KTRE, virtual and VHF digital channel 9, is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Lufkin, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Raycom Media. KTRE maintains studio and transmitter facilities located on TV Road (near U.S. 69) in the unincorporated community area in Pollok.
Although considered a separate station in its own right, it is a semi-satellite of KLTV in Tyler. It clears all of that station's syndicated programming but produces separate weeknight newscasts and airs its own commercials/station identifications. On cable, KTRE is available on Suddenlink and Consolidated Communications in the area, as well as Dish Network. On satellite, the station is not currently carried by DirecTV, which instead carries KLTV in the area.
The station first signed on the air on August 31, 1955; it was founded by the owners of now-defunct radio station KTRE-AM (1420), and originally operated as a satellite of Houston NBC affiliate KPRC-TV. However, it occasionally deviated from the KPRC schedule to air programming from ABC and CBS. In 1964, the Federal Communications Commission collapsed Lufkin and Nacogdoches into the Tyler-Longview market. Soon afterward, the Buford family, owners of KLTV, bought KTRE and converted it into a semi-satellite of that station.
Until 1984, the station had an unusual "joint primary" arrangement with all three networks, with a slight favor towards ABC programming. Both stations lost CBS programming when KLMG-TV (channel 51, now Fox affiliate KFXK-TV) signed on in September 1984, but retained a secondary affiliation with NBC until KETK-TV (channel 56) signed on in March 1987. KTRE and KLTV were sold to Civic Communications in 1989. Civic merged with The Liberty Corporation in 2002, which in turn merged with Raycom Media in 2006.
For many years, the station operated at 26,000 watts from a tiny 540-foot (160 m) tower, which was short-spaced to prevent interference with CBS affiliate WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and later PBS member station KETG-TV in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. In the early 1980s, KTRE installed a new antenna and transmitter, operating at an increased power of 131 kilowatts, but never reached full power because of the short-space interference it would cause to those other stations. On another front, the new transmitter antenna was directional to minimize overlap with KLTV to comply with FCC duopoly rules, which until 2000, forbade one company to own stations in adjacent markets that had significant signal overlap (constituting them as an illegal duopoly, even though they were licensed to different television markets).
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|9.1||720p||16:9||KTRE||Main KTRE programming / ABC HD|
|9.2||480i||4:3||"Telemundo La Vida"|
KTRE shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, 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 11 to former analog channel 9 for post-transition operations.
KTRE presently broadcasts five hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with one hour each on weekdays). In other common news timeslots where the station does not produce its own locally based newscasts, KTRE simulcasts the weekday morning, midday, 5:00 p.m. and weekend evening newscasts from KLTV. In addition to its main studios, the station operates a bureau on North Street (U.S. 59 Business) in Nacogdoches. The first news anchor at channel 9 was Murphy Martin, who later became a local television anchor in Dallas and eventually served as an anchor for ABC News.