KSAT-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 12, is an ABC-affiliated television station located in San Antonio, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Graham Media Group subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. KSAT maintains studio facilities located on North St. Mary's Street on the northern edge of downtown, and its transmitter is located off of Route 181 in northwest Wilson County (northeast of Elmendorf).
The station first signed on the air on January 21, 1957, as KONO-TV; it was founded by the Roth family, owners of KONO radio (860 AM and 101.1 FM). Channel 12 has been an ABC affiliate since its debut, taking the affiliation from WOAI-TV (channel 4) and KENS (channel 5), which each carried select programs from the network on a secondary basis (WOAI began carrying ABC programming when it signed on in December 1949, followed by KENS, when it signed on two months later in February 1950). The station originally operated from studio facilities located at 1408 North St. Mary's Street in downtown San Antonio.
The Roths sold channel 12 to Providence, Rhode Island-based The Outlet Company in 1968 (the Roths later sold the KONO radio stations to Duffy Broadcasting in 1985, both stations are now owned by Cox Radio); the following year, in 1969, the station changed its call letters to KSAT-TV (in reference to the station's city of license). Outlet was taken private in 1986 and the company's new owners sold KSAT to H&C Communications. In 1994, H&C sold KSAT and Houston sister station KPRC-TV to The Washington Post Company (now Graham Holdings Company), which placed the two stations within its Post-Newsweek Stations subsidiary.
In the early 2000s, Post-Newsweek adopted a unified "Local" brand for most of its television stations. KSAT briefly rebranded as "Local 12" in 2004, before reverting to the station's previous branding of "KSAT 12" (the call letters are pronounced syllabically as "K-Sat"). Although the station does not follow this brand standardization, the "Local" wording is periodically visible in the logo bug seen during the station's newscasts, which cycle between both brands (mimicking a similar behavior used by sister stations KPRC-TV and WDIV in Detroit, whose logo bugs cycle between the station's call letters and channel number and their respective on-air brands "Local 4" or "Local 2").
In March 2014, KSAT relocated from its longtime St. Mary's Street studios to a new, state-of-the-art two-story facility that was built in an area that was formerly part of the station's parking lot. The building houses a large newsroom, numerous offices and meeting spaces, a convenience store-style breakroom for staff and a courtyard with outdoor seating as well as a grill and garden area. Demolition began on the former KSAT studio building shortly after the station relocated; by May 2014, that space will be transformed into a new parking lot for station employees and news vehicles.
The 2000 comedy film Miss Congeniality, which was set around a beauty pageant being held in San Antonio, used KSAT live trucks and microphones with the station's mic flags in a fictional sense; though none of KSAT's actual staff appeared during the film, instead using actors playing a KSAT reporter and a news photographer in a scene in which the film's lead character, FBI agent Gracie Hart (played by Sandra Bullock), is interviewed at The Alamo.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||720p||16:9||KSAT HD||Main KSAT-TV programming / ABC|
KSAT was proposed to become a charter station of digital multicast service .2 Network; that network never launched, most of its programming rights have been acquired by other subchannel networks including Antenna TV and MeTV. In 2010, the station began carrying the Spanish language network LATV on digital subchannel 12.2. On April 2, 2012, KSAT replaced LATV with the classic television service MeTV, which is also available on local cable systems in the market.
KSAT-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, 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 UHF channel 48 to VHF channel 12 for post-transition operations.
KSAT-TV carries the entire ABC programming schedule along with some syndicated programs and the KSAT-produced variety and lifestyle program, SA Live. The station does, however, air The Chew on a one-day delay at 11 AM instead of the recommended time of 12 Noon (Central) in favor of a noon newscast. Since 2014 it, along with the ABC-owned stations, has aired General Hospital on a one-hour delay in its old timeslot, 2 PM (Central).
KSAT-TV presently broadcasts 37 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays, four hours on Saturdays and three hours on Sundays); in addition, the station produces the 35-minute sports highlight and discussion program Instant Replay, which airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. Unusual for a television station, traffic reports that are seen during KSAT's weekday morning newscasts are provided by officers from the San Antonio Police Department, Robert Dart and Marcus Trujillo.
In 2002, weeknight co-anchor Leslie Mouton (now anchor of the station's weekday morning newscast) was diagnosed with breast cancer; Mouton courageously decided to anchor the evening newscasts without a wig while she was undergoing chemotherapy treatments that resulted in her going bald. Mouton chronicled her treatment and recovery on KSAT, earning accolades from local oncologists and cancer patients. Mouton recounted her battle with the disease in a 2004 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show (which aired on KSAT at the time), which included clips of Mouton's first anchoring appearance after she lost her hair, including the explanation she gave on-air of what she was going through at the time.
On February 5, 2009, KSAT became the second television station in the San Antonio market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. prior to the upgrade, only in-studio cameras recorded in HD, with video downconverted to widescreen standard definition; certain field cameras and other station camera feeds are in standard definition and upconverted to a 16:9 widescreen format in the control room, as some field reports still remain in upconverted 16:9 standard definition.
On May 26, 2011, KSAT debuted a half-hour late afternoon newscast at 4:00 p.m., titled First News At Four; the program (along with its lead-out Inside Edition) replaced The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ended its syndication run on May 25, 2011. First News At Four ended its run on September 5, 2014.
On September 12, 2011, in a move announced in May 2011, KSAT-TV became the first station in San Antonio to expand its 10:00 p.m. newscast to one hour; as a result, it is one of the few television stations affiliated with the "Big Three" networks that airs an hour-long late evening newscast. Also coinciding with the expanded newscast, "Inside Edition" was reduced from two daily airings to one, as the newscast took over that timeslot; "Nightline" remained in its timeslot at 11:05 (now occupied by Jimmy Kimmel Live at 11:05 p.m. and "Nightline" at 12:05 a.m.).
In March 2012, KSAT expanded its weekday morning newscast "Good Morning San Antonio" to 2½ hours, becoming the third station (behind WOAI and later KENS) to expand its morning newscast to the 4:30 a.m. timeslot. That month, the station also added Saturday and Sunday editions of Good Morning San Antonio, in the form of one-hour blocks (with the second half of the Saturday edition running two hours) surrounding the weekend editions of Good Morning America.