KYTX, virtual channel 19 (UHF digital channel 18), is a CBS-affiliated television station serving Tyler and Longview, Texas, United States that is licensed to Nacogdoches. The station is owned by Tegna, Inc. The station is shared with MeTV affiliate KCEB (channel 54), which is owned by London Broadcasting Company. The two stations share studio facilities located near Loop 323 in the southeastern portion of Tyler and its transmitter is located near State Highway 110 in rural east-central Cherokee County (northeast of Gallatin).
On cable, the station is available on Suddenlink Communications and Longview Cable Television channel 11. There is a high definition feed offered on Suddenlink Communications digital channel 710 and Longview Cable Television digital channel 240.
The history of CBS in East Texas traces back to the sign-on of the market's first television station, KTVE (channel 32) in 1953; that station shut down due to financial problems in 1955. After KLTV (channel 7) signed on in October 1954, it carried select CBS programming as part of a shared primary affiliation with ABC and NBC (eventually becoming a full-time ABC affiliate in 1984). CBS would not have a full-time affiliate in the Tyler-Longview market until September 1984, when KLMG-TV (channel 51, now KFXK-TV) signed on the air from Longview; KLMG disaffiliated from the network in April 1991 to become the market's Fox affiliate. For the thirteen years that followed, area cable systems had to offer out-of-market CBS affiliates from either Dallas (originally KDFW, then KTVT after the former switched to Fox in July 1995) or Shreveport (KSLA) with most cable systems in East Texas carrying the latter station.
KYTX station history
The station first signed on the air on September 1, 1991 as KLSB-TV, operating as a satellite station of NBC affiliate KETK-TV (channel 56). Max Media (a company partially related to Max Media Properties, former owner of KETK) purchased the station in 2003. Upon acquiring the station, Max Media signed an affiliation agreement to become the market's CBS affiliate. The company also leased a building in southeast Tyler that formerly operated as a four-screen movie theater to serve as the station's studio facilities. That winter, Max filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to change the station's callsign to KYTX. Channel 19 officially joined CBS on April 12, 2004, broadcasting from the KLSB transmitter; the following day, the FCC officially granted the call sign change to KYTX (the KLSB callsign ended up on a low-power station broadcasting on UHF channel 53, which became the sole repeater of KETK, until it shut down in 2012). Prior to that; CBS programming was seen on KLMG, then from Dallas' CBS affiliates (First KDFW, and later KTVT) or the network's Shreveport affiliate KSLA after KLMG switched to Fox and changed the call letters to KFXK. The station relocated its transmitter facilities to new tower located south of New Summerfield on June 13, 2004.
On October 18, 2007, the station was sold to the Addison-based London Broadcasting Company (owned by former Gaylord Entertainment Company CEO Terry E. London, in association with private equity firm Sun TX Capital Partners) for $25 million.
On May 14, 2014, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire KYTX and five other London Broadcasting stations in a $215 million all-cash transaction. Gannett's CEO Gracia Martore touted that the acquisition would give the company a presence in several fast-growing markets, and opportunities for local advertisers to leverage its digital marketing platform. Gannett also owns fellow Texas-based CBS affiliates KHOU in Houston and KENS in San Antonio, which the company had acquired in its 2013 purchase of the Belo Corporation. The sale was completed on July 8.
London exempted MeTV affiliate KCEB from the deal (as well as company flagship KTXD-TV in the Dallas suburb of Greenville), which will result in only the second instance in which a duopoly will be legally and operationally separated (the Sinclair Broadcast Group is similarly splitting up its Birmingham duopoly of WTTO and WABM, in order to acquire WBMA-LD and its satellites as part of its purchase of Allbritton Communications Company's television stations).
The acquisition closed on July 8, 2014. Under Gannett ownership, the station is held under the same holding company that previously used to own KMOV-TV, which was sold to Meredith Corporation after Gannett's purchase of Belo.
On June 29, 2015, the Gannett Company split in two, with one side specializing in print media and the other side specializing in broadcast and digital media. KYTX was retained by the latter company, named TEGNA.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|19.1||1080i||16:9||KYTX-DT||Main KYTX programming / CBS|
|19.2||480i||4:3||MYTX||The CW Plus ("East Texas CW 19.2")|
|19.3||MeTV||MeTV ("MeTV East Texas")|
On January 1, 2006, the station launched digital subchannel 19.2 as a UPN affiliate (assuming the network's affiliation in the market from KCEB (channel 54)). Shortly after receiving the affiliation, on January 24, 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, which would be aimed at young adults between the ages of 18 and 34. KCEB assumed the CW affiliation, while KYTX-DT2 became an independent station branded as "MYTX" on September 18 after the network ceased operations; "MYTX" eventually became a Retro Television Network affiliate until it affiliated with MeTV on September 19, 2011; the subchannel then switched to The CW in May 2012 (assuming the affiliation with the network's CW Plus service from KCEB, which took the MeTV affiliation).
In 2009, KYTX added Azteca América on digital subchannel 19.3, becoming the first Spanish language network affiliate in East Texas. The subchannel became an This TV affiliate in March 2012. In March 2013, digital channel 19.3 switched its affiliation to Cozi TV (with This TV programming later moving to KCEB on its third digital subchannel).
KYTX signed on its digital signal on UHF channel 18 from a new transmitter tower in Ponta, becoming the first station in the Tyler-Longview market to transmit a full-power digital signal, and the first to offer network programming in high definition on June 12, 2004. The station shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 19, at 11:59 p.m. on February 17, 2009, the original target date for full-power television stations in the United States to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which Congress had moved the previous month to June 12). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 18, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 19.
As part of the SAFER Act, KYTX kept its analog signal on the air until March 19 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.
Anchorwoman reality show
KYTX was the center of a reality series on Fox titled Anchorwoman, which filmed at the station's Tyler studios during the spring of 2007. The series starred Lauren Jones (a former beauty pageant winner, The Price Is Right model and featured WWE Diva), who trained to become an anchor at the station. Billboards promoting the program, showing Jones posing provocatively alongside the caption "She's coming", caused controversy across East Texas. The station's participation in the program received attention from many national news outlets including Fox News and Good Morning America, who did stories on the filming of the series.
As the program aired on a competitor of CBS, KYTX temporarily removed CBS branding from most of its signage and equipment until filming of the program wrapped. The program premiered on Fox with back-to-back episodes on August 22, 2007, it was cancelled the following day after the series premiere garnered a disappointing 2.0 household rating and 1.0 rating among adults between the ages of 18 to 49, according to Nielsen Media Research. In the Tyler-Longview market, local Fox affiliate KFXK-TV aired the program as scheduled, but the station did not sell any local advertising during the program to local businesses, opting to use this time to air promotions for local newscasts on sister station KETK-TV as KFXK did not air a local newscast at that time.
KYTX presently broadcasts 19 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 3½ hours on weekdays, a half-hour on Saturdays and one hour on Sundays); unlike most CBS affiliates, the station does not presently carry a noon newscast on weekdays or early evening newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays nor does its weekday morning newscast run for at least two hours (the program airs for 90 minutes).
Shortly after taking the CBS affiliation, Max Media invested in developing a news department for the station. In the interim, during the station's first few months as a CBS affiliate, KYTX resorted to simulcasting local newscasts from the network's Dallas owned-and-operated station KTVT. KYTX debuted its local newscasts on September 12, 2004 (under the original brand of CBS 19 Eyewitness News) with the launch of a weeknight-only 6:00 p.m. newscast. In addition to the 6:00 p.m. program, the station initially offered an hour-long 6:00 a.m. newscast on weekday mornings, and a half-hour late evening newscast at 10:00 p.m. seven nights a week. The following year, KYTX launched a half-hour 5:00 p.m. newscast (originally titled Eye @ 5), which was followed in 2007 by the addition of a 6:30 p.m. newscast that focused on news stories in the Longview and Kilgore areas (similar to a previously attempt at a Longview-centric local newscast that aired on KFXK during its days as a CBS affiliate). The 5:00 p.m. newscast was rebranded as Primetime at 5 that year, while the 10:00 p.m. newscast adopted the Ten @ 10 format in January 2008, focusing on faster delivery of news and weather in the first ten minutes of the newscast. Later in 2008, the station launched a half-hour newscast on Sunday mornings.
In 2009, KYTX dropped the Eyewitness News title for its newscasts in favor of KYTX CBS 19 News. On April 23, 2009, beginning with its weekday morning newscast, KYTX became the first television station in the Tyler-Longview market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. Later that year, the station entered into a content partnership with the Tyler Morning Telegraph to collaborate on news stories as well as to provide weather forecasts for the newspaper.
On March 16, 2015, KYTX debuted the Gannett graphics with an updated on-air branding as simply CBS 19 News (dropping the KYTX portion of the branding).
Stormy, the Weather Dog
Stormy, a dog adopted from the Humane Society of Smith County in 2005, served as the station's de facto mascot, "assisting" former chief meteorologist Doc Deason (who remains with the station as its weeknight 5:00 p.m. meteorologist) with his weather forecasts during the weeknight newscasts. The idea was inspired by a similar mascot used by Houston NBC affiliate KPRC-TV. Viewers named the dog in a poll; Stormy made his first on-air appearance on November 3, 2005. Sales of "Stormy's Dog-gone Goodwill Dog Cookies" featuring the dog benefitted area humane societies and Goodwill Industries chapters. Stormy no longer appears on KYTX's newscasts.