KRON to launch additional newscasts as it picks up CW affiliation

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

Some big changes are coming to Nexstar’s KRON in San Francisco.

The station announced in June 2023 that it will affiliate with The CW, which Nexstar Media Group took a controlling share in late 2022.

Previously, Paramount Global, which sold 75% of The CW to Nexstar, announced that it would drop CW programming from eight stations it owns across the country, including KBCW in San Francisco. This will make them independent stations.

Nexstar opted to simply shift the CW affiliation from KBCW to KRON in the San Francisco market.

Along with this change, starting Sept. 1, 2023, KRON will launch an hour of local news at 2 p.m. as well as bringing back an 11 p.m. newscast. It will offer the afternoon newscast on weekdays and the late one all week.

KRON had previously aired a fast-paced 15-minute newscast at 11 p.m. It’s not immediately clear how long the new newscast will run or if it will use the same format at the previous iteration.

KRON already has a news-heavy schedule, currently clocking in at 72 hours of newscasts per week, the most in the market.

It wasn’t immediately clear, however, what might happen to the schedule. CW affiliates typically carry network programming for two hours most nights. In the Bay Area, that would typically be the 8 to 10 p.m. timeslot. KRON is airing a two-hour block of local news there now.

Assuming Nexstar opts to have KRON carry the full CW primetime block, which it likely would prefer to ensure its network programming gets as wide exposure as possible, some changes would need to be made to the schedule. KRON already has a 5 to 7 p.m. local news block and also features tabloid news magazine “Inside Edition” at 7 p.m. and entertainment news show “Entertainment Tonight” at 7:30 p.m.

Re-entering the 11 p.m. timeslot will put the station in direct competition with the market’s ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates late local news. ABC, CBS and NBC offer 35 minutes of news at that time and Fox has 30 minutes, according to published schedules.

The CW has long only programmed until 10 p.m. eastern, unlike the “big three” networks that offer network programs until 11 p.m. Its current schedule includes holdouts from its days under Paramount ownership, but the 2023-2024 season will see “The Winchesters,” “Kung Fu” and “Walker Independence” canceled.

“All American” and “Walker” are the only scripted series that will remain on the network from the previous year. The rest of the network schedule is slated to feature a mix of unscripted and sports programming as well as series brought in from overseas. Some slots remain unfilled as of June 2023.