KEYE-TV, virtual channel 42 (UHF digital channel 34), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Austin, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. KEYE's studios are located on Metric Boulevard in North Austin (it is one of two area television stations whose studios are located in that section of town—ABC affiliate KVUE, channel 24, being the other), and its transmitter is located on Waymaker Way on the west side of Austin.
On cable, KEYE can be seen on Charter Spectrum, Suddenlink and Grande Communications channel 5.
The UHF channel 42 allocation in Austin had originally been used by NBC affiliate KHFI-TV, when that station signed on in February 1965. That station moved to channel 36 in 1973 and is now KXAN-TV.
KEYE-TV signed on the air on channel 42 on December 4, 1983 as KBVO-TV; the call letters came from the University of Texas at Austin's mascot, Bevo. It was Austin's first independent station. The station was originally owned by Steve Beard, an Austin advertising executive, and a small group of investors. On October 6, 1986, the station became a charter affiliate of the upstart Fox network and began branding itself as "Fox 42" on-air in the late 1980s. In 1993, Beard sold KBVO to Granite Broadcasting for $54 million—a handsome return on his original investment.
From Fox to CBS
In 1995, New World Communications purchased KTBC, which was included in a groupwide affiliation deal to switch most of New World's stations to Fox (which later purchased the New World holdings). On July 1, 1995, KTBC and KBVO swapped affiliations, with Fox moving to KTBC and the CBS affiliation going to KBVO, which changed its call letters to the current KEYE-TV the next day. The callsign refers to the iconic CBS Eye logo, as well as to "The Eyes of Texas", one of several songs associated with the University of Texas. It branded itself as "K-EYE 42, Your Eye on Austin" until 1999, when the branding was shortened to simply "K-EYE" on account of the fact that it was now available to all Austin area cable subscribers on cable channel 5.
In 1999, Granite put KEYE up for sale in order to meet debt obligations; that April, CBS agreed to buy the station for $160 million. The sale closed that August, making KEYE the second owned-and-operated station of any major network in the market (after KTBC). The next year, Viacom bought CBS; at that time, KEYE became part of a cluster of television stations in Texas owned by Viacom, alongside fellow CBS station KTVT and then-UPN affiliate KTXA (now an independent station) in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, and Houston UPN station KTXH. The latter station was then swapped to Fox (alongside WDCA in Washington, D.C.) in 2001 in exchange for San Francisco's KBHK.
In 2005, the station rebranded again, strangely enough, to "CBS42 K-EYE" (under the "CBS Mandate") to reflect its CBS ownership and for cable subscribers to avoid confusion with San Antonio's CBS outlet KENS-TV, seen on VHF analog channel 5. In 2006, the "K-EYE" branding was phased out in favor of referring itself as simply "CBS42" (except for a website address reference).
On February 7, 2007, CBS agreed to sell seven of its stations to Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., for $185 million. Cerberus formed a new holding company for the stations, Four Points Media Group, which took over the operations of the stations through local marketing agreements in late June 2007. The sale to Four Points was consummated on January 10, 2008; Four Points operated the stations outright until March 20, 2009, when it entered into a three-year local service agreement with the Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group. The latter company then took over the management of all of the Four Points stations, including KEYE. In August 2009, the "CBS42" branding was dropped in favor of "KEYE-TV", and the station website address was changed to weareaustin.com.
On September 8, 2011, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced its intent to purchase Four Points from Cerberus Capital Management for $200 million; Sinclair began managing the stations, including KEYE, under local marketing agreements after receiving antitrust approval from the U.S. Department of Justice, until the sale's closure. The sale made KEYE-TV the third Sinclair-owned television property in Texas, as the group already owned Fox affiliate KABB and CW affiliate KMYS (and has since acquired NBC affiliate WOAI-TV) in San Antonio (it has also since bought Fox affiliate KFOX-TV and CBS affiliate KDBC-TV in El Paso). The deal was completed on January 3, 2012.
|TV stations in Texas|
KENS, San Antonio
|TV stations in Texas|
|KBTX-DT3, Bryan||KVIA-DT4, El Paso||KNIC, Blanco||KUPB, Midland||K24GP, Lubbock||KTSM-DT2, El Paso|
|KTLE-LD, Odessa||KVAT-LD, Garfleld||KXOF-CD, Laredo||KUNU-LD, Victoria||K26KJ-D, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua-El Paso, TX||KLMV-LD, Laredo|
|KGNS-DT3, Laredo||KVDF-CD, San Antonio||KTFO-CD, Austin||KUVN, Garland||KHLM-LD, Houston||KVAW, Eagle Pass|
|KWTX-DT2, Waco||KETF-CD2, Laredo||KTFV-CD, McAllen||KINT, El Paso||K17MJ-D, San Antonio||KMPX, Decatur|
|KEYU, Borger||KYAZ, Katy||KEUS-LD, San Angelo||KLDO, Laredo||K20JT-D, Corpus Christi||KWDA-LD, Dallas|
|KTAB-DT2, Abilene||KAZD, Lake Dallas||KCRP-CD, Corpus Christi||KORO, Corpus Christi||KZHO-LD, Lake Jackson|
|KXTX, Dallas||KNWS-LP, Brownsville||KSTR, Irving||KANG-LP, San Angelo||KTBU, Conroe|
|KTLM, Rio Grande City||KTFN, El Paso||KWEX, San Antonio||KETK-DT2, Jacksonville|
|KEYE-DT2, Austin||KFTH, Alvin||KXLN, Rosenberg||KZJL, Houston|
|KTMD, Galveston||KNVO, McAllen||KVUE-DT2, Austin|
|K47DF-D, Corpus Christi||KBZO-LD, Lubbock||KMBH, Harlingen|
|KVDA, San Antonio||KAKW, Killeen|
|TV stations in Austin/Hill Country region|
|KTBC 7 (Fox) |
KBVO 14 (MNTV)
KADT-LD 16 (Daystar)
KVAT-LD 17 (AZA)
KLRU 18 (PBS)
KGBS-CD 19 (Stadium)
KADF-LP 20 (ANTENNA)
KVUE 24 (ABC)
K29HW-D 29 (Ind)
KTFO-CD 31 (UMas)
K34FM-D 34 (TBN)
KXAN 36 (NBC)
KXLK-CD 40 (Justice)
KEYE 42 (CBS)
KNVA 54 (CW)
KAKW 62 (UNI)