KXTX-TV, virtual channel 39 (UHF digital channel 36), is a Telemundo owned-and-operated television station licensed to Dallas, Texas, United States and serving the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. The station is owned by the NBC Owned Television Stations subsidiary of NBCUniversal (itself a subsidiary of Comcast), as part of a duopoly with Fort Worth-licensed NBC owned-and-operated station KXAS-TV (channel 5). The two stations share studios at the CentrePort Business Park on Amon Carter Boulevard (near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) in Fort Worth; KXTX-TV's transmitter is located south of Belt Line Road in Cedar Hill.
The station first signed on the air on February 5, 1968, under the call sign KDTV. The station was founded by Trigg-Vaughn, the original applicant of the construction permit to build its broadcasting facilities; the permit was subsequently acquired by Doubleday Broadcasting; the company eventually moved its headquarters from New York City to Dallas on June 18, 1969, with KDTV serving as the company's flagship television property. Channel 39 operated from a state-of-the-art studio facility located at 3900 Harry Hines Boulevard, near downtown Dallas, which cost $3 million to build.
Originally operating as an independent station, the station carried the Stock Market Observer, a daytime business news programming block that aired each weekday morning and afternoon from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (the format was first used in the market by KAEI-TV (channel 29, allocation now occupied by Estrella TV owned-and-operated station KMPX-TV) during that station's single year of operation in 1964); it also carried a broad mix of general entertainment programming during the late-afternoon and evening hours, consisting of a mix of feature films, off-network syndicated programs, sporting events as well as Japanese cartoons dubbed into English (including Speed Racer and Johnny Cypher in Dimension Zero). It also carried some local programming including the public affairs program 3900 Harry Hines, cooking show The Gourmet (which originated on CBS affiliate KDFW-TV (channel 4, now a Fox owned-and-operated station) before moving to KDTV in October 1971) and children's program The Bozo Show (a localized version of the Bozo the Clown franchise featuring a mix of locally produced and syndicated segments). On May 7, 1969, KDTV's transmitter tower in Cedar Hill collapsed after hit by straight-line winds during a severe thunderstorm; the collapse effectively knocked the station off the air for twelve days, before improvising a temporary transmitter. The station later constructed a new tower at a cost of $450,000, resuming full-power transmissions on October 30 of that year.
Doubleday decided to exit the market in the fall of 1973, out of frustration of its constant struggles in attempting to make KDTV profitable. The company decided to donate the station's license and transmitter facilities to a nonprofit organization. Doubleday attempted to donate it to three different non-profit interests—Area Education Television Foundation, Inc., the Dallas Independent School District (both of which owned PBS member station KERA-TV (channel 13) at the time) and Berean Fellowship International (which had owned a station on UHF channel 33, KBFI, from February to December 1972)—however, neither entity accepted Doubleday's offer as the terms of the donation proposal required the prospective owner to assume a large amount of KDTV's debt. Doubleday would ultimately find an organization willing to acquire the Channel 39 license and assets, when it was approached by the Christian Broadcasting Network, which had already owned KXTX-TV (channel 33, allocation now occupied by CW affiliate KDAF) since that station signed on in January of that year, about discussing such an acquisition. CBN agreed to Doubleday's proposal to donate Channel 39's programming inventory and broadcast license to CBN on November 9, 1973.
Four days after CBN acquired ownership of the license on November 14, the ministry moved the KXTX-TV call letters (standing for "Christ (X) for TeXas") and associated programming to Channel 39. Meanwhile, Doubleday took over the Channel 33 license, assigning the KDTV calls and relocating some of its programming to that channel; Doubleday Broadcasting operated its station on Channel 33 for another nine weeks, before deciding to shut KDTV down early that December and turn over the license to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for cancellation on December 20, 1973 (the KDTV call letters are currently used by a Univision owned-and-operated station in San Francisco, which is a sister station to fellow Univision O&O KUVN-DT (channel 23) in Garland). The programming inventory held by KDTV was acquired by CBN, and combined with that of KXTX in January 1974, converting the latter surviving outlet into a full-time commercial independent station.
Christian Broadcasting Network ownership
As was the structure of CBN's other independent stations, KXTX maintained a format consisting primarily of religious programs as well as some secular general entertainment programming. By this point, its slate of secular content – comprising about twelve hours of its daily schedule each weekday and Saturday—consisted of off-network classic sitcoms (such as The Brady Bunch, McHale's Navy and The Andy Griffith Show); drama series (such as Star Trek); cartoons (such as Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes animated shorts, Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest and The Flintstones); a variety of classic movies from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s; and westerns. Local programming on KXTX included Reflect, a public affairs talk show co-hosted by Don Hall and Durline Dunham, which aired every Sunday evening at 6:30 and 11:00 p.m. It also ran religious programs for about five hours per day during the week and throughout its Sunday schedule; the CBN-produced variety/talk show, The 700 Club, also aired on the station three times per day each weekday.
By the end of the 1970s, KXTX maintained an approximately 20-hour-a-day programming schedule, with secular programming encompassing around 15 hours of its Monday through Saturday lineup. In September 1980, KXTX reduced its lineup of religious programming on Sundays from that day's entire schedule to two separate blocks from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to midnight, with secular shows being incorporated to fill out the schedule on Sunday afternoons.
For its first three decades as an independent station, KXTX ranked behind rival independent KTVT (channel 11) in the ratings. However, by 1983, the station's competitors began overextending themselves to acquire the strongest programming. KTXA (channel 21) converted into a full-time general entertainment station in September of that year, after discontinuing its nighttime-only affiliation with ONTV; KNBN-TV on Channel 33 shifted from a part-time business news and general entertainment format to a full-time entertainment-based station as KRLD-TV, and began to feature a strong inventory of programming by 1986; KDFI-TV (channel 27) also adopted a full-time general entertainment format in 1984. As a result, KXTX shifted its programming focus away from cartoons and classic sitcoms, and more toward westerns, family-oriented drama series and movies.
In the spring of 1986, KXTX reached an agreement with WFAA-TV (channel 8) to carry ABC prime time programming pre-empted by that station in favor of locally produced specials, breaking news coverage or feature films scheduled by WFAA for the purpose of makegood sales to local advertisers; this arrangement was short-lived, as a result of a situation on April 16 of that year, in which WFAA (by way of cooperation with KXTX management) had to delay a scheduled movie telecast to air an ABC News special report on President Ronald Reagan's prime time address regarding the U.S. military's missile strikes on Libya. In April 1986, the Christian Broadcasting Network announced that it would sell its independent stations—KXTX, WXNE-TV in Boston, and WYAH-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia; however, the ministry was ultimately unable to find a buyer for KXTX. The station began broadcasting infomercials during the morning and overnight hours by 1990.
By the early 1990s, KXTX's schedule consisted mostly of paid programming and some religious programs, a limited number of drama series, westerns, and low-budget movies. For years, KXTX was known in the Dallas-Fort Worth market for its "Western Weekends", a weekly lineup of classic westerns from the 1950s through the 1970s that aired during the afternoon and early evening hours on Saturday and Sundays—which included among others The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Rawhide, Little House on the Prairie, Gunsmoke and The Big Valley—with movies based on these shows often airing on weekend evenings (writer/director, and former Dallas resident, Mike Judge added several references to the "Channel 39" weekend Kung Fu programming in his 1999 movie Office Space).
In the spring of 1993, LIN Broadcasting assumed management responsibilities for Channel 39 under a local marketing agreement. Under this agreement, Fort Worth-based NBC affiliate KXAS-TV (channel 5)—which LIN owned at the time—began pooling some first-run syndicated programs seen on KXAS for broadcast on KXTX and allowed it to air rebroadcasts of KXAS's 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts. In addition, during the mid- to late 1990s, KXTX also aired the first few hours of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon on the Sunday night before Labor Day from 8:00 until KXAS took over carriage of the broadcast at 11:00 p.m.
On September 14, 1994, Gaylord Broadcasting reached an affiliation agreement with CBS, under which rival independent KTVT take over as the network's Dallas–Fort Worth affiliate, in exchange for also switching its sister independent station in Tacoma, Washington, KSTW (now a CW owned-and-operated station), to the network. The agreement superseded an existing contract that Gaylord had reached to affiliate KTVT with The WB, whose majority owner Time Warner would file an injunction in an attempt to dissolve its existing agreement with that group for KTVT, KSTW and KHTV (now CW affiliate KIAH) in Houston (the latter of which would ultimately join the network when it launched). The WB later reached an affiliation agreement with KDAF, which Fox Television Stations had announced it would sell as a result of an agreement that the Fox Broadcasting Company reached with New World Communications, which acquired CBS affiliate KDFW in a four-station deal from Argyle Television Holdings (along with fellow CBS affiliate KTBC-TV in Austin, ABC affiliate KTVI in St. Louis and NBC affiliate WVTM-TV in Birmingham, the latter of which was exempted from the New World-Fox agreement) for $717 million on May 26.
Since KDAF could not join the network until KDFW's affiliation contract with CBS expired and Fox moved its programming to that station, The WB entered into a temporary affiliation arrangement with KXTX-TV, under which it would serve as the network's Metroplex charter affiliate in the interim until Fox Television Stations' sale of KDAF to Renaissance Communications was finalized and the Fox affiliation concurrently moved to KDFW. Channel 39 became the market's WB affiliate at the network's launch on January 11, 1995. Since The WB initially aired only one night of programming each week for the first nine months of its existence (airing on Wednesdays), KXTX was still essentially programmed as a de facto independent station, continuing to air movies in prime time on other nights during the week and series on Saturdays and Sundays.
Fox's prime time and sports programming moved from KDAF to KDFW on July 2, 1995, with the CBS affiliation concurrently moving to KTVT; three days later on July 5, KDAF (which later came under Renaissance ownership on July 9) officially took over the WB affiliation, rendering KXTX as a true independent once again. That August, KXTX entered into a programming arrangement with KTVT, under which it would serve as a backup carrier of CBS programs on dates when KTVT was scheduled to air Major League Baseball game telecasts involving the Texas Rangers that forced their pre-emptions from their recommended time slots on the latter station.
On October 12, 1996, an accident caused by a crew conducting maintenance on the structure resulted in the collapse of the station's 1,535-foot (468 m) transmitter tower in Cedar Hill. KXTX and three local FM radio stations were briefly knocked off the air before the stations improvised temporary transmitter facilities, where they operated from for many months; KXTX's interim transmitter was located at the nearby tower belonging to KXAS, while the radio stations built their facilities on other existing towers nearby.
For a time in 1997, KXTX started airing the NBC soap opera Another World at 3 p.m. after the show was displaced from its 2 p.m. slot on KXAS in favor of Sunset Beach, another NBC soap opera. It was also due to the fact that KXAS also had to fulfill an obligation with one of its syndication partners at 3 p.m.
On October 23, 1997, as part of LIN Television's acquisition by Dallas-based investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, LIN contributed the sale of a 76% majority equity interest in KXAS-TV to a joint venture with NBC Inc., which in turn would contribute a 24% share of San Diego owned-and-operated station KNSD to Hicks Muse, predicated on the firm acquiring and closing on its deal with LIN. The takeover and joint venture deals were completed on March 2, 1998, when NBC and LIN formally established Station Venture Holdings, L.P. to serve as the licensee of KXAS and KNSD. Through NBC's assumption of majority interest over KXAS, the station terminated its LMA with KXTX.
Sale to Southwest Sports and aborted sale to Pappas Telecasting
In June 2000, Southwest Sports Television – a subsidiary of the Southwest Sports Group, a holding company founded by Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars owner Thomas O. Hicks – announced that it would purchase KXTX from the Christian Broadcasting Network outright for $1 million. At the time of the sale, KXTX had been CBN's sole remaining commercial television property for several years; because its television properties had grown too profitable to remain under the CBN banner without endangering the ministry's non-profit status (federal regulations enforced by the Internal Revenue Service prohibit non-profit organizations from owning for-profit entities that account for a substantial portion of its activities), CBN spun off The Family Channel to International Family Entertainment in 1990, and had begun a gradual sell-off of its four independent stations in 1984, when it sold WANX-TV (now CBS affiliate WGCL-TV) in Atlanta to Tribune Broadcasting. Hicks had maintained a programming agreement with KXTX since 1995, intending to build a sports network around the teams he acquired beginning that year and to better monetize their television rights. The sale came after Southwest Sports Group sold the television rights to the Rangers and Stars to regional sports network Fox Sports Net Southwest.
One month later in July 2000, Hicks announced that it would subsequently sell KXTX for $85.55 million to Pappas Telecasting Companies, which had formed a partnership with Mexico City-based broadcaster TV Azteca to launch a Spanish language television network, to be known as Azteca América. Upon that disclosure in its FCC purchase application, CBN founder Pat Robertson included a stipulation in the Pappas sale agreement that required the group to broadcast the station's programming entirely in English until May 31, 2001 with an opt-out clause that could be exercised on December 31, 2000 (Robertson had long endorsed, particularly through his Christian Coalition of America organization, that English should be the official language of the United States), and required Hicks to lease an hour of airtime on KXTX each weekday morning to CBN-produced programming, including The 700 Club (a stipulation similar to that which CBN imposed on the cable channel now known as Freeform to its subsequent owners following the sale to IFE).
Plans for KXTX under Pappas called for it to serve as the flagship station of Azteca América and base the network's technical operations center at its studios, where the network's programming, promotions and commercial spots would be automatically fed to its affiliates. These plans were aborted, when the Pappas-Azteca venture scaled back their plans for the network after failing to secure financing from lenders to purchase KXTX, as well as stations in Phoenix and El Paso, an issue blamed on the slowdown of the world economy at that time as well as technical issues that delayed the sign-on of the venture's Los Angeles station, KAZA-TV, and the December 2000 purchase of USA Broadcasting's independent and Home Shopping Network-affiliated television stations by Univision Communications, which prevented the network from initially obtaining charter stations in thirteen major markets, among them, competing independent station KSTR-TV (channel 49).
As a Telemundo owned-and-operated station
On June 27, 2001, Southwest Sports Television announced that it would sell KXTX to the Telemundo Communications Group, which later disclosed in FCC filings released that August that it acquired the station for $65 million. More than three months later on October 11, NBC Inc. purchased Telemundo from a consortium of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Liberty Media, and private equity firms BV Capital, Bastion Capital and Council Tree Communications for $1.98 billion (increasing to $2.68 billion before the sale's closure) and the assumption of $700 million in debt, including the existing sale agreement for KXTX in the transaction. The deal in effect, ironically, made KXTX and KXAS sister stations again, this time under common ownership, creating the Dallas–Fort Worth market's third television station duopoly (after CBS owned-and-operated station KTVT and then-UPN affiliate KTXA, and Univision owned-and-operated station KUVN and KSTR-TV, the latter of which became a charter affiliate of TeleFutura on January 14, 2002). While Telemundo already had an affiliate in KFWD (channel 52, now a SonLife Broadcasting Network affiliate), which had carried the network since it signed on in September 1988, the network had been looking to buy a station in what had become the eighth-largest media market in terms of overall Hispanic population.
In September 2001, Hicks announced plans to consolidate the roughly $190 million of debt owed by the Stars, the Rangers and KXTX (the latter of which comprised about $50 million of the debt owed by Southwest Sports Group) as part of a corporate refinancing that would repackage the debt into a single loan. In November of that year, KXTX began airing a handful of episodes of several older westerns from the 1950s (such as Jim Bowie) in repeat blocks, as well as marathons of B-movies featured on the film showcase Off Beat Cinema during the station's final weeks as an English language outlet.
KXTX became an owned-and-operated station of the Spanish language network on January 1, 2002; KFWD subsequently became an English-language independent station (the station would eventually revert to a Spanish language programming format in August 2012, as a charter affiliate of MundoFox). Following the sale's closure, KXTX also integrated its operations into KXAS's Broadcast Hill studio facilities on Barnett Street in eastern Fort Worth. After KXTX switched to Telemundo, many of the western series that were previously on the station's schedule found a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth market for a time on Pax TV (now Ion Television) owned-and-operated station KPXD-TV (channel 68). The rest of KXTX's meager programming inventory was acquired by KFWD, which also purchased the rights to some of KSTR-TV's syndicated programming in the run-up to its concurrent conversion into a TeleFutura O&O.
On November 19, 2009, a fire in the electrical room of the station's Broadcast Hill studios knocked both stations off the air. Fire alarms were activated throughout the facility at 9:30 p.m. that evening, which resulted in staff members being evacuated from the studio; this resulted in the disruption of that evening's scheduled broadcasts of the 10:00 p.m. newscasts seen respectively on KXAS and KXTX.
In June 2012, NBCUniversal announced plans to construct a new 75,000-square-foot (6,968 m2) facility in Fort Worth (located at the CentrePort Business Park on the former site of Amon Carter Field) to house KXAS, KXTX and NBCUniversal's other Dallas-based operations (including the Dallas news bureau operated by NBC News). Construction of the facility began that month, and was completed in September 2013, with the building formally opening on September 30. The facility incorporates four production studios; three control rooms that relay high definition content; a combined media asset management center and newsroom production suite for managing and editing content; the station's traffic and sales departments, which were previously in separate areas of the Broadcast Hill studios, were also placed adjacent to the newsroom. The sales and marketing departments of the television stations, and NBC's ArtWorks graphics firm began migrating their operations to the facility in early October of that year; all other operations—including the news departments of KXAS and KXTX—moved to the Carter Boulevard studio by November 1, ending KXAS's 65-year tenure at Broadcast Hill.
|TV stations in Texas|
|KBTX-DT3, Bryan||KVIA-DT4, El Paso||KNIC, Blanco||KUPB, Midland||K24GP, Lubbock||KTSM-DT2, El Paso|
|KTLE-LD, Odessa||KVAT-LD, Garfleld||KXOF-CD, Laredo||KUNU-LD, Victoria||K26KJ-D, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua-El Paso, TX||KLMV-LD, Laredo|
|KGNS-DT3, Laredo||KVDF-CD, San Antonio||KTFO-CD, Austin||KUVN, Garland||KHLM-LD, Houston||KVAW, Eagle Pass|
|KWTX-DT2, Waco||KETF-CD2, Laredo||KTFV-CD, McAllen||KINT, El Paso||K17MJ-D, San Antonio||KMPX, Decatur|
|KEYU, Borger||KYAZ, Katy||KEUS-LD, San Angelo||KLDO, Laredo||K20JT-D, Corpus Christi||KWDA-LD, Dallas|
|KTAB-DT2, Abilene||KAZD, Lake Dallas||KCRP-CD, Corpus Christi||KORO, Corpus Christi||KZHO-LD, Lake Jackson|
|KXTX, Dallas||KNWS-LP, Brownsville||KSTR, Irving||KANG-LP, San Angelo||KTBU, Conroe|
|KTLM, Rio Grande City||KTFN, El Paso||KWEX, San Antonio||KETK-DT2, Jacksonville|
|KEYE-DT2, Austin||KFTH, Alvin||KXLN, Rosenberg||KZJL, Houston|
|KTMD, Galveston||KNVO, McAllen||KVUE-DT2, Austin|
|K47DF-D, Corpus Christi||KBZO-LD, Lubbock||KMBH, Harlingen|
|KVDA, San Antonio||KAKW, Killeen|
|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)