NBC 5/KXAS (WBAP) Television News Collections
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About the Collection
UNT Special Collections holds the complete news archive of NBC 5/KXAS (formerly WBAP), the oldest television news station in Texas. Amon G. Carter, operator of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and NBC affiliated radio station WBAP, constructed the Fort Worth television station that would run WBAP-TV. The first broadcast of the NBC affiliated news station was on September 27, 1948. It was the first television station in Texas and the only television station in the entire southwest region of the country.
For over 65 years, the news station (renamed NBC 5/KXAS in 1974 following its sale to LIN broadcasting) continued to broadcast programming from their original location on “Broadcast Hill” in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2012, the station began construction of a new $16 million facility centrally located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and in early 2014 the station began broadcasting from their new location. News programming at NBC 5/KXAS has grown over the years from a daily 15-minute news reel in the 1950’s to multiple daily news broadcasts by the 1970’s. The station continued to be a leader in local television news by becoming the first station in Texas to feature all-color news film in 1966, and was the first station in the country to produce a monthly “news magazine” featuring in-depth, documentary style reporting.
The NBC 5/KXAS Television News Collection contains historic broadcast footage, scripts, advertisements, still photography, and research files dating from 1950 through 2012. Film and video in the Archive remain in their original physical format, such as 16mm film and obsolete video formats such as UMATIC tape, making it difficult to view and preserve. Although much of the footage in the Archive has not been seen since its original air date, nearly 60,000 original broadcast news segments, and over 100,000 news scripts have been digitized and are available online. We are currently scanning footage on an on-demand basis.
The full contents of the Archive can be searched on the NBC 5/KXAS Television News Collection finding aid, and through a separate NBC 5/KXAS Photograph Collection finding aid. Digitized materials from the NBC 5/KXAS Archive can be viewed on The Portal to Texas History.
To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of NBC 5/KXAS, Special Collections created the Celebrating 70 Years of KXAS digital exhibit.
Access to the NBC 5/KXAS Archive is extremely limited due to the fragile condition of the film and video. We need your help to raise the funds necessary to clean, repair, and digitize this important piece of North Texas history. It costs approximately $7,500 to digitize and permanently preserve one month of film. Please consider a tax-deductible gift today to assist in meeting our goal. To donate, please utilize the online donation form.
Film and video footage form the NBC 5/KXAS archive has been licensed for use in dozens of national and international programs, including:
- “Oklahoma City” –American Experience on PBS
- “W” – American Experience on PBS
- “The Bush Years: Family, Duty, Power” – CNN
- “BOSS: The Black Experience in Business” –PBS, produced by Emmy award winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson
- “David Crosby: Remember My Name” – A documentary produced by Cameron Crowe
- “The Last of the Von Erichs” –VICE Media
- “What Carter Lost” –ESPN
- “Waco: American Messiah” – A&E
- “Sekai Hotei Mystery - Darlie Routier” – Fuji-TV
- “Last Defense” - ABC
For information about requesting licensing and rights or digitization of materials, please view the NBC 5/KXAS FAQ page.