Austin TV veteran to head up marketing efforts for KXAN, KBVO

Dax Dobbs

There’s a new face heading up the marketing efforts for Austin TV stations KXAN and KBVO.

Dax Dobbs has been named marketing director for the city’s NBC and MyNetworkTV affiliates, which are both owned by Texas-based Nexstar Media Group.

“Dax has a long-term record of success in developing award-winning multi-platform promotions and marketing campaigns for stations’ local and national content offerings,” said Eric Lassberg, vice president and general manager for KXAN and KBVO. “At Nexstar, our local audiences remain at the center of every decision that we make and we are committed to delivering valuable local content to our local viewing communities in real time. With Dax’s extensive experience in cross-platform promotions, large scale video production and strategic project management, we are confident that he is the ideal candidate to lead the marketing initiatives of KXAN and KBVO.”

Dobbs most recently worked at Austin ABC affiliate KVUE, serving as brand manager and creative director. He’s a graduate of the University of Southern California and worked for Paramount Pictures and behind the scenes on a number of television shows earlier in his career.

“I am excited to join Nexstar and look forward to working with Eric and the exceptional teams at KXAN and KBVO to further strengthen our local broadcast news brands, web/mobile content concepts and social media engagement initiatives,” Dobbs said. “In this new role, I will leverage the news programming production, branding and marketing experience built over my career to generate results, increase audience engagement and enhance the overall experience for viewers and advertisers, while developing new opportunities to drive revenue and market share growth.”




KBVO to air Friday’s Lake Travis-Westlake playoff game

The Lake Travis football team celebrates its 54-7 victory over Los Fresnos on Nov. 25. (John Gutierrez photo / for American-Statesman)
The Lake Travis football team celebrates its 54-7 victory over Los Fresnos on Nov. 25. (John Gutierrez photo / for American-Statesman)

One of the biggest high school football rivalries in Central Texas will unfold Friday night on live TV.

That’s when Austin MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO will air the 6A Division 1 quarter-final matchup between powerhouses Lake Travis and Westlake.

The game, which will be played at Round Rock’s Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, starts at 7:30 p.m.

Westlake fans got some bad news Thursday when they learned star Chaparral quarterback Sam Ehlinger wouldn’t play in the game because of a wrist injury.


KBVO to air Friday’s Temple-Connally playoff game

Another Central Texas high school football playoff game is set to air on Austin TV station KBVO this week.

The city’s MyNetworkTV affiliate will broadcast the Class 5A Division I matchup between the Temple Wildcats and Connally Cougars live at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The broadcast team will include De Hansen and Steve Gideon.

KBVO to televise 13 high school football games this fall

Team captains from Anderson, right, and McCallum, left, watch the coin toss last year before their season-opening football game at House Park. The Trojans won 28-14. (Rodolfo Gonzalez photo /American-Statesman)
Team captains from Anderson, right, and McCallum, left, watch the coin toss last year before their season-opening football game at House Park. The Trojans won 28-14. (Rodolfo Gonzalez photo /American-Statesman)

Football season is just around the corner, and local MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO will once again be televising several local high school matchups.

The first broadcast, set for Aug. 25, features the Taco Shack Bowl: the annual Anderson-McCallum game.

Roger Wallace, sports director for sister station KXAN, will handle play-by-play duties.

If you’re not near a TV, the games will also be live-streamed on

The full schedule:

  • Aug. 25: Anderson vs. McCallum, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 1: Lehman vs. McCallum, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 8: Anderson vs. LBJ, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 15: Belton vs. Round Rock, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 29: Canyon Lake vs. Akins, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 6: Westwood vs. McNeil, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 13: Reagan vs. Austin High, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 20: Del Valle vs. Akins, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 27: Giddings vs. LaGrange, 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 3: Crockett vs. LBJ, 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 10: Playoff No. 1, teams and time to be determined
  • Nov. 17: Playoff No. 2, teams and time to be determined
  • Dec. 1: Playoff No. 3, teams and time to be determined

Texas firm buys 3 Austin TV stations as part of $4.6B deal

kxanThree Austin TV stations are in line to get a new owner — and it’s not the company everyone was expecting.

Virginia-based Media General, which operates NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO, is being acquired by Irving-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group in a deal valued at $4.6 billion in cash and stock, according to an announcement made Wednesday.

The new company will be named Nexstar Media Group and will have 171 full-power TV stations in 100 U.S. TV markets.

Last year, Media General had agreed to merge with Iowa-based Meredith Corp. That deal almost immediately hit a series of roadblocks when Nexstar executives made a counteroffer. They were rebuffed initially, but criticism from key Media General stockholders steadily grew.

The breakup up with Meredith will cost Media General $60 million. Meredith will also get first dibs on buying any stations Nexstar is required to sell off in markets where it overlaps with Media General. reports those markets will likely include Roanoke, Va; Green Bay, Wis.; Davenport, Iowa; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Lafayette, La.; and Terre Haute, Ind.

“Together with Nexstar, we can deliver a more comprehensive, integrated and competitive offering across all markets for the benefit of our advertisers and brands,” Media General president and CEO Vincent Sadusky said in a written statement. “I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of our talented employees, and I’m confident they will continue to make many valuable contributions as part of a larger and stronger organization. I look forward to working closely with the Nexstar team to bring our companies together to realize the power of this compelling combination and ensure a smooth transition.”

In Texas, KXAN, KNVA and KBVO are Media General’s only stations. Nexstar, however, owns several more, including ones in Abilene, Amarillo, College Station, El Paso, Harlingen, Lufkin, Midland, San Angelo, Tyler, Waco and Wichita Falls.

Through a contract with Four Points Media Group, Nexstar briefly operated Austin CBS affiliate KEYE beginning in 2009. That deal ended, though, when Four Points was sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group, KEYE’s current owner, in 2011.

“The acquisition of Media General’s broadcasting and digital media assets represent a transformational growth opportunity for Nexstar and is strategically and financially compelling,” Nexstar president and CEO Perry Sook said in a written statement. “The transaction increases Nexstar’s broadcast portfolio by approximately two thirds with very limited overlap with our existing properties, more than doubles our audience reach, provides entrée to 15 new top-50 (markets) and offers synergies related to the increased scale of the combined digital media operations.”

Austin represents one of those new top-50 markets Sook mentioned, ranking 39th in the nation, according to Nielsen, with 745,640 TV households.

The Media General deal is expected to close in either the third or fourth quarter of this year, Nexstar said.


November TV ratings: KXAN wins all major news competitions

KXAN's newscasts were No. 1 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
KXAN’s newscasts were No. 1 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

A clean sweep.

That’s what KXAN got during the November “sweeps” period, with the city’s NBC affiliate scoring wins in every major head-to-head weekday news time slot.

It’s the first sweeps month in recent memory – there are four each year – where Austin ABC affiliate KVUE didn’t claim a single victory.

KXAN started the day bright and early with a win at 4:30 a.m., a time period where KVUE ranked No. 1 during July, the most recent sweeps month. This time around, Fox-owned KTBC also managed to outdraw KVUE at that early hour.

At 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., KXAN remained the station to beat, with KVUE taking the silver at 5 a.m. and KTBC yanking it away at 6 a.m.

Middays, KXAN’s noon newscast edged KVUE’s 11 a.m. broadcast.

The story was the same at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., where KXAN drew thousands more viewers that its competitors – an audience larger than KVUE and CBS affiliate KEYE combined for both half hours.

KXAN finished the day with one last win at 10 p.m.

While KXAN saw big gains throughout the day – from 100 percent at 4:30 a.m. to 32 percent at 10 p.m. – the other stations have reasons to smile, too. KTBC, for example, grew 23 percent year over year at 5 p.m., 32 percent at 9 p.m. and 31 percent at 10 p.m.

Local newsies have a brief holiday breather before the next sweeps period, which kicks off in February.

Other highlights:

  • ABC’s “Good Morning America” is the city’s top-rated network morning show, followed by NBC’s “Today” and “CBS This Morning.”
  • “NBC Nightly News” is the nighttime network newscast of choice, followed by ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “CBS Evening News.”
  • During primetime, among the English-language networks, it’s NBC, then ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW and MyNetworkTV.
  • In late night, NBC’s Jimmy Fallon is king, followed by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and CBS’s Stephen Colbert.

November Nielsen ratings                                                  

Each ratings point equals 7,456 Central Texas households. The first number is ratings points, the second is share (the percentage of in-use TV sets tuned to a particular channel) and the third is total households.

4:30 a.m.

  • KXAN: .8 / 7.1 / 5,965
  • KTBC: .7 / 6.5 / 5,219
  • KVUE: .7 / 6 / 5,219
  • KEYE: .2 / 1.5 / 1,491

5 a.m.

  • KXAN: 1.8 / 12.5 / 13,421
  • KVUE: 1.4 / 9.7 / 10,438
  • KTBC: 1.3 / 9.3 / 9,623
  • KEYE: .5 / 3.7 / 3,728

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 3.2 / 15.5 / 23,859
  • KTBC: 2.5 / 12.3 / 18,640
  • KVUE: 2.2 / 10.7 / 16,403
  • KEYE: .8 / 3.6 / 5,965

7 a.m.

  • KTBC: 2.2 / 9.3 / 16,403
  • KNVA: .2 / 1 / 1,491

8 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.7 / 6.9 / 12,675

9 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.4 / 6.1 / 10,438
  • KEYE: .9 / 3.7 / 6,710 (‘We Are Austin’)

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: 2.3 / 9 / 17,149


  • KXAN: 2.5 / 9.7 / 18,640
  • KTBC: .9 / 3.6 / 6,710

12:30 p.m.

  • KXAN: 1.2 / 4.8 / 8,947 (‘Studio 512’)

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6.1 / 15.6 / 45,482
  • KVUE: 4.6 / 11.6 / 34,298
  • KTBC: 2.6 / 6.3 / 19,386
  • KEYE: 1.5 / 3.8 / 11,184

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 7.8 / 17.4 / 58,157
  • KVUE: 5 / 11.2 / 37,280
  • KEYE: 2 / 4.5 / 14,912

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 2.5 / 5.1 / 15,658
  • KNVA: 1.1 / 2.2 / 8,202

9:45 p.m.

  • KNVA: .4 / .7 / 2,982 (‘ATX Uncensored(ish)’)

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5.7 / 12.3 / 42,499
  • KVUE: 5 / 10.7 / 37,280
  • KEYE: 3.2 / 6.9 / 23,859
  • KTBC: 2.1/ 4.6 / 15,658


Austin viewers get 2 new over-the-air TV networks

Programming on Laff includes 'The Drew Carey Show.'
Programming on Laff includes ‘The Drew Carey Show.’

Two more over-the-air TV channels are on their way to Central Texas.

Media General, owner of CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO, has signed deals to carry the Grit and Laff networks.

Grit, which targets a primarily male audience with shows such as “Walker, Texas Ranger” and Western flicks, will pop up soon on KNVA’s 54.2 digital subchannel.

The network is about a year old and has a companion female-focused network, Escape, that can be found on Univision-owned KAKW’s 62.4 digital subchannel.

Laff will air on KBVO’s 14.2 digital subchannel. The network, which launched seven months ago, primarily runs reruns of sitcoms such as “Empty Nest,” “Ellen,” “Spin City,” “Grace Under Fire,” “The Bernie Mac Show” and “The Drew Carey Show.”

A Media General representative said Monday that Grit and Laff should make their debut here sometime in late December.

“The addition of these powerful stations … widens our already robust and expansive market coverage for our young networks,” said Jeffrey Wolf, chief distribution officer for Katz Broadcasting, the company behind Escape, Grit and Laff.

Monday’s announcement comes just about a week after Austin NBC affiliate KXAN, another Media General station, added the ION network to one of its digital subchannels.

DirecTV customers will keep 3 Austin stations, but Dish subscribers might lose KVUE

kxanOne satellite TV dispute has been resolved, but another still lingers.

Media General, the company that operates three Austin TV stations, says it has reached a new agreement with DirecTV that means NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO will remain a part of its channel lineup.

Dish Network, meanwhile, has yet to strike a new deal with Tegna, owner of Austin ABC affiliate KVUE.

An existing agreement that expired Sept. 30 was initially extended 24 hours, but the two sides said Thursday that they would up that to an eight-day extension because Hurricane Joaquin is approaching the East Coast, where Tegna owns several TV stations.

Cable and satellite TV providers are required by federal law to compensate broadcasters for carrying their signals. Those fees have been the sticking point in both the DirecTV and Dish Network negotiations, based upon public statements made by those involved.

Disputes with Dish, DirecTV could knock 4 Austin stations off the air

kxanDisputes between broadcasters and satellite TV providers could knock as many as four Austin TV stations off some channel lineups this week.

DirecTV has yet to reach a new agreement to carry dozens of stations nationwide operated by Media General, including Austin NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO.

The current deal expires at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Dish Network is in a similar standoff with Tegna, owner of Austin ABC affiliate KVUE.

The deadline for them to work things out is 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The sticking point in both the DirecTV and Dish Network negotiations is money, based upon public statements made by those involved. Cable and satellite TV providers are required by federal law to compensate broadcasters for carrying their signals.

Just last month, a similar dustup knocked Austin CBS affiliate KEYE and its Telemundo subchannel off the Dish Network lineup for about 24 hours.

KBVO to televise 11 Austin-area high school football games

The Westwood High School football team practices on Aug. 11. (Henry Huey photo / For the Round Rock Leader)
The Westwood High School football team practices on Aug. 11. (Henry Huey photo / For the Round Rock Leader)

The fall schedule for Austin TV station KBVO includes a heaping helping of high school football.

The MyNetworkTV affiliate will air 11 games this season, kicking things off this Thursday with the Taco Shack Bowl featuring McCallum and Anderson.

Roger Wallace, sports director for sister station KXAN, will call the games alongside Steve Gideon and Keith Moreland.

The broadcasts will also be live-streamed at

The full schedule:

  • Aug. 27, 7:30 p.m.: McCallum vs. Anderson
  • Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m.: Westwood vs. Anderson
  • Sept. 10, 7 p.m.: Cedar Park vs. Westwood
  • Sept. 17, 7 p.m.: Hendrickson vs. Westwood
  • Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Bastrop vs. Travis
  • Oct. 1, 7 p.m.: Waco High vs. Connally
  • Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.: LBJ vs. McCallum
  • Oct. 15, 7 p.m.: Rouse vs. McNeil
  • Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.: Del Valle vs. Austin High
  • Oct. 29, 7 p.m.: Rouse vs. Stony Point
  • Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.: Del Valle vs. Bowie