|Fort Worth-Dallas, Texas
|City||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Slogan||Courts, Cash, Comedy|
|Channels||Digital: 29 (UHF)
(to move to 18 (UHF))
Virtual: 21 (PSIP)
(Television Station KTXA Inc.)
|First air date||October 6, 1980|
|Call letters' meaning||TeXas Arlington
|Former channel number(s)||
|Transmitter power||1000 kW
875 kW (CP)
|Height||533.9 m (1,752 ft)
533.7 m (1,751 ft) (CP)
|Public license information:||Profile
KTXA, virtual channel 21 (UHF digital channel 29), is an independent television station licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, United States and serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The station is owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation, as part of a duopoly with CBS owned-and-operated station KTVT (channel 11), also licensed to Fort Worth. The two stations share primary studio facilities on Bridge Street (off of I-30), east of downtown Fort Worth, and advertising sales offices at CBS Tower on North Central Expressway (north of NorthPark Mall) in Dallas; KTXA's transmitter is located south of Belt Line Road in Cedar Hill.
The UHF channel 21 allocation in the Dallas-Fort Worth market was originally occupied by KFWT, an independent station licensed to Fort Worth that signed on the air on September 19, 1967; the station was owned by W. C. Windson, owner of radio station (once sister station KJIM (870 AM, now KFJZ) had been sold to Tracy Locke Advertising in 1966) and KFWT-FM (102.1, now KDGE). KFWT (102.1 FM) featured an Easy Listening format. It was the first UHF television station to sign on in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Broadcasting nightly from 6:00 to 10:00, the station's programming consisted mostly of public domain movies. KFWT operated from studios located on Broadcast Hill at 3900 Barnett Street in Fort Worth, adjacent to the studios of WBAP-TV (channel 5, now KXAS-TV) in a transmitter building that was later used as the studios for radio station WBAP (820 AM).
KFWT's call letters stood for Fort Worth, Texas. Some of the television station's programming included The Oscar Argumedo Show, TV 21 - Country Style and Green Valley Raceway. Notables included Oscar Argumedo, Durline Dunham, Don Shook, Jim "Shootin'" Newton, Bob Hart (GM) and Bob Weatherford (later GM). Cameramen and production staff included Harold Hardgrave, Tony Mieczynski and Ed Hullum. With the station's quiet, remote location and rolling hills for dune buggy sponsor, Sandman Sales, programs were occasionally shot outdoors with the distant D/FW Turnpike and Fort Worth skyline as a scenic backdrop. Ironically, on his way home from the station in May 1969, Program Director Gary Windsor died shortly after his vehicle was struck in a head-on collision by a drunk driver who was driving on the Turnpike in the wrong direction.
The station was in financial trouble by 1969; Windson then sought a buyer for KFWT. In August of that year, the station went dark for one week due to a power failure. Windson asked the Federal Communications Commission's permission to sign off for three months, a request that the Commission initially denied. KFWT resumed broadcasting for one week before permanently ceasing operations on September 5; when the station failed to find a buyer afterward that would bring the station back on, KFWT's broadcast equipment was repossessed and the license was turned over to the FCC to be cancelled. The station filed for bankruptcy on March 27, 1970. The FM radio station was retained, and the call letters were changed to KFWD.
KTXA first signed on the air on October 6, 1980; originally operating as an independent station, it was founded by Grant Broadcasting. The station's original studio facilities were located on Randol Mill Road, adjacent to Six Flags Over Texas and Arlington Stadium in Arlington (although Fort Worth has always been the station's city of license). It ran a general entertainment format of cartoons and sitcoms during the daytime hours, while at night it broadcast the over-the-air subscription television service ONTV, which required a set-top decoder and a subscription fee in order to receive the ONTV signal during programming hours. By 1983, it became a general entertainment station full-time, and added classic movies and off-network drama series.
Grant Broadcasting signed on a similarly formatted station, KTXH in Houston, in 1982. In 1984, both KTXA and KTXH were sold to Gulf Broadcasting, which itself was subsequently purchased by the Taft Television and Radio Company that same year.
From 1985 to 1989, KTXA operated the "Channel 21 Kids' Club"; in short promos that aired between cartoons, area children were encouraged to send off for a membership card that would entitle them to discounts at various local businesses and enable them to participate in on-air prize giveaways. They were blue on the front side and white on the back, with a "KTXA Channel 21 Kids' Club" logo appearing on the front in red and white along with the line "I turned 21". The hostess of these shorts, K.D. Fox, was later featured in many other local promotions for various businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The station was unprofitable throughout the 1980s, but Taft kept strong programming on the station (including Hanna-Barbera cartoons and other programs owned by Taft and distributed by Worldvision Enterprises). In February 1987, Taft sold its independent stations--including KTXA--to the TVX Broadcast Group; the purchase was finalized on April 1, 1987. In 1989, Paramount Pictures purchased a minority stake in TVX; two years later on February 28, 1991, Paramount acquired the remaining interest in TVX and renamed the company Paramount Stations Group; KTXA adopted the on-air branding "Paramount 21" during this period. Viacom acquired the stations in 1994 as part of its purchase of Paramount Pictures. Around this time, the station moved its operations to the Paramount Building in the West End district of downtown Dallas.
On January 16, 1995, KTXA became a charter affiliate of the United Paramount Network (UPN); correspondingly, it changed its branding to "UPN 21". After independent station KTVT (channel 11) affiliated with CBS in July 1995, it acquired various syndicated programs that it could not air due to its new network-heavy schedule. It became a UPN owned-and-operated station when Viacom acquired a 50% stake in the network from Chris-Craft Industries in 1996 (up to that point, Paramount maintained only a programming partnership with UPN with Chris-Craft serving as UPN's sole owner).
In the late 1990s, KTXA acquired more first-run syndicated talk and reality shows (such as Forgive or Forget and Ricki Lake), while reducing the amount of sitcoms and cartoons on its schedule. Viacom purchased CBS in 2000, making channel 21 a sister station to its former rival KTVT, which CBS had purchased from Gaylord Broadcasting the previous year. KTXA's operations moved from the Paramount Building and were integrated with KTVT at its Bridge Street studios in Fort Worth (both are two of three stations licensed to Fort Worth, the other being NBC-owned KXAS-TV (channel 5)).
For a brief period in the early 2000s, KTXA served as the de facto UPN affiliate for the Waco/Killeen/Temple television market when former affiliate KAKW became a Univision owned-and-operated station for both that market and the nearby Austin market. KTXA, KTVT and the other Viacom Television Stations Group properties were spun off to CBS Corporation after National Amusements decided to split Viacom and CBS into separate companies in December 2005.
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. Former WB affiliate KDAF (channel 33) was named as the market's CW affiliate by way of owner Tribune Broadcasting's multi-station deal with the network, and independent station KDFI (channel 27) was named as Dallas's MyNetworkTV station through its ownership by that network's original co-parent, Fox Television Stations. By default, CBS opted to run KTXA as an independent station.
The station's new branding was announced in two phases, starting with the introduction of the "TXA 21" name on May 5, 2006. KTXA then launched a promotional ad campaign called "What Could it Mean?", in which a distinctive star-shaped logo appeared on buildings, sidewalks and billboards around the Metroplex. The new KTXA logo (seen above) was unveiled on July 4. The station's website also revealed that the station planned to begin carrying high school football games from North Texas area teams that fall. KTXA became an independent station on September 16, 2006, the day after UPN ceased operations; this made it the third independent station to be owned by CBS, alongside KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and another former UPN outlet, WSBK-TV in Boston (WSBK later joined MyNetworkTV in September 2011, while CBS purchased independent station WLNY-TV in Riverhead, New York in 2012).
KTXA is the only station among the six that were originally owned by Paramount Stations Group that remains owned by CBS; the others were sold off between 1994 and 2001 and are now owned either by 21st Century Fox or the Sinclair Broadcast Group. With KTXA reverting to independent status, the station had automatically gained a competitor in KFWD (channel 52), which had become an English language independent in January 2002 after losing its Telemundo affiliation to newfound O&O KXTX-TV (channel 39); this lasted until August 1, 2012 when channel 52 became an affiliate of the Spanish-language network MundoFox (later MundoMax). It remained the only general entertainment independent station in the Dallas-Fort Worth market until October 31, 2013, when Greenville-licensed KTXD-TV (channel 47) became a full-time independent after dropping its secondary affiliation with classic television network MeTV.
On August 26, 2013, KTVT/KTXA moved its Dallas business operations to a redeveloped office building at 12001 North Central Expressway (twenty blocks north of the previous Dallas facility at 10111 North Central, near Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, between Walnut Hill and Meadow Road). The office tower that the stations began occupying--where KTVT's Dallas newsroom and the advertising sales offices for the duopoly occupy the top floor--was renamed CBS Tower. The station's primary studio facilities, and other technical and business operations remain at the Bridge Street facility in east Fort Worth; the former 24,000 square feet (2,230 m2) Dallas offices on North Central were purchased by Avial Hotels (the real estate development subsidiary of North Carolina-based Blue Star Hospitality) in November 2015, which intended to redevelop the building as a hotel.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|21.1||1080i||16:9||KTXA-DT||Main KTXA programming|
On December 18, 2013, KTXA announced that it would begin carrying MeTV on digital subchannel 21.2; the network moved to 21.2 on December 23, replacing original Dallas affiliate KTXD-TV (which had controversially dropped the network two months earlier); this made KTXA the first television station owned by CBS to carry a major subchannel network (sister stations WCBS-TV in New York City and KYW-TV in Philadelphia are the only other CBS-owned stations that maintain subchannel services, both of which operate as locally programmed news channels).
KTXA shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 21, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 18, using PSIP to display KTXA's virtual channel as 21 on digital television receivers. KTXA was granted permission to move its digital signal from channel 18 to channel 19 in response to its 2008 application. However, to accommodate co-owned KTVT's move back to channel 19 on August 4, 2009, KTXA moved back to channel 18. Prior to August 4, KTXA simulcast KTVT's programming on 21.2.
On September 10, 2009, the FCC issued a Report & Order approving KTXA's channel change from channel 18 to channel 29. On October 21, 2009, KTXA filed a minor change application for their new channel 29 allotment, which the FCC granted them a construction permit on November 19, 2009. On January 20, 2011, KTXA commenced operations on channel 29, and ceased operations on channel 18 the following day.
Syndicated programs broadcast by KTXA include The People's Court, Right This Minute, Hot Bench, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Jeopardy! (Jeopardy latter moved to KTXA on August 12, 2013 to allow sister station KTVT to debut a new 11:00 a.m. newscast).
Occasionally as time permits, KTXA may air CBS network programs whenever KTVT is unable to, such as during the NFL preseason whenever KTVT is scheduled to air a Dallas Cowboys preseason game. KTXA may also interrupt regularly scheduled programming to simulcast live breaking news coverage or severe weather coverage from KTVT or special reports from CBS News.
In 2011, KTXA became the Dallas-area "Love Network" station for the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (KTXA replaced NBC station KXAS-TV, which dropped the telethon, citing issues regarding its new primetime scheduling format that would require it to pre-empt evening network programming). The station's first telethon broadcast aired on September 4, 2011, which was also the first year of the telethon's scaled-down six-hour format (airing locally from 5:00 p.m. to midnight). The telethon aired on the station until 2012, when it was renamed the MDA Show of Strength and shortened once again to four hours (from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.). The Show of Strength dropped its syndicated format in 2013, being restructured as a network telecast on ABC.
The station is the over-the-air broadcast outlet for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and since 2010, Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers and the NHL's Dallas Stars. KTXA will broadcast 25 Rangers games each season (usually Friday games) through the 2014 season and has aired 17 Dallas Stars games annually since the 2010-11 season (KTXA initially aired Dallas Stars games from 1993-1995); KTXA's Rangers telecasts are produced by Fox Sports Southwest and are syndicated to certain stations in the south-central U.S. (such as KCWX in San Antonio and KSBI in Oklahoma City). KTXA airs FC Dallas matches since 2015.
KTXA also serves as the over-the-air broadcaster of Dallas Cowboys regular season games broadcast by either ESPN or NFL Network, in order to satisfy NFL requirements that games be distributed on a broadcast television station in each team's local market for those who do not have access to those networks. KTXA also carried CBS coverage of the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament game between Baylor and Sam Houston State, while KTVT aired North Texas and Kansas State (such arrangements are no longer possible due to the NCAA joint tournament contract with CBS Sports and Turner Sports effective with the 2011 tournament).
KTXA also broadcast college football games from SEC TV (formerly SEC Network), as well as men's basketball games from the Big 12 Network, both of which are operated by ESPN Regional Television. SEC Football broadcasts ended after the 2013-2014 season due to the national launch of the cable-exclusive SEC Network in August 2014 as part of a 20-year agreement between the Southeastern Conference and ESPN.
In order to replace the SEC football broadcasts due to the SEC Network's national presence, KTXA began broadcasting Atlantic Coast Conference football and basketball from the ACC Network, a Raycom Sports-operated ad hoc syndicated sports package that began syndicating to 84% of all U.S. households, beginning with the 2014-2015 season.
On September 18, 2006, KTVT began producing a nightly primetime newscast for KTXA, titled TXA 21 News: First In Prime, running for two hours from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Similar to the format of Los Angeles sister station KCAL-TV's primetime newscasts, the newscasts were originally structured to feature different types of news stories partitioned within the block: the 7:00 p.m. half-hour focused mainly on local news headlines, the 7:30 half-hour focused on state and national news, and the 8:00 p.m. hour focused on general news stories. As the newscast aired during the first two hours of primetime, KTXA did not have any direct competition; but to an extent, the program could have been considered a competitor to the 9:00 p.m. newscasts on KDFW and KDAF. On September 24, 2007, KTVT began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; the KTXA newscasts were included in the upgrade.
Until September 2011, KTXA also carried the syndicated morning news program The Daily Buzz on weekdays (which later moved to KFWD, then on KDFI before it canceled). KTXA formerly produced local cut-ins featuring local news, weather and entertainment stories that appeared during the program, branded as Buzzed into DFW and anchored by Christina McLarty (later a correspondent with omg! Insider).
On September 12, 2011, KTXA reduced the newscast to an hour-long block consisting of a half-hour local newscast at 7:00 p.m. and a half-hour sports program at 7:30 p.m. (syndicated reruns of America's Funniest Home Videos replaced the 8:00 p.m. hour of the newscast). The evening newscast was cancelled outright on October 31, 2011, while its sports program was expanded and renamed The Fan Sports Show, which continued to be hosted by then-sports director Gina Miller. That would only last for three years with the final broadcast on Thursday, June 5, 2014. On Monday, June 9, Inside Edition would move into the 6:30 p.m. timeslot, with the Classic Western Hour (starting with reruns of Gunsmoke and Bonanza filling in the 7:00-8:00 p.m. hour, and eventually, other programs would fill the 7:00-9:00 p.m. timeslots, including Law & Order: SVU). Because of this, KTXA is the only CBS-owned independent station without a news/sportscast but still owning rights to air the Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, and Dallas Mavericks games along with high school and college football coverages.