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KWKT-TV, virtual and UHF digital channel 44, is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Waco, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Dorado Media Group, as part of a duopoly with Bryan-licensed MyNetworkTV affiliate KYLE-TV (channel 28). The two stations maintain studio facilities located on Woodway Drive in Woodway, Texas (using a Waco address); KWKT's transmitter is located near Moody, Texas.

On cable, KWKT can be seen on Charter Spectrum and Grande Communications channel 14. There is a high definition feed offered on Spectrum digital channel 1206 and Grande channel 814.

History[]

The station first signed on the air on March 13, 1988, and has been affiliated with Fox since the station's launch. Beginning with the launch of the block in 1990, KWKT aired Fox Kids programming one hour earlier than many affiliates on weekday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. until the weekday block was discontinued by the network in December 2001, in addition to carrying its successor Saturday morning children's blocks known as Fox Box and later 4KidsTV until the latter block ended nationally in December 2008, when 4Kids Entertainment and Fox parted ways due to a contract dispute.

The station was purchased by Lafayette, Louisiana-based Communications Corporation of America in 1990. KWKT-TV's signal was unable to reach across central Texas because of interference issues experienced by UHF stations operating in rugged terrain; as a result, KWKT signed on KYLE-TV (channel 28) in Bryan as a satellite station on October 31, 1994, in order to provide Fox programming to the entire market. Comcorp would later purchase KYLE outright in 1996 after it was granted a satellite waiver by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In September 2003, KWKT became a secondary affiliate of The WB; with this, that network's primetime schedule aired on KWKT/KYLE on a six-hour delay from 1:00 to 3:00 a.m., with Fox network programming running in pattern from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. At this time, the station also added The WB's children's program block Kids' WB in the time slot formerly occupied by Fox Kids—which KWKT/KYLE replaced with syndicated programs following the discontinuance of the Fox Kids weekday block, lasting until Kids' WB's weekday block was replaced in January 2006 by the Daytime WB rerun block; the station also carried the block's Saturday morning lineup airing a day behind on Sunday mornings.

On February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced the launch of a new network called MyNetworkTV, which would be operated by the Fox network's sister companies Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created to compete against another upstart network that would launch at the same time that September, The CW (an amalgamated network that originally consisted primarily of The WB and UPN's higher-rated programs) as well as to give UPN and WB stations that were not named as CW charter affiliates another option besides converting to independent stations. When MyNetworkTV launched on September 5, 2006, the station carried the programming service as a secondary affiliation from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. each weeknight. As the block became part of The CW's programming schedule with that network's launch on September 18, Kids' WB programming moved to a CW-affiliated digital subchannel of CBS affiliate KWTX-TV (channel 10).

On April 24, 2013, Communications Corporation of America announced the sale of its stations to Portland, Oregon-based Dorado Media Group for $270 million.

On May 7, 2015, Dorado announced that it would convert KYLE into a separate station that would serve as the market's MyNetworkTV affiliate. After becoming the market's sole Fox affiliate on July 1, KWKT replaced the time period previously occupied by MyNetworkTV programming with syndicated programs; it also began simulcasting KYLE on its second digital subchannel to provide its programming to the entire Waco-Temple-Bryan market.

Digital Television[]

Digital channels[]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
44.1 720p 16:9 KWKT-DT Main KWKT-TV programming / Fox
44.2 KYLE-MY Simulcast of KYLE-TV / MyNetworkTV
44.3 KWKT-ES Estrella TV
44.4 KYLE-BOUNCE Bounce TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[]

KWKT-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 44, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station relocated its digital signal from its pre-transition UHF channel 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era UHF channel 44 for post-transition operations.

Programming[]

KWKT-TV carries the entire Fox programming schedule. Prior to the conversion of KYLE into a standalone station, KWKT aired MyNetworkTV programming on a three-hour delay from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.; the MyNetworkTV schedule began airing in pattern from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. after KYLE became a primary MyNetworkTV affiliate on July 1, 2015. Syndicated programs broadcast by KWKT-TV (as of July 2015) include Jerry SpringerMauryDivorce CourtThe People's CourtModern FamilyThe Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. To comply with programming guidelines imposed by the Children's Television Act, the station also carries a half-hour of educational children's programming on Monday through Saturday mornings at 7:00 a.m., consisting solely of low-profile educational programs acquired from the syndication market.

Through Fox's primary rights to the National Football Conference (NFC), the station carries select Sunday afternoon National Football League games involving the Dallas Cowboys, as well as any flex-scheduled games involving the Houston Texans (which play in the American Football Conference) at times when either team plays a home game against an NFC opponent that airs in a Sunday afternoon timeslot.

News operation[]

On January 28, 2008, KWKT premiered a half-hour primetime newscast at 9:00 p.m. titled Fox News Central Texas. The pre-taped newscast is produced by NBC-affiliated sister station KETK-TV in Longview, Texas; similar to other outsourced newscasts by its sister Fox stations in Texas and Louisiana under Comcorp ownership, the program features stories filed by reporters based in the Waco-Temple-Bryan area, with a local forecast segment compiled and presented by KETK's evening meteorologists. The program's debut broadcast was delayed by a half-hour due to Fox's coverage of that year's State of the Union address, before moving to its regular timeslot on January 29.

On April 27, 2009, as part of cost-cutting measures mandated by Comcorp, the program was reduced to a six-minute broadcast; KWKT also added 30-second hourly updates (known as "news blasts") interspersed within syndicated and network programming. The changes resulted in the layoffs of five employees, all of whom worked as reporters or assignment editors. On September 20, 2010, it was expanded to a half-hour and was retitled to Fox 44 News at Nine.

On May 8, 2015, the Dorado Media Group announced plans to expand local news programming on KWKT-TV in early 2016. KWKT transferred production of its newscasts to Waco when it launched its news department on July 8, 2017, coinciding with its expansion of the Saturday editions of its 9:00 p.m. newscast to one hour; this was followed by the debut of a half-hour 5:30 p.m. newscast—which airs only on Monday through Friday evenings—on July 10. 

Dorado Media Group
ABC affiliates: KTUL WCHS-TV WSYX

CBS affiliates: WRGB
The CW affiliates: KCWI-TV KDAF KFRE KIAH KNVA KPLR-TV KUCW KXTU-LD WCCT-TV WCWN WDCW WKCF WLVI WNAB WNLO WQCW WSFL-TV WSWB WTVX WUCW WVTV WWMB
Fox affiliates: KAYU-TV KCIT KDSM-TV KFXA KLRT-TV KSWB-TV KWKT-TV WACH WDAF-TV WDKY-TV WMSN-TV
MyNetworkTV affiliates: KAIL KAME-TV KASY-TV KFVE KMYU KRON-TV WCTX WMYA-TV WNDY-TV WNYO WQMY WRDC WSTR-TV WTCN-CA WUXP-TV WXSP-CD
NBC affiliates: WJAR KMTR


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