|San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, California|
|City||San Francisco, California|
|Channels||Digital: 32 (UHF)|
(shared with KTNC-TV and KEMO-TV)
Virtual: 38 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||38.1: Independent (RNN)|
38.4: Estrella TV
38.5: NTD TV
|Owner||WRNN-TV Associates |
(RNN National, LLC)
First air date
December 28, 1968
October 4, 1974
January 6, 1986
Last air date
April 15, 1971
December 30, 1985
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
38 (UHF, 1968–2009)
39 (UHF, until 2020)
|Independent (1968–1971, 1986–1998)|
Religious Ind. (1974–1985)
Shop at Home/Jewelry Television (1998–2007)
Infomercials (January–April 2007)
Call sign meaning
|HAAT||511.7 m (1,679 ft)|
Public license information
KCNS, virtual channel 38 (UHF digital channel 32), is an independent television station licensed to San Francisco, California, United States and serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is owned by WRNN-TV Associates. KCNS' transmitter is located atop Sutro Tower in San Francisco.
Channel 38 first signed on the air on December 28, 1968 as KUDO-TV. The station initially broadcast financial programming during the morning and early afternoon hours, along with movies at night. The station went dark on April 15, 1971 due to financial difficulties. On October 4, 1974, Faith Center, managed by pastor Ray Schoch (1917–1977), acquired the station at a low price and returned it to the air as KVOF-TV, carrying Christian programming about 12 hours a day. Some shows were produced by Faith Center while others came from outside Christian groups. The station expanded to nearly 24 hours a day by 1975 when Dr. Gene Scott became pastor of Faith Center and assumed control of its television stations. By 1978, the station was only running programming from Scott's "University Network" 24 hours a day. However, the station lost its license, along with those of sister stations KHOF-FM (relicensed as KKLA) in Los Angeles and KHOF-TV (relicensed as KZKI-TV, now Ion Television O&O KPXN-TV) in San Bernardino, California, after Faith Center refused to disclose its private donor records to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The current channel 38 license began broadcasting on January 6, 1986 as KWBB, with transmitter facilities located on San Bruno Mountain. The station shared a building on Radio Road with KTSF (channel 26), but could not continue with that arrangement. The licensee, West Coast United Broadcasting, and Dr. Gene Scott entered into an agreement, making available the original KVOF broadcasting facilities, in exchange for continuing Dr. Scott's nighttime programming. The new licensee ran infomercials and other programming during the day.
The station was sold to Global Broadcasting Systems and changed its call sign to KCNS on January 6, 1991. It switched to Chinese and Filipino language programming, with studios at the Hamms Building in San Francisco. In addition, the transmitter power was increased to five megawatts, and the transmitter moved to Sutro Tower on August 7, 1989, becoming the last analog television station to move there. On January 5, 1998, KCNS began carrying home shopping programming from the Shop at Home Network. This lasted until June 21, 2006, when the Shop at Home's parent, the E. W. Scripps Company, suspended the network's operations. KCNS switched to Jewelry Television, and two days later, it started broadcasting a mixture of programming from both networks, after Jewelry Television bought Shop at Home and resumed that network's operations.
On September 26, 2006, Multicultural Television announced it would purchase KCNS from Scripps, as part of a deal to buy all of Scripps' Shop at Home stations for $170 million. Multicultural closed on KCNS and its sister stations in Cleveland and Raleigh on December 20, 2006. On January 14, 2007, KCNS ended its simulcast of Shop at Home and began carrying educational and informational programming on early weekday mornings and infomercials for the rest of the day. On April 8, 2007, KCNS began broadcasting Chinese language programming in Mandarin and Cantonese, under the "Sino TV" (華語電視 Huáyǔ Diànshì) banner nightly from 6 p.m. to midnight, including news programs in both Mandarin and Cantonese. The following day on April 9, 2007, KCNS began carrying programming from the Retro Television Network during the daytime hours.
Financial difficulties and sale to NRJ TV
After Multicultural ran into financial problems and defaulted on its loans, KCNS was placed into a trust; in 2011, the station, along with WMFP in Boston, was sold to NRJ TV (a company unrelated to European broadcaster NRJ Radio). The sale was consummated on May 13, 2011. A one-third equity stake in NRJ TV is held by Titan Broadcast Management, which also operates KTNC-TV (channel 42); Titan had already managed KCNS for some time prior to the sale. Titan exited its equity stake in NRJ TV in December 2017.
Sale to RNN
On December 9, 2019, it was announced that WRNN-TV Associates, owner of New York City-based WRNN-TV, secured a deal to purchase seven full-power TV stations (including KCNS) and one Class A station from NRJ. The sale was approved by the FCC on January 23, and was completed on February 4, 2020, breaking up NRJ's duopoly in the Bay Area, although KCNS and KTNC would continue channel sharing. Upon completion of the sale, all SonLife programming was dropped and the station now broadcasts infomercials most of the day, along with a simulcast of WRNN's nightly talk show Richard French Live.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|38.1||720p||16:9||KCNS||Main KCNS programming / RNN|
|38.4||Estrella||Spanish / Estrella|
|38.5||NTD||New Tang Dynasty|
KCNS shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 38, on February 17, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television (the deadline was later moved to June 12). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 39, using PSIP to display KCNS' virtual channel as 38 on digital television receivers.
- "RNN Reaches Agreement to Increase Permanent Distribution Platform to 28 Percent of the US With NRJ Purchase". Globe Newswire. December 9, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- Jessell, Harry A. (December 28, 2010). "Multicultural Handing Over WSAH To Trustee". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- "Multicultural clears out a TV on each coast". Television Business Report. January 31, 2011. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- "Titan, Patrick Have Stakes In KCNS, WMFP". TVNewsCheck. February 2, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KCNS
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
- KCNS in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCNS-TV
- New Tang Dynasty Television