KTAL-TV is the NBC television affiliate serving the Shreveport, Louisiana / Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas market. It is licensed to the Texas side of Texarkana, and is the only station in the market licensed outside of Louisiana. Its main studio is located in Shreveport, with a satellite studio in Texarkana. KTAL-TV broadcasts on Channel 6 analog and Channel 15 digital. KTAL is owned by Nexstar Broadcasting. Its transmitter is located in Vivian, Louisiana.
The station launched on August 15
as KCMC-TV by Clyde E. Palmer
(1876-1957), owner of the Texarkana Gazette
and several other newspapers and radio
stations across Arkansas and Texas. It took its calls from KCMC radio (AM 740
and FM 98.1, now KTAL-FM
). The station originally carried programming from all three networks, but was a primary CBS
However, in 1960, CBS announced that it was dropping its affiliation with KCMC-TV because the signal of KSLA-TV in Shreveport decently covered Texarkana. This would have forced KCMC-TV to fall back on its secondary affiliation with the then-weak ABC or go independent--neither of which was a viable option for such a small market. By this time, the Palmer properties had been taken over by Palmer's son-in-law, Walter E. Hussman, Sr. (1906-1988) He persuaded the FCC to collapse Texarkana and Shreveport into a single television market. Hussman then built a new tower in Vivian, north of Shreveport -- the second-tallest in the South at the time. In late 1960, the call letters changed to the current KTAL-TV and it became the NBC affiliate for the enlarged Shreveport/Texarkana market. Shreveport's original NBC affiliate, KTBS, switched to ABC. The call letters not only stand for Channel 6's three-state service area, but also refer to the tower, which brought its signal into parts of four states. For many years, the station was known as "K-Tal." In 1961, KTAL moved most of its operations to a new studio in Shreveport; it also maintains an office in Texarkana as well.
Palmer Newspapers was renamed WEHCO Media, Inc. in 1973. The company is now run by Hussman's son, Walter, Jr. (born 1947).
In 1975, the FCC ruled that WEHCO couldn't own both KTAL-TV and the Texarkana Gazette, but it won an appellate court decision in 1979 that said the FCC had misinterpreted its own rules. In July 2000, WEHCO sold the station to Nexstar. The station rebranded from "NewsChannel 6" to "KTAL: The News Station" in 2006, dropping its channel number, a practice many stations (mostly Fox or CW stations) uses Today.
KTAL is seen on cable
in Shreveport via Comcast
. The station is also carried on 85+ other cable systems in the Ark-La-Tex region. In 2005, Texarkana's Cable One
and Bossier City
's Cox Communications
pulled KTAL's signal over compensation disputes. In accordance with FCC
regulation, KTAL and its owner Nexstar tried to make an agreement with both cable systems to continue carrying KTAL's programming. They claim KTAL wanted both systems to pay for KTAL's transmission. The disagreement began with KTAL/Nexstar requesting 10 cents per subscriber for KTAL to be carried on CableOne and Cox. The basic argument was that satellite providers pay for the right to rebroadcast local affiliates' signals, and that cable operators should, as well. Due to the dispute, Cox and CableOne eventually dropped KTAL-TV from their systems. However, viewers in areas served by CableOne and Cox could still watch the station over-the-air on Dish Network
and on DirecTV
KTAL has since returned to CableOne and Cox, after reaching confidential agreements with both companies. Cox in Bossier City has since been replaced by Suddenlink, which still offers KTAL.
Current On-Air Talent
- Rick Boone, Weekday Evening Anchor/Reporter
- Heidi York, Weekday Evening Anchor/Reporter
- Shelli Briery, Morning Anchor/Reporter
- Jessica James,General Assignment Reporter
- Amber Miller,General Assignment Reporter
- Todd Warren (AMS Certified), Weekday Evening Chief Meteorologist
- Patrick Dennis, Weekday Morning Meteorologist/Fill-in Meteorologist
- Gavin Moberg, Weekend Sports Anchor
- Brandon Dunn, Sports Director
- The News of the Night (1953-1958)
- The Tri-State Report (1958-1960)
- The Television 6 Report (1960-1964)
- The TV-6 News (1964-1974)
- NewsCenter 6 (1974-2002)
- NewsChannel 6 (2002-2006)
- KTAL News (2006-present)
- The News Station (2002-present)
- Keeping You Ahead Of The Storms (weather promo; 2008-present)
- Making A Difference (2008)
"Arkansas paper owner welcomes FCC changes but swears off TV," Associated Press, June 2, 2003.
''Note;Has A sister station in Carthage,tx called KPCT 15.THAT only broadcasts on the internet.