TV Stations Wikia

KENS, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 39), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to San Antonio, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Tegna Inc. KENS' studios are located on Fredericksburg Road (Spur 345) in the Mockingbird Hill neighborhood of northwest San Antonio, and its transmitter is located off U.S. 181 in northwest Wilson County (northeast of Elmendorf). The station is available on channel 5 on most cable systems in the area.


The station first signed on the air on February 15, 1950 as KEYL; channel 5 was the second television station to sign on in the San Antonio market, debuting three months after primary NBC affiliate WOAI-TV (channel 4). The station has been a primary CBS affiliate since its sign-on, however it initially carried secondary affiliations with DuMont, ABC and the Paramount Television Network—the former two affiliations were shared with WOAI-TV. The station was originally owned alongside KABC radio (680 AM, now KKYX). KEYL was one of Paramount's strongest affiliates, carrying nearly the network's entire lineup. Among the Paramount programs that KEYL aired were Armchair Detective, Latin Cruise, Hollywood Reel, Hollywood Wrestling, Time for Beany and Movietown, RSVP.

In 1951, Storer Broadcasting (which had good relations with CBS) bought KEYL and KABC. On February 1, 1954, channel 5 changed its call letters to KGBS-TV; KABC's calls were subsequently changed to match its television sister, as KGBS, on March 1. In November of that year, Storer was forced to sell KGBS-AM-TV to the San Antonio Express-News, in order to complete the company's purchase of WXEL-TV (now WJW) in Cleveland, Ohio as keeping KGBS-TV would have put the company one station over the Federal Communications Commission's ownership regulations that went into effect that year which limited the number of television stations that can be owned by one company to seven, with no more than five of those allocated to the VHF band (at the time, newspapers could own television and/or radio stations in the same market provided that such ownership complied with the FCC-mandated ownership limits of each property in effect at the time). The Express-News then changed the call letters of the television and radio stations to KENS-TV and KENS (the -TV suffix was dropped from the callsign of the television station following the digital television transition on June 12, 2009, when several other Belo stations dropped the suffix from their legal call signs; Storer later re-used the KGBS calls on what is now KTNQ and KAMP-FM in Los Angeles).

DuMont ceased most network operations in 1955, but would honor network commitments until August 1956, when it ceased operations permanently. Channel 5 lost ABC programming when KONO-TV (channel 12, now KSAT-TV) signed on in 1957, leaving KENS as a full-time CBS affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

In early 1962, the Express-News and KENS-AM-TV were purchased by Harte-Hanks Communications; the radio station was sold off a few months later since Harte-Hanks was not interested in radio station ownership at the time. When the FCC tightened its cross-ownership rules in the early 1970s, Harte-Hanks sought grandfathered protection for its San Antonio media combination. However, while the FCC granted such protection to several media combinations across the country, it would not do the same to the Harte-Hanks combination in San Antonio. Accordingly, in 1973, Harte-Hanks opted to keep KENS-TV and sell the Express-News to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

In the mid-1980s, KENS broadcast a short-lived local cable channel that was carried on Rogers Cablevision channel 24, called KENS II. Under the direction of station manager Larry Smith, the channel's programming included replays of channel 5's local newscasts, broadcasts of Ron Taylor and Janie Groves' classified real estate programming and a few locally produced programs and specials such as Auto TV (hosted by Richard Courchesne and Michael Saul), and Barney Regets' computer generated musical video kaleidoscope created earlier at UA Columbia's Consumer Cable 29.

In 1993, Harte-Hanks acquired what at the time became the second incarnation of KENS radio (1160 AM). In September 1997, Harte-Hanks sold its remaining media properties, including the KENS stations, to the E. W. Scripps Company in order to concentrate on the company's direct marketing operations. At the same time, Belo Corporation announced that it would trade its controlling stake in the Food Network to Scripps in exchange for the KENS stations. The Harte-Hanks/Scripps deal and the transfer of Belo's stake in the Food Network to Scripps were both completed on October 15 of that year. At that time, Belo took over the operations of the KENS stations through a time brokerage agreement. Belo completed its purchase of the KENS stations on December 4, 1997. The second incarnation of KENS radio was sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2003, which converted the station into a Radio Disney outlet as KRDY. In August 2000, KENS began to manage upstart UPN affiliate KBEJ (channel 2, now MyNetworkTV affiliate KCWX) under a local marketing agreement. The LMA was terminated in April 2010, five months before the station lost its CW affiliation.

KENS remained closely associated with the Express-News, even though the station and newspaper had been under separate ownership for many years. The station shared its main website with the newspaper until the end of 2008, when the news partnership agreement between KENS and the Express-News ended. The station launched its own website,, on January 26, 2009. The site has been recognized with two Lone Star Emmy Awards for Interactivity and the 2011 and 2015 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for "Best Large-Market Website."

On June 13, 2013, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire Belo's television properties, including KENS, for $1.5 billion. The sale received FCC approval on December 20, and was formally completed on December 23, 2013, reuniting KENS with former Harte-Hanks sister stations WFMY and WTLV. 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. KENS was retained by the latter company, named Tegna.

TV stations in Texas
KHOU, Houston

KENS, San Antonio
KEYE, Austin
KTVT, Dallas–Fort Worth
KAUZ, Wichita Falls
KWTX, Waco
KBTX, College Station
KXII, Sherman
KFDM, Beaumont
KFDA, Amarillo
KLST, San Angelo
KAVU, Victoria
KLBK, Lubbock
KYLX-LD, Laredo
KZTV, Corpus Christi
KGBT, Harlingen
KOSA, Odessa
KDBC, El Paso

TV stations in inland South Texas, including San Antonio
KVFW-LD 6 (Ind)
K27LF-D 14 (3ABN)
KNIC 17 (UMas)
KVAW 24 (Ind)
KGMM-CD 24 (Info)
KPXL 26 (Ion)
KABB 29 (Fox)
KMYS 35 (Dabl)
KQVE-LP 46 (Daystar)