KHOU 11 (general)|
KHOU 11 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||KHOU Stands for Houston|
Digital: 11 (VHF)|
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
(sale to Gannett Company pending)
|First air date||March 23, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||
HOU = airport code for William P. Hobby Airport
|Former channel number(s)||
11 (VHF, 1953–2009)
31 (UHF, 1998–2009)
|Transmitter power||25 kW|
KHOU is the CBS-affiliated television station in Houston, Texas. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 11 from a transmitter in unincorporated northeastern Fort Bend County (near Missouri City). Owned by Belo, KHOU maintains studios along Allen Parkway in the Neartown neighborhood (near Downtown Houston).
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 Programming
- 4 News operation
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Channel 11 originally signed on the air on March 23, 1953, under the callsign KGUL-TV (as in gulf or as in "seagull" ) by Paul Taft of the Taft Broadcasting Co. (not related to Taft Broadcasting Company of Cincinnati, Ohio). Originally licensed to Galveston, it was the second television station to launch in the Houston area (after KPRC-TV). One of the original investors in the station was actor James Stewart, along with a small group of other Galveston investors.
In 1956, the original owners sold the station to the Whitney Corporation (later Corinthian Broadcasting) of Indianapolis, which became a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet in 1971. In June 1959, the station changed its callsign to the current KHOU and had its city of license relocated to Houston. The FCC license listed both the Houston and Galveston service areas for a time. On April 24, 1960, the station moved to its present studio facilities just outside downtown Houston on Allen Parkway. To this date, KHOU is the only local television station in Houston to have its primary studios located close to the downtown area.
In 1984, Dun & Bradstreet sold the Corinthian stations to Belo Corporation. In 1998, channel 11 became the first station in the market to begin broadcasting a high-definition digital signal. The KHOU studios were flooded during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, resulting in damage to much of the station's offices, including its newsroom. The flooding was so severe, the station had to cease normal programming and instead broadcast a feed from the station's doppler radar for roughly 90 minutes.
In 2002, the Houston Texans began play in the National Football League, playing in the American Football Conference's South Division. As part of the AFC, all afternoon road games (and home games against AFC opponents) are aired on CBS, and are therefore aired locally on KHOU. The Texans are one of two teams never to have been blacked out at home, the other being the Baltimore Ravens.
During Hurricane Ike, which hit the Texas Gulf Coast in mid-September 2008, KHOU's coverage was distributed nationwide via DirecTV and XM Satellite Radio, as well as through a live feed on the station's website. On June 12, 2009 as part of the digital television transition, KHOU-DT moved to channel 11, and then by the following week, the station dropped the -TV suffix as most Belo stations did at the time.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|11.1||1080i||16:9||Main KHOU programming / CBS|
On September 26, 2011, KHOU began broadcasting Bounce TV on its second digital subchannel upon the network's launch. The station had previously signed on to carry the .2 Network on one of its digital subchannels, although .2 Network never debuted.
On June 12, 2009, the federally-mandated date for American television stations to cease analog transmissions across the country, KHOU ceased broadcasting programming on analog VHF channel 11. Its digital signal was relocated from UHF channel 31 to its pre-transition VHF analog channel 11.
KHOU has been one of the top-rated CBS affiliates in Texas for over two decades, aided by a strong programming lineup featuring popular syndicated shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and omg! Insider. While KHOU does air the Late Show with David Letterman immediately following its 10 p.m. newscast, it delays The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson by 30 minutes (12:07AM CST) and has done so since the show first aired in 1995. Because the latter program's original host, Tom Snyder, took calls from viewers during his stint as host, KHOU aired a disclaimer pleading viewers not to call CBS due to the broadcast being tape-delayed. However, KHOU's late-night programming quirk is not unprecedented in Houston, as KPRC-TV had long notoriously preempted Late Night with Conan O'Brien during much of its run.
KHOU has been the local television broadcaster of Houston's annual Thanksgiving Day parade, the H-E-B Holiday Parade (formerly the Bank United/Washington Mutual Thanksgiving Day Parade) for well over a decade, and channel 11's telecast of the parade is syndicated to stations around the South Central United States; as a result, KHOU pre-empts the CBS Thanksgiving Day Parade.
KHOU presently broadcasts 28 hours of local newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and one hour on Sundays). Channel 11 has been widely regarded as a stepping stone for many well-known television news personalities, as many of its reporters have gone on to work for national networks. The station's best known former on-air staffers include former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, NBC News correspondent Dennis Murphy, newswomen Linda Ellerbee and Jessica Savitch, and sports anchors Jim Nantz (now with CBS Sports) and Ron Franklin (now with ESPN). KHOU's newscasts currently rank second among the Houston area's news stations (behind ABC-owned KTRK), however they receive decent viewership among middle aged (35-55) and suburban audiences. This is noted since as of 2011, KHOU is the only Houston area station whose traffic reports cover suburban areas, in addition to the Houston freeways.
KHOU also has gained a reputation for its investigative news team (currently known as the "KHOU 11 News I-Team"; and previously known as "11 News Investigates", the "11 News Defenders" and "11 News I-Team"), whose notable investigative stories include its 2000 investigation into defective tire designs by Firestone – which led to the mandatory recall of Wilderness AT, Firestone ATX and ATX II tires, as well as numerous lawsuits (the defective tires resulted in a number of deaths, including that of KTRK reporter Stephen Gauvain) and a story in the early 2000s by former reporter Anna Werner that led to the shutdown of the Houston Police Department's crime lab. The investigative unit has also exposed allegations of dropout rate fraud in the Houston Independent School District, which resulted in the dismissal of several HISD officials.
Beginning in the late 1980s, KHOU hired several high-profile people to its news team. The most notable was former National Hurricane Center director Neil Frank, who hired as the station's chief meteorologist in July 1987. In another key move, KHOU also hired former KTRK anchor Sylvan Rodriguez (then with ABC News' West Coast bureau) to anchor the station's early evening newscasts. KHOU also began to use the "Spirit of Texas" slogan and TM Productions' "Spirit" music package (which originated at sister station WFAA/Dallas) and incorporated a redesigned logo. In January 1989, KHOU revamped the appearance of its newscasts, with an image campaign that included full-page ads in the Houston Chronicle and Post, as well as an on-air promotional campaign that focused more on ordinary citizens throughout Greater Houston than on its news team. With anchors Steve Smith and Marlene McClinton, chief meteorologist Dr. Neil Frank and sports director Giff Nielsen as its main news team, along with a new set, graphics and theme music, KHOU began to mount a serious challenge to the other Houston newscasts, leading to a competitive ratings race during the 1990s.
1999 proved to be a breakout year for KHOU, with its newscasts reaching #1 in viewership in several timeslots during the May sweeps period, unseating KTRK during the midday hours, and at 5 and 6 p.m. The station's ratings boost also included an exclusive interview with Serbian and Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic during the Kosovo War, just a month before his indictment. This news came despite the retirement of longtime anchor Steve Smith, anchor Sylvan Rodriguez's eventually fatal bout with pancreatic cancer and the abrupt resignation of fellow anchor Marlene McClinton during one of the station's newscasts.
On February 4, 2007, following CBS' coverage of Super Bowl XLI, KHOU began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. On September 7, 2009, KHOU-TV expanded its weekday morning newscast with the addition of the 4:30 a.m. program First Look; despite being the last station in the Houston market to launch an early morning newscast, KHOU was the first station in the market to announce its intentions to do so (three of Houston's major network affiliates – KHOU, KTRK-TV and KPRC-TV – launched 4:30 a.m. newscasts within three weeks of each other in the late summer of 2009). On August 1, 2011, KHOU debuted a new half-hour newscast at 4 p.m. on weekdays (the program is the third newscast in the Houston market to have aired in that timeslot, as KPRC debuted their 4 p.m. newscast in 1996 and KTRK debuted a 4 p.m. newscast in 2001).
- The News with Ron Stone (1953-1968)
- Newswatch 11 (1968-1974)
- Newswatch 11 Houston (1974-1975)
- News 11 (1975–1979)
- NewsCenter 11 (1979–1984)
- 11 News (1984–1987 and 1991–2011)
- Channel 11 News (1987–1989)
- KHOU 11 News (1989–1991 and 2011-present)
- "Houston's Way of Looking at the World" (1980–1983)
- "The Spirit of Texas" (1987–2011; used as primary slogan starting in 1999)
- "It's Time To Choose. 11 News." (1999–2002; news slogan)
- "We Go There" (2002–2005; news slogan)
- "Make Sense of Your World" (2006–2008)
- "Standing By You" (2008-2011; used after Hurricane Ike)
- "KHOU Stands For Houston" (2011–present)
- (As KGUL-TV:) "KGUL, K-G-U-L-TV, Houston-Galveston"
- KHOU 11 News First Look - 4:30-5:00 a.m.
- KHOU 11 News This Morning - 5:00-7:00 a.m.
- KHOU 11 News at Noon - 12:00-12:30 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 4:00 - 4:00-4:30 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 5:00 - 5:00-5:30 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 10:00 - 10:00-10:35 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News Saturday Morning - 7:00-9:00 a.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 10:00 - 10:00-10:35 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 5:30 - 5:30-6:00 p.m.
- KHOU 11 News at 10:00 - 10:00-10:35 p.m.
Current on-air staff
- Vicente Arenas - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- Len Cannon - weekdays at 4:00 and weeknights at 6:00 p.m.
- Shern-Min Chow - weekdays at 4:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Greg Hurst - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Lisa Hernandez - weeknights at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Lily Jang - weekday mornings on KHOU 11 News This Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Rekha Muddaraj - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- Ron Trevino - weekday mornings on KHOU 11 News This Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Sherry Williams - Saturday mornings (7:00-9:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Katherine Whaley - weekdays at noon; also weekday morning traffic reporter
- David Paul (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Brooks Garner (AMS Seal of Approval, NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekdays at noon and 4:00 p.m.
- Mario Gomez (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Saturday mornings (7:00-9:00 a.m.) and Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also fill-in meteorologist
- Chita Johnson (AMS Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on KHOU 11 News This Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Bob Allen - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Matt Musil - sports anchor/reporter; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Daniel Gotera - sports reporter; also fill-in sports anchor
- Malini Basu - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Tiffany Craig - general assignment reporter
- Doug Delony - web/tech/social media reporter
- Jeremy Desel - general assignment reporter
- Mia Gradney - general assignment reporter
- Andrew Horansky - general assignment reporter
- Drew Karedes - general assignment reporter
- Angela Kocherga - Belo Mexico City bureau reporter
- Jeff McShan - general assignment reporter
- Doug Miller - general assignment reporter
- Scott Noll - investigative reporter
- Rucks Russell - general assignment reporter
- Kevin Reece - general assignment reporter
- Jeremy Rogalski - investigative reporter
- Larry Seward - general assignment reporter
- Prof. Gerald Treece - legal analyst
- Tim Wetzel - weekday morning reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Brad Woodard - general assignment reporter
- Courtney Zubowski - investigative reporter
Great Day Houston (weekday mornings at 9:00 a.m.; female-oriented light talk with sponsored segments)
- Deborah Duncan - host
Notable former on-air staff
- Reggie Aqui - reporter (mid-2000s; now at KGW-TV)
- Steve Edwards - anchor/talk show host (1972–1975; now at KTTV in Los Angeles)
- Linda Ellerbee - reporter (1972-1973; later with NBC News, now host of Nickelodeon's Nick News)
- Dr. Neil Frank - chief meteorologist (1987–2008; now retired; returns periodically for special weather events)
- Ron Franklin - sports director (1971-1980)
- Dennis Murphy - reporter/assignment editor (1975–1978; now with NBC News)
- Jim Nantz - sports anchor/reporter (1981–1983; now with CBS Sports)
- Chau Nguyen - anchor/reporter (2003–2007)
- Giff Nielsen - sports director (1984–2009)
- Lucy Noland - 5 & 10 p.m. news anchor (now anchors the Noon & 6 p.m. news on KNBC in Los Angeles)
- Dan Patrick - sports anchor (1980s; later conservative talk show host KSEV-AM; now Republican State Senator from Houston)
- Dan Rather - anchor/reporter (early 1960s; former anchor of CBS Evening News)
- Rick Sanchez - reporter (1986–1988; formerly with CNN)
- Alex Sanz - government reporter (2007–2011; now at WPTV in West Palm Beach, FL)
- Jessica Savitch - anchor/reporter (1971–1972; later KYW-TV and NBC News, deceased)
- Janet Shamlian - anchor/reporter (1987–1995; now NBC News)
- Ron Stone - 6 and 10 p.m. anchor (1961–1972; later KPRC-TV, deceased)
- KHOU.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KHOU
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KHOU-TV
- McGraw, Dan X. "KHOU-TV. June 13, 2013.