For the past 17 years, Hope's KTSS TV Channel 52 has served the Hope area broadcasting local football games, church services, and community-interest interview segments, and it reigned uniquely as one of the only remaining family-owned television stations in Arkansas.
For the past 17 years, Hope’s KTSS TV Channel 52 has served the Hope area broadcasting local football games, church services, and community-interest interview segments, and it reigned uniquely as one of the only remaining family-owned television stations in Arkansas.
It was announced Tuesday in a statement from the Bobo family, however, that the venerable local station has closed its doors for good, and it is currently up for sale with on-going negotiations with a perspective buyer in Little Rock, the Hope Star confirmed.
In an interview Tuesday, station owner Greg Bobo said the closure and pending sale of the station was simply a matter of economics.
“We had bought it from Kevin McKinnon, and we tried to keep it open and running in Hope as long as we could. Over the years, we had opportunities to move it to Texarkana, but we wanted it to stay here in Hope,” Bobo said.
“There is just no money to keep it open and operating. The sponsorships are no longer there. It is very sad to have to close the doors,” Bobo said.
Bobo said that the station’s transmitter and antenna took a lightning strike in mid-May, causing what he said was “catastrophic damage” to the transmitter.
“It was 20-years old, so other than the challenges of the expense to fix it, it was going to be difficult and costly to obtain parts,” he said.
The TV station, known for airing church services, had a low-power FCC license, and it was not a Class A-category station as a Little Rock or Shreveport broadcasting station is. The license allows for a signal in a roughly 50-mile radius, which would include a range from Texarkana to Nashville.
The perspective buyers, who Bobo was not a liberty to disclose due to continuing negotiations, would also assume all the station’s equipment, which is now in storage, and broadcasting apparatus, he said.
Bobo said that with negotiations now underway for the sale of the station that he did not look for it to remain in Hope.
The station was leasing its location in downtown Hope, next door to the Chamber of Commerce office on 206 S Main St., Bobo said the offices are now officially closed. A veteran of 37 years associated with broadcasting, Bobo said he would be moving on to other projects after the sale.
Bobo’s wife, Robin, hosted a locally popular interview segment, KTSS Talks that mostly focused on community service organizations, entertainment and events. She teaches at Clinton Primary School, and she will continue teaching.
In a statement, Robin Bobo said “It is with sad hearts that we have to announce the closing of our television station, KTSS TV. KTSS TV has been a big part of the Hope community since 2000, and we are so grateful to businesses like McDonald's, Pafford EMS, Hope Tractor, Medi Mart, Amigo Juan's, Hope Auto, along with our Church Programming, and others for supporting us all these years.”
“We loved covering all the local events, festivals, parades, the area schools' football games, graduations, and programs, and featuring our state constitutional officers, local civic groups, and other events for the viewers to see. It's been a great 17 years. Thanks for watching, we wish you all well,” she said.
KTSS was carried on several cable systems throughout the southwest Arkansas region, including Hope, Prescott, Emmet, Spring Hill, Blevins, McCaskill, Saratoga, Fulton, Nashville, Mineral Springs, Murfreesboro, Delight, Antoine, Texarkana, Nash, Wake Village, Stamps, Lewisville, Buckner and Ashdown.