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KABC-TV, channel 7, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, licensed to Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker. KABC-TV's studios are located in Glendalemarker, Californiamarker, and its transmitter is located on Mount Wilsonmarker.

In the few areas of the western United States where viewers cannot receive ABC programs over-the-air, KABC-TV is available on satellite to subscribers of DirecTV.

History

An early KECA-TV logo slide from 1949 to 1954.
Channel 7 first went on the air as KECA-TV on September 16, 1949. At the same time, it was the last of Los Angeles' VHF television stations to sign on, and the last of the five original ABC-owned stations to debut, after KGO-TVmarker in San Franciscomarker signed on four months earlier.

The station was named after Los Angeles broadcasting pioneer Earle C. Anthony, whose initials were also present on channel 7's then-sister radio station, KECA (790 AM, now KABCmarker). KECA radio had been an affiliate of the NBC Blue Network. Anthony's other Los Angeles radio station, KFImarker, was aligned with the Red Network. The Red Network survived the Federal Communications Commission-ordered split of the two NBC radio networks in 1943. Edward J. Noble, who bought the Blue Network (beginning its transformation into ABC), purchased KECA radio a year later when the FCC forced Anthony to divest one of his Los Angeles radio stations.

On February 1, 1954 KECA-TV changed its call letters to the present KABC-TV.

From the time of its initial sign-on in 1949, channel 7 was located at the ABC Television Center (now branded as the Prospect Studiosmarker), located in the Los Felizmarker neighborhood of Los Angeles, east of Hollywoodmarker. In December 1999, KABC-TV moved from its longtime studios to a new state-of-the-art facility designed by César Pelli in nearby Glendalemarker. The station is currently a short distance from ABC's West Coast headquarters, and from parent Walt Disney Company's headquarters in Burbankmarker.

KABC-TV logo, c.
1957.
KABC-TV has used the Circle 7 logo since 1962 (the same year ABC created and implemented its current logo), and augmented its bottom left quadrant with the ABC network logo in 1997. The station's news anchors and reporters wear Circle 7 lapel pins when they appear on camera, a practice that had once been standard at each of the original five ABC-owned stations.

On February 4, 2006, KABC-TV became the first television station in California to broadcast its newscasts in high-definition. Along with the in-house upgrades, the station debuted an upgraded news set and an update to their theme music.

Digital television

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Digital channels
Channel Name Programming
7.1 KABC-DT main KABC-TV/ABC programming
7.2 LiveWell Live Well HD Network/ABC7+
7.3 KABC-WN ABC7 Weather Now (AccuWeather Channel)


KABC Plus, also known as ABC7+, primarily airs programming from the Live Well HD Network, which premiered on channel 7.2 on April 27, 2009. It also airs rebroadcasts of its local news, public affairs programming, and syndicated shows. However, ABC7+ can carry shows that are normally on the main channel (7.1) if KABC has preempted them for breaking news. Two such preemptions occurred in 2007 when ABC7+ aired sports events from ESPN on ABC while KABC had continuous live news coverage of local wildfires: the Subway 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on October 21 and the first round of the Skins Game golf tournament on November 24.

On September 12, 2009 ABC7+ aired live coverage of a memorial service at Dodger Stadiummarker in Los Angeles for two members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department who died while fighting the Station Fire in the Angeles National Forestmarker. KABC's Saturday morning ABC Kids children's programming aired as scheduled without preemption.

Analog-to-Digital Conversion

KABC-TV permanently ceased analog broadcasting over VHF channel 7 on June 12, 2009 at 12:00 noon , as part of the DTV transition in the United States. It shut down the signal in a flash cut after the 11:00AM broadcast of ABC7 Eyewitness News. The last words heard on analog signal is "Five seconds for the switch. Be sure to watch us here in digital." The station had been broadcasting its pre-transition digital signal over UHF channel 53, but returned to channel 7 for its post-transition operations.

On June 3, 2009, the FCC announced that following the digital transition stations would be allowed to revert to their analog call sign. As a result, the analog call sign KABC-TV was legally transferred to the post-transition digital signal. Although technically defunct, the old KABC-DT call sign is still in use as an on-screen PSIP identification for digital channel 7.1.

As a result, the signals are now very weak.

News Programming

KABC-TV first adopted the Eyewitness News format in February 1969, not long after it became a hit at sister station WABC-TVmarker in New York Citymarker. Like the other ABC-owned stations, Channel 7 used the "Tar Sequence" cue from the soundtrack of the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke as its theme music, and continued to do so even after the others adopted the Frank Gari-composed News Series 2000, an updated version of the theme. Later on, the original Cool Hand Luke theme would only be used in the news open, a similar practice to what KGO-TV, WTVD-TV and WABC-TV did at the time. The station's newscasts used a synthesized version of the old theme, composed by Frank Becker, during the mid-1980s. KABC-TV would pick up the News Series 2000 package in 1990. In 1995 KABC began using Gari's "Eyewitness News" music package, which remains the station's news theme.

During the 1980s, KABC-TV was one of a few stations in the country to run a three-hour block of local news during weekday afternoons and early evenings from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The station was the first in the region, if not the state, to introduce an hour long newscast at 4 p.m., first anchored by Jerry Dunphy and Tawny Little in September 1980. Before this the station ran two hours of news from 5–7 p.m.

The station reduced this block by one half hour in 1990, when it moved ABC World News Tonight (now World News with Charles Gibson) from 7:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For a time in the late 1980s, its 6:30 p.m. newscast was branded "Eyewitness Update" and served as a final recap of the day's news, similar in nature to an 11 p.m. newscast.

KABC-TV is currently one of two ABC stations on the West Coast to air World News at 6:30 p.m.; The only other ABC station to do this is KGTVmarker in San Diegomarker which recently moved its 6 PM airing of "World News" to 6:30 p.m. in order to make room for a 7 PM newscast. Most other Western ABC stations run this broadcast at 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.. When the network soap opera Port Charles ended its run in 2003, channel 7 expanded its midday newscast to a full hour. KABC-TV currently airs over 40 hours of live news programming each week, more than any other individual television station in Los Angeles.

KABC-TV is one of two Los Angeles television stations with a full-time presence in California's state capital, Sacramentomarker. Since late 2003, the station has shared resources with sister stations KGO-TV in San Franciscomarker and KFSN-TVmarker in Fresnomarker to staff a Sacramento bureau following Arnold Schwarzenegger's election to the office of Governor, during the 2003 California recall.

Notable on-air personalities who have worked for the station's news department in the past include Jerry Dunphy, Christine Lund, Bill Bonds, Lisa McRee, Harold Greene, Tawny Little, Laura Diaz, Paul Moyer, Chuck Henry, Dr. George Fischbeck, Regis Philbin, Judd Rose, and Bill Weir. Former channel 7 sports reporters and anchors include former NFL players Lynn Swann, Gene Washington, Jim Hill and Bob Chandler, and former Major League Baseball player (and current Los Angeles Dodgers radio analyst and play-by-play announcer) Rick Monday.

During the 1970s and 1980s the station's newscasts often included spirited mini debates and commentaries reflecting various political viewpoints. Several notable politicians and political pundits appeared on these segments including Proposition 13 backer Howard Jarvis, former U.S. Representative and Senator John Tunney, Bruce Herschensohn, Bill Press and Baxter Ward. In addition, like many other stations at the time, KABC-TV aired brief editorials from the station's general manager, most notably John Severino, who served throughout the 1980s. This practice was discontinued in 1990.

Ratings

The introduction of Eyewitness News, followed by the addition of syndicated staples such as The Oprah Winfrey Show (in 1986), Live with Regis and Kelly, Jeopardy!, and Wheel of Fortune (all in 1992) has generally allowed KABC to maintain a substantial ratings advantage over its competition.

Leveraging the strength of its sizeable Oprah lead-in at 3:00 p.m, KABC has long held first or second in the ratings for its 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. news block. However, ratings leads for the morning and late news have typically been spirited (and expensive) battles with local stations KTLAmarker and KTTVmarker in the morning, and KNBCmarker (and recently KCBS-TVmarker) at 11:00 p.m.

With its across-the-board ratings success in hand, the station has been known to run quick five-second promos throughout the day that say, "ABC7 – #1 in news, #1 in Southern California." This is a throwback to its openers during the 1980s, when the station proudly proclaimed itself "Number One in Southern California."

Other Programming

KABC-TV produces several local shows including Vista L.A.. (which profiles Latino life in Southern California), and Eye on L.A.. (which has been on the air in some form since the early 1980s). On weekends, the station airs Eyewitness Newsmakers, hosted by reporter Adrienne Alpert.

The station produces a sports/variety type show branded ABC 7 Sports Zone, which formerly originated from the ESPN Zone in Anaheimmarker. This show airs occasionally following network telecasts of NCAA football and NBA games. Most ABC 7 Sports Zone shows now originate from local sports venues including the Los Angeles Coliseummarker, the Rose Bowlmarker in Pasadenamarker and Staples Centermarker in Los Angeles, and occasionally at the station's studios in Glendale. It is hosted by Rob Fukuzaki, and is joined during the basketball season by former Los Angeles Laker great Michael Cooper. This program is a spin-off of Monday Night Live, which aired on KABC-TV from 1989 until Monday Night Football left the network after the 2005 NFL season. That show was hosted by Todd Donoho until 1997, and later Bill Weir and Rob Fukuzaki and featured an extensive trivia contest.

Prior to ABC's annual telecasts of the Academy Awards, KABC-TV produces a live pre-awards show, An Evening at the Academy Awards: The Arrivals, featuring red carpet interviews and fashion commentary. This show also airs on the network's other owned stations and is syndicated to several ABC affiliates and other broadcasters outside the country. The station also produces and broadcasts post-ceremony show called An Evening at the Academy Awards: The Winners.

In the past, KABC-TV featured various locally produced shows such as AM Los Angeles; a morning talk show which at various times featured personalities Regis Philbin, Sarah Purcell, Ralph Story, Tawny Little, Cristina Ferrare, Cyndy Garvey, and Steve Edwards as hosts. Edwards also hosted a short lived afternoon show in the mid-1980s branded 330, which aired after the network airing of the soap opera The Edge of Night. (Live with Regis and Kelly, co-hosted by Philbin and produced at corporate sister station WABC-TVmarker in New York, now occupies the former time slot of AM Los Angeles.)

On April 30, 1954, KABC-TV aired a preview, Dig Me Later, Vampira, hosted by Maila Nurmi at 11:00pm. The Vampira Show premiered on the following night, May 1, 1954. For the first four weeks, the show aired at midnight, and it moved to 11:00pm on May 29. Ten months later, the series aired at 10:30 p.m., beginning March 5, 1955. As Vampira, Nurmi introduced films while wandering through a hallway of mist and cobwebs. Her horror-related comedy antics included talking to her pet spider Rollo and encouraging viewers to write for epitaphs instead of autographs. When the series was cancelled in 1955, she retained rights to the character of Vampira.

In 1964, Pinky Lee attempted a return to kids TV by hosting a local children's comedy program on KABC-TV. The series was also seen in national syndication for the 1964 and 1965 TV seasons. But the program fell prey to creative interference from the show's producers and from station management. Lee tried to fight off the creative interference, but his efforts were for naught. The 1960s version of "The Pinky Lee Kids TV Show" went off the air after one season.

Current personalities

Anchors

  • Phillip Palmer – weekdays 4:30am-7am
  • Kathy Vara – weekdays 4:30am-7am
  • Leslie Sykes – weekdays 11am
  • David Ono – weekdays 4pm and 6pm
  • Ellen Leyva – weekdays 4pm and 6pm
  • Marc Brown – weeknights 5pm and 11pm
  • Michelle Tuzee – weeknights 5pm and 11pm
  • John Gregory – weekend mornings and Saturday noon
  • Lisa Hernandez – weekend mornings and Saturday noon
  • John Hartung – weekend evenings 4:30pm, 5pm, 6pm and 11pm
  • Jovana Lara – weekend evenings 4:30pm, 5pm, 6pm and 11pm


Weather

  • Dallas Raines (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) – Chief Meteorologist; weeknights 4pm-6:30pm and 11pm
  • Garth Kemp – weekdays 4:30am-7am and 11 am
  • Danny Romero – weekend evenings 4:30pm, 5pm, 6pm and 11pm
  • Indra Petersons – weekend mornings & Saturdays noon


Traffic

  • Sabina Mora – weekdays
  • Scott Reiff – weekday mornings AIR7HD
  • Alysha Del Valle – weekday mornings


Sports

  • Rob Fukuzaki – sports director seen weeknights at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm
  • Curt Sandoval – weekends at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm and reporter
  • John Hartung – reporter


Reporters

  • Adrienne Alpert
  • Bob Banfield (Inland Empiremarker Bureau Chief)
  • Lori Corbin ("Food Coach" / food/nutrition/exercise)
  • Denise Dador ("Health Specialist")
  • Eileen Frere (Orange Countymarker Bureau Chief)
  • Sid Garcia
  • Gene Gleeson
  • Carlos Granda
  • Rob Hayes
  • Miriam Hernandez
  • Robert Holguin
  • Dave Kunz ("Automotive Specialist")
  • Rob McMillan
  • Leslie Miller
  • Nannette Miranda (Sacramentomarker Bureau Chief)
  • John North (politics)
  • George Pennacchio ("Entertainment Guru")
  • Amy Powell
  • Subha Ravindhran
  • Ric Romero ("Consumer Specialist")
  • Leo Stallworth
  • Leanne Suter


AIR7HD

  • Scott Reiff – AM Traffic/Breaking News
  • Bill Thomas – Afternoon/Evening/Breaking News
  • J.T. Alpaugh – fill-in


Notable alumni

   


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • The Southern California/Los Angeles Report (1950–1962)
  • Channel 7 News (1962–1969)
  • Channel 7 Eyewitness News (1969–1997)
  • ABC 7 Eyewitness News (1997 – February 2006)
  • ABC 7 Eyewitness News HD (February 2006–present)


Station Slogans

  • The Southland's #1 News Team (mid 1970s-early 1980s)
  • Number One in Southern California (early 1980s–1985)
  • Southern California's News Leader (2000–present; general slogan)
  • Number One in News, Number One in Southern California (2006–present; alternate news slogan)
  • Southern California's First High Definition News (2006–present; news slogan)


Movie Umbrella Titles

  • The Big Show (1960s)
  • Movie 7 (1969–1990)
  • The 6:00 Movie (1967–1971)
  • The 6:30 Movie (1971–1974)
  • The 3:30 Movie (1974–1980)
  • ABC7 Movie Special (1996, 2005–present)
  • ABC7 Prime Movie Special (2003–2004)
  • Channel 7 Midnight Movie (1993–1995)
  • Channel 7 Late Movie (1995–1998)
  • The Vampira Show (1954–1955)
  • The Saturday/Sunday Afternoon Movie (1969–1980s)
  • Hollywood Theatre (1980s–1998)
  • ABC7 Weekend Afternoon Movie (1998–2007)
  • The Saturday/Sunday Night Movie (1969–1996)
  • The Monday Night Movie (1970–1981)
  • The ABC7 Saturday/Sunday Night Movie (1996–2007)
  • Insomniac Theatre (1992–2004)
  • Classic Theatre (1988–1995)


Rebroadcasters

KABC is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:



See also



References

  1. YouTube – KABC New Year 2000 Footage
  2. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  3. YouTube video of analog TV shutoffs in Los Angeles
  4. FCC DTV status report for KABC
  5. FCC Form DA-09-1253


External links




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