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Kxnw 2012.png
KFSM Channel 5 - Primary.png
Eureka Springs/Fort Smith/
Fayetteville, Arkansas
United States
CityEureka Springs, Arkansas
BrandingKXNW 34 (general)
5 News (newscasts)
Channel 5 (on DT3)
ChannelsDigital: 25 (UHF)
Virtual: 34 (PSIP)
Subchannels34.1 MyNetworkTV
34.2 Antenna TV
34.3 CBS
TranslatorsKFSM-DT 5.2 (18.2 UHF) Fort Smith
AffiliationsMyNetworkTV (2006–2009, 2012–present)
OwnerTribune Broadcasting
(sale to Nexstar Media Group pending[1][2])
(Tribune Broadcasting Fort Smith License, LLC)
FoundedJune 25, 1999
First air dateJune 19, 2000 (18 years ago) (2000-06-19)
Call letters' meaningK X North West Arkansas (viewing area)
Sister station(s)KFSM-TV
Former callsignsKWBS-TV (2000–2004)
KWFT (2004–2006)
KBBL-TV (2006)
KPBI (2006–2012)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
34 (UHF, 2000–2009)
34 (UHF, until 2018)
Former affiliationsAnalog/DT1:
Pax TV (2000–2003)
Lick TV (2003–2004)
The WB (2004–2006)
MeTV/RTV/Tuff TV (2009–2012)
Univision (until 2012, via KXUN-LP)
Transmitter power130 kW
Height218 m (715 ft)
Facility ID81593
Transmitter coordinates36°24′40.9″N 93°57′12.9″W / 36.411361°N 93.953583°W / 36.411361; -93.953583 (KXNW)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

KXNW, virtual channel 34 (UHF digital channel 25), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, United States, serving Northwest Arkansas (including Fayetteville) and the Arkansas River Valley (including Fort Smith). (While Eureka Springs is located in the Springfield, Missouri market, Nielsen considers this station to be part of the Fort Smith–Fayetteville market.) The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company, as part of a duopoly with Fort Smith-licensed CBS affiliate KFSM-TV (channel 5). The two stations share studios on North 13th Street in downtown Fort Smith; KXNW's transmitter is located on Humphrey Mountain near Garfield.

Even though KXNW broadcasts a digital signal of its own, its broadcasting radius does not reach Fort Smith. Therefore, the station can also be seen through a high-definition simulcast on KFSM's second digital subchannel in order to reach the entire market; this signal can be seen on UHF channel 18.2 (or virtual channel 5.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter northwest of Winslow, Arkansas. On cable, KXNW is carried on Cox Communications channel 14 in Fort Smith and Fayetteville.[3][4]


Channel 34 began operations on June 19, 2000 as KWBS-TV, which stood for WB Springfield; however, original station owner Equity Broadcasting decided to make another new station, KWBM (channel 31), as the WB affiliate for Springfield, and KWBS instead affiliated with Pax (now Ion Television). KWBS dropped the Pax-affiliation in 2003 in favor of the Equity-owned Lick TV, which was a short-lived network that broadcast professional wrestling events. One year later, the station dropped that network and finally affiliated with The WB as its Northwest Arkansas affiliate; this was accompanied by a call-letter change to KWFT.

After it was announced in January 2006 that The WB and UPN would close down to form The CW in September, KWFT changed its call letters to KBBL-TV on July 6, 2006. However, its Fort Smith repeater retained the KWFT-LP call sign, which to this day it still uses. The KBBL-TV call letters were almost certainly not inspired by the KBBL-TV of The Simpsons, even though both stations are located in a DMA with the same name as the Simpsons' fictional hometown. Equity likes to use former radio call letters from its hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas as TV call letters, and the KBBL call sign was once used by a Little Rock radio station.

The KPBI logo as a MyNetworkTV-affiliate

Around the same time as the call-letters change, KBBL-TV was announced as joining the Retro Television Network (then owned by Equity) after The WB ceased operations, but as a result of KPBI-CA (channel 46) losing its Fox-affiliation to KFTA-TV (channel 24) and joining MyNetworkTV, channel 34 changed its call letters to KPBI on September 22, 2006 and began to carry KPBI-CA's programming schedule (KFDF-CA, the station that was originally scheduled to join MNTV, ended up becoming the RTV affiliate). As of October 30, 2011, KPBI has dropped from RTV in favor of the MeTV programming.

After failing to find a buyer at a bankruptcy auction,[5] KPBI was sold to Pinnacle Media in August 2009 (after having initially been included in Silver Point Finance's acquisition on June 2 of several Equity stations[6]) with Pinnacle assuming control under a local marketing agreement on August 5 that same year.[7] Pinnacle Media officially took ownership on November 3, 2009 and was restructured into Riverside Media in August 2010 with a change in the minority (40%) ownership in the company.

It was announced on August 12, 2009 that KPBI would switch to RTV,[8] which had been dropped from KFDF in January after the network severed its ties with Equity;[9] the area's MyNetworkTV-affiliation subsequently moved to a new digital subchannel of KFSM-TV, which today airs on KXNW-DT1.

Purchase by Local TV and then by Tribune[edit]

On September 1, 2011, Local TV, the owners of the CBS-affiliate KFSM, filed papers with the Federal Communications Commission to purchase KPBI for $784,000 through a "failing station" waiver; this is necessary because the Fort Smith-Fayetteville DMA has only seven "unique" full-power television stations (though the ABC-affiliate KHOG-TV is a satellite of Fort Smith-based parent KHBS, the FCC considers the parent and its satellite together as all one unit). That number of unique full-power stations is normally not enough to legally support a duopoly;[10] the sale to Local TV was completed on January 5, 2012; on that day, the station's callsign was changed to KXNW.[11]

Immediately upon consummation, all remaining MeTV and RTV programming was dropped in favor of a simulcast of KFSM digital subchannel 5.2, which carries MyNetworkTV programming during primetime hours on weeknights, syndicated programming during the daytime hours and at select time periods on weekend mornings and afternoons and a part-time affiliation with Antenna TV on weekdays from 1–7 a.m., Saturdays from 1–8 a.m., and 6 p.m.–6 a.m. and Sundays from 6–8 and 9–10 a.m., and 12–6 a.m. In addition, KXNW's digital subchannel 34.2 dropped Univision and began simulcasting KFSM's CBS-affiliated main channel 5.1.

On July 1, 2013, Local TV announced that its stations would be acquired by the Tribune Broadcasting;[12] the sale was completed on December 27.[13] With the completion of the deal, KFSM and KXNW became Tribune's smallest stations by market size (previously, the company's New Orleans duopoly of WGNO and WNOL-TV held this distinction).

Aborted sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group[edit]

On May 8, 2017, Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it would acquire Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune. Had the deal received regulatory approval, the transaction would have given KFSM and KXNW new sister stations in the company's ABC affiliates in bordering markets, KTUL in Tulsa and KATV in Little Rock.[14][15][16][17][18] Three weeks after the FCC's July 18 vote to have the deal reviewed by an administrative law judge amid "serious concerns" about Sinclair's forthrightness in its applications to sell certain conflict properties, on August 9, 2018, Tribune announced it would terminate the Sinclair deal, intending to seek other M&A opportunities. Tribune also filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Sinclair engaged in protracted negotiations with the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division over regulatory issues, refused to sell stations in markets where it already had properties, and proposed divestitures to parties with ties to Sinclair executive chair David D. Smith that were rejected or highly subject to rejection to maintain control over stations it was required to sell.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

Pending sale to Nexstar Media Group and possible resale[edit]

On December 3, 2018, Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Media Group—which owns NBC affiliate KNWA-TV (channel 51) and Fox affiliate KFTA-TV—announced it would acquire the assets of Tribune Media for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. Nexstar is precluded from acquiring KFSM and KXNW directly or indirectly, as KFSM and KNWA both fall within FCC criteria prohibiting common ownership of two of the four highest-rated television stations in any market nor does it allow ownership of more than two stations in the same media market. Therefore, Nexstar will be required to sell either KNWA/KFTA or KFSM/KXNW to a separate, unrelated company to address the ownership conflict.[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][1][2]

On March 20, 2019, McLean, Virginia-based Tegna Inc. announced it would purchase KFSM-TV from Nexstar upon consummation of the merger, as part of the company's sale of nineteen Nexstar- and Tribune-operated stations to Tegna and the E. W. Scripps Company in separate deals worth $1.32 billion.[39] KXNW was not named in the sale, which opens the possibility of either the formation of a de facto triopoly between KFTA and KNWA (which Nexstar plans to retain through an existing satellite station waiver that predated KFTA's conversion into a separately programmed Fox affiliate in 2006) or the retention of its existing duopoly partnership with KFSM, pending disclosures by Nexstar in subsequent paperwork concerning the deal.[40]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming[41]
34.1 720p 16:9 KXNW-DT Main KXNW programming / MyNetworkTV
34.2 480i 4:3 Ant TV Simulcast of KFSM-DT3 / Antenna TV
34.3 1080i 16:9 KFSM DT Simulcast of KFSM-TV / CBS

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Because it was granted an original construction permit after the FCC finalized the DTV allotment plan on April 21, 1997,[42] the station did not receive a companion channel for a digital television station. Instead, at the end of the digital TV conversion period for full-service stations, KPBI was required to turn off its analog signal and turn on its digital signal (called a "flash cut").

As of December 2008, this station was scheduled to go dark in 2009. According to the station's DTV status report, "On December 8, 2008, the licensee's parent corporation filed a petition for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code... This station must obtain post-petition financing and court approval before digital facilities may be constructed; the station ceased analogue broadcasting on February 17, 2009, regardless of whether digital facilities are operational by that date. The station filed authority to remain silent if so required by the FCC."[43]

While the DTV Delay Act extended this deadline to June 12, 2009, Equity applied for an extension of the digital construction permit in order to retain the broadcast license after the station goes dark.


On March 12, 2012, KXNW began airing a weekday morning newscast at 7 a.m. and a nightly newscast at 9 p.m. that are produced by KFSM. The latter newscast competes with the primetime newscast which airs seven days a week on KFTA-TV (one hour on weekdays, and a half-hour on weekends).


  1. ^ a b "Nexstar Media Group Enters into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Tribune Media Company for $6.4 Billion in Accretive Transaction Creating the Nation's Largest Local Television Broadcaster and Local Media Company". Nexstar Media Group. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Nexstar Media Group Enters Into Definitive Agreement To Acquire Tribune Media Company". Tribune Media. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Fort Smith, Arkansas Channel Lineup" (PDF). Cox Communications. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  4. ^ "Northwest Arkansas Channel Lineup" (PDF). Cox Communications. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "Equity stations still on the block". Television Business Report. April 20, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  6. ^ "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
  7. ^ "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. August 14, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  8. ^ "KPBI Fort Smith, Ark., Drops MNT For Retro TV". TVNewsCheck. August 12, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  9. ^ Jessell, Harry A. (January 5, 2009). "Financial Dispute Disrupts RTN Diginet". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  10. ^ Seeking Duopoly In Fort Smith, Ark., TVNewsCheck, September 2, 2011.
  11. ^ "Media Bureau Call Sign Actions" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. October 31, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  12. ^ Channick, Robert (July 1, 2013). "Acquisition to make Tribune Co. largest U.S. TV station operator". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Company Completes Final Steps of Transaction Announced in July Archived 2013-12-28 at the Wayback Machine, Tribune Company, 27 December 2013
  14. ^ Stephen Battaglio (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion plus debt". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  15. ^ Cynthia Littleton (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast Group Sets $3.9 Billion Deal to Acquire Tribune Media". Variety. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  16. ^ Todd Frankel (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, giving it control over 215 local TV stations". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings, LLC. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  17. ^ Liana Baker; Jessica Toonkel (May 7, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast nears deal for Tribune Media". Reuters. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  18. ^ Harry A. Jessell; Mark K. Miller (May 8, 2017). "The New Sinclair: 72% Coverage + WGNA". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  19. ^ Todd Shields (July 16, 2018). "Sinclair and Tribune Fall as FCC Slams TV Station Sale Plan". Bloomberg News. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  20. ^ Harper Neidig (July 16, 2018). "FCC chair rejects Sinclair-Tribune merger". The Hill. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  21. ^ Robert Feder (July 16, 2018). "FCC throws Sinclair/Tribune deal in doubt". RobertFeder.com. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  22. ^ Benjamin Hart (July 16, 2018). "FCC Throws Wrench Into Sinclair Media Megadeal". New York. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  23. ^ Edmund Lee (July 18, 2018). "Sinclair Tries to Appease F.C.C., but Its Tribune Bid Is Challenged". The New York Times; the New York Times Company. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  24. ^ Lorraine Mirabella (July 18, 2018). "FCC orders hearing even as Sinclair changes plans to sell TV stations to address concerns about Tribune deal". Baltimore Sun. Tronc. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  25. ^ "Tribune Terminates $3.9 Billion Sinclair Merger, Sues Broadcast Rival". The Wall Street Journal. News Corp. August 9, 2018.
  26. ^ Mark K. Miller (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Kills Sinclair Merger, Files Suit". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  27. ^ Christopher Dinsmore (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Media pulls out of Sinclair Broadcast merger". Baltimore Sun. Tronc.
  28. ^ Edmund Lee; Amie Tsang (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Ends Deal With Sinclair, Dashing Plan for Conservative TV Behemoth". The New York Times; the New York Times Company.
  29. ^ Jon Lafayette (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Ends Deal with Sinclair, Files Breach of Contract Suit". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  30. ^ Brian Fung; Tony Romm (August 9, 2018). "Tribune withdraws from Sinclair merger, saying it will sue for 'breach of contract'". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC.
  31. ^ "Acquisition of Tribune Media Company" (PDF). Nexstar Media Group. December 3, 2018.
  32. ^ Mark K. Miller (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Buying Tribune Media For $6.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  33. ^ Peter White; Dade Hayes (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Confirms $4.1B Tribune Media Acquisition To Become Leading Local TV Station Owner". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
  34. ^ Gerry Smith; Nabila Ahmed; Eric Newcomer (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar to buy WGN owner Tribune Media for $4.1 billion". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Bloomberg News.
  35. ^ Arjun Panchadar; Sonam Rai (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar to buy Tribune Media for $4.1 billion". Reuters.
  36. ^ Jon Lafayette (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Announces Deal to Buy Tribune for $6.4B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  37. ^ Adam Jacobson (December 3, 2018). "It's Official: Nexstar Takes Tribune In Billion-Dollar Stock Deal". Radio-Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc.
  38. ^ Harry A. Jessell; Mark K. Miller (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar To Spin Off $1B In Stations". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  39. ^ https://www.tegna.com/tegna-to-acquire-11-local-television-stations-in-eight-markets
  40. ^ Nabila Ahmed; Anousha Sakoui (March 20, 2019). "Nexstar to Sell Stations to Tegna, Scripps for $1.32 Billion". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg, L.P.
  41. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KXNW
  42. ^ "Final DTV Channel Plan from FCC97-115". Transmitter.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
  43. ^ "FCC DTV status report". Fjallfoss.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-17.

External links[edit]