|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|Los Angeles, California|
|Branding||NBC 4 Southern California (general)
NBC 4 LA (secondary)
NBC 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||NBC 4 You|
|Channels||Digital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
4.2 Cozi TV
(NBC Telemundo License, LLC)
|First air date||January 16, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||K
|Former callsigns||KNBH (1949–1954)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1949–2009)
NBC Weather Plus/NBC+ (2004–2011)
NBC California Nonstop (2011–2012)
Universal Sports (2008–2011)
|Transmitter power||380 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KNBC, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 36), is an NBC owned-and-operated television station located in Los Angeles, California, United States, that serves as the West Coast flagship station of the network. The station is owned by the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations subsidiary of NBCUniversal, as part of a duopoly with Telemundo station KVEA (channel 52). KNBC's studios and offices are located within The Burbank Studios complex in Burbank, and its transmitter is located on Mount Wilson.
Channel 4 first went on the air as KNBH (standing for "NBC Hollywood") on January 16, 1949. It was the penultimate VHF station in Los Angeles to debut, and the last of NBC's five original owned-and-operated stations to sign on. Unlike the other four, KNBH was the only NBC-owned television station that did not benefit from having a sister radio station. The NBC Radio Network had long been affiliated with KFI in Los Angeles, though that relationship did not extend into television in August 1948 when KFI-TV (channel 9, now KCAL-TV) signed on the air. When KNBH signed on, it marked the debut of NBC programs on the West Coast.
The station changed its callsign to KRCA (for NBC's then-parent company, the Radio Corporation of America) on October 18, 1954. The call letters were changed again on November 11, 1962, when NBC moved the KNBC identity from its San Francisco radio station (which became KNBR) and applied it to channel 4 in Los Angeles.
Channel 4 originally broadcast from the NBC Radio City Studios on Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood. In November 1962, after more than 13 years broadcasting from Hollywood, the station relocated to the network's color broadcast studio facility in suburban Burbank. NBC Color City, as it was then known, had been in operation since March 1955, and was at least four to five times larger than Radio City, and could easily accommodate KNBC's locally-produced studio programming. NBC Radio's West Coast operations eventually followed channel 4 to Burbank not too long after.
On October 11, 2007, NBCUniversal announced that it would put its Burbank studios up for sale and construct a new, all-digital facility near the Universal Studios backlot in Universal City, in an effort to merge all of NBCUniversal's West Coast operations into one area. As a result, KNBC, KVEA and NBC News' Los Angeles bureau will move to a new digital facility on the Universal lot formerly occupied by Technicolor SA. The studio is expected to open by 2014.
In fall 2007 with digital broadcast roll out, the station began broadcasting a 24/7 newschannel News Raw on a subchannel. On January 16, 2009, KNBC celebrated its 60th anniversary with an hour-long tribute to the station, featuring past and present anchors, hosts, other popular on-air staff, and major news stories. KNBC and its other NBC owned-and-operated stations introduced a new layout for their websites in July 2009.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080p||16:9||NBC-4LA||Main KNBC programming / NBC|
On January 1, 2012, Universal Sports transitioned into a cable- and satellite-exclusive service, causing its affiliates (such as KNBC) to replace the network and remove the channel from their digital signals entirely, with KNBC deleting digital subchannel 4.4 (which also carried NBC Weather Plus from its November 15, 2004 launch to November 30, 2008) as result of the loss of Universal Sports.
NBC California Nonstop
KNBC operated NBC California Nonstop, a collaboration between KNBC and two other NBC-owned stations in California (KNSD in San Diego and KNTV in San Jose) which launched on May 3, 2011 and replaced programming from NBC Plus on the second digital subchannels of all three stations. In the case of KNBC, it was the second news-oriented digital channel operated by the station, as digital channel 4.2 featured a rolling news format under the name NewsRaw (which moved from digital channel 4.4 upon Weather Plus' December 1, 2008 shutdown), prior to the launch of California Nonstop. Each station produced a local newscast at 7 p.m. that was tailored to their respective market. For the Los Angeles feed of the channel, Colleen Williams anchored the hour-long Nonstop News LA. NBC California Nonstop ended on December 20, 2012 when Cozi TV was launched.
KNBC shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 36, using PSIP to display KNBC's virtual channel as 4 on digital television receivers. Since the station qualified for the nightlight clause in the DTV Delay Act, it was required to keep its analog signal on for two weeks from June 12 to 26, 2009 to inform viewers of the digital television transition, consisting of a loop of digital transition public service announcements, while the digital channel was used for normal programming.
KNBC has been long active in community events, including airing the annual Kingdom Day Parade (honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday) in South Los Angeles (until 2009, when coverage moved to KABC-TV), sponsoring an annual two-day Health & Fitness Expo Fair at the Los Angeles Convention Center every summer, and between 2001 and 2009 has been the exclusive local English-language carrier of the annual Los Angeles Marathon (KTLA has aired the marathon since 2010). The station also produces Whipnotic, a half-hour show about Southern California's car culture, that also airs in Spanish on Telemundo sister station KVEA.
Syndicated programming seen on KNBC includes Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Steve Harvey, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Extra. KNBC co-produces Access Hollywood and its daytime talk show spinoff Access Hollywood Live, both of which also air on KNBC and other NBC owned-and-operated stations. As of August 2010, KNBC is one of three NBC-owned stations that distributes programming either nationally and/or regionally (along with KNTV and WNBC).
KNBC presently broadcasts 32½ hours of locally-produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays and 2½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). The station runs a special hour-long newscast on Sunday nights following the Fred Roggin-hosted sports-themed game show The Challenge, during the NFL season where NBC Sunday Night Football telecasts preempt the 6 p.m. newscast. On election nights, KNBC runs a special extended edition of its 11 p.m. newscast to show early election results.
The station's newscasts generally have more of a "serious" tone covering issues (such as politics, government, education and the economy) than other Los Angeles area newscasts. KNBC is notable in the Los Angeles area for not showing live car chases. Thus, when its various competitors switch to police chase coverage during news programming, channel 4 instead prepares a regular news story on the pursuit to air during a later newscast. For most of the last 30 years, KNBC has waged a spirited battle with KABC-TV for the top-rated local newscast in Southern California, becoming a three-way race with KCBS-TV's ratings resurgence in 2006. Throughout the late 1980s and into the early 2000s, KNBC's newscasts were the most-watched in the region, beating out every other station viewership-wise, which coincided with NBC's overall ratings at the time. Channel 4's 11 p.m. newscast currently sits in third place; most of the station's other newscasts, including its once-popular morning news program, Today in L.A., the area's first local morning newscast (which debuted in 1986), now rate at or near the bottom of the local news ratings.
KNBC has had a very stable news team over the years: weeknight anchor Colleen Williams (who also occasionally reports for MSNBC and NBC News), sports director Fred Roggin (who serves as sports anchor for NBC's Early Today and is a sports announcer for NBC's Olympics coverage) and chief weathercaster Fritz Coleman (who like Roggin, has also occasionally appeared on The Tonight Show, and once hosted a late night variety show for KNBC called It's Fritz from 1989 to the early 1990s) have each been at the station more than 25 years. Former KNBC anchor Paul Moyer worked two stints at channel 4; first from 1972 to 1979 (when he began a 13-year run at rival KABC-TV) and from July 1992 until his May 2009 retirement. Like Moyer, anchor Chuck Henry was also a mainstay at KABC-TV, before making the move to channel 4 in January 1994. He currently produces (through his self-titled production company) the travelogue series Travel Cafe, which airs weekends on KNBC. Kelly Lange, Stu Nahan, John Schubeck, Tritia Toyota, Jess Marlow, David Sheehan, John Beard and Nick Clooney are other notables who have worked on KNBC's newscasts in the past.
Former Today co-host and NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw began his NBC career as an anchor and reporter for KNBC from 1966 until leaving to work exclusively for the network in 1973. Others of note who have worked at KNBC early in their careers (prior to joining the network) include Bryant Gumbel, Pat Sajak, Kent Shocknek, Bob Abernethy, Keith Morrison, Tom Snyder and consumer reporter David Horowitz, whose long-running syndicated series, Fight Back!, began on channel 4 and was produced and distributed by NBC and Group W. In 1987 during an afternoon newscast, a gun-wielding mental patient gained access to NBC Studios, and took Horowitz hostage live on-air. With the gun pressed to his side, Horowitz calmly read the gunman's statements on camera. The unidentified man was caught with a toy gun, and was arrested by local police. It led Horowitz to start a successful campaign to ban "look-alike" toy guns in several states, including California and New York.
Channel 4's news programs were known as KNBC News Service during the late 1960s and early 1970s, before adopting the NewsCenter 4 title in the mid-1970s. NBC made similar changes to newscasts in other markets around the same time, and channel 4 shared the NewsCenter title with its sister stations in New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. KNBC's newscasts were the last to drop the NewsCenter moniker, rebranding to News 4 LA in 1982 before becoming Channel 4 News in 1985. While KNBC became known on-air as NBC 4 in 1995, the Channel 4 News branding was so well established in Southern California that the title was retained for 26 years until 2011, when it became NBC 4 News. In 2002, longtime weather reporter Christopher Nance was fired from KNBC after years of what staffers claim was "menacing and profane off-air behavior" contrary to his flamboyant and cheerful nature on-air. Shortly after his firing, Los Angeles magazine published an article further detailing Nance's behavioral problems, including allegations that he was involved with a station intern, and engaged in altercations with many staff members. Nance alleged on his website and the article that KNBC fired him due to his Christian beliefs. In 2004, the African American Nance sued the station, citing he was dismissed due to racial and religious discrimination.
In 2006, KNBC launched a local news channel on digital channel 4.4 called News Raw, that provided hourly news updates, additional information on breaking news stories and previewed news stories scheduled to air on the main channel's newscasts. After Universal Sports was launched in 2008, News Raw became a part-time channel, first on 4.4, and later on digital channel 4.2 when KNBC expanded Universal Sports programming on the former subchannel to 24 hours a day. That same year, the station debuted The Local Story in July 2006, which featured an in-depth look at a single major local news story and was hosted by Ross Becker; the program was canceled in September 2006 and replaced by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but continued as an online-only program until it returned to channel 4 in October 2006, before being dropped for good in mid-November. In September 2006, KNBC debuted YourLA TV, featuring videos about interesting things happening in Southern California, with user-submitted videos and comments via MySpace mixed with profiles of ordinary people in a format similar to PM Magazine.
For many years, KNBC produced a late afternoon newscast at 4 p.m., which was dropped in 2002, in favor of Dr. Phil (that program moved to KCBS-TV in 2005, and was replaced by The Ellen DeGeneres Show). The station also had an hour-long 11 a.m. newscast, which later was trimmed to a half-hour before ultimately being canceled at the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The station revived its midday newscast as a half-hour program at noon in early 2012, which expanded to one hour that September. KNBC became the fifth station in the Los Angeles market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition on July 14, 2008 (Spanish-language sister station KVEA and former sister KWHY-TV also converted their newscasts to HD at the same time). On December 6, 2011, KNBC entered into a partnership with public radio station KPCC as part of a larger effort by NBCUniversal to partner with non-profit news organizations following its acquisition by Comcast.
Current on-air staff
- Chuck Henry – weeknights at 5, 6 & 11 p.m.
- Kathy Vara – weekend evenings; also reporter
- Colleen Williams – weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m; Sundays at 11 PM
- Fritz Coleman – lead weather anchor; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Elita Loresca (AMS Seal of Approval; member, NWA) - meteorologist; Monday, Thursday & Fridays at Noon; Saturday & Sundays on Today in LA Weekend
- Crystal Egger (AMS Seal of Approval; member, NWA) – meteorologist; weekday mornings on "Today in L.A."
- Byron Miranda (member, NWA) – meteorologist; weekend evenings; Tuesday & Wednesday at noon
- Fred Roggin – sports director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.; also Early Today sports anchor, host of The Challenge KNBC's coverage of the Los Angeles Marathon and former host of GSN Live)
- Bill Seward – sports anchor; also hosting rugby and cliff diving on NBC Sports and Universal Sports networks
- Joel Grover – investigative reporter
- Dr. Bruce Hensel – health and science reporter
- Vikki Vargas – chief Orange County bureau reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- Jim Avila (now with ABC News)
- John Beard (now at WGRZ)
- Ross Becker
- Victor Bozeman – staff announcer†
- Tom Brokaw (semi-retired from NBC News)
- Jim Brown
- Nick Clooney
- Sonya Crawford
- Linda Douglass
- Bryant Gumbel
- David Garcia†
- David Horowitz
- Desiree Horton
- Kyung Lah (now with CNN)
- Jack Latham†
- Kelly Lange – longtime news anchor
- Jess Marlow - anchor, 1966-1980; 1986-2000 (retired)
- Robert W. Morgan†
- Keith Morrison (now with NBC News)
- Paul Moyer (retired)
- Stu Nahan†
- Kevin O'Connell (now at WGRZ)
- Warren Olney
- Jack Perkins
- Ross Porter
- Francis Gary Powers†
- Donald Rickles – staff announcer†
- Danny Romero (now with KABC-TV)
- Michele Ruiz
- Pat Sajak (now host of Wheel of Fortune)
- Tracie Savage
- John Schubeck†
- David Sheehan
- Kent Shocknek (now evening anchor with KCAL-TV)
- Tom Snyder†
- Steve Somers
- Don Stanley – staff announcer†
- Peggy Taylor – staff announcer†
- Tritia Toyota (moved to KCBS from 1985 to 1999)
† - deceased
KNBC is rebroadcast on the following translator stations:
- "KNBH (TV); new NBC outlet is sixth TV station in L.A." Broadcasting - Telecasting, January 17, 1949, pg. 34. 
- "L.A.'s 'Mt. Millions'." Broadcasting - Telecasting, December 27, 1948, pg. 76. 
- "RCA replaces NBC in O&O calls." Broadcasting - Telecasting, October 4, 1954, pg. 78. 
- "KNBC to L.A." Broadcasting, November 12, 1962, pg. 72
- "KRCA is now KNBC" ad in Los Angeles Times, November 12, 1962.
- "NBCU Reveals New West Coast HQ Plans After Scuttling Earlier Project". Reuters. January 5, 2012.
- Allison Romano. (3/9/2008) Local Stations Multiply. Broadcasting & Cable.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KNBC
- Mobile DTV Service List. RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved on 2012-06-04.
- Mobile DTV Station Guide. Mdtvsignalmap.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-04.
- "Station Ownership in the Top 25 Markets" (PDF). broadcastingcable.com. January 24, 2009. p. 3. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print. Fjallfoss.fcc.gov. Retrieved on 2012-06-04.
- "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- NBC Daytime's Assult. Broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-04.
- Fight Back!™ History. Fightback.com
- "Quick Takes: NBC, nonprofits to team". Los Angeles Times. December 6, 2011. Retrieved Decenver 10, 2011.
- "Bio". Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- Margulies, Lee (29 April 2003). "Jess Marlow to retire and leave L.A.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Kevin O'Connell Basic Information". Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- NBCLosAngeles.com - Official website for KNBC
- NBC Design Group website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KNBC