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KGO-TV, channel 7, based in San Francisco, Californiamarker, is an owned-and-operated television station of The Walt Disney Company subsidiary ABC. Its studios are located in the ABC Broadcast Center on Front and Vallejo streets in downtown San Francisco, while its transmitter is atop the iconic Sutro Towermarker, located between Mount Sutromarker and the Twin Peaksmarker in central San Francisco, along with the Bay Areamarker's other major television stations.

The station's signal is currently carried by a cable television-only ABC affiliate in the Salinasmarker/Santa Cruzmarker/Monterey Baymarker area. Formerly the local ABC station from San Josemarker was KNTVmarker channel 11 until 2000.

For antenna viewers, KGO-DT was available over-the-air on RF channel 24 until the digital transition. It has since returned to RF channel 7.

In the few areas of the western United States where viewers cannot receive ABC programs over-the-air, KGO is available to Dish Network customers as part of All American Direct's distant network package.


The station signed on the air for the first time on May 5, 1949, as Northern California's second-oldest TV station, behind Associated Broadcasters' KPIX-TVmarker (later sold to Westinghouse, now CBS-owned). In fact, KPIX had a hand in getting KGO-TV on the air, as the CBS channel 5 station produced informational programming on how to receive and view ABC's channel 7. KGO's original studios were located in the renovated Sutro Mansion atop Mount Sutromarker in San Francisco, next to the transmitter tower it shared with KPIX.

KGO is ABC's oldest original O&O station on the West Coast, as its sister station KECA-TV (now KABC-TVmarker), also operating on channel 7, did not sign on the air until September 1949. In addition, it is the only ABC station to keep its original call letters which were inherited from KGO radio (AM 810marker and FM 103.7, now KKSF). KGO was the fourth original ABC O&O (after WABC-TVmarker, WLS-TVmarker and WXYZ-TVmarker in New York, Chicago, and Detroit, respectively) to begin broadcasting.

Channel 7 had a limited broadcasting schedule during its first year on the air. It wasn't until September 1950 that the station announced, in the San Francisco Chronicle, that it would finally broadcast seven days a week. For much of the 1950s, the station signed on late in the morning, especially on the weekends.

In 1954, KGO-TV moved to one of the most modern broadcasting facilities on the West Coast (at the time), at 277 Golden Gate Avenue.

For many years, Saturday programming began with King Norman's Kingdom of Toys, a popular children's program hosted by the owner of a San Francisco toy store, Norman Rosenberg. Born in 1918, Rosenberg was a former naval officer when he began the program in 1954, joined by his wife Doris as Page Joy. It ran until 1961. The Rosenbergs eventually owned a chain of 21 stores in three states. Doris Rosenberg died from colon cancer on January 10, 2009, at the age of 85.

As an ABC O&O station, KGO-TV originated some daytime network shows, including programs hosted by fitness advocate Jack La Lanne, singer Tennessee Ernie Ford, and entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee. Syndicated game shows Oh My Word and The Anniversary Game were also produced at KGO-TV for Circle Seven Productions. In the mid-1950s, KGO-TV telecast live week night variety shows hosted by KSFO disc jockey Don Sherwood, until Sherwood was fired for making a political commentary in defiance of a warning from the station's management. Today, KGO-TV broadcasts from studios at 900 Front Street, which it has occupied since 1985. It shares the facility with KGO Radio (AM 810marker), KSFO and KMKY, although the former two are now owned by Citadel Broadcasting.

In 1962, KGO began carrying ABC's first color program, the animated series The Flintstones, followed by The Jetsons. In the mid 1960s KGO became the first Bay Area station to transmit local programs in compatible color, including its newscasts.

In 1973, KGO joined the other major Bay Area television stations in moving its transmitter to the Sutro Towermarker, located on a ridge between Mount Sutromarker and Twin Peaksmarker.

For many years, KGO-TV was the only network-owned-and-operated station in the Bay Area, even throughout the time when ABC was going through ownership changes when Capital Cities Communications bought out ABC and merged with the network in 1985 before being sold to Disney in 1996. As such, the station did not heavily pre-empt network programming unlike its local competitors or its sister stations -- such as Philadelphiamarker's WPVI-TVmarker, Houstonmarker's KTRK-TVmarker and Fresnomarker's KFSN-TVmarker -- which were known for doing so in those days. The distinction ended in 1995 when several other stations over the next ten years became network-owned stations--notably KBHK (today's KBCWmarker), KPIX and KNTV in that order. (As of 2007, some exceptions to this policy may be made when breaking news events or selected ABC Sports programs warrant exclusive coverage, in which case Granite Broadcasting Corporation's independent station, KOFYmarker, may pick up the pre-empted ABC programming scheduled for the time period.)

KGO-TV was the first station to transmit images of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquakemarker through ABC News and ABC Sports. At the time, ABC was televising the third game of the 1989 World Series, which was interrupted by the quake. Subsequent coverage of the earthquake won the station that year's Peabody Award.

Cable-only Monterey ABC station

Logo for cable-only "ABC 7".

In 1999, KGO-TV reached an agreement with the Granite Broadcasting Corporation, then owner of San Josemarker's ABC affiliate KNTVmarker. KGO-TV agreed to pay Granite in exchange for dropping ABC programming from KNTV, and as a result, KGO-TV became the exclusive ABC outlet in the Bay Area. The agreement, however, also saw the Salinasmarker/Santa Cruzmarker/Monterey Baymarker area lose over-the-air reception of ABC programming since KNTV (before the 1999 agreement) had also served those communities. In response, a cable-only ABC affiliate was set up for the Salinas/Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay area. The station simulcasts the signal from KGO-TV (including ABC programming and local newscasts) for part of the day and opts out of the station's signal during programming which KGO-TV is only allowed to show within the San Francisco Bay Area under syndication exclusivity.

The ABC affiliate is carried on channel 7 on area cable systems including Comcast, identifies itself on-air as "ABC 7", and has its own logo. The local Comcast Spotlight website claims this is the first cable-only big three network affiliate in the United States. ABC's local station website lists Del Rey Gardens Drive in Del Ray Oaks as the studios of "ABC 7". According to the website of satellite carrier DirecTV, KGO-TV is available in the Monterey / Salinas television market. It is part of the local channel's package on DirecTV in that area while DISH Network does not have KGO-TV available (nor any other local ABC channel) since a court order in 2006 forced them to cease offering distant network stations "a la carte". However, DISH Network customers in the Monterey/Salinas television market may still be able to receive KGO-TV through All American Direct. This service leases satellite space from DISH Network to provide distant network feeds to qualifying customers and chooses San Francisco as the source market for its west coast feeds.


KGO-TV was one of the earliest ABC stations to use the original Circle 7 logo (along with sister station WLS-TV in Chicago). When it was rebranded from Channel 7 to ABC7 (temporarily branded Channel 7 ABC 1996-1997), the ABC logo was just simply attached to the Circle 7 on this station, its sister stations and others across the country.

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:Digital channels
Digital Channel Programming
7.1 main KGO-TV/ABC programming
7.2 ABC News// Live Well HD
7.3 ABC7 AccuWeather NOW

Analog-to-digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown scheduled for June 12, 2009 , KGO-TV moved back to channel 7. Now KGO-TV is the only station to retain the same channel allocation in the Bay Area post-transition and the only other station alongside KNTV to remain on the VHF dial.

KGO has recently applied for a fill-in translator on UHF Channel 35, serving the southern portion of the viewing area, including San Jose.


The station carries a high profile lineup of daytime programming with shows such as Live with Regis and Kelly (produced by sister station WABC-TVmarker in New York), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. The latter two programs have aired on the station permanently since 1992 after moving from KRON. The station also airs the pre-show of the Academy Awards (produced by sister station KABC-TVmarker in Los Angeles). The station sometimes aired the Bay to Breakers race in the 1980s and the KGO Cure-a-thon with its radio partner, KGO-AM 810marker.

KGO-TV was the first station to produce earthquake documentaries of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake on April 8, 2006.

In the 1970s and 1980s, KGO-TV produced weekday talk/variety shows in the 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. timeslot, after the national Good Morning America broadcast ended each day. A.M. San Francisco was the name from about 1975 until late 1987 or early 1988, when it was replaced with Good Morning, Bay Area, hosted by Susan Sikora. Hosts of A.M. San Francisco included the husband-and-wife team of Fred LaCosse and Terry Lowry. (Other ABC owned-and-operated stations produced their own A.M. programs in the 1980s. For example, A.M. Chicago at WLS-TV evolved into the Oprah Winfrey Show, and Live with Regis and Kelly evolved from the similar A.M. program on WABC. For a week or two in the summer of 1988, A.M. Los Angeles was simulcast on KGO-TV, with a few KGO-TV produced segments.)

On June 26, 2006, KGO-TV began a new locally-produced weekday variety show called The View From The Bay, hosted by Spencer Christian and Janelle Wang. This hour long show focuses on hot spots as well as interests in the Bay Area. The show airs Mondays-Fridays at 3 PM, and is available to watch online while the show is on the air. [117890] The View From the Bay also airs nightly on weekdays in Los Angeles on KABC-TVmarker DT 7.2 at 10 pm and at various times on ABC O&O's digital subchannels.

As of June 2009, Channel 7.2 ran "Live Well HD" network programming. In 2007, KGO was among the few commercial television stations in California that scheduled an alternative set of programs on a digital channel. Channel 7.2 then simulcast most KGO-TV-produced programs, but also re-ran them throughout the day. Channel 7.2 also re-ran ABC News programming at non-traditional times, such as World News at 7 pm on weeknights and Nightline at 9 am and 7:30 pm on many weekdays. Some programs on channel 7.2, such as Commonwealth Club Speaker's Luncheon and reruns of the 1960's ABC primetime western The Guns of Will Sonnett, were not shown on Channel 7.

News / Station Presentations

Newscast titles

  • Sunday Night News (Sunday at 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm, 11pm news, 1965-1969)
  • Morning News (morning newscast, 1965-1969)
  • Channel 7 News Scene (1969-1983)
  • Channel 7 News (1983-1998)
  • ABC 7 News (1998-present)
  • ABC 7 News HD (2007-present)

Station Slogans

  • Now is the Time, Channel 7 is the Place (1981-1982; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Number One in Northern California (1987-1998)
  • Live. Local. Latebreaking. (1996-1999)
  • The Bay Area's #1 News (1999-2007)
  • Discover ABC 7 (2007-present)

News operations

KGO-TV had followed the lead of its sister station in New York Citymarker, WABC-TVmarker, and adopted the Eyewitness News format for its newscasts in the late 1960s. However, the Eyewitness News name was already used on KPIX-TV, which inherited the version of it from its then-sister station KYW-TVmarker in Philadelphia. As a result, KGO-TV instead called its newscasts Channel 7 News Scene throughout the 1970s, and Channel 7 News during the 1980s and much of the 1990s before switching to ABC 7 News. Also, along with the other ABC O & O's, KGO-TV used an edited version of the "Tar Sequence" from the soundtrack of "Cool Hand Luke" as the opening/closing theme of news broadcasts starting in 1969.

The station did, however, follow other aspects of news branding at the other ABC O&Os. The station currently utilizes the market's first helicopter equipped to shoot and transmit high definition (HD) video. The helicopter branded Sky 7HD made its on-air debut in February 2006. Due to current logistical and equipment limitations, video from Sky 7HD at times is only available in standard definition television (SD) 4:3 aspect ratio. When this occurs, the helicopter is branded as Sky 7. Also following the leads of its sister stations, KGO began broadcasting ABC7 News in High Definition on Saturday, February 17, 2007, becoming the 2nd news operation in the Bay Area to make this transition following KTVUmarker. It should be noted that the KGO-TV affiliate in the Monterey/Salinas area does not transmit a high definition signal. KGO-TV also produces a 9pm newscast for independent station KOFYmarker; the only other ABC O&O to do this is WTVDmarker in North Carolina.

Death of Pete Wilson

On July 20, 2007 long-time main news anchor and KGO radio talk show host Pete Wilson died following a massive heart attack suffered during a hip replacement procedure at Stanford University Medical Centermarker in Palo Alto, Californiamarker. He was 62 years old. The station aired extensive tributes to Wilson when his death was publicly announced the following day. His final newscast and radio show were on Wednesday July 18, 2007.

Failed single-anchor experiment

Buoyed by a sluggish economy and conversion to the "Ignite" automated control room system, KGO-TV briefly operated under what was -- by all accounts -- a failed experiment in having one person anchor an entire primary or "main" newscast. During this ill-fated experiment, Cheryl Jennings anchored the 5:00 p.m. weekday news by herself, and Dan Ashley anchored the 11:00 p.m. news solo. Research and ratings later proved both shows had suffered dramatically during the experiment, though Ashley still anchors an additional KGO-TV newscast produced for the independent station in San Francisco, KOFYmarker, Channel 20.

Current personalities





Notable alumni

See also


External links

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