XETV is the second-oldest television station in San Diego, signing on in April 1953. We were preceded by KFMB (1949) and followed by KGTV (known then as KFSD-TV) in September 1953. Because of the Southern California geography and pattern of VHF (channels 3-13) signals, there could be no duplication of channel position between Tijuana and Santa Barbara. Channels 6 and 12 were assigned to Tijuana and the license for both channels was owned by the Azcarraga family in Mexico City. They decided to put their Channel 6 , XETV, on the air in early 1953, and serve San Diego in the English language because of the larger number of TV-equipped homes on the U.S. side.
By 1956, with KFMB the primary CBS affiliate and KGTV (KFSD) the primary NBC, ABC was left with part-time carriage. ABC got permission from the FCC to affiliate with XETV and this arrangement lasted until 1974. As an ABC affiliate, XETV brought many “firsts,” to San Diego, including the premiere of Monday Night Football. XETV also brought the San Diego Padres to broadcast television, airing three games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974. The schedule had expanded to 30 games by 1980 when the team sold its rights to another local station.
In 1974, in an effort to encourage the growth of UHF stations, the FCC forced ABC to move its affiliation from XETV to UHF Channel 39, KNSD (known then as KCST). XETV returned to being an independent station, programming a mix of children’s programs, off-network programs and movies. XETV because of its popular programming, strong signal, and Channel 6 position on the growing universe of cable-equipped homes, became one of the most successful independents in the U.S. Long-time San Diegans will remember the slogans “Where Your Favorites Are” or “Super Station Six.”
However, by the mid-1980s the popularity of theatrical movies on local television stations was slipping with competition from cable movie channels and VCRs. Recognizing the need for fresh programs in Prime Time, XETV became one of the first stations in the U.S. to affiliate with the new Fox network. The 22-year relationship between Fox and XETV (now known as “Fox 6”) began in October 1986 with the Joan Rivers Show running in the late evening. Fox launched their Prime time programming in April 1987 and slowly built a 7-night schedule. The NFL came in 1994, followed by Major League Baseball in 1996. XETV had the honor and pleasure of carrying the 1998 Padres/Yankees World Series. XETV has always been recognized as one of Fox’s strongest stations. In 1992 Fox instituted the “#1 Club,” which honored stations that ranked #1 in their markets in Prime Time. XETV was a member of this club consistently since 1992 and Fox named XETV “Affiliate of the Year” in 1998.
With popular syndicated programming surrounding Prime Time, and the successful Fox network programs, XETV completed the last piece of the program puzzle on December 29th, 1999 when we premiered “Fox 6 News at 10.” Launched from a state-of-the art, $13 million facility in Kearny Mesa, “Fox 6 News at 10” was followed in September 2000 by “Fox in the Morning” which aired weekday mornings from 5-9am. The Saturday and Sunday 8-10am Newscasts began soon after. XETV also began producing more local programming which has included “That Sunday Sports Show,” “Fox Rox,” “Life Lessons” and “San Diego Living.” Over the course of the last 10 years, Fox 6 News (now CW6 News San Diego) has won more local Emmy Awards than any other San Diego TV station.
In August 2008, XETV’s 22-year relationship with the Fox Network came to an end and XETV affiliated with the CW Network and we became “San Diego 6 – The CW.”
Hallmark CW shows such as Gossip Girl, Smallville, America’s Next Top Model and Supernatural began airing on their new home on August 1st, 2008. Since then XETV has become one of the most successful CW affiliates in the country, delivering the network’s national ratings and ranking in the top of all affiliates in all key audience segments.
Realizing the popularity of CW programming here, and the continued growth of the network, on January 1, 2016, XETV becomes “CW6.”
Although the Prime Time lineup has changed, XETV has continued our commitment to local news and information. With 41 ½ hours per week of local news and information, we are the only CW affiliate outside a few major markets that still independently produces our own newscasts. CW6 News began airing in high-definition in April 2011.
The amount of TV programming available has exploded in recent years, as have the ways it can be viewed. However, our mission at CW6 is the same as it has been since 1953: to serve the viewers in San Diego with the best news and entertainment programs possible. We achieve this through focusing on local interests and making it available when and where you want it.
We sincerely thank you for tuning into CW6.
Vice President and General Manager