KPLC, channel 7, is an NBC-affiliated television station located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. KPLC is owned by Raycom Media, and has transmitter facilities located in Fenton, Louisiana. Its studios are located on Division Street in downtown Lake Charles.

History

KPLC-TV began broadcasting in the summer of 1954. Owner T.B. Lanford of Shreveport had previously signed on KPLC-AM radio and was eager to expand into television.

The station was later purchased by a St. Louis group headed by investor Elliot Stien. He visited KPLC frequently along with his friend, St. Louis Cardinals baseball legend Stan Musial.

In 1970, G. Russell Chambers purchased KPLC-TV from the St. Louis group and dramatically increased the station's coverage by adding a 1,500-foot (460 m) tower, providing a quality signal for the NBC affiliate as far north as Leesville, as far east as Lafayette and to the Gulf of Mexico. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations required that the radio stations be sold. Perry Sanders purchased the AM/FM combo and changed its call letters to KLCL.

In 1986, Cosmos Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Liberty Life Insurance Company, took over. KPLC was one of the first television stations in the U.S. to launch its own website in the 1990s.

In 2004, KPLC began broadcasting in digital as well as analog with the launch of KPLC (DT). Later in the year the station launched its first local 24-hour weather channel, "KPLC WeatherPlus." Simultaneously, the station launched a service specifically for cellphones and PDA's, "7 On Your Cell."

In March 2004 while workers were installing a new transmission tower in high winds, the old transmission tower fell, causing a service disruption lasting about two weeks to over-the-air viewers in Southwest Louisiana. Service to cable customers was not interrupted due to the station's signal being delivered by fiber lines. A lower-power temporary tower was erected on top the station's broadcast studios a couple of days after the tower fell, allowing viewers within a few miles of the station to again receive the signal over-the-air.

In January 2006, Liberty and KPLC were purchased by Raycom Media, which also owns two other Louisiana television stations, KSLA-TV in Shreveport and WAFB in Baton Rouge.

In August 2012, KPLC started broadcasting in HD with a new HD studio.

Until 2015, KPLC doubled as the default NBC affiliate for the Lafayette, Louisiana market, since that market did not have an NBC affiliate of its own. It operated a "virtual station" for Acadiana cable systems and sold advertising in the area. On July 1, 2015, KLAF-LD became Lafayette's NBC affiliate.

Programming

KPLC currently airs all of NBC network programming in high definition and all of its syndicated programming such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, America Now and Entertainment Tonight in HD.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[2]
7.11080i16:9KPLC-DTMain KPLC programming / NBC
7.2480i4:3Grit TVGrit
7.3BounceBounce TV

Analog-to-digital conversion

KPLC shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, 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 VHF channel 8 to former analog channel 7 for post-transition operations.[3]

News operation

During Hurricane Rita, which struck in September 2005, the station delivered around-the-clock news from a temporary, makeshift studio in a safer location than its normal studios in downtown Lake Charles.

Notable former on-air staff