Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Public Media Finalizes Partnership with KCOS

McKenzi Morris

October 1, 2019

The Federal Communications Commission greenlights KCOS in El Paso joining KTTZ and other Texas Tech Public Media outlets.

Texas Tech University Public Media has finalized its long-planned partnership with KCOS, the Public Broadcasting Station in El Paso, after approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Sept. 23.

Under the new ownership structure, KCOS will remain in El Paso. The station will continue to produce local programming and work with local partners to educate and entertain the community.

"We are thrilled that the FCC approved this partnership, which has been in the works for more than two years," said KCOS General Manager Emily Loya. "It's a full circle moment for us at KCOS. Like most public television stations, we are stronger with the backing of a dedicated institutional partner that will allow our team to focus on what we do best — tell local stories and provide innovative programming to our community. We now have that relationship and partner in Texas Tech Public Media."

Texas Tech Public Media now will own KCOS' broadcasting license, but dedicated viewers will continue to tune into the same KCOS channels. An El Paso advisory board will continue to provide feedback on local programming and encourage local support of the station, and KCOS will continue to be a valued partner to area nonprofits and businesses.

"As a member of the Texas Tech Public Media family, KCOS now has access to the resources and talent it needs to continue educating and providing storytelling platforms in the El Paso region," said Paul Hunton, general manager of Texas Tech Public Media. "We are fortunate to have an implementation grant provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help us figure out how best to collaborate with our new partner. Loyal viewers and members of KCOS should not worry that big changes are coming to their local airwaves."

Under the new arrangement, KCOS and KTTZ, Texas Tech's Public Broadcasting Service station, are bringing their eight broadcast channels and four radio stations under the operating umbrella of Texas Tech Public Media:

  • KCOS PBS Channel 13
  • KCOS Create Channel 13.3
  • KCOS EPCC-TV Channel 13.2
  • KCOS-HDTV Channel 13.1 in El Paso
  • KTTZ PBS Channel 5
  • KTTZ HDTV Channel 5.1
  • KTTZ Create Channel 5.2
  • KTTZ 24/7 PBS Kids Channel 5.3 in Lubbock
  • KTTZ-FM Channel 89.1
  • KTTZ HD2
  • KTTZ BBC World Service on HD3 in Lubbock
  • KNCH-FM Channel 90.1 in San Angelo

KCOS will continue its partnership with El Paso Community College under a new four-year leasing agreement. Since 2005, El Paso Community College has offered KCOS a home, allowing the station to set up its studio and operations at the community college's main campus.

The partnership between the two West Texas public television stations initially was proposed to and approved by the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System on Aug. 9. The two entities filed an application with the FCC to approve the merger on Aug. 12.

Click here to learn more about this formal partnership. To see what community leaders are saying about this partnership, click here.