KCBD-TV celebrates 70 years on Lubbock airwaves

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 2:56 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - KCBD-TV is marking the 70th anniversary of its launch on Lubbock television airwaves. It was on May 10, 1953 when KCBD was first found on channel 11.

However, KCBD was originally on Lubbock radio, AM 1590, owned by Joe Bryant. It was physically located in downtown Lubbock. After a move to 5600 Avenue A, the station is now at 9810 University and owned by Gray Television.

“What a legacy,” Forecaster Steve Divine said. “It’s almost incomprehensible to me that it’s been 70 years.”

Since its launch in 1953, KCBD has been a leader in adapting to changing times, constantly finding new ways to serve viewers.

“We were the first ones to have Doppler radar, the first ones to go color, the first ones to go high definition,” Divine said. “We just have been an industry leader, not just in Lubbock, but in many parts of the country. KCBD has been cited for many things. For 70 years it has managed to be a leader. That’s amazing.”

It hasn’t always been known as NewsChannel 11. Its branding included Eyewitness News.

“We have chronicled the history of Lubbock for the past 70 years,” Abner Euresti said. “To be part of that is really cool to me, because [the station] is a part of Lubbock’s history.”

Euresti, along with co-anchor Karin McCay, have brought viewers the news together for 43 years. They’ve reported on numerous stories, including many of Lubbock’s firsts.

“I covered the first Hispanic attorney in Lubbock County, the first black attorney in Lubbock County, the first female policewoman here,” Euresti said. “There were so many events. We were going through history and changing with the rest of the country, as well.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to cover a lot of firsts, too, that I cherish: the first open heart surgery, the first quintuplets that were born,” McCay said. “From a medical side, I’ve really enjoyed all the amazing firsts in Lubbock and across the South Plains.”

KCBD has chronicled many history-making events, including the deadly F5 tornado that struck Lubbock in 1970. Forecasting today is far beyond those capabilities, including presenting the weather.

“When I first came here, literally, my map was magnetized and I cut out the symbols for it,” Chief Meteorologist John Robison said. “We jumped forward from that quite a bit. We were the first ones with Doppler radar here. I had the opportunity, prior to that, through the National Weather Service, to meet one of the top scientists up in Oklahoma City, in Norman, to see what Doppler would be like and how amazing the radar would be. Its ability to detect tornado development is really a key to helping save a lot of people’s lives.”

Thanks to loyal viewers, KCBD has long been the South Plains most watched television station. It will continue to strive to provide news, weather and sports Coverage You Can Count On.

“It’s a great team,” Sports Director Pete Christy said. “It’s just like a football team. We’ve got the main people on-air, but it takes so many people. I think we have the best staff right now we’ve ever had, a lot of young, vibrant people.”

“One of the great things about KCBD, the best thing, is the community that we’re in and the people that work here,” Divine said. “We have people that are such professionals, people that are so dedicated to what it is that they do. That has just made working here all that much better.”

Thank you for making KCBD-TV part of your lives for 70 years. We hope you’ll continue to stay with us through the years to come.

“We’re all part of the South Plains and it’s great that KCBD can serve all these people with important news of the day,” McCay said.

“As TV stations, our license says that we get that license to serve the community and we don’t take that lightly,” Euresti said.