KRIV or Fox 26, is a Fox owned-and-operated television station located in Houston, Texas, United States. It began broadcasting in 1971. They offer live newscasts, trafficcams and weather doppler radar images.
KRIV, virtual and UHF digital channel 26, is a Fox owned-and-operated television station licensed to Houston, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of Fox Corporation, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station KTXH (channel 20). The two stations share studios on Southwest Freeway in Houston (between the Uptown and Greenway Plaza districts); KRIV’s transmitter is located near Missouri City, Texas, in unincorporated northeastern Fort Bend County.
KRIV presently broadcasts 54 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with nine hours each weekday, five hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest newscast output of any television station in the Houston market. As is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, KRIV’s Saturday and Sunday 5:00 p.m. newscasts are subject to preemption due to network sports telecasts that are scheduled to overlap into the timeslot. Outside of regular news programming, KRIV also carries The Isiah Factor: Uncensored, a news and discussion program hosted by KRIV reporter/anchor Isiah Carey, weeknights following its 10 p.m. newscast, and the political talk program What’s Your Point?, hosted by KRIV reporter Greg Groogan, at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings before the national broadcast of Fox News Sunday.
Throughout KRIV’s history, news has been an important element of the station’s programming. From its 1971 launch until the 1983 formation of its news department, KRIV ran hourly local news updates during regular programming. These updates gave way to the 1983 launch of KRIV’s 9 p.m. newscast, the first primetime newscast in the Houston market, eventually moving to 7 p.m. by 1986 before moving back to 9 p.m. by 1989. In addition, the station also launched an investigative unit in 1987 and launched City Under Siege, which primarily aired at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday nights with a focus on crime-related news and investigative segments (at a time when Houston was dealing with an uptick in crime during the 1980s oil glut which greatly affected the region’s economy) and was originally hosted by anchors Jim Marsh and Fran Fawcett. One of Fox’s early standout hit series, Cops, was in part influenced by City Under Siege which therefore could be considered a predecessor of Cops. During the early 1990s, KRIV launched a midday newscast at 12:30 p.m., and in 1993 joined several other Fox-owned stations in launching a weekday morning newscast—with KRIV doing so with a one-hour newscast at 7 a.m. (and filling a void in the market following ABC-owned KTRK’s decision to clear Good Morning America in its entirety, resulting in its 7 a.m. half-hour newscast being moved to 6 a.m.).
Following its relocation to its current studios, KRIV began to upgrade its on-air presentation and resources, coinciding with the launch of Fox News and its satellite news service Fox NewsEdge, and began utilizing its own news helicopter, SkyFox (whose original incarnation crashed in 2000 killing its pilot) during this time. By 2001, KRIV began to gradually expand its news offerings, starting with an expansion of its morning newscast at 6 a.m. and expanding its 12:30 p.m. newscast to one hour at noon. The noon broadcast would eventually be truncated to a half-hour at 12:30 p.m., while its morning newscast expanded by two additional hours on both ends, eventually airing from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. On August 18, 2008, KRIV debuted an hour-long weeknight 5 p.m. newscast that competes against its competitors’ local 5 p.m. newscasts as well as their respective network affiliates’ national newscasts at 5:30 p.m.
On January 31, 2009, KRIV became the fourth television station in Houston (behind KHOU, KTRK-TV and KPRC) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; with the transition came the adoption of a new high-definition version of the standardized graphics package used on Fox’s owned-and-operated stations. KRIV would further expand its morning newscast on both ends in the 2009–10 television season, adding a less formal 9 a.m. extension of its morning newscast (titled Fox 26 Morning News Extra) on September 7, 2009, followed by another expansion of its morning newscast to 4 a.m. on March 29, 2010. With this move, KRIV not only became the first (and so far only) station in Houston to air a morning newscast in the full 4 a.m. hour (versus its competitors’ 4:30 a.m. newscast), but it also became the first Fox-owned station to start their morning newscasts at 4 a.m.
On July 7, 2012, KRIV significantly expanded its news offerings on weekends beyond its one primetime hour, debuting a three-hour weekend morning newscast from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and expanding its hour-long 5 p.m. newscast to the weekends for a total of eight additional hours of news on the weekends. Prior to the launch of the new newscasts, KRIV was one of only two Fox-owned stations – alongside Chicago sister station WFLD – that did not have an early evening newscast seven nights each week. On August 21, 2017, KRIV launched a 10 p.m. weeknight newscast titled The NewsEdge at 10, which emphasizes a recap format similar to the “10 at 10” format used by many stations across the country, as well as additional light feature segments towards the end of the broadcast. The launch of The NewsEdge, which notably became dominated during its launch week by coverage of Hurricane Harvey, would also be coupled with the expansion of The Isiah Factor, originally a special segment within its 9 p.m. newscast focused on news and political topics hosted by KRIV reporter/anchor Isiah Carey, to a permanent spot at 10:30 p.m. as The Isiah Factor: Uncensored. KRIV has since marketed its primetime newscast block as the Fox 26 Power Block.
On September 24, 2018, KRIV rebranded the first three hours of its weekday morning newscast from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. as Wake Up! with SallyMac & Lina, with longtime KRIV reporter/anchor Sally MacDonald and new hire Lina De Florias (who would join the station from KTVK/KPHO-TV in Phoenix) serving as the namesake anchors, and featuring a format similar to that of its 10 p.m. newscast. On January 21, 2019, KRIV would rebrand the latter three hours of its morning newscast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. (which retained its existing format) as Houston’s Morning Show. Anchored by longtime morning anchors Jose Grinan and Melissa Wilson and targeting a straightforward local approach, the newscast competes directly with network morning shows on KPRC, KHOU and KTRK as well as Morning Dose on CW affiliate KIAH.
For years, KRIV has touted its newscasts as the fastest growing in the Houston area ratings, and as of 2019 airs the only primetime newscast in the Houston market. Throughout the years, its strongest competition in primetime outside of network programming on KPRC, KHOU and KTRK has been from KIAH as well as all-news independent KNWS (channel 51, now KYAZ), with even future sister station KTXH at one point having considered launching a newscast in the early 1990s. KTXH’s plans would eventually be shelved as KIAH (then known as KHTV) canceled its newscasts by the fall of 1992 while KNWS (which launched in 1993) began to wind down its news operations gradually by the end of the 1990s. KRIV would not gain competition in primetime until 2000 when KHTV (which became KHWB by this time) relaunched its news department, followed by the 2002 launch of News 24 Houston, an all-news cable channel owned by Time Warner Cable and KHOU parent company Belo. News 24 Houston would shut down in 2004 after Belo pulled out of their partnership with Time Warner (who eventually sold its Houston cable operations to Comcast in 2006), while KIAH retooled its newscasts in 2011 under a newsreel-style format entitled NewsFix that lasted until 2018. In terms of demographics, KRIV’s newscasts usually perform well among younger viewers 25–35, which long has also been the key audience for KRIV and the Fox network.