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KTAL celebrates 60 years

It's a big day for KTAL-TV. On Friday, August 16th, we will celebrate 60 years of broadcasting news across the ArkLaTex.
courtesy: walterwindsor.com
courtesy: walterwindsor.com
Courtesy: Texarkana Museums System Archive
Courtesy: Texarkana Museums System Archive
Courtesy of: Texarkana Museums System Archive
Courtesy of: Texarkana Museums System Archive
Courtesy of: Texarkana Museums Archive System
Courtesy of: Texarkana Museums Archive System
It's a big day for KTAL-TV.

On Friday, August 16th, we will celebrate 60 years of broadcasting news across the ArkLaTex.

When we first went on air, our station wasn't KTAL, we were actually known as KCMC-TV.

At that time, it was the only television station broadcasting in this area, so it was quite an exciting time for Texarkana.

In the 1950's, the Twin Cities were booming.

"Texarkana was very much a get together kind of place," said resident and unofficial historian Beverly Rowe.

Businesses were thriving, people were moving to the area, and the town was growing.

Rowe says the town was very active with a lot of commercial businesses.

Something was missing.

"You went to the café or listened to the radio," said Rowe. "That's primarily where you got your news."

Since 1934, Texarkana had gotten its news by the region's largest radio station, KCMC.

The owner, Clyde E. Palmer, owned the station along with several newspapers (including the Texarkana Gazette).

But Palmer wanted more, and on August 16th, 1953, he launched KCMC-TV, Texarkana's first television station.

"It was pretty neat for Texarkana because we had the main station, Channel 6," said resident James Bramlett.

Bramlett remembers watching the station as a 10-year-old boy.

KCMC-TV was small, but covered news in the area, and carried ABC and CBS shows.

"It did a lot for the community," said Bramlett. "Just the fact that we had a news station for a network in our city, was a really big plus for us."

Even the station's tower, which is still used today, gave Texarkana pride.

"You'd look up and no matter where you lived, you'd see the flashing red light on top of the KTAL tower," Bramlett said. "So to have something like that in this community it's like wow, that's pretty neat. Channel 6 was our station."

Over the next 60 years, KCMC-TV grew into what it is today.

While the original station was torn down, that hasn't stopped Channel 6 from keeping it local to everyone in the ArkLaTex.

KCMC-TV became KTAL-TV in the 60's.

It was then when we built our new transmission tower in Vivian, LA.

It stood 1,553 feet tall, and was actually the fourth largest man-made structure in the world at the time.

It allowed us to move our operations to Shreveport, which is when we became an NBC affiliate.
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