|Channels||Digital: 35 (UHF)|
|Branding||Fox 34 (general)|
Fox 34 News (news)
|Owner||SagamoreHill Broadcasting |
(SagamoreHill of Lubbock, LLC)
|KJTV-CD, KCBD, KLCW-TV, KLBB-LD, KMYL-LD, KXTQ-CD|
First air date
|December 11, 1981|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
34 (UHF, 1981–2009)
Call sign meaning
|simplified from previous callsign KJAA-TV|
|HAAT||273.9 m (899 ft)|
|Translator(s)||K45IL-D 19 (UHF) Hobbs, NM|
Public license information
KJTV-TV, virtual channel 34 (UHF digital channel 35), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Lubbock, Texas, United States. Owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting, it is sister to Wolfforth-licensed low-powered, Class A independent station KJTV-CD (channel 32). The two stations are operated under a shared services agreement (SSA) by Gray Television, making them sisters to Gray's duopoly of Lubbock-licensed NBC affiliate KCBD (channel 11) and Wolfforth-licensed CW+ affiliate KLCW-TV (channel 22), as well as three other low-power stations—MyNetworkTV affiliate KMYL-LD (channel 14), Class A Telemundo affiliate KXTQ-CD (channel 46), and MeTV affiliate KLBB-LD (channel 48). KJTV-TV and KJTV-CD share studios at 98th Street and University Avenue in south Lubbock, where KJTV-TV's transmitter is also located.
KJTV-TV was a charter Fox affiliate, having broadcast the network since its launch on October 9, 1986. It was also the flagship television property of locally-owned Ramar Communications until late 2020 (see below).
Channel 34 first appeared in 1967 as KKBC-TV, owned by the KB Company (Chester and Clarance Kissell), operating from a control room and transmitter at the tallest downtown building. It had approximately 25 kilowatts of visual power from an antenna about 320 feet (98 m) above average terrain. The station signed on with a few films, some NBC and CBS programs declined by KCBD and KLBK-TV, and The Mike Douglas Show. Local engineer Alvie Ivey built the facility from used equipment gathered from stations in the region.
Soon after channel 34 signed on, a station on channel 28 signed on with much better facilities. KSEL-TV (now ABC affiliate KAMC) had 2 megawatts of power, an 875-foot (267 m) tower located in south Lubbock near other station's towers, and had support from sister stations KSEL-AM 950 (now KJTV-AM) and KSEL-FM 93.7 (now KLBB-FM) (both of which, ironically, are today sister stations to KJTV-TV). This provided the impetus to move KKBC to a taller location with greater power.
New owners took over channel 34 and a taller tower was built at 98th and University Avenue. Local station KWGO-FM (now KQBR) rented a spot on the tower as it was going up. The improved KKBC-TV developed power of more than 4 megawatts. However, KSEL still had the lead, as it obtained a full-time ABC affiliation, while channel 34 affiliated with the Spanish International Network (by bicycled tapes) and changed calls to KMXN-TV. The station continued until sometime in 1973. Legend has it that the board of directors met at the station, assessed their shaky financial footing, and ordered the station shut down on the way out. The film on the air was interrupted, and the station signed off. The license was then returned to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The tower and land were later acquired by Ramar for use by a radio station the company was starting, KTEZ (now KONE). After a few years' operations, Ramar decided to file for a new channel 34 license using the old tower, feed line, and antenna. That was granted around 1980-81, and on December 11, 1981, KJAA was launched as an independent station. On August 16, 1985, the station became KJTV (the KJTV call letters were previously used by KCIT, now the Fox affiliate in nearby Amarillo), and on October 9, 1986, it joined the fledgling Fox Broadcasting Company as one of its charter stations. For a time, the station secondarily aired programming from the Prime Time Entertainment Network. On October 2, 2000, KJTV added a -TV suffix to its call letters.
For a time in the early 1990s, the station aired LIVE! with Regis and Kathie Lee (now Live with Kelly and Ryan). Prior to the Fox network beginning seven-nights-per-week programming in 1993, locally produced programming included The Cowboy Picture Show, a Wednesday night airing of a Western film that usually had a local sponsor (e.g., KLLL-FM); and a prime time movie aired most weeknights at 7 p.m., not unlike other Fox affiliates in the Central Time Zone during these years.
On October 19, 2020, Ramar announced that it would sell KJTV to SagamoreHill Broadcasting for $5 million. Gray Television (owner of KCBD) would provide services to KJTV through a shared services agreement. Concurrently, Gray would acquire KJTV's sister station KLCW (and its accompanied low-power stations) for $10 million. The sale was completed on December 31.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|34.1||720p||16:9||FOX34||Main KJTV-TV programming / Fox|
|34.2||480i||FOX34NN||Simulcast of KJTV-CD / Fox 34 News NOW|
KJTV-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 34, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 35. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 34.
Syndicated programming on KJTV includes Two and a Half Men, Friends, Tamron Hall, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, U.S. Farm Report, How I Met Your Mother, and The People’s Court.
Starting with the 1989-90 season, KJTV became the exclusive broadcaster of Southwest Conference athletics for Lubbock and the South Plains; prior to the fall of 1989, it had split broadcast rights with KCBD. Occasionally, however, KJTV did produce its own sports telecasts. Namely, in September 1986, Texas Tech's football team traveled to Miami to take on the University of Miami (Florida). Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson provided color commentary; for many Cowboy fans across the South Plains, it was a welcome sign, as the Cowboys would post its first losing season since 1964. The Red Raiders could not deliver on the possibility that they could establish themselves as a national power, as Texas Tech lost 61-11.
Since 1994, it has been the South Plains' broadcaster of National Football Conference games. Prior to 1994, KLBK aired NFC games, including those of the Dallas Cowboys.
In 2000, KJTV launched a local newscast at 9 p.m. using a virtual set (which was also used for news on KXTQ-LP). Concurrent with their inauguration of a new news department and the first one in Lubbock in more than 30 years, they also introduced a new logo, which is still in use to this day. To give South Plains viewers a sense of familiarity, they lured former KAMC anchor Jeff Klotzman away from Phoenix to anchor the newscasts. In recent years, Klotzman anchored the weekday newscasts alongside former KLBK and KOSA-TV newsman Kurt Kiser. However, Klotzman retired after the February 28, 2019 newscast after the Lubbock Independent School District hired him as part of their community relations department. As he had also retired from the station's news directorship, chief meteorologist Matt Ernst replaced him in said capacity.
On October 1, 2008. KJTV launched a morning newscast titled Good Day Lubbock that, as of 2018, airs from 5–9 a.m. weekday mornings. KJTV discontinued its virtual set in 2008 and again in 2017. In 2010, KJTV launched the now-canceled Ag Day Lubbock, a daily local newscast covering agricultural issues complementing the syndicated farm news show Ag Day, which preceded it.
In 2012, KJTV added three hours of news and information from 6–9 p.m. on FOX 34 News NOW, 32.1 KJTV-CD/34.2 KJTV-TV.