Channel 5 Celebrates Its Rich History, Looks To The Future

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Operations began July 9, 1953, at KFSA TV Channel 22, out of a building owned by Donald W. Reynolds in downtown Fort Smith.

Most local commercials and programming were live, since videotapes were not yet available.

Channel 22 signed off airwaves permanently on August 16, 1958. On January 1, 1959 the KFSA-TV call letters were assigned to Channel 5.

In the late '60s, Channel 5 moved from the building owned by Reynolds to the oldĀ  Carnegie Library building on North 13th Street in downtown Fort Smith, where 5NEWS's main operations are still based today.

Channel 5 was the only station in Fort Smith for the next 18 years. During the early '70s coverage out of Northwest Arkansas began, and eventually a studio was opened in the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville, which is still used today.

By the end of July 2018, construction is scheduled to begin on a new, state of the art, high-tech main studio and operations center located in Northwest Arkansas.

The new studio will be off I-49 in Johnson, not far from the current operations located at the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

The new 20,000-plus-square-foot building will allow 5NEWS to provide better coverage in Northwest Arkansas while maintaining a presence in the River Valley.