KADN-TV, channel 15, is a Fox Broadcasting Company/NBC-affiliated television station located in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. KADN-TV is owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, and has its studios located on Eraste Landry Road in Lafayette and transmitter based south of Church Point, in rural Acadia Parish.
Channel 15 in Lafayette was originally home to KLNI-TV, which operated as an NBC affiliate beginning on September 16, 1968. With ABC affiliate KATC-TV (channel 3) and CBS station KLFY-TV (channel 10) already operating, the Lafayette market was considered too small at the time to support three TV stations. After suffering financial difficulties for the few years it was on the air, KLNI discontinued operations on February 21, 1975, leaving WBRZ (and later WRBT, now WVLA) from Baton Rouge and KPLC from Lake Charles as the region's de facto NBC affiliates. The allocation for channel 15 in Lafayette as a commercial TV station remained after the demise of KLNI, but the frequency stayed dark for the next five years.
KADN-TV, the current incarnation of channel 15, began broadcasting on February 29, 1980 as an independent station, offering mainly movies, old sitcoms, children's programming, and local sports. It was owned by Charles Chatelain and his company, Delta Media Corporation. The station used the on-air slogan "Acadiana's Alternative," and also called itself "The Movie Station."
Unusually for an independent station in such a small market, KADN was innovative in creating its own original programming, especially in the music genre. Shows such as The Larry Brasso Show (country music), Cypress with Warren Storm (swamp pop) and the long-running Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler (Cajun French music) were a Saturday mainstay during the station's early years. The latter program also aired in reruns aired weekday mornings under the title Bon Temps Rouler Encore. A music video hour aired daily called Acadiana Music Box around the same time MTV was catching on.
Also in the early years, KADN had its own news department, first with five-minute newsbreaks and then its own 5:00 pm daily newscast called Acadiana in Review. After just a couple of years, station management realized that it was not financially feasible to compete with KLFY and KATC in news, so the news department was eliminated.
Shortly after KADN signed on the air, KLFY preempted an episode of the popular prime-time drama series Dallas to run a Billy Graham televangelism special. Chatelain persuaded CBS to let KADN clear the episode. At that time, an arrangement was made for channel 15 to officially become a CBS secondary affiliate, picking up a microwave relay of WAFB in Baton Rouge for network programming. KADN then began airing all of CBS's programming that KLFY dropped for one reason or another, especially the morning daytime offerings from 9am-10am (KADN would re-air those shows in the afternoon.) The arrangement lasted until 2005, with preempted CBS programming running in the later years on sister station KLAF-LP.
KADN-TV is a charter member of Fox, having joined the network upon its debut in October 1986.
From the late 1980s to 1997, KADN operated a low-powered semi-satellite in Alexandria, K47DW, to bring Fox programming to central Louisiana. It aired separate commercials for the Alexandria market, identifying as "Fox 47". In 1991, when Delta Media bought WNTZ in Natchez, the Fox affiliation moved to channel 48. Since 1995, the channel 47 translator has simulcasted WNTZ to serve portions of Alexandria where channel 48's signal is weak.
In 1997, Communications Corporation of America (ComCorp) began operating KADN in 1997 through a leased marketing agreement with original owner Charles Chatelain until purchasing the station outright in late 2004. After being located on cable channel 8 since signon, KADN moved to channel 6 on August 15, 2006 as part of a lineup restructuring of the Cox Communications Greater Lafayette system.
In June 2006, owner ComCorp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. ComCorp said in a press release viewers and staff would see no changes at the station.
The programming of sister station KLAF-LP was added to KADN-DT's signal on channel 15.2 in August 2007. This began a period of transition in which all four translators that made up KLAF were shut off.
In early 2008, KADN became the first station in the Lafayette market to air HDTV programming outside of network-provided offerings with syndicated reruns of Two and a Half Men airing in 720p HD. Further, on February 29, 2008, KADN began airing promotional materials throughout the day in 720p HD and identifying on the HD signal as "Fox 15 HD".
On April 24, 2013, ComCorp announced the sale of its entire group (including flagship KADN and sister station KLAF-LD) to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group. The sale was completed on January 1, 2015.
On May 7, 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting announced that KLAF-LD, which simulcasts on KADN-TV's DT2 channel, would be the new NBC affiliate for Lafayette, Louisiana effective July 1, 2015. They also announced that effective on that same date KADN-TV would launch a new DT3 channel and move KLAF-LD's former MyNetworkTV affiliation there.
On January 27, 2016, Nexstar announced it would acquire Media General for $4.6 billion. Since Media General already owns CBS affiliate KLFY-TV, and since the Lafayette market is too small to allow duopolies in any case, in order to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as planned changes to rules regarding same-market television stations which would prohibit future joint sales agreements, the company was required to sell either KLFY or KADN to another company. KLAF-LD was the only station involved in the deal that could be legally acquired, since FCC rules allow for the common ownership of full-power and low-power stations in the same market, regardless of the number of stations in that market. On May 27, 2016, Nexstar announced that it would keep KLFY-TV and sell KADN-TV and KLAF-LD to Bayou City Broadcasting for $40 million.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|15.1||720p||16:9||KADN-DT||Main KADN-TV programming / Fox|
|15.2||720p||16:9||KLAF-LD / NBC 46.1|
KADN-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 15, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 16. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 15.
On March 26, 2007, KADN began running on-air promos teasing a 9:00 pm newscast with the tagline "At 9 it's news, by 10 it's history."
Fox News Louisiana was produced by Baton Rouge Fox affiliate WGMB. Originally, the first 20 minutes of the program were taped earlier and geared specifically towards the Acadiana audience, with stories by Lafayette-based reporters, plus a local forecast. KADN then joined WGMB's live broadcast for the final two segments, which included generic national and world news, plus a statewide sportscast. In 2008, the newscast was retitled Fox News Lafayette, although the former branding (Fox News Louisiana) was not removed from the set.
On August 20, 2007, KADN debuted Fox News Louisiana AM, a 7AM to 9AM newscast. Like the evening news, certain segments were taped and included stories by the Lafayette-based reporting staff, while other segments were aired live. In December 2008, Fox News Louisiana AM was canceled.
In April 2009, KADN canceled its 30-minute evening newscast and let go of its local news staff. KADN then aired Fox News Now at 9 pm, a five-minute newscast featuring local headlines and a weather forecast. This was expanded to a full half-hour and renamed Fox15 News Lafayette when KADN's DT2 signal, simulcasting KLAF-LD, launched its news department on April 1, 2016. Until that time, KLAF-LD simulcasted newscasts from Baton Rouge-based NBC affiliate WVLA-TV, which Nexstar operates under a SSA with White Knight Broadcasting.