KFRE-TV, virtual channel 59 (UHF digital channel 36), is a CW-affiliated television station serving Fresno, California, United States that is licensed to Sanger. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with Visalia-licensed Fox affiliate KMPH-TV (channel 26). The two stations share studios on McKinley Avenue in eastern Fresno (one mile (1.6 km) southwest of Fresno Yosemite International Airport); KFRE's transmitter is located on Bear Mountain (near Meadow Lakes).

History[edit | edit source]

Early years[edit | edit source]

The station first signed on the air on July 17, 1985 as KMSG-TV; originally operating as an independent station, channel 59 originally ran a religious format mostly with shows like The PTL Club, The 700 Club, Richard Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, and others as well as Home Shopping Network programming during the overnight hours. This station signed on just as KAIL (then on channel 53, now on channel 7) was evolving from religious to more of a general entertainment format. By 1987, the station evolved into a Spanish-language format during the afternoon and evening hours, and English-language religious programs for about eight hours a day each morning. The station's Spanish programming was sourced from NetSpan, the second Spanish-language television network to launch in the United States (after the Spanish International Network, now Univision); NetSpan was relaunched as Telemundo in 1987. By 1989, the station gradually dropped its inventory of English-language religious programs, and exclusively affiliated with Telemundo.

Early 2000s[edit | edit source]

In 2000, KNSO (channel 51, then an affiliate of The WB) signed a deal to become the Fresno market's new Telemundo affiliate; as a result, Pappas Telecasting terminated a local marketing agreement between KNSO and Fox affiliate KMPH-TV](channel 26). On January 1, 2001, the LMA with KMPH was transferred to KMSG, which also resulted in the WB affiliation moving to the station from KNSO (becoming the network's third affiliate in the market; The WB's original Fresno affiliate was Clovis-based KGMC (channel 43), which was with the network from its launch in 1995 until 1997); channel 59 also changed its call letters to KFRE-TV (the KFRE calls were originally used in the market on what is now ABC owned-and-operated station KFSN-TV (channel 30) from 1956 to 1971). At this time, the station changed its on-air branding to "WB 59".

Pappas Telecasting purchased KFRE outright in 2002, creating the first television duopoly in the market with KMPH-TV. In 2003, KFRE acquired the rights to Fox's 4Kids TV children's program block from KMPH, airing the block normally aired on Saturdays on a tape delay on Sunday mornings (this resulted in KFRE carrying children's blocks from two major networks, as it already carried The WB's Kids' WB block). The station continued to carry 4Kids TV until the block was discontinued by Fox in November 2008 due to a dispute with the block's lessee 4Kids Entertainment; KFRE-TV now airs Fox's Saturday morning infomercial block Weekend Marketplace, in 4Kids TV's former Sunday morning timeslot on the station.

Since 2006[edit | edit source]

On January 24, 2006, 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. KFRE became the market's CW affiliate when the network launched on September 18, 2006.

On May 10, 2008, thirteen Pappas stations, including KFRE, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As a result of the bankruptcy, Pappas Telecasting Companies was given until February 15, 2009 to sell these stations to other owners. On January 16, 2009, Pappas announced that most of the stations, including KFRE, would be purchased by New World TV Group, after the sale received United States bankruptcy court approval; the stations would eventually come under the Titan TV Broadcast Group banner. Titan announced the sale of KFRE-TV, KMPH-TV and most of the company's other stations to the Sinclair Broadcast Group on June 3, 2013. The Federal Communications Commission approved the sale on September 19, and the sale was finalized on October 3.

KFRE-TV has been digital-only since June 12, 2009.

KFRE-TV began airing programming from the American Sports Network syndication package of sports on August 30, 2014.

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KECA-LD, Eureka
KMAX, Sacramento
KHSL-DT2, Redding/Chico
KCWQ-LP, Coachella Valley/Palm Springs
KBCW, San Francisco
KION-DT2, Monterey
KECY-DT3, El Centro/Yuma
KFRE, Fresno
KGET-DT2, Bakersfield
KFMB-DT2, San Diego

TV stations in Central California, including Fresno and Visalia
KZMM-CD 22 (Ind)
KMPH 26 (Fox)
KBID-LP 31 (Euronews)
KJEO-LD 32 (Bounce)
KNXT 49 (Ind)
KFRE 59 (CW)
KTFF 61 (UMas)
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