Open main menu

KETK-TV, virtual channel 56 (UHF digital channel 22), is an NBC-affiliated television station serving Tyler and Longview, Texas, United States that is licensed to Jacksonville. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also operates Longview-licensed Fox affiliate KFXK-TV (channel 51) and Tyler-licensed low-power MyNetworkTV affiliate KTPN-LD (channel 48) under a shared services agreement with owner White Knight Broadcasting. The three stations share studios on Richmond Road (at Loop 323) in Tyler; KETK's transmitter is located near FM 855 in unincorporated northwestern Cherokee County.

Jacksonville/Tyler/Longview, Texas
United States
CityJacksonville, Texas
BrandingKETK NBC (general)
KETK News (news)
SloganLocal, Experienced, Trusted.
ChannelsDigital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 56 (PSIP)
Subchannels56.1 NBC
56.2 Grit
56.3 Ion Television
OwnerNexstar Media Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air dateMarch 9, 1987 (32 years ago) (1987-03-09)
Call letters' meaningKeeping East Texas K(C)overed (sic)
Sister station(s)KFXK-TV, KFXL-LD, KLPN-LD
Former callsignsKTRG (by original license-holder prior to bankruptcy and station launch)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
56 (UHF, 1987–2009)
Former affiliationsDT2:
NBC Weather Plus (2006–2008)
Estrella TV (2011–2015)
Transmitter power1,000 kW
Height458.8 m (1,505 ft)
Facility ID55643
Transmitter coordinates32°3′40″N 95°18′50″W / 32.06111°N 95.31389°W / 32.06111; -95.31389
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

KETK-TV was previously relayed on repeater station KETK-LP (UHF analog channel 53) in Nacogdoches. It originally simulcast KETK's entire schedule, but began to produce local news inserts focused on the Nacogdoches–Lufkin area by the late 2000s. KETK-LP's low-powered signal only covered the immediate Lufkin area, therefore requiring cable to view the station outside of the city. The station was carried by Consolidated and Suddenlink in Lufkin and Communicomm in Huntington.

In recent years, KETK has refrained from identifying its channel number as part of its station IDs, newscasts, or promotions. The station prefers to use just its call letters in those situations.


KETK-TV station historyEdit

Original logo (1987-1988) used by KETK, during opening credits of station newscasts as well as station ID's between programs. The logo was used for about a year, until adjusted slightly for a subsequent image campaign.

Prior to the station's sign-on, the UHF channel 56 allocation in the Tyler–Longview market was originally slated to be occupied by KTRG, which stood for the initials of the original owner and license applicant. However, the owner had to file for bankruptcy, effectively scuttling plans to launch the station. Amid a few hurdles, the license was purchased by new buyers, who applied to change the call letters to KETK. The station first signed on the air on March 9, 1987, even though the local edition of TV Guide began listings for KETK's programming in February.[1] The launch of KETK took the NBC affiliation from KLTV (channel 7), which had carried the network on a joint primary basis since it signed on in October 1954 and was relegated to secondary status in 1984. KETK was originally owned by Texas American Broadcasting. The station originally operated from studio facilities located on North Jackson Street in Jacksonville; its original transmitter facilities were located on a tower near Mt. Selman (between Jacksonville and Tyler).

A tornado, on a path from near Palestine to near Whitehouse in November 1987, passed just northwest and north of the center of Jacksonville. The original KETK offices and studio there were along the path, and suffered damage. It took less than two days for the station to get back on the air, but much longer for newsroom and other off-screen areas and functions to recover. Because KETK's broadcast tower and transmitter were located farther to the northwest, and away from the tornado, that facility was spared.

Texas American Broadcasting sold the station to Region 56 Network, a subsidiary of Lone Star Broadcasting in 1989. In September 1991, KETK signed on KLSB-TV (channel 19) as a satellite station to serve southern portions of the market that could not receive channel 56's signal (including Nacogdoches). KETK moved its operations to its current location, a former men's clothing store, on Richmond Road at South Loop 323 in Tyler in 1993. Lone Star then sold KETK to Max Television (later Max Media Properties) in 1996. In 1998, the Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired most of the Max Media Properties stations, including KETK. However, in early 1999, Sinclair sold the non-license assets of the station to the Communications Corporation of America, which operated the station via a time brokerage agreement.[2] Sinclair remained the license holder of KETK until 2004 when ComCorp acquired the station outright.

In 2003, Max Media (a company partially related to Max Media Properties) acquired KLSB-TV and converted it into standalone station KYTX, which became a CBS affiliate in April 2004 (the first in the market since KLMG-TV (channel 51, now KFXK-TV) switched to Fox in April 1991). KETK subsequently signed on a low-power translator on UHF channel 53, KLSB-LP (which later changed its call letters to KETK-LP in 2007) to relay its signal to the southern part of the market; the station shut down in 2012. In June 2006, Communications Corporation of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Rival CBS affiliate KYTX (channel 19) sparked controversy by publicly announcing the ComCorp bankruptcy on its newscasts, for an entire week. ComCorp said in a press release viewers and staff would see no changes at the station. The company emerged from bankruptcy in late 2007.

KETK logo, used from 2004 to 2010.

On April 24, 2013, the Communications Corporation of America announced the sale of its television stations, including KETK-TV, to Nexstar Broadcasting Group. KFXK and KTPN were sold to Nexstar partner company Mission Broadcasting; in the case of KFXK, that station was sold to Mission to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) duopoly rules. Nexstar continued KFXK's and KLPN's shared services agreement with sister station KETK.[3] The sale was completed on January 1, 2015.[4]

Special logo used during KETK's 30th anniversary in March 2017.

During March 2017, KETK celebrated its 30th anniversary on the air.

Nexstar completed a $4 million renovation of KETK's studio and office facilities in November 2017. A dedication and reception was held on November 16, which included the presence of Nexstar chairman/president/CEO Perry Sook, as well as Leslie Roberts, an anchorwoman who worked for KETK in the late 1980s, among other attendees.[5]

KLSB-TV station historyEdit

Prior to KETK-TV's sign-on on March 9, 1987, the Jacksonville-based station intended on providing a signal to both the Tyler–Longview and Lufkin-Nacogdoches areas (Nielsen Media Research designates the two areas as a singular market, although television station signals from Tyler and Longview could not reach Lufkin and vice versa due to the distance between these areas). KETK later moved its main studio facilities from Jacksonville to a new complex in Tyler; in 1991, the station arranged to simulcast its programming in east-central Texas, serving southern portions of the market that could not receive KETK's channel 56 signal, on a newly licensed UHF station in Nacogdoches, KLSB-TV (channel 19), which would be operated by KETK-TV under a local marketing agreement. KLSB-TV signed on the air on September 1, 1991; it ran the majority of the KETK program schedule, with the only differences being local commercials, and in some timeslots, local news inserts.

Max Media, a company partially related to former KETK owner Max Media Properties, purchased KLSB-TV in 2003. Upon acquiring the station, Max Media terminated the LMA with the Communications Corporation of America (which bought KETK in 1998) and signed an affiliation agreement with CBS to become the market's first affiliate of that network since KLMG-TV (channel 51, now KFXK-TV) switched to Fox in April 1991. It also leased a building in southeast Tyler that formerly operated as a four-screen movie theater to serve as the station's new studio facilities. That winter, Max filed an application with the FCC to change the station's callsign to KYTX. Channel 19 dropped the KETK simulcast on April 11, 2004, and officially joined CBS the following day on April 12. On April 13, the FCC officially granted the call sign change to KYTX. On June 13, 2004, the station relocated its transmitter facilities farther north of the original transmitter facility to expand its signal to the Tyler and Longview areas, to a new tower located south of New Summerfield.

KETK-LP station historyEdit

(defunct, served as translator of KETK-TV)
(logo for KETK-LP, when the station was known as KLSB-LP)
Nacogdoches/Lufkin, Texas
United States
CityNacogdoches, Texas
BrandingNBC 53
ChannelsAnalog: 53 (UHF)
AffiliationsNBC (2004–2011)
OwnerCommunications Corporation of America
(Comcorp of Tyler License Corp.)
First air dateSeptember 1, 1991 (1991-09-01)
(as full-power station KLSB-TV)
2004 (15 years ago) (2004)
(as a low-power station)
Last air dateSeptember 1, 2009 (2009-09-01)
(transmitter shut down)
Call letters' meaningsee KETK-TV infobox
Former callsignsK53IQ (2004)
KLSB-LP (2004–2007)

After the conversion of channel 19 to CBS, the Nacogdoches–Lufkin portion of the Tyler–Longview television market was left without over-the-air access to NBC programming. KETK then entered into an LMA to lease programming time on a new low-power UHF station on channel 53 in Lufkin, assuming the former full-power station's calls as KLSB-LP. As with KLSB-TV, the station began simulcasting KETK-TV's full schedule, except for local commercials, with advertising aimed at the Lufkin and Nacogdoches area. The station's call sign was changed to KETK-LP on April 13, 2007.[6]

On September 1, 2009, KETK-LP's transmitter was shut down. However, its programming remained available in the area via cable on Suddenlink Communications, which also carried NBC programming and KETK news simulcasts from the station in high definition. The station had a construction permit to build digital transmitter facilities, with plans to operate a digital signal on UHF channel 27 under the callsign KETK-LD. The FCC canceled both KETK-LP's license and digital construction permit—its digital transmitter facility was never built—at some point in 2011 or 2012.[citation needed]

Digital televisionEdit

Digital channelsEdit

KETK-TV's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7]
56.1 1080i 16:9 KETK-DT Main KETK-TV programming / NBC
56.2 480i 4:3 Grit Grit
56.3 ION Ion Television

On September 8, 2006, KETK launched a second digital subchannel carrying NBC Weather Plus; the national Weather Plus feed was shut down on December 1, 2008. One month later on January 1, 2009, KETK replaced the local feed of Weather Plus with Me-TV. In 2011, the subchannel switched to Estrella TV after the affiliation moved to former CW affiliate KCEB (channel 54).

Analog-to-digital conversionEdit

KETK-TV began operating a full-power digital signal on UHF channel 22 on June 17, 2006. The station began testing high definition broadcasts of NBC programming on September 1 of that year, and started airing NBC programming in 1080i HD full-time four days later on September 5.

During the analog television era, the station's UHF channel 56 signal had the designation of having the highest channel allocation of any NBC affiliate. This ended after the high-band UHF channels (52-69) were removed from broadcasting use during the digital television transition on June 12, 2009. There was speculation that between the original transition deadline of February 17, 2009 and the new federally set deadline of June 12, 2009 that KETK would change its on-air station branding to reflect its physical digital channel 22.

However, the analog transmitter failed during the early morning hours of March 27, 2009, due to a malfunction of the cooling system at the transmitter facilities. Because of the cost and time involved that it would have taken to repair the analog transmitter, KETK filed a Notice of Suspension of Operations with the FCC and permanently shut down its analog operations over UHF channel 56 on March 27, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 22,[8] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 56, however KETK removed on-air references to its channel position several months prior to the transition in 2008 and only brands by its call letters.


KETK serves the Tyler–Longview–Lufkin–Nacogdoches market,[9] which includes Smith, Gregg, Wood, Upshur, Franklin, Camp, Rusk, Cherokee, Angelina, Nacogdoches, Houston, San Augustine, and Sabine counties,[10] but with their antenna signal, also includes all or parts of Anderson, Henderson, Van Zandt, Hopkins, Rains, Navarro, and Freestone counties in the DallasFort Worth market, Titus, Morris, Cass, Marion, Panola, and Shelby counties in the Shreveport market, Trinity County in the Houston market, and Leon and Madison counties in the BryanCollege Station/WacoTemple Market,[11] although the station is considered "significantly viewed" in Trinity County.[12]


KETK-TV carries the entire NBC network schedule; however, it delays the network's overnight lineup (consisting of a rebroadcast of the fourth hour of Today and the CNBC program Mad Money) by one hour due to paid programming. It is also one of a handful of NBC stations that carry Days of Our Lives at noon (instead of the network-recommended 1:00 p.m. or alternate 2:00 p.m. timeslots); NBC owned-and-operated station KXAS-TV in the adjacent market of Dallas–Fort Worth has also carried the soap opera in that slot since September 2013. Syndicated programs broadcast by KETK include Dr. Phil, The Doctors, Rachael Ray, and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

In its early years, KETK aired occasional 'community calendar'-type segments called TV-56 Dateline, hosted by the station's public relations director. These consisted of events happening in the station's broadcast area; the segments aired in a short format during commercial breaks. Also during this time, KETK aired 30-minute public affairs shows, usually once or twice on the weekend, called TV-56 Weekly. They were hosted by Nancy Davis, one of KETK's news anchors at the time. The first portion of the show was an interview with a newsmaker or other individual who had local relevance. The latter portion of the program, usually for at least 5 to 10 minutes, was Davis in an office with KETK's then-general manager, Phil Hurley. This portion would involve Davis fielding viewer questions to Hurley about various programming issues regarding either the station or NBC. That segment of the show was patterned after WFAA's long-running Let Me Speak to the Manager / Inside Television program.

News operationEdit

KETK-TV presently broadcasts 26½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours on weekdays and two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). The station also produces the seasonal sports program Friday Football Fever, which airs on Friday nights during the final 15 minutes of the 10:00 p.m. newscast during the high school football season and is hosted by sports director Danny Elzner. In addition, the station produces 12½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 2½ hours on weekdays) for Fox-affiliated sister station KFXK-TV.

Newscasts on KETK first went by the name TV-56 News in 1987. There were few airings, mainly a 6pm and a 10pm newscast during the week. There were no weekend newscasts at first. The next year, the newscasts took on the name Region 56 News which KETK would use for the next several years. By this time, there were newscasts at not only 6pm and 10pm, but also weekdays at 5pm, as well as weekends. In recent years, the station has chosen to use the simple KETK News name for its newscasts.

KETK is one of only three former ComCorp stations that produced their newscasts in-house (the others being fellow NBC affiliates KTSM-TV in El Paso and WVLA-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana). Due to insufficient funds for most ComCorp stations to produce their own newscasts, KETK served as a hub for the news operations for most of ComCorp's television stations, it produced pre-recorded newscasts for most of its Fox affiliates including Longview-licensed sister station KFXK-TV, KWKT in Waco and its College Station satellite KYLE, and KMSS-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana. Previously, the station also provided pre-recorded newscasts for the Baton Rouge virtual duopoly of WVLA and Fox-affiliated sister WGMB (it produced in-studio news segments for WVLA's evening newscasts from 2009 to 2010, when that station began producing its evening newscasts locally once again following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; however, WVLA's weekend newscasts were still pre-recorded at the KETK studios).

The station promotes its weather team as having the "Most Powerful Radar in East Texas", which is branded as "KETK Live Doppler Skywatch". Also, KETK is the only station in the market to have four college degreed meteorologists on its weather team. Since its sign-on, KETK has finished a modest second behind market leader KLTV. In 1998, KETK began producing a 9:00 p.m. newscast each weeknight for KFXK under a news share agreement; initially receiving strong ratings, ratings fell after the program's original anchors left channel 56, plus due to logistical problems resulting from delays from Fox Sports programming overruns, that caused the program to be tape delayed to allow KETK to produce its own 10:00 p.m. newscast on schedule; the program was eventually canceled by 2001.

From July 2008 to October 2009, KETK was the solid #2 television news outlet in East Texas. KLTV led the local news ratings by far, with over 70,000 households, while KYTX was a distant third. However, in November 2009, KETK dropped to a distant third place behind both KLTV and KYTX, although KETK's ratings were expected to recover after The Jay Leno Show was dropped by NBC in February 2010. KETK restored a primetime newscast on KFXK on January 28, 2008, with the debut of a half-hour weeknight-only 9:00 p.m. newscast; it subsequently began producing a two-hour weekday morning newscast from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. for channel 51 in September 2011. On April 23, 2010, KETK became the second television station in the Tyler–Longview market (after KYTX) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.

Notable former on-air staffEdit

In other mediaEdit

In deleted scenes from the 2009 film Brüno, the title character (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) visits the KETK studios and meets with news director/anchor Neal Barton and sports director Danny Elzner. The two signed releases to appear in the film, expecting to talk about small-town news in the United States. Instead, the interviews conducted by the flamboyant Brüno character drifted towards the topic of homosexuality. The scene culminated with an interview that "Brüno" did with a local white supremacist, who threatened to call the police on him when his behavior became too overtly homosexual.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Shreveport-Texarkana Edition, TV Guide, Triangle Publications, February 13, 1987. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  2. ^ KETK sold to ComCorp
  3. ^
  4. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  5. ^ Cara Prichard, "KETK unveils $4 million news station", KETK-TV, November 16, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Media Bureau Call Sign Actions". Federal Communications Commission. July 23, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  7. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KETK
  8. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  9. ^ "Tyler - Longview Television Stations - Station Index". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Local/Network Channel Availability | DIRECTV". DIRECTV, LLC. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Richelle Carey

External linksEdit