|San Diego, California
|Branding||CBS 8 (general)
CBS News 8 (newscasts)
|Slogan||San Diego's number-one choice for news...again|
|Channels||Digital: 8 (VHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
|Owner||Midwest Television, Inc.|
|First air date||May 16, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||derived from sister station KFMB radio|
|Sister station(s)||KFMB, KFMB-FM|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
8 (VHF, 1949–2009)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:
|Transmitter power||14.87 kW|
|Height||227 m (745 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
KFMB-TV, channel 8, is a CBS-affiliated television station located in San Diego, California, USA. KFMB-TV is owned by Midwest Television, Inc., and shares studio/office facilities with sister radio stations KFMB (760 AM) and KFMB-FM (100.7 MHz.) in the Kearny Mesa section of San Diego; its transmitter is based on Mount Soledad in La Jolla, California.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|8.1||1080i||16:9||KFMB-DT||Main KFMB-TV programming / CBS|
KFMB-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 55, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 8 for post-transition operations. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers still display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 8.
KFMB-TV went on the air on May 16, 1949, as San Diego's first television station. The station initially was owned by Jack O. Gross along with KFMB radio. San Diego Mayor Harley E. Knox was present at its first broadcast. KFMB-TV has always been a CBS affiliate, and is the only station in the city to have never changed its affiliation. However, in the early years, channel 8 carried programs from ABC, NBC, and DuMont.
KFMB-TV signed an affiliation agreement with the short-lived Paramount Television Network in October 1949, and quickly became that network's strongest affiliate. The station received a network feed of Paramount programs which included Hollywood Opportunity, Meet Me in Hollywood, Magazine of the Week, Time For Beany, Your Old Buddy, and others; the station aired six hours of Paramount programs each week. As there was no technical transmission network for Paramount programming, KFMB instead had the network's programming fed from Los Angeles station KTLA's signal atop Mount Wilson, 90 miles away to the KFMB-TV transmitter site on Mount Soledad.
In November 1950, Gross sold the KFMB stations to John A. Kennedy, a former publisher of the San Diego Daily Journal. Three years later, Kennedy unloaded the pair to a partnership of Jack Wrather and Helen Alvarez. That same year channel 8 lost its monopoly on San Diego television when the market received two new stations, Tijuana-based XETV (channel 6) and San Diego-licensed KFSD-TV (channel 10, now KGTV), the latter of which took an NBC affiliation. KFMB-TV aired ABC programs until 1956, when that network was allowed to affiliate with XETV.
When the Wrather-Alvarez partnership broke up in 1957, Wrather kept the San Diego outlets and KERO-TV in upstate Bakersfield for his newly renamed Marietta Broadcasting. In 1959, Wrather merged Marietta Broadcasting into Buffalo, New York-based Transcontinent Television Corporation. In 1964, as part of Transcontinent's exit from broadcasting, the KFMB stations were sold to current owner Midwest Television, then based in Champaign, Illinois. In the 1990s, Midwest Television divested its original stations, WCIA in Champaign and WMBD-AM-TV and WPBG (FM) in Peoria, Illinois, leaving the KFMB stations as their lone remaining properties.
In 1998, KFMB-TV was awarded the local broadcast rights to San Diego Chargers football telecasts for preseason games in addition to airing Chargers contests as part of CBS's National Football League package. Channel 8 also airs Chargers telecasts that are produced by ESPN and NFL Network.
In 2005, Midwest Television and CBS signed a ten-year contract extension for KFMB-TV to remain a CBS affiliate. The station rebranded itself as News 8 on September 19, 2005, after four years under the "Local 8" branding. In early 2007, channel 8 began to rebrand itself as "CBS 8", with the launch of their new website (with the News 8 title remaining in use for the station's newscasts).
The station clears the entire CBS network schedule though for years, KFMB-TV has chosen to air The Bold and the Beautiful outside of the network's recommended 12:30 p.m. timeslot for the soap opera. This stemmed from when the station had an hour-long noon newscast, as the station aired the program at 9:30 a.m. Today, the station's midday newscast has since moved to 11 a.m. with The Bold and the Beautiful following the program at 11:30 a.m. and The Young and the Restless remaining at noon.
Due to requirements mandated by the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast educational and informational programs aimed at children, KFMB is required to show E/I programs supplied by CBS through the network's CBS Dream Team block, thus the station does not air live sporting events until 10 a.m. local time on Saturday mornings, even if coverage from CBS Sports has already started by that time. This requirement has not prevented other Pacific Time Zone affiliates of CBS from airing live sporting events that begin at 9 a.m. or earlier.
KFMB currently offers a total of 29 hours of local news programming each week (with five hours on weekdays and two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); unlike most CBS affiliates, KFMB does not run a local newscast at 6 p.m. (ceding the timeslot to the CBS Evening News, which in turn, airs a half-hour earlier than on most CBS stations in the Pacific Time Zone), though the station does have an early evening news broadcast at 6:30 p.m. Some famous KFMB alumni include former weather girl Raquel Tejada (later known as Raquel Welch), talk-show host Regis Philbin, TV host Sarah Purcell, CNN and former CBS anchor Paula Zahn, original Access Hollywood host Larry Mendte, and NBC correspondents Don Teague and Dawn Fratangelo.
KFMB has been the news leader in San Diego for most of its history, dating back to the 1950s when Ray Wilson was the popular anchorman of the city's first half-hour newscast. When Wilson stepped down in 1973, KFMB slipped to a distant second behind KGTV, rebounding only in the late 1970s and early 1980s when former KGTV producer Jim Holtzman was hired by the station as news director. Holtzman formed a popular and acclaimed news team consisting of anchors Michael Tuck and Allison Ross, weatherman Clark Anthony and sportscaster Ted Leitner. By the end of 1979, KFMB had risen back to the #1 position, remaining there until 1984 when Tuck suddenly moved to KGTV and helped that station overtake KFMB for the remainder of the decade.
Holtzman tried in vain to compete by experimenting with a different format for the 11 p.m. news called This Day which emphasized a softer, humanized format and attempted to find a common thread within the newscast. There was no regular anchor; instead Hal Clement, Loren Nancarrow (deceased), Dawn Fratangelo (now with NBC) and Susan Lichtman (now known as Susan Taylor at KNSD) formed an ensemble of anchor/reporters who alternated between anchoring, filing detailed reports and giving live interviews. Computer graphics were used heavily, and Dave Grusin's "Night Lines" served as the newscast's theme music.
Although it was innovative for its time, This Day proved to be a dismal failure as viewers responded negatively to the awkward format, and within nine months KFMB reverted to a regular newscast. However, the news ratings for KFMB went into a deep decline which would not end for more than a decade as popular mainstays like Marty Levin and Allison Ross (both of whom reappeared on KNSD) either left voluntarily or were fired and were replaced by younger faces like Stan Miller and Susan Roesgen.
Eventually by the 1990s, Hal Clement would assume the early-evening anchor duties alongside Susan Peters and later Denise Yamada to mixed results as the station continued to battle KGTV and KNSD, primarily in the 11 p.m. period where the CBS lead-in at the time was particularly weaker. Then, Michael Tuck's brief return following Clement's departure for KGTV and CBS's resurgence at the start of the Millennium helped bring KFMB back to first place in the early evenings. As of 2013, KFMB operates the only news helicopter in San Diego. Chopper 8 provides video feed to almost all TV stations in San Diego.
During coverage of the California wildfires of October 2007, reporter Larry Himmel took viewers on a walkthrough of his own destroyed home in the fires. Audio of the station's news programming was also simulcast on KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM for an extended period of time.
On January 28, 2007, KFMB became the first station in San Diego to broadcast its news in HD, and unveiled a new set to go with the switch.
As of 2006[update], KFMB was San Diego's most watched television station, based on Nielsen share sign-on to sign-off. The station's newscasts are #1 at noon, 5, 6:30 and 11 p.m. weekdays, and at 5 and 6:30 p.m. weekends.
- Carlo Cecchetto - weeknights at 5:00, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
- Barbara-Lee Edwards - weeknights at 5:00, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.; also health reporter
- Dan Cohen - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
- Nichelle Medina - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
- Marcella Lee - weekends at 5:00, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
- Matt Baylow (member, AMS) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
- Natasha Stenbock - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
- Shawn Styles (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 5:00, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
- Kyle Kraska - sports director; weeknights at 5:00, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
- John Howard - sports anchor; weekends at 5:00, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
- Steve Quis - sports anchor; fill-in, also sports reporter for 4SD
- Richard Allyn - General Assignment Reporter
- Abbie Alford - General Assignment Reporter
- Dominic Garcia - General Assignment Reporter; also fill-in Anchor
- Shannon Handy - General Assignment Reporter
- Larry Himmel - Feature Reporter; also fill-in Weather Anchor
- Matt Johnson - General Assignment Reporter
- Gene Kang - General Assignment Reporter
- Angie Lee - General Assignment Reporter
- Steve Price - General Assignment Reporter; also fill-in Anchor
- Alicia Summers - General Assignment Reporter; also fill-in Anchor
- Jeff Zevely - General Assignment Reporter
- Phil Konstantin - morning Chopper 8-based traffic and breaking news reporter
- Jo Eager - midday Chopper 8-based traffic and breaking news reporter
- Debbie Henke - evening Chopper 8-based traffic and breaking news reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- Jerry G. Bishop - host of Sun Up San Diego (1978–1990)
- Marc Brown (1987–1989, now at KABC-TV/Los Angeles)
- Bob Dale - host of Zoorama, PayDay 3 O'Clock Movie and Sun Up San Diego (1960s-1970s)
- Pamela Davis - weekend anchor/reporter (2001–2005; now at KPBS radio)
- Rebecca Gomez - morning/noon anchor and reporter (?-1996 and 2001–2002; now with Fox News Channel)
- Victoria Johnson - chopper 8 reporter (2006-March 2013; now weekend anchor at KSBY in San Luis Obispo, CA)
- Jim Laslavic - sports anchor (1983–1989; now at KNSD)
- Ted Leitner - sports anchor (1978–2003)
- Larry Mendte - weather anchor (1988–1991; last at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, now with WPIX-TV in New York)
- Rekha Muddaraj - reporter/anchor (2007–2011; now at KHOU-TV in Houston)
- Loren Nancarrow - reporter/news and weather anchor (1980-1986 and 1991-1998; later with KGTV and KSWB-TV; deceased)
- Susan Peters - anchor (1991–1995; now at KAKE-TV/Wichita, Kansas)
- Sarah Purcell - talk show host (1970s)
- Susan Roesgen - anchor (1989–1991; formerly at CNN)
- Aloha Taylor (2001–2005; now at KSWB-TV)
- Sandra Maas - News Anchor/Medical Reporter (1990-2001; now at KUSI-TV)
- RabbitEars TV Query for KFMB
- Where to Watch Me-TV: KFMB
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print
- "KFMB-TV Rebeams 6 hrs. of KTLA Segs". Billboard: 11. 1949-06-04.
- "Television". Redlands Daily Facts (Redlands, CA). 1952-12-05. p. 12.
- "First Coast Network: KTLA Pioneers in Hookup with San Diego", Long Beach Independent, 1949-10-16: 14c
- "KFMB sale; Kennedys to buy." Broadcasting - Telecasting, November 20, 1950, pg. 68. 
- "$7 1/2 million mark passed in bumper transfer crop." Broadcasting - Telecasting, February 2, 1953, pp. 27-28. 
- "Wrather buys out Alvarez." Broadcasting - Telecasting, May 12, 1958, pg. 9. 
- "New station combine formed." Broadcasting - Telecasting, February 16, 1959, pg. 9. 
- "Transcontinent tie with Marietta gets ok." Broadcasting - Telecasting, May 18, 1959, pp. 74, 76. 
- "Transcontinent sale: last of its kind?." Broadcasting, February 24, 1964, pp. 27-28. 
- Walkthrough of destroyed home, 2007 wildfires
- Local HD News Offered By 24 Stations, TVpredictions, Nov 25, 2006
- Nielsen Media Research, November 2006
- News 8 Team
- "Marc Brown bio". KABC-TV. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- CBS8.com - Official KFMB-TV website
- MeTVSanDiego.com - Official Me-TV San Diego website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KFMB-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KFMB-TV