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KCER-TV
New KCER logo alternate

Location

Benton, Arkansas

Branding

ABN 42 Benton

Slogan

Benton's Most Trusted Television Leader
#DoubleFun2U (CER2 HD)

Channel(s)

Digital: 42 (UHF)

subchannel(s)

KCER-ABN - 42.1
CER2 HD - 42.2
ABN Kids - 42.3
ABN Women - 42.4
ABN Maxx - 42.5
ABN Sports - 42.6
Mundovision - 42.7
UBC - 42.8
Big Sky Channel - 42.9
KCER Box Office - 42.10

Affiliation

ABN (2015-present)

First air date

1979

Former call letters

None

Former channel number

Analog: 42 (UHF) (1979-2009)
Digital: 65 (UHF) (2000-2013)

Former Affiliation

Fox (1986-97)
UPN (1997-2006)
MyNetworkTV (2006-08)
Independent (1979–1986 and 2008–2015)

Co-owners (under arbitrary agreement)

CER2 Digital Networks
Champion Digital Broadcasting
ABN Domestic Television Corporation Kohrumai Broadcasting Company

KCER-TV is a ABN-affiliated television station in Benton, Arkansas and broadcasts on channel 42. It is owned by KCER Media which also owns KWAB-TV along with CER2 Digital Networks and CER2 HD. KCER, like KWAB-TV, has had a troubled history of acquiring programming rights from networks, acquiring affiliations only to switch to another due to low ratings, poor management practices, or labor disputes. Originally the station was independent until 1986, affiliated with Fox until 1997, UPN until 2006, and MyNetworkTV until 2008, and independent again until 2015.

History

In 1972, Ronnie van Veronica, a worker at Field Communications, acquired a license to start a TV station in Benton. He acquired videotapes and 16 mm prints from various stations and sources.

KCER-TV launched in 1979 as an independent station, showing cartoons, movies, game shows, among other things, and showed British PIF's overnight (using a special film chain custom built for the station). By 1981, KCER-TV launched its first 30-minute local newscast, then a one-hour newscast in 1985.

KCER-TV as FOX affiliate

It gained a FOX affiliation in 1986. It kept the one-hour newscast program with a new title, FOX 42 Eyewitness NEWS @ 5:00. By 1987, it added a 10 PM newscast. For a ten year run, KCER-TV began to pull good ratings from FOX programming and at one point was part of FOX's Top 50 DMA designated stations.

Problems and controversies

Problems with management began to snowball causing KCER to lose the FOX affiliation in 1997.

In the spring of 1993 during a Saturday morning test of the Emergency Broadcast System, the console that ran the test was hijacked causing the EBS transmitter to malfunction. It sent KCER-TV into a blackout for five hours before programming resumed.

In January of 1994 in the wake of the 6.6 magnitude Northridge earthquake, the EBS console was once again hijacked and a disturbing message was broadcast over KCER-TV's main signal with this statement:

HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT?! YOU SURELY MUST BE PROUD OF YOURSELVES THINKING THAT YOUR SO-CALLED SPIRITUAL ENTITY IS OKAY WITH YOUR IMPUDENT MOCKERY OF OUR OWN RACE! WE ARE LEGION! WE WILL DISRUPT YOU AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS POSSIBLE! WE WILL NOT STOP! WE WILL BE KNOWN!

This was known as the Legion Hijack of 1994. It affected hundreds of other stations nationwide when the hijackers infiltrated the signals of 41 FOX stations, KCER-TV most namely, 12 CBS stations, 61 ABC stations in The Diplomatic Republic of the Holman Union and 11 NBC stations in Arkansas alone. It took KCER-TV management two hours to isolate and finally remove the offending hijacked signal. The perpetrator proclaimed to be the leader of an underground religious cult called Soldiers of Legion who "prophecied" that a large scale attack would take place at exactly the date and time of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and named Timothy McVeigh, known as the "Unibomber", as their "prophet". The perpetrator was later caught and formally charged.

Dissension among the KCER-TV management rose between 1995-1997 causing them to lose bits of FOX programming before finally dissolving their affiliation in 1997.

KCER-TV as UPN and MyNetwork TV affiliate

FOX sold KCER-TV in May 1997 to Viacom, owner of the United Paramount Network (UPN). Ratings were low in the 10 PM newscast in 1998. At that point, KCER-TV withdrew their one-hour newscasts and began to revert back to the lone half-hour 5 PM newscast under the name UPN 42 NEWS at FIVE, then renamed as My42 NEWS at Five when MyNetworkTV and The CW both commenced in 2006, which led to The WB and UPN being taken over by Turner and Viacom. Low ratings in the 2005-2006 seasons became the main culprit for losing the UPN affiliation.

More management and programming issues ensued in 2007 which caused MyNetwork TV to be dropped in 2008.

KCER-TV as an independent station again, more management woes, and a resolution

By the beginning of 2008, KCER became an independent station again. However, as of late, the station was struggling in ratings. All newscasts were removed and many of KCER's old staff began to defect to other markets. Recently, poor management and low ratings befell the station once more resulting in the removal of the station's CEO, and several of the CEO's main staff.

At 9:54 AM Pacific Daylight Time March 28th, 2015, as part of the ongoing 2015 US television realignment, the Kohrumai Broadcasting Company opened negotiations with KCER-TV executives with the intentions of saving it.

Finally after some negotiating, a deal was made with Kohrumai to acquire KCER-TV when the now former CEO was ousted amid allegations of incompetence. The official deal was signed on March 30th, 2015 at 4:45PM Pacific Daylight time 6:45PM Central Daylight Time.

After KBC completed the acquisition, ABN CEO Billy Fortner talked KBC CEO Randy Webb into a dual-ownership scenario. The FCC considered the dual-affiliation. As such the affiliation was changed to ABN with KBC as a secondary affiliate as a part of an arbitrary agreement. This double affiliation allows KCER-TV to deliver a wider range of programming to be shown. When asked about this arrangement, ABN CEO Billy Fortner said this. "I am looking forward to this partnership, and hope that we can build a bright future for all of us."

Starting in March of 2015, KCER-TV revived the one-hour 5 and 10 PM newscasts under the new title ABN 42 NEWS @ 5/10. KCER-TV also acquired new equipment to run ultra high definition programming (branded as "Ultra HD, UHD or 4K). Later, ABN Domestic Television Corporation began the acquisition of KWAB-TV, KCER-TV's independent sister station.

Logos


Television stations in Benton
WGB 2 (CBS)

KNBA 5 (NBC)
KXWG 7 (JWTV)
KEFL 8 (PBS)
KMBR 9 (MNTV)
KBEN-TV 10 (Azara)
KRLK 11 (FOX)
KKK 13 (IND)
KPAX 16 (ION)
KERQ 19 (ABC America)
KWAB 22 (IND, owned by ABN)
KMGM 25 (ABC)
KNIA 29 (BCH)
KSPA 30 (MGM)
KKQT 33 (UniMas)
KBES 36 (UPN)
KNBZ 39 (UBC)
KCER 42 (ABN)
KUAB 43 (CW)
KBTN 45 (RDN)
KCCB 48 (CCC)
KLIM 51 (PAR)
KICS-TV 55 (QUAD)
KANE 56 (TMD)
KUVB 57 (UNI)
KKOR 64 (WZL)
KILD 68 (SCh)
KDNX 69 (RKO)

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ABN affiliates in the state of Arkansas
KPWR 2 Bentonville

KWPV 4 Texarkana (Ark-La-Tex)
KMXA 5 Little Rock
KEZK 6 Arkadelphia
KQLH 8 Sherwood
KHCN 11 Paragould
KFDO 13 Camden
KMXP 17 Jonesboro
KCER 42 Benton

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