|San Francisco, California|
|Branding||KRON 4 (general)
KRON 4 News (newscasts)
(callsign pronounced as "Chron" as in "Chronicle")
|Slogan||The Bay Area's News Station|
|Channels||Digital: 38 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|Translators||K41AF 41 Ukiah, California|
(Young Broadcasting of San Francisco, Inc.)
|First air date||November 15, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||San Francisco CHRONicle [sic]
(former co-owned newspaper)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1949-2009)
57 (UHF, 2004-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (primary, 1949-2001; secondary, 2010-2011)
Retro Television Network (DT2, 2007-2008)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
KRON-TV is a television station in San Francisco, California, serving as the Bay Area affiliate of the MyNetworkTV programming service. Owned by Young Broadcasting, it broadcasts on virtual channel 4.1 (UHF digital channel 38) from a transmitter atop Sutro Tower. The station maintains studios in downtown San Francisco's Western Addition section. Its signal is relayed on low-powered K41AF (channel 41) in Ukiah.
KRON-TV is a news-intensive station with around 60 hours a week of locally-produced newscasts, it has the distinction of being the only MyNetworkTV affiliate with a newscast schedule mirroring that of a major network affiliate (as it carries morning, 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts). The station was originally an NBC affiliate from its November 1949 sign-on until December 2001, and was one of that network's strongest stations; KRON had an informal secondary affiliation with the network from 2010 to 2011, carrying programming normally seen on NBC's present-day San Jose-licensed O&O station KNTV during sports programming and breaking news events (NBC programming preempted by KNTV moved to KICU in 2012).
As an NBC affiliate 
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 KRON-TV on the air on November 15, 1949 as a full-time NBC affiliate, and was operated alongside co-owned radio station KRON-FM (96.5 FM). The station's call letters come from a modification of the paper's nickname in the Bay Area, "The Chron". For most of its run as an NBC affiliate, KRON-TV was that network's second-largest affiliate (behind only Philadelphia's KYW-TV, now a CBS O&O), and its largest affiliate on the West Coast.
KRON-TV originally broadcast from studios located in the basement of the Chronicle building at Fifth and Mission streets. It originally maintained transmitter facilities on San Bruno Mountain; "NBC" lettering was placed near the summit of Radio Peak in huge white letters. 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. In the 1950s and 1960s, local programs produced by KRON-TV included the award-winning documentary series Assignment Four, Fireman Frank with George Lamont and his puppets (including Scat the Cat and Karl the Karrot), and a live children's program hosted by Art Finley as Mayor 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."
In 1965, KRON-TV began broadcasting most Oakland Raiders games, which were part of at first the American Football League, which had a contract with NBC from 1965 to 1969, and then the National Football League's American Football Conference, which inherited the AFL's deal with NBC from 1970 to 1997 (KRON-TV did not serve as the team's home station from 1982, when the Raiders relocated to Los Angeles, to 1994). In 1967, KRON-FM-TV moved to a new studio at 1001 Van Ness Avenue in the Western Addition neighborhood, where channel 4 still operates from today. The building formerly was the site of the Roman Catholic cathedral of San Francisco. The television transmitter was moved to Sutro Tower on July 4, 1973, while the FM transmitter remained on San Bruno Mountain.
Becoming a market leader 
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 population growth in areas outside San Francisco soared. Realizing this enabled KRON-TV to become the dominant station in the Bay Area. 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 (the original NBC daytime versions of both Jeopardy and Wheel also aired on KRON), as well as Entertainment Tonight, which has aired on the station for most of its run. 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.
In 1982, the deYoung family's Chronicle Publishing Company unit and the Gannett Company discussed the possibility of trading KRON-TV for $100 million to Gannett, in exchange for Chronicle acquiring Gannett's Oklahoma City station KOCO-TV. The deal between the two companies ultimately fell apart by September 1983. In the late 1980s, KRON-TV was among the few local television stations in the United States that produced a game show: Claim to Fame was a weekly half-hour show hosted by Patrick Van Horn that usually ran on Saturday evenings. During that timeframe, KRON also produced a Saturday morning children's program called Buster and Me. From the 1970s into the late 1980s, the station used Gabriel Fauré's Pavane, Opus 50 as the music piece played during its nightly sign-off, alongside scenic rustic shots from around the Bay Area. 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. The program, which generally aired on Sunday evenings, featured hosts such as Jerry Graham and Doug McConnell.
The station also occasionally pre-empted NBC programming; one such notable omission was the daytime soap opera Another World, which would eventually air on the station in the early 1990s. Two NBC daytime game shows, 50 Grand Slam and Just Men!, were never seen in the Bay Area. KRON also did not air NBC's soap operas in pattern (for example, KRON-TV aired Days of our Lives after Another World instead of the standard network programming slot – at 2 or 3 p.m. depending on the season and time slot). Channel 4 also pre-empted some of the network's prime time programming. Similar to fellow NBC station KCRA-TV in neighboring Sacramento, KRON-TV stopped airing the Saturday morning T-NBC lineup 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-owned status because of this (Miami's WTVJ and Salt Lake City's KUTV 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.
During the 1992-1993 season, KRON-TV (along with KCRA-TV) participated in the "Early Prime" experiment in which prime time programs aired one hour earlier (mirroring the network's scheduling in the Central and Mountain time zones), the half-hour late evening newscast moved from 11:00 to 10:00 p.m. While KRON moved NBC's prime time programming back to its normal timeslots in September 1993, CBS affiliate KPIX, who adopted the early primetime schedule at the same time as KRON, continued with the experiment until 1998 – well after it had became a CBS-owned station through the network's 1994 acquisition by KPIX's then-owner Westinghouse. Though both KRON and KPIX ran hour-long newscasts at 10 p.m., neither were able to beat Fox affiliate KTVU, due to that station's longtime dominance in the 10:00 hour that continues to this day.
In 1993, Channel 4 became the flagship station of the Oakland Athletics, after acquiring broadcast rights to the Major League Baseball team's games. This caused a problem in 1996, when the final day of the USA Olympic track and field trials conflicted with a scheduled Athletics broadcast. Since KRON-TV was contractually obligated to show the baseball game live, it rebroadcast the trials at midnight. KRON lost the Athletics television rights following the team's 1998 season.
Young Broadcasting purchase and loss of NBC affiliation 
In 1999, the deYoung family decided to liquidate Chronicle Publishing's assets. By this point, the deYoung's owned three television stations (including KRON) in large and mid-sized markets around the country, two of which were sold off to LIN TV (who traded KAKE-TV and WOWT to Benedek Broadcasting in turn). KRON-TV's longtime sister newspaper property, the San Francisco Chronicle, was acquired by the 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 the opportunity 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 to buy KRON, until it was outbid at the last second by New York City-based Young Broadcasting, then-owner of Los Angeles independent station KCAL-TV and several other stations in medium to small markets, on November 17, 1999. Young's purchase price for the station (US$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 La Crosse, Wisconsin CBS affiliate WKBT to Morgan Murphy Media. In response to losing, NBC supplied Young with a list of demands that would have required the station to be run under the conventions of an NBC-owned outlet. For example, NBC wanted Young to change KRON-TV's on-air branding from "KRON 4" to "NBC 4", and have the station run the network's entire schedule in pattern, allowing pre-emptions only for extended breaking news coverage.
Rather than give in to NBC's demands, Young decided not to renew channel 4's affiliation contract, which was set to expire at the beginning of 2002. San Jose-based KNTV (channel 11) – which joined The WB (in conjunction with that network's existing Bay Area affiliate, then co-owned KBWB) in 1999, after it agreed to drop its ABC affiliation at the behest of network-owned KGO-TV – later approached NBC with a proposal to pay $37 million annually for the rights to broadcast its programming. The network accepted the deal in February 2000, however in December 2001, NBC purchased KNTV from Granite Broadcasting Corporation for a fraction of KRON's sale price – $230 million – making NBC the only major broadcast network to have switched from one Bay Area station to another. The last NBC program to be broadcast by channel 4 was a repeat episode of Crossing Jordan, at 10:00 p.m. on December 31, 2001. KNTV officially joined NBC at midnight on January 1, 2002, ending KRON-TV's 52-year affiliation with the network.
With ABC, CBS, UPN and now NBC carrying their programming locally on stations owned by those networks, and Fox and The WB under contract with KTVU and KBWB respectively, KRON-TV became an independent station by default; the station filled timeslots formerly occupied by NBC shows with syndicated programming and expanded newscasts. Without NBC programming (the network being near the top of the ratings nationally at the time of the disaffiliation, due to strong shows such as Friends, Law & Order and ER), KRON's ratings started to decline, with viewership of its newscasts beginning to fall substantially by the time the station regained a network affiliation.
MyNetworkTV affiliation 
On February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced the launch of MyNetworkTV; the network was created partly in response to CBS Corporation and Time Warner's January 24 announcement that UPN and The WB would be shut down and replaced with the jointly-owned CW Television Network (CBS-owned UPN affiliate KBHK, whose callsign became KBCW by the network's launch, was named The CW's Bay Area affiliate; WB affiliate KBWB became an independent station). KRON-TV became a MyNetworkTV affiliate when it debuted on September 5, 2006 (it is currently one of the largest MyNetworkTV-affiliated stations not to previously have been an affiliate of either The WB or UPN, second only to the network's Dallas owned-and-operated station KDFI). The station began branding itself as "MyKRON 4" for MyNetworkTV programming, although it continues to promote itself as "KRON 4" outside of the service's programming hours. After joining MyNetworkTV, the station moved its hour-long 9 p.m. newscast to 8 p.m., opting to run the fledgling network's programming from 9 to 11 p.m. (one hour later than the standard 8 to 10 p.m. Pacific Time Zone scheduling for MyNetworkTV's programs).
Young Broadcasting bankruptcy 
On January 10, 2008, Young Broadcasting announced it would sell KRON-TV. The company had been encountering difficulties in meeting interest payments on its outstanding debt and Young's stock, which had been trading for a few cents per share, would ultimately be delisted from NASDAQ in January 2009, after failing to meet the minimum standards for being on the exchange. One month later on February 13, Young made a filing to place the company under chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 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 station's sale by the end of the first quarter of 2008, but no buyer had emerged.
On February 13, 2009, the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 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. Instead of auctioning off the stations, 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 manage seven of Young's ten stations. KRON, WATE-TV/Knoxville, Tennessee and WLNS-TV/Lansing, Michigan (the latter two, unlike KRON, compete with Gray-owned stations in their respective markets) were the only stations not included in the management deal.
In February 2010, Young discussed the possibility of entering into a shared services agreement with KNTV's owner NBCUniversal. Station management announced at a November 2011 meeting that no such agreement would take place, and that the station would instead relocate to a smaller, state-of-the-art facility within the next year to year-and-a-half. A week later, it was also announced the station's master control operations would be operated remotely from Atlanta, Georgia beginning in mid-January 2012. The move to new studios, and plans to operate master control from Atlanta, were scrapped by June 2012.
Return of NBC (as a backup affiliate) 
KRON-TV informally reunited with NBC on April 2, 2010 (with a prime time airing of Dateline NBC), when the station began carrying NBC programs preempted by KNTV for San Francisco Giants baseball telecasts or other special programming, bringing NBC programs back to KRON for the first time in eight years. The Giants' contract with KNTV ended after the 2010 season. However, due to common ownership between KNTV and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (which produces the Giants' broadcasts), and also due to CSN Bay Area taking over the operations of KNTV's sports department, selected Giants games would continue to air on KNTV. KRON continued to air the pre-empted NBC programs until KICU took over duties as an NBC programming backup in 2012, due to KRON having launched an 8 p.m. newscast.
Digital television 
Digital channels 
|Channel||PSIP short name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|4.1||KRON-TV||720p||16:9||Main KRON-TV programming / MyNetworkTV|
|4.2||KRON-DT2||480i||4:3||KRON 4 24/7 Bay Area News Channel|
Analog-to-digital conversion 
KRON-TV shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009 as part of the digital television transition, it moved to channel 38  PSIP is used to display KRON's virtual channel as its former analog VHF channel 4 on digital television receivers.
Proposed subchannel affiliations 
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/Green Bay and WTEN/Albany, New York. However, KRON never carried the network, and their HD signal remained on 4.2 after the announcement, along with an intermittent traffic conditions channel on 4.3 (RTV is currently carried in the market by Fort Bragg-based KQSL and San Francisco-based KCNS).
In late 2010, Young announced an affiliation deal with The Country Network for several of their stations, including KRON. However like with RTV, TCN was never added to the station, and the network was dropped by all of New Young Broadcasting's stations by November 2011. Likewise, KRON was by default not made part of Young's carriage of the The Walt Disney Company-owned Live Well Network on its stations, due to the network's carriage on the second and third digital subchannels of Disney-owned ABC O&O KGO-TV.
Related services 
BayTV debuted on July 4, 1994, as a 24-hour cable news channel that was operated by KRON-TV in association with AT&T Broadband (now Comcast), which carried BayTV on cable channel 35. The KRON news staff also provided local news updates on MSNBC and CNN Headline News on Bay Area cable systems during this period. KRON's now-defunct 9 p.m. newscast originally debuted on BayTV in the late 1990s and lasted until the cable channel ceased operations on August 30, 2001 (the 9 p.m. newscast was revived on channel 4 following KRON-TV's transition to an independent station in January 2002, though it was moved to 8 p.m., when KRON affiliated with MyNetworkTV on 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 shut down in 2000.
KRON 4 24/7 Bay Area News Channel 
On July 26, 2012, KRON launched another 24-hour local news and weather channel for the San Francisco Bay Area, called the KRON 4 24/7 Bay Area News Channel. The channel features news, local weather and traffic updates (along with some children's programming that complies with the Federal Communications Commission's educational programming regulations for broadcast stations). Unlike the cable-exclusive BayTV, it is carried locally on over-the-air digital subchannel 4.2 and on cable through Comcast Xfinity digital channel 193, and is streamed on KRON-TV's website.
Syndicated programming on KRON-TV includes Maury, 30 Rock, Dr. Phil, omg! Insider, The Doctors and Entertainment Tonight (which has aired on KRON ever since it debuted in 1981, except from 1988 to 1992, when the program aired on KGO-TV). The station also produces two locally-produced programs outside of local newscasts: Bay Area Living - Home Improvement Edition and Bay Area Bargains. Past local programs include Bay Area Backroads, Bay Cafe, Henry's Home & Garden, Latin Eyes, Pacific Fusion, The Silver Lining; and several series and featured news segments that were developed as a collaborative effort between Mark Sowinski, director of business development and Jim Swanson, executive producer including Bay Area Bargains - Green Edition; Bay Area Living - Seniors Edition; KRON 4's Body Beautiful; KRON 4's Casino Adventures; Don't Invest and Forget; Health and Beauty with Dr Sonia; Living Green with Petersen Dean; KRON 4's Medical Mondays; KRON 4's Peninsula Beauty; KRON 4's Sizzling Hot Auto Deals and KRON 4's Spa Spectacular.
New Year's Live 
From circa 1989 until January 2008, KRON-TV produced a New Year's countdown program called New Year's Live, which 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/Los Angeles, KING-TV/Seattle, KCRA/Sacramento, KNSD/San Diego and KLAS-TV/Las Vegas in December 1990), featuring midnight countdown events in other cities, such as Las Vegas casinos and at the Seattle Space Needle. KRON weatherman Mark Thompson was the host in the early years. New Year's Live returned to KRON in December 2010 as an hour-long 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.
News operation 
In total (as of April 2013), KRON presently broadcasts 55½ hours of local newscasts each week (10½ hours on weekdays, 4½ hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays). This total is the most of any local television station in the state of California, as well as the third most of any television station in the United States (behind Fox stations WTVT/Tampa and WSVN/Miami, Florida, which respectively carry 60 and 63 hours of local news programming each week) and the fourth most of any North American television station (also behind Hamilton, Ontario, Canada independent station CHCH-DT, which carries 76½ hours of local newscasts weekly). KRON is one of only two MyNetworkTV affiliates that operate a news department (alongside the service's Secaucus, New Jersey owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV, whose news department is separate from Fox-owned sister station WNYW stemming from license requirements imposed by WWOR's 1983 license transfer from New York City to New Jersey).
KRON's news operations began in September 1957, operating from a studio inside the San Francisco Chronicle building at Fifth & Mission streets (the station's news department was located 30 feet from the Chronicle city desk). Appropriately for a station once owned by the Chronicle, KRON-TV has long been a very news-intensive station. KRON-TV produced six daily newscasts at the time, including the Shell Corporation-sponsored 6 p.m. newscast Shell News, with Tom Franklin reporting from the studio at the Chronicle and in filmed field reports. Franklin began the broadcast standing next to a map of the San Francisco Bay Area, with lights illuminated on the map next to the various cities that the newscast was to feature stories from. Franklin anchored most of the program from behind a desk that had a large Shell logo next to a "Tom Franklin" name plate, with a Shell "X-100" oil can that sat atop the desk. Live segments were used for late bulletins from the Chronicle city desk or for local and regional stories not suitable for film treatment. The newscast's theme music was John Philip Sousa's "Semper Fidelis". 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). In the 1960s, KRON-TV had anchors Art Brown and Jerry Jensen (who later moved to KGO), and Linda Richard, who wrote backwards 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 area's professional teams. KRON's early morning news digests in the 1960s utilized sign language.
KRON-TV eventually branded its newscasts as Newswatch 4 in the early 1970s. By early 1972, KRON ran newscasts at noon, 5:30, 6:30 and 11 p.m. on weekdays and 6 and 11 p.m. on weekends, it also ran a late newscast that aired (then) immediately after The Tonight Show called the "Newswatch Sign-Off Edition". Presenters then included Terry Lowry, Phil Wilson, Karna Small, Bob Marsden, Paul Ryan, Art Brown and Dave Valentine. The station's newscasts were branded as NewsCenter 4 from 1977 until 2001, when it was changed to the current KRON 4 News. A major change in KRON-TV's evening news broadcasts occurred on April 6, 1981, when the station launched the 90-minute newscast "Live on 4" (from 4 to 5:30 p.m.). NBC Nightly News also moved from 7 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (KPIX and KGO would follow this move with their national newscasts during the following decade). From late 1981 to late 1988, the 5 p.m. weekday newscast was Live at Five; Bob Jimenez anchored in the studio with Evan White in the KRON newsroom. "Live on 4" was replaced in 1983 with T.G.I.4, an hour-long light local news and interview program co-hosted by Jan Rasmussen and Patrick Van Horn. In the mid-1980s, KRON-TV produced and aired an afternoon talk program called Bay City Limits.
In 1981, KRON launched its first morning newscast with a seven-minute program (at 6:53 a.m.), the program was cancelled by late 1982. 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 City's WABC-TV in 1986, Paymar and Sylvia Chase (who had been a correspondent for the ABC newsmagazine 20/20) anchored. The station debuted what was then the only local early morning newscast in the San Francisco television market, with the September 1, 1986 launch of the half-hour Daybreak (which ran from 6:30-7 a.m., leading in to Today). The first anchors were Lloyd Patterson and Lila Petersen.
KRON's newscasts during the 1980s regularly featured commentaries by Wayne Shannon in a segment called "Just 4 You", many of which had a humorous tone. Shannon received billing in newscast introductions along with the anchors and weather and sports presenters. 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." 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. The station also produced a half-hour public affairs program on Sunday mornings called Weekend Extra, which was hosted by Belva Davis and Rollin Post. This program frequently presented features from KRON's news bureaus in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, the only Bay Area station to maintain bureaus (which were later deemed to be too expensive and were shut down 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.
The station also produced a series of one-minute documentaries during the mid-1980s, "San Francisco Minutes" and "Bay Area Minutes", which featured people, places and events in San Francisco and Bay Area history and usually featured narrations by KRON-TV personalities set to soaring music (e.g., Mark Thompson on San Francisco's cable cars, Lloyd Patterson on the San Mateo County coastline). In the 1990s, the station utilized a "24 Hour News" format, with 30 to 60 second news updates each hour outside of regular newscasts. When KRON lost NBC to KNTV and became an independent station in January 2002, the station expanded its news programming by adding two hours to its weekday morning newscast (from 7-9 a.m.), and extending its 6 p.m. newscast to one hour to fill timeslots vacated by the departures of Today and NBC Nightly News; unlike most news-producing stations that have become independent after losing a network affiliation or that have switched to one of the post-1986 broadcast networks, KRON kept its late newscast in the 11 p.m. timeslot instead of moving it to 10 p.m.; the station also added a primetime newscast at 9 p.m. Several of KRON's veteran anchors and reporters left the station during this period; KRON also began incorporating video journalists (many of which were newer hires) to report, tape and edit news stories.
On September 17, 2007, KRON-TV began broadcasting its local newscasts in widescreen – albeit in standard definition – making it the third station to do so (behind KGO and KTVU). As of April 2013, KRON remains the only news-producing station in the Bay Area that does not broadcast its newscasts in true high definition; it is also one of only two remaining English-language stations with in-house news departments in the top 20 Nielsen markets to continue to air their local newscasts in widescreen standard definition (the other being Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO-TV). In September 2008, KRON dropped its 5 p.m. newscast after the syndicated daytime talk show Dr. Phil was moved to the slot, the program's former 8 p.m. timeslot (which Dr. Phil held locally since the show's 2002 premiere) was replaced by an hour-long primetime newscast. moved; this would be undone in September 2009, with the cancellation of the 8 p.m. newscast and Dr. Phil's return to the 8 p.m., along with the reinstatement of a 5:30 p.m. newscast (which expanded back to 5 p.m. by 2010). The station's 8 p.m. newscast returned in September 2011, with the 4 p.m. news being cancelled in favor of moving Dr. Phil to the timeslot.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2010)|
During the May 2001 sweeps period, KRON's newscasts beat KGO-TV's in the 5 and 6 p.m. timeslots by a very close margin, ending KGO's domination in those timeslots. As an independent station, KRON's newscasts still performed relatively well in the ratings, though viewership was lower than it was before the station lost its NBC affiliation; during the February 2004 sweeps period, the station placed second in the ratings behind KTVU. However, the station's ratings have gradually fallen since that point; also in 2004, the station posted an 8.7% market share down from the 21% share it had as an NBC affiliate, with the 9 p.m. newscast created after becoming independent eventually falling to fourth place by 2005. By 2009, overall viewership for the station's newscasts had fallen to fifth place among the Bay Area's English-language television stations.
News/station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- Chronicle News (1949–1962)
- Shell News (1957–196?)
- KRON-TV News/The San Francisco Report (1962–1966)
- The Sixth Hour Report/The Eleventh Hour Report (1966–1974)
- NewsWatch 4 (1974–1977)
- NewsCenter 4 (1977–2000)
- NewsCenter 4 Update (11:00 p.m. newscast; 1977–1989)
- NewsCenter 4 Nightbeat (11:00 p.m. newscast; 1993–2000)
- KRON 4 News (2000–present)
- KRON 4 News Nightbeat (11:00 p.m. newscast; 2000–2001)
Station slogans 
News team 
Current on-air staff 
KRON-TV's primary news anchors are Mark Danon (weekday mornings on KRON 4 Morning News from 6-10 a.m.); James Fletcher (weekday mornings on KRON 4 Morning News from 4-10 a.m.); Darya Folsom (weekday mornings on KRON 4 Morning News from 5-10 a.m.); Marty Gonzalez (weekend mornings on KRON 4 Morning News); Catherine Heenan (weeknights at 5 and 6 p.m.; also fill-in 11 p.m. anchor); Vicki Liviakis (weekends at 8 and 11 p.m.; also weeknight reporter and weekday fill-in anchor); and Pam Moore (weeknights at 5, 6, 8 and 11 p.m.).
The station's weather team includes chief meteorologist Jacqueline Bennett (weeknights at 5, 6, 8 and 11 p.m.); meteorologist Brian Van Aken (AMS Seal of Approval; weekends at 8 and 11 p.m.); and weather anchors Erica Kato (weekday mornings on KRON 4 Morning News from 4-10 a.m.), and Janu Arasu (weekend mornings).
The station's sports team includes sports director Gary Radnich (weeknights at 6, 8 and 11 p.m.) and fill-in sports anchor Jason Applebaum. Traffic anchors are George Rask (weekday mornings on KRON 4 Morning News from 5-10 a.m.), and Erica Kato (weekday mornings on KRON 4 Morning News from 4-5 a.m.)
General assignment reporters are Jeff Bush; Charles Clifford; Terisa Estacio; Rob Fladeboe (also fill-in anchor); Phillipe Jegal; Dan Kerman; Maureen Kelly; Reggie Kumar (also fill-in anchor); Grant Lodes (weeknight breaking news contributor; also weekend fill-in anchor); Haaziq Madyun; Mike Pelton; Scott Rates; Alicia Reed; Gabe Slate; J.R. Stone (also fill-in anchor); Will Tran (weekday morning reporter); and Justine Waldman. Freelance reporters (who also serve as video photographers) are Yoli Aceves, Jeff Pierce, Jackie Sissel and Daniel Villareal. Specialty reporters are Rob Black (business expert), Stanley Roberts ("People Behaving Badly" reporter), and Jan Wahl (film critic).
Notable former on-air staff 
- Roz Abrams - anchor (1982–1985)
- Dick Albert - weather anchor (1975–1976; now retired from WCVB-TV in Boston)
- Cheryl Casone - reporter (2002–2004; now at Fox News)
- Steve Centanni - reporter (1989–1996; now at Fox News)
- Claudia Cowan - reporter (1995–1998; now at Fox News)
- Julie Durda - traffic reporter (now meteorologist at WPLG/Miami)
- Leila Feinstein - sports anchor/reporter (2000–2003; later anchor at KTLA/Los Angeles)
- Art Finley - children's show host (as "Mayor Art")/host of "Pick A Show" c. 1966/reporter (1959–1968)
- Pat Finn - weatherman and host of Claim to Fame (1985–1989; later host of California Lottery's The Big Spin)
- Michelle Franzen - reporter and fill-in anchor (1998–2001; now at NBC NewsChannel in New York)
- Vernon Glenn - sports anchor (1990–2012; now at KPIX)
- Emil Guillermo - reporter (1982–1989)
- John Hambrick - (1975–1980)
- Janice Huff - meteorologist (1990–1994; now chief meteorologist at WNBC-TV/New York City)
- Fred LaCosse - anchor and reporter (1973–1980)
- Vic Lee - reporter (1972–2006; now reporter at KGO-TV)
- Sam Chu Lin - reporter (1981–1984; deceased)
- Dave Malkoff - reporter (2003–2004; now at NBC's The Weather Channel)
- Anthony Moor - reporter (1989–2001; now editorial director at Yahoo in Sunnyvale)
- Mark Mullen - morning anchor (1991–1995 and 2002–2003; now anchor at KNSD-TV/San Diego)
- Soledad O'Brien - reporter (1993–1996; now anchor at CNN)
- Ross Palombo - anchor/reporter (2000–2005; now at CBS News)
- Jim Paymar - anchor (1982–1987; now runs a media consulting firm)
- Wayne Shannon - commentator (1982–1988; deceased)
- Tom Sinkovitz - anchor (1990–2006; now retired from KNTV)
- Ray Taliaferro - anchor (1972–1977; then KGO/810; retired)
- Henry Tenenbaum - entertainment reporter; also host of "Henry's Home & Garden" (1992–2012)
- Mark Thompson - chief weather anchor (1984–1990; later at KTTV/Los Angeles)
- Wendy Tokuda - anchor (1997–2007; now at KPIX)
- Patrick Van Horn - co-host of T.G.I.4. (1983–198?)
Station logos 
Since the 1970s, KRON-TV has used a logo with an stylized design of the number "4" that is based on 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 design. Notably absent from KRON's on-air identity during its days as an NBC affiliate was the NBC Peacock logo (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).
KRON used an alternate logo for its newscasts in the 1970s; 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 newscast branding in a stylized capital letter font, which read NEWSWATCH. 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. 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.
- "In Brief," Broadcasting magazine, October 3, 1983, p. 61.
- Gone But Not Forgotten: "Buster and Me"
- Buster and Me (1977) at the Internet Movie Database
- KCAL's Owner Outbids NBC for S.F.'s Leading TV Station, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 1999. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- NBC Drops Television Channel in Bay Area, Calif., for San Jose Station, Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, February 18, 2000. Retrieved May 11, 2013 from HighBeam Research.
- News Corp. Unveils My Network TV, Broadcasting & Cable, February 22, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- TVWeek - Special Reports - Print Edition
- Young Broadcasting Inc. Announcement on Bond Interest Payment; Retention of Advisors to Facilitate Restructuring, January 16, 2008
- Young Broadcasting Delisted; KRON debt becomes an anchor, TVB, January 2009
- "Young Broadcasting Inc. to Sell KRON-TV in San Francisco" (press release)
- KNTV: "KRON Goes Up For Sale"(1/10/2008)
- KPIX: "Young Broadcasting To Sell KRON-TV" (1/10/2008)
- "KRON parent Young Broadcasting cancels auction", from San Francisco Business Times, 7/15/2009
- "Young Broadcasting Calls Off Auction", from broadcastingcable.com 7/14/2009
- "Bankruptcy Judge Signs Off on Young Deal", from broadcastingcable.com, 7/30/2009
- NBC in Talks to Partner with KRON, Broadcasting & Cable, February 16, 2010.
- KRON-TV looks to sell San Francisco HQ, San Francisco Business Times, October 27, 2011.
- CDBS Print
- KRON programming guide @ TitanTV
- KRON4 LIVE NEWS NOW: 24/7
- See "KRON: Shell News Report (1957)", San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive: https://diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/189592
- San Francisco Chronicle, March 1, 1972 (advertisement "The Newshounds of Newswatch 4")
- Terrence O'Flaherty, "All the News That's Fit to Squint," San Francisco Chronicle, April 8, 1981, p. 54.
- KRON News Center 4 11pm Open 1999
- KRON 4 News 9pm Open 2002
- KRON Nightbeat 2001
- Circa 1980 "KRON is coming home" promos
- KRON NewsCenter 4 24 Hour News Update #1 and Number 1 Promo 1995
- KRON 4 News Open, Bump, Talent 1998
- Meet the KRON 4 News Team
- "Dick Albert Bio". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- 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
-  KRON's July 14, 1987 news update with the DayBreak Sun and Nighttime GGB Legal ID.
- KRON4.com - Official Website
- Photos of KRON's news set
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KRON
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K41AF
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KRON-TV