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KIAH is a television station operating in digital on UHF channel 38 in Houston, Texasmarker. KIAH is owned by the Tribune Company, and is affiliated with the CW Television Network. The station's studios are located in Houston, and its transmitter is based in Missouri City, Texasmarker.


Early Orgins

The station began broadcasting on January 6, 1967 as KHTV (Houston TeleVision). The station took the place of the now-defunct KNUZ-TV, which was a DuMont affiliate during the middle 1950s. It was originally owned by the WKY Television Systemmarker, a subsidiary of Oklahoma Publishing Company. After the company's namesake station in Oklahoma Citymarker was sold in 1976, the WKY Television System became Gaylord Broadcasting, named for the family which owned Oklahoma Publishing.

As Houston's first general-entertainment independent station, KHTV aired a schedule of programs including children's shows, syndicated programs, movies, religious shows, and some sports coverage. One of its best known locally produced programs was "Houston Wrestling", hosted by local promoter Paul Boesch. It aired Saturday evenings, having been taped the night before at the weekly live shows in the Sam Houston Coliseum. From 1983 to 1985, it was known as KHTV 39 Gold. It was the leading independent station in Houston as competitors entered the market. During this time, KHTV was distributed to cable companies as a regional superstation of sorts, reaching systems as far east as Lafayette, Louisianamarker.

As a WB affiliate

Prior to its launch in January 1995, the WB Television Network agreed to affiliate with KHTV and three of its sister stations, KTVTmarker in Fort Worthmarker, WVTVmarker in Milwaukeemarker, and KSTWmarker in Tacoma, Washingtonmarker. However, after CBS lost its affiliation with KDFW-TVmarker in the Dallasmarker-Fort Worth market to Fox, a result of Fox's alliance with New World Communications, Gaylord Broadcasting chose to align both KTVT and KSTW with CBS.

Not pleased with Gaylord's about-face, the WB voided its group affiliation contract with Gaylord, and later took the broadcaster to court for breach of contract. That left Houston as the only Top 10 television market without programming from the new network in its first few months. That was until the fall of 1995 when KHTV was acquired by Tribune Broadcasting, which held an ownership stake in the WB network. Channel 39 became a WB affiliate shortly after being acquired by Tribune and began to call itself Houston's WB39. In 1999, the station changed its call letters to KHWB to reflect its affiliation.

From The WB to The CW

Logo as CW 39, used from 2006 to 2008; prior to July 15, 2008, the logo featured the KHCW call letters.
Following the 2006 closure of the WB and UPN networks and creation of The CW, KHWB became the CW's Houston affiliate; a few months later, the FCC approved a call-sign change from KHWB to KHCW (Houston's CW), which became official on April 27, 2006. On September 13, 2006, KHCW was rebranded as The CW39. The station celebrated its 40th anniversary on January 6, 2007. KHCW stopped advertising as "The New CW39" at the end of The CW's first television season in June 2007.

The station also aired The Tube Music Network during this time on their -DT2 digital subchannel until the service was discontinued on October 1, 2007.

On July 15, 2008, Channel 39 changed its call letters to KIAH as part of a branding campaign emphasizing the station's local orientation (KIAH is the ICAO airport code for George Bush Intercontinental Airportmarker). Due to sagging ratings for the CW, Tribune wanted its stations including KIAH to reimage themselves and put less emphasis on station branding standards imposed by networks. Thus, "The CW 39" was no more as of August 29th, 2008; it is simply known now as "Channel 39". Although they verbally use "the CW" during network programming promos.
Channel 39 studios

Digital television

The station's digital signal is, UHF 38, multiplexed:

Channel Programming
39.1 main KIAH-TV/The CW programming
39.2 Universal Sports

Analog-to-digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown occurred on June 12, 2009 , KIAH remained on its current pre-transition channel number, 38 PSIP is used to display KIAH's virtual channel as 39.

News programming

Since the station signed on as an independent, KIAH (when it was KHTV) aired hourly news updates during commercial breaks between programming. In August 1990, the station began producing a 7 and 11PM newscast entitled Houston TV News, later simply called 39 News. The move was made to fill a gap that KRIV had left open as they had previously aired news at 7PM, but had moved it to 9 PM in 1989 as the Fox Network had developed a primetime schedule. The 11 PM Newscast was supposed to cater to people who had missed the traditional 10PM newscasts, though both proved unsuccessful and the news department was ultimately disbanded in May 1992.

KHTV did not attempt to go back into news programming until 1999, when Tribune Broadcasting decided to call for the introduction of news programming on all of its then-WB affiliated stations, which served as defacto owned-and-operated stations as Tribune owned a partial stake in The WB; Tribune's flagship station is Chicago superstation WGN-TVmarker, which was Tribune's flagship WB affiliate is now also the company's flagship affiliate for the WB's partial successor, The CW (The CW was formed out of a merger between the WB and another network, UPN).

In 2000, KHTV, which became KHWB by this time, launched a half-hour newscast, WB 39 News at Nine (later renamed Houston's WB News at Nine) to compete with KRIV. For a brief time in 2006, it was also known as Channel 39 News due to the upcoming affliation change from the WB to the CW. The newscast changed its name to CW 39 News at Nine in 2006 to reflect KHCW's affiliation switch. The station's Chief Meteorologist, Keith Monahan, has won numerous awards for his weather reports including several Texas Lone Star Awards and multiple first place finishes in Texas AP judging, and was honored with a Lone Star Emmy in 2006 and a Lone Star Emmy nomination in 2007 for the Best Weathercast in Texas.

The station permanently expanded the newscast to an hour on June 30, 2008 (previously it had been expanded to the full hour on breaking news occasions), and is contemplating launching a morning newscast in 2010, when the station will unveil a new set and begin to broadcast their news in high definition . Additionally on August 29th, 2008, the station rebranded the newscast to simply 39 News at Nine.

On September 28, 2009 KIAH launched an hour-long 5PM newscast, which competes against 5PM newscasts on KPRC, KHOU, KTRK and KRIVmarker.

39 News Notable Personalities

Current On-Air Talent

(as of August 2009)

Current Anchors
  • Katisha Cosley – weekends at 9PM (also reporter)
  • Mia Gradney – weeknights at 5 and 9PM
  • Alan Hemberger – weekends at 9PM

  • Leticia Juarez – general assignment reporter
  • Elizabeth Lee – general assignment reporter
  • Andrea Nguyen – general assignment reporter
  • Steve Simon – general assignment reporter (also fill-in anchor)
  • Hailey Frances – multi media journalist
  • Mayra Moreno – multi media journalist
  • Matt Robbins – multi media journalist

Weather Team
  • Keith Monahan (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist/NWA Seal of Approval) – Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5 and 9PM
  • Justin Horne (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) – Meteorologist; weekends at 9PM

Sports Team
  • Jorge Vargas – Sports Director; weeknights at 9PM
  • Alex Radow – Sports Anchor; weekends at 9PM

Former On-Air Talent


  • Alan Ashby: former sports director
  • Jim Bergamo: reporter & weekend anchor
  • Jan Glenn: reporter & host of Rodeo coverage
  • Ken Jones: reporter
  • Jim McKrell: station spokesman who later became an anchor and after the newscast had ended, he hosted station-produced specials
  • David Scott: weekday anchor, now reporter and weekend anchor at KXAN-TVmarker, Austin, Texas
  • Lori Tucker: weekday anchor, now at WATE-TVmarker, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Kathie Turner: weekday weather anchor
  • Irv White: sports


  • Soofia Aleem, reporter (now Executive Director of South Asian Chamber of Commerce in Houston)
  • Matt Lavine, fill-in meteorologist (2008)
  • Cris Martin, fill-in meteorologist (2006) (now at WOFLmarker Orlando)
  • Casanova Nurse, Weekend Meteorologist (2006–2008) (now chief meteorologist at WTXL-TVmarker Tallahassee, Fla.)
  • Kristi Powers, meteorologist (now at KRIVmarker)
  • Kris Sava, reporter (2002–2007)
  • Donna Savarese, anchor/reporter
  • Jared Silverman, meteorologist (now at KENS-TVmarker in San Antonio)
  • Sherry Williams, weekday anchor (2000–2008; now at KHOUmarker)
  • Dennis Spellman, reporter (2000-2009) (now VP of External Affairs at the Houston Housing Authority)

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Houston TV News (1990–1991)
  • 39 News (1991–1992 and 2008–present)
  • WB 39 News (2000–2002)
  • Houston's WB News (2002–2006)
  • Channel 39 News (2006)
  • CW 39 News (2006–2008)

Station Slogans

  • News to Talk About (2009-present; used on 5PM newscast promos)


  2. CDBS Print
  3. Lone Star Chapter of NATAS – Emmy Awards
  4. Hoffman: Channel 39 amps up its nightly news | Ken Hoffman | – Houston Chronicle

External links

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