KBTV-TV, channel 4, is the Fox affiliated television station serving the Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas designated market area, and is licensed to Port Arthur. The station is owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc., and its studios are located at Parkdale Mall in Beaumont. The station broadcasts its digital signal on UHF channel 40, using its former analog assignment of channel 4 as its virtual digital channel viaPSIP. It airs on channel 2 on cable systems in the immediate portion of the market. KBTV's high definition digital simulcast is now available on area cable systems and DirecTV and Dish Network.
|Port Arthur/Beaumont, Texas|
|Branding||Fox 4 (general)
Fox 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your Weather Authority
|Channels||Digital: 40 (UHF)Virtual: 4 (PSIP)|
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||October 22, 1957|
|Call letters' meaning||Beaumont TeleVision|
|Former callsigns||KPAC-TV (1957-1965)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:4 (VHF, 1957-2009)|
|Former affiliations||NBC (1957-2009)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
KBTV is a typical Fox station with 26 hours a week of locally-produced newscasts, as well as first-run prime time, late night and sports programming from Fox. It also runs off-network sitcoms, talk shows, reality shows and court shows.
Channel 4 signed on October 22, 1957 as KPAC-TV, an NBC affiliate owned by Texas Gulfcoast Television, Inc., itself jointly owned by Port Arthur College, owner of KPAC radio (1250 AM, now KDEI; and 98.5 FM, now KTJM), and the Jefferson Amusement Company. Port Arthur College sold its stake in the station to the Jefferson Amusement Company in 1965; as Port Arthur College retained the radio stations, channel 4 changed its call letters to KJAC-TV.
The station was the first in the area to broadcast in color, use video tape, and air live coverage of area high school football games. Among the original programming that originated at KPAC/KJAC's studios were wrestling, the kid's western show Cowboy John, afternoon Bingo, and theCircle 4 Club. During the 1950s, KPAC also had the only local teen dance program, Jive At Five. Both The Cowboy John Show and Jive At Five had "colored days", in which African-Americans were permitted to participate.
Jefferson Entertainment Company sold KJAC to Clay Communications in 1973; Clay, in turn, sold its television stations to Price Communications in 1987. Price sold most of its television stations (except for WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) to USA Broadcast Group in 1995; USA soon renamed itself U.S. Broadcast Group after a complaint from USA Network.
In October 2008, Nexstar reached an agreement with Fox in which KBTV would become the new Fox affiliate for the Beaumont market. The move was made because Nexstar wanted to increase KBTV's news output. The affiliation switch took effect on January 1, 2009, when KBTV dropped its 51-year affiliation with NBC and joined Fox that same day. This caused a shakeup in the market as NBC went to a digital subchannel of ABC affiliate KBMT, while KUIL-LP, which lost Fox, went independent at that time. The now-KUIL-LD has since become operated by KBMT and affiliated withMyNetworkTV.Nexstar Broadcasting purchased KJAC from U.S. Broadcast Group in 1998. The following year, the station took its present KBTV-TV callsign to align itself more with Beaumont, even though it is still licensed to Port Arthur. The call letters had previously been used by channel 9 in Denver, Colorado (now KUSA) and channel 8 in Dallas (now WFAA). KBTV-TV also shares its call letters with KBTV-CA channel 8 in Sacramento, California. To go along with the call change, KBTV moved from its Port Arthur studios to its current studios inside Parkdale Mall in Beaumont. The station is one of the few television stations in the country to have studios located inside a major shopping center.
Technically, KBTV is the third Fox affiliate to serve the area, as KVHP in Lake Charles served as the default Fox affiliate for the Beaumont/Port Arthur market until 2003, when KUIL was launched. It is also the third station in Texas to switch to Fox from a Big Three affiliation, as KDFW in Dallas andKTBC in Austin both switched from CBS to Fox on July 1, 1995 as a result of the Fox/New World affiliation deal.
On February 2, 2009 at 2 p.m., a fire destroyed KBTV's old studios in Port Arthur at 2900 17th Street. Originally the station's home from its 1957 sign-on until 1999, the building primarily served after the move as a storage facility, though the station's doppler weather radar was still based there. The building was demolished a few months later.
|||This section requires expansion with:Information on KBTV's news department prior to the affiliation switch to Fox.|
Currently, KBTV carries a total of 26 hours of local news per week (five hours on weekdays and a half-hour each on weekends), the most of any station in the Beaumont-Port Arthur market.
After KBTV affiliated with Fox, news was expanded from 1½ to three hours on weekday mornings, and the half-hour 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts were cancelled and replaced with an hour-long 4 p.m. newscast (other stations that have switched to Fox from a Big Three affiliation typically expand their early evening 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts to one hour to 1½ hours by adding an extra half-hour to fill the gap from Fox's lack of a national evening newscast). KBTV is also one of (at least) six Fox affiliate stations that carries a 4 p.m. newscast (along with WSVNin Miami, WTIC-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, KPTV in Portland, Oregon, WXIN in Indianapolis, Indiana and WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky). It also discontinued its 10 p.m. newscast, and moved it to 9 p.m. (and expanding it to one hour on weeknights), although some Fox affiliates in other markets maintain newscasts at both 9 and 10 p.m. KBTV has the distinction of being one of the smallest, if not the smallest Fox affiliate (in terms of market size) to carry late afternoon newscasts. In September 2009, KBTV expanded its morning newscast to three hours from 6-9 a.m.
- We're Channel 4, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Channel 4 There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Channel 4, Let's All Be There (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home to Channel 4 (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come on Home to Channel 4 (1987-1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 4 (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- KJAC, The Place To Be! (1990-1992; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- We're Watching Southeast Texas (1990-1996)
- It's A Whole New KJAC (1992-1993; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- The Stars are Back on KJAC (1993-1994; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- It's KJAC (1994-1995; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- The Year to Be on KJAC (1995-1996; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Working to Make a Difference in Southeast Texas (1996-1999)
- Coverage You Can Count On (1999-2001)
- Your Hometown News (2001-2009)
- Your Weather Authority (weather slogan; 2009-present)
Current on-air staff (as of February 1, 2011)
- Sheldra Brigham - Weeknights at 5:30 & 9 p.m. (also money matters segment producer)
- Jessica Guidry - Weekdays at 4 p.m. (also reporter)
- Brian Glenn - Weekdays at 4 p.m. (also reporter)
- Erin Nichols Weekends at 9 p.m. (also weekday reporter)
Fox 4 Weather Authority
- Dana Melancon - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4, 5:30 and weeknights at 9 p.m.
- Terran Kirksey - meteorologist; weekends at 9pm
- James Ware - sports director; weekdays at 5:30 and weeknights at 9 p.m.
- Nick Canizales - sports anchor; weekends at 9 p.m. (also sports reporter)
- Raquel Duncan - Senior general assignment reporter
Former on-air staff
- David Alexander - reporter/Today Show local news cut-in anchor/weekend news and sports anchor, and weatherman/assignment editor/6 p.m. producer (1980-1984)
- Robert Anawaty
- Joe Arnold - morning anchor (mid 1990s; later went to KFDM and KBMT as a meteorologist and anchor, respectively; currently owning at BASF)
- Sam Baker - reporter (1980s)
- Jeff Barker - morning anchor/sports director
- Neal Barton - meteorologist; now at KETK Tyler; appeared in deleted scenes of the film Brüno.
- Joe Bauer
- Bob Becker - chief meteorologist (1985-1987; now at WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee)
- Eric Blumberg (now at KOMU in Columbia, Missouri)
- Rick Boone - main anchor (now at KTXL-TV in Sacramento, California)
- Bob Buckalew - anchor (1970s; now owner of Bucklew Media in Austin)
- David Bush - reporter/producer (1980s)
- Nick Canizales - weekend sports anchor (2006-2009; now account executive at KBTV)
- Andrew Chung - weekend meteorologist (2004-2008; now at KVUE-TV in Austin, Texas)
- Christina Clark - morning anchor
- Mark Clegg - news director/anchor (1992-1997; now evening anchor at KSHB-TV in Kansas City)
- Melissa Crowley - morning anchor (now at KXTV in Sacramento, CA)
- Amy Davis (now at KPRC-TV in Houston)
- Jennifer Dodd
- Tim Elbertson - morning meteorologist (now at KXRM in Colorado Springs)
- Ericka English - weekday mornings "Good Day"; now at the Area Agency on Aging for the Southeast Texas Planning Commission
- Daniel Faber - sports director (1982-1983)
- Elane Fitzgerald - Saturday evening anchor/reporter (1980s)
- Aimee Fuller - main anchor (now at KUSI  in San Diego, CA)
- John Gardner - weatherman/host of "Cowboy John" (1960s-1970s)
- Tabitha Goodwin - Today 4 Texas co-hostess (1998)
- Jennifer Gray - meteorologist (was at KTBS in Shreveport until July 2007; at WTVJ in Miami until late 2009; now back at KTBS)
- Erika Harris - evening anchor (2002-2006; now at KBMT)
- Kim Hendrix (now at WSFA in Montgomery, Alabama)
- John Hurt - news director/anchor (1988-1992)
- Mike Iuen
- Brian Joyce - sports director
- David Jewett - anchor/reporter (1995-2001; later at KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, then law school, now attorney)
- Brandon Jones- reporter/fill-in anchor (2007-2009) now reporter at WGHP-TV in Greensboro, NC
- Candice Jones- former KBTV morning anchor now resides in Austin, Texas. Works in real estate
- Preston Jones - reporter/producer (early 1980s)
- Bruce Kates - news director/anchor (1998-1999)
- Danielle Kosir - weekday reporter (now morning anchor at KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho)
- Nick Kosir - weekday morning meteorologist (?-2010; now morning meteorologist at KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho, also known as the 'Rapping Weatherman')
- Nerissa Knight - evening anchor (last at KTVT in Dallas)
- Jennifer Leslie (now at WXIA in Atlanta)
- George Lewis
- Bob Lenertz - news director (1999-2001)
- Vonda Lovell-Brigham (now an accomplished author)
- Bryan May - sports director (1987-1997; now sports director at KXTV in Sacramento, CA)
- Ben McCain
- Tony McNary - weekend anchor
- Russ "Hotline" Murphy - consumer/investigative reporter (1980s)
- David A. Patten
- Greg Picazo - sports director (now at KBMT)
- Jeff Phelps - sports director/anchor
- Lisa Pinto - 6 and 10 p.m. co-anchor (1999-2003; was at KSAT in San Antonio until 2006, now in public relations)
- Don Pumphrey
- Ralph Ramos - long-time anchor (1960s-1970s; with a "James Earl Jones" voice)
- Ed Robinson - anchor (1960s-1972; became pastor at Second Baptist Church in Bridge City (1972-1990), then pastor at First Baptitst Church in Jasper (1990-1998); died September 9 1998)
- Marla Roth
- Donna Rusch - anchor (1989-1992)
- Bryan Salmond - weekend sports anchor (now at KTNV in Las Vegas)
- Lance Sandstead - 6 and 10 p.m. anchor/reporter (early 1980s)
- Chad Sandwell - weekend meteorologist (1997-1998; now chief meteorologist at KMEG and KPTH in Sioux City, IA)
- Jeff Shults
- Marquel Sennet - general assignment reporter (now at KTAL Shreveport)
- Tom Siler
- Shelley Sink - morning show co-host/meteorologist
- Adam Slinger - reporter (now at WSYX in Columbus)
- Haley Stavinoha
- Fred Stern - Reporter/Assignment Editor (early 1980s)
- Rusty Surette - morning show host/reporter (now at KWTV in Oklahoma City)
- Nicole Sweetin - weekend meteorologist
- Robyn Symon
- ReShonda Tate
- Gene Tuck - anchor (1980s)
- Nancy Utter
- Jim Walker - anchor (2006-2009)
- Dave Wilson - news director/weatherman/noon co-host (1980-1988)
- Janice Williamson (at KHOU-TV Houston)
- Duncan Woodward - 6 and 10 p.m. anchor/reporter (1980s)
- Ann Wozencraft
- Paul Zacovic
- Albert Zipp
- Christina Meeks - weekend meteorologist (now at WHNT in Huntsville, AL)
- ^ (PDF) Broadcasting Yearbook 1959. 1959. p. B-79. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- ^ (PDF) Broadcasting Yearbook 1967. 1967. p. A-100. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- ^ (PDF) Broadcasting Yearbook 1973. 1973. p. A-82. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- ^ "Clay-Price Pact On 4 TV Stations". Associated Press via The New York Times. May 1, 1987. p. D4. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- ^ "Price Communications". The New York Times. August 23, 1995.
- ^ "What's in a name? USA Broadcast Group now U.S. Broadcast Group" (preview of subscription content). Broadcasting & Cable. October 1995. Retrieved March 11, 2010.[dead link]
- ^ "Nexstar Finance Holdings, L.L.C. SEC Form S-4 filing". EDGAR Online. September 5, 2001. Retrieved March 11, 2010. "On January 12, 1998, Nexstar acquired substantially all of the assets of KFDX-TV, KBTV-TV and KSNF-TV from US Broadcast Group, LLC for approximately $64.3 million, exclusive of transaction costs."
- ^ http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20081029005174&newsLang=en
- ^ The News (Port Arthur): "Old Channel 4 building 'total loss' to fire", 2/2/2009.
- ^ Radio-Info: "KBTV Old Port Arthur Studios Destroyed in Fire", 2/3/2009.
- ^ http://setxhomepage.com/news/contactus