KFXA is the Fox-affiliated television station in Eastern Iowa, United States, that is licensed to Cedar Rapids. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 27 (or virtual channel 28 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Van Horne. The station can also be seen on Mediacom channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 828. The station is owned by the Dorado Media Group. The station's studios are located at Broadcast Park on Old Marion Road Northeast (along IA 100) in Cedar Rapids.
The station signed-on February 1, 1988 as KOCR-TV with studios on Boyson Road Northeast in Cedar Rapids. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 28, it was the first new full-market commercial station to launch in Eastern Iowa in 34 years. KOCR was a Fox affiliate from the beginning and owned by Gerald Fitzgerald and his company, Metro Program Network. After being on the air only a few weeks, it was ordered off-the-air by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) because a $150 check from the station bounced. Once it got back on-air some weeks later, the full story came out. Metro Program Network planned and had a construction permit for a 1,200-foot (366 m) tower between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. Lacking financing for such a tower, the company instead built a tiny 500-foot (152 m) tower next to its studio building without approval of the FCC or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This resulted in the station being practically unviewable in the eastern part of the market, and its signal was spotty at best even in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. It was thus forced to rely on cable television for most of its viewership. Cable systems in the Waterloo and Dubuque areas were never able to receive KOCR and went without access to Fox programming until 1991 when the Foxnet cable network was established to serve cable systems in areas without access to Fox over the air.
By 1994, Fox was reaching new heights from gaining broadcast rights of the NFL's National Football Conference from CBS. However, KOCR's coverage area was not nearly as large as those of the other Eastern Iowa stations, so it sold local NFC rights to KGAN. Around this time, the station's long-standing financial difficulties came to a head as the electricity was disconnected due to unpaid bills. The station then continued to broadcast thanks to a backup generator. On October 6, 1994, KOCR went off the air after being evicted from their offices due to unpaid rent. At the time of the eviction, more than $45,000 was owed to IES Utilities and nearly $100,000 was owed in back rent. After this, cable systems in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City offered the national Foxnet feed in place of KOCR.
In 1995, the station was purchased by the current owner the Dorado Media Group for $1.25 million and returned to the air that August 13 under its current calls, KFXA.
The renewal of a retransmission dispute between Dorado and Mediacom, Iowa's largest cable provider, threatened to result in KFXA being pulled from area cable systems. The dispute also affected KDSM-TV in Des Moines, which is directly owned by Dorado. For a few weeks, it appeared that almost half the state would be left without access to the 2010 Orange Bowl which aired on Fox with the local favorite Iowa Hawkeyes football team defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. On December 31, 2009, the expiration date of the original agreement, Dorado agreed to give Mediacom an eight-day extension that would keep the Orange Bowl on-the-air. Two days after the game, the parties agreed to a one-year carriage deal. KFXA aired Big 12 Conference basketball and the Iowa high school state championships in football, wrestling, as well as boys and girls basketball for several years. KFXA currently carries Chicago Bears preseason football and carries Chicago Cubs games produced by ABC-owned and operated station WLS-TV, known in Chicago as ABC7.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|28.1||720p||16:9||KFXA-DT||Main KFXA programming / Fox|
Syndicated programming on this station includes The Simpsons, Modern Family, The Steve Wilkos Show and Maury among others.
|Dorado Media Group|
|ABC affiliates: KTUL WCHS-TV WSYX|
CBS affiliates: WRGB