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KRIV, virtual and UHF digital channel 26, is a Fox owned-and-operated television station licensed to Houston, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of Fox Corporation, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station KTXH (channel 20). The two stations share studios on Southwest Freeway in Houston (between the Uptown and Greenway Plaza districts); KRIV's transmitter is located near Missouri City, Texas, in unincorporated northeastern Fort Bend County.

HistoryEdit

Early historyEdit

The station first signed on the air on August 15, 1971 as KVRL, operating as an independent station. It was the third UHF television station in Houston, after KHTV (channel 39, now KIAH) and KVVV-TV (channel 16, which lasted only for 18 months). Four years after signing on, in 1975, the station's call letters were changed to KDOG—a callsign chosen by former station general manager Leroy Gloger. Another former general manager, Jerry Marcus commented (upon his retirement) that he saw the calls appropriate during the station's formative years as, in his words, channel 26 was a "dogged station" ratings-wise. The station's slogan during this timeframe was "Where every dog has his day." During this period, the station aired English-language general entertainment programming including old cartoons, sitcoms, and classic movies during the daytime hours, along with Spanish-language programs including telenovelas, movies and serial drama series at night. For its first two decades on the air, channel 26 operated from studio facilities located at 3935 Westheimer Road in Houston's Highland Village section, which is now the site of an H-E-B Central Market.

Acquisition by MetromediaEdit

In May 1978, Metromedia purchased the station and changed its call letters to the current KRIV-TV, named in honor of then-Metromedia executive Albert Krivin. Jerry Marcus, general sales manager of Metromedia's Washington, D.C. station WTTG, was hired to manage channel 26's operations, remaining there until his retirement in December 1999. This influx of dollars from Metromedia's investment in the station resulted in KRIV acquiring higher-profile syndicated programs and by 1983, the establishment of its news department. The station ran a general entertainment format complete with cartoons, sitcoms, movies, first-run syndicated shows, locally produced talk shows and one of the few Spanish-language public affairs programs on television at the time. Overall, the station's viewership ranked near KHTV, a more well-established outlet, over the years.

As a Fox owned-and-operated stationEdit

In 1986, Australian newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch purchased KRIV and the other five television stations in the Metromedia group, all of which became the founding owned-and-operated stations of his new television network, the Fox Broadcasting Company; upon the change in ownership, the station officially dropped the "-TV" suffix from its callsign. The acquisition resulted in channel 26 and the other former Metromedia stations to suddenly adopt a more sophisticated on-air appearance for a network, that at the time, did not exist. A unified music and graphics package was featured on all of the original Fox-owned stations, including KRIV, which was consistently noted for featuring graphics that were among the first of their kind for local television. The station changed its on-air branding to the current "Fox 26" upon the network's October 9, 1986 launch. Despite being a member of the new network, KRIV's schedule wouldn't change that much, as at that time, Fox only aired a late-night talk show upon the network's launch; even when primetime programming followed in 1987, the network initially aired the lineup on Saturdays and Sundays. Fox continued to gradually add additional nights of programming over the next six years until it went seven days a week in 1993. Over that seven-year wait, KRIV was still essentially a de facto independent station.

As a Fox owned-and-operated station, KRIV acquired more first-run syndicated programming. Upon adding its weekday morning newscast in 1993, KRIV removed its morning cartoon block, although it continued to run afternoon children's programming from Fox Kids until the network discontinued that block's weekday lineup nationwide in the end of 2001. It should also be noted that, from the 1993–1994 period when Fox acquired the rights to carry the NFC package from CBS as well as more VHF outlets to accommodate this (resulting in affiliation switches through New World Communications), KRIV is the longest serving Fox O&O not to be located in an NFC market (the Houston Texans are a member of the AFC; however, since their founding in 2002, the station does air at least two Texans games a year, when the team plays host to an NFC team at NRG Stadium, or, beginning in 2014, with the institution of 'cross-flex' rules, games that are arbitrarily moved from KHOU to KRIV).

In 1997, KRIV moved from its original Westheimer Road studios to a state-of-the-art digital facility near the Southwest Freeway (the former studio facilities currently house a Central Market food store, owned by the grocery chain H-E-B). and upgraded the look of its newscasts with the debut of a brand new set, graphics, news theme ("The Edge" by VU Music, now Cue11) and a new multi-paned rectangle logo similar to those implemented by other Fox-owned stations following the network's 1994 affiliation agreement with New World Communications.

With this upgraded presence in Houston, channel 26 went from outperforming former independents KTXH and KHWB (the former KHTV, now KIAH) to regularly challenging the market's Big Three stations–NBC affiliate KPRC-TV (channel 2), CBS affiliate KHOU-TV (channel 11) and ABC-owned KTRK-TV (channel 13)–in the ratings. During this time KRIV's studios also became a taping location for various syndicated programs produced by 20th Television, including the court shows Texas Justice, Cristina's Court and Judge Alex. In mid-August 2006, channel 26's website adopted the MyFox website design originally designed by Fox Interactive Media; this technically marked the station's first serious online venture in a number of years, as the station's previous 2001-era website served as somewhat of a placeholder and contained little station information.

On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company, owner of ABC's owned-and-operated station KTRK-TV (channel 13), announced its intent to buy KRIV's parent company, 21st Century Fox, for $66.1 billion, pending regulatory approval; the sale will exclude KRIV and sister station KTXH as well as the Fox network, the MyNetworkTV programming service and the Fox Television Stations unit, which will be transferred to a separate company.


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 Greater Houston
KPRC 2 (NBC)
KUHT 8 (PBS)
KUVM-LD 10 (Ind)
KHOU 11 (CBS)
KTRK 13 (ABC)
KETH 14 (TBN)
KVVV-LD 15 (Word)
KTXH 20 (MNTV)
KVQT-LD 21 (Ind)
KLTJ 22 (Daystar)
KRIV 26 (Fox)
KUGB-CD 28 (GEB)
KCVH-LD 30 (REL)
KEHO-LD 32 (FESTIVA)
KUVM-CD 34 (LATV)
KZHO-LD 38 (VCL)
KIAH 39 (CW)
KHLM-LD 43 (MULTIMEDIOS)
KXLN 45 (UNI)
KBPX-LD 46 (NV)
KTMD 47 (TLM)
KPXB 49 (Ion)
KDHU-LD 50 (Daystar)
KYAZ 51 (AZA)
KTBU 55 (QUEST)
KUBE 57 (Ind)
KZJL 61 (ESTRELLA)
KFTH 67 (UMas)
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