||This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
|Branding||CBS 4 (general)
CBS 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Only CBS 4 (general)
Colorado's News Channel (news)
On Your Side (investigative reports)
|Channels||Digital: 35 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
(CBS Television Stations, Inc.)
|First air date||December 24, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||Colorado's News
|Former callsigns||KOA-TV (1953-1983)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1953-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953-1995)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
KCNC-TV is the CBS owned-and-operated television station in Denver, Colorado. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 35 (virtual channel 4.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter atop Lookout Mountain (near Golden). Owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation, KCNC maintains studios on Lincoln Street in downtown Denver (as the only major English-language station in the market that does not operate its studio facilities in the city's Speer neighborhood).
This station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|4.1||1080i||16:9||KCNC-TV||Main KCNC-TV programming / CBS|
As part of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, KCNC-TV shut down its analog transmitter on June 12, 2009, and continued to broadcast its digital signal on its pre-transition digital channel 35. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display KCNC-TV's virtual channel as its former analog channel 4.
As an NBC affiliate
The station first signed on the air under the callsign KOA-TV on December 24, 1953, originally owned by Metropolitan Broadcasting (partly owned by famed comedian Bob Hope), alongside KOA radio (850 AM and 103.5 FM). It immediately took the NBC affiliation away from KBTV (channel 9), due to KOA radio's longtime affiliation with the NBC Radio Network.
In 1965, KOA-TV carried most of NBC's American Football League games with Curt Gowdy doing play-by-play, but Denver Broncos home games had to be blacked out due to the team's inability to sell out tickets to the games. In 1967, KOA-TV ran an award-winning documentary The Acid Test, LSD; hosted by news editor Bob Palmer, the film took five months to produce with more than 5,000 feet of film shot. Photographers involved included Bill Baker, Medill Barnes, Jerry Curran, Sam Houston and Barry Trader.
In 1968, KOA-AM-TV was sold to General Electric for $10 million. Between 1972 and 1976, KOA-TV was brought in out of market to cable providers in Rapid City, South Dakota as NBC did not have an affiliate in that market at the time (KOTA-TV then had a dual primary affiliation with both ABC and CBS with no room for NBC programs on its schedule). General Electric sold the KOA radio stations to A. H. Belo Corporation in 1983 for $22 million, forcing General Electric to change channel 4's call letters on August 12 of that year to the present-day KCNC-TV (standing for "Colorado's News Channel").
On the evening of June 18, 1984 Alan Berg, who hosted programs on both KOA-AM and KOA-TV and was an attorney known for taking a largely liberal stand on issues, at times using an abrasive and combative demeanor to callers and guests with opposing views, was shot and killed in the driveway of his home by members of a White Nationalist group called The Order.
In 1986, General Electric acquired NBC, resulting in KCNC becoming an owned-and-operated station of that network and Colorado's first network-owned station. By 1990, KCNC-TV devoted nearly all of its programming hours outside of network shows to locally-produced news programs, broadcasting nearly 40 hours of newscasts each week. General manager Roger Ogden felt his station's money was better spent on local programming, rather than paying syndication distributors to acquire nationally-syndicated shows. In 1990, KCNC paid $11,000 to another television station in Denver to carry election coverage using KCNC's reporters so channel 4 could air NBC's Tuesday night lineup, including Matlock and In the Heat of the Night.
Switch to CBS
In 1994, CBS and Westinghouse Electric Corporation agreed to a long-term affiliation deal that saw three of Westinghouse's television stations become CBS affiliates, joining two longtime CBS affiliates. CBS had a problem in Philadelphia, a cash sale of WCAU in order to affiliate with KYW-TV would have led to huge taxes on the profit of it. To solve this problem, NBC swapped ownership of KCNC-TV and Salt Lake City's KUTV, along with the VHF channel 4 allocation and transmitter in Miami to CBS in exchange for WCAU, which for legal reasons made it an even trade.
KCNC became Denver's CBS affiliate on September 10, 1995, as part of a three-way affiliation swap between all of Denver's "Big Three" network affiliates. Longtime CBS affiliate KMGH-TV switched its affiliation to ABC through an affiliation agreement with KMGH's then-owner McGraw-Hill, while longtime ABC affiliate KUSA took the NBC affiliation (although KUSA's owners, the Gannett Company, had already owned several NBC affiliates at the time, as is the case in the present day). The final NBC program was an airing of Saturday Night Live on September 9, with NBC moving all of its programming locally to KUSA at the end of the program. Under the terms of the CBS/Westinghouse deal, CBS sold controlling ownership interest in KCNC to Westinghouse's broadcasting division Group W. Later that year, Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired CBS for $5.4 billion, making KCNC a network-owned station for the second time in the station's history.
In 1998, the American Football Conference of the National Football League (which absorbed the AFL and the Broncos in 1970) moved the broadcast rights to the conference's game telecasts from NBC to CBS, with KCNC regaining the local television rights to the Broncos as a result (coinciding with their second straight Super Bowl championship and fan favorite John Elway's final season with the team before his retirement from the NFL). In 2003, KCNC changed its on-air branding to "CBS 4" to comply with the network's branding conventions (although it retained the News 4 title for its newscasts for another two years).
The station was featured in the 2007 film Blades of Glory, and along with other Denver area stations has also been mentioned on the Colorado-set Comedy Central series South Park. One episode mentioned Ron Zappolo as still being with channel 4 (although he now actually anchors at Fox affiliate KDVR).
Currently, KCNC is one of four television stations in Denver that is owned-and-operated by a broadcast network: the others being Telemundo station KDEN-TV (owned by NBCUniversal), Telefutura station KTFD (owned by Univision Communications) and Ion Television station KPXC (owned by Ion Media Networks). It is also one of a handful of television stations that have been owned by two different networks at separate points in its history (locally, Fox affiliate KDVR was owned Fox Television Stations from 1995 to 2008 and now-CW affiliate KWGN-TV served as a de facto owned-and-operated stations of The WB from 1995 to 2006 through owner Tribune Company's minority ownership interest in that network).
KCNC-TV presently broadcasts a total of 27½ hours of locally-produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and 3½ hours on Sundays).
In 1969, 10 p.m. anchor Bob Palmer left channel 4 for KLZ-TV, to replace John Rayburn, who went on to a station in Kansas City. In the 1970s, the station ran its late evening newscasts at 11 p.m. on weekends (one hour later than the typical timeslot for late evening newscasts in the Mountain Time Zone). In 1981, KBTV news director Roger Ogden was hired by KOA-TV as general manager; during his tenure, Ogden brought Marv Rockford and John Haralson to join the station's news staff from channel 9. Ogden named George Caldwell, Sam Allred and Ron Zappolo as channel 4's #1 news team. Janet Zappala and Alan Berg also joined the station that year. In 1983, Marv Rockford was promoted to the position of news director, Peter Rogot was named weekend anchor at channel 4 and Marty Aarons joined Bob Palmer and Janet Zappala in anchoring duties; others joining channel 4 that year included Wendy Bergen, Karen Layton, Marcia Neville, Tom Raponi and Mike Silva.
In 1982, Bill Stuart left KMGH-TV for KOA-TV, joining several other new hires such as Linda Farrell, Sylvia Cordy, Jeff Hullinger, Stephanie White, Merrie Lynn, Tom Martino and Tom Bear. In June of that year, KOA-TV premiered a half hour 4:30 p.m. newscast titled First News, co-anchored by Larry Green and Linda Farrell, with Suzanne McCarroll as the featured reporter on the new show; the program would eventually expand to one hour beginning at 4 p.m., and remain on the station until its May 26, 2006 cancellation to make way for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Also that year, the station's news helicopter "Copter 4" crashed into a snowy stand of pine trees near Larkspur, while en route to the crash site of a commuter airplane, killing KOA-TV pilot/reporter (the first female in the country) Karen Key and mechanic Larry Zane; Key's blood alcohol content was reported to be at 0.09 (just below the legal limit of 0.10).
In 2002, Marv Rockford was forced out as general manager of KCNC and replaced by Walt DeHaven. Tony Lopez moved from San Antonio to join channel 4. In 2003, the primary evening news team at KCNC featured Molly Hughes and Bill Stuart as its 10 p.m. anchors, with Brian Maass and Rich Sallinger as reporters. On April 21, 2008, Karen Leigh (who previously worked at Minneapolis sister station WCCO-TV) replaced Molly Hughes as co-anchor of the weeknight newscasts. KCNC also began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition on that date, becoming Denver's second station (after KUSA) to do so and the market's third station to broadcast all of its programming, including syndicated programs, in the format (behind KUSA and KTVD).
On May 27, 2010, KCNC joined other CBS-owned stations in the release of a new standardized graphics package, with the CBS Eye logo featured prominently in the package. KCNC retained 615 Music's Newstime as its news theme until October 6, 2011, when the station began using Gari Media Group's The CBS Enforcer News Music Collection as most of CBS' other owned-and-operated stations did upon or before adopting the standardized graphics (cuts from Newstime continue to be used for sponsor tags during the newscasts). The 4 p.m. newscast returned to the schedule on June 13, 2011, only lasting less than three months before it was dropped a second time after the September 2, 2011 broadcast and replaced three days later by Dr. Phil.
- NBC Choice Channel 4 (1953–1960)
- KOA Channel 4 News (1960–1973)
- Channel 4 News (1973–1977)
- NewsWatch 4 (1977–1979)
- NewsCenter 4 (1979–1988)
- News 4 Colorado (1988–2003)
- News 4 (2003–2005)
- CBS 4 News (2005–present)
- "Channel 4, Colorado's Color Station" (1960s)
- "Have a Ball This Fall on Channel 4" (1970–1975)
- "This is TV-4, Colorado's News Service Station" (1975–1976)
- "For Colorado, 4 Stands Alone" (1976–1977)
- "Newswatch 4, Newswatching Out for You" (1977–1979)
- "This is Channel 4, Colorado's News Channel" (1979–1986; used to open newscasts)
- "Colorado's News Channel" (1985–2005, 2013–present)
- "Proud to be Owned by NBC" (1986–1995)
- "More Coloradans Get Their News from News 4, Than from Any Other Source" (1993–1995; used during the close of the Colorado Evening News and NEWS 4 at 10)
- "This is Who We Are, Still Colorado's News Channel" (September 1995; used to promote affiliation switch to CBS)
- "The Spirit of Colorado" (1996–2002)
- "Coverage You Can Count On" (2005–2007)
- "CBS4 Is Always On" (2005–present; website slogan)
- "Get The Whole Story" (2007–2010)
- "On Your Side" (2012–present; used for consumer and investigative reports)
Current on-air staff
- Jim Benemann - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. (1987-1993; 2003)
- Alan Gionet - weekday mornings 5:00-7:00 a.m. and weekday at noon (1994-1998; 2006)
- Karen Leigh - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. (2008)
- Britt Moreno - weekday mornings 5:00-7:00 a.m. and weekdays at noon (2013)
- Tom Mustin - weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (2002)
- Kathy Walsh - weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also health reporter (1984)
- TBD - weekend mornings (7:00-7:30 Saturdays and 6:00-8:00 a.m. Sundays)
- Weather team
- Ed Greene (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. (1981-1996; 2001)
- Dave Aguilera (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. (1993)
- Justin McHeffey - meteorologist; weekend mornings (2012)
- Lauren Whitney - meteorologist; weekday mornings 5:00-7:00 a.m. and weekdays at noon (2011)
- Sports team
- Vic Lombardi - sports director; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. (1998)
- Gary Miller - sports anchor; weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also sports reporter (1991)
- Shaun Boyd - political specialist reporter (1998)
- Ty Brennan - Northern Newsroom reporter (2012)
- Jennifer Brice - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor (2010)
- Stan Bush - general assignment reporter (2006)
- Evrod Cassimy - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor (2011)
- Valerie Castro - weeknight reporter (2010)
- Dominic Garcia - general assignment reporter (2010)
- Joel Hillan - weekday morning traffic reporter (2012)
- Dr. Dave Hnida - medical editor and reporter (1990)
- Andrea Lopez - general assignment reporter (2002)
- Greg Moody - critic-at-large and entertainment reporter (1988)
- Howard Nathan - general assignment reporter (2007)
- Gloria Neal - "Interactive Help Center" reporter
- Brooke Rogers - general assignment reporter (2009)
- Nina Sparano - general assignment reporter (2013)
- Jeff Todd - Mountain Newsroom reporter (2011)
- Kelly Werthmann - weekday morning reporter ( 2012)
- CBS 4 On Your Side
- Jodi Brooks - consumer reporter
- Suzanne McCarroll - "Money Saver" feature reporter (1982)
- Brian Maass - investigative reporter (1983)
- Rick Sallinger - investigative reporter (1993)
Notable former on-air staff
- Dick Albert - weather anchor (later with WCVB-TV in Boston, now retired)
- Carlos Amezcua - news anchor (now at KTTV in Los Angeles)
- Alan Berg - KOA radio and TV talk show host (deceased)
- David Crabtree - anchor/reporter (1991–1994; now with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina)
- John Ferrugia - anchor/investigative reporter (1989-1992; now at KMGH)
- Chris Fowler - sports reporter (now at ESPN; host of College GameDay)
- Morris Jones - midday anchor
- Tom Martino - consumer reporter (1982–1999; later worked at KDVR)
The Denver market includes large portions of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. KCNC serves this vast area with one of the largest translator networks in the country. All translators are in Colorado unless otherwise listed.
- Eggerton, John (2003-08-03). "Hope and Glory". Broadcasting and Cable: 2[dead link]
- "Zapped." US News and World Report 109.15 (1990): 24.
- "From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia". Retrieved 9/2/12.
- Husted, Bill (November 11, 2007). ""South Park" drops names, takes jabs". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
- Newstime Package
- Enforcer Collection Package
- CBS4 drops 4 p.m. newscast
- KCNC Denver: News Open - 1986 Weekend Edition
- KCNC News 4 Denver 5PM Open (March 1998)
- KCNC: CBS4 News at Noon (2010)
- News Team
- "Dick Albert Bio". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Carlos Amezcua's LinkedIn profile". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "The History Of Television In Denver". Broadcast Professionals of Colorado. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "David Crabtree Bio". WRAL-TV. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Chris Fowler Bio". ESPN. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Tom Martino leaves KCNC". Denver Business Journal. 17 December 1999. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- CBSDenver.com - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCNC-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCNC-TV