K13VC logo.jpg
BrandingKVC 13
FoundedAugust 29, 1986
First air date
November 30, 1989 (1989-11-30)
Last air date
March 29, 2003 (2003-03-29)
(13 years, 119 days)
Former channel number(s)
13 (VHF, 1989–2003)
Independent (1989–1998, 2000–2003)
UPN (1998–2000)
Fox Kids (1995–2002)
FoxBox (2002–2003)
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID35650
ERP0.092 kW
Transmitter coordinates30°18′35.99″N 97°47′33.04″W / 30.3099972°N 97.7925111°W / 30.3099972; -97.7925111 (K13VC)
Public license information

K13VC, VHF analog channel 13, was a low-powered independent television station licensed to Austin, Texas, United States, which operated from November 30, 1989 until March 29, 2003. Branded on-air as "KVC 13", it was a sister station of KTBC (channel 7) for most of its history under the ownership of Argyle Television, New World Communications and Fox Television Stations. The station's transmitter was located at One Congress Plaza at the intersection of Congress Avenue and 2nd Street in downtown Austin.


Early history

K13VC first signed on the air on November 30, 1989, as an independent station. The station was founded by Global Information Technologies Inc., a locally based company owned by entrepreneurs Saleem and Carmen Tawil. It originally operated from studio facilities located at One Congress Plaza. K13VC maintained a general entertainment format featuring sitcoms, drama series and cartoons. The station also aired telecasts of the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.[1]

Initially, K13VC was only available to viewers within 5 miles (8.0 km) of downtown Austin.[1] Not long after acquiring the Astros and Rangers rights, K13VC's sports telecasts were placed onto the Austin CableVision system, allowing K13VC's sports telecasts to reach areas of Austin beyond the contour of its limited signal.[2][3][4] On January 1, 1992, as part of the settlement of a lawsuit over alleged tampering of programs, KVC joined the system full-time.[5]

Duopoly with KTBC

On December 21, 1993, Argyle Television Holdings—the new owner of then-CBS affiliate KTBC (channel 7, now a Fox owned-and-operated station) through its $335-million acquisition of the Times Mirror Company's broadcast holdings—announced that it would purchase K13VC from Global Information Technologies for an undisclosed price. On January 4, 1994, one day after the company closed on its purchase of KTBC, Argyle took over management responsibilities for K13VC under a local marketing agreement with Global Information Technologies. The agreement—which resulted in K13VC integrating its operations into KTBC's downtown studios on East 10th and Brazos Streets—allowed KTBC to provide programming, advertising, promotional, and master control services for K13VC. Through the consolidation of that station's operations with Channel 7, K13VC began airing secondary runs of select syndicated programs seen on KTBC; it also utilized K13VC to provide extensive coverage of local and state legislative elections held in November 1993, while allowing KTBC to interrupt network programming only to air brief election updates.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

On May 26, 1994, New World Communications announced it would purchase Argyle Television's four full-power stations, including KTBC, as well as K13VC.[13] On January 19, 1995, New World took over the operations of KTBC, K13VC and the other three Argyle stations through time brokerage agreements; the group's purchase of the Argyle properties received FCC approval nearly three months later on April 14.[14]

On July 2, 1995, as part of the switch of most New World-owned stations to Fox, KTBC assumed the Fox affiliation in the Austin market.[13][15][16] Although Channel 7 acquired the rights to most of Fox's programming, KTBC and K13VC initially split the local broadcast rights to the network's children's programming block, Fox Kids, as KTBC's station management declined to carry the block's weekday lineup, a move which had become standard practice for the other New World stations that had joined Fox since September 1994. KTBC only took the Saturday morning Fox Kids lineup, and simulcast it in conjunction with K13VC until September 1997, when the former ceded its partial rights to Fox Kids exclusively to Channel 13 and replaced it with real estate, paid and E/I-compliant programs. (K13VC continued to air the weekday children's block until Fox discontinued it, confining Fox Kids programming, to Saturdays on December 31, 2001; it began carrying Fox Kids' successor, the FoxBox, on September 14, 2002 and continued to air that block until the station's shutdown.)

News Corporation acquired New World in 1996, with the purchase closing on January 22, 1997.[17][18][19][20] On October 5, 1998, K13VC became the second station in Austin to become an affiliate of UPN; it assumed the affiliation from the Hill Country Paramount Network (HPN), a regional network of low-power translator stations that also acted as a simulcast feed of WB affiliate KNVA (channel 54, now a CW affiliate) outside of UPN programming. The station also rebranded from "KVC 13" to "UPN 13". The affiliation switch occurred on six days' notice; it allowed UPN programs to be seen on Austin cable, not the case with the HPN setup.[21]

By the summer of 2000, KTBC had opted to drop the UPN affiliation for K13VC.[22] On August 3, Fredericksburg-based KBEJ (channel 2) signed on and took the UPN affiliation away from K13VC. The new KBEJ had a transmitter equidistant from Austin and San Antonio; it was owned by Corridor Television, set up by the Tawil family that had started KVC, and managed by Belo. At that time, K13VC reverted to independent status and returned to its original "KVC 13" moniker, focusing on first-run and off-network syndicated programs, as well as University of Texas, Big 12 Conference and other college sports events. The abrupt disaffiliation elicited complaints from Star Trek: Voyager fans in Austin, who suddenly lost the ability to watch the series' seventh (and final) season, as KBEJ only produced a marginal signal to northern sections of Austin proper and a marginal to non-existent signal in the northern part of the market. Because Time Warner Cable was initially unwilling to place KBEJ on its Austin system (an impasse that lasted until August 2001, after it reached a carriage agreement with the station two months prior), many Voyager fans had to resort to downloading illegal copies online or trading taped copies with friends in other cities with a UPN affiliate to view episodes during the 2000–01 season. Although UPN frowned upon this practice, unofficially the network and parent company, Viacom, turned a "blind eye" due to the circumstances of the situation.[23][24]

On March 19, 2003, KTBC management announced that K13VC would cease operations after 13 years on the air. This was because channel 13 had been allotted to Univision Communications to broadcast the digital signal of Killeen-based Univision station KAKW-TV, which had relocated its transmitter facility from Killeen south to a tower near Bertram to serve the Austin market and obtain cable carriage in the area. The digital signal for a full-service TV station such as KAKW had priority over the low-power K13VC license. K13VC signed off permanently at midnight on March 29; some syndicated programs as well as the Big 12 television rights were transferred to KTBC, while many other syndicated shows carried by Channel 13 were unable to find a replacement carrier in Austin. The shutdown resulted in the layoffs of ten station employees and marginally depreciated the overall value of Fox's Austin television properties.[25][26][27]


  1. ^ a b Fogle, Jeff (May 8, 1990). "Spurs-Blazers game doesn't rate air time". Austin American-Statesman. p. C3. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  2. ^ Jeff Fogle (April 18, 1991). "KVC gets cable boost - More Astros, Rangers road games to be on TV". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  3. ^ Jeff Fogle (March 28, 1991). "No outlets - Texas major-league teams won't be carried in Austin". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. p. D2. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  4. ^ Jeff Fogle (April 7, 1991). "TV program to showcase life in minor-league baseball". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. p. D12. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  5. ^ "KVC-TV goes cable". Austin American-Statesman. November 27, 1991. p. C8. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  6. ^ R. Michelle Breyer (December 22, 1993). "Argyle to buy Austin's KVC-TV". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. p. E1. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  7. ^ Joe Flint (December 20, 1993). "Argyle acquires Times Mirror stations". Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. p. 60. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via American Radio History.
  8. ^ "Times Mirror Reaches Accord to Sell Four Television Stations". Los Angeles Times. March 30, 1993. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Times Mirror completes sale of Texas TV stations". United Press International. January 4, 1994. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  10. ^ Geoffrey Foisie (May 3, 1993). "Times Mirror sells stations, part 1". Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 10, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via HighBeam Research.
  11. ^ Steven Vonder Haar (May 21, 1994). "TV deal connects rivals KDFW to buy ad time on KDFI and control its programming". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The McClatchy Company. p. 1. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  12. ^ "TEXAS DIGEST". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. January 6, 1994. p. F1. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  13. ^ a b Geoffrey Foisie (May 30, 1994). "Fox and the New World order" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. p. 6. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via American Radio History.
    Geoffrey Foisie (May 30, 1994). "Fox and the New World order; Argyle socks away profit" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. p. 8. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via American Radio History.
  14. ^ "New World acquires four TV stations". United Press International. April 18, 1995. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  15. ^ Bill Carter (May 24, 1994). "FOX WILL SIGN UP 12 NEW STATIONS; TAKES 8 FROM CBS". The New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  16. ^ "Fox Gains 12 Stations in New World Deal". Chicago Sun-Times. Hollinger International. May 23, 1994. Archived from the original on October 11, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via HighBeam Research.
  17. ^ Elizabeth A. Rathbun; Cynthia Littleton (July 22, 1996). "Murdoch claims New World" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. p. 6. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via American Radio History.
    "Murdoch claims New World" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Business Information. July 22, 1996. p. 7. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via American Radio History.
  18. ^ Brian Lowry (July 18, 1996). "New World Vision : Murdoch's News Corp. to Buy Broadcast Group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  19. ^ "THE MEDIA BUSINESS;Murdoch's News Corp. Buying New World". The New York Times. Reuters. July 18, 1996. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  20. ^ Jennifer Bowles; Renae Merle (July 18, 1996). "Murdoch to purchase KTBC - Deal will make Channel 7 only network-owned station in Austin". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  21. ^ Holloway, Diane (October 3, 1998). "'Voyager' network changes channels". Austin American-Statesman. p. B2. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  22. ^ Sutel, Seth (August 15, 2000). "TV deal leaves UPN's future in air". Austin American-Statesman. Associated Press. pp. D1, D8. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  23. ^ Jane Greig (October 30, 2000). "And your daughter is how old?". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. p. D1. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  24. ^ Diane Holloway (June 20, 2001). "Trekkies, rejoice: UPN coming back to Time Warner". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  25. ^ Diane Holloway (March 19, 2003). "Low-power TV station KVC will go off air at end of month". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via Newsbank.
  26. ^ "Naked City". Austin Chronicle. Austin Chronicle Corp. March 28, 2003.
  27. ^ "Low power station loses signal to Univision". Austin Business Journal. American City Business Journals. March 19, 2003. Retrieved January 25, 2019.