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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most recent KPBI-CA logo
Fort Smith, Arkansas
BrandingMy 34
ChannelsAnalog: 46 (UHF)
Digital: no
OwnerEquity Media Holdings
(Fort Smith 46, Inc., debtor-in-possession)
Last air dateMarch 28, 2008
Call letters' meaningKPBI = Pharis Broadcasting Inc. (original owners)
Former affiliationsFox (until 2006)
MyNetworkTV (2006-2008)
Transmitter power32 kW
ClassClass A

KPBI-CA was a Class A low-power television station Fort Smith, Arkansas, broadcasting on channel 46. It is now defunct. The station was owned by Equity Media Holdings and, like many of Equity's stations, KPBI-CA was controlled remotely via satellite from Equity's headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas and was relayed via the satellite Galaxy 18 (Ku band transponder 21). The station's programming was also available on channel 34 from Eureka Springs, which shared the KPBI call sign and was attainable over the air in Fort Smith.


KPBI was the flagship station for a network of low-power television stations owned and operated by Bill and Karen Pharis. This station served the Fort Smith area, and its transmitter was located at Mt. Vista in Van Buren, Arkansas. It was followed by channel 15, which served Springdale, Arkansas and its surrounding areas. KPBI eventually added several other low-power translators that extended the coverage area to Mt. Magazine in the east, Poteau Mountain to the west and south (located in Poteau, Oklahoma) and Rogers, Arkansas to the north. This gave an equal coverage area to that of the other local high-power stations. KPBI was originally an independent station, but it became affiliated with the Fox network shortly after its formation. These actions all took place in the early to mid-1990s.

KPBI carried Fox programming at night, and various syndicated offerings during the daytime hours. It also made an inroad in coverage of college sporting events that were not being otherwise made available to the public (i.e. Westark Lions basketball and baseball, Lady Razorbacks basketball, etc.)

KPBI was the operating station for the "Foxstar" satellite truck.

KPBI was known locally as a more "unstructured" station in on-air operations. This was demonstrated by various events such as off-the-path programming, strange video effects (i.e. the "dropping of sheep", which was a Video Toaster effect that would make sheep fall down into the video signal) and the substantial use of all employees as either on-air talent or as voices for commercials and tags. Also of interest is that KPBI used such devices as the Video Toaster and cable spot insertion equipment as primary switchers, commercial production gear and the like, which was a real world proof that a working television station could be operated without high-dollar equipment.

KPBI was joined in 1995 by a sister network, with the flagship station being KFDF-LP (channel 32). This secondary network was affiliated with UPN from the start, and was composed of channel 32 covering Fort Smith and surrounding areas and channel 36, which covered Springdale and its associated area.

KPBI and KFDF operated from the same location in the Ward-Garrison Building, located at the corner of 6th and Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas. This was also the location for the AM radio stations of KFDF (1580 kHz; now KHGG) and KPBI (1510 kHz; later became KSSP; now defunct). These two AM stations were originally programmed to carry Southern Gospel (featuring the on-air talent of Chuck Buckner, Jason Collier, Nancy Rowland a.k.a. Tonia Trelaine, Mike Vaughn and a few others) and local programming, but around 1994 they were changed to carry Sports Talk Radio (via a satellite feed) and local programming (i.e. "The Huddle", which featured Marty Houston, Jr., John Wilhelm and later Ernie Witt, Jr.). The AM stations were transitioned to fully automated by the Chief Engineer for the TV and AM stations, Stuart Rowland, using a Packard Bell PC, a tone detector and a joystick.

One area that brought notice to KPBI was the area of locally produced computer animations for commercials and promotional spots. This area was pioneered in the local market by Earl Green. His productions won awards both locally and nationally.

KPBI led the area in the technical field of digital spot insertion. KPBI was the first station in the DMA to use computer spot playback in the form of the "Virtual Recorder" from ASC Audio Video. Many of the features currently used in the Virtual Recorder (now sold and supported by Leitch) were originated and/or tested by KPBI.

KPBI and KFDF ended operations as standard television stations when they were sold to Equity Broadcasting, at which time they became automated satellite-fed stations.

KPBI-CA remained the Fox affiliate for the market, under the branding of FOX Arkansas, until August 28, 2006. On that date, the station lost the Fox affiliation to KFTA-TV, even though Equity Broadcasting challenged the sale of KFTA-TV with the FCC. [1] KPBI-CA then joined Fox's new sister network, MyNetworkTV. There is no known website for KPBI-CA. KFDF, the original MNTV affiliate, joined the Retro Television Network. [2] [3] [4] [5]

KPBI-CA signed off March 28, 2008, after losing its transmitter site.[1] Two of the station's repeaters, KJBW-CA in Springdale and KRBF-CA in Hindsville, also lost their sites, and left the air two days earlier.[2][3]

After failing to find a buyer at a bankruptcy auction,[4] KPBI-CA's repeaters were 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[5]), with Pinnacle assuming control under a local marketing agreement on August 5.[6] KPBI-CA itself, as well as KJBW and KRBF, were not named in either sale. The licenses for KJBW and KRBF were deleted in 2010; however, the license for KPBI-CA remained active until the FCC canceled the license on October 24, 2011.


KPBI-CA extended its coverage area with six repeater stations.


  1. ^ "Request to Extend STA (KPBI-CA)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 8, 2008. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
  2. ^ "Request to Extend STA (KJBW-CA)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 8, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
  3. ^ "Request to Extend STA (KRBF-CA)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 8, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
  4. ^ "Equity stations still on the block". Television Business Report. April 20, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  5. ^ "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 15, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  6. ^ "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.

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This page was last edited on 4 December 2017, at 14:13
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