call_letters = KHOU-TV
station_slogan = The Spirit of Texas (general)
Make Sense of Your World (news)
station_branding = Channel 11 (general)
11 News, 11 News HD (newscasts)
analog = 11 (VHF)
digital = 31 (UHF)
CBS, .2 Networkcoming in Mid-2008
March 23, 1953
callsign_meaning = HOUston
former_callsigns = KGUL-TV (1953-1959)
owner = Belo Corporation
licensee = KHOU-TV, Inc.
effective_radiated_power = 316 kW (analog)
759 kW (digital)
HAAT = 570 m (analog)
551 m (digital)
facility_id = 34529
coordinates = coord|29|33|39.8|N|95|30|4.4|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.khou.com/ www.khou.com]
KHOU-TV is the local
CBSaffiliate in Houston, Texas, owned by BeloCorporation. It broadcasts on Channel 11, and its transmitter is located in Missouri City, Texasat an antenna farm, along with all other Houston broadcast stations. KHOU transmits, however, from its lowdown rooftop between two taller buildings to the antenna farm with a deteriorated affected signal exhibiting visual viewing degradation from uncorrected multi-path interference.
KHOU signed on as KGUL-TV (as in Gulf or as in "seaGull" ), licensed to Galveston on
March 23 1953. 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 Jimmy Stewartalong with a small group of other Galveston investors.
In June 1959, it changed its calls to KHOU and moved the city of license to Houston. The FCC license listed both the Houston and Galveston service areas for a time. On
April 20 1960the station moved to its present location just outside downtown Houston on Allen Parkway. To this date, KHOU is the only TV station in Houston to have its primary studios close to the downtown area, though it isn't the only television station to have had studios in the area. KPRC maintained a secondary studio and bureau in the Service Corporation InternationalBuilding, actually adjacent to KHOU's studios, until the mid-1990s.
In 1974, KHOU production management began experimenting from transitioning from news footage shot on 16 mm film and processed at the station to experimentation with some very early Sony electronic cameras by time-base correcting the poor quality signal to match broadcast signal standards. It didn't look that great but after a storm knocked out power to the station with massive flooding along Allen Parkway in the spring of 1974, engineers and crew scrambled to transmit the first live news broadcast in the parking lot from a "single tube" Sony ENG camera.
From the late 1950s to 1984, KHOU was owned by Corinthian Broadcasting of
Indianapolis, which was a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreetfrom 1971. In 1984, D&B sold the Corinthian stations to Belo.
In 1998, it was the first station to sign on with a high definition signal.
The KHOU studios were flooded during
Tropical Storm Allisonin 2001, resulting in damage to much of the station, including its newsroom. The flooding was so bad at one point that the station had to shut down and air a feed from the station's doppler radar for roughly one hour and thirty minutes.
Hurricane Ike, which hit the Texas Gulf coast the weekend of September 12-14, 2008, KHOU's coverage was distributed nationwide via DirecTVand XM Satellite Radioas well as a live feed on the station's website.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009 http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf] , KHOU-TV will move its digital broadcasts back to its present analog channel number, 11. [http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101233434&formid=387&fac_num=34529 CDBS Print ] ]
KHOU-TV has been one of the top-rated CBS affiliates in Texas for over 20 years, aided by a strong programming lineup with popular syndicated shows such as "
The Oprah Winfrey Show", " Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune", and "The Insider". Among those four, "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" originally debuted on KPRC until both shows moved to KHOU in 1986.
KHOU has hosted Houston's annual
Thanksgiving Dayparade, the " H-E-BHoliday Parade" (formerly the "Bank United / Washington MutualThanksgiving Day Parade") for well over a decade. As a result, KHOU pre-empts the CBS Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Late Late Show with Craig Fergusonhalf an hour later than the network schedule at 12:05 a.m. Episodes of Jeopardy!takes the Late Late Show's normal network timeslot instead at 11:35 p.m.
KHOU has been widely regarded as a stepping stone for television news talent, as many of its reporters have gone on to assignments with national networks. The station's best known alumni are former
CBS Evening Newsanchor Dan Ratherand newswomen Linda Ellerbeeand Jessica Savitch. Traditionally, KHOU has battled for second place with KPRC-TV throughout the years (first place in Houston was usually won by KTRK-TVever since that station adopted its Eyewitness Newsformat).
In its early beginnings, KHOU was often the number two station in Houston behind KPRC, which benefited from its lower channel number (VHF 2), the presence of pioneering news director Ray Miller, and NBC affiliation (which enabled KPRC to become the first station in Houston to air color programming via NBC's aggressive color programming rollout). In 1972, when KHOU boasted the top television news anchor team of Ron Stone and famed sportscaster Ron Franklin, it soon lost the two personalities to KPRC, and KHOU fell from first place to a distant third, also falling behind KTRK, which had been a constant third in the ratings but began a steady resurgence under its ownership (Capital Cities) and the resurgence of its affiliated network ABC, which became the number one network in the 1970s. At one time, KHOU's owners, Corinthian Broadcasting (owned by
Dun & Bradstreet), actually considered hiring KTRK's popular investigative reporter, Marvin Zindlerto be its lead anchor.
By the 1980s, KHOU's newscasts were usually a distant third, in fact, its 5pm newscast ratings were so low they even trailed old reruns of
The Jeffersonsand Diff'rent Strokeson then-independent stations KTXHand KRIVin Houston, even with the presence of anchors Chip Moody and Felicia Jeter, who before were popular newscasters in their respective markets of Dallas and Los Angeles.
However, beginning in the late 1980s, KHOU began to step up its news reputation, hiring several high profile personalities to its news team. The most notable was
Neil Frank, the former director of the National Hurricane Center, who was tapped by the station to be the chief meteorologist starting in July 1987. In another key move, the station also hired former KTRK anchor Sylvan Rodriguezaway from his job at the West Coast bureau of ABC Newsto anchor the station's early evening newscasts. KHOU also began to use the Spirit of Texas slogan and TM Productions' "Spirit" music package used at sister station WFAA-TVin Dallas, and incorporated a redesigned logo at the time. As a result, KHOU became active in Houston's news race.
In January 1989, KHOU revamped the look of its newscasts, with an image campaign that included full page ads in the
Houston Chronicleand Houston Post, as well as an on-air promotional campaign that focused more on ordinary citizens throughout Greater Houstonthan on its news team. With the lead news team of anchors Steve Smith and Marlene McClinton, chief meteorologist Dr. Neil Frank and sports director Giff Nielsen, along with a new set, graphics and theme music, the station began to mount a serious challenge to both KPRC and KTRK, leading to a competitive ratings race during the 1990s between the three stations.
If any year proved to be a breakout year for KHOU, it was 1999. During the May sweeps of this year, KHOU reached number one in several timeslots, unseating KTRK at midday, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. The station's ratings boost also included an exclusive interview with Serbian and Yugoslavian President
Slobodan Milosevicduring the Kosovo Warjust a month before Milosevic's 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, an African-American, during one of the station's newscasts over claims that she was not given the exposure she was due in favor of spotlighting new hires.
Today, KHOU continues to bolster strong ratings, attempting to oust both KTRK and KPRC in almost every timeslot, often posting victories at noon, aided by CBS' strong daytime lineup, and at 5 p.m., where it benefits from its strong lead-in,
The Oprah Winfrey Show. Given KHOU's newfound status as a news ratings powerhouse in Houston, it often clashes with KTRK over who is number one, with KHOU taking into account actual Nielsen ratings tallies while KTRK has been emphasizing household numbers, as KTRK broadcasts more hours of local news weekly than other Houston stations. However, based upon the latest May 2008 Nielsen ratings, KTRK has won the #1 position for every timeslot: weekday mornings, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm & 10pm. KTRK's 11am newscast was not as successful, although it won the 11am timeslot it was not the number one midday newscast, which was won by KHOU.
11 News HD
February 4 2007, following CBS' coverage of Super Bowl XLI, KHOU aired its first newscasts in high definition (HD), branding themselves as 11 News HD, and heavily promotiong the technology.
11 News Investigates
KHOU also has gained a reputation for its investigative news team, 11 News Investigates, which has uncovered numerous stories, the most notable being its 2000 investigation into defective tire designs by Firestone, which led to the mandatory recall of its Wilderness AT, Firestone ATX, and ATX II, as well as numerous lawsuits. The defective tires resulted in various deaths, including that of Stephen Gauvain, a reporter for rival ABC affiliate KTRK.
Another investigative report in the early 2000s by former reporter Anna Werner led to the shutdown of the Houston Police Department's crime lab. 11 News Investigates has also exposed allegations of dropout rate fraud in the
Houston Independent School District, which resulted in the dismissal of several HISD officials. Most recently called "11 News Defenders", the unit was rebranded to its current name on July 24 2006, when KHOU unveiled its new look on its newscasts.
Current on-air talent
11 News anchors
Greg Hurst: 5, 6, & 10 p.m. anchor
Lucy Noland: 5 & 10 p.m. anchor
*Len Cannon: 6 p.m. anchor
*Ron Trevino: Noon anchor/reporter
*Christine Haas: morning anchor
*Vicente Arenas: morning anchor
*Shern-Min Chow: weekend anchor
*Allison Triarsi: Saturday morning anchor/weekday reporter
11 News reporters
*Karla Barguiarena: general assignment reporter
*Chris Barnes: Air 11 traffic/news reporter
*Carolyn Campbell: general assignment reporter
*Jeremy Desel: general assignment reporter
*Darby Douglas: traffic anchor
*Wendell Edwards: general assignment reporter
*Dave Fehling: general assignment reporter
*Leigh Frillici: general assignment reporter
*Leticia Juarez: general assignment reporter
*Angela Kocherga: Mexico City bureau reporter
*Lee McGuire: general assignment reporter
*Jeff McShan: general assignment reporter, initially came to KHOU as a sports reporter
*Doug Miller: political reporter
*Rucks Russell: general assignment reporter
*Alex Sanz: general assignment reporter, usually morning/noon
*Prof. Gerald Treece: legal analyst
*Jason Whitely: general assignment reporter
*Janice Williamson: general assignment reporter
*Brad Woodard: general assignment reporter
11 News Investigates
*Mark Greenblatt: investigative reporter
*Jeremy Rogalski: investigative reporter
*Gene Norman ( [American Meteorological Society|AMS] Certified): 11 News at 5, 6 & 10 chief meteorologist
*David Paul (AMS Seal of Approval): morning & noon meteorologist
*Mario Gomez (AMS Seal of Approval): weekend meteorologist
*Dan Meador (AMS Seal of Approval): weekend meteorologist
*Dr. Neil Frank: hurricane expert & chief meteorologist (1987-2008)
Giff Nielsen: sports director/weeknight sports anchor
*Butch Alsandor: sports anchor, primarily during weekends
*Matt Musil: sports anchor/reporter
Former on-air talent
*Amanda Arnold: anchor 6 & 10 p.m. (1980-84)
*Bill Balleza: anchor noon & 5 p.m. (1973-1980; currently evening anchor at
*Susan Banks: anchor noon & 6 p.m (1988-1990)
*Michael Barnes: reporter (late 1990s, now public relations at
* [http://www.rockabillyhall.com/UtahCarl1.html "Utah" Carl Beach:] host & performer of local music show (1953-1967)
*Al Bell: noon & 6 p.m. anchor (1960s)
*Tonia Bendickson: morning anchor (1997-2000; now anchor at
WBTV, Charlotte, NC)
*Bob Brown: anchor (1973-1975, now at
*Doug Brown: talk show host/weather anchor (Mid 1970s, now at
*Phillip Bruce: reporter (later news director for
*Bebe Burns: anchor morning & noon (mid to late 1970s, later
KTVI-TV, St. Louis and KPRC-TV)
*Keith Calkins: sports reporter/anchor (1989-1992, now at
*Nancy Carney: reporter/producer (1970s)
*Clare Casademont: anchor noon & 6 p.m. (1989-1999)
*Ginger Casey: anchor (1986-1987)
Penny Crone: reporter (1982-1988)
*Dann Cuellar: reporter (1980-1983, now at
*Joanne King Herring Davis: noon show host (1960s) (See "
Charlie Wilson's War")
*Mitch Duncan: anchor
*Mike Dunston: anchor/reporter weekends (2000), later anchor mornings (2000-2002)
*Steve Edwards: anchor/talk show host (1972-1975, now at
KTTV, Los Angeles)
Linda Ellerbee: reporter (Mid 1970s, later NBC Newsnow with Nick News)
*Terry Elliott: reporter
*Eileen Faxas: consumer reporter
*Lisa Foronda: anchor noon & 6 p.m. (1997-1999), 5 & 10 p.m. anchor (1999-2006)
*Ron Franklin: sports anchor (1971-1980; currently at
ESPN, college football and men's basketball play-by-play)
*Dan Garcia: reporter
*Nick Gearhart: anchor & reporter (1960s)
*John Getter: NASA reporter, (1981-1997)
*Sandra Gin-Tynan: anchor/reporter weekend (1994-2002, now with the ReMain Company)
*Annette Gonzales: reporter (1993-1998)
*David Grant: chief meteorologist (1980s)
*Jerome Gray: anchor (1989-2006; currently anchor at
*Rodger Gray: host of AM Houston (1980's)
*Charles Hadlock: anchor weekend/reporter (1985-1999; later
KTBS-TV, Shreveport, LA now with NBC News)
*Paul Harasim: "Paul's People" feature reporter (1980-1995)
*Bill Jeffreys: City Hall reporter (1983-1997)
*Felicia Jeter: anchor (1984-1988)
*Dick John: anchor (late 1960s-early 1970s)
*Nesita Kwan: weekend anchor (1992-1994, currently at
*Sid Lasher: weather (1960s) (deceased)
*Dan Lauck: general assignment reporter (1994-2007, left station due to
Parkinson's Disease) [http://www.khou.com/news/health/stories/khou070622_ac_parkinsons.3d3bf69.html]
*Susan Lennon reporter (1991-1993, now at
*Steve Mark: sports reporter/anchor (1984-1988, currently PR Director with the
Houston Dynamosoccer team)
*Jim Marsh: reporter (1984-1989)
*Deborah Martine: reporter
*Angie Martinez: morning anchor
*Marlene McClinton: 5 & 10 p.m. anchor (1988-1999, now Public Information Officer for the Houston Airport System)
* [http://troubleshooterjudd.com Judd McIlvain:] consumer and investigative reporter (1968-1986, later a talk radio host in Los Angeles)
*Dana Millikan: reporter (mid 1970s)
*Chip Moody: 6 & 10 p.m. anchor (1984-1987, died December 26, 2001)
*Michael Morgan: 6 & 10 p.m. anchor (mid 1970s)
*Carolyn Mungo: reporter (2000s)
*Dennis Murphy: reporter, assignment editor (1975-1978, now at
Jim Nantz: sports reporter/anchor (1981-1983, now at CBS Sports)
*Alma Newsome: reporter (mid to late 1970s, later press secretary for Democratic U.S. Congressman
*Bob Nicholas: reporter/anchor (1971-1979), later anchored at
*Knox Nunnally: sports anchor/reporter
*Pam Oliver: weekend sports anchor & reporter (early 90's)
*Dan Patrick: sports anchor (1980s; later conservative talk show host KSEV-AM; now a Republican State Senator from Houston)
Dan Rather: anchor/reporter (early 1960s; former anchor of CBS Evening News)
*Fred Rhodes: reporter (late 1970s, later
KTVI-TV, St. Louis and " Houston City Magazine", now an attorney in Houston)
*Sandy Rivera: anchor of AM Houston & reporter
Sylvan Rodriguez: Noon & 6 p.m. anchor (1987-1999, died April 6, 2000 of pancreatic cancer)
*Bert Rozell: 6 & 10 p.m. anchor (mid 1970s, later anchor at
WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, FL)
Rick Sanchez: reporter (1986-1988; now with CNN)
*Sam Saucedo: reporter (1986-1999)
Jessica Savitch: reporter/anchor (1971-1972, later NBC News, deceased)
Janet Shamlian: anchor/reporter (1987-1995, now at NBC News)
*Tom Siler: weather
*George Smith: weekend anchor/reporter (now with
*Steve Smith: 5 & 10 p.m. anchor (1976-1999, retired)
*Mike Snyder: anchor/reporter (1975-1980, now at
*Alexis South: weather (1970s)
*Susan Starnes: health reporter
*Marty Stebbins: reporter/weathercaster (1977-1987)
*Ron Stone: 6 & 10 p.m. anchor (1961-1972; later
Johnny Temple: sports anchor (mid-1960s, deceased)
*Kathie Turner: reporter/weathercaster (1995-1998)
*Norm Uhl: reporter (1985-1998)
*Johnathan Walton: Walton's World/morning reporter
*Craig Weber: weathercaster (1984-87)
*Anna Werner: investigative reporter (1999-2004; currently at
KPIX-TV, San Francisco)
*"The News with Ron Stone" (1950s?)
*"Newswatch 11" (1960s?-1974; Savitch era)
*"News 11" (1974-1979)
*"11 News" (1984-1986 and 1991-2007)
*"Channel 11 News" (1986-1989)
*"KHOU 11 News" (1989-1991)
*"11 News in HD" (2007-present)
*"Houston's Way of Looking at the World" (1980-83)
*"The Spirit of Texas" (1986-present)
*"It's Time To Choose. 11 News" (1999-2002)
*"We Go There" (2002-2005)
*"Make Sense of Your World" (2006-present)
* All three of KHOU's weekday evening anchors,
Greg Hurst(5, 6 & 10pm), Lucy Noland(5 & 10pm) and Len Cannon(6 pm), all previously worked in New York City. Cannon and Noland were once colleagues at WNYW-TV, while Hurst was previously the weekend evening anchor for WABC-TV.
* One of KHOU's reporters, Doug Miller, was the first contestant of the current version of "
Jeopardy!" (which, incidentally, airs on KHOU) to come from the Greater Houstonarea, winning $16,000 during a four-day stint in 1985. Ironically, during Doug's stint as champion, "Jeopardy!" (along with the syndicated version of "Wheel of Fortune") then aired on KPRC.
* One of KHOU's themes (which debuted in 1976) was composed by
NFL Filmscomposer Sam Spence.
* [http://www.khou.com/ KHOU-TV]
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