Tulsa, Oklahoma
BrandingKOTV 6 (general)
The News on 6 (newscasts)

Digital: 55 (UHF)

The CW (DT2, simulcast of KQCW)
This TV (DT3)
Wealth TV (DT4)
Owner Griffin Communications, LLC
(Griffin Tulsa I Licensing, LLC)
First air dateOctober 22, 1949
Call letters’ meaningOklahoma
Sister station(s)KQCW KWTV
Former channel number(s)Analog:
6 (1954-2009)
Former affiliationsAll secondary:
NBC/ABC/DuMont (1949-1954)
Paramount (1949-1953)DT3: ABC Family (2006-2009)
Transmitter Power970 kW
Height490.4 m
Facility ID35434
Transmitter CoordinatesTemplate:Coord

KOTV is the CBS affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the United States. KOTV broadcasts from studios in downtown Tulsa. KOTV's transmitter is located in Oneta. KOTV has yet to say when their local news broadcasts will be available in HD.

The station currently broadcasts its digital signal on UHF channel 55. After completion of digital conversion, KOTV will broadcast on digital channel 45. On cable, KOTV can be seen on channel 6 on Cox Tulsa.


In 1946, the Griffin family, owners of KTUL-AM, assigned Helen Alvarez to make a study of television's chances of success in Tulsa. After two years of research, Alvarez suggested that the Griffins apply for a TV construction permit as quickly as possible. The radio executives decided TV was too risky a venture, and planned to wait a year before going to the FCC to apply for a TV license. Unfortunately, due to a freeze on television applications, the Griffins would face a much longer wait to get into television, but eventually did so when KTVX (now KTUL) signed on in 1954.

Alvarez immediately resigned and began casting about for investors willing to get a station on the air right away. At a party, she was introduced to Texas oilman George Cameron, who was looking to spend monthly royalty checks totaling $50,000 he was banking. Along with crack salesman John Hill, who was working for a Tulsa wire maker, Cameron and Alvarez formed Cameron Television Corporation and applied to the FCC for channel 6 in Tulsa. With no other applications to consider, the FCC granted a construction permit to the Cameron Television Corporation in the spring of 1948.

It wasn't granted for KOTV, as Cameron had requested, but for KOVB. A typo on the application meant the request had to be re-filed, and in May 1948, the FCC approved the call sign change to KOTV. Alvarez negotiated the lease of the International Harvester dealership and repair shop at Third Street and Frankfort Avenue, and it was converted into what was then the nation's largest television studio. The station still broadcasts from there today.

KOTV's transmitter, built in the backyard of Chief Engineer George Jacobs, was eventually hoisted to the top of the National Bank of Tulsa Building in downtown Tulsa. Alvarez had spent a year convincing bank officers that the tower would be both safe and in time, become a local landmark. While the tower was being installed, a workman's wrench fell and struck a woman passing below on the head. She died instantly.

Detractors jumped on the accident proclaiming KOTV was "jinxed" from the start. They took to calling it "Cameron's Folly," and speaking at a Tulsa Chamber of Commerce luncheon, a Tulsa radio executive said anyone investing in KOTV or buying a television set was "foolish." However, Cameron Television continued on, and on October 22, 1949, KOTV signed on as Tulsa's first television station, the 90th television station in the United States and the second in Oklahoma. Alvarez was the station's first general manager, and along with Hill held a minority ownership stake in the station.

The station's first broadcast was a test pattern, seen by a handful of viewers across Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. More than a month later, on November 23 KOTV broadcast its first local program, a live Chamber of Commerce meeting attended by many of the station's original critics.

A week later, the station presented a "Special Dedication Program" featuring Oklahoma Governor Roy Turner, Tulsa Mayor Roy Lundy, singer Patti Page, Leon McAuliffe and his western swing band and Miss Oklahoma Louise O'Brien. The next day, December 1, KOTV broadcast a two-hour sampling of the top programs from all five networks. Over 3,000 television sets were placed throughout the city for public viewing, some of them set on sidewalks outside appliance stores. After several days of this sampling, the public began to buy TV sets and KOTV began having a small, but growing, viewing audience in the Four States area.

KOTV originally carried programming from all four networks of the time--CBS, ABC, NBC and DuMont. It also briefly carried some programs produced by the "Paramount Television Network," a link between KTLA in Los Angeles and WBKB (now WBBM-TV) in Chicago. Even though relations between KOTV and all the networks were smooth, KOTV showed a preference for CBS over the others. At first, network programming was aired about a week after being broadcast live on the East Coast; it would be 1952 before a microwave link with New York City made live network programming possible.

Three hours of programming were filled in the evening. With a broadcast schedule that began at 12:30pm, Channel 6 filled the rest of its schedule with local programming that was broadcast live. The cooking program "Lookin' At Cookin'" began a 32-year run that first year, broadcast from the nation's first "Telecast Kitchen." Eventually, the show was cut down to a 5-minute show and was retitled "Coffee Break," which aired at 10:55 a.m. and pre-empted Douglas Edwards' "CBS Midday Newsbreak." In 1981, the kitchen was shut down.

KOTV had a live wrestling program, and when the station's staff announcer Bob Hower ended his shift as host of the game show "Wishing Well," he became Tulsa's first news anchorman, reading Associated Press and United Press wire copy headlines for 15 minutes, four times a week.

In 1952, Cameron sold KOTV to another Texas oil magnate, Jack Wrather, for $2.5 million (by comparison, it had cost only $400,000 to build the station). Wrather knew little about television, and persuaded Alvarez to stay on as general manager. He also made her a full partner in what was named the Wrather-Alvarez Television Corporation, later renamed the General Television Corporation.

In 1953, KOTV began airing another live show which aired on Sunday mornings for 42 years: "Lewis Meyer's Bookshelf." This program, hosted by author and literary critic Lewis Meyer, was a book review show where Meyer showed off books from his bookstore, located for many years on Brookside Drive in Tulsa. Each Sunday, he would show off books and read some of their content. And each week, Meyer selected the "book of the week." He would review the book of the week, and before closing the program, he always reminded viewers that "the more books you read, the TALLER you grow." Before his death in 1995, Meyer showed off his bookshelf on CBS' Early Show, being interviewed by CBS' Paula Zahn. After Lewis Meyer's death, the show was not replaced, and CBS News' "Face the Nation" now airs in the time slot.

KOTV got a competitor in 1954, when KCEB-TV signed-on on channel 23 as an NBC primary/DuMont secondary affiliate. However, as television manufacturers were not required to include UHF tuning capability at the time, NBC made a secret agreement with KOTV that allowed channel 6 to continue "cherry-picking" NBC's stronger shows. A few months later, KVOO-TV (channel 2, now KJRH) signed on and took the remaining NBC programming. KCEB then moved to ABC, which agreed on condition that KOTV be allowed to cherry-pick its shows as well. When KTVX signed on in 1954, it took all remaining ABC programming, leaving KOTV as a sole CBS affiliate.

Soon after KOTV became only a CBS affiliate, General Television sold the station to the Whitney Corporation of Indianapolis, which was renamed Corinthian Broadcasting Corporation in 1957. Corinthian merged with Dun & Bradstreet in 1971.

In December 1983, Belo bought Dun and Bradstreet's entire television division, including KOTV. In late 2000, Oklahoma City-based Griffin Communications, longtime owners of CBS affiliate KWTV in Oklahoma City, purchased KOTV. Ironically, the Griffins had once owned KTUL-AM.

Griffin invested in KOTV upgrade the station's facilities and broadcast signal to accommodate high-definition and digital broadcasting, including a new transmitter, control and master control rooms and outfitting its photojournalists with the first digital cameras in the market. In recent years, KOTV also added Tulsa's most-advanced news helicopter, SkyNews 6, which teamed up with Oklahoma City's News 9's SkyNews 9HD to form the state's only newsgathering chopper team.

Griffin Communications, the owners of KOTV, announced on October 25, 2007 that they had acquired a plot of land in the historic Brady district of downtown Tulsa on which to build a 50,000 sq. ft. media center that would house KOTV, KQCW Channel 19, and Griffin New Media, which maintains all of Griffin Communications' web sites. Ground was broken for the 20 million dollar building on April 8, 2008, but construction has been delayed and a completion date is undetermined.

Because KOTV and KJRH's digital channels are currently on a band of UHF which will be no longer in use after the February 17, 2009 cutoff date for analog television broadcasting (channels 52 to 69), it seemed likely that both stations will move their digital signals to their current analog channel assignments. However, their current analog channel assignments are in the low band of VHF (channels 2 to 6), which are more prone to interference from atmospheric conditions than are higher channel numbers. For this reason, KOTV selected channel 45 for its post-transition operations and KJRH will operate on channel 8 after KTUL ceases analog operations. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will continue to display KOTV's virtual channel as 6.

Chopper Crash

On June 20, 2007, the station's helicopter, SkyNews 6, was shooting a station promotion when the chopper's rotors struck the dish of a KOTV satellite truck, sending the helicopter spinning out of control and crashing to the ground. Two people, including the chopper's pilot, survived with minor injuries. The Bell 206B helicopter was a total loss. [1][2]

A photo of SkyNews 6 is available at http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1154584/M

KOTV debuted a new helicopter on May 5, 2008. The new chopper is also called SkyNews 6. Improvements to the new helicopter include an additional camera on the craft's tail, that shows the side of the chopper in profile on the left side of the screen, while showing the scene on the right side.

The new cameras have been rebranded as "SteadiZoom 360".


KOTV currently carries all CBS network programming; ironically though, KOTV airs The Saturday Early Show, while sister station KWTV in Oklahoma City preempts the program for local news. However, the weekday edition of The Early Show airs one hour later, from 8-10AM (instead of the network's recommended time of 7-9AM), due to the three-hour long newscast Six in the Morning, and one hour of the Kewlopolis children's block airs on Sunday mornings. Syndicated programming on KOTV currently includes Dr. Phil and the Oprah Winfrey Show (which also air on sister station KQCW), Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition, with CSI: Miami and CSI: NY on weekends (interestingly, all of these programs are distributed by CBS Television Distribution). KOTV (along with Oklahoma City sister station KWTV) also airs the state tourism program Integris Health's Discover Oklahoma on Saturday evenings before primetime.

Current Digital Channels

KOTV ceased analog broadcasting on February 17, 2009.[1]

KOTV-DT transmits on UHF channel 55; after digital transition is complete, KOTV-DT will move to UHF channel 45. Virtual channel numbering will be unchanged.

6.1 CBS
6.2 KQCW - CW 12/19
6.3 This TV
6.4 Wealth TV

This is a current list as of January 20, 2009.


KOTV continues to dominate the Nielsen ratings 24 hours a day, and its news broadcasts continue to win all time periods by comfortable margins. In November 2007, KOTV's 10pm newscast was the 8th highest-ranked late newscast in the United States. Channel 6 also won in the Local Access time period (6:30pm weeknights) with Entertainment Tonight. [3]

KOTV also airs local news from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and shows CBS's "Early Show" from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. In Fall 2008, KOTV expanded it's late newscast on Saturday nights to a full hour. The first half hour is branded as "The News on 6 at 10:00." The second is called "The News on 6 Late Edition."

News Operation

Template:Expand KOTV broadcasts a total of 30 hours of local news per week (with 5½ hours on weekdays, 1½ hours on Saturdays and one hour on Sundays).

Notable Personalities of The News on 6

Current On-Air Talent

(as of March 17, 2009)

Current Anchors

  • Craig Day - weeknights at 5PM (also reporter)
  • Lori Fullbright - weeknights at 5PM (also crime reporter)
  • Terry Hood - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Rich Lenz - weekday mornings "The News on 6 Daybreak / Six in the Morning" and at noon
  • Latoya Silmon - weekdays at noon (also reporter for "Six in the Morning")
  • LeAnne Taylor - weekday mornings "The News on 6 Daybreak / Six in the Morning"
  • Scott Thompson - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
  • Tara Vreeland - Saturdays at 5 and 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10PM (also reporter)


  • Dan Bewley - general assignment reporter (also field producer)
  • Emory Bryan - general assignment and government reporter
  • Will Cavanaugh - SkyNews 6 pilot reporter
  • Jennifer Loren - general assignment reporter (also weeknight anchor at 9PM on KQCW)
  • Ashli Sims - general assignment and education reporter
  • Jeffrey Smith - general assignment reporter
  • Rick Wells - feature reporter
  • Chris Wright - general assignment and religion reporter

News on 6 Warn Weather Team

  • Travis Meyer (Member, NWA; AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist, weeknights at 5, 6 and 10
  • Dick Faurot (Member, NWA; AMS Seal of Approval): weekends at 5 (Sat.), 5:30 (Sun.), 6 (Sat.) and 10PM
  • Katie Green (Member, NWA; AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - weekdays at Noon
  • Alan Crone (Member, NWA; AMS Seal of Approval) - weekdays on Six in the Morning


  • John Holcomb: Sports Director, weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 (also host of "Friday Football Fever" and co-host of "Oklahoma Sports Blitz")
  • Scott Smith: weekends at 5 (Sat.), 5:30 (Sun.), 6 (Sat.) and 10PM (also sports reporter)
  • J.B. Long: Sports Reporter (also photographer)

Station Personnel

  • Margaret Stokes - Newson6.com anchor
  • Kyle Dierking - Newson6.com videojournalist
  • Chris Howell - Newson6.com videojournalist
  • Nicole Wiseman - Newson6.com anchor/reporter
  • Oscar Pea - chief photographer
  • Michael Blair - photojournalist
  • Martha Chambers - photojournalist
  • Sam Garforth - photojournalist
  • Jason Gear - photojournalist
  • KJ Kabrick - photojournalist
  • Gary Kruse - overnight photographer
  • Ty Lewis - photojournalist
  • Patrick McCormick - photojournalist
  • Jeff Popkess - photojournalist
  • Todd Ruffin - photojournalist
  • Charlie Willsey - photojournalist
  • Steve Wolfe - sports photographer
  • Michael Woods - senior photographer

Former On-Air Talent

  • John Anderson - sports anchor (?-?; now with ESPN)
  • James Aydelott - meteorologist (?-?; now at KOKI-TV, Tulsa)
  • Ken Broo - sports director (1970s, now sports director at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati)
  • 'Bob Brown - afternoon anchor (?-?; now at ABC News' 20/20)
  • Betty Boyd - public affairs personality (?-?; later of KTUL, retired)
  • Mack Creager - sports director (deceased)
  • Mike Flynn - anchor (later journalism professor in Arkansas, retired)
  • David George - meteorologist (late 1980s; now chief meteorologist at WMTV in Madison, WI)
  • Jim Giles - chief meteorologist (1981-2006; deceased)
  • Jim Hartz - anchor (?-?; later anchor of NBC's Today)
  • Dale Hogg - weekend anchor (?-?; now living in Washington, D.C.)
  • Bob Hower - KOTV's first anchor (Early 1950s; later at KTUL, retired)
  • Robert Joffe - anchor (?-1990; fired, then committed suicide)
  • Lisa Jones - anchor (1993-1999; fired, now at KJRH)
  • Les Lampson - announcer (?-?; later announcer for "The Untouchables" [1959-1963], deceased)
  • Tami Marler - weekend anchor/investigative reporter (?-2007; now with Tulsa Public Schools)
  • Dari Nowkhah - sports reporter (?-?; now with ESPN)
  • Casey Norton - morning anchor (?-?; now weekend anchor at KOMO-TV in Seattle)
  • Bill Pitcock - anchor (?-?; deceased)
  • Glenda Silvey - anchor (?-2008; now at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa)
  • Bill Teegins - sports director (?-1986; later at KWTV in Oklahoma City, killed in OSU plane crash in Colorado in 2001)
  • Cy Tuma - anchor (?-?; later at KTUL, deceased)
  • Harry Volkman - Weatherman (1950-1952 later with KWTV, WKY-TV and numerous Chicago TV stations before retiring in 2005)
  • Lee Woodward - meteorologist (?-?; retired)
  • Clayton Vaughn - anchor (?-?; retired)
  • Omar Villafranca - KQCW anchor/reporter (200?-2008; now at KXAS-TV in Dallas)
  • Mike Wolfe - sports anchor (?-200?; now at Cox Communications)

News/Station Presentation

Newscast titles

  • KOTV World News (October-December 1949)
  • Channel 6 News (December 1949-1971)
  • 6 Photo News (December About 1968-???)
  • Channel 6 Eyewitness News (1971-1985)
  • The Spirit of Oklahoma, The News On 6 (1987-2001)
  • The News on 6 (1987-present

Station slogans

  • First in Tulsa (1949-Mid 1970s)
  • The First One You Turn To (Mid 1970s)
  • Take A Look (1978-1980)
  • Lookin' Good! (1980-1983, also a CBS slogan)
  • On a Scale of One to Five, We're Six (c. early 1980s)
  • We're Everything that Tulsa Means to You (1983-1984)
  • The Spirit of Oklahoma (1984-2001; also used on now sister station KWTV)
  • The News on 6 (Brand) (2001-present)
  • Anchors who cover the news, know the news. (2002-2008)
  • Getting Answers. So You'll Know More. (2008-present)

See also


External links

BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOTV-TV

Template:Tulsa TV Template:Tulsa FM Template:CBS Oklahoma

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