Rebranding as ‘Freedom 43,’ Oklahoma City’s KAUT Targets Conservative Viewers

By Andrew Gauthier 

Oklahoma City’s KAUT is undergoing an aggressive rebranding effort to appeal to the more than 50,000 active and reserve military personnel in Oklahoma.  Next month, KAUT (channel 43), a MyNetworkTV-affiliate which airs a two-hour morning newscast in addition to a half-hour nightly newscast at 9 p.m., will relaunch as “Freedom 43.”

“For the first, a TV station is aiming its news focus not at a particular demographic, age group, or gender,” boasts Jim Boyer, KAUT’s president and general manager, “but at an audience bound by social connections and shared values.”

“Freedom 43 TV is for all Oklahomans who believe in faith, freedom, and patriotism,” Boyer said, in announcing the brand makeover.


KAUT’s new identity appears to be in line with that of Fox News, with programming based on a specific worldview and meant to draw a conservative audience.

“We usually focus on covering geographic areas or news events of the day,” says Mary Ann Eckstein, KAUT’s news director and senior vice president. “While we will continue to do that, we are also going to tap into the culture and beliefs of our audience with things like local commentary and new franchise reports that appeal to our patriotic and conservative viewers.”

Anchoring Freedom 43’s revamped 9 p.m. newscast will be Bobbie Miller. In an interesting twist, meteorologist Mike Morgan’s weather updates will include forecasts for the places abroad where many Oklahomans are stationed.

KAUT is owned by Local TV, which also owns Oklahoma City’s NBC-affiliate KFOR. Freedom 43 officially launches on April 11th.