12News Station History

KBMT is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Texas that is licensed to Beaumont. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter in Mauriceville. The station can also be seen on Time Warner cable, DISH and DirecTV satellite services, and other cable systems throughout Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana.  Owned by TEGNA Broadcasting, KBMT has studios along I-10/U.S. 69/U.S. 96/U.S. 287 in Beaumont. With the onset of the digital transition, which began more than ten years ago, KBMT has grown its television network base to include five other stations.  These five stations, along with KBMT, provide the foundation for The Networks of 12News.  


Channel

Programming

12.1

KBMT - ABC

12.2

K-JAC - NBC

12.3

COZI

12.4

Me-TV

12.5

MYTX - MyNetwork

12.6

MundoMax


History

Unrelated to the current channel 12 license, the KBMT call sign was originally used on UHF channel 31 when it was launched May 9, 1954 as the first television station to broadcast in the Golden Triangle. It carried ABC, CBS and NBC, but lost CBS when KFDM-TV went on the air in 1955. Since the FCC did not mandate television sets to use converters until 1964, this KBMT went off the air on August 1, 1956.


The current KBMT-TV began broadcasting from its transmitter facilities in Sabine Pass on June 18, 1961 as an ABC affiliate. Before 1961, ABC had been relegated to limited clearances on KJAC-TV (now KBTV-TV) and KFDM-TV. The original owners were N.D. "Doug" Williams and Randolph Reed. The station was later sold to Cowles Broadcasting in 1965, which moved the transmitter site to its current location in Mauriceville, TX. The station was then sold to H&C Communications in 1970, McKinnon Broadcasting in 1977, and then sold to London Broadcasting in Aug. 2009 and now to the current owner TEGNA Broadcasting in July 2014. In September 2002, KBMT became the first station in the market to transmit a digital signal and on January 1, 2009, KBMT was first in the market and one of the first in the country to transmit 2 major networks in HD on a single RF channel when it added NBC programming on digital sub channel 12.2. This came after KBTV, which previously held the affiliation, switched to Fox. This caused former FOX affiliate KUIL-LP (now KUIL-LD) to become an Independent and subsequently re-brand itself as MYTX.  In a ten-year deal with London Broadcasting, KBMT began to manage the programming of that station. On July 6, 2010, the station launched Azteca America on a new 4th digital sub channel becoming the first Spanish-language television station offered in the Golden Triangle. That channel was dropped in early 2013 in favor of MundoMAX. Due to a realignment, 4 digital channels (3 HD and 1 SD) are carried on the main channel 12 signal while the other two (12.5 MYTX in HD and 12.6 MundoMAX in SD) are carried via the lowpower stations (except in Jasper where KVHP-LD on 44 carries the main RF12 signal with ABC, NBC, COZI and MeTV).  KUIL-LP was acquired by TEGNA Broadcasting when TEGNA assumed ownership of KBMT.


Newscasts

KBMT launched its news operation in 1962. On September 16, 2009, several changes occurred in the newscast lineup. The weekday morning show, 12News Daybreak, began simulcasting on both the ABC and NBC channels while becoming a full two-hour broadcast.  Late in 2014, 12News Daybreak expanded the morning show from 5-7 a.m. to 4:30-7 a.m. There began to be a half-hour newscast weekday mornings at 12:00 p.m. on K-JAC. The NBC channel also launched a weeknight show at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. and began to simulcast the main channel's weeknight 10 o'clock news.  Ultimately, K-JAC switched to syndication programming at 10 p.m.  On April 28, 2010, KBMT and K-JAC became the first stations in the market to air local news in high definition and followed up in July by being the first stations to air commercials and syndicated programming in HD. In the summer of 2016, KBMT was proud to accept the ‘Best Newscast’ award from the Press Club of Southeast Texas, the sixth year in a row in which the honor was bestowed upon the station.



Newscast Titles

  • ABC

    12News Daybreak M-F

    12News at 5       M-F

    12News at 6       M-F

    12News at 10     M-F

    12News at 6       Saturday

    12News at 5:30  Sunday

    12News at 10     Saturday

    12News at 10     Sunday 

    NBC

    12News Daybreak           M-F

    12News at Noon               M-F

    KJAC Live at 4 O’ Clock   M-F

    12News at 6:30                 M-F

  •  

  • Station slogans
  • "Hello Southeast Texas, Channel 12 and You" (1980s-1991, used when station featured Frank Gari's "Hello News")
  • "The News Station of Southeast Texas" (1991–1998)
  • "More Local News for Southeast Texas" (1998–2001)
  • "Southeast Texas' First Choice for More Local News" (2001–2007, primary slogan)
  • "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (2001–2007, secondary slogan)
  • "We Believe in More Local News" (2007–2011)
  • "Expect More" (2011–present)


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