|Los Angeles, California|
|Channels||Digital: 36 (UHF)|
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|Branding||NBC 4 Southern California|
NBC 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||NBC 4 You|
(a subsidiary of NBCUniversal)
(NBC Telemundo License LLC)
First air date
|January 16, 1949 (71 years ago)|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|K National Broadcasting Company|
|HAAT||991 m (3,251 ft)|
Public license information
KNBC, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 36), is an NBC owned-and-operated television station licensed to Los Angeles, California, United States, serving as the network's West Coast flagship outlet. The station is owned by the NBC Owned Television Stations subsidiary of NBCUniversal (itself a subsidiary of Comcast), as part of a duopoly with Corona-licensed Telemundo West Coast flagship KVEA (channel 52). The two stations share studios in the northwest corner of the Universal Studios Hollywood lot off of Lankershim Boulevard in Universal City; KNBC's 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 second-to-last 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. Though the NBC Radio Network had long been affiliated with KFI in Los Angeles, that relationship did not extend into television when KFI-TV (channel 9, now KCAL-TV) signed on in August 1948. When KNBH signed on, it marked the debut of NBC programs on the West Coast. Channel 4 originally broadcast from the NBC Radio City Studios on Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood.
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. That call letter change coincided with the station's physical relocation from NBC Radio City 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 Hollywood backlot in Universal City, to merge all of NBCUniversal's West Coast operations into one area. As a result, KNBC, KVEA and NBC News' Los Angeles bureau moved to a new digital facility on the Universal lot formerly occupied by Technicolor SA. The studio opened on February 1, 2014. Shortly thereafter, NBCUniversal named the new broadcast center in honor of former KNBC and NBC News anchor/reporter Tom Brokaw, christened the Brokaw News Center.
KNBC shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. 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.
On January 1, 2014, 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.
Syndicated programming seen on KNBC include The Ellen DeGeneres Show. KNBC is the flagship station for The Kelly Clarkson Show and Access Hollywood (and its afternoon and expansion counterparts) which is produced by KNBC, both of which also air on KNBC and other NBC owned-and-operated stations.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||NBC-4LA||Main KNBC programming / NBC|
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), before 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.
The station has had a long history of carrying Los Angeles sports teams via NBC Sports. The station aired select Dodgers games from their arrival in Los Angeles in 1958 until 1989 (and games featuring the California Angels from their establishment in 1961 to 1989) via NBC's Major League Baseball broadcast contract; this included the Dodgers' World Series victories in 1963, 1965 and 1988. Channel 4 was the station of record for the NFL's Raiders during their tenure in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994, and also aired any Lakers and Clippers games that were part of the NBA on NBC. This included Lakers championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Additionally, it served as the home station for the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena from its first telecast in 1952 until 1988.
KNBC also provided local coverage of Super Bowl VII, which was hosted at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (and was the first Super Bowl televised in the host city), as well as Super Bowls XI, XVII, and XXVII, which were hosted at the Rose Bowl. The first Super Bowl, which was also held at the Coliseum and broadcast on both NBC and CBS, did not air on KNBC or KNXT (channel 2, now KCBS-TV), due to the NFL's blackout policy of the time, which did not allow home telecasts of games regardless of whether they were sold out, including playoffs and the league championship game, and that policy extended to the host cities for the six first Super Bowls--Los Angeles, Miami (II, III, V), and New Orleans (IV and VI). The American Football League, before its merger with the NFL starting with the 1970 season, also had a similar home blackout policy to the NFL's, and starting with the 1973 season, home games were allowed to be televised in the local market, so long as the game sold out 72 hours in advance. This allowed KNBC to televise any Los Angeles Rams inter-conference home games via NBC's AFC Sunday afternoon package if the game was sold out in advance; the first such game was the final home game of the 1973 season, as the Rams hosted the Cleveland Browns at the Coliseum on December 16.
Today, KNBC carries any Rams and/or Chargers games that are chosen for NBC Sunday Night Football (the station previously aired any Rams home inter-conference games from 1973 to 1994 when NBC had the AFC broadcast package), plus the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks via NBC's broadcast contract with the NHL, including Stanley Cup Finals victories in 2007 for the Ducks, and 2012 and 2014 for the Kings. It will also be the home station when Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Summer Olympics and will share the Universal Studios lot with international broadcasters covering the Games.
As of 2020, KNBC broadcasts 39 hours, 25 minutes of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6 hours, 35 minutes each weekday, three hours on Saturdays, and 3½ hours on Sundays). The station's newscasts have historically more of a "serious" tone covering issues (such as politics, government, education, and the economy) than other Los Angeles area newscasts. In 2010, the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California found KNBC to have the least coverage of crime and the second-highest coverage of local government and sports and weather, compared to other Los Angeles stations. As part of a 2012 investment by parent company Comcast, KNBC's newscasts added 18 employees and produced more enterprise reporting. The station runs a special hour-long newscast on Sunday nights 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.
In April 1968 channel 4 revamped its news programs into the KNBC News Service (stylized on the air as KNBC Newservice) which, when combined with the Huntley-Brinkley Report, comprised the first 2½ hour-long block of early-evening local and national news on a major-market television station in the United States. The KNBC Newservice lasted until March 1976, when the newscasts adopted the NewsCenter 4 title. NBC made similar changes to newscasts in other markets around the same time, and channel 4 shared the NewsCenter branding 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 July 1982 as the station also launched a new hour newscast at 4:00 p.m. The branding changed once more to Channel 4 News in August 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.
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 the first place (adults 25-54) and has been for nine months straight; 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 is battling for second place.
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 2004, 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.
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, and was later dropped when KNBC expanded Universal Sports programming on the former subchannel to 24 hours a day. Mekahlo Medina, the host of News Raw, has received national attention for his integration of social media into local newscasts.
In summer 2016, changes were brought to KNBC's daytime lineup which led to the restoration of the 4 p.m. newscast, allowing the station to complete with KCBS-TV and its sister independent station KCAL-TV (which moved its newscast from sister station KCBS-TV in 2002) and KABC-TV (which began airing its 4 p.m. newscast into the period in September 1980). On July 24, 2016, KNBC became the tenth (and final) NBC-owned station and the third (and final) owned station in the West Coast to use its "Look N" graphics that is first implemented by the NBC O&Os in the East Coast in summer of that year; also its mic flags were updated, the color scheme was now blue with a white 4 instead of its white with a blue 4 color scheme; before this, KNBC along with sister stations KNTV and KNSD revamped their websites on July 1, 2016. In July 2016, KNBC entered into a partnership agreement with Cumulus Media--owned KABC radio to carry the simulcasts of the first half-hour of Today in L.A. morning newscasts and the station's 6:00 p.m. weeknight newscasts; additionally, some of the station's on-air talent occasionally appeared as guests on KABC's programs.
On July 31, 2017, KNBC began its expansion of Today in L.A. morning newscast, an extra half-hour was added to begin its start time to 4:00 a.m.; additionally, became the second station in Los Angeles and Southern California to expand it to the time period, following KTLA who began expanding its morning newscast to their time period in 2012.
On January 2, 2019, it was announced that the station's hour-long midday newscast will be cutting to a half-hour along with its in-state sister stations KNTV and KNSD in favor of the brand new lifestyle show California Live beginning January 7, 2019.
KNBC has had a very stable news team over the years: weeknight anchor Colleen Williams (who also occasionally reports for MSNBC and NBC News) and sports anchor Fred Roggin (also has the nickname "The Dean of L.A. Sports" and serves as the sports announcer for NBC's Olympics coverage) have each been at the station at least thirty years or more. Former 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) worked at the station from 1982 until his June 2020 retirement. Former 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 April 2009 retirement. Like Moyer, anchor Chuck Henry was also a mainstay at KABC-TV, before making the move to channel 4 in January 1994. 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. Another KNBC alum of note is 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.
Tom Brokaw began his NBC career as an anchor and reporter at KNBC in 1966, staying until he went over to national work for NBC News in 1973. Other notables who have worked at KNBC early in their careers prior to joining the network include Bryant Gumbel, Ross Porter, Pat Sajak, Kent Shocknek, Bob Abernethy, Keith Morrison and Tom Snyder.
KNBC is rebroadcast on the following translator stations: