KFDX, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 28), is the NBC-affiliated television station located in Wichita Falls, Texas, United States, and also serves Lawton, Oklahoma. The station is owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, KFDX operates Fox affiliate KJTL (channel 18) and MyNetworkTV affiliate KJBO-LP (channel 35) through a shared services agreement with Mission Broadcasting. The two stations share studios and transmitter facilities located on Seymour Highway in Wichita Falls.
Its signal is relayed through four UHF translators: K27HM-D and K41HQ-D in Quanah, Texas, and K25JO-D and K43KS-D in Altus, Oklahoma. The station also operates a 24-hour weather channel that is carried on Time Warner Cable channel 17. The programming, selected by the on-duty meteorologist, switches between two different radar sources and a temperature and forecast display.
KFDX went on the air on April 12, 1953 as the third television station to serve the North Texas-Southern Oklahoma region. The station was originally owned by Wichitex Radio and Television under the direction of Darrold Cannan, Sr. and Howard Fry, which also owned KFDX Radio, an AM station with a frequency of 990 that went on the air in 1947. In addition to being a founder and general manager, Fry was best known by children in Texoma for his Uncle Howdy's House Party on both radio and television. In 1955, Wichitex sold the radio station, which continues to operate to this day, to concentrate on the television portion of the business until the firm sold KFDX to Clay Communications of Texas in 1971. Clay sold some of its stations, including KFDX to Price Communications in 1987. In 1995, Price sold KFDX and two of its NBC affiliates KJAC-TV (now KBTV-TV) in Port Arthur, Texas and KSNF in Joplin, Missouri to the U.S. Broadcast Group. Current owner Nexstar Broadcasting bought the station from the U.S. Broadcast Group in 1998.
Don Alexander, leader of rock-and-roll band Alexander and the Greats, and composer of the 1964 hit single "Hot Dang Mustang", came to KFDX in the late 1950s. For several years, he hosted an afternoon children's program called Stage Coach Three. As "Pinto Bean", he donned cowboy garb to host afternoon western and horror movies. Alexander later served as anchorman and occasional news director at KFDX from 1963 to 1980.
Nat Fleming, a local country and western band leader, hosted his own afternoon variety program The Nat Fleming Show on channel 3 from its inception in 1953 until the early 1960s. Fleming was also the longtime owner of a Wichita Falls western wear store, The Cow Lot, which closed its doors in 2006. In his store's television commercials, Fleming was most popular for the tagline "You can tell by looking if it came from the Cow Lot."
The Channel 3 logo prior to the current one had been in use since the mid 1990s, both with and without the NBC Peacock. Several other Channel 3 logos have been used by KFDX throughout the station's history, most notably a Roman numeral 3 or "III" from 1967 to 1978 which was spelled out with the call sign KFDX capitalized and the letters "TV" in small lettering ahead of the numerals as "KFDX-tv III". During the Roman numeral era, Channel 3 programs were spelled out according to that logo including TV-III News, RFD-III, Matinee III, TV-III Golden Movies, News III and Newscenter III (became Newscenter 3 with 1978 logo change).
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|3.1||1080i||16:9||KFDX-DT||Main KFDX-TV programming / NBC|
|3.2||480i||4:3||KJBO-DT||Simulcast of KJBO-LP|
On June 15, 2016, Nexstar announced that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with Katz Broadcasting for the Escape, Laff, Grit, and Bounce TV networks (the last one of which is owned by Bounce Media LLC, whose COO Jonathan Katz is president/CEO of Katz Broadcasting), bringing one or more of the four networks to 81 stations owned and/or operated by Nexstar, including KFDX-TV and KJTL.
KFDX-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital television under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.
KFDX presently broadcasts 22 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with four hours on weekdays and one hour 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 Wichita Falls-Lawton market's broadcast television stations, tied with ABC affiliate KSWO-TV and beating CBS affiliate KAUZ-TV's weekly news total by a half-hour. For many years, the station produced a long-running early morning agriculture/public affairs program called RFD-3 that aired at 5:00 a.m. on weekday morning, the program ended its run in August 2011; it was hosted by Joe Brown, the station's farm director and also farm editor of the Wichita Falls Times Record News. KFDX primarily competes for the Texas audience with KAUZ, while KSWO has a stronghold on the Oklahoma side of the market; overall, this puts KFDX at second place among the market's local newscasts.
For many years, Warren Silver, who originally joined KFDX when it signed on 1953, served as the station's chief weathercaster and announcer as well as the original host of RFD-3. Silver became the station's general manager from 1971 to 1988. After his retirement, Silver continued as a contributor to the station until his death in 2001 with weekly reports on senior citizens' issues during Newscenter 3's 6 p.m. broadcast entitled "The Silver Report".
Another longtime KFDX weathercaster who appeared on channel 3's newscast from 1954 to 1971 was dubbed "Tom Crane, the Weathervane". Crane was later the vice-president of City National Bank in Wichita Falls bank and operated local advertising agency Crane & Company from 1980 until his death on July 6, 2009. Former KFDX chief meteorologist Skip McBride, a retired airman who started at KFDX on January 29, 1983, was the area's longest running weathercaster in local television until his retirement on November 20, 2014. Among station on-air staff still at KFDX, McBride's tenure of more than 30 years was only surpassed by Joe Brown, who continually served as anchor of RFD-3 since the early 1960s until he left the station in 2011.
In July 2012, KFDX became the second television station in the Wichita Falls-Lawton market (after KSWO) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; the 9 p.m. newscast on KJTL was included in the upgrade.