Little Rock, AR 72203
KATV (referred to as "KATV 7" or "Channel 7 News"), is an affiliate station of ABC serving the Little Rock television market and central Arkansas. The station is owned by Allbritton Communications. KATV's transmitter and antenna are located is located on the KATV Tower near Redfield, Arkansas.
The station broadcasts its analog signal on VHF channel 7 and its digital signal broadcasts on UHF channel 22. A 24-hour local news channel, 7 News Now is carried on KATV-DT digital channel 7.2.
It signed on the air on December 19, 1953, originally in Pine Bluff, and is now Little Rock's oldest television station, beating KARK-TV by a few months. Less than a year after it was founded in Pine Bluff, KATV moved to Little Rock and took over the studio of KRTV, a failed UHF station that had been Arkansas' first TV station (itself beating KFSM in Fort Smith by a few months), on North Beech Street near Kavanaugh; however, it burned in 1957.
KATV then moved to downtown Little Rock; it moved to its current studio, a former home of Worthen Bank (now Bank of America) on Main Street, in 1970. It continues to maintain a nominal studio in Pine Bluff to satisfy the original FCC conditions for moving the license to Little Rock, even though modern FCC rules would allow it to operate only from Little Rock even if the license returned to Pine Bluff.
KATV, along with sister station KTUL in Tulsa, Oklahoma and original sister station KWTV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were founded by John Griffin (whose company would later become today's Griffin Communications) and Jimmy Leake. Leake became sole owner of KATV and KTUL in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and owned the stations until 1982, when he sold both stations to their current owner, Allbritton Communications Company.
KATV has used the Circle 7 logo since the 1960's; though it is traditionally associated with O&O ABC stations, KATV is one of several non-O&Os to have used it. KATV's use of the Circle 7 logo predates even the variant Circle 7 once used by Allbritton's flagship WJLA before it switched to the standard version. However, unlike WJLA and most of the O&Os, KATV only uses the ABC logo with the Circle 7 occasionally, usually in screen-corner bugs where the Circle 7 covers the standard ABC bug. KATV also first placed the Circle 7 inside a square in the 1990's; WJLA now uses that as well, though neither station uses it consistently.