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KFDM, virtual channel 6, is the CBS affiliated television station in the Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas market. Licensed to Beaumont, it airs on cable channel 3 on systems in the immediate portion of the market. It also operates a digital subchannel carrying CW, which is also available on channel 10 on most cable systems in the area.
|Branding||KFDM Channel 6
Southeast Texas CW (DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)Virtual: 6 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||6.1 CBS6.2 The CW|
|Owner||Freedom Communications, Inc.
(Freedom Broadcasting of Texas Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||April 24, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||KallFor
Dependable Magnolene or K FreeDoM Communications (owner of station)
|Former callsigns||KFDM-TV (1955-2009)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:6 (VHF, 1955-2009)|
|Former affiliations||The WB (DT2 until 2006)|
|Transmitter power||50 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||30°8′24.6″N 93°58′44.4″W / 30.140167°N 93.979°W / 30.140167; -93.979|
Channel 6 signed on for the first time on April 31, 1955 and bills itself as the first television station on "the right side of Texas." It was owned by Beaumont Broadcasting along with KFDM radio (560 AM, now KLVI). Beaumont Broadcasting sold the television station to the A.H. Belo Corporation in 1969. The station's call letters stand for "Kall For Dependable Magnolene," a car lubricant produced by Magnolia Petroleum Company, who founded KFDM radio in 1924. It is only a coincidence that the call letters resemble its current owner.
Since KFDM radio had already assumed its present-day call sign by that time, the television station dropped the -TV suffix from its calls. However, in 1980, it regained the -TV suffix in its legal call sign (only to drop it again on August 1, 2009). KFDM was the last remaining Freedom Communications station using a -TV suffix until the -TV suffix was dropped in August 2009.
In 1983, Belo merged with Corinthian Broadcasting, owner of KHOU-TV in Houston. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told Belo it could not keep both KFDM and KHOU because of a fairly large grade B signal overlap. At the time, the FCC normally did not allow common ownership of two stations with overlapping signals. Accordingly, Belo sold KFDM to its current owner, Freedom Communications, in 1984.
On April 7, 2010, the FCC issued a Report & Order, granting KFDM's channel change from channel 21 to channel 25. The reasoning was viewers in the eastern sections of the viewing area had difficulty receiving their signal on channel 21. At this time, no word on when the channel change will commence.
When The WB and UPN announced their merger as The CW in 2006, KFDM's new CW subchannel was seen only on digital cable. After negotiating with Time Warner Cable, The CW became available to all cable subscribers in February 2007.
|||This section requires expansion with:further information on KFDM's news operation.|
The popular 1970s KFDM weekday news team consisted of Beaulieu, Burandt, weatherman Gary Powers, and sportscaster Jim Bergamo. KFDM was awarded in 2005 by the Texas chapter of the Associated Press for their coverage of Hurricane Rita. KFDM was also awarded a regional Emmy award in 2006, also for their coverage of Rita.
Bill Bostwick has been with the station almost 30 years and approximately 20 of those years as chief meteorologist. He endured Hurricane Rita's wrath in downtown Beaumont with weeknight anchor Bill Leger. Current KFDM Manager, Larry Beaulieu has been with the station since 1974 when he was hired as News Director. He teamed for over 15 years with Cecile Burandt, who was the first female anchor hired in the Beaumont area.
- Channel 6 News (1980s-1990s)
- 6 News (1990s-present)
- You Can Count On Us! (1970s-present)
- Share the Spirit With Channel 6 (1986–1987; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
- Triangle, Get Ready for Channel 6 (1990–1991; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
- The Choice of Southeast Texas (late 1990s-early 2000s)
- Always. Everywhere. (secondary) (2010–present)
- Current anchors
- Ashley Gaston - Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Dan Gresham - weekday mornings "First Cup" and "Six This Morning"
- Nicole Murray - weekdays at noon; also reporter
- Kelli Phillips - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Weather team
- Greg Bostwick (AMS member) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Dana Melancon - meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon
- Kerry Cooper - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Sports team
- Mike Friedman - sports director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Andrew Chernoff - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
- Amber Downing - general assignment reporter
- Ashley Gaston - general assignment reporter
- Lindsey Kovacevich - general assignment reporter
- Nicole Murray - general assignment reporter
- Ron Reynolds - general assignment reporter (resigned for job at BISD)
- Tom Wright - general assignment reporter
Former on-air staffEdit
- Amy Barnett (now at KPRC in Houston)
- Sandra Bookman - weekend anchor (now at WABC-TV in New York City)
- Cecile Burandt - 6 and 10 p.m. anchor (1974–1994)
- Keith Calkins - sports reporter (now at KRIV in Houston)
- Dianne Carraway (mid-late 1970s)
- Roseanne Colletti (now at WNBC-TV in New York City)
- Kelly Coone - weekend news anchor/weekday reporter (1996–2000)
- Camille Eaton-Briggs
- Bob French (now at KBTX in Bryan)
- Leeza Gibbons - co-host of PM Magazine
- Gene Hall
- Jennifer Heathcock (now at KYTX in Tyler, TX)
- Erika Harris (now at KBMT)
- Karen Hiltpold - reporter (1981–1987; now an account executive at KFDM)
- Jessica Holloway (now at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, OK)
- Delilah Holman - 5 p.m. anchor
- Cy Hurst (Sports Anchor 1969-1977)
- Brian Jensen - sports director (1981–1988)
- Bruce Kates - anchor/reporter (1979–1981)
- Greg Kerr - sports reporter (now at WFMY in Greensboro, North Carolina)
- Sally MacDonald (now a reporter at KRIV in Houston)
- Kathleen Mitchell
- Bill Paradoski
- Rhonda Pennington Price - evening anchor (1987–1989; now with Teacher Retirement System of Texas)
- Gary Powers - chief meteorologist (1978-early 1980s, later at KBMT; known for his KFDM weather commercials)
- Don Pumphrey - reporter/anchor (1972–1973; was the first African American reporter/anchor in the Beaumont-Port Arthur market; currently employed with Entergy)
- Ralph Ramos - KFDM's first anchor/reporter (1950s)
- Sally Rieger - anchor/reporter (1982–1992)
- Angel San Juan - weekend anchor/reporter (now news director at KBTV-TV)
- Jeff Shults
- Jackie Simien - morning, then 5 and 10 p.m. anchor (left in December 2007; now at KBMT)
- Wayne Sparrow (still works the MDA telethon every year)
- Bob Slovak (now at KTRK-TV in Houston)
- Ken Smith - assistant news director/anchor (1970s; now general manager at KBMT)
- Kara Stevens
- Gary Thornton - reporter
- Grace Trahan - morning anchor (1987–1994; now at WRTV in Indianapolis, Indiana)
- Ronda Vize
- John Walls - co-host of PM Magazine
- Doug Warner - sports anchor (now morning anchor at KSLA in Shreveport, LA
- Liz Wiggins - 6 and 10 p.m. anchor
- Wendy Woolfolk - reporter
- Albert Zipp (currently at WBOY in Clarksburg, West Virginia)
- Courtney Zubowski (currently at KHOU-TV in Houston)
- Nick Zelinski (now at KJTV in Lubbock, TX)
- Ashley Rodrigue (now at WBRZ in Baton Rouge, LA)
- Mitchell A. Junious - director extraordinaire
- John Cain - technical director/supervisor
- Cullen Stevens - studio technician
- Christopher Busselle - 5 and 10 p.m. technical director
- Kendra Georgas - weekend technical director
- Honey Narducci - morning technical director
- Kenny Deville - studio technician
- Scott Lawrence - executive producer (was formerly a reporter/weekend anchor during the 1980s)
- Kendra Girndt - 5 and 10 p.m. producer
- Rena Guillory - morning producer
- Tom Wright - managing editor
- KFDM website
- Southeast Texas CW Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KFDM
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KFDM-TV