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WFAA

WFAA, channel 8, is an ABC-affiliated television station serving the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, one of the top ten media markets in North America. The station is the flagship of Belo Corporation and the largest ABC affiliate not owned and operated by the network. It is also the largest affiliate of any of the "big four" networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) not owned by that respective network. In turn, WFAA and CW affiliate KDAF (channel 33) are the only network-affiliate stations in the market not to be owned and operated by their network.

The station is licensed to Dallas and its studios and offices are located downtown next to the office of The Dallas Morning News—with whom it was co-owned from 1950 to 2008—and at the Victory Park development next to the American Airlines Center where the noontime news is filmed with the anchors sitting in front of a window view of the outside street activity. The station has small bureaus in Collin County at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and in Tarrant County near downtown Fort Worth. Both bureaus house a few reporters but are rarely used for filming. Its transmitter is located in Cedar Hill, Texas.

WFAA is carried as the local ABC affiliate to DISH Network and DirecTV subscribers within that market and the sole ABC affiliate carried by cable operators in several of the largest cities in the Sherman-Ada market including Ardmore, Durant and Hugo in Oklahoma; this is despite the presence of an ABC-affiliated digital subchannel broadcast over the digital signal of NBC affiliate KTEN (channel 10) in the Ada-Sherman market, which launched in May 2010.

Contents


History

The station began telecasting on September 17, 1949 as KBTV, an affiliate of the DuMont Television Network and owned by Lacy-Potter TV Broadcasting Company, partially controlled by Texas oil magnate Tom Potter. The channel 8 frequency in Dallas was the third TV station in Texas behind Fort Worth's WBAP-TV (now KXAS-TV, channel 5) and Houston's KLEE-TV (now KPRC-TV). It was the second in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and the first licensed to Dallas.

The WFAA Telecruiser in use during DuMont affiliation. The station became WFAA-TV on March 21, 1950, not long after it was purchased from Lacy-Potter for $575,000 by A.H. Belo Corporation (FCC approval on March 13, 1950) in the midst of a FCC television license freeze from 1948 to 1952. It took its call letters from new sister station WFAA radio (570 AM, now KLIF). The WFAA call letters reportedly stood for "Working For All Alike," and later the radio station billed itself the "World's Finest Air Attraction" (the KBTV call letters were later used by two unrelated stations; from 1953 to 1983 on what is now KUSA-TV in Denver, and currently on channel 4 in Beaumont). WFAA is one of the few television stations west of the Mississippi River with call letters beginning with a W, the Federal Communications Commission normally assigns stations west of the Mississippi call letters that begin with K; W is only used east of the Mississippi. The reason WFAA is different is that its call letters came from its sibling WFAA-AM, whose callsign predates this FCC policy.

In addition to the DuMont affiliation, KBTV affiliated with the short-lived Paramount Television Network; the station agreed to air 4.75 hours of Paramount programming per week in 1949.[1] In 1950, the station switched its primary affiliation to NBC, and also took on a secondary ABC affiliation. DuMont shut down in 1955, and NBC disappeared from the schedule in 1957 when WBAP-TV boosted its signal to cover Dallas, making WFAA the market's ABC affiliate. In the 1958-1959 television season, WFAA videotaped for a national audience Jack Wyatt's ABC crime/police reality show, Confession, in which assorted criminals explain why they rejected the mores of society and turned to lawlessness.[2]

WFAA was the first station to break the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated on November 22, 1963 about two blocks north of the television station near Dealey Plaza outside the Texas School Book Depository. The station conducted the first live television interview with Abraham Zapruder, who shot the famous Zapruder film, which was processed at WFAA's photo lab, about an hour and a half after the President's death (citation needed). WFAA and its live remote unit fed much coverage of the assassination and its aftermath to the ABC network over the next four days. The shocking and unexpected shooting of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police headquarters, however, was not broadcast live (as other) NBC) or on tape (as on CBS a minute later) by WFAA and ABC as their live truck was positioned elsewhere at the time. ABC was thus only able to show delayed newsreel footage of the historic event. WFAA had purchased a fully equipped, live broadcast studio truck prior to the assassination of JFK, but the truck was not rolled out for the parade through downtown Dallas. In the aftermath of the murder, the staff was told the cost would have been too great for the news department to compensate the production facility for its use.

As local television news grew into a more polished presentation, WFAA became known as a ground breaking station in broadcast journalism as well as for many technological advancements including: the first computerized newsroom, the market's first station to use a helicopter in coverage, live trucks, microwave for live broadcast, use of satellite uplink trucks for broadcasts from around the state and nation and more. WFAA was the first domestic television station to make use of international satellite capacity, broadcasting a live program from Paris, France, in 1969 consisting of interviews with the wives of American POWs in Vietnam. The program was anchored by the late Murphy Martin. It was perhaps the first in the nation to put video taped reports from the field on the air (film was used almost exclusively in local news until the late 1970s and early 1980s), broadcasting the arrival of President Richard Nixon at Dallas Love Field within 30 minutes of his arrival in 1969. (A Sony reel-to-reel video recorder made for home use was pressed into service for this broadcast presented on a regular, midnight newscast.) WFAA uncovered significant stories in the 1980s including information that would lead to SMU's football team being given the "death penalty" in the mid-1980s, as well as the first major media investigation into America's Savings & Loan scandal rooted in Texas.

WFAA-TV began its rise to news dominance in Dallas during the late 1960s and early 1970s under the leadership of News Manager Travis Linn, who had been News Director of WFAA radio previously. Linn later became CBS News Bureau Chief in Dallas before becoming professor and dean of the journalism program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Under Linn, the station expanded news to four and a half hours per day, including a large morning block (before the creation of Good Morning America by ABC) and an unprecedented one hour program at 10 PM each weeknight as well as a fifteen minute newscast at midnight four nights per week.

Building on this success, WFAA dominated the market ratings for local news from the mid 1970s through the late 1990s, with anchors including Tracy Rowlett, Iola Johnson, Bob Gooding, Murphy Martin, Judi Hanna, John Criswell, Chip Moody, John McCaa, Gloria Campos, Lisa McRee, Verne Lundquist, Dale Hansen, and Troy Dungan.Channel 8's approach to news during this period was characterized by an aggressive, all out commitment to get the story and to present it in graphic, visual detail. The station was rewarded with some of the highest ratings of any local station in a major media market. Other notable people who once worked at Channel 8 include Scott Pelley, current anchor of the CBS Evening News, the late David Garcia, who went on to become a network reporter for ABC News, Mike Lee, who covered news in Europe for many years at the ABC News London bureau, Doug Terry, who became a founding reporter/producer at NPR's All Things Considered evening broadcast and created several Washington based television news services, and the late Don Harris, who was killed at the start of the Jonestown massacre and mass suicides in Guyana, South America, in 1978. Harris was working for NBC News at the time. Former News Director turned Belo vice president/news Marty Haag is credited with leading the station's news department to ratings dominance and national prominence, as well as convincing the Dallas Morning News ownership to allow much greater spending on news at WFAA than ever seen before, far surpassing the budgets of other local rival stations. Haag was honored with a special Lifetime Achievement George Foster Peabody Award shortly before his death (date needed). WFAA pioneered community outreach with town hall meetings all over north Texas through its Family First (F1) program. Family First began in 1993 and remains a significant part of the station's commitment to community service.

WFAA became the first television station in America to broadcast a digital signal on a VHF channel (VHF channel 9) on February 27, 1998 at 2:17 p.m. and holds the distinction of broadcasting the nation's first local news program in HDTV. When the station's digital signal went online, its frequency was already in use by Dallas hospitals and there was interference with the medical equipment.[3] The station is one of a few ABC affiliates to broadcast HDTV in a 1080i format; other ABC affiliates broadcast in 720p. Some programming is broadcast from the station's sleek Victory Park studios (News 8 Daybreak, Good Morning Texas, News 8 Midday, News 8 at 5 and 6 p.m., and also when a major event is being held at Victory Park).[4][5]

WFAA didn't have its current affiliate's logo in its branding until 2007. In 2008, Belo decided to split its broadcasting and newspaper interests into separate companies. WFAA remained with the broadcasting side, which retained the Belo Corporation name, while the newspapers (including The Dallas Morning News) became the similarly named A.H. Belo Corporation. However, the former corporate cousins still have a news partnership.

Digital Television

Channel Video Aspect Programming
8.1 1080i 16:9 Main WFAA programming / ABC
8.2 480i AccuWeather Channel
8.3 Live Well Network

WFAA also has a Mobile DTV feed of subchannel 8.1, broadcasting at 1.83 Mbit/s.[6][7]

Previously, channel 8.2 carried "News 8 Now" (formerly known as "Xpress 8.2"). It screened weather radar, regular news updates and headlines on a crawl, and occasional live programming. This live programming included ABC News Now.[8] This subchannel could also be used for special programming, especially hurricane season, when it was used to relay WWL-TV in New Orleans for Hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and Gustav in 2008; and KHOU-TV in Houston for Hurricane Ike in 2008. Both WWL and KHOU are sister stations to WFAA. While viewing the Doppler radar, it broadcasts NOAA Weather Radio station KEC56 in Dallas. It also utilizes NOAA's KEC55 in Fort Worth and KXI87 in Corsicana as alternate feeds. On April 30, 2011, WFAA's secondary channel switched to AccuWeather from its previous format as News 8 Now.

Subchannel 8.3 originally carried This TV until November 8, 2010. WFAA placed the Live Well Network in the 8.3 slot the following day.[9] On December 7, 2010, This TV was moved to KDAF on digital subchannel 33.3.[10] Subchannel 8.3 also carries college sports from the Southland Conference.

Analog-to-digital conversion

The analog television shutdown took place on June 12, 2009 at 12:03 p.m.[11][12] and WFAA-DT has moved to channel 8 (formerly the analog WFAA-TV).[13] The last few moments of WFAA's analog signal included its first broadcasting days followed by historic moments caught on tape (as narrated by Pete Delkus), then its sign-off video used in the 1970s was played as the analog send-off.

On December 23, 2009, WFAA filed an application to the FCC to increase its effective radiated power (ERP) from a 45 kW with an omni-directional antenna to a 55 kW with a directional antenna. The reason for the power increase is because some over-the-air viewers are having difficulty receiving the station's signal on channel 8.[14]

Programming

As an ABC affiliate, WFAA airs syndicated entertainment news and talk shows in addition to its newscasts and ABC's primetime programming. However, as an affiliate not owned by the network itself, WFAA would occasionally set aside 30 to 60 minutes of the primetime schedule for their own locally produced specials. Shows of ABC that were omitted that night or otherwise delayed by locally-driven breaking news would be aired in the overnight hours.

WFAA airs The Chew on a day-behind basis at 11 a.m. instead of the recommended time of 12 noon (previously, All My Children aired in that slot prior to September 27, 2011), this is due to the station carrying an hour-long midday newscast during the noon hour. Until September 2011, WFAA aired the ABC Kids children's programming block significantly out of pattern compared to many ABC stations. Until ABC dropped the program on August 28, 2010, a double run of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers aired on a one-week delay from 5-6 a.m., instead of the recommended time of 11 a.m. to 12 noon, when the ABC network fed the show to its affiliates "live". The Emperor's New School and The Replacements were airing on same-day delay from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, instead of the recommended 8-9 a.m. timeslot for both shows. The remaining two hours aired in pattern "live" from the ABC feed. As of September 2011, ABC Kids is replaced by ABC's new block, Litton's Weekend Adventure and all programming airs on a same-day one-hour delay from its "live feed"; WFAA airs the block following the Saturday edition of News 8 Daybreak. WFAA also airs Anderson at 3 p.m. followed by The Dr. Oz Show.

For years, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune aired on Channel 8. After 18 years of airing Wheel of Fortune at 6:30 p.m., WFAA dropped it in the fall of 2005 in favor of the younger-oriented Entertainment Tonight; it dropped Jeopardy! at the same time. Both game shows now appear on CBS owned-and-operated station KTVT.

Until September 12, 2011, WFAA has aired Jimmy Kimmel Live a half-hour later than its recommended 11PM Central timeslot. That was due to the station airing The Insider around that time.

News operation

WFAA broadcasts a total of 34 hours of local news a week (5 hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturdays and 3 hours on Sundays). WFAA also operates a news helicopter called HD Chopper 8 (formerly known as Telecopter 8), which still has the 1984-1996 dual-outlined "8" logo on the underside of the helicopter and reads: N8TV.

Since 1986, WFAA's news organization has won six Peabody Awards,[15] with a seventh awarded personally to H. Martin "Marty" Haag, who was WFAA's executive news director from 1973 to 1989 and a Belo Corporation executive after that.[16] WFAA's Peabody Awards were for:

  • 1986: The SMU Mustangs were given the NCAA's "death penalty" because of the Southern Methodist University football scandal.
  • 1995: The Peavy Investigation was a "revealing series of reports into insurance purchases involving the Dallas Independent School District... centered on the chairman of the Board of Education's Committee on Insurance."[17]
  • 2002: Fake Drugs, Real Lives was recognized for an investigative series which "revealed that confidential informants working with Dallas police planted powdered Sheetrock or billiard chalk near unsuspecting Mexican immigrants to contrive drug cases."[18]
  • 2004: State of Denial was a long-running series into improprieties in the Texas Workers Compensation Commission, part of the Texas Department of Insurance.[19]
  • 2007: Money for Nothing, "The Buried and the Dead", "Television Justice", "Kinder Prison", awarded for four separate investigative stories revealing that a major U.S. financial institution is making loans to non-existent companies in Mexico, that regional law-enforcement officers had collaborated with news crews to produce a prime-time TV program, that conditions in a prison housing children were deplorable, and that pipelines carrying gas into homes are unsafe.[20]
  • 2010: "Bitter Lessons," an investigation into government-funded career schools.[21]

In 2009, WFAA received the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award's Gold Baton for its "continuing commitment to outstanding investigative reporting", the first local station to win that recognition in the 20-year history of the award; reporters Byron Harris and Brett Shipp were recognized for:[22] three exemplary investigative reports about corruption and waste at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, grade changing for failing high school athletes, and the danger posed by aging gas pipeline couplings. Among the Dallas Independent School District high schools exposed by their investigations were South Oak Cliff High School[23] and Roosevelt High School.[24]

Also recognized were Mark Smith (producer), Kraig Kirchem (editor and photographer), and Michael Valentine, executive news director. The pipeline-couplings investigation was featured in the PBS documentary series, Expos : America's Investigative Reports, in an episode entitled "Beneath the North Texas Dirt."

WFAA started producing newscasts and other local programming in high definition on February 2, 2007. WFAA is one of the few television stations not using the First Warning broadcast weather alert system, instead when severe weather alerts are in effect for viewing area, the warning type and the counties the alert is in effect for are displayed in text form at the top of the screen.

Ratings

WFAA's News 8 Update at 10 pm is typically the market's most-watched late local newscast, and its 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts are typically the area's most-watched early evening local newscasts.

According to the local Nielsen ratings for the February 2011 sweeps period, the rating for WFAA's newscasts slid in some timeslots; after placing first at 10 p.m. in the November 2010 sweeps period, WFAA's News 8 Update fell to a relatively distant second place with total viewers and with adults 25-54. The morning newscast placed a distant third with total viewers and a relatively distant third with adults 25-54, behind KXAS and a dominant KDFW. WFAA's only #1 finish during the period was in the 5 p.m. time period in total viewers (it lost to KDFW in the adult 25-54 demographic), aided by its Oprah lead-in, which won the 4 p.m. hour in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. Overall, the station was in last place in the key 25-to-54 demographic for the first time in at least the last 30 years; and fell from first place at both 6 and 10 p.m. in total viewers for the first time in at least three decades. However while its 10 p.m. newscast placed second, Nightline gave WFAA the most-watched late night program in the market among total viewers.[25]

According to the local Nielsen ratings for the May 2011 sweeps period, the News 8 Update regained the #1 position at 10 p.m. with total viewers and adults 25-54, while its morning newscast placed third in both demographics (like WFAA, both KXAS and KTVT lost viewership of their morning newscast compared to the previous year. In total viewers, the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts placed first among the area's early evening newscasts (aided by the outgoing Oprah Winfrey Show as a lead-in), though they both placed second, behind KDFW, in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic.[26]

News/station presentation

WFAA/NEWS 8 Current 'HD' Logo
WFAA/NEWS 8 Current 'HD' Logo

Newscast titles

  • Hamms Beer Evening Edition/Final Edition (early 1950s)
  • KBTV Newsreel (early 1950s)
  • News Roundup (mid 1950s 1960s)
  • Channel 8 News (1960s 1974; still used today in lower thirds and in reporter outcues)
  • News 8 (1974 present; was shown in newscast as 'News8' in the past)[27]
  • News 8 HD (2007 present)

Station slogans

  • "KBTV, Your Steady Date on Channel 8" (1949 1950)
  • "You Can Count on Us" (late 1970s)
  • "The Spirit of Texas" (1984 present; originally created in anticipation of the sesquicentennial of the founding of the state of Texas in 1986)[28]
    • Variations: "Working In The Spirit of Texas", "In The Spirit of Texas", "(Depend on) News 8 Leadership: It's Working In The Spirit of Texas"
  • "Dallas-Fort Worth's Watching Channel 8" (1991 1992; localized version of ABC's "America's Watching" ad campaign)
  • "If It's Dallas-Fort Worth, It Must Be Channel 8" (1992 1993; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • "First in News, First in HDTV" (2007 present; sub-slogan is unofficial)
    • Variation: "First in HDTV"
  • "Start Here" (2007 present; for all other programming, also the slogan for ABC)
  • "Trust Troy, Trust News 8 Weather" (used in promotion of former chief weather anchor, Troy Dungan)

News music packages

The "Spirit" news music package that was used on WFAA's newscasts was written by James R. Kirk of TM Productions, and was used from 1984 until 1991. All of WFAA's news music packages have carried the "Spirit" motif, including an unnamed theme used from 1992-1996. WFAA also used McKinney, TX-based Stephen Arnold Music's "Spirit" from 1996 2000, a package customized by the station and composed by Arnold from 2000 2004, the News Matrix package from 2004 2005, and the Evolution package from 2004-2007 (which all carry the same signature that TM Productions' package used). They switched to a brand new 615 Music package called "Propulsion" (which is also based on the Spirit signature logo). This package is also being rolled out to several other Belo owned stations.

Other former packages used by WFAA include Tuesday Productions' "TuesdayC" from 1978 1980, and TM Productions' "Newsbeat" from 1980-1984.

In addition to its use by WFAA, the Spirit signature was also used in a news theme commissioned by sister station and CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston (who also used the original TM Productions "Spirit" theme from 1986 1989), called "American Spirit" composed by John Hegner and used from 1994 to 2000. WFAA's "Spirit" campaign has been the basis for campaigns at sister stations like KHOU-TV, KIII-TV, WVEC-TV, WWL-TV, and KXTV.

News team

Current on-air staff [29]

(Year person joined WFAA in parentheses)

Anchors (In alphabetical order)
  • Gloria Campos - weeknights at 6 and The News 8 Update (10 p.m.); also "Wednesday's Child" feature reporter (1984)
  • Alexa Conomos - weekdays on News 8 Midday at noon; also 4:30-7 a.m. traffic reporter (2003)
  • Ron Corning - weekday mornings News 8 Daybreak and News 8 Midday at noon (2011)
  • Debbie Denmon - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends on The News 8 Update (10 p.m.); also weeknight reporter (2000)
  • Shon Gables - weekend mornings News 8 Daybreak (7-9 a.m.); also weekday reporter (2010)
  • Cynthia Izaguirre - weekday mornings News 8 Daybreak (4:30-7 a.m.) and News 8 Midday at noon; also reporter (2008)
  • John McCaa - weeknights at 5, 6 and The News 8 Update (10 p.m.); also reporter (1984)
  • Casey Norton - Sundays at 5 and The News 8 Update at 10 p.m.; also Fort Worth bureau reporter (2010)
  • Shelly Slater - weeknights at 5 p.m.; also reporter (2006)
  • Teresa Woodard - (2012)
Good Morning Texas
  • Chris Flanagan - co-host (since 2011; started in 2009: Moved to WEWS in November of 2011)
  • Rob McCollum - co-host (2009)
  • Amy Vanderoef - co-host (2006)
  • Ty Treadway- co-host (2012)
Weather team (In order of rank)
  • Pete Delkus (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and The News 8 Update at 10 p.m. (2005)
  • Colleen Coyle (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; traffic reporter & Weather weekday mornings News 8 Daybreak (4:30-7 a.m.) (2010)
  • Greg Fields (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings News 8 Daybreak (4:30-7 a.m.) and News 8 Midday at noon (1998)
  • Steve McCauley (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5 and weekends on The News 8 Update at 10 p.m. (2000)
  • Julie Bologna (2012) weekend mornings News 8 Daybreak
Sports team (In order of rank)
  • Dale Hansen - sports director; weeknights at 6 and The News 8 Update at 10 p.m., also host of Dale Hansen's Sports Special (1983)
  • Joe Trahan - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6 and The News 8 Update at 10 p.m., also host of High School Sports Special (2003)
  • George Riba - senior sports reporter (1977)
  • Ted Madden - sports reporter and photographer (2002)
Traffic (In order of rank)
  • Mike Shannon - weekday morning traffic reporter (2003)
  • Michael Scott - airborne traffic reporter (?)
  • Laura Houston - airborne traffic reporter (2003)
Reporters (In alphabetical order)
  • Jonathan Betz - general assignment reporter (2008)
  • Craig Civale - general assignment reporter (2007)
  • Monika Diaz - general assignment reporter (2007)
  • Jim Douglas - senior reporter (1995)
  • Chris Hawes - Fort Worth bureau reporter (2006)
  • Rebecca Lopez - senior reporter (1998)
  • Gary Reaves - senior reporter (1982 1986; 1991-)
  • David Schechter - senior reporter (2005)
  • Janet St. James - senior reporter and health reporter (1996)
  • Steve Stoler - Collin County reporter (2002)
  • Hasti Taghi - general assignment reporter (2011)
  • Cynthia Vega - weekday morning reporter (2000)
  • Brad Watson - Dallas City Hall reporter (1978)
  • Jason Whitely - senior reporter (2008)
  • Walt Zwirko - "Computer Corner" and WFAA.com reporter (1984)
News 8 Investigates
  • Byron Harris - investigative reporter (1970s)
  • Brett Shipp - investigative reporter (1992)

Notable former on-air staff

Radio

WFAA-AM was the radio counterpart to the TV station. It signed on June 26, 1922,[30] and used the WFAA call letters through July 2, 1983. (Thereafter, it was known as "KRQX" until Belo sold it, along with sister station KZEW-FM {the former WFAA-FM,} on January 1, 1987.) WFAA-AM has a rich history of service to the Dallas area. Moving around the AM dial, as most stations did in the 1920s and 1930s, the station settled into a permanent stay at 570 AM by 1938, while splitting time with WBAP at their clear-channel frequency of 820. This was the longest timeshare agreement in the US, starting in 1929 and concluding on April 27, 1970. This was a somewhat bizarre situation that had the stations switching back and forth between frequencies of 570 and 820 at various times of the day. WBAP Radio would broadcast on 820 AM from midnight till six AM, then WFAA would take over until noon. WBAP grabbed the 820 signal back for a few hours, then WFAA would once again take over the frequency. WFAA had the signal during prime evening hours when the 50,000 watt signal could often be heard as far away as California in the west and New York in the east (there were many fewer stations on a night, reducing interference.)

WFAA-AM was the first network-affiliated station in Texas (initially with NBC beginning April 2, 1923; later with Texas Quality Network, then ABC [to August 1, 1975] and CBS thereafter,) the first US station to carry educational programs, the first to produce a serious radio drama series, the first to air a state championship football game, and the first to air presidential inaugural ceremonies. WFAA-AM was home to the long-running morning program, "The Early Birds", hosted by John Allen; "Hymns We Love", "Saturday Night Shindig", "The Big D Jamboree", "Murray Cox RFD", "Slo-and-Ezy", and later, "57 Nostalgia Place."

After many years of an entertainment/variety format, the station flipped to Middle of the Road in 1970, followed by Top 40. On Election Day 1976, the station made its final format change to News/Talk (as "Newstalk 570.")

WFAA-AM was initially located in a 9' x 9' tent on the roof of The Dallas Morning News; to the Morning News library thereafter; to the Baker Hotel on October 1, 1925; atop the Santa Fe Railroad Warehouse on Jackson St. from June 20, 1941 to April 4, 1961 (the building still has "WFAA" clearly painted along a panel on the top floor) and finally to Communications Center at Young and Record Streets.

Sister station WFAA-FM was the first FM to sign on in Texas, beginning October 5, 1946 as "KERA-FM" (no relation to the current radio and TV station known under the same call letters,) although its roots go back to an experimental FM station "W5X1C" that signed on October 15, 1945, and another experimental trial dating back to 1939. By 1947, it had moved from its original home at 94.3 FM to a preferred location in the center of the dial at 97.9 FM. With FM broadcasting in its infancy, WFAA-FM signed on and off the air for months and even two years at a time before settling on a permanent broadcast schedule by 1965. Initially a simulcast of the AM side, it programmed MOR and Beautiful Music until 1973, then flipped to album oriented rock (AOR) as KZEW-FM (known to listeners as The Zoo) on September 16, 1973. Featuring talent such as John LaBella and John Rody ("LaBella and Rody,") George Gimarc, Charley Jones, Dave Lee Austin, John B. Wells, Nancy Johnson, John Dew, John Dillon, Doc Morgan and Tempie Lindsey, the station's concept and programming were initially under the direction of Ira Lipson. The FM station shared studio locations with WFAA-AM on the second floor of the facility. The FM station is currently an urban-format radio station called KBFB-FM, 97.9 The Beat.

References

Specific references: General references:

External links

fr:WFAA pt:WFAA-TV






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