KOZL-TV is an independent television station serving the Ozark Plateau area of Southwestern Missouri that is licensed to Springfield. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 28 from a transmitter on Switchgrass Road north of Fordland. Owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the station operates CBS affiliate KOLR (that is owned by Mission Broadcasting) through a local marketing agreement (LMA). The two share studios on East Division Street in Springfield. Syndicated programming on KSFX includes: Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men, The Simpsons, House MD and Seinfeld. Prior to becoming an independent station, it served as the Fox affiliate for the market from the network's 1986 launch until August 31, 2011.
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF)|
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||1968|
|Call letters' meaning||Ozarks Local|
|Former callsigns||KMTC (1968-1985)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
27 (UHF, 1968-2009)
|Former affiliations||ABC (1968-1986)|
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
The station first signed-on in 1968 as ABC affiliate KMTC, owned by Meyer Communications. Before then, ABC had been limited to off-hours clearances on KYTV and KTTS-TV (now KOLR). In 1985, Woods Communications bought it and changed the calls to KDEB-TV after the daughter of the company president.
Channel 27's tenure as an ABC affiliate wasn't a successful one. Hampered by a small staff and a low budget, its newscasts barely registered in the ratings. In 1986, ABC dropped its affiliation with KDEB and moved it to three-year old KSPR. KDEB opted to affiliate with Fox and only gave its news staff 60 days notice before shuttering its news department.
On November 30, 2001, KDEB's 1,560-foot (480 m) high broadcast tower shared with KTXR-FM 101.3 collapsed on itself due to overnight ice accumulation which resulted in the transmitter being destroyed. A replacement was installed on the tower used by KOLR and KSPR. It had been sold to American Tower Corporation who also owns the current tower. In 2002, it became sister station to CBS affiliate KOLR. It changed its call sign to the current "KSFX-TV" in 2005.
The station was one of many Fox affiliates that refused to air O.J. Simpson's two-night interview special with Judith Regan on November 27 and 29, 2006 called If I Did It. Station management cited overwhelmingly negative viewer feedback as the reason for pre-emption. KSFX was preparing to air past Christmas episodes of The Simpsons instead on both nights within the time slots but Fox pulled the special at the last minute.
Viewers had noted that the now-defunct analog signals of KSFX and KOLR had poor quality compared to NBC affiliate KYTV and KSPR. Many have thought this was due to KSFX and KOLR now being owned by the same company. However as a result of the switch to digital-only broadcasting, Springfield viewers note that the signals are better.
Fox announced on June 20, 2011 that it would end its affiliation with KSFX and sister station WFFT-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana; its Springfield affiliation moved to MyNetworkTV affiliate KRBK on September 1, while KSFX became an independent station. Nexstar had earlier lost the Fox affiliation for WTVW in Evansville, Indiana following a dispute with the network over retransmission consent fees., and Nexstar subsequently decided to drop the Fox affiliation from its Terre Haute, Indiana affiliate (WFXW), which became an ABC affiliate under the new callsign WAWV-TV. The last Fox program to air on KSFX was Buried Treasure on August 31, 2011, which ended at 9 p.m. CDT. All Fox programming moved to KRBK when that program ended.
As a result of the loss of the Fox affiliation, KSFX changed its callsign to KOZL-TV (not to be confused with KOZK, the local PBS member station) and began using the on-air branding "Ozarks Local". In lieu of Fox network programming, KOZL will broadcast the newsmagazines Inside Edition and The Insider, along with the sitcoms My Name is Earl and Everybody Loves Raymond on weeknights, along with family movies on Sunday nights. Along with the programming changes, KOZL will broadcast college basketball games from the Southeastern Conference with Wednesday night games during the winter and double-header games airing on Saturday afternoons; games from the first two rounds of the SEC Tournament will also be included.
Transition to HD
In May 2011, KSFX and its sister station KOLR made the transition to High Definition. KSFX also got a new set and graphics package, and was rebranded to more closely align with Fox News Channel.
'''''Ozarks Local: The Morning Rush Anchors: (Weekday mornings 7 to 8)
- Rob Evans
- Jessica Williams
- Tom Trtan
- Mike Corcoran
Ozarks Local News at 9 (9 to 10 p.m.) Weeknights
- Jeremy Stevens
- Kate Stacy
- Ted Keller
- Jill Gilardi (alt)
- Nick Carboni (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday)
- Dan Lucy (alt)
- Brian Richardson
- Jill Gilardi
- Nick Carboni
KOZL features additional personnel from KOLR. See that article for a complete listing.
Former on-air staff
- Steve Alexander, anchor (1985-86) WKRG-TV, Mobile, Ala.
- Ray Meyer, sportscaster
- Don Piper, weather
- Mark Miller, anchor 
- Kelly Rostic, anchor
- Chris Goodman, anchor 
- Rachael Aram, anchor 
- Laura Buchtel, meteorologist 
- Chris Herzog, reporter/ weekend anchor 
- Melissa Moon, reporter/ weekend anchor 
- Theresa Petry, reporter/weekend anchor 
- Sara Stokes, reporter 
- Wes Benter, reporter 
- Noel Zanchelli, sportscaster
- Tod Rubin, sportscaster
- Mike Malibu, Fox Kids Club Host played by actor Jim Kellett
- Chris Grogan, anchor/reporter 
- Angie Weidinger, anchor 
- Carlos Correa, reporter/anchor of "Enfoque Latino" 
- Marybeth Brush, reporter 
- Marko- and his talented assistant, Pal Joey
- "Channel 27's Still The One" (1977-1980; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Channel 27's The One You Can Turn To" (1978-1979; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "You and Me and 27" (1980-1981; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Now is the Time, 27 is the Place" (1981-1982; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Come on Along with 27" (1982-1983; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "That Special Feeling on 27" (1983-1984; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "We're With You on 27" (1984-1985; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "You'll Love It on 27" (1985-1986; last local version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Don't Let Fox 27 Weekends Pass You By" (1987-1988; first local version of Fox slogan)
- "Fox 27, This is the Year" (1988-1990; local version of Fox slogan)
- "It's On Fox 27" (1990-1992; local version of Fox slogan)
- "Everybody Knows It's On Fox 27" (1992-1993; local version of Fox slogan)
- "Fox 27, You're Watching It" (1993-1994; local version of Fox slogan)
- "It Could Only Happen on Fox 27" (1994; local version of Fox slogan)
- "Fox 27's Kickin' It" (1994-1995; local version of Fox slogan)
- "Cool Like Fox 27" (1995-1996; local version of Fox slogan)
- "Fox 27 10 Years"/"Non-Stop Fox 27" (1996-1997; local version of Fox slogan)
- "Just One Ozark...Just One Fox...Fox 27" (1997-2002; local version of Fox slogan)
- "The Ozark's Primetime News" (2005-2008, news)
- "Just You Watch Ozarks Fox" (2005-present, general)
- "The Ozark's Only Mid-Morning News" / "The Ozark's Only Primetime Newscast" (2008-2011, news)
- "The Ozark's Fox News Channel in High Definition" (2011)