The Full Wiki



Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

KPIX-TV (Channel 5) is the CBS owned and operated television station in San Francisco, Californiamarker. Through its parent company CBS Corporation, KPIX is co-owned with The CW affiliate KBCW-TVmarker (Channel 44).

The station transmits from the Sutro Towermarker and its signal covers the San Francisco Bay Areamarker. Known on the air as CBS 5 Bay Area, KPIX is home to one of the higher rated newscasts among CBS-owned stations. On January 28, 2008, KPIX started to broadcast local news in HD, becoming the third station in the Bay area to do so, after KGO and KTVU. KPIX was also one of 2 Group W stations that became a CBS O&O, but had already been affiliated with CBS, the other being KDKA-TVmarker in Pittsburghmarker.

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


KPIX signed on Christmas Eve 1948. It was the nation's 49th television station, as well as the first in northern California. It was owned by the Associated Broadcasters, owners of KSFO AM 560marker. Initially, KPIX transmitted from a tower on top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill. It later moved to a shared transmitter tower with KGO-TVmarker on Mount Sutromarker and then to the Sutro Towermarker in 1973.

KPIX immediately joined CBS due to a deal KSFO's owners had worked out with CBS a year earlier. KSFO was CBS radio's Bay Area affiliate from 1937 to 1941, when Associated Broadcasters backed out of a deal for CBS to buy the station. When KSFO was still affiliated with CBS, it was originally slated to move to 740 AM, the dial spot of KQW in San Josemarker. That frequency was the last 50,000-watt frequency available in the Bay Area, and KSFO was to raise its power to 50,000 watts after moving to 740. However, after KSFO parted ways with CBS, CBS moved its Bay Area affiliation to KQW and wasn't about to give up the obvious advantage of owning the last available 50,000-watt station in the Bay Area. After lengthy FCC hearings, KSFO won the 740 frequency, but later decided to stay at 560 and concentrate its efforts on building a television station. It traded the 740 frequency to CBS in return for getting the CBS television affiliation for the Bay Area. KQW remained at 740 and CBS changed its call sign to KCBSmarker.

The station also carried programming from the now-defunct DuMont Television Network until that network folded in 1955. It even carried a few NBC programs until KRON-TVmarker signed on in 1949, and programs for the short-lived "Paramount Television Network".

When KPIX's first competitor, KGO-TVmarker, signed on in May 1949, KPIX produced programs to welcome it to the Bay Area. Under its first general manager, Phil Lasky, KPIX gained an early reputation for news coverage, being noted for originating national CBS coverage of the Japanese Peace Conference of 1951 (the event which "officially" brought an end to World War II, similar to the function that the Treaty of Versailles served for World War I), held in San Francisco (for which Lasky was commended by then-CBS News president Sig Mickelson), as well as local news coverage of the 1953 crash of an Australian airlinermarker while on approach to San Francisco International Airportmarker, and a powder explosion a few weeks afterward at an explosives plant in suburban Herculesmarker. In sports programming, KPIX originated the annual college football East-West Shrine Game for DuMont, and was the flagship station of the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League until 1954.

In 1952 KPIX and KSFO moved into a new building at 2655 Van Ness Avenue, with KPIX staying there until about 1979, when it relocated to a refurbished building on the corner of Battery and Broadway streets where KPIX remains to this day. (KSFO moved to studios in the Fairmont Hotel, across the hall from the Tonga Room, later in the 1950s.) The building on Van Ness Avenue was the first building in San Francisco specifically built for television. Westinghouse Electric Corporation bought KPIX in 1954 and ran it as part of Group W, its broadcasting unit. In early 1996, Westinghouse merged with CBS, making KPIX a CBS O&O station and bringing it into common ownership with KCBS. Until this happened, KPIX had been CBS's longest-tenured affiliate; the distinction now goes to WUSAmarker in Washington, DC.

In May 2006 KPIX moved its San Jose news bureau to the Fairmont Tower at 50 W. San Fernando Street. This was the original site of Charles Herrold's experimental broadcasts which were the precursor of KCBS. Although CBS was not aware of the significance of the San Fernando St. address when the move was planned, it quickly recognized and embraced its significance when informed, giving long-overdue credit to one of the inventors of radio broadcasting during the bureau's opening celebration.

In 2007 KPIX began broadcasting "Eye on the Bay" in High Definition. On January 28, 2008, KPIX began broadcasting its newscasts in 1080i high definition, becoming the third station in the Bay Area to broadcast its newscasts in HD. KTVU became the first in 2006, KGO and KNTV followed in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Digital television

KPIX-TV shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009 as part of the DTV transition , it remained on channel 29 PSIP is used to display KPIX-TV's virtual channel as 5 on digital television receivers.



As mentioned above, KPIX was a pioneer in local television news coverage in the Bay Area. Like most television stations, it presented a 15-minute evening news program until 1963, when the networks began expanding their evening newscasts to 30 minutes. One of KPIX's innovating program directors, Ray Hubbard, created "The Noon News." The anchors were John Weston, "Channel 5's Guy on the Go," and Wanda Ramey, "Channel 5's Gal on the Go." Ramey was one of the first women news anchors in the country.

The station also launched a 10:00 p.m. hour-long newscast in the 1990s when they experimented with moving the prime time programming block back one hour. Then-NBC affiliate KRONmarker also experimented with a 7:00-10:00 prime-time block and news at 10:00P, but their newscast was only 30 minutes and they quickly reverted back to the standard 8:00-11:00 primetime block after only a year. KPIX did not revert to 8:00-11:00 prime time programming until 1998 after making no dent in KTVUmarker's 10:00 pm news ratings, which has dominated the time slot for years in the Bay Area.

KPIX was also home to 30 Minutes Bay Area, a 30 minute news magazine created by 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt after he retired from the national show. The "30 Minutes" concept was originally planned to air on many CBS O&O stations, but KPIX was the only station to implement the concept. 30 Minutes Bay Area was discontinued in early 2007.

On March 3, 2008, KPIX launched a nightly 10 p.m. newscast on KBCWmarker. It is broadcast in high definition. [142793]

Captain Fortune

During the 1950s, KPIX produced a local children's program, Captain Fortune, on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings. In addition to a number of live segments with an in-studio children's audience, the program featured the pioneering animated television episodes of Crusader Rabbit. The "captain" sometimes drew pictures to illustrate his stories. He was actually a talented artist named Peter Abenheim. Abenheim authored a book, published in 1959 by Nourse Publishing of San Carlos, Californiamarker, Captain Impossible at Sea. Abenheim wrote the screenplay for a 1962 science fiction film, This Is Not a Test (also released as Atomic War Bride). He was born in England on January 26, 1912. He came to San Francisco in 1932 and attended the California School of Fine Arts. He worked as an educational filmmaker. He died in San Francisco on May 2, 1988.

Dick Stewart

From 1956 to 1959, Davenport, Iowamarker native Dick Stewart (born 1927) hosted a weekday variety program at KPIX. Due to the popularity of the film Gidget in 1959, the station decided to run a "Miss Gidget" contest on Dick Stewart's television program. The contest was won by Barbara Bouchet, who would become one of the "Regulars" on the Dance Party. She would later go on to be a famous star in her own right.

From 1959 to 1963, KPIX presented Dance Party, hosted by Stewart. The program invited local teenagers to come and dance to recorded music in the KPIX studios. Besides playing current recordings, Stewart sometimes welcomed popular recording stars to the program. Following the custom of American Bandstand, the singers would lip-synch to their recordings.

Stewart also hosted a number of "High School Salute" programs on Saturdays that spotlighted area high schools with interviews with students and faculty, as well as filmed segments from each school.


KPIX was the station that came up with the concept for a local entertainment and lifestyles program, Evening Magazine. Evening Magazine began on KPIX-TV in August 1976, and within a year, the concept expanded to the other Group W stations. By Fall 1978, the Evening Magazine format was syndicated to non-Group W markets across the country as PM Magazine. The entire Evening/PM Magazine format was cancelled by the late 1980s. KPIX resurrected Evening Magazine in 1998. In 2005, Evening Magazine was retitled Eye On The Bay, to focus further on the San Francisco Bay Area. KBCW also aired Evening Magazine and Eye on the Bay in the early 2000s as reruns of the previous night's episode.

For most of the time before Westinghouse bought CBS, KPIX was CBS' largest affiliate. Despite this, until at least 1994 it was standard KPIX practice to pre-empt The Price Is Right, as well as other CBS morning daytime programs. Despite the pre-emptions, CBS was mostly satisfied with KPIX as it was among its highest rated affiliates in the country. In 1995, when CBS signed a long term deal with every Westinghouse station (just before the two companies merged), KPIX began broadcasting the entire CBS schedule in pattern with no preemptions, as per the affiliation agreement between Westinghouse and CBS.

For a time from 1992 until 1998, KPIX ran CBS primetime programming an hour earlier than typical for the Pacific Time Zone (i.e. from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.), a practice which KOVRmarker, its sister station in Sacramentomarker, continues to this day.

Talk shows

KPIX was also known for the locally produced morning talk show, People are Talking, which began in 1978 with Ann Fraser and then Ross MacGowan, and ran until 1991 (the other Group W stations also used the People are Talking format during these years). On KPIX, this show pre-empted The Price Is Right for a few years, and CBS had to schedule the popular game show on other Bay Area independent stations such as KOFYmarker. At one point, a more celebrity-driven "People Are Talking in the Afternoon" aired with a small house band. Prior to the "People are Talking" franchise, Ann Fraser hosted "The Morning Show," essentially a 30 minute version of "People Are Talking." "The Morning Show" replaced "The Kathryn Crosby Show," hosted by Bing Crosby's wife, Kathryn. This was also a 30 minute show.


During the 1980s, KPIX broadcast the Oakland A's baseball team (at times pre-empting or delaying CBS network shows to do so) before the A's broadcasts moved to KRONmarker. KPIX was at one time the home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team during the 1990s. KPIX-TV was also the exclusive home of the Bay to Breakers before it moved to KRONmarker.


KPIX uses the Eyewitness News format adopted by sister station KYW-TVmarker in Philadelphia. KGO-TVmarker also uses a similar type format, but KPIX had the Eyewitness News name first; KGO adopted its version from WABC-TVmarker in New York City. For most of the last 30 years, KPIX has been runner-up to KGO.

KPIX hopes that the return and "coming back home" of Wendy Tokuda, who anchored "Eyewitness News" from 1978 to 1992, will give viewership a boost. As of 2008, Wendy anchors CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 with Allen Martin. In 1992, Wendy left KPIX to anchor evening newscasts on KNBC-TVmarker in Los Angeles. In 1997, she returned to the Bay Area, and for the past decade, Wendy appeared on KRON 4 as evening anchor and reporter for her "Students Rising Above" student scholarship program that she founded in 1998. Wendy will continue to work on her "Students Rising Above" program and air her stories on CBS 5 newscasts.

News / Station Presentation

Newscast titles

Station Slogans

  • We Light Up the Bay (1977-1982)
  • Looking Good Together, Channel 5 (1980-1981; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Best Place for News in The Best Place on Earth (1994-1998)
  • Everywhere in the Best Place on Earth (1998-2001)
  • Everywhere (2001-2009)
  • Stay Connected (2009-present)

KPIX branding

The 5, used on the logo; redrawn slightly in the early 1990s from its original shape.

KPIX's distinctive "5" logo dates from the days as a Westinghouse station, when the "Group W font" was standard on KPIX and its sister stations after about 1965. When Westinghouse merged with CBS, most of the former Group W stations eventually retired the font.

KPIX and its sister station, Baltimore's WJZ-TVmarker (an ABC affiliate during its pre-merger Group W history) would become the only two CBS-owned television stations to continue using this logo font. KPIX was the only CBS-owned station on the West Coast to not follow the CBS Mandate for years after the merger, referencing itself as KPIX-TV Channel 5.

Finally in 2005, KPIX fell in line with the mandate and called itself CBS 5, later CBS 5 Bay Area (although some references to "CBS 5" were heard in commercials as early as 2003). But it was briefly branded simply as KPIX 5 between 1993 and 1996, even dropping the Eyewitness News name and called itself KPIX 5 News at the same time before reverting.

Current personalities





Past personalities, newscasters and reporters


  3. CDBS Print
  8. KPIX Dance Party - Home Page

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address