KVII-TV, virtual channel 7, is an ABC-affiliated television station in Amarillo, Texas, it is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The station also operates a satellite station in Clovis, New Mexico: KVIH-TV (digital channel 12). KVII has a transmitter located north of Amarillo in unincorporated Potter County, while studios are located at One Broadcast Center inside a pyramid-shaped building in the downtown area (across the street from KAMR-TV/KCPN-LP/KCIT).
KVII and satellite station KVIH serve viewers across a four-state region including the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, eastern New Mexico and southwestern Kansas. The station is broadcast over-the-air and via cable carriage and several UHF translators.
|7.1/12.1||720p||16:9||Main KVII/KVIH programming / ABC|
KVII signed on for the first time on December 21, 1957. This made Amarillo one of the smallest markets to have full service from all three networks, although the market had no PBS station until KACV opened in 1988. In 1967, the station was sold to Stanley Marsh 3.
KVII formerly operated another satellite, KVIJ-TV channel 8 in Sayre, Oklahoma, from 1976 to 1992. KVIJ ceased operations because most viewers in its area of western Oklahoma received their network programming via cable. This gave them access to stations from the Oklahoma City or Wichita Falls-Lawton DMAs including ABC affiliates KOCO and KSWO-TV, respectively, and very few actually tuned into KVIJ directly. The former studio and transmitter site of KVIJ now sit vacant northwest of Sayre at the intersection of state highways 6 and 152, at . Channel 8 began operations in 1961 as CBS affiliate KSWB-TV (licensed to Elk City, Oklahoma; its call sign related to original owner South West Broadcasting), and changed its call letters to KFDO-TV in 1966 when it became a satellite of Amarillo's CBS affiliate, KFDA-TV (at that time, channel 8 moved to Sayre). In 1976, it was sold to Marsh. The KSWB call letters now reside to the Fox affiliate in San Diego, California.
Also in 1976, KFDA's then-satellite station in Clovis, KFDW channel 12, was sold to Mel Wheeler (manager and a part owner of KFDA's then-ownership). The station remained a satellite of KFDA until 1979, when the station was sold to McAlister TV in Lubbock, Texas, and began operating as an adjunct to ABC affiliate KAMC (channel 28) in Lubbock under the call sign of KMCC. After the death of Bill McAlister, KMCC was sold to Marsh in 1986 and became a KVII satellite, changing the call letters to KVIH in the process.
KVII was one of the first commercial stations to air the PBS program Sesame Street. It started in 1970 and continued to air it until KACV opened.
From 1999 to 2006, KVII helped provide an Amarillo affiliate station of The WB Television Network. KVII promoted and sold advertising for the network, while Amarillo's cable television operator broadcast the station on a cable channel. On September 18, 2006, KVII's DT2 subchannel became the area's new affiliates of The CW Television Network.
In 2002, Stanley Marsh sold the station to Atlanta-based New Vision Group. In 2005, New Vision Group's parent company sold the station to Barrington Broadcasting for $22.5 million. By mid-October 2006, the digital signal was fully operating, coinciding with the introduction of a viewer-interactive newscast, in which viewers can send e-mails with questions and concerns in regards to the stories and features in the newscasts.
KVII-TV uses the "Circle 7 logo" shared with ABC's owned-and-operated stations (O&O) and many ABC affiliates with Channel 7 frequencies. The Circle 7 logo has been in use continuously at KVII-TV since 1968, when it was adopted by then-owner Marsh Media shortly after purchasing the station.
In 2007, KVII launched The AccuWeather Channel to its third digital subchannel to provide weather information around the Panhandle and the High Plains, it was first a competitor to KAMR-TV when that station had NBC Weather Plus until they replaced the network with a simulcast of MyNetworkTV affiliate KCPN-LP, the affiliation lasted until 2013 when the subchannel went silent for a year, then in 2014, the station added Grit to the subchannel. Concurrently in 2016, the station's third digital subchannel replaced Grit with Comet. (Grit can now be seen on KLKW-LD's third digital subchannel).
Syndicated programming on KVII/KVIH includes: Live! with Kelly, Steve Harvey (opposite Family Feud on KFDA-DT2), The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wheel of Fortune (opposite Jeopardy! on KFDA-TV), and Monopoly Millionaires' Club among others.
The Pro News title had been used at KVII-TV continuously since Marsh Media purchased the station from John Walton in late 1967. For many years, the 10 p.m. edition of Pro News was a 45-minute broadcast, but has been truncated back to 35 minutes in recent years. Also, Pro News 7 broadcast a noon newscast on Sundays during the 1970s and 1980s, along with the noon broadcast Monday through Friday. When general manager John Tyler moved to WQXI-TV, now WXIA-TV in Atlanta in 1972, he took the Pro News title, expanded the 11 p.m. newscast to 40 minutes, and added noon newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays. In February 2012, KVII-TV launched a weeknight 9 p.m. newscast on digital subchannel 7.2.
On April 6, 2015, KVII unveiled a new studio, and discontinued the previous Pro News 7 brand in favor of simply ABC 7 News.
Former on-air staff
- Ben McCain - anchor/reporter (1976–1978; now anchor, reporter and actor)