KCEN Temple

KCEN Texas

KCEN-TV is an NBC affiliate operating in Temple, Killeen, Waco and other parts of Central Texas. Owned by Tegna, Inc., the channel launched on Nov 1, 1953 is originally licensed to Temple and has offices and studios located on North 3rd Street in downtown Temple. Its transmitter is located along I-35 south of Eddy. Grande Communications and Charter Spectrum are the cable carriers of the television.

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KAGS-LD active in Bryan is an LP semi-satellite of the channel serving Brazos Valley. As a result, it simulcasts all network and syndicated programs of the KCEN but airs separate local news-bulletins, legal idents, and commercials and has its own web-portal. KCEN broadcasts in Western half of Waco-Temple-Bryan market while KAGS is active in eastern flank. The rebroadcaster and principle station are considered a single unit for rating purposes. Though KAGS has its own studio on South Texas Avenue in Bryan, master control and some internal operations are based KCEN’s facilities.

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KCEN-TV first signed on air under the original ownership of Frank W. Mayborn on Nov 1, 1953. Frank also had ownership over Temple Daily Telegram and KETM 1400 AM radio. Feeling that Temple, Waco and Killeen would remain as a single television market, the publisher and radio owner opted for KCEN as the calls of its television service where, “CEN” signified central Texas. A studio was structured halfway between Waco and Temple.

KCEN was the maiden television to broadcast in Waco-Temple-Killeen market and second television to be built in Central Texas one year after the launch of KTBC which served the Austin. Although a primary NBC affiliate since its inception, KCEN carried all four major networks before losing CBS to KWTX in April 1955 and closure of DuMont Network when it became a primary NBC and secondary ABC affiliate.

The channel 6 switched its primary affiliation to ABC in March 1984 while it continued to carry select NBC programs during off-time. After KXXV broke into the market on March 22, 1985, it became a primary NBC affiliate but 6 months later when KXXV opted for ABC as its primary network KCEN returned back as NBC affiliate. KCEN was the maiden television in Central Texas to bring close captions to the market in 1989.

London Broadcasting Company acquired the channel in 2009 and decided to sell it to Gannett Company on May 14 2014; the sale consummated on July 8 2014. Thirteen months later Gannet split in two halves with KCEN moving under its broadcasting arm Tegna. Though LBC-era site was retained by the station until Sep 2016. In 2017, KCEN relocated from its Eddy facility to downtown Temple Station Management.

It presently broadcasts 21.5 hours of local news-bulletins with 3.5 hours on each weekday and 1 hour each on Sat and Sun. It became the maiden television to offer HD broadcasts in Waco-Temple-Killeen market on Feb 1, 2010. You can watch KCEN online and follow it on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Here is the website: https://www.kcentv.com/