KTXS-TV is the ABC television affiliate for the Abilene/Sweetwater/Brownwood market. The station is licensed to Sweetwater, and broadcasts its digital signal on UHF channel 20 (Suddenlink cable 4 in Abilene) from a broadcasting tower near Trent, Texas. KTXS maintains studios located on North Clack Street in Abilene. Syndicated programming broadcast on KTXS includes: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Phil, Extra and Texas Country Reporter.
KTXS also has a low powered station, KTXE-LP channel 38 in San Angelo, Texas.
KTXS signed on as KPAR-TV on January 2, 1956. It was part of the West Texas Television Network, based at KDUB-TV (now KLBK-TV, channel 13) in Lubbock, and was a primary CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. The station's first studio was built on the eastern edge of Sweetwater; broadcasts from this location included a 6pm newscast.
Grayson Enterprises bought the West Texas Television Network stations in 1961. Grayson opened a satellite studio in Abilene in the early 1960s, and soon moved most of KPAR's operations there. This resulted in the first of many fines from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for violating "main studio" regulations. In 1966, the station moved most of its operations to a new studio in north Abilene and the call letters were changed to KTXS.
Grayson nearly lost its stations, including KTXS, four times between 1968 and 1971 due to licensing issues. In 1977, their renewals were deferred pending a hearing. Grayson was accused of fraudulent billing, program and transmitter log fabrication, main studio violations, failure to make required technical tests, and other problems.
The case was settled in what was then described as a "distress sale" where the stations were sold to a minority controlled group (nowadays known as a historically underutilized group) at a reduced price. The company breakup helped define the parameters of such a sale. KLBK and KTXS were sold to Prima, Inc., who was granted a permanent waiver of the main studio rule. Sweetwater continues to be the FCC city of license with the KTXS Tower in nearby Trent.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||720p||16:9||KTXS-DT||Main KTXS-TV programming / ABC|
KTXS-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, 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 20. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 12.
KTXS-TV serves as the ABC affiliate for 16 counties in West Central Texas that are part of the Abilene television market area (Taylor, Nolan, Callahan, Coleman, Brown, Runnels, Stephens, Shackelford, Jones, Eastland, Fisher, Scurry, Mitchell, Haskell, Stonewall, and Knox). Through KTXE-LP, it also serves the four counties in the San Angelo market (Tom Green Coke, McCulloch and Concho).
KTXS also provides coverage for two other counties that are on the fringe of the actual assigned viewing market (Throckmorton in the Wichita Falls-Lawton market and Comanche Dallas-Fort Worth DMA. Throckmorton County was reassigned to the Wichita Falls/Lawton DMA from the Abilene DMA, as of September 2008.
On Wednesday, August 10, 2011, KTXS began broadcasting the news in 720p high definition with a new set and new graphics.