|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2009)|
|Branding||Fox 26 (general)
Fox 26 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||You Miss a Little, You Miss a Lot|
|Channels||Digital: 26 (UHF)
Virtual: 26 (PSIP)
|Owner||Fox Television Stations
(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)
|First air date||August 15, 1971|
|Call letters' meaning||Albert KRIVin
(former top executive of Metromedia)
|Former callsigns||KVRL (1971–1975)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
26 (UHF, 1971–2009)
27 (UHF, 2001–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1971–1986)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KRIV, virtual channel and UHF digital channel 26, is a Fox owned-and-operated television station located in Houston, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station KTXH (channel 20). The two stations share studio facilities located on Southwest Freeway in Houston (between the Uptown and Greenway Plaza districts), KRIV's transmitter is located in unincorporated northeastern Fort Bend County (near Missouri City).
The station first signed on the air on August 15, 1971 as KVRL, operating as an independent station. It was the third UHF television station in Houston, after KHTV (channel 39, now KIAH) and KVVV-TV (channel 16, which lasted only for 18 months). Four years after signing on, in 1975, the station's call letters were changed to KDOG – a callsign chosen by former station general manager Leroy Gloger. Another former general manager, Jerry Marcus commented (upon his retirement) that he saw the calls appropriate during the station's formative years as, in his words, channel 26 was a "dogged station" ratings-wise. The station's slogan during this timeframe was "Where Every Dog Has His Day." During this period, the station aired English-language general entertainment programming including old cartoons, sitcoms, and classic movies during the daytime hours, along with Spanish-language programs including telenovelas, movies and serial drama series at night. For its first two decades on the air, channel 26 operated from studio facilities located at 3935 Westheimer Road in Houston's Highland Village section.
In May 1978, Metromedia purchased the station and changed its call letters to the current KRIV, named in honor of then-Metromedia executive Albert Krivin. Jerry Marcus, general sales manager of Metromedia's Washington, D.C. station WTTG, was hired to manage channel 26's operations, remaining there until his retirement in December 1999. This influx of dollars from Metromedia's investment in the station resulted in KRIV acquiring higher-profile syndicated programs and by 1983, the establishment of its news department. The station ran a general entertainment format complete with cartoons, sitcoms, movies, first-run syndicated shows, locally produced talk shows and one of the few Spanish-language public affairs programs on television at the time. Overall, the station's viewership ranked near KHTV, a more well-established outlet, over the years.
In 1986, Australian newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch purchased KRIV and the other five television stations in the Metromedia group, all of which became the founding owned-and-operated stations of his new television network, the Fox Broadcasting Company. The acquisition resulted in channel 26 and the other former Metromedia stations to suddenly adopt a more sophisticated on-air appearance for a network, that at the time, did not exist. A unified music and graphics package was featured on all of the original Fox-owned stations, including KRIV, which was consistently noted for featuring graphics that were among the first of their kind for local television. The station changed its on-air branding to the current "Fox 26" upon the network's October 9, 1986 launch. As a Fox owned-and-operated station, KRIV acquired more first-run syndicated programming. Upon adding its weekday morning newscast in 1993, KRIV removed its morning cartoon block, although it continued to run afternoon children's programming from Fox Kids until the network discontinued that block's weekday lineup nationwide in the fall of 2002. It should also be noted that, from the 1993-1994 period when Fox acquired the rights to carry the NFC package from CBS as well as more VHF outlets to accommodate this (resulting in affiliation switches through New World Communications), KRIV is the longest serving Fox O&O not to be located in an NFC market (However, the station does air up to two Houston Texans games a year [since their founding in 2002], when the team plays host to an NFC team at NRG Stadium).
In 1997, KRIV moved from its original Westheimer Road studios to a state-of-the-art digital facility near the Southwest Freeway (the former studio facilities currently house a Central Market food store, owned by the grocery chain H-E-B). and upgraded the look of its newscasts with the debut of a brand new set, graphics, news theme ("The Edge" by VU Music, now Cue11) and a new multi-paned rectangle logo similar to those implemented by other Fox-owned stations following the network's 1994 affiliation agreement with New World Communications.
With this upgraded presence in Houston, channel 26 went from outperforming former independents KTXH and KHWB (the former KHTV, now KIAH) to regularly challenging the market's Big Three stations (KPRC-TV channel 2, KHOU channel 11, and KTRK-TV channel 13) in the ratings. During this time KRIV's studios also became a taping location for various syndicated programs produced by 20th Television, including the court shows Texas Justice, Cristina's Court and Judge Alex. In mid-August 2006, channel 26's website adopted the MyFox website design originally designed by Fox Interactive Media; this technically marked the station's first serious online venture in a number of years, as the station's previous 2001-era website served as somewhat of a placeholder and contained little station information.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|26.1||720p||16:9||KRIVDT||Main KRIV programming / Fox|
KRIV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 26, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 27 to former UHF analog channel 26 for post-transition operations.
KRIV presently broadcasts 52½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 8½ hours on weekdays and five hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among the Houston market's broadcast television stations. As is common with Fox stations that carry early evening newscasts on weekends, KRIV's Sunday 5 p.m. newscast is subject to preemption due to NFL football or NASCAR coverage and the Saturday 6 p.m. newscast is subject to delay due to Major League Baseball or college football coverage. Since February 2008, KRIV's 9 p.m. newscast has been simulcast on Corpus Christi Fox affiliate KUQI (channel 38). A simulcast of that program subsequently began airing on Beaumont affiliate KUIL-LD on September 14, 2009 (ironically, KUIL lost its Fox affiliation nine months earlier to the market's former NBC affiliate KBTV-TV).
KRIV has touted its newscasts as the fastest growing in the Houston area ratings, and had outperformed KPRC's newscasts during the February 2007 sweeps period. During Jan Jeffcoat's tenure as morning anchor from 2004 to 2007, KRIV saw a major jump in ratings in the morning slot, surpassing KPRC (though still behind ABC-owned KTRK-TV and CBS affiliate KHOU). The station's flagship 9 p.m. newscast often trails behind network programs in the ratings, and KRIV's newscasts still trail in overall viewership behind KHOU and KTRK (both of which battle for first place in Houston television ratings books, with KTRK's dominance dating back to the 1970s); however, channel 26's newscasts perform well among young women 25-35, and teenagers, which are both key audiences for KRIV.
Prior to the formation of KRIV's news department, the station ran hourly local news updates during regular programming from 1971 to 1983. Full-fledged newscasts on channel 26 began in 1983, with the debut of the flagship 9 p.m. newscast as the first major primetime news program in the market; the program was moved to 7 p.m. shortly after joining Fox but moved back to the 9 p.m. slot in 1989 as the network had expanded its primetime schedule to additional nights. In 1987, the station formed an investigative unit, and a program called City Under Siege, which aired after the late evening newscast. Originally hosted by anchors Jim Marsh and Fran Fawcett, the show was actually a predecessor to one of the Fox network's later standout hit series, Cops. In 1993, KRIV joined several other Fox-owned stations in launching a weekday morning newscast. Also in the early 1990s, KRIV added a midday newscast at 12:30 p.m., which would later move to noon during the early 2000s.
The station debuted an hour-long weeknight 5 p.m. newscast on August 18, 2008; the program later expanded to Saturday and Sunday evenings on July 7, 2012 (prior to the 5 p.m. newscast's expansion to weekend evenings, KRIV was one of only two Fox-owned stations – alongside Chicago sister station WFLD – that did not have an early evening newscast seven nights each week); that same date, KRIV debuted a three-hour newscast on weekend mornings.
On January 31, 2009, KRIV became the fourth television station in Houston (behind KHOU, KTRK-TV and KPRC) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. With the transition came the adoption of a new high-definition version of the standardized graphics package used on Fox's owned-and-operated stations. On September 7, 2009, the station expanded its weekday morning newscast to five hours with the launch of Fox 26 Morning News Extra as a less formal, hour-long newscast at 9 a.m. On March 29, 2010, KRIV became the first station in Houston and the first Fox-owned station to start their morning newscasts at 4 a.m., with the addition of a sixth hour to its morning newscast.