|Branding (CBS) Channel 8 (general)
8 News Now (newscasts)|
Channels Digital: 7 (VHF) Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
Subchannels 8.1 CBS 8.2 MeTV 8.3 Movies!
Affiliations CBS (Secondary through 1956)
Owner Nexstar Media Group (Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date July 8, 1953; 63 years ago (1953-07-08)
KLAS-TV "8 News Now" virtual channel 8 (VHF digital channel 7) is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. KLAS-TV's studios are located at 3228 Channel 8 Drive near the northern portion of the Las Vegas Strip in the unincorporated community of Winchester (though with a Las Vegas address) and its transmitter is located on Mount Arden in Henderson.
KLAS first signed on the air on July 8, 1953; the station was originally owned by Hank Greenspun, owner of the Las Vegas Sun. Channel 8 was the first television station to sign on in Nevada (beating KOLO-TV in Reno to the air by two months and five days). It has always been a CBS affiliate, but maintained a secondary affiliation with ABC, which it would share with KLRJ/KORK-TV (channel 3, now KSNV-DT) from that station's sign on in January 1955, until KSHO-TV (channel 13, now KTNV-TV) debuted in May 1956. Greenspun sold the station to aviation magnate Howard Hughes in 1968, reportedly because the tycoon was dismayed that the station never played his favorite late night movies. After Hughes' death in 1976, the station was held in an outside trust for another two years until 1978, when it was sold to Landmark Communications (Landmark Communications renamed itself to Landmark Media Enterprises in September 2008).
On April 16, 1996, KLAS-TV became the first commercial television station in Nevada (and one of the first in the United States) to carry a digital broadcast signal. This signal was first launched during the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention that year. A little more than four years later on April 6, 2000, the first scheduled high definition network broadcasts in Las Vegas began on KLAS' digital signal.
On January 30, 2008, Landmark announced its intention to sell KLAS, along with its other television station WTVF in Nashville. No suitable buyer for KLAS was found until Landmark took most of its properties off the market in October 2008 due to the economic resession. KLAS and WTVF remained under Landmark ownership for more than four years.
On September 4, 2012, Journal Broadcast Group (owners of one of KLAS's local rivals, ABC affiliate KTNV-TV) announced that it would purchase WTVF for $215 million. The sale was finalized on December 6. This left KLAS-TV as the only television station in Landmark's portfolio.
On November 21, 2014, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it would purchase KLAS for $145 million. The sale was completed on February 13, 2015.
On January 29, 2016, shortly prior to Super Bowl 50, KLAS was dropped from Cox Cable due to a retransmission consent dispute with Nexstar across nine markets. As a contingency plan, Cox announced on February 3, 2016 that it would offer a free preview of ESPN Deportes (which was broadcasting the game in Spanish) over the Super Bowl weekend, and encouraged viewers to listen to the English-language radio broadcast while watching it. The next day, KLAS was restored after Cox reached a new deal with Nexstar.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
KLAS-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 7. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 8.
Syndicated programming seen on KLAS-TV includes Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Live with Kelly, and Dr. Phil. The station clears the entire CBS network schedule, though Let's Make a Deal leads out of The Bold and the Beautiful after the noon news and into The Talk, which is unusual scheduling for CBS's daytime programming, allowing Dr. Phil to be led into by The Talk.
KLAS-TV presently broadcasts 36½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays, 1½ hours on Saturdays and 2½ hours on Sundays). Although Channel 8 does not produce a Saturday edition of its morning newscast, 8 News Now This Morning, the station does produce a newscast which runs for 3 hours weekday mornings from 4 to 7 a.m. and a half-hour on Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., since Channel 8 airs the Saturday edition of CBS This Morning, a national news program from CBS News from 5 to 7 a.m., with no local news or weather cut-ins, just national stuff, including the 6-city weather forecast from various CBS affiliates around the country. Channel 8 has been the ratings leader in the Las Vegas market for most of its history. The evening news runs at 5PM, 6PM and 11PM and is anchored by Dave Courvoisier, Denise Valdez, Paul Joncich and Christianne Klein.
However, in recent years, KLAS's local newscasts have been losing ground in the ratings, with rivals KTNV, KVVU and KSNV having successfully eroded ratings for KLAS's newscasts; the station did not finish in first place in any timeslot as of the May 2015 sweeps period and dropped to last place in some timeslots.
KLAS previously branded its newscasts as Eyewitness News, taking over the name from 1982 after KVBC discontinued using the branding, and used it until late 2009, when its newscasts adopted the 8 News Now title. In the early 1980s, the station's newscasts were branded as Newscenter 8, and used the opening Phenix Horns music of Earth, Wind & Fire's 1979 single In The Stone for two years. On September 21, 1981, KLAS-TV became the first station in the state of Nevada to provide hour-long newscasts. For years, KLAS produced a daily interview show, which aired on sister channel Las Vegas One; the program moved to NBC affiliate KVBC (channel 3, now KSNV) in January 2010.
Beginning in the fall of 2002, KLAS produced a 10 p.m. newscast for KTUD-CA called Eyewitness News at 10 on UPN. In the fall of 2006, when KTUD became an independent station, that station was rebranded on-air as "Vegas TV" and the newscasts was renamed to suit the new identity. Shortly after the merger, however, the station dropped the 10 p.m. newscast. KTUD later revived its 10 p.m. newscast, produced by KSNV, from October 2009 to August 2010.
In March 2006, KLAS revamped the station's morning newscast, which was branded as Eyewitness News This Morning at the time.
On September 17, 2006, KLAS became the first station in the Las Vegas market and the state of Nevada, and the eleventh station in the United States, to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.
Just after Nexstar purchased the station, it was announced that Nexstar might discontinue the 4:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. half hours of the station's weekday morning newscast. Starting on February 25, 2015, Nexstar would lay off at least 18 of the station's employees, mainly in the news department's business and traffic divisions; some jobs related to the station's Internet operations were also removed as the station's web operations moved onto Nexstar's Lakana platform. The station's news helicopter was also discontinued.
KLAS' signal is relayed throughout Nevada and parts of Arizona on the following translator stations:
KLAS Channel 8 Heliport – (FAA LID: NV38) (currently not in use by station)