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KRON-TV, virtual channel 4 (digital channel 38), is a television station in San Francisco, California, serving as the Bay Area affiliate of the MyNetworkTV programming service; the station is owned by Young Broadcasting. The station's studios are located in the Western Additionsection of downtown San Francisco, and its transmitter antenna is located atop Sutro Tower.

KRON-TV
Kron4 logo
San Francisco, California
Branding KRON 4 (general)

KRON 4 News (newscasts) MyKRON 4 (MyNetworkTV promos) (callsign pronounced as "Chron")

Slogan The Bay Area's News Station
Channels Digital: 38 (UHF)

Virtual: 4 (PSIP)

Subchannels

4.1 - MyNetworkTV

4.2 - KRON 24/7 News & Weather

Translators K41AF 41 Ukiah, CA
Affiliations MyNetworkTV
Owner Young Broadcasting

(Young Broadcasting of San Francisco, Inc.)

First air date November 15, 1949
Call letters' meaning San Francisco CHRONicle[sic], former owners
Former channel number(s) Analog:

4 (VHF, 1949-2009) Digital: 57 (UHF, 2004-2009)

Former affiliations NBC (1949-2002)

Independent (2002-2006) Retro Television Network(on DT2, 2007-2008)

Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 511.7 m
Facility ID 65526
Transmitter coordinates 37°45′19″N 122°27′6″W
Website www.kron4.com

The station brands itself as KRON 4, keeping the station's previous branding while adding "My" to go with the network's naming conventions, only during MyNetworkTV programming. It is changed again to "KRON 4" during other programming. KRON can also be seen in Ukiah onK41AF channel 41.

From its founding in 1949 until December 2001, KRON was affiliated full-time with NBC, and was one of that network's strongest affiliates; since April 2010, KRON has an informal secondary affiliation with NBC, carrying network programs that are preempted by NBC O&O KNTV (channel 11) due to special programming. The station has the distinction of being the only MyNetworkTV affiliate in existence with a Big Three-style newscast schedule (i.e.; in that it carries morning, 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts), totaling around 60 hours each week. It is also the only television station in the U.S. to carry a seven-hour morning newscast, which airs from 4-11 a.m.

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

When the channel 4 allocation in the Bay Area (the third and final one licensed by the Federal Communications Commission before that agency placed a moratorium on new television station licenses that would last the next four years) came open for bidding, it soon became obvious that the license would go to either NBC or the deYoung family, publishers of the San Francisco Chronicle. NBC wanted an owned and operated station in the Bay Area alongside its West Coast flagship radio station, KNBC (680 AM, now KNBR). However, in an upset, the deYoungs won the license. They brought the station on the air on November 15, 1949 as NBC affiliate KRON-TV. The station's call letterscome from a modification of the paper's nickname in the Bay Area, "The Chron." KRON-TV originally broadcast from studios located in the basement of the Chronicle building at Fifth and Mission streets.

KRON-TV originally broadcast from transmitter facilities on San Bruno Mountain; huge white letters "NBC" were placed near the summit of Radio Peak. In August 1959, the Chronicle reported that the tower was severely damaged by an unusually strong thunderstorm, requiring major repairs before KRON could return to the air. Newscasts benefited from the resources of the Chronicle and there was cooperation between KRON and the newspaper.

KRON-FMEdit

For many years, the Chronicle had a non-commercial classical music FM station, KRON-FM, at 96.5 on the FM dial, which had a limited broadcasting schedule (evenings only). It first broadcast from July 1947 to December 31, 1954, then it was off the air until 1957. In the 1960s, programming was devoted primarily to classical music and an hour (7 to 8 p.m.) featuring an entire Broadway show album. Since the station had no commercials, no underwriters, and no on-air fund drives, the Chronicle operated the station as a public service. Staff announcers delivered short newscasts on the station's evening broadcasts. In December 1970, KRON-FM began simulcasting a Spanish language newscast from KRON-TV by Terry Lowry.[1] Then, the station was sold in 1975 to Bonneville International and renamed KOIT-FM.

Early local programmingEdit

In the 1950s and 1960s, local programs produced by KRON-TV included the award-winning documentary series Assignment Four, Fireman Frank with George Lemont and his puppets (including Scat the Cat and Carl the Carrot), and a live children's program hosted by Art Finley asMayor Art. Bay Area kids (known as the "City Council") joined Mayor Art in the studio each day. The show featured Popeye cartoons mixed with science demonstrations, a newsreel feature entitled "Mayor Art's Almanac," games, prizes, and a sock puppet named "Ring-A-Ding."

New studiosEdit

In 1967, KRON-FM-TV moved to a new studio at 1001 Van Ness Avenue in the Western Addition neighborhood, where channel 4 is still headquartered today. It was the former site of the Roman Catholic cathedral of San Francisco. The television transmitter was moved to Sutro Tower on July 4, 1973. The FM transmitter remained on San Bruno Mountain.

A market leaderEdit

In the 1960's KRON had anchors, Art Brown and Jerry Jensen (who later moved to KGO), Linda Richard, wrote backward on sliding glass panels for viewers to see the weather forecast. Ed Hart and later, Frank Dill reported sports with a focus on only the areas professional teams.

Until the late 1970s, KRON-TV was infamous for being very San Francisco-centric in its news coverage and audience targeting, an approach that would become costly to the station as growth in areas outside San Francisco soared. Realizing this enabled KRON-TV to become the dominant station in the Bay Area. Some remember KRON's early morning news digests in the 1960s utilizing sign language, as well as the "Newswatch Sign-Off Edition" airing (then) immediately after The Tonight Show.

During the 1980s, KRON continued its dominance by airing top-rated syndicated programming, including the Merv Griffin-produced game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, as well as Entertainment Tonight (the original NBC daytime versions of both Jeopardy and Wheelalso aired on KRON). The game show pair would move to ABC-owned KGO-TV (channel 7) permanently in 1992 after KRON-TV experimented with its "early prime time" schedule that year (see below).

In the late 1980s, KRON-TV was among the few local television stations in the United States that produced a game show. Claim to Famewas a weekly half-hour show hosted by Patrick Van Horn that usually ran on Saturday evenings. In that era, KRON also produced a Saturday morning children's program called Buster and Me.[2][3]

KRON produced Bay Area Backroads from the mid-1980s to 2008. The half-hour program profiled places and people in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and occasionally beyond. Hosts included Jerry Graham and Doug McConnell; it generally aired on Sunday evenings.

The end of the NBC eraEdit

In 1999, the deYoung family, owners of the parent corporation Chronicle Publishing, decided to liquidate their assets. KRON-TV's longtime newspaper partner, the San Francisco Chronicle, would be sold to its current owner, Hearst Corporation.

NBC, whose relationship with KRON-TV had been contentious at times over the previous half-century, had made many offers for channel 4 over the years, but the deYoungs turned them down each time. It finally saw a chance to get an owned and operated station in what was then the United States' fifth-largest television market and quickly jumped into the bidding war for channel 4. NBC was seen as the frontrunner until it was outbid at the last second by New York City-based Young Broadcasting, then-owner of KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and several medium-to-small market stations. Young's purchase price for the station ($750 million at the outset, rising to $820 million by closing) was a record price for a single station that stands to this day. To help finance the down payment, Young was forced to sell WKBT in La Crosse, Wisconsinto Morgan Murphy Media.

In response to losing, NBC supplied Young with a list of demands that would have required Young to run the station under the conventions of an NBC-owned outlet. For example, NBC wanted Young to re-brand KRON-TV as NBC 4, and run the entire network schedule in pattern with no pre-emptions except for local news emergencies. Rather than give in to NBC's demands, Young decided not to renew channel 4's affiliation contract when it ran out in 2002. Granite Broadcasting's KNTV (channel 11) in San Jose -- at that time an ABC affiliate primarily serving San Jose and the Santa Cruz-Monterey area -- later approached NBC with a proposal to pay $37 million annually for the rights to broadcast its programming, and the network accepted the deal. In December 2001, however, NBC purchased KNTV for a fraction of KRON's sale price — $230 million. That makes NBC the only network in the Bay Area to switch from one local station to another.

The affiliation switch became official at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2002, ending KRON-TV's 52-year affiliation with NBC. The last NBC program broadcast by channel 4 was Crossing Jordan, which aired from 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on December 31, 2001. On September 12, 2005, KNTV's transmitter was moved from Loma Prieta Peak along the San Andreas Fault south of San Jose, to Mount San Bruno south of San Francisco, former home to the city's TV stations that are now located on the Sutro Tower (ABC programming is now carried in the Santa Cruz-Monterey area on cable via ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco and, beginning in April 2011, NBC affiliate KSBW-TV's secondary digital channel).

IndependenceEdit

Main article: MyNetworkTV

KRON-TV became an independent station at the start of 2002. In the fall of 2006 the station joined the News Corporation's newMyNetworkTV, and is currently the second largest MNTV station that was not previously an affiliate of either the WB or UPN networks (the other is KDFI in Dallas).

When KRON-TV began carrying MyNetworkTV programming, it eliminated the hour-long 9 p.m. newscast.[4] However, KRON-TV is not following the standard practice of airing MNTV programming from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. like most Pacific Time Zone affiliates. Instead, it airs "KRON 4 News" during the 8 p.m. hour, and MNTV programming from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., one hour later than most affiliates. Oregon MNTV affiliates KPDX in Portland and KEVU in Eugene also air MyNetworkTV programming in this slot. The MyNetworkTV affiliate in Seattle, KMYQ, now KZJO, also deviated from the standard My Network TV programming schedule from 7-9 p.m. until September 13, 2010, when that station moved MyNetworkTV programming to 11pm-1am. KQCA-TV also aired MyNetworkTV programming from 7-9 p.m. but on September 21, 2009, KQCA reverted back to airing the MNTV lineup in its 8-10 p.m. timeslot.

Sale of KRON and possible return of NBCEdit

On January 10, 2008, Young Broadcasting announced it would sell KRON-TV. Young had been encountering difficulty meeting interest payments on its outstanding debt[5] and its stock, which had been trading for a few cents, was to be de-listed from NASDAQ.[6] On February 13, 2008, Young made a filing to place the company under chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[7] Debt incurred on the $820 million purchase price for KRON-TV was believed to be one key factor behind the company's cash problems. Young originally hoped to close the sale by the end of the first quarter of 2008,[8][9][10] but no buyer emerged.

In January 2009, after failing to meet the minimum standards for being listed on NASDAQ, Young Broadcasting was dropped from the exchange.[11] One month later, on February 13, 2009, the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[12] Young cancelled a planned auction of all 10 of its stations on July 14, 2009 at the last minute, a move believed to have been due to lack of suitable bids.[13][14] Instead of the auction, Young and its secured lenders reached a deal where the lenders (among them Wachovia and Credit Suisse) would take control of the company, and Gray Television would take over management of seven of Young's ten stations.[15] KRON-TV was one of only three stations not included in the management deal; the other two, WATE-TV and WLNS-TV, compete with Gray-owned stations in their markets, but KRON does not.

In February 2010, Young discussed the possibility of entering into a shared services agreement with NBC Universal, the owner of KNTV.[3]

Return of NBC as a secondary affiliationEdit

With a prime time airing of Dateline NBC on April 2, 2010, KRON-TV began an informal secondary affiliation with NBC, bringing NBC programs back to KRON for the first time in eight years. KRON carries NBC programming that is preempted by San Francisco Giants baseball or other special programming airing on KNTV.

The Giants' contract with KNTV ended after the 2010 season. However, due to the common ownership between KNTV and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (which produces the Giants' broadcasts), selected Giants games will continue to air on KNTV. Thus, KRON will continue to air NBC programming pre-empted by a Giants broadcast.

Digital televisionEdit

The station's digital channel, UHF 38, is multiplexed:

Virtual channels

 Channel  Name  Programming
4.1  KRON-DT1   Main KRON-TV Programming / MyNetworkTV (HD) 
4.2  KRON-DT2  KRON 4 Bay Area 24/7 News Channel

Analog-to-digital conversionEdit

KRON-TV shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009 as part of the DTV transition,[16] it moved to channel 38 [17] PSIP is used to display KRON's virtual channel as 4 on digital television receivers.

Proposed subcannel affiliationsEdit

In October 2007, Retro Television Network was expected to launch as a digital subchannel on KRON-DT2 as part of a test of the network by Young Broadcasting, along with sister stations WBAY-TV in Green Bay and WTEN in Albany, New York.[18] However the network never came to KRON, and their HD signal has remained on 4.2 since the announcement,[19], along with an intermittent traffic conditions channel on 4.3. RTV is currently carried in the market by KBQR of Fort Bragg and KCNS in San Francisco.

In late 2010 Young announced carriage of The Country Network on several of their stations, including KRON, however as in RTV's case, TCN has not as of yet shown up on KRON.

ProgrammingEdit

Locally-produced programsEdit

  • Bay Area Backroads
  • Bay Cafe
  • Henry's Home & Garden
  • KRON 4's Bay Area Bargains ++
  • KRON 4's Bay Area Bargains - Green Edition ++
  • KRON 4's Bay Area Living ++
  • KRON 4's Bay Area Living - Home Improvement Edition ++
  • KRON 4's Bay Area Living - Seniors Edition ++
  • KRON 4's Body Beautiful ++
  • KRON 4's Casino Adventures ++
  • KRON 4's Don't Invest and Forget ++
  • KRON 4's Health and Beauty with Dr Sonia ++
  • KRON 4's Living Green with Petersen Dean ++
  • KRON 4's Medical Mondays ++
  • KRON 4's Peninsula Beauty ++
  • KRON 4's Sizzling Hot Auto Deals ++
  • KRON 4's Spa Spectacular ++
  • Latin Eyes
  • Pacific Fusion
  • The Silver Lining


++ Created by Mark Sowinski & Jim Swanson Many of the locally-produced programs aired on KRON-TV from 2005–present, are a collaborative effort between Mark Sowinski, director of business development and Jim Swanson, executive producer.

Syndicated programsEdit

Entertainment Tonight aired on KRON when it debuted in 1981 and has been on the station's schedule ever since, with the exception of late 1988 to early 1992, when it aired on KGO-TV. Its airtime in fall 1981 was 6:30 p.m. By fall 1982, it had moved to the coveted "prime time access" slot at 7:30 p.m., where it remained until it moved to KGO-TV in fall 1988. In early 2011, Entertainment Tonight aired on KRON-DT at 7:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Scheduling odditiesEdit

For most of its run as an NBC affiliate, KRON-TV was NBC's second-largest affiliate, and the largest West Coast station not owned by the network. However, it occasionally pre-empted NBC programming. One such notable omission was the daytime soap opera Another World,which would eventually re-air on the station in the early 1990s. Two NBC daytime game shows, 50 Grand Slam and Just Men!, never aired an episode on channel 4.

Also, the station did not air NBC soap operas in the traditional pattern. For example, KRON-TV aired Days of our Lives after Another Worldinstead of the standard network programming—at 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. depending on the season and time slot. Channel 4 also pre-empted some prime time programming. Similar to KCRA-TV, a fellow NBC station in neighboring Sacramento, KRON-TV stopped airing the T-NBC lineup on Saturday mornings in the early 1990s. Historically, NBC was far less tolerant of preemptions than the other networks, but has recently eased its standards. The network would resort to purchasing stations for the sole purpose of switching or upgrading them to NBC-ownedstatus because of this (WTVJ in Miami and KUTV in Salt Lake City are such examples) or find alternate independent stations to air NBC programs that the main affiliate did not air. However, despite losing valuable advertising in one of the nation's largest television markets, NBC was very satisfied with KRON-TV, which was one of its strongest affiliates.

For the 1992-1993 season, KRON-TV participated in the "Early Prime" experiment, along with KCRA-TV, in which prime time programs were aired an hour earlier, with the 30-minute late night newscast moved from 11:00 to 10:00 P.M.. When KRON moved prime time NBC programming back to its normal time, then-Westinghouse-owned CBS affiliate KPIX, who also adopted the schedule at the same time, continued with its experiment until 1998. Though both KRON and KPIX ran hour-long newscasts at 10:00, they each could not out-rate Cox Enterprises-owned Fox affiliate KTVU, who has dominated the 10:00 news hour for decades and continues to do so to this day.

Channel 4 was at one time the flagship station of the Oakland Athletics baseball team from 1993 through 1998. This caused a problem in1996, when the final day of the USA Olympic track and field trials conflicted with a scheduled Athletics broadcast, as KRON-TV's contract required them to show the baseball game, and, as a result, KRON-TV broadcast the trials at midnight.

BayTVEdit

Also from July 4, 1994 until August 30, 2001 KRON-TV operated a 24-hour news cable and local programming channel, BayTV. BayTV, on channel 35, was co-operated with then AT&T Broadband, now Comcast. BayTV ceased operations in 2001. KRON-TV's NewsCenter 4newsroom also offered news updates on MSNBC and CNN Headline News on the cable systems around the Bay Area. KRON 4 News at 9actually started on BayTV in the 1990s and when BayTV went off the air and KRON became an independent, the newscast officially went to channel 4 in 2002 and stayed there until September 5, 2006. The channel's daily Silicon Valley news recap New Media News also aired nationally on Jones Media Group cable channel Mind Extension University/Knowledge TV until that channel ended broadcasting in 2000.

News operationEdit

In total (as of June 2010), KRON presently broadcasts a total of 60½ hours of local news each week (10½ hours on weekdays, 4½ hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays), the most of any local television station in the state of California, as well as currently the most of any television station in the United States (just ahead of Fox station WTVT in Tampa, Florida, which carries 60 hours of local news per week) and the second most of any television station in North America (behind independent station CHCH in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, which carries 69 hours of local news per week).

Newscast historyEdit

KRON-TV's news operation began in September 1957, from a studio in the San Francisco Chronicle building at Fifth & Mission streets. The KRON-TV news department was located thirty feet from the Chronicle city desk. "Liaison is close, effective and fast," said a KRON-TV promotional film from the era. KRON-TV produced six daily newscasts at the time. The 6 p.m. newscast was "Shell News," sponsored by "your neighborhood Shell dealer."[20] Tom Franklin was "Shell News reporter" from the studio at the Chronicle and in filmed field reports. Franklin began the broadcast standing next to a San Francisco Bay Area map. Franklin announced, "Greetings from your neighborhood Shell dealer." Lights were illuminated on the map next to the various cities that were to be featured in the newscast. Franklin anchored most of the program from behind a desk that had a large Shell logo next to a "Tom Franklin" name plate. A Shell "X-100" oil can sat atop the desk throughout the newscast. Live portions were used for late bulletins from the Chronicle city desk or for local and regional stories not suitable for film treatment. John Philip Sousa's "Semper Fidelis" was the theme music for "Shell News." The voice over at the close stated that "Shell News" had been "brought to you by the combined facilities of the KRON-TV News Department and the San Francisco Chronicle." Some of the stories covered by KRON-TV's "Shell News" in 1957 included the end of the "pedestrian scramble" system at downtown San Francisco street intersections, the end of the San Francisco-Oakland Southern Pacific railroad passenger ferry and the final game of the San Francisco Seals baseball team (to be replaced by the San Francisco Giants in 1958).

As an NBC affiliate, KRON-TV branded its newscasts using the NewsCenter 4 name from the 1970s until it adopted the KRON 4 Newsbranding scheme in early 2001. Appropriately for a station owned by the Chronicle, KRON-TV was a very news-intensive station. For example, its 6 p.m. newscast was called NewsCenter 4 at 6. However, KRON-TV also had other names for its newscasts. Before KRON 4 Morning News was used for the entire 4-11 a.m. slot on weekday mornings, the 5-7 a.m. newscast was called Daybreak. Its 11:30 a.m. weekday newscast was called NewsCenter 4 Midday. When it began in March 1981, the 4 p.m. broadcast was "Live on 4," later to become "T.G.I.4.," a mostly-talk program with some news content. For much of the 1980s, the 5 p.m. weekday newscast was Live at Five; Bob Jimenez anchored in the studio with Evan White in the KRON Newsroom. Its weeknight 11 p.m. newscast was called NewsCenter 4 Update. All the evening newscasts featured a variety of anchors, until settling down with the successful duo of Roz Abrams and Jim Paymar. Later after Abrams left for New York's WABC-TV in 1986, Paymar and Sylvia Chase (who had been a correspondent for the ABC-TV newsmagazine20/20) anchored. In the 1990s, the station branded itself as 24 Hour News, with 30 to 60 second news updates every hour. The station adopted the slogan The Bay Area's News Station in 2001.

Daybreak debuted as a half-hour program (6:30-7 a.m.) on Labor Day, 1986, leading in to NBC's Today program. The first anchors were Lloyd Patterson and Lila Petersen. It was then the only local early morning newscast in the San Francisco television market, aside from local cut-ins to network news programming. KRON's five-minute newscasts at 6:45, 7:25 and 8:25 a.m. previously had been called Daybreak, too. KRON may have had a half-hour early morning news program as early as spring 1981.

KRON-TV newscasts in the early- to late-1980s ran commentaries by Wayne Shannon in a segment called "Just 4 You." Shannon's name received billing in newscast introductions along with the anchors and weather and sports presenters. Many of Shannon's commentaries had a humorous tone.

Another staple of KRON-TV newscasts in the 1980s was live traffic reports and news coverage from the station's helicopter "Telecopter 4." Bob McCarthy, Rita Cohen, and Janice Huff were among the personalities who reported from Telecopter 4. Their traffic reports appeared regularly in Daybreak, during Today and Live at Five. Evocative of his folksy, down-to-earth style, McCarthy had a catchphrase, "hunky snarky," that he often used to characterize roads on which traffic was flowing smoothly. Will Prater was the main pilot of Telecopter 4 in its early years and Lou Calderon was the main photographer.

Also during this era, KRON-TV broadcast from remote locations (e.g., Super Bowl venues) via a satellite up-link that it dubbed "Newstar 4." These segments often began with an animation depicting a signal originating from the up-link location, bouncing off of a satellite and ending at a satellite dish next to the words "San Francisco." The phrase "NEWSTAR 4 LIVE" was placed on the screen for long durations during these segments. KRON-TV regarded the satellite truck as a major competitive advantage over rival television stations, featuring it in a mid-1980s promotional spot which declared, "We got a mobile satellite up-link. They don't."

In the 1980s, KRON-TV produced lengthy analysis pieces for the "Cover Story" segment of its 6 p.m. newscast, many with an investigative journalism focus and sometimes produced by the 10-person "Target 4" investigative unit. The station re-ran some of these segments in an occasional program called Cover Story Magazine. KRON-TV also produced a half-hour public affairs program on Sunday mornings calledWeekend Extra, which was hosted by Belva Davis and Rollin Post. This program frequently presented features from KRON-TV's news bureaus in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, the only Bay Area station to maintain bureaus (deemed to be too expensive and disbanded by the end of the decade). During this time, KRON news grew rapidly in viewership and collected a large number of awards, including two DuPont Columbia awards, a Peabody, and more than 100 local Emmys.

On September 17, 2007, KRON began to broadcast its local newscasts in the 16:9 widescreen standard definition format, making it the third station to do so behind KGO and KTVU. As of September 2010, among all stations that broadcasts local news in widescreen, KRON-TV remains the only local station in the Bay Area producing its local newscasts in-house that does not broadcast its newscasts in true high definition.

In September 2008, KRON moved the syndicated daytime talk show Dr. Phil to 5 p.m.; Dr. Phil had been broadcast on KRON-TV at 8 p.m. since its premiere in 2002. As a result of the move, the station eliminated its 5 p.m. newscast and started an 8 p.m. newscast. In September 2009, KRON dropped the 8 p.m. newscast and replaced it with Dr. Phil and as a result, a 5:30 p.m. newscast was reinstated on the schedule. KRON now has news blocks from 4-11 a.m. on weekday mornings and 4-7 p.m. on weekday evenings.

T.G.I.4Edit

T.G.I.4 was a one-hour light local news and interview program which replaced "Live on 4" in 1983. It began with shots of various landmark Bay Area clocks (such as on the San Francisco Ferry Building, on Sather Tower at UC Berkeley and on the San Jose Museum of Art/1890s post office building) chiming four o'clock. Jan Rasmussen and Patrick Van Horn were co-hosts. In the mid-1980s, KRON-TV produced and aired a talk program called Bay City Limits, which ran in the afternoon. (Rival TV stations also produced talk programs in that era: A.M. San Francisco at KGO, and People Are Talking at KPIX.)

New Year's LiveEdit

From circa 1989 until January 2008, KRON produced a program called "New Year's Live." It aired on New Year's Eve (sometimes beginning at 11 p.m.) and continued into New Year's Day (sometimes ending at 1 a.m.). Events in San Francisco were the focal point of KRON's coverage, especially the midnight firework show near the Ferry Building. Other West Coast television stations joined KRON in some years (including KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, KING-TV in Seattle, KCRA in Sacramento, KNSD in San Diego and KLAS-TV in Las Vegas in December 1990), featuring midnight countdown events in other cities, such as Las Vegas casinos and at the Seattle Space Needle. KRON-TV weatherman Mark Thompson was the host in the early years. KRON revived "New Year's Live" in December 2010, a one-hour broadcast hosted by Catherine Heenan and George Rask in the studio, with live reports from Henry Tenenbaum at Pier 39 and Vicki Liviakis at Waterbar on the Embarcadero.

RatingsEdit

During the May 2001 sweeps period, KRON beat KGO-TV in the 5 and 6 p.m. timeslots by a very close margin, ending KGO-TV's domination in that timeslot.[21] As an independent station, KRON's newscasts still performed relatively well in the ratings, though the ratings were lower than they were before the station lost the NBC affiliation; during the February 2004 sweeps period, the station placed second in the ratings behind KTVU.[22] However, the station's ratings have gradually fallen; also in 2004, the station posted an 8.7% market share down from the 21% share it had as an NBC affiliate,[23] with the 9 p.m. newscast created after becoming independent eventually fell to fourth place by 2005.

News/station presentationEdit

Newscast titlesEdit

  • Telenews (1949-1951) 
  • Chronicle News (1951–1962)
  • Shell News (19571962)
  • KRON-TV News/The San Francisco Report (1962–1966)
  • The Sixth/Eleventh Hour Report (1966–1974)
  • NewsWatch 4 (1974–1977)
  • NewsCenter 4 (1977–2001)
  • KRON 4 News (2001–present)

Station slogansEdit

  • We're The Best, And Getting Better! (early 1970s)
  • Watch the News, on Newswatch 4 (mid 1970s)
  • We're Friends 4 You (1977–1979; the jingle music was also used on WKYC in Cleveland)
  • The Bay's 4, Proud As A Peacock! (1979–1981; local version of NBC campaign)
  • KRON is Coming Home (1980)[27]
  • Channel 4, Our Pride Is Showing (1981–1982; local version of NBC campaign)
  • The NewsCenter for Northern California (1982–2001)
  • We're Channel 4, Just Watch Us Now (1982–1983; local version of NBC campaign)
  • Channel 4 There, Be There (1983–1984; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 4, Let's All Be There (1984–1986; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home To Channel 4 (1986–1987; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come On Home To Channel 4 (1987–1988; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home To The Best, Only on Channel 4 (1988–1990; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 4, is The Place To Be! (1990–1992; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Your 24-Hour News Service (1991–1995)[28]
  • It's A Whole New Channel 4 (1992-1993; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Stars Are Back on Channel 4 (1993-1994; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • More News, More Often (1993–1995)
  • 24 Hour News. Every Day. Every Hour. (1995–1999)[29]
  • The 24-Hour News Station (1999–2001)
  • KRON 4: The Bay Area's News Station (2001–present)[30]
  • KRON 4: The Bay Area's News and Weather Station (2001–present)
  • Proud to be Independent (slogan used in KRON promos during the loss of NBC affiliation from January 1, 2002 – September 4, 2006)

News teamEdit

AnchorsEdit
  • Mark Danon - weekday mornings "KRON 4 Morning News" (6-10am); fill in meteorologist
  • Ysabel Duron - weekend mornings "KRON 4 Morning News" (Saturdays: 7-10 am, Sundays: 8-10am)
  • Darya Folsom - weekday mornings "KRON 4 Morning News" (6-10 a.m.)
  • Marty Gonzalez - weekend mornings "KRON 4 Morning News" (Saturdays: 7-10 am, Sundays: 8-10am)
  • Catherine Heenan - weeknights, "KRON 4 Evening News" anchor
  • Vicki Liviakis - weekends at 9 and 11 p.m.; general assignment reporter
  • Pam Moore - weeknights, "KRON 4 Evening News" and 11pm anchor
  • Justine Waldman-weekday mornings "KRON 4 Early News" and "KRON 4 Morning News" at 10am
StormTracker 4 WeatherEdit
  • Jacqueline Bennett - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Louisa Hodge - meteorologist; weekday mornings "KRON 4 Morning News" 4-11am
  • James Flecher - meteorologist; weekday mornings "KRON 4 Morning News" (4-10am)
  • Brian Van Aken (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 9 and 11 p.m.
  • Mark Danon - fill in meteorologist
Sports teamEdit
  • Gary Radnich - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Vernon Glenn - fill in sports-anchor
Traffic teamEdit
  • George Rask - traffic anchor; weekday mornings "KRON 4 Morning News" 5-10am
  • Erica Kato - traffic anchor; "KRON 4 Early News" at 4am and at 10am
General assignment reportersEdit
  • Rob Black - business reporter
  • Jonathan Bloom - general assignment reporter and political reporter
  • Jeff Bush- general assignment reporter
  • Christine Connolly - general assignment reporter
  • Terisa Estacio- general assignment reporter
  • Rob Fladeboe - general assignment reporter
  • Maureen Kelly - real estate reporter and general assignment reporter
  • Dan Kerman- general assignment reporter
  • Da Lin- general assignment reporter
  • Haaziq Maadyun- general assignment reporter
  • Jeff Pierce- general assignment reporter
  • Stanley Roberts - "People Behaving Badly" reporter
  • Craig Sklar - general assignment reporter
  • Gabriel Slate - technology reporter; general assignment reporter
  • Henry Tenenbaum - entertainment reporter; also host of "Henry's Home & Garden"
  • Kate Thompson - general assignment reporter
  • Daniel Villareal- general assignment reporter
  • Will Tran- general assignment reporter; fill in for "KRON 4 Morning News"
  • Reggie Kumar- general assignment reporter
  • Kimberlie Sakamoto - internet reporter
  • J.R. Stone - general assignment reporter
  • Jackie Sissel - general assignment reporter
  • Nicole Shanifelt - general assignment reporter
  • Yoli Aceves - general assignment reporter

Notable former on-air staffEdit

Station logosEdit

Since the 1970s, KRON-TV has used a logo with the design of the number four based upon the Golden Gate Bridge. The vertical component is a bridge tower, the horizontal component is a portion of the bridge deck, and the curve is a portion of a suspension cable. (This logo was used as early as April 1974, during coverage of a Symbionese Liberation Army bank robbery.) By about 1990-1991, this evolved into the "circle 4" logo in use to this day, with the 4 keeping the bridge-like design. Notably absent from KRON's on-air identity was the NBC Peacocklogo, even during its days as an NBC affiliate (the station would use the peacock logo sparingly in select on-air promotions, notably in the late 1980s and 1990s to promote NBC Sports coverage of local teams such as the San Francisco Giants as well as joint news promo spots featuring NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw and local anchors Jim Paymar and Sylvia Chase).

Also in the 1970s, KRON used a logo for NewsWatch 4. At the top of this logo was the "Golden Gate Bridge 4" logo (the "4" was superimposed over the famous Golden Gate Bridge), and on the bottom was the text in a stylized font in capital letters, which readNEWSWATCH. They also used Fred Weinberg's NBC Newspulse as its music theme for NewsCenter 4. Later, in 1978, the newscast title was changed to NewsCenter 4 and KRON's news logo was changed to feature the word NewsCenter in Helvetica font next to the "4" logo (similar to the NewsCenter 4 branding pioneered by NBC's owned-and-operated stations such as WNBC and KNBC). This lasted until June 1984, when the NewsCenter text's font was changed.

A 3D animated Golden Gate ID was introduced in June 1984, where some station IDs and newscast openings included animations wherein the "4" logo was superimposed upon a section of the bridge. There were two versions of this station ID: daytime and nighttime. In the early days of this station ID, the same music cue used for the early '80s' C Channel station was used. Later that year, a new music cue was used on the ID and was used until 1987. When KRON overhauled their set and debuted the foghorn music package in June 1987, a new updated music cue was used on the ID until 1989.[32]

In addition, when "DayBreak" was changed on September 1, 1986, the DayBreak Sun (which mirrored that of NBC's Today Show) was used in the news openings/closings of the program with the Golden Gate Bridge being put on the other side of the sun.

The NewsCenter 4 logo was changed in 1978. The "4" was placed in a square and the bolder NewsCenter text appeared next to it. In 1984, the logo was changed again to feature the word NewsCenter in a new font (same as the font used for NBC News programming in the early-to-mid 1980s). The "4" was italicized and the square was removed. This logo was used until 1988.

When the station signed off, the same text for KRON-TV featured in the Golden Gate station ID was superimposed on the SMPTE color bars. The "4" was placed next to the KRON-TV text.

Several viewers still ask about a certain element that aired for many years just before the final sign-off announcement. KRON-TV aired "Meditation," a 2:59 long 16mm film piece showing local rustic scenes with a meditative music accompaniment. The music accompaniment was written by Gabriel Faure, "Pavane," Opus #50. This sign-off sequence aired from early 1981 to 1989, when KRON switched over to a 24 hour format. The entire sign-off sequence can be found on YouTube.[33]

References

  1. ^ Broadcast Legends - Terry Lowry
  2. ^ Gone But Not Forgotten: "Buster and Me"
  3. ^ Buster and Me (1977) at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ TVWeek - Special Reports - Print Edition
  5. ^ Young Broadcasting Inc. Announcement on Bond Interest Payment; Retention of Advisors to Facilitate Restructuring, January 16, 2008
  6. ^ Young Broadcasting Delisted; KRON debt becomes an anchor, TVB, January 2009
  7. ^ http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/young-broadcasting-restructure-balance-sheet/story.aspx?guid={23864AE3-FA9E-42A8-9677-1B628A9DC876}&dist=msr_1
  8. ^ "Young Broadcasting Inc. to Sell KRON-TV in San Francisco" (press release)
  9. ^ KNTV: "KRON Goes Up For Sale"(1/10/2008)
  10. ^ KPIX: "Young Broadcasting To Sell KRON-TV" (1/10/2008)
  11. ^ http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090127005778&newsLang=en
  12. ^ http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/business/6262997.html
  13. ^ "KRON parent Young Broadcasting cancels auction", from San Francisco Business Times, 7/15/2009
  14. ^ "Young Broadcasting Calls Off Auction", from broadcastingcable.com 7/14/2009
  15. ^ "Bankruptcy Judge Signs Off on Young Deal", from broadcastingcable.com, 7/30/2009
  16. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  17. ^ CDBS Print
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ KRON programming guide @ TitanTV
  20. ^ See "KRON: Shell News Report (1957)," San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive:https://diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/189592
  21. ^ http://articles.sfgate.com/2001-05-25/entertainment/17598630_1_kron-rating-first-sweeps
  22. ^ http://www.allbusiness.com/entertainment-arts/broadcasting-industry/5581060-1.html
  23. ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/102881-Declaration_of_Independents.php
  24. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z38zSRHbuE8
  25. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBA85h1XAfI
  26. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr6i6p4Vn84
  27. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMxAZemYAxY
  28. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVDVf_olaSA
  29. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ5fYvuuNyM
  30. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikDRF8AgEQ0
  31. ^ Paymar Communications Group is a leading edge consulting, media training and presentation training firm working with executives, government officials and spokespersons so they become competent communicators
  32. ^ [2] KRON's July 14, 1987 news update with the DayBreak Sun and Nighttime GGB Legal ID.
  33. ^ KRON Station Sign-Off

External linksEdit

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