Monday, January 12, 2009

KNBC Celebrates Its 60th

Regular Franklin Avenue readers know I'm a sucker for old local TV clips -- which is why I'm kinda excited to see "NBC4's 60th Anniversary," an upcoming special devoted to the history of our local NBC-owned station, KNBC.

The special is set to air this Friday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. It will also air on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, at 9 p.m.

Paul Moyer and Colleen Williams are hosting; past KNBC personalities, including Tom Brokaw, Pat Sajak, Bryant Gumbel, Nick Clooney, Furnell Chatman, Kelly Lange, Linda Alverez and Jess Marlow are interviewed. The late John Shubeck and Tom Snyder are also remembered... and a segment will look at the incident when a gun-wielding man took David Horowitz hostage live on the air in 1987.

A little bit of history:
NBC4 began broadcasting as KNBH on January 16, 1948. It was the last of five original stations built from the ground up by the National Broadcasting Company. The station debuted with three hours and forty minutes of programming, which followed a fifteen-minute test pattern-and-music session. Inauguration night launched with an eighteen-minute newsreel, "Review of 1948," the market's first variety program "On the Show," and station's first live program "The Pickard Family," featuring Dad and Mom Pickard and their four children singing familiar American songs. By October 1949, KNBH had extended its operating schedule from five to seven days a week, with approximately twenty-six hours of television programming each week. When the station began broadcasting, there were approximately 80,000 television sets in the Los Angeles Designated Television Market Area (DMA) and Los Angeles was the fourth largest city in the country.

KNBH was later renamed KRCA, and then KNBC in 1962. That's the year KNBC moved from its Sunset and Vine location (above) -- NBC's old "Radio City" -- to its current Burbank home. Sadly, "Radio City" was torn down soon after, in 1964; a Washington Mutual bank now sits there.

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