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KABB, virtual channel 29 (UHF digital channel 30), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to San Antonio, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with NBC affiliate WOAI-TV (channel 4); Sinclair also operates Kerrville-licensed CW affiliate KMYS (channel 35) through joint sales and shared services agreements with owner Deerfield Media. The three stations share studios between Babcock Road and Sovereign Drive (off Loop 410) in northwest San Antonio; KABB's transmitter is located off of Route 181 in northwest Wilson County (northeast of Elmendorf). The station brands itself as "Fox San Antonio", even though it is stylized as "Fox 29" through its logo.

On cable, KABB is available on Charter Spectrum and Grande Communications channel 11, and AT&T U-verse channel 29.

HistoryEdit

The station first signed on the air on December 16, 1987; originally operating as an independent station, it was the first independent to sign on in the San Antonio market since KRRT (channel 35, now CW affiliate KMYS)—which by that point, was the market's original Fox affiliate—debuted in November 1985. Channel 29 was originally owned by the Alamo Broadcasting Corporation, from which its call letters were taken.

Alamo Broadcasting sold the station to River City Broadcasting in 1989. In 1994, Paramount Pictures, then-owners of KRRT through its Paramount Stations Group subsidiary, entered into a partnership with Chris-Craft Industries—which owned NBC affiliate KMOL-TV (channel 4, now WOAI-TV) at the time—to create the United Paramount Network (UPN), with KRRT serving as the network's San Antonio affiliate. River City subsequently signed an affiliation agreement with Fox for KABB to become the network's new area affiliate; on January 16, 1995, KRRT dropped Fox programming to become the market's original affiliate of UPN, with KABB assuming the Fox affiliation; shortly afterward, KRRT entered into a local marketing agreement with KABB after Paramount sold channel 35 to Jet Broadcasting. In 1996, the Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired River City Broadcasting's television stations.

The following year, Glencairn, Ltd. (which evolved into Cunningham Broadcasting) bought KRRT; the family of Sinclair Broadcast Group founder Julian Sinclair Smith owned 97% of Glencairn's stock (Glencairn was, in turn, to be paid with Sinclair stock for the purchases), effectively making KABB and KRRT a duopoly in violation of FCC rules of the period. Glencairn had owned eleven television stations nationwide that Sinclair operated under LMAs; a later plan to sell five of its stations to Sinclair outright prompted the Rainbow/PUSH coalition (headed by Jesse Jackson) to file challenges, citing concerns over a single company holding two broadcast licenses in one market and arguing that Glencairn passed itself off as a minority-owned company (its president, former Sinclair executive Edwin Edwards, is African American) when it was really an arm of Sinclair, and used the LMA to gain control of the station. The FCC levied a $40,000 fine against Sinclair in 2001 for illegally controlling Glencairn. Sinclair purchased KRRT outright in 2001, creating the market's first television duopoly with KABB.

The station originally carried Fox's children's program block Fox Kids when it switched to the network in January 1995 and also carried its successors FoxBox and 4Kids TV; the network later discontinued the Fox Kids weekday blocks in 2002, with the Saturday morning lineup remaining until September 2006, when KABB became the seventh Fox station that was not involved in the switches resulting from the network's 1994 affiliation agreement with New World Communications (after WSVN in Miami, KMSP-TV in Minneapolis, KPTV in Portland, Oregon KMSB-TV in Tucson, KMPH-TV in Fresno and KPTM in Omaha) to stop carrying the network's children's program block; Fox Kids successor 4Kids TV block was moved to sister station KMYS to accommodate a short-lived weekend expansion of its morning newscast Fox News First. The lineup remained on KMYS until 4Kids TV was discontinued by Fox (due to a dispute between the network and the block's lessee 4Kids Entertainment) in December 2008, after which Fox permanently discontinued providing network-supplied children's programming.

On May 15, 2012, the Sinclair Broadcast Group and Fox agreed to a five-year extension to the network's affiliation agreement with Sinclair's 19 Fox stations, including KABB, allowing them to continue to carry the network's programming through 2017.

On July 19, 2012, Sinclair announced that it would acquire NBC affiliate WOAI-TV (channel 4) from High Plains Broadcasting as part of its purchase of six television stations, along with the assumption of the operations of two others, from Newport Television. Since Federal Communications Commission duopoly regulations forbid common ownership of more than two full-power stations in a single market from being under the same ownership, Sinclair spun off KMYS to Deerfield Media; however, Sinclair retained control of KMYS through a shared services agreement. In addition, while FCC rules disallow ownership of two of the four highest-rated stations in the same market, which normally precludes duopolies involving two "Big Four" network affiliates, Sinclair cited in its FCC purchase application that WOAI ranked as the fourth highest-rated station (behind Univision owned-and-operated station KWEX-DT (channel 41)) and KABB the fifth-rated station in the San Antonio market in total day viewership. The Sinclair and Deerfield Media deals were consummated on December 3, 2012. The operations of KABB and KMYS initially remained separate from WOAI-TV, with the two stations retaining competing news operations. However, in October 2013, the San Antonio Express-News reported that Sinclair planned to move WOAI's sales, promotions and executive offices from its downtown San Antonio studios on Navarro Street to a new building adjacent to KABB and KMYS' shared Babcock Road facility; the transition of WOAI employees to the KABB/KMYS complex was finalized in the summer of 2014, with the completion of a shared newsroom on the second floor of the building that accommodates both WOAI and KABB's respective news staffs. The combined Sinclair news operation is the largest in the city.


TV stations in Texas
KRIV, Houston

KABB, San Antonio
KTBC, Austin
KDFW, Dallas–Fort Worth
KJTL, Wichita Falls
KWKT, Waco
KXII-DT3, Sherman
KBTV, Beaumont
KCIT, Amarillo
KIDY, San Angelo
KVCT, Victoria
KJTV, Lubbock
KETF-CD, Laredo
KXVA, Abilene
KSCC, Corpus Christi
KXFX-CD, Brownsville
KFXV-LD, McAllen
KPEJ, Odessa
KFOX, El Paso

TV stations in inland South Texas, including San Antonio
KCWX 2 (MNTV)
WOAI 4 (NBC)
KENS 5 (CBS)
KVFW-LD 6 (Ind)
KLRN 9 (PBS)
KYVV 10 (GRIT)
KSAT 12 (ABC)
K27LF-D 14 (3ABN)
KNIC 17 (UMas)
KOBS-LD 19 (BOUNCE)
KRTX-LP 20 (HEARTLAND)
KHCE 23 (TBN)
KVAW 24 (Ind)
KGMM-CD 24 (Info)
KPXL 26 (Ion)
KABB 29 (Fox)
KVDF-CD 31 (AZA)
KMYS 35 (CW)
KISA-LD 40 (QVC)
KWEX 41 (UNI)
KQVE-LP 46 (Daystar)
KVDA 60 (TLM)
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