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  • ABC 7
  • Amarillo CW 11 (on DT2)
First air date
December 21, 1957 (66 years ago) (1957-12-21)
Former call signs
KVII (1957–1967)[3]
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 7 (VHF, 1957–2009)
  • Digital: 23 (UHF, 2000–2009)
  • 7 (VHF, 2009–2022)
Call sign meaning
"VII" is 7 in Roman numerals
Technical information[4]
Licensing authority
Facility ID40446
ERP1,000 kW[1]
HAAT513 m (1,683 ft)[1]
Transmitter coordinates35°22′30″N 101°52′58″W / 35.37500°N 101.88278°W / 35.37500; -101.88278 (KVII-TV)
Translator(s)see § Translators
Public license information

KVII-TV (channel 7) is a television station in Amarillo, Texas, United States, affiliated with ABC and The CW Plus. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station maintains studios at One Broadcast Center between South Pierce and South Buchanan streets in downtown Amarillo, and its transmitter is located west of US 87/287, in unincorporated Potter County.

KVIH-TV (channel 12) in Clovis, New Mexico, operates as a full-time satellite of KVII-TV; this station's transmitter is located along State Road 88 (east of Portales). KVIH-TV covers areas of northeastern and east-central New Mexico that receive a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from KVII-TV, although there is significant overlap between the two stations' contours otherwise. KVIH-TV is a straight simulcast of KVII-TV; on-air references to KVIH-TV are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during newscasts and other programming. Besides the transmitter, KVIH-TV does not maintain any physical presence in Clovis.


On September 20, 1956, Southwest States Inc.—a consortium managed by George Oliver, Robert Houck, Hoyt Houck, John McCarthy, Sam Fenberg and real estate firm Estate Development, and which owned radio station KAMQ (1010 AM, now KDJW)—filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to obtain a license and construction permit to operate a commercial television station on VHF channel 7.[5][6][7] On February 5, 1957, Kenyon Brown – owner of local radio station KLYN (940 AM, now KIXZ) as well as KWFT in Wichita Falls (now Plano-licensed KTNO) – filed a separate license application for channel 7.[8][9] Brown withdrew his application for VHF channel 7 on December 11 of that year, ceding the application to Southwest States under an agreement in which that group would pay Brown $10,000 for out-of-pocket expenses if application was granted by August 7, 1957, or $7,500 if application was granted by September 20.[10] The FCC awarded the license and permit for channel 7 to Southern States on August 1, 1957; the group subsequently requested and received approval to assign KVII-TV (referencing the roman numeral for the number "7") as the television station's call letters.[11][12]

Channel 7 first signed on the air on December 21, 1957, as the third television station to sign on in the Amarillo market, behind NBC affiliate KGNC-TV (channel 4, now KAMR-TV) and CBS affiliate KFDA-TV (channel 10), both of which signed on over four years earlier. KVII-TV has operated as an ABC affiliate since its debut,[13] having assumed the local programming rights from KFDA-TV, which aired select network shows on a secondary basis since it signed on. The sign-of KVII made Amarillo one of the smallest markets in the U.S. to maintain full service from all three commercial broadcast television networks, although the market had no public television service until Amarillo College signed on KACV-TV (channel 2) in August 1988.

Only six months after it signed on, on June 28, 1958, Southwest States Inc. announced it would sell KVII-TV to Television Properties Inc. (owned by Jack C. Vaughn, Grady H. Vaughn Jr. and Cecil L. Trigg, respectively the co-owners and general manager of existing Television Properties outlet KOSA-TV in Odessa) for around $425,000, including obligations to own 77.7% of the station and an option to buy the remaining 22.5%. The sale received FCC approval almost one month later on July 16.[14][15] In July 1961, the station relocated its studio facilities into the Walton Building (now the Maxor Building) on South Polk Street and Southwest Fourth Avenue in downtown Amarillo.

On August 1, 1963, Southwest States Inc. announced it would sell KVII to The Walton Group (founded by Kermit-based mineral rights entrepreneur John B. Walton Jr., and which also owned KVKM-AM-TV [now KCKM and KWES-TV, respectively] in Odessa, Texas and held a minority stake in KFNE-FM in Big Spring) for $1.25 million. The sale received FCC approval nearly 3½ months later on November 12.[16][17] In October 1967, The Walton Group announced it would sell KVII-TV to Amarillo-based Marsh Media Ltd. (founded by Estelle Marsh, mother of Stanley Marsh 3, Tom F. Marsh, Michael C. Marsh and Estelle Marsh Wattlington, each of whom owned spare 5% interests not held by Estelle and managed local charity organization The Marsh Foundation) for $1.5 million. As part of the sale agreement, John Walton Jr. – who retained ownership of KVII-AM-FM – signed a ten-year non-compete contract to remain with KVII-TV as a station consultant for a salary of $50,000 per year. The sale received FCC approval on January 31, 1968.[18][19][20]

Since 1968, when Marsh Media adopted the design shortly after purchasing the station, KVII-TV has used proprietary version of the Circle 7 logo initially designed by G. Dean Smith for ABC's six original owned-and-operated stations and later expanded to many ABC-affiliated stations that broadcast on channel 7. It is the longest-continuously used logo among the Amarillo market's television stations (commercial or non-commercial). The station also utilized variants of the "Circle 7" for KVIJ-TV starting in 1979 and for KVIH-TV starting in 1986 for use in required hourly station identifications for KVII and its satellites, with those variants utilizing thin block lettering for those station's respective channel 8 and channel 12 allocations. (The KVIH variant was discontinued in 2001.) The logo is also adorned atop the station's studio facilities at One Broadcast Center, a pyramid-shaped building on Southeast 11th Avenue and South Pierce Street in downtown Amarillo, into which KVII relocated its operations in 1968.

KVII-TV found it difficult to adequately compete against KGNC-TV and KFDA-TV largely because of the difficulties experienced by television stations operating in rugged terrain. The station was all but unviewable in Clovis, Portales and surrounding areas of northeastern New Mexico as well as portions of the far eastern Texas Panhandle. Many viewers in those areas received ABC programming either via KOAT-TV in Albuquerque or KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City. To solve this problem, KVII launched a network of UHF translators to serve areas not covered by its main signal. In October 1975, Marsh Media acquired KFDO-TV (channel 8) in Sayre, Oklahoma, from Bass Broadcasting Co. (then-owner of KFDA-TV) for $300,000; Marsh intended to convert KFDO – which Bass unloaded as part of its divestiture of its broadcast holdings to focus on its oil and gas exploration endeavors, and had been serving as a KFDA satellite since 1966 – into a satellite station of KVII to reach viewers in the eastern Texas Panhandle as well as those in west-central Oklahoma who could not adequately receive ABC programming from KOCO. In January 1976, Marsh changed the Sayre station's call letters to KVIJ-TV to match its new parent station.[21][22] KVII was one of the first commercial stations to air the PBS program Sesame Street. It started in 1970 and continued to air it until KACV signed on.

Following the death of Bill McAlister in October 1985, Marsh acquired a former satellite of KFDA, KMCC (channel 12) in Clovis, New Mexico, from his company, McAlister Television Enterprises Inc., for $1.5 million. KMCC – which had been operating as a satellite of fellow ABC affiliate KAMC-TV in Lubbock since 1979 – converted into a KVII satellite in September 1986, under the call letters KVIH-TV, to relay its programming into portions of eastern New Mexico who could not adequately receive ABC programming from KOAT.[23][24][25] On December 2, 1992, Marsh Media shut down KVIJ, citing the fact that very few television viewers in its west-central Oklahoma service area actually tuned into KVIJ directly, due to the ability of receiving ABC network programming via cable through either KOCO-TV out of Oklahoma City or KSWO-TV out of the Wichita Falls–Lawton DMAs. (KVIJ's former studio and transmitter site at the intersection of state highways 6 and 152, northwest of Sayre, currently sits vacant.)

On August 26, 2002, Marsh Media announced it would sell KVII-TV and KVIH-TV to Atlanta-based New Vision Group for $16.85 million.[26] On April 7, 2005, New Vision Group announced it would sell KVII/KVIH to Schaumburg, Illinois-based Barrington Broadcasting (owned by New York City-based private equity firm Pilot Group LP and then headed by former National Association of Broadcasters joint board chairman and Benedek Broadcasting CEO Jim Yager) for $22.5 million.[27][28][29][30]

On February 28, 2013, Barrington announced that it would sell KVII-TV, KVIH-TV and the company's sixteen other television stations (six of which were transferred to or remained under the ownership of third-party licensees to address ownership conflicts and had their operations handled by Sinclair through shared services agreements) to the Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group for $370 million.[31][32] The acquisition of the Barrington stations received FCC approval on November 18, 2013, and was formally consummated six days later on November 25. Sinclair transferred ownership of KVII/KVIH and the other former Barrington stations to Chesapeake Television, a subsidiary (which set up its headquarters at Barrington's former Schaumburg offices) focusing on smaller markets that maintains separate management than that which runs Sinclair's large and mid-market outlets.[31] As result of the Barrington purchase, KVII gained new sister stations in nearby markets: Fox affiliate KOKH-TV and CW affiliate KOCB in Oklahoma City, and Fox affiliate KSAS-TV and its MyNetworkTV-affiliated LMA partner KMTW in Wichita.[33][34]


KVII-TV currently broadcasts the full ABC network schedule, with the only programming preemptions being the ABC News Brief seen during ABC Daytime programming, and situations in which preemption of the network's daytime and prime time programs is necessary to allow the main channel to provide extended coverage of breaking news or severe weather events (in some instances, these programs may either be rebroadcast on KVII on tape delay in place of the station's regular overnight programming, however, cable and satellite subscribers have the option of watching the affected shows on ABC's desktop and mobile streaming platforms or its cable/satellite video-on-demand service the day after their initial airing). The station carries the network's Sunday morning political/news discussion program This Week live via its Eastern Time Zone feed (at 8 a.m.), due to its broadcast of the Sinclair-produced investigative news program Full Measure and locally based Quail Creek Church's weekly televised services.

Starting with the 2002–03 season and ending in its final season (2010–11), KVII broadcast The Oprah Winfrey Show to viewers in the Texas Panhandle; prior to that time, NBC affiliate KAMR had aired the show for several years from its 1986–87 start when the station replaced it with The Wayne Brady Show (and later The Ellen DeGeneres Show).

News operation

This section needs expansion with: further details on the history of KVII-TV's news operation. You can help by adding to it. (August 2018)

As of September 2016, KVII-TV presently broadcasts 22 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4+12 hours on weekdays and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). In addition, KVII produces five hours of locally produced newscasts each week for its CW-affiliated subchannel KVII-DT2 (running for a half-hour each on weekdays only). The station may also simulcast long-form severe weather coverage on KVII-DT2 in the event that a tornado warning is issued for any county within the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles as well as Eastern New Mexico.

The ProNews title had been used at KVII-TV continuously since Marsh Media purchased the station from John Walton in late 1967. For many years, the 10 p.m. edition of ProNews was a 45-minute broadcast, but has been truncated back to 35 minutes in recent years. Also, ProNews 7 broadcast a noon newscast on Sundays during the 1970s and 1980s, along with the noon broadcast Monday through Friday.

On February 6, 2012, KVII began producing a half-hour prime time newscast at 9 p.m. for KVII-DT2, which aired only on Monday through Friday nights, under the title ProNews 7 at 9:00 (now ABC 7 News: The Panhandle's News at 9:00). The KVII-produced program would gain additional prime time news competitors beginning with the launch of a half-hour prime time newscast in that timeslot on KCIT (channel 14), a program that NBC-affiliated sister station KAMR-TV began producing for the Fox affiliate in March 2001 after the station brought back a newscast for channel 14 after a 6-year absence.

On April 6, 2015, KVII unveiled a new studio, and discontinued the previous Pro News 7 brand in favor of simply ABC 7 News.[35]

Notable former on-air staff

Technical information


The stations' signals are multiplexed:

Subchannels of KVII-TV[36] and KVIH-TV[37]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
7.1 12.1 720p 16:9 KVII-HD KVIH-DT Main programming / ABC
7.2 12.2 KVII-CW KVIH-CW CW 11 Amarillo
7.3 12.3 480i COMET Comet
7.4 12.4 TBD TBD
7.5 12.5 CHARGE Charge!

Analog-to-digital conversion

By mid-October 2006, the digital signal was fully operating, coinciding with the introduction of a viewer-interactive newscast, in which viewers can send e-mails with questions and concerns in regards to the stories and features in the newscasts. KVII-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, on June 12, 2009, the official date on which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital television under federal mandate.[38][39] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 23 to its pre-transition analog allocation of VHF channel 7.


To reach viewers throughout the 34 counties comprising the Amarillo television market, KVII-TV extends its over-the-air coverage area through a full-power satellite station and a network of 12 low-power translator stations encompassing much of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, and the northeastern New Mexico that distribute its programming beyond the 70.9-mile-wide (114.1 km) range of its broadcast signal. (All low-power translators transmit on virtual channel 7, including those located adjacent to KVIH-TV's coverage area.) Nielsen Media Research treats KVII and KVIH as one station in local ratings books, using the identifier name "KVII+".

KVII and KVIH serve viewers across a four-state region including the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, eastern New Mexico and southwestern Kansas. A unique feature of KVII's coverage area is that it covers two time zones — Central and Mountain. This means that viewers in New Mexico watch ABC's prime time schedule from 6 to 9 p.m. (instead of 7 to 10 p.m.), with Jimmy Kimmel Live! airing at 9:35 p.m.[40]

Full-power satellites

Station City of license
(other cities served)
Channel (RF/VC) First air date Call letters' meaning Former call signs Former channel numbers Former affiliations ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Public license information
KVIH-TV[note 1] Clovis, NM
(Portales, NM)
12 December 2, 1956
(67 years ago)
Variation of KVII with an H KICA-TV (1956–1959, 1962–1964)
KVER-TV (1959–1962)
KFDW-TV (1964–1979)
KMCC-TV (1979–1986)
12 (analog VHF, 1956–2009);
20 (digital UHF, 2004–2009)
CBS (1956–1979) kW
160 kW (CP)
204 m (669 ft) 40450 34°11′34″N 103°16′46″W / 34.19278°N 103.27944°W / 34.19278; -103.27944 (KVIH-TV) Public file
Station City of license
(other cities served)
Channel First air date Last air date Call letters' meaning Former affiliations Transmitter coordinates
KVIJ-TV[note 2] Sayre, OK
(Elk City, OK)
8 (VHF) August 7, 1961;
62 years ago
December 2, 1992;
31 years ago
(31 years, 117 days)
Variation of KVII
calls with a J
35°25′23.9″N 99°50′35.2″W / 35.423306°N 99.843111°W / 35.423306; -99.843111 (KVIJ-TV)


See also


  1. ^ KVIH-TV (as KICA-TV) originally operated as a primary CBS and secondary ABC affiliate from its December 1956 sign-on until it was acquired by Mel Wheeler (station manager at KFDA-TV and part-owner of KFDA's owner at the time, Amarillo Telecasters) in 1976, at which time it converted into a KFDA satellite as KFDW-TV; the station was sold to McAlister TV Corporation in 1979, operating as a semi-satellite of Lubbock-based ABC affiliate KAMC-TV (as KMCC) from that point until Marsh Media acquired channel 12 in 1986.
  2. ^ KVIJ-TV (as KSWB) began operations as Elk City-licensed KSWB-TV (referencing original owner South West Broadcasting), independently operating from its 1961 sign-on until it was acquired by Bass Broadcasting Company (then-owner of KFDA-TV, to which KSWB was converted as a satellite under the callsign KFDO-TV) in 1966, at which point its city of license was reassigned to Sayre.


  1. ^ a b c "Channel Substitution/Community of License Change". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. November 27, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Report & Order", Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, May 20, 2021, Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  3. ^ "FCC History Cards for KVII-TV" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KVII-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  5. ^ "Amarillo, Detroit TVs Asked in Two Applications". Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. September 17, 1956. p. 84.
  6. ^ "FCC Receives Applications For Five New TV Stations". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. September 24, 1956. p. 84.
  7. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. October 1, 1956. p. 94.
    "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. October 1, 1956. p. 95.
  8. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. February 4, 1957. p. 95.
  9. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. February 11, 1957. p. 116.
  10. ^ "At Deadline; Brown Drops Amarillo Bid". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. July 29, 1957. p. 9.
  11. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. August 12, 1957. p. 100.
  12. ^ "Two TV Grants in Texas: Among Six Made by FCC". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc.u. August 5, 1957. p. 88.
  13. ^ "WKST-TV to Join ABC-TV". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. September 2, 1957. p. 56.
  14. ^ "Changing Hands". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. June 16, 1958. p. 54.
  15. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. July 7, 1958. p. 88.
  16. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. August 12, 1963. p. 79.
  17. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. November 18, 1963. p. 102.
  18. ^ "Two TV's sold for $6 million". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. October 23, 1967. p. 83.
    "Two TV's sold for $6 million". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. October 23, 1967. p. 84.
  19. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. December 18, 1967. p. 87.
  20. ^ "KVII-TV sale OK'd; KXYZ sale at FCC". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. February 5, 1968. p. 44.
  21. ^ "Changing Hands". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. October 3, 1975. p. 35.
  22. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. January 12, 1976. p. 46.
  23. ^ Klotzman, Jeffery A. (August 1, 2000). "The History of McAlister Television Enterprises of Lubbock, Texas" (PDF). Texas Tech University. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  24. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. October 14, 1985. p. 74.
  25. ^ "For the Record". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. October 14, 1986. p. 74.
  26. ^ "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. August 25, 2002. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  27. ^ Schwarz, George (January 20, 2005). "KVII changes ownership". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications.
  28. ^ Rohloff, Greg (January 20, 2005). "Marsh set to sell station to TV group". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications.
  29. ^ Eggerton, John (April 7, 2005). "Barrington Buying Two Stations". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  30. ^ "Deals". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. BIA Financial Networks. April 17, 2005. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Malone, Michael (February 28, 2013). "Sinclair's Chesapeake TV Acquires Barrington Stations". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  32. ^ Smith Welch, Karen (March 1, 2013). "Baltimore broadcast firm looks to buy KVII, other stations". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  33. ^ "Sinclair Closes Broadcast Group on Acquisition of Barrington Stations" (PDF). Sinclair Broadcast Group (Press release). November 25, 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  34. ^ Malone, Michael (November 25, 2013). "Sinclair Closes on $370 Million Barrington Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  35. ^ "ABC 7 News unveils new set today". Sinclair Broadcast Group. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  36. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KVII". RabbitEars. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  37. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KVIH". RabbitEars. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  38. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  39. ^ "Start here for a DTV Basic Overview for NewsChannel 10's Viewing area". KFDA-TV. Drewry Communications. January 30, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  40. ^ "Local Over the Air Broadcast 88101" (PDF). Gracenote. May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.