ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – On Oct. 6, 1979, KTAB went on air for the first time. 43 years later, KTAB is still covering the Big Country.

The station was the third CBS affiliate in Abilene, founded by Bill Terry, former manager of KRBC. At 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday, KTAB aired its first newscast called “News Tab 32”. Terry sold the station 23 years ago and it is now owned by Texas-based Nexstar Media Group.

Blast from the past photographs

Larry Fitzgerald was the first anchor and Bill Chaney was the first weatherman for KTAB. The first voice ever heard on air, however, was the voice of Bob Bartlett, current evening anchor and the only original staff member currently at the station.

Throughout the years, he has seen many changes in the news industry, from technological advancements, new slogans to using social media.

“We began recording on film, then we moved to a few other ways to record until the tiny chips in the cameras we use today,” Bartlett recalled.

The KTAB Studio Thursday, October 6

Sam Nichols, Chief Meteorologist, has been at KTAB for many years and he said one question he is asked a lot is if the KTAB team is as good as friends as they seem on air.

“And the answer is yes,” said Nichols. “Bob, Joni, and I (as well as all of the other anchors I’ve worked with) have not only great professional respect for one another, but we’re really good friends, when we’re off the air. That means a lot when you have such a comfortable and positive working environment – and that’s what KTAB has been for me since day one.”

Many things have changed at KTAB through the years, although one thing remains the same: being committed to serving the community.

“What has not changed in the commitment at KTAB to a culture of excellence and accuracy in bringing the news and weather to the Big Country,” said Nichols.

“In the end, its for the people of the community,” said Bartlett.