HARLINGEN — After about 67 years, KGBT-TV, the Rio Grande Valley’s CBS affiliate, is changing its name.
Nexstar Media Group, owner of KVEO-TV, an NBC affiliate, has acquired Sinclair Broadcast Group’s local CBS affiliate along with its 25,000-square-foot Harlingen station as part of a lawsuit settlement.
Now, Nexstar is broadcasting its new CBS affiliate as CBS 4 on KVEO-TV Channel 23.2, General Manager William Jorn said Tuesday.
However, he said, viewers will continue to find the CBS affiliate on cable and satellite Channel 4.
Meanwhile, Nexstar will be moving its KVEO-TV operations from its Brownsville offices into the former KGBT-TV station at 9201 E. Expressway 83 in Harlingen during the next few months, Jorn said.
Jorn said Nexstar will retain all of KGBT-TV’s 93 employees, who will join the company whose local payroll includes 38 employees.
“We have not let anybody go,” Jorn said. “It is not our intention. We’re in a merging mode. Our intention is to grow not to scale back.”
Jorn said the acquisition will offer viewers enhanced news and programming.
“What it means for the market is the combining of two excellent broadcasting companies allowing us to bring our resources under one roof,” Jorn said. “We are enhancing our service for the Rio Grande Valley, enhancing our news content and local programming. We essentially can do twice as much with the same number of people.”
The lawsuit stems from Sinclair’s failed acquisition of Tribune Media, which Nexstar later acquired.
Under the lawsuit’s settlement, Sinclair will continue to operate KGBT-TV.
As part of the settlement, Sinclair will give Nexstar $60 million in cash and assets.
In addition, Sinclair is selling WDKY-TV Lexington, Ky., to Nexstar, subject to federal approval.
In 1953, broadcasting pioneer McHenry Tichenor founded the station after building a Spanish-radio empire following his ownership of the Valley Morning Star and other newspapers.