TV Stations Wikia

KTHV, virtual channel 11 (VHF digital channel 12), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. The station is owned by Tegna Inc. KTHV's studios are located on South Izard Street in downtown Little Rock, and its transmitter is located atop Shinall Mountain, near the Chenal Valley section of the city.

On cable, KTHV is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 10 (cable channel 11 is occupied by a government access channel).


The station first signed on the air on November 27, 1955; it was originally owned by the Arkansas Television Company, a consortium that included among others, the owners of radio station KWKH in Shreveport, the owners of the Arkansas Democrat, and Little Rock businessman and insurance executive Clyde E. Lowry. The KTHV call letters were derived from former sister radio station KTHS (whose calls stood Kome To Hot Springs), which later became KAAY after being sold to LIN Broadcasting in the 1960s. It took the CBS affiliation from KATV, due to KTHS' long time affiliation with CBS Radio.

The station has operated from its downtown Little Rock studios at 720 Izard Street since its debut; the facilities were built one year before KTHV signed on, in 1954 (and a year after KTHS moved its city of license from Hot Springs to Little Rock), and was the first broadcasting facility in Arkansas to be constructed for both radio and television. KTHV's studios were located on the first floor of the building, while the studios housing KTHS were located on the second floor. Although the interior of the building has been periodically upgraded, especially with improved technology, the exterior of the station remains much as it appeared when it was built. For many years, KTHV had operated a low-power translator station, K13HP (channel 13) in Euclid Heights, near Hot Springs. The station's analog transmitter was shut down in 2009, and no digital translator was installed to replace it.

KTHV remained a locally owned entity until December 1994, when the station was acquired by the Gannett Company in an all-stock transaction. Gannett's purchase of KTHV marked a re-entry into the Little Rock–Pine Bluff television market for the company, which previously had owned NBC affiliate KARK-TV (channel 4) from when Gannett merged with Combined Communications Corporation in 1978 until it was sold to Southwest Media in 1983. The purchase of KTHV was believed to be positioning on Gannett's part to have a station in the former home of then first-term President Bill Clinton.

The station branded for years as "Arkansas 11" until November 1995, when it rebranded as "Today's THV," a branding that may have been inspired by Journal Broadcast Group's Milwaukee flagship station and NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV, which itself has branded as "Today's TMJ4" (a branding inspired by the common viewer nickname for the station, "TMJ", in reference to founding owners The Milwaukee Journal) since July 1992. Unlike that station or WTMJ's Boise sister station KIVI-TV (which brands as either "Today's Channel 6" or "Today's 6"), the station branded simply as "Today's THV", omitting verbal references to its VHF channel 11 allocation, although a stylized "11" was included in the station's logo. The station's branding was amended (along with the introduction of a new logo) on February 28, 2013, being revised to "THV 11".

On March 1, 1997, KTHV chief meteorologist Ed Buckner went on the air to cover a significant tornado outbreak that caused damage to much of Arkansas, and produced two destructive F4 tornadoes (out of three that touched down in the state that day): one that touched down near Beirne and struck Arkadelphia, and another that hit the southern and eastern suburbs of Little Rock (causing severe damage in Benton). The outbreak, which produced 19 tornadoes that day, killed 26 people, although it is believed that the death toll would have been much higher without the advance warning provided by Buckner and the rest of the KTHV weather staff.

In 2002, KTHV became the first television station in the Little Rock market to erect a digital antenna and the first broadcast a digital television signal.

Around the first week of October 2012, Gannett entered a dispute against Dish Network regarding compensation fees and Dish's AutoHop commercial-skip feature on its Hopper digital video recorders. Gannett ordered that Dish discontinue AutoHop on the account that it is affecting advertising revenues for KTHV. Gannett threatened to pull all of its stations (such as KTHV) should the skirmish continue beyond October 7 and Dish and Gannett fail to reach an agreement. The two parties eventually reached an agreement after extending the deadline for a few hours.

On June 29, 2015, Gannett's broadcasting division split from the newspaper division and renamed its broadcasting and digital divisions under the Tegna name (KTHV was included in the transaction to Tegna).