Oklahoma City independent television station KAUT-TV
Channel 43 has been selected to affiliate with Fox Broadcasting Co.,
the lastest entrant in the national television network market, the
station announced Thursday.
Fox, which announced its intention last spring to contest the
three current networks, is expected to launch its programming in
October with the 10 p.m. weeknight broadcast of a talk show hosted by
comedian Joan Rivers.
Rivers' talk show will go up against such established network
programming as the talk show Rivers once guest-hosted for Johnny
KAUT-TV is owned by Rollins Communications Inc. of Atlanta. In
May, Heritage Communications Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa, purchased 44
percent of Rollins and by the end of the year plans to acquire
controlling interest in Rollins, pending Federal Communications
Heritage, which owns 140 cable television systems with 720,000
subscribers, entered the broadcast field in 1985 by purchasing a
television station in South Dakota. Since then, Heritage has
purchased interests in stations in Maine, South Carolina, North
Carolina and Florida. Heritage has also purchased a radio station in
The holdings of Rollins include four television stations and six
KAUT vied for the affiliation along side the other two independant
stations in Oklahoma City, KGMC-TV Channel 34 and KOKH-TV Channel 25,
both of which actually have more viewers than KAUT-TV.
However, KAUT's rate of growth was part of the reason it was
selected above the other local contenders, according to Jack O'Meara,
According to Arbitron Rating Service, which rates broadcasting
stations, the three independent television channels all increased the
total number of households in their weekly viewing audience between
May 1985 and May 1986, with KAUT showing the greatest percentage
increase, to 257,000 from 231,000, an 11.26 percent increase.
KGMC growth was to 270,000 households, from 269,000; while KOKH
increased to 342,000 from 312,000, a 9.6 percent change.
In most areas, Fox signed on the independent station with the
largest number of viewers as its area affiliate, O'Meara said.
Although KAUT is not the largest station, O'Meara says new
programming lined up next fall, including re-runs of "Magnum PI,"
"Facts of Life," and "Falcon Crest" to be broadcast in the fall,
should help boost market share - another factor in Fox's decision.
"Another advantage is KAUT's broadcast tower, the tallest
broadcast tower in central Oklahoma, and the station's signal. …