KJRH-TV, virtual channel 2 (VHF digital channel 8), is an NBC-affiliated television station located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. KJRH maintains studio facilities located on South Peoria Avenue in the Brookside district of midtown Tulsa, and its transmitter is located near South 273rd Avenue East and the Muskogee Turnpike (near Broken Arrow) in southeastern Tulsa County.
On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 2 and AT&T U-verse channel 2. There is a high definition feed available on Cox Communications digital channel 709 and AT&T U-verse channel 1002.
Several prospective applicants vied for the VHF channel 2 allocation in Tulsa in May 1954 – among them were Central Plains Enterprises (whose majority interest was held by Southwestern Sales, Inc., owned by oilman William G. Skelly, owner of local radio station KVOO (1170 AM, now KFAQ), with partners including Robert S. Kerr and Dean A. McGee), a group led by oilman John Mabee and a group led by several Tulsa businessmen including Fred Jones, Tom P. McDermott, oilman Charles McMahon, insurance executive Dan P. Holmes and Manhattan Construction Company president L. Francis Rooney. The Mabee group later relinquished its bid, which was followed by the McDermott-Jones group through an agreement between them and Central Plains, in which that company would provide shares to McDermott, Jones and the others (which were sold back to Central Plains Enterprises in 1963) in return for the retraction.
The station signed on the air on December 5, 1954 as KVOO-TV. Channel 2 has been an NBC affiliate since its debut, owing to KVOO radio's longtime affiliation with the NBC Red Network. The first program broadcast on the station was a 39-minute station dedication program from its original studio facilities in the Akdar Building at Fourth Street and Denver Avenue in downtown Tulsa; this was followed by the first NBC network program aired by the station, Meet the Press. KVOO-TV was the second VHF television station to sign on in the Tulsa market, behind KOTV (channel 6), which debuted in October 1949; KTVX (channel 8, now KTUL) did not change its city of license to Tulsa from Muskogee until the following year, although that station operated from studio facilities located in west Tulsa.
KVOO took the NBC affiliation from KOTV and KCEB (channel 23, channel now occupied by KOKI-TV), which signed on ten months earlier in March 1954. Although KCEB became the primary NBC affiliate once it signed on, KOTV – which had been a secondary NBC affiliate since it signed on – had reached a deal with the network to continue "cherry-picking" some of NBC's stronger programs as manufacturers were not required to include UHF tuners on television sets at the time, making receiving KCEB nearly impossible in much of northeastern Oklahoma. Channel 2 was the first television station in the Tulsa market to broadcast all of its programs in color, first transmitting NBC network programming in the format. In 1955, the station installed equipment that allowed local films and slides to be telecast in color. The station moved to a purpose-built art deco facility, known as Broadcast Center, on 37th Street and Peoria Avenue on December 1, 1957, which it shared with KVOO radio. In November 1964, KVOO began originating its locally produced programs in color from its Broadcast Center studios. In November 1964, KVOO-TV purchased a color camera for programming production and began producing its local programs in color.
The E. W. Scripps Company's broadcasting division (then known as Scripps-Howard Broadcasting) purchased the station from Central Plains Enterprises in 1971, and changed its call letters to KTEW-TV (standing for "Tulsa E.W. Scripps", and also easily interpreted as sounding like the phoneticism for "two"). On June 8, 1974, an F3 tornado struck the Brookside district, narrowly missing the station's Peoria Avenue studios to the north. During the 1970s, the station became the first in the Tulsa market to provide live remote footage from the field. The station adopted its present-day callsign, KJRH (in honor of Scripps' former president, Jack R. Howard) on July 14, 1980 (the KTEW call letters are now used by a low-power America One-affiliated station in Ponca City, Oklahoma). In 1984, it became the first Tulsa station to broadcast its programming in stereophonic sound.
For many years, KJRH had operated three low-powered translator stations, which all operated on VHF channel 4: K04DW in Independence, Kansas, K04EJ in Coffeyville, Kansas and K04DY in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, that translator is located on the campus of Northeastern State University.
On December 31, 2009, a large "crystal" ball was dropped from the large spire on top of the transmitter tower from the station's studios in Tulsa's Brookside entertainment district as part of the city's New Year's Eve festivities. Streets were closed off and people were allowed to view and celebrate, much in the same vein as in the New Year's celebrations at Times Square in New York City.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||1080i||16:9||KJRH-HD||Main KJRH-TV programming / NBC|
On digital subchannel 2.2 and on Cox digital channel 222 used V to be the Live Well Network, a 24-hour network devoted to health and lifestyle programming; from 2007 to 2011, the subchannel operated as a 24-hour weather channel under the "2NEWS Weather Plus" name (originally affiliated with NBC Weather Plus until the network ceased operations on December 1, 2008 and then with NBC Plus until the subchannel became a Live Well affiliate). Bounce TV replaced LWN on April 15, 2015 and Laff was added to the new subchannel 2.3 on the same day.
KJRH-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal operated on a high-band UHF channel (in the 52 to 69 channel range) that was removed from broadcast use after the official June 12, 2009 transition date, its analog channel assignment was in the low-band VHF range (channels 2 to 6) and therefore prone to signal interference from impulse noise; as a result, KJRH selected VHF channel 8 (the former channel allocation used by KTUL's analog signal) for its post-transition digital operations. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.
As part of the SAFER Act, KJRH kept its analog signal on the air until June 26 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.
KJRH-TV runs the entire NBC programming lineup with minimal pre-emptions outside of extended breaking news and severe weather coverage; although it currently airs Today in three blocks from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (with the final two hours airing on tape delay due to Live! with Kelly and Michael airing in the 9:00 a.m. timeslot) and airs the NBC Kids block on a one-hour delay due to its two-hour Saturday morning newscast. Syndicated programs broadcast by KJRH include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Right This Minute and The List.
KJRH-TV presently broadcasts 28 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with four hours on weekdays, 3½ hours on Saturdays and 4½ hours on Sundays). It has the unique characteristic of being only one of two television stations in the state of Oklahoma that maintain two Doppler radar sites (the other being fellow NBC affiliate KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, whose doppler radar site near Newcastle is the more powerful of the two stations' radar systems, operating at a radiated power of 1 million watts). KJRH is one of ten television stations that air the "Don't Waste Your Money" consumer reports filed by John Matarese of ABC-affiliated sister station WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio.
For many years, KJRH's newscasts placed at a strong third among the local television newscasts in the Tulsa market. However, in July 2009, KJRH's newscasts set a new benchmark for the station, firmly capturing second place in nearly all timeslots. In the November 2009 ratings period, KJRH's ratings in the 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. slot on weekday mornings increased to a 2 rating and a 10 share. KJRH remained second in early evening news, behind KOTV, with a 7 rating/12 share.
On February 25, 2008, KJRH became the first television station in the state of Oklahoma to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. KJRH also introduced a new graphics package similar to that used by sister station KSHB in Kansas City with the format change, but continued to employ the same set until 2011.
In November 2009, KJRH introduced a new red and brown graphics package and new news theme ("Scripps TV Station Group Package" by Musikvergnuegen) for its newscasts, that was being utilized on all Scripps-owned stations. On August 2, 2012, the station introduced a new blue and gold standardized graphics package for the Scripps stations and began using "Inergy" by Stephen Arnold Music as its new news theme (KJRH became the second Scripps-owned station to adopt the new standardized graphics and music, following West Palm Beach, Florida sister station WPTV-TV). In September 2013, KJRH expanded its Sunday morning newscasts, with the addition of an hour-long broadcast at 10:00 a.m. (joining two additional blocks at 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.).
Notable former on-air staff
- Jim Forbes – investigative reporter (1980–1981; currently narrator for VH1's Behind The Music)
- Ron Franklin – sports director (1967–1971; later at ESPN)
- Anthony Mason – reporter (1980–1982; now chief business and financial correspondent at CBS News)
- Mike Morgan – meteorologist (1985–1988; later chief meteorologist at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, now at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City in the same position)
- Ron Stone – anchor (later at KPRC-TV in Houston; died in 2008)