KNBC, channel 4, is an NBC owned-and-operated television station located in Los Angeles, California, United States. KNBC is owned by the NBC Owned Television Stations group, and operates as part of a television duopoly with Corona-licensed KVEA (channel 52), an O&O of the Spanish-language Telemundo network; both networks are owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. KNBC's studios and offices are located in the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot, 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, 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 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.
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||1080i||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, 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.
KNBC has a legacy of participating in the community. The station supports many social causes including health and wellness, the environment, diversity and supports under-served populations like the homeless, veterans, at-risk youth and women’s issues. KNBC has been recognized by many nonprofit organizations for its community work, and has partnerships with several prominent organizations including the L.A. Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Court Appointed Special Advocates Los Angeles, California Community Foundation, American Red Cross Los Angeles, March of Dimes, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Hispanic Scholarship Foundation and others. The station also produces a news series called “Life Connected” which airs Sundays during the News at 11 p.m. and repeats on Mondays during the News at Noon. Life Connected tells stories of meaningful connections between individuals, and celebrates the diverse communities that make up Southern California. The station launched the “NBC4 Life Connected Award” to further spotlight these individuals at community events.
Syndicated programming seen on KNBC includes Steve Harvey and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. KNBC is the flagship station for Extra and Access Hollywood (plus it's live counterpart) which is produced by KNBC, both of which also air on KNBC and other NBC owned-and-operated stations. As of June 2016, KNBC is one of five NBC-owned stations that distributes programming either nationally and/or regionally (along with KNTV, WNBC, WVIT and WTVJ).
KNBC presently broadcasts 37½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays and 2½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). The station's newscasts has 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 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.
NBC4’s Investigative Team (I-Team) features former KCBS reporter Joel Grover as its lead investigator. In 2013, NBC4 Southern California won the prestigious Investigative Reporters & Editors award for “In Harm’s Way,” a series of reports on transportation safety, which resulted in changes to the rise in tour bus accidents and government policing of the industry including exposing one company and regulators shutting down six others.
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 anchor Fred Roggin (also has the nickname "The Dean of L.A. Sports" and serves as 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 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. 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.
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 first place (Adults 25-54) and has been for 9 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 2nd place.
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 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.
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.
In Summer of 2016, changes were brought to KNBC's daytime lineup. on May 30, the station moved the daytime talkshows Access Hollywood Live to noon as well as Steve Harvey and The Ellen DeGeneres Show to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively, while its midday newscast was moved to 11 a.m., following the cancellation of The Meredith Vieira Show, at that time KNBC would resume airing a 4 p.m. newscast, becoming the third Los Angeles television station to expand into the timeslot – possibly to complete with KCBS-TV and its sister independent station KCAL-TV (which moved it's newscast from sister station KCBS-TV in 2002) and KABC-TV (which began airing its 4 p.m. newscast into the time 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; prior to this, KNBC along with sister stations KNTV and KNSD revamped their websites on July 1, 2016.
Current on-air staff
- Fred Roggin – sports director
- Joel Grover – Investigative Reporter
- Conan Nolan - Chief Political Reporter
- Robert Kovacik - Anchor/Reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- Bob Abernethy (retired NBC News correspondent)
- 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
- Andy Adler (now with WPIX)
- Linda Douglass
- Bryant Gumbel - now with HBO Sports
- David Garcia
- Dr. Bruce Hensel
- David Horowitz
- Desiree Horton
- Kyung Lah (now with CNN)
- Alycia Lane
- Jack Latham
- Kelly Lange – longtime news anchor
- Elita Loresca - (now with KTRK-TV Houston)
- Jess Marlow - anchor, 1966-1980; 1986-2000 (Died on 8/4/14)
- Byron Miranda - (now with WMAQ-TV In Chicago)
- 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
- Michele Ruiz
- Pat Sajak (now host of Wheel of Fortune)
- Tracie Savage
- John Schubeck
- David Sheehan
- Kent Shocknek (now retired)
- Tom Snyder (deceased)
- Steve Somers - now at WFAN
- Don Stanley – staff announcer
- Peggy Taylor – staff announcer
- Tritia Toyota (moved to KCBS from 1985 to 1999)
- Danny Villanueva (deceased)
KNBC is rebroadcast on the following translator stations: