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KRON-TV, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 38), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to San Francisco, California, United States and serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is owned by the Dorado Media Group. KRON maintains studios in the same building as ABC owned-and-operated station KGO-TV, channel 7 (with completely separate operations from that station) in the Financial District, and its transmitting antenna is located atop Sutro Tower. KRON-TV is the largest MyNetworkTV affiliate by market size that is not owned and operated by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of 21st Century Fox which owns the network.

History[]

As an NBC affiliate[]

In the 1940s, when the channel 4 allocation in the Bay Area 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 newspaper. NBC wanted an owned-and-operated station (O&O) 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, now KOIT-FM). The station's call letters come from a modification of the Chronicle's nickname, "The Chron". It was the third television outlet in the Bay Area behind KGO-TV (channel 7) and KPIX-TV (channel 5) within a year, and the last license before the FCC placed a moratorium on new television station licenses that would last the next four years. For most of its run as an NBC station, 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, master control and a small insert studio 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 FourFireman Frank with George Lemont (died October 1985 at the age of 63),and his puppets (including Scat the Cat, Rhode Island Red, 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."

Assignment Four was a documentary series that generally aired Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. through much of the 1960s (beginning in February 1960). A promotional brochure declared, "each ASSIGNMENT FOUR story is concerned with cultural and ethnic activities or perhaps some fascinating phase of life and living in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area." Subjects ranged from 'Skid Row' to 'The Single Girl,' the 'Green Intricate Country of Napa Valley' to 'No Deposit, No Return' (a study of garbage disposal that won a 1966 Emmy Award and Silver Medal Award in the 1966 New York International Film Festival). The documentary 'Not to Have Lived' (aired January 31, 1966) about mechanized society featured no dialogue or narration.

In 1965, KRON-TV began broadcasting most Oakland Raiders games, which were at first part of 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 (the Raiders relocated to Los Angeles in 1982, stripping KRON of its status as the team's home station until they returned to Oakland in 1995). In 1967, KRON-FM-TV moved to a new studio at 1001 Van Ness Avenue in the Western Addition neighborhood (a location that formerly served as the site of the Roman Catholic cathedral of San Francisco), where channel 4 operated until 2014. The television transmitter was moved to Sutro Tower on July 4, 1973, while the FM transmitter remained on San Bruno Mountain.

Since the 1970s, KRON's logo has incorporated a stylized number "4" design 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.

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 O&O 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 MyNetworkTV's standard 8 to 10 p.m. scheduling in the Pacific Time Zone).

Sale to Dorado[]

On January 27, 2016, the Dorado Media Group announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire KRON. The transaction was consummated on January 17, 2017.

Digital Television[]

Digital channel[]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
4.1 720p 16:9 KRON-HD Main KRON-TV programming / MyNetworkTV

Analog-to-digital conversion[]

KRON-TV 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.[45] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to UHF channel 38,[46] using PSIP to display KRON-TV's virtual channel as 4 on digital television receivers.

Programming[]

Syndicated programming on KRON-TV includes Crime Watch DailyDr. PhilInside EditionThe Doctors and Entertainment Tonight. 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 BackroadsBay CafeHenry's Home & GardenLatin EyesPacific FusionThe Silver Lining; and several series and featured news segments that were developed by Jim Swanson, executive producer including Bay Area Bargains - Green EditionBay Area Living - Seniors EditionKRON 4's Body BeautifulKRON 4's Casino AdventuresDon't Invest and ForgetHealth and Beauty with Dr SoniaLiving Green with Petersen DeanKRON 4's Medical MondaysKRON 4's Peninsula BeautyKRON 4's Sizzling Hot Auto Deals and KRON 4's Spa Spectacular.

News operation[]

KRON presently broadcasts 65 hours of local newscasts each week (with 11 hours on weekdays and 5 hours each on weekends). KRON is the only remaining MyNetworkTV affiliate that airs and produces its own newscasts, after the service's Secaucus, New Jersey owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV (whose news department operated separately from Fox-owned sister station WNYW stemming from license requirements imposed by WWOR's 1983 license transfer from New York City to New Jersey) closed theirs in July 2013.

KRON launched a new 10 p.m newscast on May 16, 2016, that competes with newscasts on KTVU and KBCW. However, this meant that KRON's 11 p.m. news was shortened to 15 minutes until the latter newscast was dropped when it launched a new 9 p.m. newscast on August 21, 2017, which competes with KGO's 9 p.m. newscast for KOFY-TV.

Dorado Media Group
ABC affiliates: KTUL WCHS-TV WSYX

CBS affiliates: WRGB
The CW affiliates: KCWI-TV KDAF KFRE KIAH KNVA KPLR-TV KUCW KXTU-LD WCCT-TV WCWN WDCW WKCF WLVI WNAB WNLO WQCW WSFL-TV WSWB WTVX WUCW WVTV WWMB
Fox affiliates: KAYU-TV KCIT KDSM-TV KFXA KLRT-TV KSWB-TV KWKT-TV WACH WDAF-TV WDKY-TV WMSN-TV
MyNetworkTV affiliates: KAIL KAME-TV KASY-TV KFVE KMYU KRON-TV WCTX WMYA-TV WNDY-TV WNYO WQMY WRDC WSTR-TV WTCN-CA WUXP-TV WXSP-CD
NBC affiliates: WJAR KMTR


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