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D Empire Expands to Television

Big news this morning. D Magazine Partners (the magazine’s parent company) and London Broadcasting have announced a partnership that should make the local television landscape look a little more interesting. London, a local firm, owns a unique property called KTXD, which I’m told is the only station of its type in the country. It is an independent, must-carry station in a major media market. That means it is not beholden to a network like CBS or NBC, and the FCC requires that local cable providers carry it. Right now, KTXD broadcasts a lot of old classics (Batman, Bonanza, The Bob Newhart Show), but it plans to transition to all local programming. That’s where we come in. The station will rebrand itself as D-TV one show at a time. For example, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman has a show on the station called Texas Living. Pow! Come January 7, it’ll be called D Living. Zac will have a standing segment on the show wherein he’ll mumble about throwback sneakers and pearl snap shirts. I’m just kidding. Or am I?

Here’s the full and official press release:

Announcing DFW’s Newest Media Pairing: D Magazine and KTXD-TV

ADDISON, TEXAS (Dec. 3, 2012) — What happens when a best-selling magazine and the market’s newest, independent network team up? Sophisticated, distinctive television programming that focuses on local issues, local people and local culture. That’s what DFW can expect when D Magazine and London Broadcasting’s KTXD-TV join forces to launch D-TV, a station that will create its own identity, one show at a time.

Viewers will see the change Jan. 7, 2013, but the transition begins now. The station will retain its KTXD-TV call letter identity, but the market will come to know it better as D-TV, explains Phil Hurley, EVP and COO of London Broadcasting, parent company of KTXD-TV. DFW viewers can tune into KTXD-TV on channel 47 on Dish Network, DIRECTV and AT&T; channels 24 and 428 on Time Warner; channel 18 on Verizon; channel 249 on Comcast Xfinity; and channel 22 on Charter Communications.

“We predict that local programming is the key to the future of television, and that broadcasters must find new ways to create the unique, entertaining and informative programming that audiences demand,” says Hurley. “This is a smart move for both of our organizations. Things have moved very quickly — sparks flew immediately at our first meeting. We both saw the value of a partnership and recognized it as a chance for us to grow and strengthen our brands. We decided to aggressively pursue the opportunity.”

D Magazine Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Wick Allison agrees. “As an independent station, KTXD has a lot of freedom and flexibility. There aren’t any network apron strings attached. That means we can really address the interests and needs of our audience and provide them with quality programming and content. We expect to cross-pollinate between magazine and station, and we are looking forward to taking risks and doing some exciting things that no one has done before. Again, all with a focus on our audience and what they are looking for.”

Viewers got a taste of such programming with the launch of The Texas Daily and Texas Living on Oct. 1. The Texas Daily is a “smart” news program that is broadcast every morning from 8-9 a.m. and offers viewers commentary on the day’s hottest news topics from DFW’s most beloved former news anchors like Tracy Rowlett, Jeff Brady and Midge Hill. The show is rebroadcasted each evening from 6-7. Texas Living is a lifestyle show that airs from 11 a.m. to noon and is hosted by Hilary Kennedy, TV host, published author and Emmy Award winner, and Southern Living Editor-at-Large Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, author and television personality.

“It’s been very satisfying watching the viewership of our first two shows grow — there has been a swell of audience loyalty,” says Hurley. “For example, our commentators on The Texas Daily have very comfortably settled into their new roles to talk about the news instead of just reading it. We are evolving the show, and audience interaction over Facebook, Twitter and email helps shape what we’re doing.”

And that evolution continues. What changes will fans see Jan. 7? A tweak to the line-up, content sharing and more video for D Magazine.

The Texas Daily will air its original broadcast in the evening from 6-7 p.m. and rebroadcast from 10-11 p.m.

Texas Living will air each day from noon-1 p.m. and change its name to D Living.

— Eventually, the station will begin a series of shows that focus on D Magazine features, like its top 10 lists. For example, KTXD will cover D Magazine’s celebration of Dallas’ 10 most beautiful women on Thursday, Dec. 6. In turn, D Magazine will leverage the station’s on-air content and its commentators and hosts.

“Expect a new, third show in early 2013,” reveals Hurley. “The format will be a morning entertainment and talk show, in the spirit of The View. We have been hearing from viewers that they would be very interested in such a format, and our partnership with D Magazine is going to make it happen!”

About London Broadcasting

London Broadcasting Company is a Dallas-based media company focused on owning and operating Texas media properties. As the largest mid-market broadcaster in Texas, London serves 9.9 million Texas in 3.6 million households, representing 41 percent of the Texas population. It owns stations in Dallas, Tyler, Abilene, Waco, San Angelo, Beaumont and Corpus Christi, and is affiliated with all four major networks and Mundo Fox, The CW, Me-TV and This-TV. DFW viewers can tune into KTXD-TV on channel 47 on Dish Network, DIRECTV and AT&T; channels 24 and 428 on Time Warner; channel 18 on Verizon; channel 249 on Comcast Xfinity; and channel 22 on Charter Communications.

About D Magazine Partners

D Magazine Partners has been producing award-winning magazines since 1974. The magazine division includes its flagship, D Magazine, D Home, D CEO, D Weddings, D Medical Directory for Dallas-Fort Worth, and D Medical Directory for Collin County. D also produces, an award-winning website with daily content on where to go and what to do in Dallas. D Magazine Partners publishes People Newspapers and offers clients nationwide content strategy and development through D Custom Media.