KCEN-HD is the NBC affiliate serving the citizens of Temple, Waco, Killeen and Bryan-College Station (DMA 89).
We provide premium programming to approximately 890,000 people in 330,000 households throughout Central Texas.
The station went on the air in 1953 and had been continually owned by the Frank Mayborn interests until being bought by London Broadcasting Company in May 2009.
In the early 1950's, while most stations were going on the air with modest power and antenna right in the midst of metropolitan markets, KCEN-HD set up an operation in the midst of secondary cities and rural areas with the highest tower in this section of the Southwest with studio and an 830-foot tower at Eddy, Texas. Initially licensed to Temple only, the facility was actually a Central Texas facility and the FCC later permitted the station identification of Temple-Waco. The signal, which covered some 32 counties, had an authorized maximum power of 100 kwh on Channel 6 VHF. The guyed tower was 833 feet above ground and 1553 feet above average terrain (ground elevation at the tower site is 720 feet).
Difficult days and limited hours of operation were the fare for KCEN-HD for several years until it finally grew up to its full metropolitan status serving three big standard metropolitan statistical areas - Temple-Killeen, Waco and Bryan-College Station.
The transmitter and studios are located halfway between Temple and Waco on a 25-acre tract of land one mile south of Eddy, Texas on IH-35.
Commitment to Innovation
Since the station went on the air in 1953 as an NBC affiliate - an affiliation that continues today - in a modern building designed for the television operation, the studios have been remodeled and expanded a number of times and equipment replaced as newer innovations in equipment reach the market.
In 1963, Bell Publishing Company separated its television business from its newspaper business and transferred the assets of its television business to a new corporation called Channel 6, Inc.
In 1981, as the result of seven years of planning, a new tall tower was completed and KCEN-HD began broadcasting from the tallest tower (structure height) in the nation at 1,924 feet tall, 2,550 feet above average terrain (ground elevation at the tower site in 626 feet). It tops the Sears Building in Chicago and Empire State Building in New York. The new tower, located east of the original site, extended KCEN-HD's coverage area to 28,938 square miles and includes 33 counties.
KCEN-HD also introduced another landmark upgrade when it began broadcasting the local news in closed captioning as a public service to the deaf and hearing impaired in Central Texas in 1989.
In the 56 years KCEN-HD has been on the air, the technology used to bring you television has changed dramatically. On February 18, 2009 KCEN-HD began broadcasting a 100% digital signal. Digital television allows the station to broadcast in much higher clarity.
KCEN-HD Channel 6 originally went on the air September 16, 2002, transmitting a digital high-definition simulcast signal to viewers of Central Texas along with the analog Channel 6. On January 20, 2003, Channel 6, Inc. built KMAY Channel 23 to provide the best in local & NBC programming to the Bryan-College Station viewing area.
Commitment to Community
Frank Mayborn brought television to Central Texas in 1953. Since his death in 1987, Sue Mayborn, his wife and president of KCEN-HD, is committed to the television station's mission, which remains the same today, and that is to provide news and entertainment and to be involved in the growth of the communities it serves.
KCEN-HD's slogan of "Live Local Now!" is the foundation in support of the communities in the KCEN-HD service area. That commitment was recognized by the Waco Chamber of Commerce with an Outstanding Business Award in 2006.
KCEN-HD through on-air promotions with a local retailer offered Weather Alert Radios to its viewers at discount prices and placed these radios, without cost, in every school system in its coverage area.
Beginning in June 1999 and ending December 2000, KCEN-HD supported the American Red Cross of Central Texas by having a blood drive each and every Friday. The blood drive was televised live all day and resulted in providing needed blood for the people of Central Texas.
KCEN-HD was also instrumental, working with the Temple Independent School District, in developing a program called "Character Moments". A series of 30-second announcements that featured local students were produced that dealt with strong character traits such as faith, diligence, generosity and responsibility. "Character Moments" has been recognized locally, by the State of Texas Educational System and on the National level.
In 2007, Greater Fort Hood Area United Way honored KCEN-HD for our continued service to the community and support of the United Way. The Bronze Award was awarded to KCEN-HD for annual fundraising efforts and our support of the United Way agencies across Central Texas.
KCEN-HD's goal and objective at the time the station went on the air in 1953 was to serve the people of Central Texas faithfully and honestly. Throughout the years of operation and today, KCEN-HD still feels this obligation to its viewers.