San Francisco TV station KRON will add new local programming when it becomes the Bay Area’s new home for the CW Network later this year.
Starting September 1, KRON (Channel 4) will begin airing an hour-long newscast at 2 p.m. and a late-evening newscast at 11 p.m., the station said in an announcement on Wednesday. The afternoon newscast will air Monday through Friday, while the 11 p.m. news program will air seven days a week.
The station previously offered a 15-minute newscast at 11 p.m., which was billed as a fast-paced program that offered straight headlines without general interest stories. The newscast competed with four others in the market produced by KTVU (Channel 2, Fox), KPIX (Channel 5, CBS), KGO-TV (Channel 7, ABC) and KNTV (Channel 11, NBC), and was retired a few years ago due to low ratings.
KRON did not say whether the 11 p.m. newscast will return to its 15-minute format, or if it will offer a full half-hour of news, sports and weather. The station is expected to continue airing its 10 p.m. newscast. At the moment, KRON produces 72 hours of local news during the week, more than any other competitor.
KRON will also become the new home of the CW Network for the San Francisco Bay Area, whose television market extends along the northern coast of California and inland toward Sacramento, Stockton, Eureka and Monterey. The station was acquired by Nexstar Media Group in 2016; Nexstar became the majority-owner of the CW Network late last year.
The affiliation move comes after Paramount Global announced it will drop CW Network programming on eight of its local television stations, including KBCW (Channel 44) in San Francisco.
Paramount’s decision will also affect KMAX-TV (Channel 31) in nearby Sacramento, where Nexstar owns Fox affiliate KTXL (Channel 40). Nexstar has not announced plans for CW Network programming in that market, but the affiliation could be headed to KQCA (Channel 58), an independent station owned by Hearst Television that carried some LIV Golf events from the CW Network earlier this year.
On Wednesday, Nexstar said its CW Network will move to two stations in other parts of the country: Tampa and Philadelphia. The two stations in those markets that will air CW Network programming after September 1 are both owned and operated by Nexstar.
The affiliation changes means Nexstar will own or control local television stations that provide CW Network programming to nearly 40 percent of the United States. Including its distribution deals with cable providers and streaming services like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV, Nexstar says the CW Network reaches 100 percent of the country.
In a statement, Nexstar broadcast president Andrew Alford said the company’s ownership or operational control of local stations that will broadcast the CW Network after September rivals that of any other network. Fox owns 18 local TV stations that carry its network programming, followed by Paramount’s CBS with 14 and Comcast’s NBC with 12. Disney owns the fewest ABC stations, with just eight in its portfolio.
Nexstar is counting television stations owned by Mission Broadcasting among the outlets that it controls, and considers Mission-owned CW Network affiliates to be owned-and-operated stations, based on the statement issued on Wednesday.
“As the CW’s number one affiliate group, Nexstar is very pleased to be bringing the network’s programming to these stations this fall,” Alford said. “Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Tampa are among the most important television markets in the country, and adding the CW’s programming to them will offer advertisers a variety of new linear and digital opportunities to reach millions of viewers.”
Nexstar is the largest independent operator of local television stations in the country, with more than 200 stations as of June. It also owns the national cable news upstart NewsNation and the digital political affairs publication The Hill.