KRIV (channel 26) is a television station in Houston, Texas, United States, airing programming from the Fox network. It is owned and operated by the network's Fox Television Stations division alongside MyNetworkTV outlet KTXH (channel 20). Both stations share studios on Southwest Freeway in Houston, while KRIV's transmitter is located near Missouri City, Texas.

BrandingFox 26; Fox 26 News
OwnerFox Television Stations, LLC
First air date
August 15, 1971 (1971-08-15)
Former call signs
  • KVRL (1971–1975)
  • KDOG-TV (1975–1978)
  • KRIV-TV (1978–1986)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 26 (UHF, 1971–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 27 (UHF, 2001–2009)
Independent (1971–1986)
Call sign meaning
Albert Krivin, senior vice president of former owner Metromedia[1]
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID22204
ERP1,000 kW
HAAT598 m (1,962 ft)
Transmitter coordinates29°34′28″N 95°29′37″W
Public license information
Studios for KRIV and KTXH on Southwest Freeway in Houston

Established in 1971 as an independent station under the KVRL call sign and later as KDOG-TV, channel 26 hit its stride after being sold to Metromedia in 1978; it was then renamed in honor of the Metromedia executive who had encouraged the company to purchase it. Metromedia started the station's news department before being sold and becoming the nucleus of the Fox network in 1986. KRIV's local news programming has since steadily expanded to cover hours of morning, evening, and late news.


Early years

On February 17, 1964, the Crest Broadcasting Company, headed by former KIKK owner Leroy J. Gloger, filed an application to build a new TV station on channel 29 in Houston.[2] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s UHF allotment overhaul of 1965 substituted channel 26 for 29. Crest was selected over a competing application from radio station KXYZ,[3] as it got the nod on diversification grounds and superior financial qualifications.[4] KXYZ appealed and asked to submit a revised financial statement, also claiming that Crest had made a misrepresentation as to one of its stockholders, but FCC hearing examiner Chester F. Naumowicz denied the request[5] and upheld the Crest grant.[6]

Construction got underway for KVRL in late 1970, with a mast being erected atop One Shell Plaza in downtown Houston and studios being built in the Schindler Center development at 3935 Westheimer Road[2] in the Highland Village section, now the site of an H-E-B Central Market. The station began broadcasting on August 15, 1971.[7] Programming mostly consisted of syndicated reruns, Texas Rangers baseball,[8] and an affiliation with the Christian Broadcasting Network.[9]

In 1975, Leroy Gloger, who had also taken over general manager duties, was having a conversation when someone remarked that channel 26 was an underdog. For Gloger, who had a penchant for memorable station brands, it was the spark of an idea. He checked with the FCC, found that the call letters KDOG were available, and then changed channel 26 to KDOG-TV on September 1.[10] A series of program changes accompanied the new moniker; the station added 90 minutes a night of Spanish-language programming in prime time.[11]

Acquisition by Metromedia

Six years after going on the air, Crest Broadcasting announced the sale of KDOG-TV to Metromedia for $11 million, including $6 million for the station itself and another $5 million in liabilities.[12][13] The acquisition closed in April, and on April 17, 1978, the call letters were changed to the current KRIV, in honor of then-Metromedia executive Albert Krivin, who had convinced John Kluge to take a chance on the Houston station.[14] Jerry Marcus, general sales manager of Metromedia's Washington, D.C. station WTTG, was hired to manage channel 26's operations,[1] remaining there until his retirement in December 1999.[15]

Metromedia, among the top operators of independent stations, turned a station that was regarded as a "mangy mutt"[15] into a top-rated outlet. An additional multi-million dollar investment in new programming was immediately apparent; in 1979, channel 26 became the new TV home of the Houston Astros.[16] The Spanish-language entertainment programming, from the Spanish International Network, was moved out of prime time and reduced to make way for nightly movies and The Merv Griffin Show; the studios were expanded, and a new transmitter facility was constructed.[17] A local newscast at 7 p.m. was added in 1983.[18]

As a Fox owned-and-operated station

In 1986, Australian newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch purchased KRIV and the other five television stations in the Metromedia group, all of which became the founding owned-and-operated stations of his new television network, the Fox Broadcasting Company. Despite being a member of the new network, KRIV's schedule would not change that much, as at that time, Fox only aired a late-night talk show upon the network's launch; even when prime time programming followed in 1987, the network initially aired the lineup on Saturdays and Sundays. The primary changes were in local programming, where the new owners cut channel 26's existing local public affairs show, Houston Live, and a local children's program,[19] and the move of KRIV's news to 9 p.m. to accommodate more Fox prime time programming.[20] Ratings steadily increased, with total-day ratings tying NBC affiliate KPRC-TV by 1993.[21]

After having operated from the same quarters on Westheimer since its establishment, KRIV acquired a tract of land near the Southwest Freeway to build a new, 78,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) facility that would provide sufficient space and parking for the expanding station.[22] The $40 million facility went into full-time use at the end of 1997 and included new, digital equipment.[23] This facility began housing KTXH in 2001 when Fox acquired the station in a trade with Viacom after CBS acquired UPN.[24] The studios were also used for production of syndicated programming from 20th Television, including the court shows Texas Justice, Cristina's Court, and Judge Alex.[25] It also featured a landing pad for the station's news helicopter; a helicopter leased to KRIV crashed in 2000, killing the pilot.[26]


News operation

By 1982, with Metromedia owning major news-producing independent stations and planning a national news program (for which it attempted to poach Charles Kuralt and John Hart), KRIV was considering starting a news department of its own.[27] This led to the August 1983 launch of KRIV's 7 p.m. newscast, the first prime time newscast in the Houston market.[18] By 1986, it was attracting an audience that at times equaled the third-place 6 p.m. broadcast from KHOU,[28] and a 12:30 p.m. newscast was added.[19] When Fox began providing network programming in prime time, the newscast relocated to its present 9 p.m. position, which brought better ratings and a more loyal news audience.[20]

In 1989, the station began airing Sunday night news specials under the banner City Under Siege, focusing on drug-related issues in Houston.[29] The program regularly featured drug busts, and what some viewers called an overemphasis on Black people being arrested led to rules being set by the Houston Police Department.[30] The program later evolved into a general crime program[20] and outlived several others using the same format at other stations.[31]

Since the 1990s, the station has conducted several major news expansions. In 1993, it started a morning newscast, initially at 7 a.m., as well as a Sunday night newscast.[32] The morning newscast first expanded to three hours, then to four in 2003.[33] On August 18, 2008, KRIV debuted an hour-long weeknight 5 p.m. newscast.[34]

On July 7, 2012, KRIV significantly expanded its news offerings on weekends beyond its one prime time hour, debuting a three-hour weekend morning newscast from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and expanding its hour-long 5 p.m. newscast to weekends for a total of eight additional hours of news on the weekends.[35] Prior to the launch of the new newscasts, KRIV was one of only two Fox-owned stations – alongside Chicago sister station WFLD – that did not have an early evening newscast seven nights each week. On August 21, 2017, KRIV launched a 10 p.m. weeknight newscast titled The NewsEdge at 10, which emphasizes a recap format.[36] The NewsEdge brand was expanded in 2020 to a 6 p.m. newscast, anchored by Kaitlin Monte.[37]

On September 24, 2018, KRIV rebranded the first three hours of its weekday morning newscast from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. as Wake Up! with SallyMac & Lina, with longtime KRIV reporter/anchor Sally MacDonald and new hire Lina De Florias (who would join the station from KTVK/KPHO-TV in Phoenix) serving as the namesake anchors, featuring a format similar to that of its 10 p.m. newscast; the remainder of the newscast was then rebranded months later as "Houston's Morning Show".[38]

Non-news programming

In addition to local news, KRIV produces other news and public affairs programs. The Isiah Factor: Uncensored, a nightly program hosted by Isiah Carey, features interviews with newsmakers; What's Your Point? is a political program hosted by Greg Groogan.[39]

Notable current on-air news staff

  • Isiah Carey – general assignment reporter, Isiah Factor host[39]
  • Caroline Collins – anchor[40]

Notable former on-air staff

  • Anna Davlantes – anchor (later at WFLD in Chicago)[41]
  • Jan Jeffcoat – anchor (2004–2007; currently lead anchor of Sinclair Broadcast Group's television news program The National Desk)[42]
  • Kaitlin Monte – anchor (2016–2022)[43]
  • Stephen Morgan – meteorologist (2017–2021); currently national meteorologist and host at Fox Weather[44]
  • Chau Nguyen – reporter (1998–2000)[45]
  • Hank Plante – reporter/anchor[18]

Technical information


The station's digital signal is multiplexed, including the main subchannel of KTXH, which in turn broadcasts KRIV as one of Houston's ATSC 3.0 (Next Gen TV) stations.[46]

Subchannels of KRIV[47]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
26.1 720p16:9KRIV DTMain KRIV programming / Fox
26.2 480iDecadesDecades
26.3 FOX WXFox Weather
20.1 720p16:9KTXH DTMyNetworkTV (KTXH)
  Broadcast on behalf of another station

Analog-to-digital conversion

KRIV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 26, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[48] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 27 to channel 26 for post-transition operations.[49]


  1. Hodges, Ann (April 14, 1978). "Metromedia out to teach KDOG new tricks". Houston Chronicle. p. 6:4.
  2. FCC History Cards for KRIV
  3. Hodges, Ann (February 13, 1966). "More Color, More Choice on Houston Scene". Houston Chronicle. p. 4:2.
  4. Cooper, Anne (June 26, 1966). "Two More TV Stations Due Houston Area". Houston Chronicle. pp. 1, 11.
  5. "FCC Disallows New UHF Move by KXYZ". Houston Chronicle. December 15, 1967. p. 2:2.
  6. "Award of TV Channel 26 To Crest Upheld". Houston Chronicle. January 20, 1968. p. 2.
  7. Hodges, Ann (August 17, 1971). "New TV Choice Temporarily an Echo". Houston Chronicle. p. 2:7.
  8. "26 Rangers Games To Be on TV Here". Houston Chronicle. December 19, 1971. p. 3:12.
  9. Moore, Louis (April 13, 1973). "Buying Television, Radio Stations for God". Houston Chronicle. p. 3:21.
  10. Hodges, Ann (August 18, 1975). "KVRL Wagging Tail Over Switch to KDOG". Houston Chronicle. p. 2:5.
  11. Hodges, Ann (December 9, 1975). "Blacks' Sitcom Preferences Shown in Poll". Houston Chronicle. p. 23.
  12. Hodges, Ann (August 17, 1977). "Ch. 26 acquired by Metromedia". Houston Chronicle. p. 3:8.
  13. "Metromedia purchase of Ch. 26 approved". Houston Chronicle. April 7, 1978. p. 20.
  14. "Albert P. Krivin, TV exec". Variety. November 14, 2005. Archived from the original on September 16, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  15. McDaniel, Mike (October 15, 1999). "Channel 26 manager to call it quits". Houston Chronicle. p. 10D.
  16. Hodges, Ann (October 20, 1978). "ABC news making viewer gains". Houston Chronicle. p. 2:4.
  17. Hodges, Ann (May 29, 1978). "Ch. 26 begins programming changes". Houston Chronicle. p. 2:11.
  18. Hodges, Ann (July 11, 1983). "Ch. 26 hires complete news staff for projected prime-time local news show". Houston Chronicle. p. 4:6.
  19. Hodges, Ann (May 27, 1986). "Ch. 26 cuts Roberts, Burden from lineup". Houston Chronicle.
  20. Hodges, Ann (June 26, 1990). "Outfoxing the competition - Channel 26 beefs up its news desk as network beats out the big boys". Houston Chronicle.
  21. Hodges, Ann (February 26, 1993). "Fox programs swell Channel 26 audience". Houston Chronicle.
  22. Bivins, Ralph (December 7, 1995). "Channel 26 buys tract on freeway". Houston Chronicle.
  23. McDaniel, Mike (December 17, 1997). "KRIV's new home reflects positive changes". Houston Chronicle.
  24. McDaniel, Mike (December 13, 2001). "KTXH to consolidate operations with KRIV". Houston Chronicle.
  25. "City is setting for many made-for-TV films". Houston Chronicle. April 1, 2005.
  26. "Pilot dies in news chopper crash". Broadcasting & Cable. November 19, 2000. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  27. Hodges, Ann (October 1, 1982). "Ch. 26 to carry Turner's All-Star NFL package". Houston Chronicle. p. 5:13.
  28. Hodges, Ann (September 4, 1986). "No more 'little indie' - Ch. 26 news intent on earning just deserts". Houston Chronicle.
  29. Hodges, Ann (March 10, 1989). "Starr shines bright in Miller band reunion". Houston Chronicle. p. 1F, 6F.
  30. Hodges, Ann (October 5, 1989). "HPD sets new ground rules for Channel 26's 'Siege'". Houston Chronicle.
  31. Hodges, Ann (March 16, 1992). "Hot Channel 26 gets swept away in good ratings". Houston Chronicle.
  32. Hodges, Ann (May 27, 1993). "Channel 26 plans local morning newscasts". Houston Chronicle.
  33. Hoffman, Ken (July 1, 2003). "Three to get ready, now it's four to go". Houston Chronicle.
  34. Malone, Michael (June 2, 2008). "KRIV Going Live at 5". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  35. "In Houston, KRIV Adding Weekend Newscasts". TVSpy. June 15, 2012. Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  36. Marszalek, Diana (August 14, 2017). "KRIV Houston Adds Non-Traditional News at 10 P.M." Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  37. McGuff, Mike (September 29, 2020). "Rashi Vats's 5pm anchor journey is a Texas story of hard work and love". Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  38. McGuff, Mike (September 23, 2018). "'Wake Up! With SallyMac & Lina' debuts Monday on FOX 26 KRIV". Archived from the original on July 2, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  39. Miller, Mark K. (May 1, 2017). "KRIV Houston Expands Two Local Shows". TVNewsCheck. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  40. Garcia, Ariana (January 3, 2023). "News anchor and TikTok star Caroline Collins makes Houston debut". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 4, 2023. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  41. Beylus, Carrie (October 23, 2000). "Houston". Mediaweek. pp. 22–30. ProQuest 213628418 via ProQuest.
  42. McDaniel, Mike (May 25, 2007). "TV Notes - Jan Jeffcoat leaving Channel 26 anchor post". Houston Chronicle. p. Star 6.
  43. Eck, Kevin (August 5, 2016). "Houston Station Hires Reporter From New York". TVSpy. Archived from the original on January 7, 2023. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  44. "A Houston TV news love story: Meteorologist Stephen Morgan and anchor Steven Romo marry in Dallas". Houston Chronicle. November 11, 2022. Archived from the original on January 7, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2023.
  45. "Vietnamese-American reporters shine in the US". Vietnam Breaking News. July 9, 2012. Archived from the original on May 29, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  46. "RabbitEars TV Query for KTXH". Archived from the original on April 16, 2022. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  47. "RabbitEars TV Query for KRIV". Archived from the original on December 6, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  48. "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  49. "DTV Transition Status Report". Federal Communications Commission. February 19, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
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