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Oklahoma City

KWTV to Retire Historic Broadcast Tower; Once Billed as World’s Tallest

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

An Oklahoma City broadcast tower that once was billed as the tallest man-made structure in the world is now destined for recycling. A “towering piece of broadcast and Oklahoma history” said KWTV anchor Kelly Ogle, who climbed the tower for a farewell story–and to tell the unique history of the structure, which among other things led to the station’s choice of call letters:

The tower stands at more than 1,572 feet tall, around 300 feet higher than the Empire State Building, making it at one time the world’s tallest manmade structure. So tall In fact, (station owner John) Griffin decided against the call letters KOMA and instead chose KWTV, standing for “world’s tallest video”.

By the fall of 1954, we reached the widest coverage of any station in the southwest with the view from the top reaching a 60-mile horizon.

“It was real big deal,” (former station general manager Jack) DeLier said. “We had a grand dedication, Johnny Carson was the master of ceremonies, and Vera Ellen who was a film actress and dancer at that time, climbed up on the elevator to the 1,300 foot level and danced on the platform.”

The station no longer uses the tower, and so the massive piece of Oklahoma history will soon be brought down, piece by piece, and sent off for recycling.

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What Did They Cover in Oklahoma City Last Night?

Today we look at Oklahoma City where Sinclair (KOKH), Hearst (KOCO), Tribune (KFOR) and Griffin Communications (KWTV) own the four major stations.

The story choice was diverse with only a car crash at rush hour and a meth bust by a rookie sheriff’s deputy being the only stories that were repeated in any newscast.

The only question we have for Oklahoma City is, “How many Ogles are there anyway?”

Oklahoma Station Apologizes for Cutting Rapper from Morning Show

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 10.59.57 AM

Oklahoma City station KSBI has apologized to performer Jabee Williams after he was asked to leave instead of appearing on the station’s morning show, “Oklahoma Live!” Williams told NewsOK he was invited to appear on the show Monday morning, but the show’s executive producer told him “Hi Jabee. There’s been an oversight, and I need you to leave.”

We all thought he was joking. We asked if he was serious and he said “if you need help, we can help you load your stuff.” Jabee asked if they were expecting a country act, and he said ‘honestly, yes. Upon seeing you, we realized there was an oversight.’

When we asked what exactly the oversight was, he said he had not realized Jabee was not a country act. He said the station is moving in a new direction and could not have him on the show.

Williams says it was “a blatant form of discrimination.”

Station president Vince Orza apologized in a statement Monday to The Oklahoman:

“Jabee should have been allowed to perform. He is a professional, who showed up on time, ready to entertain our audience as he has in the past,” Orza said in a statement. “I wanted him to hear directly from me that he is welcome to perform on ‘Oklahoma Live!’ and KSBI. I apologized to him, and he very graciously thanked me for calling.”

Meteorologist Jon Slater Says He’s Leaving KOKH

slater croppedKOKH meteorologist Jon Slater has announced he is leaving the Oklahoma City FOX affiliate.

“I’ll be leaving FOX 25 at the end of this month,” Slater wrote on his facebook page. “I won’t forget the wonderful people I’ve met and the places I’ve been in 27 years as a broadcast meteorologist. Here’s to the future….”

Slater has been worked at KOKH since June 2008. Throughout his career he’s worked at KOKI, KTUL, and KJRH in Tulsa, KSHB in Kansas City, MO, and KOCO in Oklahoma City.

Hospital Bomb Threat Phoned in to Oklahoma City Stations

An Oklahoma City hospital has been cleared of danger after a man called local stations, including CBS affiliate KWTV and NBC affiliate KFOR, and said there were two bombs in the hospital.

From KWTV’s website:

“The man on the phone said his cousin claimed he placed two bombs in the hospital to protest the gay marriage ruling last week,” said News 9 Assignment Editor Elyssa Mann who took the phone call. The caller told Mann the bombs were set to go off at 8:00 a.m. and were placed on the third floor of the hospital and in the parking garage.

News 9 immediately notified Oklahoma City police of the call. Police officers rushed to the hospital and did a sweep of all the buildings. They told our crew on scene there was nothing suspicious or unusual in the hospital. They said there was nothing for the bomb squad to come out and investigate.

Watch KWTV’s report:

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Giant Wasp Attacks KFOR Forecast

The forecast for Oklahoma City calls for partly cloudy skies and giant wasps. During the 6:30pm newscast Thursday night, a wasp surprised KFOR’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan.

Oklahoma City Reporter Moves to Rival Station

Joleen Chaney, reporter for Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR, is moving to cross town rival KWTV.

A spokesperson for KWTV told TVSpy, Chaney will be a nightside reporter for the Oklahoma City CBS affiliate.

Earthquake Hits During Oklahoma City Morning Newscast

A series of earthquakes at 5:31, 5:47 and 6:25 a.m. hit the Oklahoma City area this morning.

The largest hit at 5:47 a.m. and was 4.2 on the Richter scale. Reactions among the local stations were pretty consistent, an initial reaction followed by a guess of the earthquake’s magnitude.

“Whoa! Oh my Gosh! I’m so sorry,” said KOCO meteorologist Danielle Dozier during the 5:47 a.m. shaker. “This is live on air.” Dozier then waited for the rumbling to stop before saying,  “That was way bigger than what we felt earlier.” Dozier rightly predicted that earthquake was over 4.0.

FOX affiliate KOKH had the most restrained reaction. Chief meteorologist Jeff George was at the tail end of his forecast when the quake hit and said nothing. Anchor Leslie Draffin told viewers the station just felt what she called a huge earthquake and promised to give more info before tossing to break.

CBS affiliate KWTV was coming back from a video and tossing to meteorologist Lacey Swope who yelled “Earthquake!” when it hit.  Stan Miller and Tammy Payne talked about anchors making it on YouTube with their earthquake reactions and suggested Swope take a deep breath after she ducked down and told viewers her heart was racing.

KFOR, the NBC affiliate was showing forecast maps when the temblor hit. “Oh snap!” said meteorologist Emily Sutton. “That’s a big one.” Sutton also commented that the clanking of the lights was the thing she noticed most. Sutton and anchor Kent Ogle high fived after revealing they had both correctly guessed a previous earthquakes magnitude.

KFOR Celebrates 65th Anniversary

This week marks the 65th anniversary of Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR. The station signed on June 6, 1949, as WKY-TV, the first television station in Oklahoma.

In celebration of the anniversary, the station has assembled a comprehensive multimedia look at its history, including a video about the station’s transition to color in 1954:

Michael Konopasek Set to Join KING

michael konopasekAfter three years at KWTV in Oklahoma City, Michael Konopasek will join KING in Seattle as a general assignment reporter. He begins in his new role July 7.

“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work for such a great company in a competitive and exciting television market. Thanks to [KWTV director of content] Todd Spessard for making all of that possible,” Konopasek wrote in a note to KWTV staff. “I’ve met so many wonderful people here over the past three years. It truly is a special place.”

Before KWTV, Konopasek worked at WPTA and WISE in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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