KRIS-TV is a NBC-affiliated television station for the Corpus Christi area of South Texas. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 from a transmitter in Robstown. Owned by Cordillera Communications (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Evening Post Industries), the station is sister to low-power Independent K22JA-D, low-power Telemundo affiliate K68DJ, and CBS affiliate KZTV (owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting but operated by Cordillera through shared services agreement). All four stations share studios on Artesian Street in Downtown Corpus Christi. Syndicated programming on KRIS-TV includes: Inside Edition, Steve Harvey, Ellen, and Jeopardy!.
KRIS-TV began broadcasting on May 22, 1956 as the first VHF television station in the area beating former rival KZTV by four months. It aired an analog signal on VHF channel 6 and had studios on South Staples Street in Downtown Corpus Christi. The channel has always been an NBC affiliate but shared secondary ABC status with KZTV until KIII launched on May 4, 1964. In 1989 it was a secondary Fox affiliate carrying a few shows during syndicated hours on the weekends. This ended in 1991 due to other affiliates becoming available on cable via Foxnet. KRIS-TV was the first television station in the United States to air hard liquor ads after a self-imposed 1948 industry ban was lifted. A commercial for Crown Royal whiskey aired on the station in 1996 featuring a puppy with a diploma and another carrying a Crown Royal bag in its mouth. Cordillera Communications, A subsidiary of the Evening Post bought the station in 1998.
On July 23, 2008, Eagle Creek Broadcasting announced that it had sold KZTV to Cordillera Communications. The transaction was opposed by McKinnon Broadcasting who at the time owned rival KIII. This objection held up the deal until August 24, 2009 when Eagle Creek announced a shared services agreement (SSA) had been established with KRIS. Cordillera Communications now owns all KZTV assets with Eagle Creek owning the broadcast license.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|6.1||1080i||16:9||KRIS-HD||Main KRIS-TV programming / NBC|
|6.2||720p||CW-STX||CW South Texas|
KRIS-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 6, at noon 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 remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 13. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 6. This transmitted on a frequency of 87.75 MHz (+10 kHz shift), and as a result, could be picked up on the lower end of the dial on most FM radios at 87.7. This was true of all other analog channel 6 stations in North America. This is no longer possible for full-powered stations after the conversion to digital broadcasting. However, it is possible to hear the digital channel 6 signal at a slightly different MHz location.
After KZTV was purchased by KRIS-TV's parent company, KRIS-TV moved into KZTV's facilities in September 2010. Due to technical issues with the move of the station, it was not able to air newscasts from September 26 until September 28.
KRIS-TV unveiled a brand new high definition-ready set and graphics package on September 29, 2010. The station has now become the area's first to air newscasts in 16x9 enhanced definition widescreen. As of October 16, KZTV now simulcasts KRIS-TV's weekday morning, noon, and weekend broadcasts after dropping its own shows in those time periods. For the weekend newscasts, however, there could be pre-emptions on one channel due to network obligations.
On August 7, 2011, KRIS began broadcasting news in True HD where the newscasts will be known as "KRIS 6 News In HD". KRIS-TV is the second television station in Corpus Christi to broadcast in HD, behind sister station KZTV, who began broadcasting in HD on August 1, 2011.
KRIS-TV currently broadcasts 27 1/2 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with four and half hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and Sundays.) A half-hour of its newscasts airs weekdays and weekends on sister station KDF-TV and the CW South Texas as 'KRIS 6 News at Nine"
In early 2014, KRIS-TV rebranded its newscasts as "KRIS (pronounced 'Chris')6 News." With the rebranding came a new logo, a new opening to the newscasts and two new evening anchors (Bart Bedsole from sister station KZTV and Stephania Jimenez). Instead of all four of KRIS-TV's evening broadcasts being anchored by Lee Sausley & Jennifer Lira, as they had been since 2010, each newscast is now anchored by a different team (Bart & Stephania at five, Lee & Jennifer at six, Jennifer at nine, and Lee & Stephania at ten.)
In late 2014, KRIS expanded their 9 o'clock newscasts on KDF and The CW South Texas to Saturday and Sundays.
In April 2015, KRIS have expanded their newscasts to Sundays @ 5pm and expanded the 6 News at Sunrise to Saturday and Sundays at 6 am.