KGPE, virtual channel 47 (UHF digital channel 34), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Fresno, California, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, as part of a duopoly with NBC affiliate KSEE (channel 24). The two stations share studios on McKinley Avenue in eastern Fresno (several blocks from Fresno Yosemite International Airport); KGPE's transmitter is located on Bear Mountain (near Meadow Lakes).
The station first signed on the air on September 20, 1953 as KJEO; it was the second television station to sign on in the Fresno market, after KMJ-TV (channel 24, now KSEE), which debuted three months earlier on June 1. Channel 47 originally operated as a primary CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. KFRE-TV (channel 12, now KFSN-TV on channel 30) took the CBS affiliation when it signed on in May 1956, due to sister radio station KFRE (940 AM, now KFIG)'s longtime affiliation with the CBS Radio Network. Originally, the station was owned by John H. Poole Broadcasting Corporation, who would later sell the station to Shasta Telecasting Corporation. Retlaw Broadcasting, a unit of Retlaw Enterprises (a company owned by relatives of Walt Disney), acquired KJEO from Shasta Telecasting in 1968. On September 8, 1985, KFSN's owner, Capital Cities Communications merged with ABC. KFSN-TV became an ABC owned-and-operated station, sending the CBS affiliation back to KJEO.
Fisher Broadcasting merged with Retlaw in 1998, then proceeded to sell channel 47 to the Ackerley Group in 2000. Under Ackerley, the station changed its call letters to KGPE on September 14, 2000, and revamped its news operation as News 47. Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) merged with Ackerley in 2001. The acquisition was approved by the Federal Communications Commission and was finalized in 2002. Under Clear Channel, KGPE rebranded as CBS 47 On Your Side in October 2004.
On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire group of television stations to Newport Television, a broadcast holding company controlled by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. That sale was finalized on March 14, 2008. In mid-May 2008, Newport Television agreed to sell the license assets of KGPE and five other stations to High Plains Broadcasting, Inc. due to ownership conflicts as a result of Providence Equity Partners also holding a 19% ownership stake in the Spanish-language network Univision, owner of KFTV-DT (channel 21) and Telefutura station KTFF-DT (channel 61)). The sale closed on September 15, 2008; Newport continued to operate KGPE under a shared services agreement. This resulted in KGPE having its sixth owner over the course of ten years. KJEO/KGPE has long been one of CBS' weaker affiliates. However, in recent years, it has traded fourth and fifth place with KSEE in total day viewership. The November 2012 sweeps period had KGPE place just ahead of KSEE.
Newport Television agreed to sell KGPE, along with NBC affiliate KGET-TV and Telemundo affiliate KKEY-LP in Bakersfield, to Nexstar Broadcasting Group on November 5, 2012. The FCC approved the sale on January 23, 2013; which was completed on February 19. Nexstar subsequently announced the acquisition of KSEE from Granite Broadcasting, in the process forming a duopoly with KGPE. Normally, duopolies between two "Big Four" affiliates or even "Big Three" affiliates would not be allowed because such stations usually constituted among the four highest-rated stations in a market. FCC regulations do not allow common ownership of any two of the four top-rated stations in total day viewership in the same market. However, according to Nielsen, KGPE was ranked as the fourth highest-rated station in the market and KSEE placed fifth in total day viewership, allowing a duopoly to be formed between the stations. This marked the second instance (after the Gannett Company purchased ABC affiliate WJXX in Jacksonville, Florida, creating a duopoly with that market's NBC affiliate WTLV, in 2000) in which a single company owns a duopoly involving two stations that are affiliated by a Big Three television network; and is also Nexstar's first true Big Three duopoly (Nexstar's other Big Three duopolies are virtually formed, in which the other station is owned by Mission Broadcasting). The sale was consummated on May 31.
In May 2013, KGPE and KSEE's general manager Matt Rosenfield told The Fresno Bee that KGPE would be consolidated into the facilities of KSEE by the end of the year. New high definition-capable studios were built for the two stations. The station moved its operations from its longtime studio facility on First Street (across the street from Fashion Fair Mall) to the KSEE building on October 9, 2013 (which was renamed the McKinley Media Center, in reference to the street it is located on).
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|47.1||1080i||16:9||KGPE-HD||Main KGPE programming / CBS|
|47.2||480i||4:3||Mystery||Court TV Mystery|
KGPE digital subchannel 47.2 originally carried programming from Untamed Sports TV beginning in 2010; in 2012, the subchannel switched its affiliation to ZUUS Country. After Nexstar took ownership of KGPE in 2014, the station dropped ZUUS Country. (ZUUS Country then moved to KMSG-LD channel 39.5) (with exceptions in some markets, one of them being KSEE (which continues to carry LATV on its digital channel 24.3), Nexstar seldom carries multicast networks or for that matter, additional subchannels on the majority of its stations), replacing it with a standard definition simulcast of its main channel.
KGPE shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 47, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 47.
Syndicated programs broadcast by KGPE include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, and Rachael Ray. KGPE carries the entire CBS programming schedule, however it airs the Saturday edition of CBS This Morning and the CBS Dream Team block two hours earlier and CBS News Sunday Morning and Face the Nation one hour earlier than most Pacific Time Zone affiliates.
KGPE presently broadcasts 23½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours each weekday and a half-hour each on Saturdays and Sundays); unlike most CBS affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, the station does not broadcast a newscast in the 5:30 p.m. timeslot on weekdays (the station instead fills that half-hour with syndicated programming) nor does it carry early evening newscasts on weekends. As of 2014, KGPE's newscasts are in second place in the Fresno market.
In the late 1980s, the station debuted a 6:30 p.m. newscast, which bumped the CBS Evening News to 7:00 p.m.—the program was canceled in 1995; KGPE restored a 6:30 p.m. newscast in 2007, which was canceled after a few months due to low ratings. The 5:00 p.m. newscast originally debuted in 1995, as a five-minute broadcast; it later expanded to a half-hour in 1996. That year, the station debuted a weekday morning newscast. In 2001, the station expanded its early evening news programming with the addition of a 5:30 p.m. newscast; the program was canceled in 2002 due to low ratings.
After Nexstar finalized its acquisition of KSEE In April 2013, the two stations began sharing reporters and photographers, but continue to maintain separate on-air talent. Following the formal merger of KSEE and KGPE's news departments into the former's McKinley Avenue studios on October 9, 2013, KGPE revived the Eyewitness News title that was previously used by the station from 1978 until the late 1990s; the station's newscasts also adopted a fast-paced format focusing on breaking news and investigative reports.
Notable former on-air staff
- Susie Frankeberger – anchor (2000–2008)
- John Reed King – anchor/reporter (deceased)
- Elita Loresca – weathercaster (2002–2004; now at KTRK-TV in Houston)
- Kent Ninomiya – reporter
- Meg Oliver – anchor/reporter (2001–2004; later anchor of CBS News' Up To The Minute)
|TV stations in California|
|KCBS, Los Angeles|
KCOY, Santa Barbara/Santa Maria/San Luis Obispo
|TV stations in Central California, including Fresno and Visalia|
|KVHF-LD 4 (VBC GUIDE) |
KAIL 7 (TCT)
KFAZ-CA 8 (Decades)
K17JI-D 12 (3ABN)
KVBC-LP 13 (CourtTV)
KHSC-LP 16 (KJOI-LP)
KVPT 18 (PBS)
KFTV 21 (UNI)
KZMM-CD 22 (Ind)
KSEE 24 (NBC)
KMPH 26 (Fox)
KJKZ-LP 27 (KKDJ)
KFSN 30 (ABC)
KBID-LP 31 (Euronews)
KJEO-LD 32 (NUESTRA)
KGOF-LD 32 (HMONG)
KSDI-LD 33 (Telemax)
KMCF-LD 35 (LATV)
KGMC 43 (ESTRELLA)
KGPE 47 (CBS)
KNXT 49 (Ind)
KNSO 51 (TLM)
KMSG-LD 53 (MNTV)
KFRE 59 (CW)
KTFF-DT/KTFF-LD 61/41 (UMas)