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KVIA-TV is an ABC affiliate in El Paso, Texasmarker. It broadcasts its digital signal on channel 7. It is owned by and was the flagship television station of the News-Press & Gazette Company of St. Joseph, Missouri before the company acquired KRDO-TVmarker. Its transmitter is located in El Pasomarker.


The station signed on the air on September 1, 1956 on channel 13, originally as KILT, and was owned by famous television and radio personality Gordon McLendon. It adopted the KELP-TV call sign in 1957. After short period of ownership, the McClendon Investment Corporation sold KILT to Joseph Harris and Norman Alexander in March 1957. The TV station became KELP-TV before the John B. Walton Jr. purchase in January 1966.

The KELP Era

KELP-TV was the third station on in the growing El Paso area. Channel 4, KROD-TV (now KDBC-TV), signed on in late 1952 from a mountain top site at Comanche Peak). Channel 9, KTSM-TV, had a tall tower at a lower elevation in downtown El Paso. KELP-TV signed on from 4530 Delta Drive (also home of 920 KELP (AM) in central El Paso. KELP had studios and transmitters of each station at the site, which was leased from the City of El Paso. After KELP's 1956 debut, El Paso would have only three English-speaking channels for the next 22 years, until the debut of KCOS-TV in 1978 and KCIK-TV (now KFOX) in 1979.

The station's original site amounted to a landfill next to a sewer, so over the years the studio land subsided, and the floors became uneven (cameras had to be chocked in place, and could come loose and run to end of cables or slam into walls, or trip over cables) and outside walls developed gaps through which studio light shone out, and landfill/sewer insects would fly in). Anchors needed to lean with the sets and cameras so that they looked upright on camera. Power was 28,000 watts on a 350-foot tower (putting the antenna only up about 110 feet above average terrain). During the same period, the station depended for its network transmissions on microwave signal sent from Los Angeles; on at least one occasion, an ice storm in Arizona caused a significant disruption in the station's network programming.

The transmitter of channel 13 was moved to the south end of Comanche Peak just above Scenic Drive in 1961. The studios moved to the west side of El Paso at the current Rio Bravo location in 1968.

Walton oversaw the move of KELP to its present location at 4140 Rio Bravo, off Executive Center on El Paso’s westside. During the 1960s and 1970s, KELP-TV was one of the few TV stations in the country with an outdoor swimming pool.

The old KELP-TV Channel 13 was home to the popular dance show Crosno's Hop, hosted by the late El Paso radio DJ Steve Crosno in the 1960s.


After being bought by Stanley Marsh 3 in February 1976, it changed its call sign to the current KVIA-TV in 1979. Then KVIA swapped channels with PBS member station KCOSmarker on July 10, 1981, moving from channel 13 to channel 7. It is said that the move was made to compete better with KDBC and KTSM. In 1995, KVIA-TV was bought by its current owner, News-Press & Gazette.

Before satellites were widely used in US broadcast television, many smaller market network affiliates had to arrange their own network connections. KELP-TV leased mountain tops between Phoenix, AZmarker and El Paso. They picked up KTVKmarker Phoenix (an ABC affiliate until the mid-1990s) and KGUN-TVmarker Tucson, off air, and fed them over several hops of microwave relay towers, and landed back at the mountain top transmitter of KELP-TV. For a time, this required the transmitter operator at the site to switch between the studio feed and that of the incoming network feed. Later, the station added a backhaul link to get the network feed back to the studios. This then allowed the studio operator to preview network shows before putting them on KELP's air.

From 1976 until 1993, KVIA had a satellite station based in Carlsbad, New Mexicomarker; KAVE-TV, Channel 6, which carried a circle 6 logo and later renamed it KVIO to better identify it with the parent station. That station is now a satellite affiliate of Albuquerque's KOATmarker-TV, Channel 7 and known today as KOCT. KVIA was also the first station in El Paso to introduce a computerized weather radar, implemented in 1979. The station also provided El Paso's first noon newscast, which began in 1976.

Beginning in 1993, Gary Warner and Estela Casas anchored the evening newscasts together, making them the market's longest-running anchor team in local television history. Their run ended at 10:50 PM on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, when Warner signed off for the last time following a special broadcast tribute. Warner was a part of KVIA/KELP since the mid-1970s; becoming the main co-anchor of Pro News in 1976 alongside Al Hinojos. Warner did leave KVIA in the late-1980s for a short stint at CNN, but returned to El Paso a few years later.

KVIA also uses a red version of the "circle 7 logo" as opposed to the more widely-used blue version. The "red 7" is very similar in color, but not in shape, to the logos from Boston, MAmarker's NBC affiliate WHDH and Miami, FLmarker's Fox affiliate WSVNmarker. KVIA's current slogan is "Where News Comes First".

On February 7, 2009, KVIA began broadcasting it news in high-definition, becoming the second TV station in El Paso to do so.

Digital Television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Subchannel Programming
7.1 main KVIA-TV/ ABC programming
7.2 The CW
7.3 StormTrack 24/7 Weather
7.4 LATV

Analog-to-digital conversion

On June 12, 2009 at 12:30 P.M. MDT, KVIA-TV completed the analog television shutdown and digital conversion. Also, KVIA moved its digital broadcasts from 17 to its former analog channel number, 7.


Current personalities

  • Celina Avila - ABC 7 at 4
  • Rick Cabrera - ABC 7 at 5, 6, & 10
  • Estela Casas - ABC 7 at 5, 6, & 10; also anchors 2-minute newscast in Spanish on station website
  • Hillary Floren - Good Morning El Paso
  • Maria Garcia - Good Morning El Paso Weekend
  • Bob Harp - Good Morning El Paso & ABC 7 at Noon
  • Abe Lubetkin - Good Morning El Paso Weekend
  • Veronique Masterson - ABC 7 Weekend at 5/6, & 10
  • Ken Molestina - ABC 7 Weekend at 5/6, & 10
  • Stephanie Valle - ABC 7 at Noon

  • Celina Avila - General assignment reporting
  • Martin Bartlett - General assignment reporting
  • Darren Hunt - General assignment reporting & host of ABC 7 X-tra
  • Abe Lubetkin - General assignment reporting
  • Daniel Marin - General assignment reporting
  • Veronique Masterson - General assignment reporting
  • Ken Molestina - General assignment reporting
  • Marissa Monroy - General assignment reporting
  • Stephanie Valle - General assignment reporting for Good Morning El Paso

ABC 7 Sports
  • Raul Martinez - Weekdays ABC 7 at 6 & 10
  • Paul Cicala - ABC 7 weekends

StormTRACK Weather
  • "Doppler" Dave Speelman - Chief Meteorologist Weekdays ABC 7 at 4, 5, 6, & 10
  • Andrew Chung - Meteorologist Good Morning El Paso Weekend
  • Jorge Torres - Meteorologist
  • Karla Huelga - Forecaster Weekends ABC 7 at 5/6 & 10"

Former staff members

  • Fred Albers (Now at KTSM-TVmarker)
  • Leticia Alderete
  • Tammara Allgood
  • Lori Allen
  • Margaret Althoff (Formerly news anchor and host of PM Magazine; ex-wife of former KVIA GM Art Olivas)
  • Cindi Angelini
  • Robert Armendaraiz
  • Nichole Ayoub (Now at KDBC-TVmarker)
  • Dani Barefoot
  • Joel Bergeron
  • Robert Bettes (Now at KDBC-TVmarker)
  • Mike Borschow
  • Stu Bowersox
  • Sterling Brooks (Formerly news reporter and host of PM Magazine)
  • Stephanie Carpenter
  • Jaime Chavez
  • Chris Chesrown
  • Dolly Cisneros
  • Jerry Clark (Deceased)
  • Thomas Contreras (Now at KDAF-TV in Dallas)
  • Tom Costello (Now at NBC News)
  • K.C. Counts (Now at KVLCmarker)
  • Zoltan Csanyi (Now News Director at KINT-TVmarker)
  • Alex Delgado (Now at KSEEmarker)
  • Rick DeReyes
  • Scott Ehret
  • Rob Elgas (Now at WMAQ-TVmarker)
  • Randy Escamilla
  • Patricio Espinoza (Now at KXLN-TVmarker)
  • John Faucett (Now a Meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in El Paso, TX/Santa Teresa, NM)
  • Marce Galaviz
  • Jim Gamble
  • John Garmon
  • Robert Garcia
  • David George (Now at WMTVmarker)
  • Rick Glancey (attempts to speak for the El Paso County Sheriff's Department)
  • Monica Gomez
  • Peggy Haley Ligner (Now a journalism teacher at El Paso's Coronado High School)
  • Doug Hatt
  • Brian Heap (Now at WPTY-TVmarker)
  • Julia Hilder (Now owns her own production company in Austin)
  • Al Hinojos
  • Richard Hobbs (former PM Magazine co-host)
  • Robert Holguin (Now at KABC-TVmarker)
  • Nev Hough (Graphic artist who designed KVIA's "look" in 1980s/1990s)
  • Carolyn Hughes
  • Amy Jacobson (Formerly of WMAQ-TVmarker)
  • Noreen Jaramillo (Now at KFOX-TVmarker)
  • David Johnston ("Ono") (Now at KABC-TVmarker)
  • Richard Jordan (Now at WSVNmarker)
  • Jason Kadah (Now at KREM-TVmarker)
  • Dan Krieger
  • Kim Lamb
  • Rose Limon-Marshall (Now at KDAF-TV in Dallas)
  • Anita Lopez (now in real-estate in Denver)
  • Kevin Lovell (Former sports/general assignment reporter; current station General Manager)
  • Lizette Luna
  • Roger Maier (Now spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
  • Lillian Maric
  • Dan Marks
  • Betsy McArthur
  • Micah McCauley (Formerly at KVUEmarker, now in real estate in Austin)
  • Debra McDaniel
  • Myrna Membrila (Formerly at KGUNmarker)
  • Raymond Mesa (Now at KWHY-TVmarker)
  • Suzanne Michaels (Now heads Suzanne Michaels Communications)
  • David Morgan
  • Gary Munday
  • Frank Murillo
  • Kathy Nemesh (deceased)
  • Lise Nielsen
  • Bob Nitzburg
  • Elizabeth O'Hara (Now at KFOX-TVmarker)
  • Roy Ortega (Now at El Paso Times)
  • Laura Palka (Formerly of WSOC-TVmarker)
  • Richard Pearson (deceased, 2009)
  • Indra Peterson (Now at KABC-TVmarker)
  • Alexander Perez (Now at WMAQ-TVmarker)
  • Rick Provencio
  • John Purvis (Now at KFOX-TVmarker)
  • Whitney "Boscoe" Reese
  • Shea Rial
  • Abel Rodriguez
  • Sheyenne Rodriguez (Now at WTVDmarker)
  • Lou Romano (Formerly at KDBC-TVmarker)
  • Rene Romo (Formerly at WSOC-TVmarker)
  • Jayme Rubenstein (Now a Communications Associate for a non-profit organization)
  • Martha Saldaña
  • Kris Sanchez (Now at KNTVmarker)
  • Jim Scott (Now at KFOX-TVmarker)
  • Anne Semmer
  • Yvonne Suarez
  • Amber Sullins
  • Karen Theus
  • Stephanie Townsend Allala (Now an attorney in El Paso)
  • Victor Vazquez
  • Udell Vigil (now Director of Communications for Las Cruces, NM)
  • Gary Warner (Retired in May, 2008, following 34 years at KVIA)
  • Larry Wolpe
  • Joan Zec (formerly of "European Journal"/PBS)
  • Raymond Johnson (KELP-TV transmitter operator)(deceased)
  • Bill Zortman (Now a real estate agent in Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • KILT News (1956-1957)
  • KELP-TV News (1957-1973)
  • Eyewitness News (1973-1976)
  • Pro News 7 (13) (1976-1989)
  • News 7 (1989-1993)
  • 7 News (1993-1998)
  • ABC 7 News (1998-present)

Station slogans

  • Better Together (mid 1980s-1993; general slogan)
  • The News Leader (late 1980s-1993; news slogan)
  • The News Station (1993-1998)
  • Where News Comes First (1998-present)

Programming notes

KVIA clears ABC's entire schedule. However, KVIA airs the ABC daytime soap opera lineup out of pattern: KVIA airs General Hospital before One Life to Live. Traditionally, OLTL airs before GH. This is representative of the station's desire to appear to be "cutting-edge" in broadcasting.

On April 20, 2007, Time Warner cable began broadcasting The CW on cable channel 13 from KVIA digital television 7.2.


External links


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