San Diego, California
United States
Branding NBC 7 San Diego (general; cable channel)
NBC 7 News (newscasts)
Slogan Coverage you count on
Channels Digital: 40 (UHF)
Virtual: 39 (PSIP)
Owner NBCUniversal
(Station Venture Operations L.P.)
First air date November 14, 1965 (1965-11-14)
Call letters' meaning NBC San Diego
Former callsigns
  • KAAR (1965–1968)
  • KCST(-TV) (1968–1988)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 39 (UHF, 1965–2009)
Former affiliations
Transmitter power 370 kW
Height 566 m (1,857 ft)
Facility ID 35277
Transmitter coordinates 32°41′48″N 116°56′6″W / 32.69667°N 116.93500°W / 32.69667; -116.93500Coordinates: 32°41′48″N 116°56′6″W / 32.69667°N 116.93500°W / 32.69667; -116.93500
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KNSD, virtual channel 39 (UHF digital channel 40), is an NBC owned-and-operated television station located in San Diego, California, United States. The station is owned by the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations subsidiary of NBCUniversal. KNSD maintains office and studio facilities located at Granite Ridge Drive in Kearny Mesa, and its transmitter is located southeast of Spring Valley. The station's on-air branding, "NBC 7 San Diego", is derived from KNSD's cable channel position in the market on Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse.


Early history

The station first signed on the air on November 14, 1965 as KAAR. It was the first television station in the San Diego market to operate on the UHF band and was the market's first independent station. The station originally operated from a building that was once occupied by the National Pen Company, located in the neighborhood of Kearny Mesa, 10 miles (16 km) northeast of downtown San Diego. The station signed off on June 12, 1967; Channel 39 was then sold to Western Telecasters Inc., controlled by the Texas-based Bass family,[1] and returned to the air on February 2, 1968 as KCST (standing for "California San Diego Television").

For a four-year period from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, Western Telecasters tried to take the ABC affiliation from XETV (channel 6) – a station licensed across the Mexican border in Tijuana but which broadcast exclusively in English, with a studio facility based in San Diego. XETV had been San Diego's ABC affiliate since 1956 under a special arrangement between the Federal Communications Commission and Mexican authorities, subject to renewal by the Commission every year. Upon the FCC granting its annual renewal to ABC/XETV in late 1968, Western Telecasters countered, claiming that the presence of KCST made it no longer necessary for an American television network to affiliate with a Mexican television station.[2][3]

In May 1972, the FCC revoked XETV's permission to carry ABC programming.[4] As the only other commercial station in the market other than CBS affiliate KFMB-TV (channel 8) and then-NBC affiliate KGTV (channel 10), KCST took over the ABC affiliation in two stages: daytime programming moved to channel 39 in June 1973, followed by primetime programs and all other shows (including children's programs, network newscasts and sports) by July 1, 1973.[5] Four months earlier in March, Western Telecasters agreed to sell KCST to Storer Broadcasting, which owned major network affiliates in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.[6] The sale was completed on September 30, 1974; shortly afterwards, Storer added a "-TV" suffix to the KCST callsign. The switch and sale changed channel 39's fortunes, transforming the low-rated independent into a major player in the market. Riding on the heels of ABC's ascent to first place nationally during the 1975-76 season, KCST also out-rated its network-affiliated rivals locally.[7] XETV, meanwhile, operated as an independent station until October 1986, when it became a charter affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company.

Switch to NBC

KNSD's logo as NBC 7/39, variations of which were used from January 1, 1997 to August 9, 2010.

On June 27, 1977, in the wake of its new success as the highest-rated television network in America, ABC moved its San Diego affiliation from KCST to KGTV, causing an affiliation swap that ended with KCST taking the NBC affiliation formerly held by KGTV.[8][9]

In 1985, the Storer stations were acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.. Two years later, KCST and the other Storer stations were sold to Gillett Communications (former Storer flagship WTVG in Toledo, Ohio, was the only station left out of the sale and was instead sold to a local employee/investor group). On September 16, 1988, the station changed its call letters to KNSD, and adopted the on-air brand "Channel 7/39" (in respective reference to its cable and over-the-air channel positions).[10] Gillett was restructured into SCI TV in 1991, after Gillett defaulted on some of his bond purchases. After SCI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992, the company's stations were sold in a group deal to New World Communications.

KNSD's logo as NBC San Diego, used August 9, 2010 to June 2011. A modified version reflecting the NBC 7 San Diego branding was then used until July 11, 2012; during this time, the station's website continued to use this logo.

New World subsequently entered into a deal with News Corporation that would result in most of New World's television stations (which were primarily CBS affiliates, along with a few ABC and NBC stations) switching from their "Big Three" network affiliations to join Fox, causing the network's affiliations in the affected markets relocating from UHF to VHF stations. However, KNSD retained its NBC affiliation since Fox's San Diego affiliation was already on the VHF band through XETV. New World sold KNSD and WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Alabama to NBC in May 1996; the sale was finalized that August. Following the sale's closure, in January 1997, KNSD modified its on-air branding to "NBC 7/39". In October 1997, NBC sold a 24% ownership interest in KNSD to LIN Television; in exchange, NBC acquired majority control (76%) of its Dallas/Fort Worth affiliate KXAS-TV from LIN. The deal closed on March 2, 1998, marking the official launch of the new NBC/LIN joint venture known as Station Venture Operations, LP (which was controlled by NBC).[11]

Under the traditional definition, KNSD is the only owned-and-operated station of a major network in the San Diego market (however, several stations owned by Grupo Televisa on the Mexico side of the market are O&Os of that company's various networks). The station blamed its woes on its UHF status in the past, but as viewers migrated to cable television (San Diego has one of the highest cable penetration rates in the United States),[12] along with the fact that most of the market's UHF stations brand by their cable channel placements or call letters rather than by their physical channel, along with VHF analog stations operating their post-transition digital signals on the UHF band, the issues with its position on the UHF dial have been reduced. KNSD had formerly owned low-power station KNSD-LP (channel 62), which was leased to Entravision Communications to expand the coverage area of Univision affiliate KTCD-CA (channel 17, now KBNT-CD).

In the spring of 2001, KNSD moved its operations into the NBC Building, a high-rise office building in downtown San Diego that was redeveloped to serve as its studio and office facilities, which includes a glass-enclosed street-level news studio resembling that of the streetside studio at Rockefeller Center in New York City used by NBC's Today. In February 2013, LIN Media withdrew itself from the Station Venture Operations joint venture as part of a corporate reorganization. As a result, NBC regained full ownership in KNSD and gained full ownership of KXAS.[13][14]

On January 9, 2014, KNSD announced that it would not renew its lease for the 225 Broadway studios when it expires in 2016.[15] On June 23, the station announced the purchase of a two-story, 50,000 square feet (1.1 acres) building at the StoneCrest office complex on Granite Ridge Drive in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood for $9.6 million, which will be converted into a new facility for the station. The location was chosen due to its easy access to San Diego County’s main thoroughfares, and no-cost parking for its employees. The studio opened on February 29, 2016.[16][17]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[18]
39.1 1080i 16:9 KNSD-HD Main KNSD programming / NBC
39.2 480i Cozi TV Cozi TV

On December 20, 2012, KNSD (as well as NBC's owned-and-operated stations) began carrying Cozi TV, a network focusing on classic television programming, which replaced NBC (California) Nonstop (which had aired on the subchannel since 2011) on digital subchannel 39.2.[19]

Analog-to-digital conversion

KNSD shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 39, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 40.[20][21] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 39.

As part of the SAFER Act,[22] KNSD kept its analog signal on the air until June 26 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.


As an NBC owned-and-operated station, KNSD carries the entire NBC schedule. Syndicated programs broadcast by the station include Access Hollywood, Steve Harvey, Ellen, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! among others.[23] The first three are distributed by NBC's parent company, while these latter two are distributed by CBS Television Distribution, making it the only NBC O&O to carry these game shows in the 7 p.m. hour on weeknights.

Local lifestyles and infotainment program Streetside San Diego and Spanish-language newscast Noticias Mi San Diego (the latter of which was a holdover from KNSD's operation of KBOP-CA (channel 43, now KSEX-CD)) were local programs previously produced by KNSD; these programs, along with the station's weekend morning newscasts (which were restored in December 2013 as part of a gradual newscast expansion resulting from a benefits package offered to the FCC upon the NBCUniversal-Comcast merger[24]), were canceled on December 5, 2008 as a result of budget cuts at the station.[25] The station currently produces a late-night music and lifestyle program SoundDiego on Saturdays.

News operation

KNSD presently broadcasts 31½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays and two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); however during the NFL season, the Sunday edition of the 6:00 p.m. newscast is typically preempted due to NBC Sunday Night Football coverage. In addition, the station produces the sports highlight program Jerome's Furniture SportsWrap, which is sponsored by local furniture store Jerome's Furniture and airs Sundays after the 11:00 p.m. newscast.

As KCST, the station started its news department in 1973; Harold Greene, who would later gain fame as an anchor in Los Angeles, served as its news director and lead news anchor. As a newcomer, channel 39's newscasts regularly placed third in the market, behind KFMB and KGTV, for many years. On October 28, 2005, KNSD began producing a nightly half-hour 10:00 p.m. newscast for WB affiliate KSWB-TV (channel 69, now a Fox affiliate), following owner Tribune Broadcasting's decision to shut down KSWB's in-house news department[26] (KSWB continued to produce local news updates during its simulcast of Los Angeles sister station KTLA's weekday morning newscast from the station's Kearny Mesa studios). KNSD's news outsourcing agreement with KSWB ended on July 31, 2008, when that station resumed in-house news operations upon switching its affiliation from The CW to Fox.[27]

In June 2009, the station outsourced production of its evening weather forecast segments to Los Angeles sister station KNBC, using that station's on-air weather staff;[28] as a result, KNSD became the only network-owned station in the United States and one of the few television stations in North America to outsource weather forecasts to a co-owned station. In October 2011, KNSD resumed in-house production of its forecast segments with the hiring of three weather anchors (including chief weather anchor Dagmar Midcap, who joined the station from WGCL-TV in Atlanta) and the promotion of Jodi Kodesh from reporter to morning weather anchor.[29] On December 13, 2010, KNSD unveiled a new HD-ready set for its newscasts, which mainly mirrors that of the "Window on the World" set used by Today; this marked the first major renovations since KNSD moved into the NBC Building in 2001.[30][31]

On January 29, 2011, KNSD became the fifth television station in the San Diego market, and the last NBC-owned station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition; footage shot in-studio is broadcast in high definition, while all news video from on-remote locations was initially broadcast in standard definition. The station also implemented a new logo and on-air graphics package designed by NBC Artworks and the advertising agency Mother New York, which dropped the longtime "NBC 7/39" brand in favor of branding as simply "NBC San Diego".[32] The "block" graphics and branding used in this period (which featured similarities to the design of the NBC Nonstop channels) were to be implemented by the remaining NBC O&Os (and were used by their websites during the same period); however, KNSD was the only O&O to use the scheme on-air before dropping it in July 2012, in favor of Artworks' new "Look F" standardized graphics that were first adopted by sister station KNTV (at which point, the station revised its branding to "NBC 7 San Diego"). On October 25, 2012, the station expanded its weekday morning newscast to 2½ hours, with the addition of a 4:30 a.m. half-hour.

On July 18, 2016, KNSD began using the new "Look N" standardized graphics. the graphics was first implemented by the NBC O&Os in the East Coast in Summer of that year; however, KNSD became the second NBC O&O in the West Coast to begin using the new graphics. also, its theme music is also updated, by warp-speeding the NBC chimes in the "LA Groove" theme in all of its opens, making the first NBC-owned station to warp-speed its musical signature in their theme music. prior to the graphics change, KNSD along with sister stations KNBC and KNTV revamped their websites on July 1, 2016.

Notable current on-air staff

Notable former on-air staff

See also


  1. "KAAR(TV) sale approved for $1.1 million to Bass." Broadcasting, September 4, 1967, pg. 9.
  2. "U asks FCC aid in quest for ABC." Broadcasting, November 18, 1968, pg. 46.
  3. "ABC resists shift to San Diego U." Broadcasting, December 23, 1968, pg. 37.
  4. "Beginning of the end for XETV-ABC association." Broadcasting, June 5, 1972, pp. 36-37.
  5. "San Dieqo truce approved." Broadcasting, March 12, 1973, pg. 57
  6. "Storer to pay $12 million for San Diego UHF." Broadcasting, March 19, 1973, pg. 48.
  7. "ABC's gains are turning television upside down." Broadcasting, March 29, 1976, pp. 19-20.
  8. "In Brief." Broadcasting, June 7, 1976, pg. 24
  9. "In Brief." Broadcasting, March 7, 1977, pg. 26
  10. Brass, Kevin (September 16, 1988). "No respect: For Channel 39, UHF exile has meant long, hard battle for hearts and minds of viewers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  11. "NBCUniversal 2011Annual Report/ 10K" (PDF). NBCUniversal. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  12. "Company Overview of Station Venture Operations Lp". Company profiles. Business Week. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  13. "LIN exits NBC joint venture, plans reorg". Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  14. "NBC San Diego To Leave Downtown Studio By 2016". KPBS-TV. January 9, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  15. McVicker, Laura (Jun 23, 2014). "NBC 7 Announces Move to New Kearny Mesa Location in 2016". KNSD. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  16. Hirsh, Lou (June 23, 2014). "NBC 7 Buys Kearny Mesa Building for New Studio, Offices". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  17. RabbitEars TV Query for KNSD
  18. Exclusive: NBC Local Media Sets 'Nonstop' Launch Dates, Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved on 2011-12-22.
  19. "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  20. CDBS Print. Retrieved on 2011-12-22.
  21. "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  22. "KNSD - TitanTV". TitanTV. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  23. Posner, Jay (December 5, 2013). "Several winners in November sweeps". U-T San Diego. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  24. Peterson, Karla (December 6, 2008). "KNSD/Channel 39 drops 3 local-news shows, lays off 12". U-T San Diego. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
  25. KSWB news changes hands; 30 to lose jobs, U-T San Diego, September 22, 2005.
  26. Trading places: Fox, CW switch network channels, U-T San Diego, August 1, 2008.
  27. KNSD's local forecasts to originate in L.A., U-T San Diego, June 25, 2009.
  28. Weathercaster Dagmar Midcap Joins KNSD, TVSpy, October 25, 2011.
  29. NBC San Diego Set Redesign Timelapse. Retrieved on 2011-12-22.
  30. Check Out Our New Set. Retrieved on 2011-12-22.
  31. "San Diego station rolls out HD look with new NBC brand". NewscastStudio. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  32. "William Jefferson Clinton interview with Rolland Smith of KNSD-TV, San Diego". 22 October 1993. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
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