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|Fort Worth–Dallas, Texas
|City||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Branding||CBS 11 (general)
CBS 11 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The Ones for Texas (primary)
Only CBS 11 (secondary)
|Channels||Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
(CBS Stations Group of Texas, Inc.)
|First air date||September 11, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||TeleVision for Texans|
|Sister station(s)||TV: KTXA
Radio: KJKK, KLUV, KMVK, KRLD, KRLD-FM, KVIL
|Former callsigns||KFJZ-TV (1955–1960)|
|Former channel number(s)||
|Former affiliations||Independent (1955–1995)|
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Height||533.9 m (1,752 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
The station is owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation, as part of a duopoly with independent station KTXA (channel 21). The two stations share primary studio facilities on Bridge Street (off I-30), east of downtown Fort Worth; KTVT operates a secondary studio – which also handles advertising sales operations for both stations – at the CBS Tower on North Central Expressway and Coit Road (north of NorthPark Center) in Dallas; KTVT maintains transmitter facilities south of Belt Line Road in Cedar Hill.
The station first signed on the air at 2:30 p.m. on September 11, 1955 as KFJZ-TV, after a launch ceremony culminating in Fort Worth oilman Sid Richardson flipping the ceremonial switch to activate the transmitter. It was the first independent station to sign on in Texas, the fourth television station to sign on in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex (after NBC affiliate WBAP-TV (channel 5, now KXAS-TV), which signed on the air on September 29, 1948; ABC affiliate KBTV (channel 8, now WFAA), which debuted on September 17, 1949; and CBS affiliate KRLD-TV (channel 4, now Fox owned-and-operated station KDFW), which debuted on December 3, 1949), and the first to debut in the market since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s 1952 lifting of a four-year freeze on new applications for television station licenses.
The station was founded by the Roosevelt family, owners of the Texas State Network (now owned by the station's present-day corporate sister subsidiary CBS Radio), who were also the owners of KFJZ radio (1270 AM, now KFLC; unrelated to the present-day KFJZ at 870 AM). Originally, Channel 11 maintained a 9½-hour per day programming schedule, starting with its sign-on at 2:30 p.m. and concluding at its midnight sign-off. The station originally operated from facilities at 4801 West Freeway (in the present-day location of Interstate 30) in Fort Worth.
In 1957, KFJZ-TV moved its transmitter facilities to a tower at the antenna farm in Cedar Hill, which provided a signal that covered the Dallas–Fort Worth market. The transmitter relocation played a major factor in throwing Channel 11 into a three-station competition for the NBC affiliation. The network had been affiliated with WBAP-TV since it signed on nine years earlier; however, the heirs of Fort Worth Star-Telegram founder Amon G. Carter chose to continue his legacy of civic boosterism of Fort Worth by refusing to move WBAP's transmitter facilities from eastern Fort Worth to an area between both cities. The lack of adequate reception throughout the entire Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area led NBC to simultaneously maintain an affiliation with WFAA beginning in 1950 to act as its Dallas affiliate (despite their close proximity, Arbitron originally designated Dallas and Fort Worth as separate markets. The Dallas market as Dallas County and surrounding counties in the area's eastern half and the Fort Worth market as neighboring Tarrant County and the counties surrounding it in the west; the two cities would be collapsed into a single television market in 1952).
The split-station arrangement frustrated NBC to the point where in early 1957, it threatened to terminate its affiliation contract with WBAP-TV if it did not agree to move its transmitter eastward to provide a signal that covered Dallas and Fort Worth. WFAA's corporate parent A.H. Belo first approached the network with an offer to become the Metroplex's exclusive NBC affiliate. The Roosevelts also submitted an offer to move the network's programming to KFJZ-TV. Neither station won out, as the Carter heirs would reluctantly agree to NBC's demands to retain the affiliation and move the WBAP-TV transmitter to an existing 1,500-foot (460 m) candelabra tower shared by WFAA and KRLD-TV, operating it at a higher effective radiated power strong enough to adequately cover central and eastern Dallas County and adjacent areas that had only rimshot signal coverage of the station. WBAP-TV became the exclusive NBC affiliate for the entire Dallas-Fort Worth market on September 1, 1957, with WFAA remaining an ABC affiliate; Channel 11, meanwhile, continued as an independent station, filling its schedule with syndicated and locally produced programs. During the late 1950s, KFJZ-TV briefly maintained an affiliation with the NTA Film Network.
In 1959, the Roosevelts gave KFJZ-TV and KFJZ (AM) an FM radio sister, when it signed on KFJZ-FM (97.1, now KEGL). In 1960, the Texas State Network sold Channel 11 to the NAFI Telecasting Corporation (which was also the parent company of Chris-Craft Industries at the time); the two radio stations were not included in the transaction, which was completed on August 1 of that year. Subsequently, the station's call letters were changed to KTVT (the last three letters meaning "TeleVision for Texans") on September 1. In July 1966, KTVT began broadcasting its programming in color, after the station acquired camera, projection and slide equipment to broadcast local and acquired programming in the format; KTVT inaugurated its color telecasts with the station's broadcast of the Miss Texas Pageant, its first local program to be produced in the format.
In 1971, NAFI Telecasting sold KTVT to the WKY Television System subsidiary of the Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO), then owned by the family of Daily Oklahoman founder Edward K. Gaylord, who originally named the unit after its flagship television and radio stations – WKY-TV (now KFOR-TV) and WKY (AM) – in the company's headquarters of Oklahoma City. The transaction made KTVT the largest television station by market size to be owned by the media company, which OPUBCO would later rename Gaylord Broadcasting. Under the stewardship of Gaylord and James R. Terrell, whom the company appointed as the station's vice president and general manager, Channel 11 became the leading independent station in the Southwestern United States; at the time, it carried a broad range of cartoons, off-network sitcoms, westerns and drama series, movies and public affairs programming.
Like Gaylord's other independent stations, KTVT's programming was mainly aimed at rural and suburban residents in the Metroplex's outer portions. Channel 11 was further aided in its status as it was a VHF station, whereas its future competitors would transmit on the UHF band. KTVT gained its first major competitor in February 1968, when Doubleday Broadcasting signed on KMEC (channel 39), which featured a broad mix of general entertainment and sports programs. The Christian Broadcasting Network entered into the mix in January 1973, when it launched KXTX-TV (channel 33; allocation now occupied by CW affiliate KDAF), with a schedule that featured a mix of family-oriented secular programs and religious programs. However, the former of the two would struggle, leading Doubleday to donate the UHF channel 39 license (by then, assigned the KDTV call letters) to CBN in exchange for acquiring KXTX's license for UHF channel 33; while KXTX continued to grow after the call sign and intellectual unit were transferred to Channel 39 (now a Telemundo owned-and-operated station) in November 1973, KDTV could not compete with either KXTX nor KTVT and shut down nine weeks later.
KTVT's popularity also spread outside of the Metroplex beginning in the late 1970s, when the station uplinked its signal to satellite. This attained it a new status as a superstation along the lines of WTBS (now WPCH-TV) in Atlanta, WGN-TV in Chicago and WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV) in New York City; its signal was transmitted to about 400 cable systems and to C-band satellite subscribers across the country, mainly in the Southwestern U.S. At its height, the station was available on nearly every cable television provider in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as large swaths of Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. However, its quasi-national distribution would later hamper OPUBCO president Edward L. Gaylord's efforts to purchase a controlling interest in the Texas Rangers (of which Gaylord purchased a minority share in 1985), as the other Major League Baseball team owners had concerns about a fourth team having widespread television coverage through a superstation (as WTBS already carried the Atlanta Braves, WGN-TV aired the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, and WWOR-TV held rights to the New York Mets at the time).
KTVT's superstation status was further cemented when the station began to be referred in continuity as "Channel 11, The Super Ones" in 1984. The station gained three other UHF independent competitors during the 1980s – channel 33 was reactivated as KNBN-TV in May 1980; eventual sister station KTXA signed on in October 1980; and KTWS-TV (channel 27, now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station KDFI) went on the air in January 1981; however, KTVT and KXTX-TV were the only independent stations in the market that were able to turn a profit.
KTVT was one of the few long-tenured major market independents that did not align with the fledgling Fox Broadcasting Company in the run-up to the network's launch in October 1986. It, however, was eliminated from contention in becoming a Fox station from the start, as network parent News Corporation had purchased KRLD-TV (the former KNBN-TV, which would become KDAF) as part of its merger with Metromedia in May 1985, six months prior to the Rupert Murdoch-owned media company's announcement of the formation of the Fox network. KDAF and the other five former Metromedia stations served as the nuclei for the new network as the original members of the Fox Television Stations, its group of owned-and-operated stations. However, even without the presence of KDAF, KTVT would have likely passed on the Fox affiliation in any event. Most of the smaller markets that were within KTVT's vast cable footprint had enough commercial television stations to allow Fox to maintain an exclusive affiliation, meaning that it would have made little sense to have the station relay the network's programming to multiple markets located beyond the reach of its broadcast signal. In the late 1980s, the station relocated its operations to its current facility at 5233 Bridge Street, as a construction project that would widen the West Freeway into a four-lane highway forced KTVT to move from its original studios, which were torn down to make way for the additional freeway lanes.
As KTVT gained regional exposure, the station became vulnerable in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and underestimated the ability of UHF competitor KTXA to acquire top-rated syndicated programs. Out of the companies that owned the market's independents, the group that owned KTXA at the time, Grant Broadcasting, was particularly aggressive in its programming acquisitions by leveraging its independent stations elsewhere around the country for the strongest programs that were entering into syndication; as a result, Grant-owned KTXA edged ahead of KTVT in the ratings by the fall of 1984. Not to stay outdone, after Gaylord appointed KSTW general manager Charles L. Edwards as KTVT's executive vice president and general manager (as well as the group's corporate programming director) in 1984, the station began making its own moves in acquiring stronger first-run and off-network syndicated programming, gaining the rights to series such as The Cosby Show, Night Court and Cheers. The station's ratings improved under the stewardship of Edwards, resulting in KTVT retaking its status as the top-rated independent station in the market by the time of his retirement in 1989.
On May 19, 1988, the FCC passed the Syndication Exclusivity Rights Rule (or "SyndEx"), a law that required cable television providers to black out syndicated programs aired on any out-of-market stations carried on their systems (either stations from nearby markets serving as default network affiliates or superstations), if a television station has obtained the exclusive rights to air a particular program in a given market. Gaylord was not willing to create a dedicated feed that included substitute programs that would replace shows aired on KTVT locally in certain time slots that could not air outside of its primary viewing area due to market exclusivity claims by various stations (as WGN-TV and WWOR-TV did at the time the law became official); as such, when the law went into effect on January 1, 1990, cable providers in some areas throughout the South Central U.S. chose to drop KTVT from their lineups.
In December 1993, Gaylord signed an agreement with Time Warner to make KTVT, KHTV (now KIAH) in Houston, WVTV in Milwaukee and KSTW in the Seattle–Tacoma area into charter affiliates of The WB, a new broadcast television network founded by Time Warner's Warner Bros. Television division and the Tribune Company that was announced one month earlier on November 2, for a proposed launch in the fall of 1994 (the network's launch would later be pushed back to January 1995). However, another planned affiliation transaction that took place months later that resulted in the shift of two existing networks from their longtime station partners would scuttle those plans.
On May 23, 1994, in an overall deal in which News Corporation also acquired a 20% equity interest in the company, New World Communications signed a long-term affiliation agreement with Fox. Under the initial agreement, nine television stations affiliated with either of the "Big Three" networks (CBS, ABC or NBC) would become Fox affiliates once their existing respective affiliation contracts expired. The deal was part of a strategy by Fox to strengthen its affiliate portfolio after the National Football League (NFL) accepted the network's $1.58 billion bid for the television rights to the National Football Conference (NFC), a four-year contract that began with the 1994 NFL season, on December 18, 1993. At the time, Fox's stations were mostly UHF outlets that had limited to no prior history as major network affiliates, among them its existing Dallas outlet KDAF.
One of the stations involved in the wide-ranging agreement was Dallas-Fort Worth's longtime CBS affiliate, KDFW-TV, which had been affiliated with that network since it signed on in December 1949. New World had included KDFW – as well as CBS affiliate KTBC in Austin and ABC affiliate KTVI in St. Louis – into the group's affiliation agreement with Fox, as a byproduct of its May 26 purchase option-structured acquisition of four stations owned by Argyle Television Holdings for $717 million (New World exempted another Argyle station that it acquired, NBC affiliate WVTM-TV in Birmingham, from the affiliation deal as the group decided to transfer the ABC affiliate in that market, WBRC, into a trust company for later sale to Fox Television Stations to comply with ownership restrictions enforced at the time by the FCC that restricted a single company from owning more than twelve television stations nationwide and prohibited ownership of two commercial stations in the same market).
As the network had thirteen months until its contract with KDFW ended – on July 1, 1995 – to find a new affiliate in the Metroplex, CBS had enough time to seek other stations to reach an agreement with. The network first approached NBC affiliate KXAS-TV; however, its then-owner LIN Broadcasting ultimately declined CBS's offer. WFAA was eliminated as an option as its owner during that time, Belo, would reach a new long-term agreement with ABC for its Dallas flagship station and other ABC-affiliated stations that the group owned. This left KTVT as CBS's only viable option in the Dallas-Fort Worth market for it to affiliate with a VHF television station. The two parties would come to a deal on September 14, 1994, when Gaylord Broadcasting reached a ten-year affiliation agreement with CBS to transfer the network to KTVT, in exchange for signing KSTW to replace Cox Enterprises-owned KIRO-TV (which would become a UPN charter station) as the network's Seattle affiliate. Upset by Gaylord's blindsided move, Time Warner, majority owner of The WB, filed an injunction in an attempt to dissolve its prior agreement with Gaylord. The WB later reached an agreement with KDAF, which Fox Television Stations had announced it would sell in order to affiliate KDFW with the Fox network; KXTX-TV, in the meantime, agreed to serve as The WB's Metroplex charter affiliate in a temporary arrangement until the sale of KDAF to Renaissance Broadcasting and Fox's subsequent move to KDFW was finalized.
At the time it signed the contract with CBS, KTVT began airing The Price Is Right and The Bold and the Beautiful within its daytime schedule, after KDFW chose to pre-empt the CBS Daytime programs respectively in favor of Donahue and an expanded midday newscast as part of its transition to Fox; Channel 11 also cleared select CBS prime time programs that KDFW-TV pre-empted in order to run locally produced specials. On the evening of July 1, 1995 at 10:00 p.m., Ed Trimble, KTVT's vice president and general manager at the time, delivered an on-air message informing viewers of the forthcoming network changes (David Whitaker, then the vice president and general manager at KDFW, also conducted a segment on the network switch that aired concurrently on channel 4).
KTVT officially became a CBS affiliate on July 2, 1995, when the remainder of the network's programming lineup moved to the station; the first CBS network program to air on the station as a full-time affiliate was CBS News Sunday Morning at 8:00 a.m. Central Time that morning. As KDFW-TV took over the Fox affiliation on July 2, KDAF – whose sale to Renaissance Broadcasting was finalized the following day on July 3 – formally assumed the WB affiliation from KXTX-TV, which itself had reverted into an independent station.
As a consequence of its conversion into a "Big Three" affiliate, Gaylord gradually terminated KTVT's carriage agreements with cable systems located outside of the station's designated viewing area and with satellite providers through the end of 1995, as most of the markets where a pay television provider carried the station were already served by local CBS affiliates or, in the case of some smaller markets within its regional distribution footprint that lacked an in-market CBS station, a default affiliate from an adjacent market. Even still, during its first year with CBS, the syndicated programs that KTVT continued to air in time slots not occupied by local newscasts and network programming more closely resembled such a slate that would be offered by an independent or minor network-affiliated station than that of a major market "Big Three" affiliate, consisting mainly of off-network sitcoms held over from its existence as an independent (such as The Cosby Show, Full House, Matlock and Roseanne) and first-run newsmagazines (such as Extra and the short-lived Day & Date). Much of the syndicated sitcoms, drama series and cartoons that KTVT was forced to divest because of CBS's network-dominated programming schedule were acquired by KTXA and KDAF.
Gradually throughout the late 1990s, the station began taking on the look and format of a major network affiliate, expanding its local news programming and replacing the sitcoms that initially occupied its weekday schedule with more first-run syndicated newsmagazines and game shows; in 1997, the station also adopted "The Eye of Texas" as its slogan, in reference to both its CBS affiliation and the network's signature Eyemark logo. For much of the next decade, KTVT's sign-on to sign-off viewership averaged in fourth place, even as CBS rebounded in the ratings nationally after the network acquired the rights to the NFL's American Football Conference (AFC) from NBC in 1998; though the station would grow into a reasonably stronger position as a CBS affiliate compared to KSTW, which terminated its agreement with CBS in March 1997 (Cox Enterprises bought KSTW two months earlier, only to trade it to the Paramount Stations Group in exchange for KIRO, resulting in KSTW becoming a UPN owned-and-operated station and KIRO rejoining CBS, to resolve an ownership conflict with rival KING-TV that was created by Belo's purchase of The Providence Journal Company).
At the time of the network switch, Gaylord had already begun winding down its television interests, selling its network affiliates, independent stations and cable networks to other groups. On April 12, 1999, Gaylord announced its formal exit from television when the company agreed to sell KTVT – which had become the company's lone remaining broadcast television property – to CBS Television Stations for $485 million. In September of that year, Viacom announced its intention to merge with (the original) CBS Corporation for $36 billion; when the purchase was finalized, KTVT formed a duopoly with then-UPN station KTXA as a result of the integration of CBS's group of owned-and-operated stations into Viacom's Paramount Stations Group subsidiary, a transaction that effectively reunited KTVT with KSTW under common ownership. Subsequently, KTXA relocated from its existing facilities at the Paramount Building in downtown Dallas and integrated its business operations with KTVT at its Bridge Street facility in Fort Worth.
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 (2,200 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|
|11.1||1080i||16:9||KTVT-DT||Main KTVT programming / CBS|
On May 25, 2015, KTVT launched a digital subchannel on virtual channel 11.2 to serve as a charter affiliate of Decades, a classic television network co-owned by CBS Television Stations and Weigel Broadcasting (the latter of which holds responsibility of affiliate distribution to stations not owned by CBS) that features programs from the CBS Television Distribution library, including archival footage from CBS News. The network launched on that date with most of the CBS-owned television stations (except for its CW and independent stations in markets where the group maintains a duopoly) as well as Weigel-owned CBS affiliate WDJT-TV in Milwaukee among its charter outlets.
KTVT shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition allocation on UHF channel 19 to VHF channel 11. Due to widespread reception problems and a resultant 57% loss of its household viewership in the Dallas-Fort Worth Designated Market Area, on July 23, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted KTVT permission via special temporary authorization to move its digital feed back to channel 19; concurrently, sister station KTXA was given permission via an STA to move back to channel 18, the assigned digital channel it used during the transition period. The channel change went into effect on August 4, 2009. Prior to that time, KTXA simulcast KTVT's programming on digital subchannel 21.2 (which would eventually be reinstated in December 2013 as an affiliate of MeTV). KTVT broadcast on UHF channel 19, in addition to operating its digital signal secondarily on its original post-transition channel 11, until November 2012; both feeds were mapped to virtual channel 11.1, which caused many digital converter boxes and built-in tuners in digital-capable television sets to display that channel twice when tuning sequentially.
On September 10, 2009, the FCC issued a Report & Order statement, approving KTVT's move from channel 11 to channel 19; On October 21, 2009, it filed a minor change application for its new allotment, for which the FCC granted a construction permit the following month on November 19. concurrently, the agency granted KTXA's application to move its digital allocation from UHF channel 18 to channel 29, with the FCC granting them a construction permit on the date that KTVT received approval of its modified digital channel transfer application. On November 26, 2012, KTVT terminated its original digital signal on VHF channel 11 and moved to its new channel 19 transmitting facilities (which operate from the same tower that KTXA's transmitter occupies).
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Syndicated programming broadcast by KTVT (as of September 2016[update]) includes Dr. Phil, CSI: Miami, Blue Bloods (which also airs first-run episodes on the station through CBS) and Wheel of Fortune (currently, the Dallas-Fort Worth market is one of the few in which Wheel and Jeopardy! air on separate stations, as the latter program moved to KTXA in September 2013, in order for channel 11 to launch a midday newscast). In addition, the station produces The Ones For Texas, a half-hour program focusing on feature segments about people and points of interest throughout Texas, which airs Saturday evenings after its 6:00 p.m. newscast.
Since it joined the network in July 1995, KTVT has carried the entire CBS schedule (prime time, daytime, late night, Saturday morning, news and sports programming), and as a CBS owned-and-operated station, it broadcasts the majority of its programs – other than those featured within its prime time lineup and network-televised sporting events – in pattern. However, it is one of the few CBS stations in the Central Time Zone (alongside those such as sister station WBBM-TV in Chicago, and affiliates such as WTVF in Nashville, KOLR in Springfield, Missouri and WHBF-TV in Davenport, Iowa) that airs The Young and the Restless at 11:30 a.m., having aired it on a half-hour delay since the cancellation of its noon newscast in early January 2004 (most CBS affiliates prefer to air the soap opera at 11:00 a.m. as a lead-in to their midday newscasts).
Like many of its CBS-owned sister stations, it also airs Let's Make a Deal at 9:00 a.m. weekdays, instead of the 2:00 p.m. time slot where the program is carried nationally (this scheduling, which originated when Guiding Light occupied the final hour of CBS' daytime lineup prior to that program's discontinuance in September 2009, is more common among the network's owned-and-operated stations as well as select affiliates in the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, where Let's Make a Deal would normally air in the 3:00 p.m. time slot). Since it joined the network, KTVT has also aired CBS' children's program blocks over both Saturdays and Sundays (currently, it airs a half-hour of the CBS Dream Team on Sunday mornings before CBS News Sunday Morning on weeks when the network is scheduled to air sports events on Saturday late mornings).
Since September 1998, KTVT has served as the official television partner of the Dallas Cowboys, holding rights to air various team-related programs during the regular season (including the Cowboys Postgame Show, Special Edition with Jerry Jones and the head coach's weekly analysis program The Jason Garrett Show, along with specials such as the Making of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Calendar and postseason team reviews) as well as preseason games that are not televised nationally on broadcast or cable television. Through CBS' contract with the National Football League (NFL), under which it holds primary broadcast rights to the American Football Conference, Cowboys game telecasts on KTVT during the regular season are limited to interconference games against AFC teams played at AT&T Stadium (including those held every other year on Thanksgiving Day) and, since 2014, cross-flexed games originally scheduled to air on Fox against its fellow teams in the National Football Conference (NFC). Most other regular season games televised over-the-air locally air on KDFW, which has served as the Cowboys' primary local broadcaster since 1962 (with the exception of a one-season absence due to the transfer of NFC television rights to Fox in 1994, in the precursor to the affiliation switch), through Fox's rights to the NFC; KXAS-TV also carries certain regular season Cowboys games in which the team is a participant via NBC's rights to the Sunday Night Football package.
KTVT formerly served as the television flagship for the Dallas Mavericks from 1982 to 1998; it initially shared the rights to the NBA team's game broadcasts with WFAA, with KTVT running about 30 Dallas Mavericks games per season. KTXA became the sharing partner in the team's local broadcasting contract after it assumed WFAA's end of the contract beginning with the 1986–87 season. After KTVT joined CBS in 1995, the station continued to air a significantly reduced schedule of Mavericks telecasts, at which time KTXA took over the primary over-the-air rights; KTXA would acquire the remaining telecast rights held by Channel 11 starting with the 1998–99 season.
In 1984, the station obtained the broadcast rights to the Texas Rangers, a relationship that was strengthened when Gaylord Broadcasting president Edward L. Gaylord purchased a minority interest in the team the following year; KTVT aired an average of 95 Rangers games per season over the first ten years of the contract. After the station agreed to affiliate with CBS, KTVT and then-independent station KXTX-TV entered into a programming arrangement for the 1995 season, in which the latter station would carry CBS programs pre-empted by KTVT on dates when Rangers game telecasts were scheduled to air, in addition to – due to network affiliation contracts that limit the number of programming preemptions on an annual basis – some Rangers broadcasts that were produced by and contracted to air on Channel 11. The team formally moved its local over-the-air game broadcasts to KXTX in the 1996 season. Following the relocation of the former Minnesota North Stars from Minneapolis that year, Channel 11 also held the local rights to televise National Hockey League (NHL) games featuring the Dallas Stars during the 1993–94 season.
During the 1970s and 1980s, KTVT served the flagship station of the highly-popular local pro wrestling program Saturday Night Wrestling, and aired the two-hour wrestling program Championship Sports on Saturday nights. It has also broadcast college football and basketball events involving programs based around Texas; from 1984 until the conference folded after the 1995–96 season, the station aired football and men's basketball games from the now-defunct Southwestern Conference that were syndicated by Raycom Sports, including those involving the University of Texas Longhorns (it shared the broadcast rights to some of the game telecasts with KTXA).
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KTVT presently broadcasts 31½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays, 2½ hours on Saturdays and 1½ hours on Sundays). In addition, the station produces two sports programs that it airs on Sunday nights after the 10:00 p.m. newscast: the sports highlight show The Score and the football highlight program Blitz: Cowboys/Desperados Report, which are both hosted by sports director and former sports anchor Babe Laufenberg.
Channel 11 first established a news department as an independent station in 1960, when it debuted a half-hour local newscast at noon and a 15-minute newscast at 10:00 p.m. – the latter airing as an intermission within its late prime time movie presentations, which began at 9:00 p.m., and resumed until conclusion after the newscast – each weekday; the program featured anchors based in both Dallas and Fort Worth. In August 1960, the station premiered Reveille, a half-hour weekday morning newscast that was anchored by Bill Camfield (who also played Icky Twerp as host of the children's program Slam Bang Theater from September 1959 to March 1972 and as Gargon in his role as host of the horror film showcase Nightmare from 1963 to 1966, and later served as the station's program director until 1972); the program ran until 1963. In 1981, the station began producing 60-second live news updates under the title Headline News (not to be confused with the cable channel now known as HLN, which debuted the following year), that aired during commercial breaks within the station's daytime and evening programming.
Gaylord Broadcasting management eventually decided to make investments to expand the station's news operations. On August 20, 1990, KTVT began producing two long-form, half-hour prime time newscasts at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m., airing only on Monday through Friday nights; the latter of the two programs was the first newscast to be offered by a commercial television station in the Metroplex in the 9:00 time slot (predating rival KDFW's addition of its own late evening newscast in that hour when it switched from CBS to Fox in July 1995, and the formation of KDAF's news department with the debut of its own 9:00 p.m. newscast in 1999; PBS member station KERA-TV (channel 13) previously carried a newscast at 9:00 p.m. from 1970 to 1976). Debuting under the umbrella title Newswatch 11, the newscasts were initially anchored by Mike Hambrick (whose brother, Judd, had previously served as anchor at KDFW from 1972 to 1973) and Midge Hill (who joined KTVT after a five-year stint as an anchor/reporter at WFAA), alongside chief meteorologist Bob Goosmann and sports director Bobby Estill. The 7:00 p.m. newscast – the first attempt in the Metroplex at a local newscast in that timeslot since KRLD-TV/KDAF produced a one-hour news program at 7:00 from July 1984 until that station's initial news department was shut down by then-general manager Ray Schonbak in May 1986, following the completion of its purchase by News Corporation – struggled against prime time network programs on KDFW, KXAS and WFAA, and was cancelled in September 1992.
On February 1, 1993, KTVT expanded the remaining 9:00 broadcast to one hour and rebranded it as The Nine O'Clock News (the logo and imaging package introduced with the rebrand would be used by certain independent stations and minor network affiliates, such as KOCB (now a CW affiliate) in Oklahoma City, during the mid-1990s). Despite the title, KTVT sometimes aired the program during the 8:00 p.m. hour – alternatively titled as The Nine O'Clock News: Special Edition in such instances – to accommodate Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks late-evening games held in the Pacific Time Zone that started locally during the newscast's regular time slot. By this time, Estill had left his position as sports director in 1992 and was replaced by Curt Menefee; Ken Malloy would take over as Hill's co-anchor following Hambrick's departure a few months after the program's title change. The Nine O'Clock News grew to become a strong ratings performer in the 9:00 p.m. timeslot, holding its own in the midst of competition from network drama series and newsmagazines that aired against it on the market's "Big Three" affiliates.
As CBS was seeking a station to replace KDFW as its Metroplex outlet, the fact that KTVT was the only English-language station in the Metroplex not affiliated with either of the "Big Three" networks that had a functioning news department played a major factor in the network's decision to approach Gaylord about negotiating a deal to move its programming to the station. Upon becoming a CBS affiliate on July 1, 1995, KTVT relaunched its news department under the 11 News brand (later retitled CBS 11 News in November 1998), and made extensive changes to its news schedule with the debut of an hour-long morning newscast at 6:00 a.m. and an early-evening newscast at 6:00 p.m. on Monday through Fridays. The existing late-evening newscast concurrently moved one hour later to 10:00 p.m. and was expanded to include editions on Saturday and Sunday evenings, which were accompanied by early-evening newscasts on both days; until May 1998, the late newscast maintained the 11 on 11 format, which emphasized a nonstop rundown of the day's top local and national headlines and a "Forecast First" weather segment prior to the first commercial break in an 11-minute-long "A"-block, with an in-depth "11 News Extra" report and a sports segment filling the remaining segments of the newscast (Seattle sister station KSTW also adopted the Eleven @ 11:00 format for its 11:00 p.m. newscast from March 1995 to June 1997, using the primarily numeric 11 at 11 as the title).
In turn, the station also increased its on-air and behind-the-scenes news staff from 40 to 80 employees, hiring among others Cameron Harper (who replaced Malloy, who was moved to the daytime newscasts, as weeknight co-anchor), Timm Matthews (who replaced Menefee as sports director following his departure for Fox Sports), Beth McKay and Jerry Jenkins (who served as the station's original weekend co-anchors); Hill and Goosmann were among a handful of on-air staffers that stayed with the news department following the CBS switch (Hill was fired by the station in November 1995 and was replaced as weeknight co-anchor by Karen Borta, who remained in that role until February 2015, when Borta was moved to the weekday morning newscast; Goosmann remained chief meteorologist until he left KTVT in 2001). On that date, the station also adopted the on-air imaging that Seattle sister station KSTW implemented when that station joined CBS four months earlier on March 13, accompanied by a red and yellow boxed logo with a vertically parallelogrammed "11" (loosely based on the logo adopted in 1994 by eventual sister station KCBS-TV in Los Angeles), graphics package, set design and newscast theme music ("Millennium 3", a syndicated package composed by Shelly Palmer that was originally commissioned by Gaylord for KTVT and KSTW, which it used until 1999).
During the station's first decade with CBS, newscasts were added and dropped from KTVT's schedule. Channel 11 would first expand news programming with the debut of half-hour weekday newscasts at noon and 5:00 p.m. in February 1996. In January 1999, it added a 6:30 p.m. newscast on weeknights as a replacement for Hard Copy (which had been airing on KTVT since September 1997, when the program moved to the station from KDFW); the newscast was later replaced in September 2000 by Hollywood Squares (which had previously aired on WFAA from the revival series' September 1998 premiere until June 2000). Concurrent with the discontinuance of Hard Copy following its cancellation, the station debuted an hour-long 4:00 p.m. newscast on September 11 of that year; after the program's initial cancellation in September 2002, KTVT restored that newscast in January 2004 (later reducing it to a half-hour broadcast in September 2005, before expanding it to an hour once more on January 11, 2010). The noon newscast returned in September 2005, but was subsequently cancelled the following month after it moved Jeopardy! from its previous 4:30 p.m. timeslot to 11:00 a.m. (KTVT would eventually restore a midday news program, with the debut of a half-hour 11:00 a.m. newscast on August 12, 2013, which replaced Jeopardy! after the game show was moved to KTXA). In September 2006, due to budget cuts imposed by CBS Corporation, KTVT discontinued its morning newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays, making it the only "Big Four" network station in the Dallas-Fort Worth market that did not have a weekend morning newscast for the next eight years until KTVT launched hour-long weekend editions of CBS 11 News This Morning on both days on September 20, 2014.
For most of the time since it joined CBS, KTVT has been one of the network's weaker stations in terms of total day and local news viewership. However, it has made gains in viewership in some time periods since the late 2000s, even beating overall first place stalwart WFAA in some time periods. During the February 2011 sweeps period, the station's 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts placed first among total viewers for the first time in the station's history. That May, KTVT had placed second overall in both total viewership and in the demographic of adults ages 25–54 by small margins for the first time in its history; this is in comparison to the May sweeps period of the previous year, in which Channel 11 won in both total viewers and 25- to 54-year-olds. The 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts all saw ratings increases in both demographics placing second.
On September 24, 2007, KTVT became the third television station in the Dallas-Fort Worth market (after WFAA and KXAS) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high-definition. In May 2010, KTVT became among the first CBS O&Os to adopt the group's new standardized graphics package (which was first implemented that February by sister stations WCBS-TV in New York City and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles), and accordingly began using the "New Generation" series of The CBS Enforcer Music Collection by Gari Media Group as the theme music for its newscasts.