KPXJ, virtual and UHF digital channel 21, is a CW-affiliated television station serving Shreveport, Louisiana, United States that is licensed to Minden. The station is locally owned by the Wray family (under the licensee KTBS, LLC), as part of a duopoly with ABC affiliate KTBS-TV (channel 3). The two stations share studio facilities located on East Kings Highway on the eastern side of Shreveport; KPXJ's transmitter is located near Mooringsport (southeast of Caddo Lake). The station is also available on Comcast Xfinity channel 10 and in high definition on digital channel 1010.
The station first signed on the air on August 31, 1998 as WPXO; it operated as an owned-and-operated station of Pax TV (now general entertainment network Ion Television), a family-oriented broadcast television network which launched that same day. The station was originally owned by Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks). On January 8, 1999, the station changed its call letters to KPXJ.
In the summer of 2003, Paxson Communications sold KPXJ to the Wray family, the owners of area ABC affiliate KTBS-TV, creating the market's first (and only) television duopoly. As the Shreveport market has only eight full-power television stations, the minimum allowed to create a duopoly under Federal Communications Commission rules, it is the only duopoly legally allowed in the market. Prior to the purchase, KPXJ had already been rebroadcasting that station's evening newscasts, and KTBS had already handled advertising sales for KPXJ.
That September, KPXJ became the market's UPN affiliate, taking the affiliation from KSHV-TV (channel 45), which began carrying the network in the fall of 1995 as a primary (and later secondary) affiliation. After affiliating with UPN (which resulted in KSHV becoming an exclusive affiliate of The WB), KPXJ continued to carry Pax TV programming on a secondary basis until April 2004, and continued to run programming from The Worship Network during the overnight hours until early 2010, when Pax successor Ion Television dropped the network as a subchannel service on its stations.
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. Almost one month later on February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced the launch of a new "sixth" network called MyNetworkTV, which would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television.
KPXJ signed an affiliation agreement with The CW to become the local affiliate for the Shreveport-Texarkana market, while KSHV decided to affiliate with MyNetworkTV. That summer, KPXJ removed all UPN branding from on-air usage, as did many of the network's affiliates (particularly those owned by Fox Television Stations) following the announcement of the creation of The CW, eventually replacing it with that network's branding. After KSHV affiliated with MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006, effectively dropping the WB affiliation, KPXJ aired the final two weeks of WB programming during the overnight hours. KPXJ officially affiliated with The CW two weeks later on September 18, 2006.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|21.1||720p||16:9||KPXJ-HD||Main KPXJ programming / The CW|
Because it was granted an original construction permit after the FCC finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997 , the station did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. In September 2005, KPXJ discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 21, and "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation on channel 21. The switchover caused an uproar with viewers that did not have the equipment to receive over-the-air digital broadcasts or subscribed to cable television. Three months later in December 2005, DirecTV added KPXJ to the local stations it made available to the satellite provider's subscribers in the Shreveport-Texarkana market, followed by Dish Network in April 2007.
Syndicated programming featured on KPXJ include Family Guy, The Real, The Office, The Dr. Oz Show, Maury, and The Wendy Williams Show. It also broadcasts college basketball and football games from the Southland Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference of the NCAA. Occasionally as time permits, KPXJ may air ABC network programs whenever KTBS-TV is unable to in the event of special programming, or extended breaking news or severe weather coverage.
As a Pax owned-and-operated station, KPXJ aired delayed rebroadcasts of KTBS's 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts from 2001, during a period when numerous Pax owned-and-operated stations began rebroadcasting local evening newscasts from an area Big Three affiliate, until 2003.
After KPXJ was purchased by the Wray family in 2003, KTBS began producing a nightly 9 p.m. newscast for the station. It was the first locally produced primetime newscast in the market. In 2005, KTBS began producing a half-hour weekday morning newscast for KPXJ titled KPXJ 21 News at 7 (the program was expanded to one hour in 2012, and the following year was moved to 9 a.m.). On August 3, 2009, KPXJ expanded its 9 p.m. newscast to one hour, making it the first hour-long late evening newscast in the market, in the process, it was renamed The KTBS 3 9:00 News Hour.