KXAS/NBC-5 NEWS COLLECTION
WBAP-TV was the first television station in Texas and the Southwest when it signed on informally to cover Truman's re-election speech on September 27, 1948. The station has undergone numerous transformations since; changes in ownership necessitated a name change to KXAS in 1974 and NBC 5 in 1998. The Fort Worth Station has provided daily news and other special programming to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for more than 60 years. The University of North Texas Special Collections Department is the custodian of the KXAS/NBC-5 Television News Collection, which includes this daily news programming on both film and videotape, annotated broadcast news scripts, story logs, photographs, and research files. Also included are commercials and public service announcements. Film and videotape items include footage as it was broadcast for viewers, outtakes, and production elements including soundtracks, credits, and B-Roll.
Digitized items from the KXAS/NBC-5 News Collection, including keyword searchable broadcast scripts and story logs, are available on the Portal to Texas History. The finding aid for KXAS/NBC-5 News Scripts is available here. Learn more about the station's history in their 65th Anniversary Special here.
Early broadcasts from this collection were recorded on 16mm motion picture film. Although some films from the 1950s through early 1960s do have soundtracks, many are silent or contain only brief spoken dialogue or "sound on film." During this era of broadcast journalism, news anchors read scripts live on-air over the footage. This film of Irma E. L. Sephas is an example of a story that is largely silent but also contains brief dialogue.
At times this "silence" may limit our ability to discern content and context from the images and poses a barrier between the user and the material because of the absence of the on-air dialogue.
The NBC 5/KXAS television news collection includes annotated scripts for the broadcast films. These scripts were read live, on-air by reporters over the film footage. Many of these scripts contain handwritten notes and revisions which were cues for the anchor and production crew. For example, "SOF Coming," indicates that the film will soon have sound.
The entirety of the script collection will soon be keyword searchable and represents a valuable access point for identifying and analyzing films that remain on their original carriers as well as for films that have no dialogue.
The KXAS/NBC-5 Collection includes a large collection of large format black and white negatives documenting the station's early history.