KTAB-TV is the CBS affiliate television station serving Abilene, Texas. It is owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group and broadcasts on digital channel 24.

Abilene, Texas
Branding KTAB News
Slogan Coverage You Can Count On
Channels Digital: 24 (UHF)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.

(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)

First air date October 6, 1979
Call letters' meaning Television ABileneor

"Keeping Tab on Abilene and the Big country"

Sister station(s) KRBC-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:32 (UHF, 1979-2009)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 258 m
Facility ID 59988
Transmitter coordinates 32°16′38″N 99°35′51″W / 32.27722°N 99.5975°W / 32.27722; -99.5975

Technical information and history

KTAB is licensed in Abilene and broadcasts on a High Definition digital signal on UHF Channel 24.

KTAB began broadcasting on October 6, 1979 and transmits from a transmitter/tower facility located on a hilltop southeast of the city along Texas Highway 36 in neighboring Callahan County (about 15 miles from the studio). The tower structure is approximately 700 feet tall with an average height of about 950 feet above the city of Abilene. The station was founded by William "Bill" Terry (55% owner) and a large contingent of partners, investors, and department heads. Terry had worked for many years at established station KRBC-TV and was well-known in the Abilene area. A permit had been granted back in the sixties for a small signalled channel 32 station but it was never built. That permit for KWKC-TV was a sister to 1340 KWKC and its then FM and was owned by Steve Gose (Oil developer) of Wichita Falls, where he also owned KNTO.

Installation of full-power digital transmitters for both KTAB-DT and KRBC-DT was completed in October 2007. The transmitters are housed in a newly-constructed building at the KTAB tower site, adjacent to the current analog transmitter building on a mountaintop southeast of Potosi. Both stations share the same digital antenna on the KTAB tower.

A new, digital 7 GHz microwave studio-transmitter link (STL), as well as master control update has allowed both stations to deliver the highest resolution High-Definition HDTV signals to the entire coverage area along with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Both CBS and NBC networks use the 1080i HDTV format.

In 2005 Nexstar Broadcasting completed consolidation of the KTAB operations into the older, yet much larger KRBC building at 4510 South 14th Street in Abilene. The original KTAB building was sold and has been converted into an office building.

The computerized and automated master control facility not only operates KTAB and KRBC TV in Abilene, but also sister Nexstar/Mission stations KLST and KSAN in San Angelo. All syndicated programming and local commercial advertising for all four stations is delivered via Harris/Leitch Nexio servers with Avid/Sundance FastBreak automation providing all switching and playback operations.

The main bi-directional microwave relay system link connecting master control in Abilene with the KLST-KSAN studio and transmission facilities in San Angelo, 90 miles away, was destroyed when the KRBC tower near Tuscola collapsed on January 14, 2007. In December 2007 Nexstar Broadcasting set up a dual-path fiber-optic Suddenlink cable link to the San Angelo broadcast facility.

In May 2007, both KTAB and KRBC TV websites were combined into KTAB News Director Tom Vodak moved over to head the new website. Former KTAB Sports Director David Bacon, who had been an account executive for the station, moved over to replace Vodak as News Director.

In November 2007, KTAB VP General Manager Gayle Kiger was promoted to VP Station Manager of Nexstar's KARK TV in Little Rock, Arkansas. Former KTAB Sales Manager, Eric Thomas returned as VP Station Manager. Thomas had left KTAB in 2003 to become Director of Sales of KLBK-KAMC TV, the Nexstar-Mission duopoly, in Lubbock, Texas.

In January 2008, both KTAB and KRBC-TV finally started the process of switching microwave equipment from 7 GHz to 2 GHz spectrum as part of the nationwide Sprint Nextel 2 GHz Relocation Project[1]. This project that is going on across the country, will convert all 7 GHz analog microwave equipment at the stations over to 2 GHz digital in the coming months in the Abilene television market. This project has been in the planning stages for the last two years. This project was completed in early 2009. On May 12, 2009 KTAB TV turned off its analog signal for the last time and has gone all digital.

KTAB Managing Editor Bob Bartlett Celebrates 30 years of Broadcasting on KTAB.

Video formats and other broadcasting equipment

KTAB/KRBC has the market's only fully-digital local news delivery system. For field acquisition, the News Department currently uses Sony DSR-PD150 professional, handheld, 3CCD camcorders, utilizing the broadcast-quality DVCAM component digital videotape format (the only tape in the news "chain"). All editing is performed using cutting-edge, Windows XP-based Avid NewsCutter XP nonlinear editing software. Raw footage transfer is accomplished using a digital FireWire connection between the camcorder and editing PC, and the finished, ready-to-air video is sent instantly to playback servers located in master control. It is anticipated that tapeless, high-definition camcorders will be in service by 2010.

Broadcast-standard Betacam SP (component analog) and DVCPro (component digital) videotape formats are still used in the Production Department for EFP (Electronic Field Production) acquisition, as well as server ingestion in master control.

The News Department currently utilizes three electronic news gathering vans that allow remote, terrestrial microwave "live shots" from almost anywhere within a 20-mile radius of Abilene. By the end of 2007, a fourth van is expected to be operational. With the concurrent installation of remote digital transmitters and receivers, the two stations' "live" news coverage area will be expanded to include most of the viewing area, including the Brownwood region, 80 miles from the studios. Also see 2 GHz project above.


KTAB syndicated programming includes The Oprah Winfrey Show , Wheel of Fortune , Jeopardy, The 700 Club, and others.

Coverage area

Digital television

Channel Programming
32.1 / 24.1 Main KTAB programming / CBS HD

News staff

Current on-air staff

  • Bob Bartlett: Managing Editor, 6 p.m. & 10 p.m. Anchor
  • Lane Stone: 5 p.m., 6 p.m & 10 p.m. Anchor
  • Ron Rosseau: Morning and Midday Anchor
  • Priscilla Luong: Weekend Anchor, General Assignment Reporter
  • Sam Nichols: Chief Meteorologist, 5 p.m., 6 p.m., & 10 p.m. Weather Anchor
  • Nance Burgin: Meteorologist, Morning & Midday Weather Anchor
  • Nick Cantrazeski: Weekend Meteorologist
  • David Robinett: Sports Director, 5 p.m., 6 p.m., & 10 p.m. Sports Anchor
  • Manny Diaz: Weekend Sports Anchor, Sports Reporter
  • Victor Sotelo: Senior Reporter
  • Katherine Lane: General Assignment Reporter
  • Michelle Ashworth: General Assignment Reporter

Former on-air staff

  • Charlie Jordan
  • Bill Chaney
  • Damon Shaw
  • Ron Roberts
  • Kailey Franz
  • Angela Taylor
  • Dan Edwards
  • Kira Miner (now at WFTX in Fort Myers, FL)
  • Dan Huggins
  • Lauren Matter
  • Tom Vodak "FoodTAB"
  • Randy Turner
  • Fran Adkins
  • Sonya Stevens
  • Dusty Jenson
  • David Bacon
  • Kristin Arnold
  • Jennifer Douglas
  • Jason Holloway
  • Buzz Lopez
  • Loren Halifax
  • Diane Dotson
  • Frank Healer
  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Joel Fox
  • Ned Austin
  • Paul Sorrell
  • Janet St. James
  • Bill Carter
  • Jeannie Blaylock
  • Marcy Novak (now at KTBS-TV in Shreveport, LA)
  • Scott Foster (now in Ames, IA)

KTAB's weeknight newscasts at 6 & 10 are anchored by Bob Bartlett, and co-anchored by Lane Stone.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • NewsTAB (1990s-2000)
  • KTAB News (2000-present)

Station slogans

  • You and KTAB, We've Got the Touch (1984-1985; local version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (2006-present)

External links