KAUZ-TV, digital channel 22 (virtual channel 6), is the CBS affiliate television station located inWichita Falls, Texas. It also serves Lawton, Oklahoma. Its transmitter is located at the studio in Wichita Falls and has a low-power translator in Bowie. KAUZ's tower stands at 1031 feet.
|Wichita Falls, Texas/Lawton, Oklahoma|
Texoma CW (DT2)
|Slogan||Texoma's News Station|
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)|
The CW (DT2)
|Owner||American Spirit Media|
(operated under JSA by Raycom Media
(KAUZ License Subsidiary, LLC)
|First air date||March 1, 1953|
|Former callsigns||KWFT-TV (1953-1956)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF, 1953-2009)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||33°54′4.9″N 98°32′21.8″W|
In September 2006, KAUZ launched a new digital subchannel to carry the CW Television Network.
Like every analog TV station in the US that broadcasts on channel 6, the audio can be heard on an FM radio at 87.7 MHz until June 12, 2009.
On July 31, 2009 Drewry Communications initiated a joint sales/shared operational services agreement between KAUZ and ABC affiliate KSWO-TV (channel 7).
KAUZ signed on March 1, 1953 as KWFT-TV, the television arm of KWFT AM 620. KWFT sold the TV station in 1956 to Sydney Grayson at which time channel 6 became KSYD-TV and thenKAUZ-TV in July, 1963 following a subsequent transfer of ownership. The station has served as the CBS affiliate for the Wichita Falls-Lawton television market since its inception. In the early 1950s, the station also carried DuMont programs. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. KAUZ-TV was also one of several stations nationwide to broadcast The Las Vegas Show, a short-lived late night program from the ill-fatedOvermyer Network that ran for a few weeks in 1967.
On the afternoon of April 3, 1964 as a devastating tornado swept across the northern portion of Wichita Falls and neighboring Sheppard Air Force Base, KAUZ-TV interrupted regular programming to provide a live tornado warning in which the image of the funnel was shown on the station's weather radar by then-meteorologist Ted Shaw and a large and heavy studio camera was dragged outside the Channel 6 studios on Seymour Highway and pointed toward the funnel sighting as it approached the northwest portion of Wichita Falls - one of the first tornadoes ever to be broadcast on live television. That tornado killed 7 people and injured over 100. Damage estimates exceeded $15 million and some 225 homes and businesses were destroyed on the north side of town and at Sheppard AFB.
About 15 years later on April 10, 1979, an even more devastating tornado occurred on the southwest side of Wichita Falls that killed 42 people and injured more than 1,700 along a path that was two miles wide and 45 miles long. Besides the terrible human costs, 3,100 homes were destroyed, with an estimated 20,000 people left homeless. The total damage in Wichita Falls was around $400 million. Then-Channel 6 chief meteorologist Rich Segal was on the air that afternoon and evening with complete warning coverage that culminated with the opening of the 6 p.m. broadcast of Eyewitness News as multiple tornadoes had reached the southwest corner of the city and began their path of destruction. About less than five minutes into the newscast KAUZ-TV and other Wichita Falls TV and radio stations were knocked off the air due to power outages resulting from the damaging storms.
A year later, Channel 6 broadcast a documentary about the 1979 tornado including the events of that day leading to the storm, the destruction and aftermath based upon the station's news footage from a year earlier along with progress of recovery efforts as of April, 1980.
KAUZ was the first TV station in the Wichita Falls/Lawton TV market to air its local newscasts in color, beginning in February, 1966, just a few months after CBS began converting most of its network schedule from black and white to color. KFDX and KSWO followed with color newscasts in 1967.
In July 1970, one man was killed and another was seriously injured after falling several hundred feet to the ground while painting the station's transmitter mast. The transmitter, located on the premises of the KAUZ studios, is said to be located on one of the highest points within the city of Wichita Falls.
Over the years, KAUZ was owned by such companies as Forward Communications, Adams Communications, Brissette Broadcasting andBenedek Broadcasting. When Benedek declared bankruptcy in 2002, KAUZ was sold to Chelsey Broadcasting instead of Gray Television. In 2003, Chelsey sold KAUZ to Hoak Media Corporation. In August 2009 Drewry Media purchased the physical assets of KAUZ (except its broadcast license) from Hoak. Drewry also owns KSWO-TV, the ABC affiliate in the market. The JSA / SSA resulted in all four of the market's major network-affiliated stations—as well as the affiliates of all six of the largest English-language networks—now being operated by two entities.
In March 2009, KAUZ requested that it cease analog broadcasting on May 21 instead of June 12. The station cited the need to place its DTV antenna where the analog antenna was.
"Donna's Notebook", an interview segment hosted by Donna Colburn, was a longtime fixture of the 12 p.m. noon newscast during the 1960s and early 1970s. An interview segment similar to Donna's Notebook, which is used mostly to promote local and area events, is still an integral part of the noon broadcast of Newschannel 6 to this day. Also included in the station's noon newscast during the 1960s and 1970s was a five-minute televised insert of "Paul Harvey News and Comments" that was available to TV stations nationwide.
Named for the station's call letters was a children's show entitled "Kauzey's Korner" or "Kauzmo's Kolorful Kartoons" which aired on Channel 6 weekday afternoons from 1963 to 1967. One show is reported to have introduced country singer Willie Nelson to the television-viewing public for the first time. "Kauzmo" was played by Ronald "Cosmo" Gresham, two-time Hawaii Big Island mayoral candidate and one-time County Council candidate who was likely the most outspoken political activist ever to come to Hawai'i. "Kauzmo" later became known as "Cosmo", doing a public access TV show featuring news, political commentary, law study, spirituality, music (often played by Cosmo himself on flute or other instruments he made himself) and guest interviews; the show once had the Dalai Lama of Tibet as a guest. The show was called "Cosmic Express" (named after his Cosmic Express newsletter), which ran three nights per week, Friday, Sunday and Monday at 8 P.M. local prime time on Jones Spacelink/Hawaiian Cablevision of Hilo Public Resources channel 2 in the Hilo and Puna areas of the Big Island of Hawai'i.
KAUZ was one of many stations to broadcast the syndicated news/feature program PM Magazine, which included both national and local inserts, from 1979 to 1982. It was broadcast at 6:30 p.m. weeknights on Channel 6 following the 6 p.m. edition of Eyewitness News.
The newscast, currently using the title Newschannel 6, has also been known under the titles Newsreel 6, Channel 6 News, Newscope, 6 News First, CBS 6 News, KAUZ News and Eyewitness News. KAUZ produces 21.5 hours of news programming a week, including broadcasts of Newschannel 6 This Morning from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays, and 30-minute broadcasts of Newschannel 6 at 12 noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekdays, 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturdays, and 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sundays. On weekdays, KAUZ also airs a 30-minute 9pm newscast on its CW subchannel; this newscast goes directly against the KFDX-produced 9pm news on Fox affiliate KJTL.
Lynn Walker, who served as anchor and news director at KAUZ from 1972 to 1986 and again from 1999 to 2003, is among the longest-tenured news anchors in the Wichita Falls-Lawton TV market, which also included a stint at KSWO-TV from 1996 to 1999. Walker then became the city editor at the Wichita Falls Times Record News.
In 1977, Channel 6 Eyewitness News became the area's first local newscast to feature a male/female co-anchor team (a trend then sweeping local TV markets nationwide) when Walker was teamed up with co-anchor Kay Shannon on the 6 and 10 p.m. broadcasts, beginning a nine-year tenure in which KAUZ-TV took first place in local news ratings against rivals KFDX-TV and KSWO-TV. Longtime sports anchor Bill Jackson joined the team by early 1978, followed by meteorologist Rich Segal that spring. This winning anchor team would enjoy a long (for a small TV market) tenure of eight years until 1986 when Walker, Shannon and Jackson left KAUZ-TV though Rich Segal would soldier on another four years until his departure in 1990.
Chris Horgen, who assumed co-anchor duties of Newschannel 6 at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekdays in 2007, had previously served as sports director for several years. Andy Austin, who previously served as the station's sports director during the 1990s, returned to that position at KAUZ in April 2007 until May 2008 after serving as sports information director for the past several years at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. Former weekend sports anchor Jermaine Ferrell assumed duties as sports director until early 2009, and then that position was vacant until Adam Ostrow was hired later in the year.
KAUZ and KFDX primarily compete for the Texas audience, while KSWO has a stronghold on the Oklahoma market. For the July 2008 ratings period, KAUZ was ranked last in all time slots, except noon, according to Nielsen Media Research. KAUZ's noon program is second to KFDX (KSWO does not have a noon broadcast). KAUZ is third for the rest of day, with its 5, 6 and 10 broadcasts.
These trends continued in the November 2008 and November 2009 ratings period.
For February 2010, the newly rebranded KAUZ saw a drop in ratings. The weekend shows in particular saw a drop in numbers by nearly half (in share). The morning shows continue to not rank in viewership in the diary book, and all evening shows remain a distant third in the Lawton-Wichita Falls market.
In the 2010 ratings periods, including February, May, July and November, Nielsen Media Research reports that KAUZ's news programming continues to struggle in all time slots. The morning newscasts in particular continue in a distant third place behind other DMA 149 competitors. The May book also revealed severe weather coverage is dominated by KSWO, with low ratings for KAUZ during tornado events in early May 2010.
===*Newsreel 6 (1953-1960)
- News Eye (1960-1962)
- Newscope (1962-1974)
- Eyewitness News (1974-1988)
- Channel 6 News (1988-1993)
- 6 News First (1993-1997)
- CBS 6 News (1997-1999)
- NewsChannel 6 (1999-2007 and 2010-present)
- KAUZ Channel 6 News (2007-2008)
- KAUZ News (2008-2010)
- Keep Your Eye on Channel 6 (1960-1961)
- KAUZ-TV Channel 6: CBS For Texomaland (1964-1965)
- KAUZ-TV Channel 6, Texoma's Full Color Station (1966-1967)
- Newscope: Your News for Texoma (1970-1974)
- The Best is Right Here on Channel 6 / Channel 6 is Easy on the Eyes (1973-1974; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Eyewitness News: The Pacesetter (1974-1978)
- See the Best...Channel 6 (1974-1975; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Catch the Brightest Stars on Channel 6 (1975-1976; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Channel 6, We're the Hot Ones (1976-1977; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- There's Something in the Air, on Channel 6 (1977-1978; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Eyewitness News: The Closer We Look, The More You See (1978-1980)
- Channel 6, Turn Us On, We'll Turn You On (1978-1979; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- We're Looking Good on Channel 6 (1979-1980; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Eyewitness News: Your Kind of People, Your Kind of News (1980-1984)
- Looking Good Together, Channel 6 (1980-1981; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Reach for the Stars on Channel 6 (1981-1982; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Great Moments on Channel 6 (1982-1983; local version of CBS campaign)
- We've Got the Touch, You and Channel 6 (1983-1984, local version of CBS campaign)
- Eyewitness News: Texoma's News Leader (1984-1988)
- You and Channel 6, We've Got the Touch (1984-1985; local version of CBS campaign)
- We've Got the Touch on Channel 6 (1985-1986, local version of CBS campaign)
- Share the Spirit on Channel 6 (1986-1987; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Channel 6 Spirit, oh yes. (1987-1988; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Channel 6 News: People You Can Count On (1988-1993)
- You Can Feel It on Channel 6 (1988-1989; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Get Ready for Channel 6 (1989-1991; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- The Look of Texoma is Channel 6 (1991-1992; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- This is CBS, on Channel 6 (1992-1993; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- 6 News First: When You Need To Know (1993-1997)
- On Top of Your News (1999-2001)
- Where Weather Comes First (2001-2004)
- Live. Local. Latebreaking. (2004-2007)
- Texoma's News Station (2007-2010)
Current on-air staff
- Chris Horgen - anchors weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Heather Mills - anchors weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Spencer Blake - anchors weekday mornings "Newschannel 6 This Morning"; also CW Anchor
- Lindsey Rogers - anchors weekday mornings "Newschannel 6 This Morning"; also reporter
- Ashley Fitzwater - anchors weekdays at noon; also host of "Inside Texoma"
- Tim Barnosky - anchors Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30, and weekends at 10 p.m.; also reporter
Skywarn Weather on Newschannel 6 Meteorologists
- Ken Johnson (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Ben Walnick - Meteorologist; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30, and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Matt Posgai - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "KAUZ News This Morning" and noon
Newschannel 6 Sports Team
- Adam Ostrow - Sports Director/Anchor; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Charlie Bartlett - Sports Reporter/Anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
Former on-air staff
- Erick Adame - meteorologist (2006-2007)
- Lisa Arledge - anchor (1989-1990)
- Ann Arnold - reporter (2007-2008; now reporter at KFDX-TV)
- Dan Ellington Avery - News Director (1986-1989; deceased)
- Andy Austin - sports director/anchor (1992-2000 and 2007-2008)
- Dana Baird - reporter (1987-1988)
- Michael Baldwin - reporter (1999; later became weekend anchor at WITN in Greenville, North Carolina)
- Ron Baze - anchor/reporter (1991-1994)
- Jeff Beimfour - anchor/reporter (2004-2007)
- Lynn Bigler - anchor/reporter (1967-1973)
- Suzanne Boase - anchor/reporter (1990-1992)
- Jack Britton - sports director/anchor (1964-1978)
- Terry Bumgarner - sports anchor (1978-1981)
- John Cameron - chief forecaster (2005-2008, fired under Hoak; now serving as News Assignments Editor under Drewry)
- Tom Charles - chief meteorologist (1996-2000)
- Michael Coleman - sports anchor (1986-1988)
- Sandi Craig - reporter (2001-2002)
- Lorianne Crook (1980s; currently co-host for the Crook and Chase countdown)
- Meghan Danahey - meteorologist (2001-2005; later at WFAA in Dallas, now at KVUE in Austin)
- Melissa Davis - anchor/reporter (1998-2000)
- Mike Dudich - meteorologist (1989-1994)
- Jermaine Ferrell - reporter/sports director (2002-2009)
- John Ford - anchor/reporter (1984-1986)
- Eric Gardner - meteorologist (1993-1997)
- Tarra Gilbert - anchor/reporter (1997-1998)
- Ronald Gresham - host/clown (1963-1967; "Kauzey's Korner" and "Kauzmo's Kolorful Kartoons" shows, later on KOHA-TV in Hilo, Hawaii (Jones Spacelink / Hawaiian Cablevision of Hilo Public Resource Channel, with the 'Cosmic Express' show, deceased)
- Jay Harmon - weathercaster/staff announcer (1967-1975)
- Ronda Harrison - anchor/reporter (1982-1984)
- Robert Hood - sportscaster (1967-1968)
- Tres Hood - anchor/reporter (1995-1998, deceased)
- Preston Jameson - anchor/reporter/sales (1968-1981)
- Bill Jackson - sports anchor (1978-1986); news director (1988-1990)
- Troy Jensen - anchor/reporter (1971-1986)
- Mike Jernigan - anchor/reporter (1976-1977)
- Mark Jerome - sports anchor (1987-1990)
- Brett Johnson - reporter (1987-1989, deceased 2009) 
- Hugh Johnson - anchor/reporter (1970-1972; deceased)
- Nick Johnston - weekday morning meteorologist (2006-2007)
- Adèle Lewis - anchor/reporter (1994-1998; now public information officer at Texas Department of Transportation Wichita Falls District office)
- Nicole Jolly - anchor/reporter (2006-2007)
- Lee Lucas - meteorologist (1971-1975)
- Danny Luttrell - meteorologist (1980-1986)
- Chris MacDonald - meteorologist (2007-2008; later joined WDBD in Jackson, MS)
- Rhonda Mackey - anchor/reporter (1997-2005)
- Gerry May - anchor/reporter (1989-1991)
- Deborah Lauren McCaskey - anchor/reporter (1987-1988)
- Rob McClendon - reporter/anchor (1989-1991)
- Mike McDonald - anchor/reporter (1994-1995)
- Kirsten McIntyre - anchor/reporter (1991-1995; now weekend news anchor at KWTV in Oklahoma City)
- Paul McShane - news director/anchor/reporter (1965-1968)
- Frank Mitchell - meteorologist (1990-1991; now chief meteorologist at KTUL in Tulsa)
- Jane Mitchell - reporter (1986-1988; 1988-1991 KOTV; 1992-1996 KNSD, 1996-present Anchor/Producer Channel 4 San Diego www.4sd.com)
- Meri Beth Moore - anchor/reporter (1988-1994)
- Paul Murphy - reporter (1986-1989)
- Casey O'Brien - sports anchor (1986-1987)
- John O'Connor - anchor/reporter (1987-1988)
- Doug Ohlemeier - reporter (1987-1989, editor, The Packer & Produce Business magazine).
- Alan Reece - reporter (1989-1991)
- Steven Romo - anchor/reporter (2009-2010)
- Rich Segal - chief meteorologist (1978-1990; later at KTEN in Ada, OK and now at News 8 Austin)
- Deb Seidel - anchor (1987-1988)
- Kay Shannon - anchor (1977-1986)
- Bric Shelton - sports anchor/reporter (2000-2002)
- Edwin Scherzer - reporter (1990-1991)
- Randal Stanley - reporter/photographer (1981-1982)
- Mike Steeley - sports director/anchor (1988-1992)
- Nicole Sweetin - chief meteorologist (1998-2001)
- Jerry Taff - anchor/reporter (1968-1969; later at WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth)
- Gary Tate - anchor/reporter (1981-1984)
- Merrill Teller - chief meteorologist (1975-1978; now at KWCH-TV in Wichita)
- Rick Tillery - anchor (2007-2009)
- John Van Dunk - meteorologist (1967-1971; later chief meteorologist at now-defunct National Weather Service Office in Wichita Falls)
- Tony Villasana - anchor/reporter (1979-1983)
- Lynn Walker - news director/anchor (1972-1986 and 1999-2003; later joined Wichita Falls Times Record News)
- Dave Wallace - meteorologist (2000-2002; deceased)
- Joe Tom White - "Country Morning" anchor (1988-1993; later joined KWFS radio in Wichita Falls)
- ^ "Wednesday TV Log". Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, TX): pp. 7B. 1954-12-29.
- ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
- ^ Advertisement: The Lawton Constitution (Lawton, OK), Feb. 11, 1966 pg. 20
- ^ "Plunge fatal for painter, one escapes:" Lawton Constitution and Morning Press, (Lawton, OK) July 12, 1970 pg. 1, 4A
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm3RB-73Syk
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swgkPXy30aA