call_letters = KFOR-TV
station_branding = Oklahoma's NewsChannel4
K-Four (alternate; used on some occasions)
analog = 4 (VHF)
digital = 27 (UHF)
other_chs = K18BV May/Gage
NBC NBC Weather Plus(DT2)
June 6, 1949
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
callsign_meaning = channel FOuR
former_callsigns = WKY-TV (1949-1976)
owner = Local TV, LLC
licensee = Local TV Oklahoma License, LLC
former_affiliations = All secondary:
DuMont (1949-1955) [http://members.aol.com/jeff99500/1952tv.html]
effective_radiated_power = 100 kW (analog)
790 kW (digital)
HAAT = 469 m (analog)
489 m (digital)
facility_id = 66222
coordinates = coord|35|34|5.7|N|97|29|20.9|W|type:landmark_scale:2000 (analog)
homepage = [http://www.kfor.com/ www.kfor.com]
KFOR-TV, channel 4, is an NBC-affiliated television station in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. KFOR-TV is owned by Local TV, a subsidiary of the private equity group Oak Hill Capital Partners, with studios and transmitter are co-located on East Britton Road in Oklahoma City.
KFOR also carries
NBC Weather Plus(branded as "4Warn 24/7") on digital subchannel 4.2 and Cox Digital Cable. On cable, KFOR-TV can be seen on channel 3 on Cox Oklahoma City and on channel 4 on other Cox systems in Central Oklahoma. KFOR-TV can also be seen throughout Oklahoma on four translator stations serving northwestern Oklahoma and several cable systems across the state.
The station began in 1949 as WKY-TV, owned by the Oklahoma Publishing Company, publishers of the "
Daily Oklahoman", along with WKY radio. The station was affiliated with the four major networks at the time (NBC, ABC, CBS and DuMont). It is Oklahoma's first television station, having signed on a few months before KOTVin Tulsa. Channel 4 took a primary affiliation with NBC due to WKY radio's association with NBC Radio.
Due to an FCC-imposed freeze on station licenses, WKY-TV was the only Oklahoma City television station until 1953 when KTVQ (channel 25, now
KOKH-TV) signed on, taking an ABC affiliation. Later that year KWTV(channel 9) debuted as a primary CBS affiliate. WKY-TV continued as a dual NBC/DuMont affiliate until the DuMont network shut down in 1956. KTVQ closed its operations that year as well, and channel 4 picked up ABC once again. In 1958, ABC station KGEO (channel 5) was moved from Enid into Oklahoma City, becoming KOCO-TV, and that allowed WKY-TV to become an exclusive NBC affiliate.
In 1954, when
NBCbecame the first television network to broadcast color programs, WKY-TV subsequently followed as one of the very first local TV stations in the U.S. to broadcast its own color programming many years ahead of most other local stations nationwide, most of whom did not follow suit until the mid-1960s.
In September 1954, not long before he left for rival KWTV, meteorologist
Harry Volkmandelivered the first tornado warning broadcast on television. WKY-TV station management believed that the FCC's ban on broadcasting tornado warnings (which they feared broadcasting such warnings would cause panic) was responsible for heavy loss of life, such as in the Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence, a year earlier. They figured that giving advanced warning on such storms would save lives. The station bootlegged a Tornado Forecast from Tinker Air Force Base (which was first produced in 1948), in order to warn people of a tornado in the Oklahoma City area. Survivors sent letters of thanks following the storm to WKY-TV and Volkman for the advance warning.
Over the years, Oklahoma Publishing acquired several other television and radio stations, including
WTVTin Tampa, Florida(in 1956), WVTVin Milwaukee(in 1966), KHTV in Houston(launched in 1967), and KTVTin Fort Worth, Texas(in 1971). WKY-TV was their flagship outlet, and Oklahoma Publishing called their television subsidiary the WKY Television System. When the Federal Communications Commissiondisallowed same market co-ownership of newspapers and broadcast licenses in the early 1970s, the combination of the "Daily Oklahoman" and WKY-AM-TV was grandfathered under the new rule. But in 1976, WKY-TV was sold to Universal Communications, a subsidiary of the Detroit-based Evening News Association. Universal Communications changed channel 4's call letters to KTVY after the sale was finalized. Oklahoma Publishing retained WKY radio, and its television group was rechristened Gaylord Broadcasting, after the family which owned the company.
Gannett Companybought the Evening News Association in 1986. Gannett had owned KOCO-TV since 1979, and FCC rules of the time forced Gannett to sell KTVY (along with KOLD-TVin Tucson, Arizonaand WALA-TVin Mobile, Alabama) to Knight RidderBroadcasting after just one day of ownership. In 1989, Knight Ridder sold all of its broadcasting properties to separate buyers, with KTVY going to Palmer Communications, owner of fellow NBC affiliate WHO-TVin Des Moines, Iowa. Palmer changed the station's call letters to the current KFOR-TV in 1990. The New York Times Companypurchased the two stations in 1996.
KFOR-TV eventually became the first station in the country to introduce color Doppler
weather radarand in the 1990s, becoming the first television station to broadcast pictures and video of severe weather via cell phones.Fact|date=August 2007
On the evening of
June 13, 1998, a severe thunderstorm which produced several tornadoes in northern Oklahoma City, including one that hit the Frontier City amusement park, destroyed the old WKY-AM-TV tower not far from KFOR-TV's studios, and was caught on tape by KWTV through one of its CityCams.
KFOR became the first television station in Oklahoma City to launch a digital signal in June of 1999.
On September 13, 2006, The New York Times Company announced that it plans to sell off its television stations, including KFOR. [http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=105317&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=904561&highlight=] On January 4, 2007, the New York Times Company entered into an agreement to sell the stations to affiliates of the private equity group
Oak Hill Capital Partners. On May 7, 2007, KFOR officially became part of Local TV LLC.
KFOR-TV has waged a high-spirited battle with its rival KWTV in the Oklahoma City metro area for decades. Currently, it continues to run second in the news ratings behind its KWTV in the morning and late news time periods, and behind ABC affiliate KOCO-TV at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.
KFOR-TV airs 32.5 hours of local news each week (with five hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays), second only to KWTV in the most hours of local news in the Oklahoma City area. The newscasts generally cover more "serious" issues, such as politics, government, crime, the economy and investigative reports, as well as some lighter fare. On election nights, KFOR-TV runs a special extended edition of their 10PM newscast to cover election results. KFOR-TV's newscasts are well known in Oklahoma City for the longevity of its anchors, and based on that experience and serious coverage, it has become one of the most-watched newscasts in the Oklahoma City area.
The station has three radar systems: "4Warn StormTracker", "4Warn SkyTracker" and "4Warn Doppler". KFOR-TV has the characteristic of being only one of two stations in the state with two doppler radars (the other is
KJRHin Tulsa), and has the most powerful Doppler radar in Oklahoma at 1 million watts of power (located near Newcastle).
One of the station's principal anchors, Linda Cavanaugh, has been with the station since 1978. The Barrys and the Ogles are the prominent faces at KFOR. Kevin Ogle is a son of Jack Ogle, who was the station's main news anchor during most of the WKY era and the early KTVY years (a period that also included prominent anchor/reporters George Tomek, Ernie Schultz and Jerry Adams). Sportscaster Bob Barry, who is sports anchor for the 5:00PM and 6:00PM newscasts, has been a fixture at KFOR since the 1960s and is also the longtime radio voice of the Oklahoma Sooners. His son Bob Barry Jr. currently is the station's sports director and 10:00PM sports anchor. Kevin Ogle is co-anchor of the 6:00PM and 10:00PM newscasts, while brother Kent is co-anchor of the morning news on weekdays and principal anchor of the Noon newscast.
Mike Morgan has served as KFOR's chief meteorologist since 1993 and had previously worked at rival ABC affiliate
KOCO-TVand Tulsa NBC affiliate KJRH, where former KFOR staff meteorologist Dan Threlkeld is now chief meteorologist. For many years, the station's chief meteorologist was Jim Williams (1958-1990), who was among the few on-air personalities to work at Channel 4 under all three callsigns: WKY, KTVY and KFOR.
The station also airs "Flash Point", a political talk show focusing on state and national political issues, moderated by weekday evening anchor Kevin Ogle with former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys and Mike Turpin as panelists at 9:30am Sundays.
Since 1991, KFOR-TV features the segment "Is This a Great State or What?" with Galen Culver, airing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the 5:00PM newscast. The segment, which is lighter fare, features some of Oklahoma's most interesting stories and interesting people.
Since 2006, KFOR-TV also featured "The Rant with Kevin Ogle" running Monday through Thursdays during "NewsChannel 4 at 10:00", a segment similar to brother Kelly Ogle's "My Two Cents" segment on KWTV. The main difference is every edition of "The Rant" is a comment by viewers who submitted an e-mail on their take on the selected topic on the station's website. Each Thursday night's edition is an Open Topic forum which features comments from viewers on various subjects.
In Your Corner
Since 1973, KFOR-TV has featured its "In Your Corner" investigative reports, which help people solve various problems with businesses who have ripped people off. Then-anchor Brad Edwards began "In Your Corner" in 1973, and did the segment until a few months prior his death in 2006 from a
brain hemorrhagewhich came after an unexpected illness whose symptoms included bronchitisand inflammation of the lungs but were otherwise unknown. Reporters Lance West, Cherokee Ballard, Ali Meyer and Scott Hines have done the segments on a rotating basis since June 2006.
Oklahoma's NewsChannel 4 on OK43
On June 5, 2006, KFOR debuted a half-hour 9:00 newscast produced for KAUT Channel 43, entitled "Oklahoma's NewsChannel 4 at 9:00 on OK43" airing Monday through Friday nights. This newscast runs directly against the "Fox Primetime News @ 9:00" on
KOKH. The newscast is anchored by Cherokee Ballard (who previously anchored the weekend evening news for rival KOCO before joining KFOR in 2005) and Ernie Paulsen (who previously worked for Little Rock NBCaffiliate KARK).
NewsChannel 4 Notable Personalities
Current On-Air Talent (as of September 15, 2008)
*Meg Alexander: weeknights on NewsChannel 4 at 5PM and Extra Edition at 6:30 (also fill-in 4:30PM anchor/reporter)
*Tara Blume: weekend mornings on NewsChannel 4 in the Morning (also reporter)
*Linda Cavanaugh: weekdays on NewsChannel 4 at 4:30, and weeknights on NewsChannel 4 at 6 and 10PM (also reporter)
*Ed Doney: Sundays on NewsChannel 4 at 5 and 10PM (also fill-in anchor)
*Ali Meyer: weekdays on NewsChannel 4 in the Morning (also investigative reporter)
*Bobbie Miller: Saturdays on NewsChannel 4 at 6 and 10PM (on maternity leave as of August 21, 2008)
*Kent Ogle: weekdays on NewsChannel 4 in the Morning and Noon (also reporter)
*Kevin Ogle: weeknights on NewsChannel 4 at 6 and 10PM (also reporter)
*Ernie Paulson: weeknights on NewsChannel 4 at 9 on OK43 (also reporter/fill-in anchor)
*Lance West: weeknights on NewsChannel 4 at 5 and Extra Edition at 6:30 (also reporter and KAUT morning anchor)
*Russell Carter: General Assignment Reporter
*Joleen Chaney: General Assignment Reporter (also temporary Saturday evening anchor while Bobbie Miller is on maternity leave)
*Galen Culver: "Is This A Great State or What?" Feature Reporter
*Shane Faulkner: General Assignment Reporter/Managing Editor, seen Weekday mornings
*Jim Gardner: Chopper 4 Pilot Reporter
*Scott Hines: General Assignment Reporter/Investigative Reporter ("In Your Corner")
*Marika Lorraine: General Assignment Reporter
*Chellie Mills: General Assignment Reporter
*Mike "Road King" Rogers: "Time Saver Traffic" Reporter
*Jesse Wells: General Assignment Reporter
*Kevin Ogle: "Flash Point" Moderator
*Kirk Humphreys: "Flash Point" Commentator (also political analyst)
*Mike Turpin: "Flash Point" Commentator (also political analyst)
4WARN Storm TeamIn addition to providing forecasts on KFOR-TV, the 4WARN Storm Team also provides forecasts for its NBC Weather Plus channel on digital channel 4.2 and digital cable, and KTOK-AM, KEBC-AM, KHBZ-FM, KXXY-FM, KTST-FM and KJYO-FM radio.
*Mike Morgan (AMS Seal of Approval): Chief Meteorologist, weekdays on NewsChannel 4 at 4:30, 5, 6, Extra Edition at 6:30, NewsChannel 4 at 9:00 on OK43 and NewsChannel 4 at 10PM
*David Payne (NWA Seal of Approval): weekdays on NewsChannel 4 in the Morning and Noon (also fill-in meteorologist)
*Jonathan Conder: weekends on NewsChannel 4 in the Morning (also fill-in meteorologist)
*Grant Johnston: weekends on NewsChannel 4 at 5 (Sun.), 6 (Sat.), and 10PM (also fill-in meteorologist)
NewsChannel 4 Sports
*Bob Barry, Jr.: Sports Director, weeknights on NewsChannel 4 at 9:00 on OK43 and NewsChannel 4 at 10PM (fill-in 5PM and 6PM sports anchor and "Friday Night Heroes"/"Friday Sports Overtime" host)
*Bob Barry, Sr.: weeknights on NewsChannel 4 at 5 and 6PM
*Brian Brinkley: weekends on NewsChannel 4 at 5 (Sun.), 6 (Sat.), and 10PM (also sports reporter)
*Matt Reese: Fill-in Sports Anchor/Sports Reporter
*Damon Fontenot: Sports Reporter
Former On-Air Talent
*Jerry Adams: Anchor/Reporter (1970s-1980s)
*Curt Autry: Anchor/Reporter (1982-1991; now at WWBT in Richmond, Va.)
*Troy Bridges: Weekend Morning Meteorologist (2001-2005; now chief meteorologist at KLRT-TV in Little Rock)
*Bob Bruce: Weeknight Anchor (early 1990s)
*Uze Brown-Washington: Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1988-1995)
*Steve Carano: Weekend Morning Meteorologist (1998-2001; now at KOCO-TV)
*Rick De Reyes: Reporter/Anchor (1980)
*Brad Edwards: Anchor/Investigative Reporter (1973-2006; deceased)
*Lee Evans: Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1992-1997; died in a car accident in 1997)
*Bob Frier: Anchor/Reporter (1998-2001; now at WKMG-TV in Orlando)
*Theresa Green: Anchor/Reporter (early 1990s?-2001)
*Tarra G. Haskins: Reporter/Producer (1983-1985)
*Heather Holeman: Sunday Evening/Weekday Morning Anchor/Reporter (2000-2007)
*Van Shea Iven: Sports Reporter (1992-2004; now host of Oklahoma High School Sports Express for KAUT-TV)
*Kathy Jones: Anchor/Reporter (Early 1990s; killed in a plane crash while on assignment in 1994)
*Herbert Kershaw, Jr.: Meteorologist (1960s-1970s; deceased)
*Ronald Leary: Reporter (1991-1993)
*Peter Maize: Reporter (1980s; now an author in Hong Kong)
*Jack Ogle: Evening Anchor/Reporter (1960s-1970s; deceased)
*Lara O'Leary: Reporter (1994-1996; now spokesperson for EMSA)
*Tammy Payne: Anchor/Reporter (1980s-1994 and 1997-2003)
*Devin Scillian: Anchor/Reporter (1989-1995; now evening anchor at WDIV in Detroit and a children's book author)
*Ernie Schultz: Anchor/Reporter (1960s-1970s)
*Bella Shaw: Anchor/Reporter (1970s-1980s)
*Ed Stewart: Reporter (1980s)
*Dan Threlkeld: Meteorologist (1984-2001; now at KJRH-TV in Tulsa)
*George Tomek: Anchor/Reporter (late 1970s-1987; now at OETA)
*Quin Tran: Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1994-2005; now media freelancer)
*Heather Unruh: 5 and 6:30PM Anchor (1995-2001; now at WCVB-TV in Boston)
*Danny Williams: Host of Children's Show "3D Danny" (1950s-1960s)/Host of Talk Show "Dannysday" (1970s; later at KOMA-FM, now retired)
*Jim Williams: Chief Meteorologist (1958-1990)
* "The Esso Reporter" (1950s-1960s)
* "24 Hours" (Late 1960s-Early 1970s)
* "News Center 4" (Mid-Late 1970s)
* "Action 4 News" (Late 1970s-Mid 1980s; presented on air simply as "Action 4")
* "News 4 Oklahoma" (Late 1980s-1990)
* "NewsTeam 4" (1990-1993)
* "NewsChannel 4" (1993-1997) while KFOR has since reverted its branding to "Oklahoma's NewsChannel 4", some reporters still occasionally sign off their reports with "(reporter's name), NewsChannel 4." Currently, the only reporter who does this is Galen Culver.
* "Oklahoma's NewsChannel 4" (1996-present (used interchangeably with "NewsChannel 4" branding from 1996 to 1997))
* "It's a New 4" (early 1980s)
* "4's the One" (early/mid 1980s)
* "Going All Out 4 Oklahoma" (mid/late 1980s-1990)
* "4 Strong" (1990-1994)
* "The Strength of Oklahoma" (1990-1994)
* "Where The News Comes First" (1994-1997)
* "Expect The News First" (1997-2001)
* "Oklahoma's NewsChannel" (1994-present):inc-video
*KFOR-DT 4.2, which broadcasts weather information from
NBC Weather Plusand features local weather forecasts and severe weather updates from KFOR's 4Warn Storm Team, is branded as "4Warn 24/7," making it one of the few Weather Plus affiliates not to use its parent branding. KFOR-TV also does not simulcast 4Warn 24/7 on its website or on NBC Weather Plus' website, unlike most NBC affiliates that carry NBC Weather Plus on its digital signal.
*When this station was KTVY, it aired one-hour edited replays of
Oklahoma Sooners footballgames co-hosted by then- head coach Barry Switzer. This program was also syndicated on other stations, like KDOC in Orange County, California, at the same time that OU was challenging the NCAA's rules restricting the number of college footballtelecasts. The United States Supreme Courtlifted the restrictions in 1984.
KFOR's studios are located at 444 East Britton Road. The transmitter facility is located across the street from KOCO-TV at 1400 E Britton Road.
* [http://www.kfor.com/ KFOR-TV's Webpage]
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