|Branding||The CW 12 Central Texas|
|Channels||Digital: 46 (UHF)|
(to move to 17 [UHF])
Virtual: 46 (PSIP)
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||November 23, 1970|
|Call letters' meaning||North Central Texas|
|Sister station(s)||KWTX-TV, KBTX-TV|
|Former channel number(s)|
|Transmitter power||500 kW|
1000 kW (CP)
|Height||392 m (1,286 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
KNCT, virtual and UHF digital channel 46, is a CW-affiliated television station licensed to Belton, Texas, United States and serving the Waco-Killeen-Temple television market. The station is owned by Gray Television, as part of a duopoly with Waco-licensed CBS affiliate KWTX-TV (channel 10); it is also sister to Bryan-licensed CBS affiliate and KWTX semi-satellite KBTX-TV (channel 3). KNCT and KWTX share studios on American Plaza in Waco; KNCT's transmitter is located near Youngsport, Texas.
When KNCT signed on in November 1970, it was the sole PBS station for the western portion of the market, with the eastern portion served by Texas A&M's KAMU-TV, which signed on in February 1970. In 1978, KNCT set up a low-powered translator in Waco. The main KNCT signal barely covered Waco, while KAMU's signal just missed it. In 1989, it was upgraded to a full-fledged station, KCTF, which was spun off as a separate station in 1994 and ultimately taken over by Baylor University in 2000 as KWBU-TV. However, in July 2010, KWBU-TV began winding down operations and dropped all PBS programming prior to going off the air entirely on July 31 (it would later become KDYW, whose license was voluntarily cancelled in 2012 following a failed attempt to sell the station to Daystar). This left KNCT, once again, as the sole PBS station for the western side of the market. On July 1, KNCT took over KWBU's cable slots on Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum) and Grande, and became available on DirecTV.
As part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s spectrum repacking, KNCT would have been required to move from RF channel 46 to RF channel 17 for testing starting in January 2020, with completion by March 13, 2020. However, on February 27, 2018, the Central Texas College Board of Trustees voted to close down KNCT due to budgetary concerns relating to the repacking. Central Texas College would have been responsible for 40 percent of the expenses related to the repacking, which would have amounted to $1.6 million in expenses for the college. Combined with the need to replace the station's transmitter, which had been in use since the station signed on, the trustees concluded that it no longer made sense to keep the station on the air. KNCT general manager Max Rudolph said that area cable systems could replace KNCT with KERA-TV from Dallas or KLRU from Austin. Sister radio station KNCT-FM (which was launched the same day as the television station), as well as the college's radio and television broadcasting courses, were not affected by the closure of KNCT television.
On June 22, the board voted to shut down the station at midnight on August 31, 2018.
On August 28, 2018, it was reported that the Central Texas College Board of Trustees had voted to assign KNCT's broadcast license to Gray Television, which would create a duopoly with KWTX-TV. This was possible because KNCT broadcasts on a channel not reserved for non-commercial broadcasting. The sale was approved by the FCC on December 12, and it was completed on December 17.
When KNCT went dark three days later, KAMU became the sole PBS member station in the Waco-Temple-Bryan market. Most cable systems on the western side of the market replaced KNCT with Austin's KLRU.
On December 31, 2018, Gray filed an application to move KNCT's transmitter to KWTX's tower outside Moody, Texas. Two days later, on January 2, 2019, Gray Television formally assumed operations of KNCT and transferred the group's local affiliation rights for The CW - which had been held by KWTX-DT2 since the network launched in September 2006 - to the station's main channel.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|46.1||1080i||16:9||KNCT-HD||Main KNCT programming / The CW|
In coincidence with the station's conversion into a commercial station, on January 2, 2019, KNCT began carrying programming from MeTV on its DT2 subchannel (with a simulcast on KWTX-DT3, which was concurrently established with the relaunch of KNCT) and Start TV on its DT3 subchannel.
KNCT shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 46, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 38 to channel 46 for post-transition operation.