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KVIA-TV
El Paso, Texas
Branding ABC 7
Slogan Where News Comes First
Channels Analog: 7 (VHF)

Digital: 17 (UHF)

Affiliations ABC
The CW (DT2)
StormTRACK 24/7 (DT3)
LATV (DT4)
Owner News-Press & Gazette Company
Licensee NPG of Texas, LP
First air date September 1, 1956
Call letters' meaning V-I-A is derived from the Roman numeral for 7 which represented former sister station KVII’s ch. number in Amarillo. The A could also stand for ABC.
Former callsigns KILT (1956-1957)
KELP-TV (1957-1979)
Former channel number(s) 13 (1956-1981)
Transmitter Power 316 kW (analog)
263 kW (digital)
Height 592 m (analog)
577 m (digital)
Facility ID 49832
Website ABC 7's Website

KVIA-TV is an ABC affiliate in El Paso, Texas. It broadcasts its analog signal on VHF channel 7 and its DT signal on UHF channel 17. It is owned by and was the flagship TV station of the News-Press & Gazette Company of St. Joseph, Missouri before the company acquired KRDO-TV. Its transmitter is located in El Paso.

HistoryEdit

The station signed on the air on 01 Sep 1956 on ch. 13, originally as KILT and was owned by famous TV 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 of 1957. The TV station became KELP-TV before the John B. Walton Jr. purchase in January of 1966.

The KELP EraEdit

KELP-TV was the third station on in the growing El Paso area. Ch. 4, KROD-TV (now KDBC-TV), signed on in late 1952 from a mountain top site at Comanche Peak. Ch. 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 & 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 & 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). The transmitter of ch. 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 1960’s & 1970’s, KELP-TV may have been the only TV station in the country with an outdoor swimming pool. The old KELP-TV Ch. 13 was home to the popular dance show Crosno's Hop, hosted by the late El Paso radio DJ Steve Crosno in the 1960s.

As KVIAEdit

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 KCOS on 10 Jul 1981, moving from channel 13 to channel 7. It 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 TV, many smaller market network affiliates had to arrange their own network connections. KELP-TV leased mountain tops between Phoenix, AZ and El Paso. They picked up KTVK in Phoenix (an ABC affiliate until the mid-1990s) and KGUN-TV in 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 1976-1993, KVIA had a satellite station based in Carlsbad, New Mexico; KAVE-TV, Ch. 6, which carried a circle 6 logo & later renamed it KVIO to better identify it with the parent station. That station is now a satellite affiliate of Albuquerque's KOAT-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 TV history. Their run ended @ 10:50 PM on Wed 21 May 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 @ 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, MA's NBC affiliate WHDH & Miami, FL's FOX affiliate WSVN. KVIA's current slogan is "Where News Comes First".

Problems with the transition to HD NewsEdit

On 08 Aug 2008, KVIA started to claim they were showing their news in HD, while actually broadcasting in Stretch-o-Vision. This has been reported on the El Paso HDTV Thread at the AVSForum.

On 11 Aug 2008, KVIA started to broadcast their news in Widescreen starting with their 4 PM news. However the broadcast does not seem to be the true 16:9 Widescreen of HDTV but rather another aspect ratio that is taller like 16:10 or 32:21. This may have been done temporarily while the adjust the graphics for 16:9.

On 25 Aug 2008, KVIA started to broadcast their news in HD, becoming the second TV Station in El Paso to do so.

DTV Edit

The station's DT channel is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Virtual
Channel
Physical
RF Channel
Video Aspect Programming
7.1 17.1 720p 16:9 Main KVIA-TV programming / ABC HD
7.2 17.2 480i 4:3 The CW
7.3 17.3 480i 4:3 StormTrack 24/7 Weather
7.4 17.4 480i 4:3 LATV

Post-analog shutdownEdit

After the analog TV shutdown and DT conversion, which took place on 17 Feb 2009, KVIA-TV moved DT broadcasts to its analog channel 7.

News/Station PresentationEdit

Newscast TitlesEdit

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

Station SlogansEdit

  • 7 Together/Better Together (mid 1980s-1993)
  • The News Leader (late 1980s-1993)
  • The News Station (1993-1998)
  • Where News Comes First (1998-present)

PersonalitiesEdit

AnchorsEdit

  • Celina Avila - ABC 7 News @ 4
  • Rick Cabrera - ABC 7 News @ 5, 6 & 10
  • Estela Casas - ABC 7 News @ 5, 6 & 10
  • Hillary Floren - Good Morning El Paso
  • Ashlie Hardway - ABC 7 News Weekend @ 5, 6 & 10
  • Bob Harp - Good Morning El Paso & ABC 7 News @ Noon
  • Abe Lubetkin - Good Morning El Paso Weekend
  • Ken Molestina - ABC 7 News Weekend @ 5, 6 & 10
  • Marissa Monroy - Good Morning El Paso Weekend
  • Stephanie Valle - ABC 7 News @ Noon

ReportersEdit

  • Rachel Abell - General Assignment Reporting
  • Celina Avila - General Assignment Reporting
  • Martin Bartlett - General Assignment Reporting
  • Ashlie Hardway - General Assignment Reporting
  • Darren Hunt - General Assignment Reporting
  • 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 SportsEdit

  • Raul Martinez - Weekdays on ABC 7 News @ 6 & 10
  • Autumn Sam - Weekends on ABC 7 News @ 5, 6 & 10

StormTRACK WeatherEdit

  • "Doppler" Dave Speelman - Chief Meteorologist, ABC 7 News @ 4, 5, 6 & 10
  • Amber Sullins - Meteorologist, Good Morning El Paso & ABC 7 News @ Noon
  • Andrew Chung - Meteorologist, Good Morning El Paso Weekend
  • Karla Huelga - StormTRACKER Weekends ABC 7 News @ 5, 6 & 10

Former Staff MembersEdit

  • Fred Albers (Now @ KTSM-TV)
  • Tamma Algood
  • Margaret Althoff (news anchor & host of PM Magazine; ex-wife of former KVIA GM Art Olivas)
  • Cindi Angelini
  • Nichole Ayoub (now @ KDBC-TV)
  • Joel Bergeron
  • Robert Bettes (now @ KDBC-TV)
  • Mike Borschow
  • Stu Bowersox
  • Sterling Brooks (news anchor & host of PM Magazine)
  • Stephanie Carpenter
  • Jaime Chavez
  • Chris Chesrown
  • Dolly Cisneros
  • Jerry Clark (Deceased)
  • Tom Costello (Now @ NBC network)
  • K.C. Counts
  • Zoltan Csanyi (Now News Director @ KINT-TV)
  • Alex Delgado (Now @ KSEE-TV)
  • Rick DeReyes
  • Scott Ehret
  • Rob Elgas (Now @ WMAQ-TV)
  • Randy Escamilla
  • Patricio Espinoza (Now @ KXLN-TV)
  • 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 @ WMTV-TV)
  • Rick Glancey
  • Monica Gomez
  • Peggy Haley Ligner (Now a journalism teacher @ El Paso's Coronado High School)
  • Doug Hatt
  • Brian Heap (Now @ WPTY-TV)
  • Julia Hilder (Now owns her own production company in Austin)
  • Al Hinojos
  • Robert Holguin (Now @ KABC-TV)
  • Nev Hough (Graphic artist who designed KVIA's "look" in 1980s/1990s)
  • Carolyn Hughes
  • Amy Jacobson (Formerly of WMAQ-TV)
  • Noreen Jaramillo (Now @ KFOX-TV)
  • David Johnston ("Ono") (Now @ KABC-TV)
  • Richard Jordan (Now @ WSVN-TV)
  • Jason Kadah (Now @ KREM-TV)
  • Dan Krieger
  • Kim Lamb
  • Anita Lopez (now in real-estate in Denver)
  • Kevin Lovell (Now, KVIA's General Manager)
  • Lizette Luna
  • Roger Maier (Now spokesman for U.S. Customs & Border Protection)
  • Lillian Maric
  • Dan Marks
  • Betsy McArthur
  • Micah McCauley (was @ KVUE-TV in Austin, now in Real Estate)
  • Debra McDaniel
  • Myrna Membrila (Now @ KGUN-TV)
  • Raymond Mesa (Now @ KWHY-TV)
  • Suzanne Michaels (Now heads Suzanne Michaels Communications)
  • David Morgan
  • Gary Munday
  • Lise Nielsen
  • Kathy Nemesh (deceased)
  • Bob Nitzburg
  • Elizabeth O'Hara (Now @ KFOX-TV)
  • Roy Ortega (Now @ El Paso Times)
  • Laura Palka (Formerly of WSOC-TV)
  • Richard Pearson
  • Indra Peterson (Now @ KABC-TV)
  • Alexander Perez (Now @ WMAQ-TV)
  • Rick Provencio
  • John Purvis (Now @ KFOX-TV)
  • Whitney "Boscoe" Reese
  • Shea Rial
  • Abel Rodriguez
  • Sheyenne Rodriguez (Now @ WTVD-TV)
  • Lou Romano (Now @ KDBC-TV)
  • Rene Romo (Now @ WSOC-TV)
  • Jayme Rubenstein
  • Kris Sanchez (Now @ KNTV)
  • Jim Scott (Now @ KFOX-TV)
  • Anne Semmer
  • Ty Shesky (Now @ KOB-TV)
  • Stephanie Townsend Allala (Now an attorney in El Paso)
  • Victor Vazquez
  • Udell Vigil (Former news anchor, reporter & producer) Now Dir. of Communications for the City of Las Cruces, NM
  • Gary Warner (Retired in May 2008, following 34 years @ KVIA)
  • Larry Wolpe
  • Joan Zec (formerly of "European Journal"/PBS")
  • Bill Zortman (Now a real estate agent in Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
  • Frank Murillo
  • Karen Theus
  • Lori Allen
  • Martha Saldana
  • Dani Barefoot
  • Jeff Howard (fmr CBS News Regional Coordinator/Producer; 1st news photographer hired; 1st aerial live shot in El Paso)

Programming NotesEdit

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 represents the station's cutting-edge philosophy.

On 20 Apr 2007, KVIA-TV, began broadcasting the CW on Time Warner cable channel 13. The signal is also available on DTV 7.2

External linksEdit

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