KAIT, virtual and VHF digital channel 8, is an ABC/NBC/CW+-affiliated television station licensed to Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States, serving Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. The station is owned by Gray Television. KAIT's studios are located on New Haven Church Road (County Road 766) north of Jonesboro, and its transmitter is located in Egypt, Arkansas.
|Channels||Digital: 8 (VHF)|
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
|Branding||Region 8 (general)|
Region 8 NBC (on DT2)
KAIT CW 8.3 (on DT3)
Region 8 News
|Slogan||We Are Region 8! (general)|
Dare to Defy (on DT3)
|Owner||Gray Television |
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date
|July 15, 1963|
Former channel number(s)
8 (VHF, 1963–2009)
9 (VHF, 2003–2009)
Call sign meaning
(AIT also sounds like eight)
43.5 kW (application)
|HAAT||531 m (1,742 ft)|
530 m (1,739 ft) (application)
Public license information
"KAIT CW 8.3" (DT3)
Most television markets in the country received at least two VHF commercial channels. However, the Jonesboro market could only receive one VHF license because it was sandwiched between Springfield (channels 3 and 10) to the west, Memphis (channels 3, 5, 10, and 13) to the east, Cape Girardeau (channels 3, 6, 8, and 12) to the north, and Little Rock (channels 2, 4, 7, and 11) to the south. KAIT was fortunate to receive this license, and as a result became the only television station to serve Jonesboro until KTEJ signed on the air in May 1976.
The Hernreich family sold the station to Channel Communications in 1984. That company, in turn, sold KAIT to Cosmos Broadcasting, the broadcasting arm of South Carolina-based insurer Liberty Corporation, in 1986. Liberty exited the insurance business in 2000, bringing the Cosmos stations directly under the Liberty banner. Previous owner Raycom Media obtained the station in 2005 through its purchase of Liberty. For many years, KAIT also operated a low-powered translator station K11JW operating on Channel 11 in nearby Blytheville, Arkansas.
KATV (channel 7) and KARK (channel 4) and the signals of other Little Rock area VHF stations adequately covered parts of the KAIT viewing area before the digital transition. Several cable systems in the KAIT viewing area, including Jonesboro and Blytheville, have carried KATV for decades. In compliance with syndex and must-carry regulations, some systems may black out KATV and KARK when either station airs the same program as KAIT, usually during the daytime and prime time hours, except for breaking news, weather bulletins, and regularly-scheduled newscasts. Other cable systems in parts of the KAIT viewing area that are within in the Little Rock television market that also carry KATV, such as in Searcy and Heber Springs, carry both stations without restrictions.
KAIT has been digital-only since June 12, 2009. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 9 to channel 8 for post-transition operations.
Sale to Gray TelevisionEdit
On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including KAIT, and Gray's 93 television stations) under the former's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion – in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom – will result in Gray's entry into Arkansas with KAIT. The sale was approved on December 20, and was completed on January 2, 2019.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|8.1||720p||16:9||KAIT-AB||Main KAIT programming / ABC|
|8.3||KAIT CW||KAIT CW 8.3|
KAIT-DT2 is the NBC-affiliated second digital subchannel of KAIT. Over the air, KAIT-DT2 broadcasts a 720p high definition signal (downconverted from the native 1080i resolution of the NBC network, to preserve bandwidth so that KAIT-DT3 can transmit in 720p HD over-the-air) on virtual and VHF channel 8.2; however, a direct-to-cable full 1080i high definition feed of this subchannel is available on select cable providers.
KAIT began carrying NBC programming on its second digital subchannel on January 26, 2015. In addition to the NBC network schedule, syndicated programming on KAIT-DT2 includes Jeopardy!, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight, and Right This Minute, among others.
KAIT-DT3 is the CW-affiliated third digital subchannel of KAIT, broadcasting in 720p high definition on virtual and VHF channel 8.3 (hence the on-air branding KAIT CW 8.3). All programming on KAIT-DT3 is received through The CW's programming feed for smaller media markets, The CW Plus, which provides a set schedule of syndicated programming acquired by The CW for broadcast during time periods outside of the network's regular programming hours; however, Gray Television handles local advertising and promotional services for the subchannel. Upon its inception, KAIT-DT3 had been broadcast in the 16:9 widescreen standard definition picture format as, meanwhile, a direct-to-cable 720p high definition feed of this subchannel had been made available on select cable providers; however, ever since an upgrade to KAIT's multiplexer equipment sometime in October 2019, KAIT-DT3 has been broadcasting in HD over-the-air as well.
On July 25, 2018, KAIT announced it would be bringing The CW programming (via their national CW+ service) into the Jonesboro market through a third subchannel, starting on September 1, 2018; CW programming had previously been seen on cable systems under the false call sign "KJOS" (which stood for K-JOneSboro's WB 21). "KJOS" seamlessly became associated with the new CW network (branded as "Jonesboro's CW 21") on September 18, 2006 after the merger of The WB and UPN into that one network.
KAIT presently broadcasts 24½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours each weekday and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays).
In addition to reporting on local news stories, members of KAIT's reporting staff are also employed as photojournalists for the station. On October 15, 2007 beginning with the 5 p.m. newscast, KAIT's local newscasts were rebranded, replacing the former K8 News branding with Region 8 News, a branding the station had used during much of the 1980s. The station's longtime slogan "Good Neighbors You Can Turn To" (also "Your Good Neighbor Station") was also replaced with a new slogan ("Always Tracking. Always Watching. Always On.")
On September 16, 2011, KAIT announced that upgrade its newscasts to high definition, and broadcast from a new set; the following night, fellow ABC affiliate KATV in Little Rock started broadcasting its local newscasts in HD. On October 17, 2011 beginning with its 11 a.m. newscast, KAIT became the fourth station in Arkansas (the first in Jonesboro) to broadcast its local newscast in high definition.
Although not owned by the same company, KAIT frequently forms a partnership with the Jonesboro Radio Group for community projects and promotions. The three Jonesboro Radio Group stations involved in the partnership are KEGI 100.5 FM, KDXY 104.9 FM and KJBX 106.3 FM. An audio simulcast of KAIT's 6 p.m. newscast airs Monday-Friday evenings on KJBX.
Notable former on-air staffEdit
KAIT's home market only comprises Craighead, Clay, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, and Sharp counties in Arkansas. With KAIT's 28,200 watts worth of effective radiated power, KAIT's signal can extend into nearby portions of all neighboring markets (e.g. the Memphis, Little Rock, Springfield, MO, and Cape Girardeau, MO–Paducah, KY markets). Even after the digital transition of 2009, KAIT's over-the-air signal can still be picked up as far south as Forrest City, as far north as Hendrickson, Missouri, as far west as Mountain View and as far east as Tiptonville, Tennessee and Caruthersville, Missouri. Some of the northern suburbs of Memphis can also pick up at least a grade B signal.
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- "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018.
- Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
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- Dade Hayes (June 25, 2018). "Gray Acquiring Raycom For $3.65B, Forming No. 3 Local TV Group". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
- "FCC OK with Gray/Raycom Merger", Broadcasting & Cable, December 20, 2018, Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- "Gray Closes On $3.6 Billion Raycom Merger". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. January 2, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- "Gray Completes Acquisition of Raycom Media and Related Transactions", Gray Television, January 2, 2019, Retrieved January 2, 2019.
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- "Jonesboro Gets New Fox TV Affiliate - Talk Business & Politics". Talk Business & Politics. June 7, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- "KAIT launching new CW affiliate in Region 8". KAIT. July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "A Better Region 8: Labor Day Weekend includes the new CW on 8.3". KAIT. August 30, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- "The Official Logo Of "KJOS" During Its Days As Jonesboro's CW 21".
- Troy Diggs (April 25, 2007), KAIT - Midday Promo - 2000, retrieved October 12, 2017
- Coverage Maps for the Jonesboro, Arkansas media market. Federal Communications Commission (2009).
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- Official website
- KAIT in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KAIT-TV
- KAIT Station Profile & Public Inspection Files