KTXA, virtual channel 21 (UHF digital channel 18), is an independent television station licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, United States and serving the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. The station is owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of ViacomCBS, as part of a duopoly with CBS owned-and-operated station KTVT (channel 11), also licensed to Fort Worth. The two stations share primary studio facilities on Bridge Street (off of I-30), east of downtown Fort Worth, and advertising sales offices at CBS Tower on North Central Expressway (north of NorthPark Mall) in Dallas; KTXA's transmitter is located on Tar Road in Cedar Hill, just south of the Dallas–Ellis county line.
Prior history of UHF channel 21 in Dallas–Fort Worth
The UHF channel 21 allocation in the Dallas–Fort Worth market was originally occupied by KFWT, an independent station licensed to Fort Worth that signed on the air on September 19, 1967; the station was owned by W. C. Windson, owner of radio station (once sister station KJIM (870 AM, now KFJZ) had been sold to Tracy Locke Advertising in 1966) and KFWT-FM (102.1, now KDGE). KFWT (102.1 FM) featured an Easy Listening format. It was the first UHF television station to sign on in the Dallas–Fort Worth market. Broadcasting nightly from 6:00 to 10:00, the station's programming consisted mostly of public domain movies. KFWT operated from studios located on Broadcast Hill at 3900 Barnett Street in Fort Worth, adjacent to the studios of WBAP-TV (channel 5, now KXAS-TV) in a transmitter building that was later used as the studios for radio station WBAP (820 AM).
KFWT's call letters stood for Fort Worth, Texas. Some of the television station's programming included The Oscar Argumedo Show, TV 21 – Country Style and Green Valley Raceway. Notables included Oscar Argumedo, Durline Dunham, Don Shook, Jim "Shootin'" Newton, Bob Hart (GM) and Bob Weatherford (later GM). Cameramen and production staff included Harold Hardgrave, Tony Mieczynski and Ed Hullum. With the station's quiet, remote location and rolling hills for dune buggy sponsor, Sandman Sales, programs were occasionally shot outdoors with the distant D/FW Turnpike and Fort Worth skyline as a scenic backdrop. Ironically, on his way home from the station in May 1969, Program Director Gary Windsor died shortly after his vehicle was struck in a head-on collision by a drunk driver who was driving on the Turnpike in the wrong direction.
The station was in financial trouble by 1969; Windson then sought a buyer for KFWT. In August of that year, the station went dark for one week due to a power failure. Windson asked the Federal Communications Commission's permission to sign off for three months, a request that the Commission initially denied. KFWT resumed broadcasting for one week before permanently ceasing operations on September 5; when the station failed to find a buyer afterward that would bring the station back on, KFWT's broadcast equipment was repossessed and the license was turned over to the FCC to be cancelled. The station filed for bankruptcy on March 27, 1970. The FM radio station was retained, and the call letters were changed to KFWD.
KTXA station history
KTXA first signed on the air on October 6, 1980; originally operating as an independent station, it was founded by Grant Broadcasting. The station's original studio facilities were located on Randol Mill Road, adjacent to Six Flags Over Texas and Arlington Stadium in Arlington (although Fort Worth has always been the station's city of license). It ran a general entertainment format of cartoons and sitcoms during the daytime hours, while at night it broadcast the over-the-air subscription television service ONTV, which required a set-top decoder and a subscription fee in order to receive the ONTV signal during programming hours. By 1983, it became a general entertainment station full-time, and added classic movies and off-network drama series.
Grant Broadcasting signed on a similarly formatted station, KTXH in Houston, in 1982. In 1984, both KTXA and KTXH were sold to Gulf Broadcasting, which itself was subsequently purchased by the Taft Television and Radio Company that same year.
From 1985 to 1989, KTXA operated the "Channel 21 Kids' Club"; in short promos that aired between cartoons, area children were encouraged to send off for a membership card that would entitle them to discounts at various local businesses and enable them to participate in on-air prize giveaways. They were blue on the front side and white on the back, with a "KTXA Channel 21 Kids' Club" logo appearing on the front in red and white along with the line "I turned 21". The hostess of these shorts, K.D. Fox, was later featured in many other local promotions for various businesses in the Dallas–Fort Worth area.
The station was unprofitable throughout the 1980s, but Taft kept strong programming on the station (including Hanna-Barbera cartoons and other programs owned by Taft and distributed by Worldvision Enterprises). In February 1987, Taft sold its independent stations—including KTXA—to the TVX Broadcast Group; the purchase was finalized on April 1, 1987. In 1989, Paramount Pictures purchased a minority stake in TVX; two years later on February 28, 1991, Paramount acquired the remaining interest in TVX and renamed the company Paramount Stations Group; KTXA adopted the on-air branding "Paramount 21" during this period. Viacom acquired the stations in 1994 as part of its purchase of Paramount Pictures. Around this time, the station moved its operations to the Paramount Building in the West End district of downtown Dallas.
On January 16, 1995, KTXA became a charter affiliate of the United Paramount Network (UPN); correspondingly, it changed its branding to "UPN 21". After independent station KTVT (channel 11) affiliated with CBS in July 1995, it acquired various syndicated programs that it could not air due to its new network-heavy schedule. It became a UPN owned-and-operated station when Viacom acquired a 50% stake in the network from Chris-Craft Industries in 1996 (up to that point, Paramount maintained only a programming partnership with UPN with Chris-Craft serving as UPN's sole owner).
In the late 1990s, KTXA acquired more first-run syndicated talk and reality shows (such as Forgive or Forget and Ricki Lake), while reducing the amount of sitcoms and cartoons on its schedule. Viacom purchased CBS in 2000, making channel 21 a sister station to its former rival KTVT, which CBS had purchased from Gaylord Broadcasting the previous year. KTXA's operations moved from the Paramount Building and were integrated with KTVT at its Bridge Street studios in Fort Worth (both are two of three stations licensed to Fort Worth, the other being NBC-owned KXAS-TV (channel 5)).
For a brief period in the early 2000s, KTXA served as the de facto UPN affiliate for the Waco/Killeen/Temple television market when former affiliate KAKW became a Univision owned-and-operated station for both that market and the nearby Austin market. KTXA, KTVT and the other Viacom Television Stations Group properties were spun off to CBS Corporation after National Amusements decided to split Viacom and CBS into separate companies in December 2005.
Return to independence
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. Former WB affiliate KDAF (channel 33) was named as the market's CW affiliate by way of owner Tribune Broadcasting's multi-station deal with the network, and independent station KDFI (channel 27) was named as Dallas's MyNetworkTV station through its ownership by that network's original co-parent, Fox Television Stations. By default, CBS opted to run KTXA as an independent station.
The station's new branding was announced in two phases, starting with the introduction of the "TXA 21" name on May 5, 2006. KTXA then launched a promotional ad campaign called "What Could it Mean?", in which a distinctive star-shaped logo appeared on buildings, sidewalks and billboards around the Metroplex. The new KTXA logo (seen above) was unveiled on July 4. The station's website also revealed that the station planned to begin carrying high school football games from North Texas area teams that fall. KTXA became an independent station on September 16, 2006, the day after UPN ceased operations; this made it the third independent station to be owned by CBS, alongside KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and another former UPN outlet, WSBK-TV in Boston (WSBK later joined MyNetworkTV in September 2011, while CBS purchased independent station WLNY-TV in Riverhead, New York in 2012).
KTXA is the only station among the six that were originally owned by Paramount Stations Group that remains owned by CBS; the others were sold off between 1994 and 2001 and are now owned either by 21st Century Fox or the Sinclair Broadcast Group. With KTXA reverting to independent status, the station had automatically gained a competitor in KFWD (channel 52), which had become an English language independent in January 2002 after losing its Telemundo affiliation to newfound O&O KXTX-TV (channel 39); this lasted until August 1, 2012 when channel 52 became an affiliate of the Spanish-language network MundoFox (later MundoMax, now a SonLife Broadcasting Network affiliate). On October 31, 2013, Greenville-licensed KTXD-TV (channel 47) became a full-time independent after dropping its secondary affiliation with classic television network MeTV. As of March 7, 2018, KTXA reverted to become the only general entertainment independent station in the Dallas–Fort Worth market after KTXD was sold to Cunningham Broadcasting, a partner company of Sinclair Broadcast Group, and switched to the affiliate Stadium.
On August 26, 2013, KTVT/KTXA moved its Dallas business operations to a redeveloped office building at 12001 North Central Expressway (twenty blocks north of the previous Dallas facility at 10111 North Central, near Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, between Walnut Hill and Meadow Road). The office tower that the stations began occupying—where KTVT's Dallas newsroom and the advertising sales offices for the duopoly occupy the top floor—was renamed CBS Tower. The station's primary studio facilities, and other technical and business operations remain at the Bridge Street facility in east Fort Worth; the former 24,000 square feet (2,230 m2) Dallas offices on North Central were purchased by Avial Hotels (the real estate development subsidiary of North Carolina-based Blue Star Hospitality) in November 2015, which intended to redevelop the building as a hotel.
In the fall of 2016, the station began showing the Go Time syndicated E/I block.
In November 2018, KTXA rebranded as "Texas 21" with a new interstate shaped logo still utilizing the 'star 21' logo as before.
|TV stations in Texas|
|Shopping affiliates||Independent stations||Religious stations||Other network affiliates|
|KBOP-LD, Dallas||KBEX-LP, Amarillo||KETH, Houston||KDTN, Denton||KPTB, Lubbock||K17HI-D, Amarillo||KXPX-LP, Corpus Christi|
|KXLK-CD, Austin||KGBS-CD, Austin||KHCE, San Antonio||KDAX-LD, Amarillo||KPTF, Farwell||KBOP-LD, Dallas||KODF-LD, Britton|
|K25FW-D, Corsicana||KTXA, Fort Worth||KITU, Beaumont||KLTJ/KDHU-LD, Galveston/Houston||KPTB, Lubbock||KHPK-LD, DeSoto||KBPX-LD, Houston|
|K29HW-D, Austin||KLNM-LD, Lufkin||KQVE-LP, San Antonio||KWDA, DeSoto||KTXD, Greenville|
|K22JA-D, Corpus Christi||KLUJ, Harlingen||KADT-LD, Austin||K31GL-D, DeSoto||K64GK, Amarillo|
|KUBE, Baytown||KDTX, Dallas||KJJM-LD, Dallas||KYVV, Del Rio|
|KPFW-LD, Dallas||KSCE, El Paso|
|KFWD, Fort Worth|
|KZFW-LP, Royse City|
|TV stations in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas|
| KDTN 2 (Daystar)|
KDFW 4 (FOX)
KXAS 5 (NBC)
WFAA 8 (ABC)
KTVT 11 (CBS)
KERA 13 (PBS)
KPFW-LD 18 (IND/Religious)
KBOP-LD 20 (Infomercial)
KTXA 21 (IND)
KNAV 22 (Hot TV)
KUVN 23 (UNI)
K25FW 25 (HSN)
KODF 26 (Hot TV)
KDFI 27 (MNTV)
KHPK 28 (SBN)
KMPX 29 (ESTRELLA)
KWDA-LD 30 (Rel)
K31GL 31 (SBN)
KDAF 33 (CW)
KJJM-LD 34 (HSN)
KVFW 38 (Infomercial)
KXTX 39 (TMD)
KLEG 44 (TVC)
KTXD 47 (STADIUM)
KSTR 49 (UNIMAS)
KHFD 51 (EICB)
KFWD 52 (SON)
KAZD 55 (MeTV)
KDTX 58 (TBN)
KPXD 68 (ION)