Beginning circa 1974 (when the previous The Sixth/Eleventh Hour brand was discontinued on most NBC stations), the NewsCenter brand and program format for local newscasts was distributed among NBC-owned stations and affiliates as a response to the rising popularity of ABC and Westinghouse's Eyewitness News and Capital Cities' Action News brands/formats.
In 1982, WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. moved away from the NewsCenter branding, a move that other NBC stations mirrored in the subsequent years. By 1985, the Channel 4 News name had spread to KNBC in Los Angeles, California, and by the end of the decade, NBC-owned stations in Denver, Colorado and Miami, Florida were using the Channel 4 News name as well. KNBC, which previously used Ford News and Weather, KNBC News Service, NewsCenter 4, and News 4 L.A. as its newscast names, uses the Channel 4 News name until summer 2011, when the station changed its newscast title to NBC 4 News. WNBC in New York City, although it used the NewsCenter brand from 1974 to 1980, did not use the Channel 4 News brand, instead adopting its own brand, News 4 New York, in 1980.
The newscast theme used on KNBC, WRC, and several other NBC affiliates with the Channel News branding was an updated version of composer Michael G. Randall's NewsCenter Theme. KNBC's current version of the NewsCenter Theme was composed by Groove Addicts, Inc.