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KBTV-TV, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 27), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Port Arthur, Texas, United States and serving southeast Texas' Golden Triangle region. Owned by Deerfield Media, the station is operated under joint sales and shared services agreements by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, making it a sister station to Beaumont-licensed CBS affiliate KFDM (channel 6). The two stations share studios at the I-10/US 69 (Eastex Freeway) interchange in Beaumont; KBTV's transmitter is located in Vidor. On cable, the station can be seen on Charter Spectrum channel 2 and in high definition on digital channel 1206.

KBTV-TV Fox 4 logo.png
Port Arthur/Beaumont/Orange, Texas
United States
CityPort Arthur, Texas
BrandingFox 4 Beaumont (general)
Fox 4 News (newscasts)
SloganYour Weather Authority (weather)
ChannelsDigital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
Affiliations4.1: Fox (2009–present)
4.2: TBD
4.3: Comet TV
OwnerDeerfield Media
(Deerfield Media (Port Arthur) Licensee, LLC)
OperatorSinclair Broadcast Group
(via JSA/SSA)
First air dateOctober 22, 1957 (61 years ago) (1957-10-22)
Call letters' meaningBeaumont TeleVision
Sister station(s)KFDM
Former callsignsKPAC-TV (1957–1965)
KJAC-TV (1965–1999)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
4 (VHF, 1957–2009)
40 (UHF, 2002–2018)
Former affiliationsNBC (1957–2009)
Transmitter power1000 kW
Height252.8 m (829 ft)
Facility ID61214
Transmitter coordinates30°9′20″N 93°59′10″W / 30.15556°N 93.98611°W / 30.15556; -93.98611
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile



Channel 4 signed on October 22, 1957 as KPAC-TV, an NBC affiliate owned by Texas Gulfcoast Television, Inc., itself jointly owned by Port Arthur College, owner of KPAC radio (1250 AM, now KDEI; and 98.5 FM, now KTJM), and the Jefferson Amusement Company.[1] Port Arthur College sold its stake in the station to the Jefferson Amusement Company in 1965; as Port Arthur College retained the radio stations, channel 4 changed its call letters to KJAC-TV (the call letters were derived from the company's name).[2]

The station was the first in the area to broadcast in color, use video tape, and air live coverage of area high school football games. Among the original programming that originated at KPAC/KJAC's studios were wrestling, the kid's western show Cowboy John, afternoon Bingo, and the Circle 4 Club. During the 1950s, KPAC also had the only local teen dance program, Jive At Five. Both The Cowboy John Show and Jive At Five had "colored days", in which African Americans were permitted to participate.

Jefferson Entertainment Company sold KJAC to Clay Communications in 1973;[3] Clay, in turn, sold its television stations to Price Communications in 1987.[4] Price sold most of its television stations (except for WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) to USA Broadcast Group in 1995;[5] USA soon renamed itself U.S. Broadcast Group after a complaint from USA Network.[6]

KBTV's last logo as an NBC affiliate; several versions of this logo were used from when the station became KBTV in 1999 until affiliating with Fox in 2009.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group purchased KJAC from U.S. Broadcast Group in 1998.[7] On June 11, 1999, the station took its present KBTV-TV callsign to align itself more with Beaumont, even though it is still licensed to Port Arthur. The call letters had previously been used by channel 9 in Denver (now KUSA) and channel 8 in Dallas (now WFAA). KBTV-TV also shares its call letters with KBTV-CD channel 51 in Sacramento, California. To go along with the call change, KBTV moved from its Port Arthur studios to studios inside Parkdale Mall in Beaumont, where it remained until it moved to KFDM's studios in April 2013. The station was one of the few television stations in the country to have studios located inside a major shopping center.

KBTV's first "Fox 4" logo, used from 2009 until 2014

In October 2008, Nexstar reached an agreement with Fox in which KBTV would become the new Fox affiliate for the Beaumont market. The move was made because Nexstar wanted to increase KBTV's news output. The affiliation switch took effect on January 1, 2009, ending KBTV's 51-year affiliation with NBC. This caused a shakeup in the market as NBC went to a digital subchannel of ABC affiliate KBMT, while KUIL-LP, which lost Fox, went independent at that time.[8] The now-KBMT-LD has since become operated by KBMT and affiliated with MyNetworkTV.

Technically, KBTV is the third Fox affiliate to serve the area, as KVHP in Lake Charles served as the default Fox affiliate for the Beaumont/Port Arthur market until 2003, when KUIL was launched.

On February 2, 2009 at 2 p.m., a fire destroyed KBTV's old studios in Port Arthur at 2900 17th Street,[9][10] a mere 12 hours from giving control to Nexstar's master control hub in Little Rock, Arkansas.[citation needed] ATF investigated and no suspect has ever been found. Originally the station's home from its 1957 sign-on until 1999, the building primarily served after the move as a storage facility, though the station's doppler weather radar was still based there.[9] The building was demolished a few months later.

Nexstar filed to sell KBTV-TV to Deerfield Media on August 22, 2012, making this Nexstar's first divestiture in the company's history. Upon the deal's completion on December 3, 2012, the station entered into a joint sales agreement and a shared services agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group, making it a sister station to CBS affiliate KFDM.[11]

On May 8, 2017, Sinclair announced that it would be acquiring Tribune Media in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.9 billion. Had it received regulatory approval from the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, KBTV would have gained two more sister stations, Dallas CW affiliate KDAF and Houston CW affiliate KIAH.[12][13] The deal was canceled by Tribune in August 2018.

Digital televisionEdit

Digital channelsEdit

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[14]
4.1 720p 16:9 KBTV-HD Main KBTV-TV programming / Fox
4.2 480i 4:3 TBD TBD
4.3 Comet Comet TV
KBTV-DT2's former logo.

Analog-to-digital conversionEdit

KBTV-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 40.[15] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.


Syndicated programming on KBTV-TV includes Divorce Court, Family Feud, and Jeopardy!, among others. The Beaumont area is one of the few markets to carry Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune on separate stations, with Wheel airing on KFDM.

News operationEdit

Currently, KBTV carries a total of 23.5 hours of local newscasts each week (4½ hours on weekdays, a half-hour on Saturdays and a half-hour Sundays).

After KBTV affiliated with Fox, news was expanded from 1½ to three hours on weekday mornings, and the half-hour 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts were cancelled and replaced with an hour-long 4 p.m. newscast. It also discontinued its 10 p.m. newscast, and moved it to 9 p.m. (and expanding it to one hour on weeknights), although some Fox affiliates in other markets maintain newscasts at both 9 and 10 p.m. KBTV has the distinction of being one of the smallest, if not the smallest Fox affiliate (in terms of market size) to carry late afternoon newscasts.

In September 2010, the 4 p.m. newscast was changed to a news/lifestyle format called Southeast Texas Live and a 5:30 p.m. newscast also debuted.


  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1959 (PDF). 1959. p. B-79. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1967 (PDF). 1967. p. A-100. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  3. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1973 (PDF). 1973. p. A-82. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  4. ^ "Clay-Price Pact On 4 TV Stations". Associated Press via The New York Times. May 1, 1987. p. D4. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  5. ^ "Price Communications". The New York Times. August 23, 1995. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "What's in a name? USA Broadcast Group now U.S. Broadcast Group". Broadcasting & Cable. October 9, 1995. Archived from the original (preview of subscription content) on June 11, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "NEXSTAR FINANCE HOLDINGS INC, Form S-4, Filing Date Sep 5, 2001". Retrieved May 15, 2018. On January 12, 1998, Nexstar acquired substantially all of the assets of KFDX-TV, KBTV-TV and KSNF-TV from US Broadcast Group, LLC for approximately $64.3 million, exclusive of transaction costs.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b The News (Port Arthur): "Old Channel 4 building 'total loss' to fire", 2/2/2009. Archived 2009-11-03 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Radio-Info: "KBTV Old Port Arthur Studios Destroyed in Fire", 2/3/2009.
  11. ^ "Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  12. ^ Baker, Liana; Toonkel, Jessica (May 7, 2017). "Exclusive: Sinclair Broadcast nears deal for Tribune Media". Reuters. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  13. ^ Stedman, Alex (May 7, 2017). "Sinclair Reportedly Near Deal to Buy Tribune Media". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  14. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KBTV-TV
  15. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.

External linksEdit