KFXA is a full-service television station in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo. Iowa City and Dubuque, Iowa, broadcasting on local digital UHF channel 27 and on virtual channel 28. Founded in 1988 as KOCR, it is owned by the Second Generation of Iowa, Ltd.
KFXA is affiliated with the FOX Network, airing FOX's primetime shows in the evening. In the morning, the station has its own morning news and information program, in the afternoon, it airs nationally syndicated talk shows and reality programs, in the early evening, it shows FOX reruns.
After primetime, it airs its own local newscasts. KFXA also airs local sports broadcasts.
Fox 28 is a TV station in Cedar Rapids, IA. It’s a local news and entertainment station that broadcasts local news, weather, traffic, sports, and general entertainment. In addition to being known as Fox 28 Cedar Rapids KFXA, it’s also called simply by its FCC call sign KFXA. You can watch the station online via the Fox 28 live stream and its collection of videos, updated regularly.
KFXA, virtual channel 28 (UHF digital channel 27), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, and serving the Eastern Iowa television market (Cedar Rapids–Waterloo–Iowa City–Dubuque). The station is owned by Second Generation of Iowa, Ltd.; the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns CBS affiliate KGAN (channel 2, also licensed to Cedar Rapids), operates KFXA under a local marketing agreement (LMA).
The two stations share studios at Broadcast Park on Old Marion Road Northeast (along with IA 100) in Cedar Rapids; KFXA's transmitter is located in Van Horne, Iowa. On cable, the station is available on Mediacom channel 8 and in high definition on digital channel 828.
The station signed-on February 1, 1988, as KOCR-TV with studios on Boyson Road Northeast in Cedar Rapids. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 28, it was the first new full-market commercial station to launch in Eastern Iowa in 34 years. KOCR was a Fox affiliate from the beginning and owned by Gerald Fitzgerald and his company, Metro Program Network.
After being on the air about two months, on March 25, 1988, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered the station off the air because a $150 check from the station bounced. Once it got back on-air on April 22, 1988, the full story came out.
Metro Program Network planned and had a construction permit for a 1,200-foot (366 m) tower between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. Lacking financing for such a tower, the company instead built a tiny 500-foot (152 m) tower next to its studio building without the approval of the FCC or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This resulted in the station being practically unviewable in the eastern part of the market, and its signal was spotty at best even in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. It was thus forced to rely on cable television for most of its viewership.
Cable systems in the Waterloo and Dubuque areas were never able to receive KOCR and went without access to Fox programming until June 1991 when the Foxnet cable network was established to serve cable systems in areas without access to Fox over the air.
By 1994, Fox was reaching new heights from gaining broadcast rights of the NFL's National Football Conference from CBS. However, KOCR's coverage area was not nearly as large as those of the other Eastern Iowa stations, so it sold local NFC rights to KGAN. Around this time, the station's long-standing financial difficulties came to a head as the electricity was disconnected due to unpaid bills.
The station then continued to broadcast thanks to a backup generator. On October 6, 1994, KOCR went off the air after being evicted from their offices due to unpaid rent.
At the time of the eviction, more than $45,000 was owed to IES Utilities and nearly $100,000 was owed in back rent. After this, cable systems in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City carried Foxnet (which was already being carried in Dubuque) as an interim measure.
In 1995, the station was purchased by current owner Second Generation of Iowa for $1.25 million and returned to the air that August 13 under its current calls, KFXA. After the company took possession of the station, it entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with KDUB-TV in Dubuque which operated on UHF channel 40 as the ABC affiliate for the eastern part of the market.
That station's call letters were changed to KFXB-TV, and it was converted into a semi-satellite of KFXA, serving as the Fox affiliate for the eastern portion of the market. The two stations were then branded together as "Fox 28 & 40". The LMA lasted until 2004 when Dubuque TV Limited Partnership sold KFXB to the Christian Television Network, making KFXA became the sole Fox outlet for Northeastern Iowa.
Eventually, after establishing an operational outsourcing agreement with the Sinclair Broadcasting Group (owner of KGAN), Second Generation merged internal operations of KFXA into KGAN's studios. On February 1, 2008, Sinclair announced it would attempt to purchase KFXA outright for $19 million.
The announcement was only partially true since the Sinclair press release only mentioned the company had acquired the non-license assets of KFXA but holds the option to buy KFXA's license under a "failed station" waiver (which Sinclair has yet to exercise as of January 2012). Officially, the Second Generation of Iowa continues to own KFXA's license but all of its operations are now outsourced to KGAN. KFXA has been digital-only since February 17, 2009.
As part of the KGAN twin-stick, this station is considered an alternate CBS affiliate airing that network's programs when KGAN is unable to do so such as during a breaking news emergency (such as severe weather) or local special. The renewal of a retransmission dispute between Sinclair and Mediacom, Iowa's largest cable provider, threatened to result in KFXA being pulled from area cable systems.
The dispute also affected KDSM-TV in Des Moines, which is directly owned by Sinclair. For a few weeks, it appeared that almost half the state would be left without access to the 2010 Orange Bowl which aired on Fox with the local favorite Iowa Hawkeyes football team defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
On December 31, 2009, the expiration date of the original agreement, Sinclair agreed to give Mediacom an eight-day extension that would keep the Orange Bowl on-the-air. Two days after the game, the parties agreed to a one-year carriage deal. KFXA aired Big 12 Conference basketball and the Iowa high school state championships in football, wrestling, as well as boys and girls basketball for several years.
KFXA currently carries Chicago Bears preseason football, as well as most regular-season contests from the NFL on Fox. It also carries Chicago Cubs games either from WLS-TV in Chicago or Fox's Major League Baseball package, and any football game involving the University of Iowa or Iowa State University selected for broadcast by Fox.
On May 15, 2012, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Fox agreed to a five-year extension to the network's affiliation agreement with Sinclair's 19 Fox stations, including KFXA, allowing them to continue carrying Fox programming until 2017.
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