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KENS is the CBS television affiliate in San Antonio, Texasmarker owned and operated by The Belo Corporation. KENS also manages KCWXmarker under a local marketing agreement (LMA). Its transmitter is located in Elmendorf, Texasmarker. KENS can also be seen through cable in Laredo, Texasmarker.


KENS 5 signed on the air on February 15, 1950 as KEYL, a CBS affiliate with secondary affiliations with DuMont, Paramount Television Network, and ABC (shared with WOAI-TVmarker). A year after its launch, Storer Broadcasting bought the station. In 1954, Storer had to sell KEYL to the San Antonio Express-News, which also purchased what became the original KENS-AM (680 kHz, now KKYX), in order for Storer to complete its purchase of WXEL-TV (now WJWmarker) in Cleveland, Ohiomarker because the company would have been one VHF station over the Federal Communications Commission's new ownership limit of seven television stations, with no more than five of those on VHF, which went into effect that year. (At the time, newspapers could own television and/or radio stations in the same market provided that such ownership complied with the FCC-mandated ownership limits of each property in effect at the time.) The new owner changed KEYL's call letters to the present-day KENS-TV. KENS was the second station to begin broadcasting in San Antonio, three months behind WOAI-TV. DuMont ceased most network operations in 1955, but would honor network commitments until 1956; at that point, DuMont disappeared from the station's schedule. It lost ABC when KONO-TV (now KSAT-TVmarker) signed on in 1957, leaving KENS as a full-time CBS affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

In early 1962, the Express-News and KENS-AM-TV were purchased by Harte-Hanks Communications; the radio station was sold off a few months later since Harte-Hanks was not interested in radio station ownership at the time. When the FCC tightened its cross-ownership rules in the early 1970s, Harte-Hanks sought grandfathered protection for its San Antonio media combination. However, while the FCC granted such protection to several media combinations across the country, it would not do the same to the Harte-Hanks combination in San Antonio. Accordingly, in 1973, Harte-Hanks opted to keep KENS-TV and sell the Express-News to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

In 1993, Harte-Hanks acquired what at the time became the second incarnation of KENS-AM (1160 kHz). In September 1997, Harte-Hanks sold its remaining media properties, including the KENS stations, to the E. W. Scripps Company in order to concentrate on direct marketing. At the same time, Belo announced that it would swap its controlling stake in the Food Network to Scripps in exchange for the KENS stations. The Harte-Hanks/Scripps deal and the transfer of Belo's stake in the Food Network to Scripps were both completed on October 15 of that year. At that time, Belo took over the operation of the KENS stations under a time brokerage agreement. Belo officially completed its purchase of the KENS stations on December 4 1997. The second incarnation of KENS-AM was sold off to Disney/ABC in 2003, becoming Radio Disney station KRDYmarker.

KENS remained closely associated with the Express-News, even though the station and newspaper have been under separate ownership for many years. The station shared its main website with the newspaper until the end of 2008, when the news partnership agreement between KENS and the Express-News expired. The station launched on January 26, 2009. Immediately following the digital transition on June 12, KENS officially dropped the -TV suffix from its legal call sign.

In the mid-1980s, KENS broadcast a short-lived second channel, exclusively on Rogers Cablevision channel 24, called KENS II.

KENS is one of the broadcast homes of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, and has also been the home of game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for two decades.

Bob Rogers still is KENS most successful and longest running News Director. Rogers kept KENS in the number one ratings spot for over two decades. He was also responsible for hiring, coaching and helping the careers of many local and national news anchors, reporters and correspondents. He left KENS in the late 90's and retired.

Chris Marrou, San Antonio's Most Respected Anchor retired in 2009. He had worked at KENS from 1973-2009. He is an Emmy-Award Winning Anchor. Thanks to Chris Marrou KENS has dominated the 5,6, and 10 PM Newscasts. In 2009, KENS announced that Chris Marrou's replacement would be Jeff Vaughn and would take his 5,6, and 10 PM newscast. He will start in January 2010.

Digital Television

KENS shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009 , as part of the DTV transition in the United States. KENS remained on its current pre-transition channel number, 39 using PSIP to display KENS' virtual channel as 5.

This move also allowed sister station KCWXmarker (which prior to the conversion, did not have an over-the-air digital signal) to begin digital broadcasts on channel 5.

Prior to November 2008, KENS-DT was on channel 55, which was vacated early by the station to allow Qualcommmarker to begin testing for their MediaFLO mobile television service, which is transmitted via the former UHF channel 55 allocation. In the interim period between November 2008 and June 2009, KENS-DT's digital signal was broadcast on a subchannel of KWEX-DTmarker (mapped to virtual channel 5.1), which broadcasted on channel 39 prior to the transition; since the entire KWEX schedule was at the time 480i standard definition, KENS continued broadcasting in full 1080i high definition without any problems between the two operations. After the digital transition was complete, KENS-DT retained the channel 39 facilities, while KWEX-DT launched their permanent digital operations on channel 41 (the station's previous analog frequency).

News Operation

KENS broadcasts a total of 27.5 hours of local news per week (with 3½ hours on weekdays, 2½ hours on Saturdays and two hours on Sundays).

The station also produces a local morning talk show titled Great Day SA, airing weekdays from 9-10AM (CT). The program debuted on September 8, 2003. The show features local and national music artists, celebrities, and local human interest stories. Formerly hosted by 1994 Miss USA Lu Parker and later Kristina Guererro (who later was a reporter at Inside Edition), Great Day SA is currently hosted by reporter Bridget Smith, along with GDSA reporter Eileen Teves, morning meteorologist Paul Mireles, and "Traffic Watch" reporter Kellie Patterson.

When The Early Show abandoned the local/national hybrid format and replaced it with a national format on January 7, 2008, KENS decided to cut their weekday morning newscast from three hours to two, airing from 5-7AM. Also at the same time, Itza Gutierrez left as anchor for the Saturday morning newscast to become a stay-at-home mother (she has since been replaced by Stacia Willson).

A long-running, weeknight segment of the news is the Eyewitness Newsreel in which former anchor Chris Marrou narrates a faux, old-style newsreel at the end of the 10PM newscast. The Newsreel usually consists of humorous segments of local news juxtaposed with out-of-context snips of CBS news anchors, politicians or celebrities "commenting" on the situation. Marrou writes the segment each weeknight. Now the Eyewittness Newsreel retired. (Chris Marrou's retirement)

Eyewitness News HD

At the beginning of June 2008, KENS began to run ads about "the biggest thing in KENS' history", however that ad specifically would not say exactly what, only that it would happen on June 30, 2008. On June 30, 2008 KENS became the first television station in the San Antonio market to produce its newscasts in High Definition. One of KENS' rivals, ABC affiliate KSAT-TV (channel 12), also claims to broadcast its newscasts in high definition, but actually airs them in upconverted widescreen standard definition.


As of the end of the February 2007 ratings period, KENS had taken first place for their 10 o'clock newscast. As of the November 2007 ratings period, KENS also took first place in the morning newscasts. Also, KENS is in first place at noon and 6 p.m. newscasts. Rival KSAT-TVmarker is at second place in all time slots. Also, rival WOAI-TVmarker is at third place in all time slots.


Current On-Air Talent

Current Anchors
  • Vicki Buffolino - weekday mornings and noon
  • Barry Davis - Sunday mornings
  • Karen Grace - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Christopher Heath - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM
  • Fred Lozano - weekday mornings and noon
  • Deborah Knapp - weeknights at 5PM
  • Sarah Lucero - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Bridget Smith - "Great Day SA" host
  • Stacia Willson - Saturday mornings
  • Jeff Vaughn - weeknights at 5,6 and 10PM (Starting in January)

  • Joe Conger - general assignment and "I-Team" investigative reporter
  • Barry Davis - general assignment reporter (also "I-Team" investigative and "Eyewitness Wants To Know" feature reporter)
  • Karen Grace - general assignment reporter
  • Christopher Heath - general assignment reporter
  • Marvin Hurst - general assignment reporter
  • James Munoz - general assignment reporter
  • Brian New - general assignment and "I-Team" investigative reporter
  • Kellie Patterson - "Traffic Watch" reporter
  • Wendy Rigby - 5PM medical reporter
  • Chris Sadeghi - general assignment reporter
  • Amanda Stanzylis - general assignment reporter
  • Bridget Smith - general assignment reporter
  • Stacia Willson - general assignment reporter

Belo News Bureaus
  • Dave Cassidy - Washington Bureau reporter
  • Mike Goldfein - Washington Bureau reporter
  • Angela Kocherga - Border Bureau (Mexico) Reporter
  • Sarah Nakasone - Washington Bureau reporter

VIPIR 5 Weather Team
  • Bill Taylor - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10PM
  • Paul Mireles (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon
  • Jared Silverman (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM

Sports Team
  • Joe Reinagel - Sports Director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10PM

Former On-Air Talent

  • Jim Abbott
  • Megan Alexander (now reporter for the syndicated newsmagazine Inside Edition)
  • Joe Alston (died in 1989)
  • Anita Jane Anderson
  • Dionne Anglin (now at KDFWmarker in Dallas)
  • Jud Ashmore
  • Bob Ballou (now sports director at KEYE in Austin)
  • Randy Beamer (now at WOAI-TVmarker)
  • Kym Benson
  • Barry Brickman
  • Mike Brown
  • Lisa Burkhardt
  • Cindy Casiano
  • Kelly Chapman
  • Nancy Clayton
  • Dan Cook (retired in 2000, died in 2008)
  • Tony Dale
  • Paul Deanno (now at KOMO in Seattle)
  • Gary DeLaune
  • Mary Denman
  • Ted Dracos
  • Dennis M. DuPriest
  • Ainsley Earhardt (now at Fox News)
  • Melvin Epps
  • Patricio Espinoza
  • Albert Flores
  • Alex Garcia (now at KABBmarker)
  • Glenn Glazer
  • Itza Gutierrez (now a stay-at-home mother)
  • Don Hammond
  • David Hebert (now at PR Manager at San Antonio International Airport)
  • Selena Hernandez
  • Kristina Huey
  • Sara Lee Kessler
  • Nydia Lopez
  • Tony Mann
  • Chris Marrou (Former Anchor from 1973-2009)
  • Michael Marsh
  • Larry Meyer
  • Leslie Mouton (now at KSAT-TVmarker)
  • Ross Palombo
  • Maclovio Perez (later at WOAI)
  • Mike Pesina (now at KIIImarker in Corpus Christi)
  • Brandy Ralston
  • Sylvan Rodriguez (died in 2000)
  • Lynn Russell (moved to CNN Headline News)
  • Mary Alice Salinas
  • Bob Salter (now a medical helicopter pilot in Arizona)
  • Marshall Seese (former host of Your Weather Today on The Weather Channel)
  • Bob Sellers (former anchor at CNBCmarker and Fox News Channel)
  • Margo Spitz
  • Amanda Taylor (now at KWTVmarker in Oklahoma City)
  • Ron Taylor
  • Jim Thomas
  • Paul Thompson
  • Gene Tuck
  • Michael Tuck
  • Michael Turcot
  • Maury Vasquez
  • Anne Wheeler
  • Liz Wiggins
  • Jerry Zimmerman
  • Al Zimmerman

  • Others:
  • Jeff Haessler - news videographer (1983-1996; now senior videographer at the University of Denver)

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • The San Antonio/South Texas Report (1950-1954)
  • Your Esso Reporter (1954-1962)
  • Television 5/TV 5 News (1962-1970)
  • (Channel 5/KENS 5) Eyewitness News (1970-1998)
  • KENS 5 Eyewitness News (1998-present)

Station Slogans

  • 5 Alive (1970s)
  • Eyewitness News: San Antonio's Top-Rated (Satellite) Newscast (1979-1987)
  • KENS-TV Spirit, Oh Yes! (1987-1988; localized version of the CBSpirit campaign)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1998-present)
  • San Antonio's #1 Newscast (2002-present)
  • South Texas' #1 Newscast (2008-present)
  • San Antonio's News Leader (2008-present)
  • San Antonio's Only High Definition Newscast (2008-2009)
  • South Texas' First High Definition Newscast (2009-present)


External links

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