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|Los Angeles, California|
|Branding||ABC 7 |
ABC 7 Eyewitness News
|Slogan||Welcome to the Circle|
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)|
(shared with KRCA)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
|Owner||ABC Owned Television Stations|
(a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company)
|Licensee||ABC Holding Company, Inc.|
|First air date||September 16, 1949|
|Call sign meaning||American|
|Sister station(s)||KSPN, KRDC|
|Former call signs||KECA-TV (1949–1954)|
|Former channel number(s)|
Live Well Network (until 2020)
|Transmitter power||28.7 kW|
50 kW (CP)
|Height||978 m (3,209 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
KABC-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, is an ABC owned-and-operated television station licensed to Los Angeles, California, United States, serving as the network's West Coast flagship outlet. The station is owned by the ABC Owned Television Stations subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. KABC-TV's studios are located on Circle Seven Drive in Glendale, and its transmitter is located on Mount Wilson.
Channel 7 first signed on the air under the call sign KECA on September 16, 1949. It was the last television station licensed to Los Angeles operating on the VHF band to debut and the last of ABC's five original owned-and-operated stations to make its debut, after San Francisco's KGO-TV, which signed on four months earlier. It was also the last of the Los Angeles "classic seven" TV stations which were originally on the VHF dial, prior to the 2009 digital conversions. (No other stations debuted in Los Angeles until 1962, when the first two UHF Los Angeles stations launched (KIIX [now KWHY-TV] and KMEX-TV, channels 22 and 34, respectively).
The station's call sign was named after Los Angeles broadcasting pioneer Earle C. Anthony, whose initials were also present on channel 7's then-sister radio station, KECA (790 AM, now KABC). On February 1, 1954, KECA-TV changed its call sign to KABC-TV.
Originally, KABC-TV was located at the ABC Television Center, now called The Prospect Studios, on Prospect Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, east of Hollywood. In December 2000, KABC-TV moved to nearby Glendale into a new state-of-the-art facility designed by César Pelli, as part of the Disney Grand Central Creative Campus (GC3), on the site of the former Grand Central Airport. The station is currently located four miles (6 km) east (along the corridor of the Los Angeles River and State Route 134) of ABC's West Coast headquarters on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.
KABC-TV has used the Circle 7 logo since 1962 (the same year ABC created and implemented its current logo) and augmented its bottom left quadrant with the ABC network logo in 1997. The station's news anchors and reporters wear Circle 7 lapel pins when they appear on camera, a practice that had once been standard at each of the original five ABC-owned stations.
On February 4, 2006, KABC-TV became the first television station in the state of California to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition using HD cameras in the studio. Along with the in-house upgrades, the station debuted its updated news set and theme music to Frank Gari's Eyewitness News.
KABC-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, at noon on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 53, 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 VHF channel 7 for post-transition operations. After the transition occurred, some viewers had difficulty receiving KABC's signal, despite operating at a high effective radiated power of 25,000 watts. On March 31, 2009, KABC-TV filed an application with the FCC to upgrade its signal strength to 28,700 watts. It was granted a construction permit on March 3, 2011.
In July 2010, The Walt Disney Company became engaged in a carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable. This dispute involved KABC-TV and three other ABC owned-and-operated stations, Disney Channel and the ESPN family of networks. If a deal had not been made, all of the Disney-owned channels would have been removed from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks systems across the United States. The companies reached a long-term agreement to keep the stations and their sister cable channels on Time Warner Cable and its co-managed systems on September 2, 2010.
Digital channel 7.3 previously carried programming from The Local AccuWeather Channel; it was replaced with a standard-definition feed of the Live Well Network in 2010. On April 15, 2015, the comedy network Laff replaced the standard-definition feed of LWN on 7.3. ABC Stations rebranded Live Well Network on .2 as Localish on February 17, 2020 to add an outlet for the Localish lifestyle content.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|7.1||720p||16:9||KABC-DT||Main KABC-TV programming / ABC|
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KABC-TV currently broadcasts 51 hours and 25 minutes of locally produced newscasts each week (with 7 hours, 35 minutes each weekday; 6½ hours on Saturdays; and 7 hours on Sundays). As is typical of ABC stations and major network affiliates in general, KABC-TV produces an hour-long newscast at 4 p.m. on weekend afternoons. KABC-TV formerly operated a news bureau in California's state capital of Sacramento, sharing resources with sister stations KGO-TV in San Francisco and KFSN-TV in Fresno; the bureau was closed in 2014. The station also has bureaus located within its viewing area, in Riverside and Orange. In the 1980s, the station also had a bureau located in Ventura.
Lew Irwin Reports, the station's first locally produced newscast, debuted in 1957. Initially, the 15-minute program was broadcast Monday through Saturday at 11:00 p.m. and featured Irwin delivering a news summary prepared by KABC Radio news writers, followed by a seven-minute feature written by Irwin that included footage shot for the program by the MGM-owned newsreel company Telenews. Irwin interviewed a host of public figures for the program, including former President Harry S. Truman, former Senator John F. Kennedy, philosopher Bertrand Russell, actor Marlon Brando, H-bomb scientist Edward Teller, and poets Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg. Irwin's features often included news-breaking investigations into such controversial topics as migrant workers, police brutality, proprietary hospitals, disc jockey payola, the Hollywood blacklist, and the John Birch Society. In a letter to the chief of ABC News, James Hagerty, in 1961, Sandburg wrote: "He is one of the great reporters in America today....I could make a case that he is one of the most useful citizens." In 1962, a new KABC-TV program director for the station mounted a second newscast on the station (following John Daly's network newscast in the early evening) presented by Ed Fleming, who had previously worked for rival KNXT. A few months later, he decided to feature Fleming and Irwin on both the early-evening and late-night newscasts, with Fleming delivering the news and Irwin a long-form feature. After numerous clashes between the program director and Irwin, Irwin resigned in 1962 citing creative differences. He was eventually succeeded by KCOP newscaster Baxter Ward, who was backed by the station's first staff film crew.
KABC-TV first adopted the Eyewitness News format for its newscasts in February 1969, not long after it became popular on New York City sister station WABC-TV. Like the other ABC-owned stations, KABC-TV used the "Tar Sequence" cue from the soundtrack of the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke as its theme music, and continued to use it even after other channels adopted an updated version of the theme, the Frank Gari-composed "News Series 2000". Later on, the original Cool Hand Luke theme was used by the station only during the main newscast. The station's newscasts used a synthesized version of the old theme (composed by Frank Becker) during the mid-1980s, before KABC-TV picked up the "News Series 2000" package in 1990. In 1995, KABC began using Gari Media Group's "Eyewitness News" music package, which remains as the station's news theme.
Bill Bonds and Stu Nahan were KABC-TV's first anchor team under the Eyewitness News banner. Within two years, unable to upend the dominance of KNXT (now KCBS-TV)'s The Big News and Eleven O'Clock Report with Jerry Dunphy and KNBC's Newservice format, Bonds returned to his previous ABC assignment at WXYZ-TV in Detroit and Nahan became the station's lead sportscaster. A succession of anchors – Joseph Benti, Barney Morris, John Schubeck and Judd Hambrick – followed, but the newscast gained its greatest growth in August 1975 when KABC-TV hired Dunphy as its lead anchor, following his firing from KNXT. Though initially paired with newcomer John Hambrick, Dunphy later partnered with reporter Christine Lund, and that duo led KABC-TV to local news supremacy well into the 1980s. Others who have reported or anchored for KABC-TV include Lisa McRee, Harold Greene, Tawny Little, Laura Diaz, Paul Moyer, Chuck Henry, Johnny Mountain, George Fischbeck, Judd Rose, and Bill Weir. Former KABC-TV sports reporters and anchors include former NFL players Lynn Swann, Gene Washington, Jim Hill, and Bob Chandler; and former Major League Baseball player (and current Los Angeles Dodgers radio analyst and play-by-play announcer) Rick Monday.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the station's newscasts often included spirited miniature debates and commentaries reflecting various political viewpoints. Several notable politicians and political pundits appeared on these segments, including Proposition 13 backer Howard Jarvis, former U.S. Representative and Senator John Tunney, Bruce Herschensohn, Bill Press and Baxter Ward. In addition, KABC-TV aired brief editorials from the station's general manager, most notably John Severino, who served throughout the 1980s. This practice was discontinued in 1990.
During the 1980s, KABC-TV was one of a few stations in the country to run a three-hour block of local newscasts on weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. The station was the first in the region to introduce an hour-long newscast at 4 p.m., first anchored by Jerry Dunphy and Tawny Little in September 1980. Before this, the station ran two hours of news from 5 to 7 p.m. The station reduced this block by one half-hour in 1990, when it moved World News Tonight from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For a time in the late 1980s, its 6:30 p.m. newscast was titled Eyewitness Update and served as a final recap of the day's news, similar in nature to an 11 p.m. newscast. KABC-TV is one of three ABC stations on the West Coast to air World News at 6:30 p.m. (the two other ABC stations to do this being KGTV in San Diego and KAEF in Eureka); most other ABC stations in the western United States run the program at either 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. When the network soap opera Port Charles ended its run in 2003, KABC-TV expanded its midday newscast to a full hour. Occasionally, KABC-TV has aired the live East Coast edition of World News Tonight at 3:30 p.m.; ABC has faced allegations that this additional airing is intended to increase the program's total audience.
On January 13, 2014, KABC-TV began producing an hour-long evening newscast on Anaheim-based independent KDOC-TV (channel 56); the newscast airs seven nights a week. Concurrently, KDOC also added a midnight rebroadcast of KABC's 11 p.m. newscast. KABC is the fifth ABC owned-and-operated station to enter into a news share agreement (after WTVD, KGO-TV, WPVI-TV and KFSN-TV). On May 31, 2016, KABC added a 3 p.m. newscast on weekdays, competing with KTLA's newscast at that time slot. On September 10, 2018, KABC became the third television station in the market to expand its weekday morning newscast to three hours, with an additional half-hour at 4:00 a.m.
On September 30, 2015, the KABC-TV studios in Glendale were evacuated due to a bomb threat. The station's employees were evacuated and forced the station off-the-air; the suspect who was responsible for the threat was a 22-year-old Glendale man, who was arrested on October 14, 2015. As a result, the 4:00 p.m. newscast was temporarily moved outside the studio, while the police swept the studio with bomb-sniffing dogs inside. At 4:42 p.m., the station's employees were allowed to re-enter the studio and the newscast continued from the studio after the threat.
In February 2017, the station's news helicopter, AIR7HD, received an upgrade and debuted two new features: XTREME Vision and SkyMap7. XTREME Vision uses an advanced zoom lens and is able to track vehicle speeds in real time. SkyMap7 uses augmented reality to allow viewers to see street names overlaying the camera, which allows for the identification of streets at night. Both features are powered by the SHOTOVER F1 Live.
The introduction of the Eyewitness News format, followed by the addition of syndicated staples such as The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, Live with Kelly and Ryan and its predecessors in 1991, and Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in 1992, has allowed KABC-TV to maintain a substantial ratings advantage over its competition. Leveraging the strength of its sizeable lead-in at 3 p.m. by the now-defunct Oprah, KABC-TV has long held first or second in the ratings for its 4 to 6:30 p.m. news block. However, ratings leads for the morning and late news have typically been expensive battles with local stations KTLA and KTTV in the morning, and KNBC (and recently KCBS-TV) at 11 p.m.
With its across-the-board ratings success in hand, the station has been known to run quick five-second promos throughout the day that feature the slogan, "ABC7 – #1 in news, #1 in Southern California." This is a throwback to its openers during the 1980s, when the station proudly proclaimed itself "Number One in Southern California." On November 1, 2015, the station debuted a new set along with new graphics.
KABC-TV, as well as the other Disney owned television stations, has a large presence on several social media platforms. In May 2014, it was announced[by whom?] that the station was the first one in the United States to surpass one million likes on Facebook.
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Owing to its common ownership with ESPN, KABC-TV became the designated broadcast home of Los Angeles Rams games in 2016 for the team's appearances on Monday Night Football. KABC-TV only carries the Rams' Monday Night Football games from that year onward while other games are split between four other television stations: KCBS-TV through the NFL on CBS and its preseason Rams telecasts, including the network's Thursday night games (2016–2017), KNBC through NBC Sunday Night Football and NBC-produced Thursday night games (2016–2017), KTLA through games telecast exclusively by NFL Network, and KTTV through Fox NFL Sunday and Fox-produced Thursday night games (2018–present). The station also produces and broadcasts the Rams' team shows on Saturday nights during the regular season, with comedian Jay Mohr serving as host. The same broadcast schedule applies for the Los Angeles Chargers, after they relocated from San Diego. The station also carries NFL postseason wild card games. The Chargers named KABC-TV the team's official English-language television broadcaster beginning in 2017, giving KABC-TV access to preseason telecasts and weekly magazines.
In addition, KABC-TV carries NBA games involving the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers through the league's contract with the network. The station has carried the Lakers' 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals appearances, including the team's championship victories in the latter two years.
KABC-TV produces several local shows including Vista L.A. (which profiles Latino life in Southern California), and Eye on L.A. (which has been on the air in some form since the early 1980s). On weekends, the station airs Eyewitness Newsmakers, hosted by reporter Adrienne Alpert. The station produces sports shows under various names throughout the year, all formerly under the name ABC 7 Sports Zone, which formerly originated from the ESPN Zone in Anaheim: Rams Primetime Saturday airs following the network's telecasts of Saturday Night college football games; during the NBA season, the station airs Slam Dunk Saturday/Sunday following Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games. Most ABC 7 Sports Zone shows previously originated from local sports venues including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Exposition Park, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and Staples Center in Los Angeles, but shows are now produced from the station's Glendale studios. It is hosted by Rob Fukuzaki, and is joined during the basketball season by former Laker great Michael Cooper. The program is a spin-off of Monday Night Live, which aired on KABC-TV from 1989 until Monday Night Football left the network after the 2005 NFL season. That show was hosted by Todd Donoho until 1997, and later Bill Weir and Rob Fukuzaki and featured an extensive trivia contest.
Prior to ABC's annual telecasts of the Academy Awards, KABC-TV produces a live pre-awards show and post-awards show, On the Red Carpet at the Oscars, featuring red carpet interviews and fashion commentary. This show also airs on the network's other O&O stations and is syndicated to several ABC affiliates and other broadcasters outside the country.
In the past, KABC-TV featured various locally produced shows such as AM Los Angeles; a morning talk show which at various times featured personalities Regis Philbin, Sarah Purcell, Ralph Story, Tawny Little, Cristina Ferrare, Cyndy Garvey, and Steve Edwards as hosts. Edwards also hosted a short-lived afternoon show in the mid-1980s called 330, which aired after the ABC soap opera The Edge of Night (Live with Kelly and Ryan, formerly co-hosted by Philbin until 2011 and produced at New York sister station WABC-TV, now occupies the former time slot of AM Los Angeles).
On April 30, 1954, KABC-TV aired a preview program, Dig Me Later, Vampira, hosted by Maila Nurmi at 11 p.m. The Vampira Show premiered on the same night. For the first four weeks, the show aired at midnight, and it moved to 11 p.m. on May 29. Ten months later, on March 5, 1955, the series began airing at 10:30 p.m. As Vampira, Nurmi introduced films while wandering through a hallway of mist and cobwebs. Her horror-related comedy antics included talking to her pet spider Rollo and encouraging viewers to write for epitaphs instead of autographs. When the series was cancelled in 1955, she retained rights to the character of Vampira.
In 1964, Pinky Lee attempted a return to kids television by hosting a local children's comedy program on KABC-TV. The series was also seen in national syndication from 1964 to 1965. But the program fell prey to creative interference from the show's producers and from station management. Lee tried to fight off the creative interference, but his efforts were for naught. The 1960s version of The Pinky Lee Kids TV Show went off the air after one season.
From 2010 to 2014, the station also produced a weekly entertainment program OnTheRedCarpet, hosted by Rachel Smith. This program also aired on other ABC-owned stations, and was later syndicated to other ABC and non-ABC affiliates.
KABC is rebroadcast on the following translator stations: