Channel 5 moving from Broadcast Hill, but still tied to Fort Worth

Posted Friday, Oct. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When KXAS/Channel 5 announced five years ago that it was planning to build a new station somewhere closer to the center of the Mextroplex, many in Fort Worth were dismayed that the first television station in the Southwest would even think about leaving its historic home on Broadcast Hill.

The station, originally WBAP, was founded by Star-Telegram Publisher Amon G. Carter Sr. in 1948, kicking off its first broadcast with coverage of President Harry Truman’s visit to Fort Worth. It later would become the first TV station to broadcast in color, and it chalked up a long list of other firsts.

The idea that Channel 5 might actually leave Cowtown altogether was unfathomable to many who saw it as a major Fort Worth institution, inextricably tied to the historical, social and economic farbric of the city. Plus, to leave town would be like cutting the thread that connected it to Carter, Fort Worth’s greatest champion.

People understood that the station had outgrown its cramped facility, which, because it is a historic building, could not be altered very much to accommodate the needs of a station in a new media age. They also understood the need for a broadcast company to be strategically located to cover an area the size of North Texas.

There seemed a perfect solution, and Carter’s spirit appeared to be part of it. The city limits of Fort Worth extend far east to land once owned by Carter near Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. The land was once home to Amon Carter Field (later Greater Southwest International Airport) and is equidistant from Dallas and Fort Worth.

KXAS built its new station there after receiving from the city of Fort Worth an 85 percent property tax abatement over 25 years. In return, the station donated its building and 26 acres on Broadcast Hill to the city.

The station, celebrating its 65th birthday, began moving this week to its new quarters, 18 miles away from downtown but still very much in Fort Worth. The city has been studying how best to use its newly acquired hilltop property.

It’s turned out to be a good move for everyone.

By the way, the Channel 5 studio’s new address is on Amon Carter Boulevard.

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