|Branding||Fox Kansas (general)
Fox Kansas News
|Slogan||Your News. Your Time.|
|Channels||Digital: 26 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Antenna TV (DT2)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(KSAS Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||August 24, 1985|
|Call letters' meaning||KanSAS|
|Former channel number(s)||24 (UHF analog, 1985-2009)|
|Former affiliations||Independent (1985-1986)|
|Transmitter power||350 kW|
KSAS-TV is the Fox-affiliated television station for Wichita, Kansas. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 26 (or virtual channel 24.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Colwich. The station can also be seen on Cox channel 4, in high definition on digital channel 2004, and QAM channel 116.10. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station operates MyNetworkTV affiliate KMTW (owned by the Mercury Broadcasting Company, Inc.) through a local marketing agreement. The two outlets share studios on North West Street in Northwestern Wichita. Syndicated programming on KSAS includes Two and a Half Men and Maury among others. All syndicates on KSAS, and their sister station, KMTW, are in standard definition, and no plans are made to upgrade to High Definition.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|24.1||720p||16:9||KSASDT||Main KSAS-TV programming / Fox|
On February 17, 2009, KSAS abandoned its previous analog channel assignment of channel 24, and moved its digital channel assignment to channel 26.1 However, digital television receivers will continue to display KSAS's virtual digital channel as 24.
KSAS operates a network of two full and two low-powered stations covering Central and Western Kansas. The full-powered outlets also offer Antenna TV on second digital subchannels. These stations air virtually the exact programming as KSAS, apart from local advertisements.
|Station||City of license||Channels||First air date||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Transmitter location|
|KAAS-TV||Salina||17 (UHF)||April 3, 1988||65 kW||314 m||11912||west of Manchester along Ottawa and Dickinson County line|
|KOCW||Hoisington/Great Bend||14 (UHF)||2000||40 kW||163 m||83181||along U.S. 281 in Northern Barton County|
|KSAS-LP||Dodge City||29 (UHF)||1995||15 kW||907 m||11967||northwest of city|
|KAAS-LP||Garden City||31 (UHF)||1995||14.6 kW||129 m||11968||south of city|
Because it was granted an original construction permit after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finalized the digital television (DTV) allotment plan on April 21, 1997, KOCW did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead on June 12, 2009, the station turned-off its analog signal and turned on its digital signal (an action called a "flash-cut"). Due to their low-powered status, both KSAS-LP and KAAS-LP will not have to convert to digital until September 1, 2015.
KSAS began broadcasting on August 24, 1985 as the first independent station licensed in Kansas. It was also the first new commercial station to sign-on in Wichita since KARD-TV (channel 3, now KSNW) signed-on 30 years earlier. It aired an analog signal on UHF channel 24. On October 9, 1986, the station became a charter affiliate of Fox. On April 3, 1988, KAAS-TV in Salina signed-on as a full-time satellite of KSAS. The signal was extended to Western Kansas in 1995 with the addition of low-powered KSAS-LP in Dodge City and KAAS-LP in Garden City. The station was founded by a limited partnership known as "Columbia-Kansas TV Ltd." who restructured into "Channel 24 Ltd." before its first sign-on. Channel 24 Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in the late 1980s and was eventually bought out by Clear Channel Communications in August 1990.
In 1998, per the suggestion of then-Program Director Michael Hochman, KSAS began branding as "Fox Kansas". This was to help position KSAS and its satellites as a regional "network" along the lines of the other major stations in the market (such as the Kansas State Network, Kansas Broadcasting System, and KAKEland Television Network). The Big Four stations in Wichita all require at least three full-power transmitters to cover this unusually large market, which covers over 70 counties stretching from the Flint Hills to the Colorado border (almost three-fourths of the state). It is the largest Designated Market Area (DMA) by number of counties in the United States. The network was completed in 2000, when KBDK in Hoisington was added as another full power satellite to cover Great Bend and Hays.
In January 2001, KSAS launched UPN station KSCC (now MyNetworkTV-affiliated KMTW) through an LMA with Viacom's television stations group (now CBS Corporation's CBS Television Stations division), who held KSCC's license at the time.2 Viacom's ownership of that station would be short-lived as Viacom sold the station's license to the Mercury Broadcasting Company just five months after it signed on.
In 2005, KSAS became a crucial location in the search for and apprehension of infamous Wichita serial killer Dennis Rader known for decades as the anonymous BTK Killer. Rader's last known communication with the media and police was a padded envelope which arrived at KSAS' Wichita studios (one of many stations in the market which Rader had contacted over the years) on February 16, 2005. A purple, 1.44-MB Memorex floppy disk was enclosed in the package. Also enclosed were a letter, photocopy of the cover of a 1989 novel about a serial killer (Rules of Prey) and a gold-colored necklace with a large medallion. Police found metadata embedded in a Microsoft Word document on the disk that pointed to Wichita's Christ Lutheran Church and the document was marked as last modified by "Dennis". A search of the church website turned up Dennis Rader as president of the congregation council.3
In 2006, KBDK changed its call sign to KOCW. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group (including KSAS and its LMA with KMTW) to Providence Equity Partners;4 the deal closed on March 14, 2008. Newport Television's President and CEO is longtime Wichita television broadcaster Sandy DiPasquale. He was the last local owner of CBS affiliate KWCH-TV (channel 12), which was sold in 1994. DiPasquale moved Newport's headquarters to Kansas City in 2008 from his longtime base in Wichita.5
On July 19, 2012, Newport Television announced the sale of KSAS-TV to Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a group deal worth and estimated total of $1 billion involving the sale of 22 stations to Sinclair, Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Cox Media Group. Included in the purchase is the acquisition of the station's local marketing agreement with KMTW.6 The transaction was finalized on December 3.7
The KSAS studios on West Street have always been too small to house a full news department, so its newscasts have been outsourced to other stations in the market.8 In the mid 90's, KAKE produced news updates branded as a "KAKE 10 News Update on FOX 24" that aired between 7PM and 9PM, teasing stories that would air on their station during the 10 PM newscast. From September 29, 1997 until December 31, 1998 through a news share agreement, NBC affiliate KSNW (then owned by Lee Enterprises) produced a nightly 9 p.m. newscast on KSAS called Fox News at 9 (originally called Fox First News prior to its launch) 9 along with hourly local news updates during early evening and primetime programming. The launch was delayed from its original date of September 15 due to a delay in construction of a secondary news set for the prime time show at KSNW's studios.10 The broadcast was terminated due to poor ratings.11
Another news outsourcing agreement was established in 2003 with CBS affiliate KWCH (then owned by Media General) resulting in the market's second nightly primetime newscast, which made its debut on January 19, 2004.12 Known as Fox Kansas Eyewitness News at 9, the half-hour show originates from a secondary set (designed by FX Group) at KWCH's facility on East 37th Street North in Northeastern Wichita. In 2005, the newscast received the "Best Large Market Newscast in Kansas" award from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.
KWCH continued production of the 9 p.m. newscast despite Schurz Communications' purchase of KSCW in 2008. KWCH now currently produces a weekday morning newscast for KSCW in addition to the KSAS 9 p.m. broadcast. In October 2008, KWCH became the first station in the market to upgrade its local newscasts to high definition; although not initially included in the change, KWCH added HD weather forecast segments in March 2009.
On September 12, 2011, KWCH began producing half-hour newscasts weekdays at 4 and seven nights a week at 9 p.m. on KSCW; the latter newscast directly competes with KWCH's newscast on KSAS, whose news share agreement expired on December 31.13 In theory, KWCH could simultaneously broadcast two 9 p.m. newscasts until the expiration of the news share agreement, because KSAS' newscast originated from a secondary set at KWCH's studio facility; however on October 5, 2011, KSAS filed a lawsuit against KWCH in Sedgwick County District Court claiming that in violation of the news share agreement, KWCH began taping the KSAS newscasts in advance, while KWCH produced its newscast for KSCW as a live telecast; District Judge Jeff Goering signed an order requiring KWCH to restore the live newscast on KSAS while the suit was pending.14
Two days later, the two stations reached an agreement, ending the suit, and allowing KWCH to produce its newscast for KSAS live until the expiration of its news share agreement with the station, after which the live broadcasts were moved back over to KSCW. After the outsourced news broadcasts were discontinued, the production of the 9 p.m. newscast was turned back over to KSNW starting on January 2, 2012.15 By that time, KSNW had upgraded its in-studio video to high definition. The broadcast is now known as Fox Kansas News at 9 and originates from an updated main set at KSNW's facility which has separate duratans indicating the Fox show.
- Fox News at 9 (1997–1998; KSNW-produced newscast)
- Fox Kansas Eyewitness News at 9 (2004–2011; KWCH-produced newscast) 16
- Fox Kansas News at 9 (2012–present; KSNW-produced newscast)
- "Everybody Loves Fox Kansas" (2004–2008)
- "Your News. Your Time." (2004–present, news)
- Katie Taube - weeknights at 9:00 p.m.; also producer
- Aileen Simborio - weekends at 9:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- J.D. Rudd (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weeknights at 9:00 p.m.
- Mark Bogner (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 9:00 p.m.
- Leon Liebl - sports director; weeknights at 9:00 p.m.
- Mary-Rachel Redman - sports anchor; weekends at 9:00 p.m.
- Craig Andres - general assignment reporter
- Matt Horn - Salina bureau reporter
- Justin Kraemer - general assignment reporter
- Kirsten Rossotti - Garden City bureau reporter
- John Snyder - general assignment reporter
- Kevin Wheeler - general assignment reporter
- Mekialaya White - Great Bend bureau reporter
- Broadcasters invest $5M to launch new TV Channel 36, Wichita Business Journal, May 7, 2000.
- Police: FBI says letters are from BTK killer, CNN.com, February 17, 2005.
- Clear Channel Agrees to Sell Television Station Group to Providence Equity Partners, Clear Channel Communications, April 20, 2007.
- DiPasquale moving Wichita business to Kansas City, Wichita Business Journal, August 3, 2007.
- Newport Sells 22 Stations For $1 Billion, TVNewsCheck, July 19, 2012.
- KSAS's Moon working to return local newscast, Wichita Business Journal, December 10, 2000.
- Channel 24 to launch newscast, Wichita Business Journal, June 15, 1997.
- KSAS-TV changes name and debut date, Wichita Business Journal, September 15, 1997.
- KSAS cancels evening news show, Wichita Business Journal, December 7, 1998.
- Fox/KWCH ready to launch local 9 p.m. newscast, Wichita Business Journal, November 23, 2003.
- KWCH To Debut 4 & 9 P.M. News On KSCW, TVNewsCheck, July 18, 2011.
- Fox Kansas sues KWCH over 9 p.m. news broadcast, Wichita Business Journal, October 5, 2011.
- KSAS, KWCH reach agreement, ending lawsuit, Wichita Business Journal, October 7, 2011.
- KSAS FOX Kansas Eyewitness News at Nine Open, 2009
- FoxKansas.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KSAS-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KAAS-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOCW
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KSAS-LP
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KAAS-LP