This article is missing information about KBAK-TV's news operation. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (April 2018)
BrandingKBAK CBS; Eyewitness News
First air date
August 21, 1953 (70 years ago) (1953-08-21)
Former call signs
KAFY-TV (1953–1954)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 29 (UHF, 1953–2009)
ABC (1974–1996)
Call sign meaning
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID4148
ERP110 kW
HAAT1,128 m (3,701 ft)
Transmitter coordinates35°27′10.8″N 118°35′28.3″W / 35.453000°N 118.591194°W / 35.453000; -118.591194
Public license information

KBAK-TV (channel 29) is a television station in Bakersfield, California, United States, affiliated with CBS. It is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group alongside low-power, Class A Fox affiliate KBFX-CD (channel 58). The two stations share studios on Westwind Drive west of Downtown Bakersfield; KBAK-TV's transmitter is located atop Breckenridge Mountain.


The station signed on the air on August 21, 1953, as KAFY-TV.[2] It was originally owned by Sheldon Anderson along with KAFY radio (550 AM, now 1100 AM). The station originally operated from studios located on Chester Avenue in Bakersfield. It is Bakersfield's oldest television station; KERO-TV (channel 23) followed a month later. Four months later, Anderson sold the station to Chronicle Publishing Company of San Francisco. KAFY-TV was initially an affiliate of the Dumont television network, later becoming a primary CBS affiliate, sharing ABC programming with KERO-TV until KLYD-TV (channel 17, now KGET-TV) signed on in 1959.

In February 1954, shortly after becoming a full CBS affiliate, channel 29 changed its calls to the current KBAK-TV.[3] The Chronicle sold the station to Reeves Telecom in 1960. As a CBS and later ABC affiliate, KBAK had aired all of each network's color programs in color, and went to full color in 1967. In 1974, KBAK swapped affiliations with channel 17, then known as KJTV, and became an ABC affiliate.[4][5]

In 1964, Reeves sold KBAK to Chicago-based Harriscope Broadcasting, which also owned WSNS in Chicago (now a Telemundo O&O) and a partial stake in KRQE in Albuquerque (now owned by Nexstar Media Group). In the late 1980s, KBAK started signing off only on Fridays and Saturdays, which as a CBS affiliate it continued to do until May 2008, when the sign-offs on KBAK and KBFX were discontinued and were replaced by a simulcast of the Kern Weather Channel, which is also available on digital cable systems in the Bakersfield area.

In 1986, Harriscope sold KBAK to Burnham Broadcasting, which also owned KHON-TV in Honolulu and would later acquire WVUE in New Orleans, WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama, and WLUK in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1995, Burnham sold most of its stations to SF Broadcasting, a joint venture between Fox and Savoy Pictures, but KBAK was not included in the sale to SF Broadcasting, and was instead spun off to Westwind Communications, a locally based company linked to former Burnham executives.

After McGraw-Hill (then-owner of KERO-TV) learned in November 1994 that its KMGH-TV in Denver would be losing its CBS affiliation to KCNC-TV, it signed a groupwide affiliation deal which called for all of its stations, including KMGH-TV and KERO-TV, to become ABC affiliates. KBAK rejoined CBS on March 4, 1996, after KERO-TV's affiliation contract with CBS expired.

On August 6, 2007, Westwind Communications announced the sale of KBAK and KBFX-CA to Fisher Communications of Seattle.[6] The deal closed on January 1, 2008. This marked a re-entry to the Central Valley for Fisher, who had previously bought and sold KJEO (now KGPE) in Fresno in the late 1990s.

In mid May 2010, KBAK became the first station in Bakersfield to begin broadcasting local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. Then on January 16, 2011, KBAK took it one step further to become the first station in Bakersfield to launch local news in true high definition.[7] The KBFX shows were included in the upgrade to HD; however, until recently, they were presented in downconverted standard definition widescreen on KBAK-DT2 (which serves as a full-power companion to KBFX's low-power Class A digital terrestrial signal).

KBAK-TV, KBFX, and Fisher Communications' other holdings were sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group in a transaction announced on April 10, 2013.[8][9] The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.[10] The transaction marked a re-entry into California for Sinclair since it sold off its Sacramento station KOVR to CBS at the end of April 2005.

The current announcer for KBAK and KBFX is nationally recognized voice-over Eric Gordon.[11]

Technical information


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KBAK-TV[12]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
29.1 1080i 16:9 KBAK CBS
29.3 480i Charge! Charge!
29.4 Dabl Dabl
58.2 720p FOX58 Fox (KBFX-CD)
  Simulcast of subchannels of another station

Analog-to-digital conversion

KBAK-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 29, on June 12, 2009, the official date on which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 33,[13] using virtual channel 29.


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KBAK-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ FCC History Cards for KBAK-TV. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ "CALL LETTERS ASSIGNED" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting: 104. February 15, 1954.
  4. ^ "Central California Edition". Archived from the original on January 29, 2006. Retrieved May 30, 2006.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ "Old Tv Newscast Titles, Part One (Alaska-Louisiana)".
  6. ^ "FisherCommunications - News". Archived from the original on January 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Eyewitness News 1st to air local HD programming". Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "Sinclair acquiring Fisher Communications". April 11, 2013. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  9. ^ Colman, Price (April 10, 2013). "Sinclair poised to buy Fisher stations". Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "Sinclair Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  11. ^ KBAK intends to make DTV switch Feb. 17 Archived February 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, KBAX/KBFX, February 4, 2009
  12. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KBAK
  13. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.