TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The renovation, stem to stern, at KETK and our sister station, FOX51, has been more than a year in the making. Thursday, November 17, 2017, we cut the ribbon to mark the grand opening of our new facility.
Since our sign-on, March 9, 1987, KETK has served East Texas. A $4 million dollars investment by our company, Nexstar Media Group, allowed us to upgrade all aspects of our operation. Celebrating with us include local elected officials, business owners and Nexstar Media Group CEO Perry Sook.
“Nexstar is a collection of 170 television stations in 100 markets, but it’s really a collection of individual local businesses,” said Sook. “Our brand in East Texas is different than our brand in Rochester, New York and different than our brand in Salt Lake City.”
With a new facility and innovative equipment, we’re able to better tell stories that matter to our viewers.
“It keeps us in touch with our local community and keeps our local communities in touch with us,” added Sook. “It’s relevant content and it’s a good place for sponsors to be as well.”Perry Sook, CEO, Nexstar Media Group Inc.
One of our guests, Leslie Roberts, was on the KETK anchor desk in the late 1980’s. While the people and the facility have changed, the mission has not.
“It is wonderful! The renovation looks terrific,” said Roberts. “This building used to be a boutique mall and they retrofitted it for a TV station. Our motto back then was “Keeping East Texas Covered,” KETK, that’s what it stood for,” she said.Leslie Roberts, former KETK Anchor during 1980’s
That’s what we will continue to do for many years to come. KETK would like to thank all our clients and local dignitaries who stopped by Thursday to make the evening even more special.
Full Press Release:
KETK-TV Celebrates Opening of Newly Remodeled Broadcast News Facility and 30th Anniversary Serving Local Communities in East Texas
TYLER and IRVING, Texas (November 16, 2017) – Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) NBC affiliate KETK-TV serving Tyler, TX (DMA 114) announced today, the grand opening of its newly remodeled broadcast news facility and digital operations center, in concert with the station’s 30th anniversary of serving local communities across East Texas. Highlighting Nexstar’s organization-wide commitment to broadcasting excellence and enhanced service to local communities and viewers, the Company made a $4.0 million investment to fully upgrade all aspects of KETK-TV’s operating and technical infrastructure. To mark the occasion, several state and local community leaders will join Perry A. Sook, Nexstar Chairman, President and CEO, and Ward L. Huey, KETK-TV Vice President and General Manager for a special ribbon cutting ceremony today including State Senator Bryan Hughes, State Representative Cole Hefner, Tyler Mayor Martin Hines, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, Henry Bell COO Tyler Chamber of Commerce and other local dignitaries.
Commenting on the station’s 30th anniversary and broadcast facility remodel, KETK-TV Vice President and General Manager, Ward Huey said, “This is a very exciting time for Nexstar and our East Texas operations, as the debut of our newly remodeled broadcast news facility and operations center will feature modern news studios and sets, enhanced production capabilities, advanced meteorological forecasting systems and high-tech equipment. Importantly, KETK-TV has been serving local communities throughout the region for over 30 years and we have a strong history of responding to the needs of our viewers. The unprecedented investment to enhance our local news programming reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering superior local content to viewers while offering businesses and advertisers unparalleled marketing opportunities across all screens and devices. The opening of our new broadcast facility is the latest example of how we are living up to our promise to deliver exceptional service to the people of East Texas. We are grateful for the tremendous support and positive feedback we have received from the local community on this initiative. KETK-TV would also like to thank State Senator Bryan Hughes, State Representative Cole Hefner, Tyler Mayor Martin Hines, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, Henry Bell COO Tyler Chamber of Commerce, as well as the local businesses and community members who are joining us today to celebrate our 30th anniversary and ribbon cutting ceremony for our new facility which will mark the next exciting chapter for the station.”
Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President and CEO of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. added, “Nexstar’s top priority is to deliver exceptional local programming and service to the local communities, hometown businesses and public organizations where we operate. The Company’s headquarters is located just north of Dallas and Texas is home to many members of our corporate and station-level teams. As one of the nation’s largest local media companies, we continue to raise our commitment to support the evolving needs of the local communities and hometown businesses that we serve each day by investing in our news resources and reporting capabilities to deliver the most relevant, compelling and informative local news programming that touches the daily lives of our viewers. For more than 30 years, KETK-TV has continued to live up to its mission of serving the people and communities in East Texas and we are proud to extend the station’s legacy of local news leadership with our multi-million investment in the newly remodeled broadcast facility and production capabilities.” The new remodeled facility features a dynamic news studio outfitted with the latest HD news production resources and technologies including high definition studio cameras, enhanced meteorological forecasting technology and advanced weather and traffic presentation equipment. The new production and master control infrastructure enables high definition commercial production and playback. Furthermore, the new facility features innovative equipment that expands KETK-TV’s news gathering resources and production capabilities.
About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
Nexstar Media Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 170 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets or approximately 39% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. Nexstar’s community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content while creating new revenue opportunities. For more information please visit www.nexstar.tv.
KETK-TV Station History
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 (SSA) 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.
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.
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. 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 transmitter facilities were placed on a new tower near Mt. Selman (between Jacksonville and Tyler).
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.
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 (CCA), which operated the station via a time brokerage agreement. Sinclair remained the license holder of KETK until 2004 when CCA acquired the station outright.
Tower used by KETK to broadcast its signal.
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.
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. The sale was completed on January 1, 2015.