KFXL-TV
In a white box with black borders, the Fox network logo in black. To the right, in red on a black area, are the letters N E. Beneath on red are the white letters K F X L.
CityLincoln, Nebraska
Channels
BrandingFox Nebraska, KFXL
Programming
AffiliationsFox (2009–present)
Ownership
Owner
Nebraska Television Network
History
First air date
June 26, 2006 (17 years ago) (2006-06-26)
Former call signs
  • KOWH (June–August 2006)
  • KCWL-TV (August 2006–2009)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 51 (UHF, 2006–2009)
  • Digital: 51 (UHF, 2008–2012)
  • The WB (June–September 2006)
  • The CW (September 2006–2009)
Call sign meaning
"Fox Lincoln"
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID84453
ERP250 kW
HAAT190 m (623 ft)
Transmitter coordinates40°43′39.7″N 96°36′50.9″W / 40.727694°N 96.614139°W / 40.727694; -96.614139
Translator(s)
Links
Public license information
Websitefoxnebraska.com

KFXL-TV (channel 51) is a television station in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States, serving as the Fox affiliate for southern and central Nebraska, including Hastings, Kearney, and Grand Island. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group alongside the Nebraska Television Network (NTV), the ABC affiliate for the western portion of the Lincoln–Hastings–Kearney market, and is also broadcast as a subchannel of the NTV stations in Kearney, Hayes Center, and McCook. The two stations share studios on Nebraska Highway 44 in Axtell, about 14 miles (23 km) south of Kearney, with a secondary studio and news bureau at the Conestoga Mall in Grand Island; KFXL-TV's transmitter is located on Yankee Hill Road in southeast Lincoln.

KFXL-TV went on the air in 2006 as KOWH, an affiliate of The WB owned by the Omaha World-Herald. Pappas Telecasting, the then-owner of NTV, provided services. It was earmarked to switch to The CW and changed its call sign to KCWL-TV. In June 2009, KCWL-TV simultaneously converted from analog to digital broadcasting and from The CW to Fox, gradually replacing KTVG-TV and KSNB-TV as the Fox affiliate. Pappas acquired the station outright in 2014 before KFXL and NTV were sold at auction to Sinclair in 2015. The station airs a weeknight 9 p.m. newscast produced by NTV.

History

Establishment and WB/CW affiliation

In 1996, World Broadcasting, Incorporated, a subsidiary of the Omaha World-Herald newspaper, applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking approval to build a station on channel 51 in Lincoln. It expected to involve Pappas Telecasting in the operation of the new station.[2] The two open ultra high frequency (UHF) channels in Lincoln, channels 45 and 51, had each received multiple applications. In the case of channel 51, World Broadcasting was competing with Anthony J. Fant, who at the same time was in the process of selling the Nebraska Television Network (NTV) to Pappas.[3] By 1999, the field of applicants for channel 51 had grown to five with David M. Comisar, Prime Broadcasting Company, and Lincoln 51 LLC filing proposals.[4] The FCC granted World Broadcasting the construction permit in 2003, three years after the five applicants had reached a joint settlement agreement that the FCC had initially dismissed as untimely filed.[5]

World then intended to transfer the license to CFM Communications, a company owned by Carol Miller which would contract with Pappas for construction, sales, and programming services. The FCC initially approved the deal in 2005, over the objections of Gray Television (owner of the region's CBS affiliate, KOLN/KGIN) as to CFM's reliance on Pappas.[6] However, weeks later, the FCC rescinded this approval. This occurred after Mitts Telecasting, owner of Pappas-managed KXVO in Omaha, filed with the FCC the transcript of a deposition made by Miller in a lawsuit involving CFM and Mitts. In a letter, the head of the FCC Media Bureau's Video Division noted, "[T]he sworn statements made by Ms. Miller in her deposition raise serious questions regarding the truthfulness of representations made in CFM's application to acquire Lincoln [Broadcasting, a subsidiary holding the channel 51 permit] from World [Broadcasting]".[7]

KFXL signed on June 26, 2006, as KOWH,[8] an affiliate of The WB Television Network.[9] The station derived its call sign from the World-Herald; the newspaper outsourced most of the station's operations to Pappas, which provided marketing, sales and programming services to the station.[8] Before KOWH signed on, The WB was seen either via KXVO in Omaha[8] or a cable-only WB 100+ station, "KWBL", which Pappas operated alongside NTV.[10] KOWH also used the WB 100+ service.[11]

Five months before KOWH's sign-on, The WB and UPN had announced that they would close and form The CW Television Network. Pappas had obtained the affiliation for KOWH by the time it signed on,[8] and to reflect this affiliation, the station changed its call sign to KCWL-TV on August 1, 2006. KCWL operated as a member of The CW Plus, successor of The WB 100+.[11] On September 1, 2006, KCWL was added to the primary cable system in Lincoln, Time Warner Cable, on channel 18 in their low basic cable tier.[9]

Because it was granted an original construction permit after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997,[12] the station did not receive a companion digital channel. It was thus required to flash-cut to a digital signal when analog broadcasting formally ended on June 12, 2009.[13]

Switch to Fox

Further information: KTVG-TV and KSNB-TV

On June 3, 2009, Pappas Telecasting announced that KCWL would drop its CW affiliation upon the shutdown of the analog transmitter, leaving the Lincoln–Hastings–Kearney market without an over-the-air CW station. The station turned off its analog signal on June 9. When it returned as a digital-only station on June 12, it did so as Fox affiliate KFXL-TV, airing the same programming as KTVG-TV (channel 17) and KSNB-TV (channel 4).[13] The primary Fox affiliate on Lincoln cable systems was Pappas-owned KPTM in Omaha, though KSNB-TV also operated two analog translators in Lincoln and had been added to the Time Warner Cable lineup in 2003 because of its secondary carriage of UPN programming.[14] Steve Harry, general manager of NTV/KFXL, stated that the move was made to increase viewership of his station due to most viewers in Lincoln choosing KXVO, which Time Warner Cable had continued to carry, for CW programming.[13] It also had been a longstanding ambition of Pappas, since the late 1990s, to build a full-power Fox station in Lincoln.[15] KPTM continued to be carried in high definition by Time Warner Cable until 2012.[16]

The launch of KFXL kickstarted a year in which Fox programming moved from all of its prior major transmitters. The new KFXL was added as a subchannel to the two high-power NTV stations, KHGI-TV in Kearney and KWNB-TV in Hayes Center.[17] KSNB-TV and its Lincoln translators left the air on December 1, 2009, after Pappas terminated the time brokerage agreement with KSNB-TV owner Colins Broadcasting Corporation;[18] KTVG-TV left the air on April 5, 2010.[19]

On June 9, 2010,[20] KFXL-TV was purchased from the World-Herald by T. Stanley Trapp of Visalia, California, in a $300,000 deal first reached in December 2006 but not approved until March 30, 2010.[21]

Originally broadcast on channel 51, KFXL-TV received approval to switch to channel 15 in 2012 as part of a proposed facility improvement. Channel 51 was already being sunsetted to reduce interference to telecommunications users.[22] While an upgrade of the signal to the maximum power of 1,000 kW was originally proposed, this was changed to a small power increase (to 21.5 kW) before a license to cover the channel change was requested in November 2014.[23][24]

Trapp agreed to sell the station to Pappas outright for $300,000 on October 30, 2014; in the filing with the FCC, Pappas stated that KFXL's signal did not significantly overlap the signal of KHGI-TV.[25] In August 2015, the liquidating trust for Pappas announced that it was soliciting bids for a bankruptcy auction of the company's central Nebraska stations, which took place October 27, 2015.[26] Of the four companies that participated in the auction, Sinclair Broadcast Group emerged as the winning bidder and announced on November 4, 2015, that it had agreed to purchase NTV and KFXL for $31.25 million.[27] The sale was completed on May 1, 2016.[28]

The tower in north Lincoln that housed KFXL-TV's antenna collapsed on October 20, 2017.[29] Reduced-power operation from a new site began on January 12, 2018.[30]

Newscasts

Main article: Nebraska Television Network § News operation

KFXL airs a 9 p.m. newscast produced by NTV.[31]

Subchannel

Subchannel of KFXL-TV[32]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
51.1 720p 16:9 KFXL-TV Main KFXL-TV programming / Fox

References

  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KFXL-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "World-Herald Unit Seeks TV License". Omaha World-Herald. July 25, 1996. p. 37. Retrieved May 26, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Johnson, Tom (July 29, 1996). "Rush is on for city's open UHF channels". Lincoln Journal Star. p. 6C. Retrieved May 26, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ Johnson, Tom (June 21, 1999). "New Lincoln TV stations not too far away". Lincoln Journal Star. p. 2C. Retrieved May 26, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Legal Actions". Consolidated Database System. Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on May 27, 2023. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  6. ^ Kreisman, Barbara A. (May 24, 2005). "Re: KOWH(TV), Lincoln, Nebraska; ID No. 84453; File No. BTCCT-20040330BDM; Application for Transfer of Control" (PDF). Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 6, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  7. ^ Kreisman, Barbara A. (June 20, 2005). "Re: KOWH(TV), Lincoln, Nebraska; ID No. 84453; File No. BTCCT-20040330BDM; Application for Transfer of Control" (PDF). Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 13, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c d Korbelik, Jeff (June 26, 2006). "World-Herald launches new TV station". Lincoln Journal Star. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  9. ^ a b Korbelik, Jeff (August 14, 2006). "KFOR back on top of Arbitron survey". Lincoln Journal Star. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  10. ^ "Business reports: AP gives NTV Best Newscast award". The Grand Island Independent. April 23, 2006.
  11. ^ a b "New TV station airs from Lincoln". Omaha World-Herald. June 27, 2006. p. 2D. Retrieved May 26, 2023 – via Newspapers.com. (This article uses the much older "WeB" name for WB 100+.)
  12. ^ Lung, Doug (May 28, 1997). "Final Digital TV (DTV) Channel Plan from FCC97-115". Doug Lung's R. F. Page. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c Korbelik, Jeff (June 5, 2009). "World-Herald's CW station switching to Fox". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  14. ^ Korbelik, Jeff (January 13, 2003). "KSNB and Time Warner work to improve Channel 4 picture". Lincoln Journal Star. p. 5D. Retrieved May 26, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ Korbelik, Jeff (September 8, 1997). "Some good news for 'Trek' fans". Lincoln Journal Star. p. 5B. Retrieved May 26, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Korbelik, Jeff (August 5, 2012). "Time Warner drops KPTM's high-def channel". Lincoln Journal Star. Archived from the original on August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  17. ^ "KFXL/KTVG coverage map" (PDF). NTV. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  18. ^ "KSNB-TV signs off for final time". The Superior Express. December 1, 2009. Archived from the original on December 14, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  19. ^ "DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report". Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2010. this report reflects the first five days of the second quarter 2010. Late Monday, April 5th at 12 midnight KTVG-TV was signed off the air. The station has remained dark since that date.
  20. ^ "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  21. ^ "Application for consent to transfer control of entity holding broadcast station construction permit or license". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. March 2, 2010. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  22. ^ "DA 12-91 Report and Order" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. January 26, 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 7, 2023. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  23. ^ "Engineering Statement (BMPCDT-20140702ACE)". Consolidated Database System. Federal Communications Commission. July 2, 2014.
  24. ^ "#1045 License To Cover for DTV Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. November 12, 2014. Archived from the original on December 8, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  25. ^ "Application for consent to transfer control of entity holding broadcast station construction permit or license". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 7, 2014. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  26. ^ "Six Pappas Stations To Be Auctioned". TVNewsCheck. August 27, 2015. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  27. ^ Brandt, Amanda (November 5, 2015). "NTV, affiliates sold for $31.25 million". Kearney Hub. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  28. ^ "Consummation Notice". Consolidated Database System. Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on May 20, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  29. ^ Olberding, Matt (October 20, 2017). "500-foot communications tower collapses in north Lincoln". Lincoln Journal Star. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  30. ^ "#040099 Reduced Power Notification for a DTV Station Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. January 11, 2018. Archived from the original on November 28, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  31. ^ Bahr, Jeff (June 6, 2021). "Television viewers consider Kent Boughton their friend". The Grand Island Independent. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  32. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KFXL". RabbitEars. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2023.