–1987)
- Channel 7 News (1987–present)
NOTE: For a few years starting in the late 1970s, KATV used a separate Superman-style logo for on-air promotions but retained the Circle 7 logo for the news. The "Superseven" name remained well into the mid-1980s, but the Superman style logo was dropped in favor of the Circle 7 logo.
Current on-air staff (as of January 2, 2011)
- Alyson Courtney- weekday mornings "Daybreak"
- Heather Crawford - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m. ; also investigative reporter
- Beth Hunt - weekday "Mid-Day Arkansas" and weeknights at 5pm; also reporter and fill-in anchor
- Scott Inman - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.; also reporter
- Christina Muñoz - weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.; also reporter
- Jason Pederson - weekday mornings "Daybreak"; also consumer reporter
- Pamela Smith - weekday mornings Good Morning Arkansas; also food critic and general assignment reporter
- Renee Shapiro - Saturday mornings "Daybreak"; also entertainment editor
- Stephanie Simoni- Saturday mornings "Daybreak"
- Ned Perme (NWA Seal of Appoval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Barry Brandt (AMS Seal of Appoval) - meteorologist and co-host; weekday mornings "Daybreak" and "Mid-Day Arkansas"
- Melinda Mayo (AMS Seal of Appoval) - meteorologist and co-host; weekday mornings "Daybreak" and "Good Morning Arkansas"
- Todd Yakoubian (AMS Seal of Appoval) - meteorologist; Saturday mornings "Daybreak," and 6 p.m., Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Steve Sullivan - sports director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Chris Kane - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends at 10 p.m., also sports reporter
- Joan Early - "Family First" feature reporter
- Michael Knight - weekday morning traffic reporter
- Amanda Manatt - general assignment reporter
- Scott Munsell - "Chopper 7" pilot/reporter
- Michelle Rupp - special assignment reporter
- Stephanie Simoni - general assignment reporter
- Roger Susanin - general assignment reporter
Former on-air staff
- Steve Barnes - anchor/reporter (1970s-1980s)
- Bud Campbell - sports director and "Voice of the Razorbacks" (1964-1974; died October 3, 1974, due to injuries sustained from an automobile accident on Rodney Parham Rd. in Little Rock, Arkansas)
- Paul Eells - sports director and "Voice of the Razorbacks" (1978-2006; died July 31, 2006, likely due to injuries sustained from an automobile accident on Interstate 40 near Russellville, Arkansas; also killed in the accident was Billie J. Burton of Dover, Arkansas)
- Anne Pressly - news anchor/reporter, died in October 2008 of injuries sustained from being attacked by an intruder in her Little Rock home. The killer was caught and sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole.
- Greg Hurst - anchor/reporter (1981-1985; former anchor at WABC-TV in New York City; now primary weekday anchor at KHOU-TV inHouston, Texas)
- Gina Kurre - anchor/reporter (1980s)
- Amy Oliver - anchor/reporter (1970s-1980s)
- Susan Roesgen - anchor/reporter (1990s-2000s; currently at CNN)
- Mark Russell - weather anchor (early 1980s)
- Vic Schedler - weather anchor (1970s)
- David Schuster - reporter (1994-1996; formerly also correspondent for Fox News; currently host of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on MSNBCand correspondent/contributor for various MSNBC and NBC programs)
- Ron Sherman - weather anchor (1970s)
- Nancy Snyderman - medical reporter (1984; later to KPIX in San Francisco in the 1990s formerly also ABC News medical contributor; currently serves as NBC News chief medical editor)
- Kate Sullivan - anchor/reporter (2000-2006; currently 5pm, 10pm co-anchor at WBBM-TV in Chicago, formerly morning anchor at WCBS-TV in New York
- Lori Tucker - General Assignments reporter; current 6 P.M. and 11 P.M. weekday/weeknight anchor for WATE-TV channel 6 Knoxville, Tennessee
- Jeff Wingfield - Sportscaster/former KATV Friday Night Flights Air-7 guest to teams' games
- Gary Weir - sports anchor (1966-1991)
- ^ The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says December 18, while the Television and Cable Factbook says December 19.
- ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
- ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/451286-FCC_Fines_Two_Stations_Over_Ads_During_Kids_Programs.php?rssid=20065
- ^ Mike's TV and FM DX page
- ^ "High Band E Skip". Mike's TV and FM DX Page. Retrieved April 26, 2005.
- ^ See E-skip#Notable_sporadic_E_DX_receptions
- ^ a b Cause of Tower Collapse Still Unknown, KATV, January 11, 2008 - Redfield
- ^ KATV Tower Collapses; Competitors, Comcast Try to Help, Nate Hinkel, Arkansas Business, January 11, 2008
- ^ KATV Gets FCC Permit for New Tower, KATV, June 17, 2008 - Little Rock
- ^ http://www.katv.com/global/Story.asp?s=13111852
- ^ http://www.katv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13371582
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2pejIzUgqc
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJTjKT6BEKc
- ^