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Sacramento / Stockton, California
City of license Sacramento, California
Branding KCRA 3 HD (general)
KCRA 3 Reports (newscasts)
Slogan Where The News Comes First
Channels Digital: 35 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations NBC
Owner Hearst Television
(Hearst Stations, Inc.)
First air date September 3, 1955
Call letters’ meaning Misspelled call letters; intended to be KRCA
Sister station(s) KQCA
Former channel number(s) Analog:
3 (VHF, 1955-2009)
Transmitter Power 1000 kW
Height 462 m
Facility ID 33875
Transmitter Coordinates 38°14′49.4″N 121°30′6″W / 38.247056°N 121.50167°W / 38.247056; -121.50167

KCRA-TV, channel 3, is a television station in Sacramento, California, USA. KCRA-TV is owned by Hearst Television, a subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation, and is an affiliate of the NBC television network. The station's studio and offices are shared with sister station KQCA (channel 58) at 3 Television Circle in downtown Sacramento, and its transmitter is based in Walnut Grove, California.



KCRA-TV was founded on September 3, 1955 by the Kelly and Hansen families, who also owned KCRA radio (1320 AM, now KCTC, and 96.1 FM, now KYMX). The radio station's call letters were supposed to be KRCA, but the letters were misspelled when the license application was filed with the Federal Communications Commission. By the time KCRA-TV went on the air, the KRCA-TV calls had already been taken by NBC's owned-and-operated television station in Los Angeles (which is now KNBC). KCRA has always been an NBC affiliate since the station's inception, inheriting it full time from the now-defunct television station KCCC, which carried all affiliations at the time before more stations signed on.

The Kelly family bought out the Hansens' share of the KCRA stations in 1962. The radio stations were sold to the Tribune Company in 1975, and Kelly Broadcasting continued to operate KCRA-TV until January 5th, 1999, when it was purchased by what was then known as Hearst-Argyle Television. [1] Channel 3 has always been an NBC affiliate, and along with Fox affiliate KTXL (channel 40), is the only "Big Four" station in Sacramento that has never changed its affiliation.

The classic KCRA-TV logo, with green border, was used for over three decades. This version dates to 1975. A similar version of this logo was used at former sister station KCPQ. Its original design is credited to Bob Miller, the station's first art director.

KCRA-TV has long been an innovator in local news. The station's motto, "Where The News Comes First", has become a symbol for its news coverage. KCRA has used the slogan since 1957 (it owned the trademark to the slogan and licensed it to other stations across the country). It has been the ratings leader in Sacramento for many years, and continues to dominate every newscast timeslot during all sweeps periods.

In 1965, it first used color film in its newscasts. Starting in 1975, it used remote cameras to report the news live. Recent years have brought helicopters and satellite remotes. On September 10, 1966, Bob Wilkins hosted a late Saturday Night horror movie show called "Seven Arts Theatre". Bob Wilkins later moved his show to KTXL, and then to KTVU in Oakland/San Francisco in the 1970s.

Harry Geise was hired by KCRA as a weatherman. While he used information coming out of a weather bureau in Suitland, Maryland; his forecasts were so accurate that almost every farmer in the Sacramento Valley listened to his forecasts. He developed many techniques which are now taken for granted. Through his weathercasts he taught a couple of generations all about weather from "upper level devils" to looking out the window. On the scantest of data - weather bureaus, out the window, smell in the air, and nut gatherers) but prior to satellite, doppler weather radar, space weather, home weather stations, and little local information - he could look globally and tell what the local weather would be in six weeks or six months.

By the mid-1970s, KCRA established news bureaus throughout the state to broaden its range of reporting, as well as producing its own public affairs programming, and initiating a consumer affairs division to answer the needs of concerned consumers.

KCRA/KQCA Studios at 3 Television Circle

Like many NBC affiliates, KCRA over the years preempted some NBC programming, notably the soap opera Another World. That show would reair for certain time, but was preempted again due to low ratings -- this was the case with local counterpart KOVR, which despite being a CBS O&O, did not run Guiding Light due to poor ratings, and had been canceled from the market by former CBS affiliate KXTV. Given its news station status, KCRA also preempted the weekend version of The Today Show and the T-NBC lineup which aired Saturday mornings for more local news. Notably enough, the station had a 4:30 p.m. newscast launched, causing Days of our Lives to air half an hour earlier than the typical practice. That newscast ended with KCRA's acquisition of "The Oprah Winfrey Show;" in September, 2002. "Days" now airs at 1pm weekdays.

KCRA Live copter 3 at Executive airport

Like other local stations, KCRA developed an in-house production facility, with local children's programming, news magazines and talk shows. By the beginning of the 21st century, KCRA became the first station in the Sacramento/Stockton market to broadcast digitally in HDTV.

In early 2004, KCRA opened the new exhibit, "The KCRA 3 Experience" at local Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, California, allowing visitors to see a KCRA newscast produced live. KCRA's noon newscast was broadcast from there until late 2008 when KCRA ended its presence at the Mall[2].

In late December 2005 KCRA began using a new "Triple Doppler" system for weather reports. In addition to KCRA's own doppler weather radar system at Walnut Grove, range and accuracy were increased by adding data from NEXRAD sites. KRGX north of Reno on Virginia Peak improves the accuracy of Sierra images, KMUX south of San Jose on Mt. Umunuhm has a great view of storms approaching from the Pacific Ocean, and KBBX at Beale Air Force Base gives improved detail in the valley.

KCRA Satellite Truck at the 2006 California INTL. Marathon

KCRA delays by one hour the third hour of The Today Show for Live With Regis And Kelly; and does not air the 4th hour. Sister stations WBAL-TV Baltimore, MD and WYFF Greenville, SC do the same thing.

KCRA's news is among the highest-rated local news in Northern California. Their newscasts air almost every day on a regular basis. However, should NBC special programming pre-empt any of its regularly scheduled newscasts, sister station KQCA/My58 will air them at the times KCRA would have aired them.

KCRA 3 Reports Title Card from November 2008

Digital Television & HD


Digital Television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:


KCRA-DT broadcasts on digital channel 35.

Digital channels

Channel Name Programming
3.1 KCRA-DT KCRA 3/NBC HD Programming
3.2 KCRA-DT2 NBC Weather Plus

Analog-to-Digital Conversion

After the analog television shutdown scheduled for June 12, 2009 [3], KCRA-TV remained on its pre-transition channel number, 35 [4] PSIP is used to display KCRA-TV's virtual channel as 3.


On February 12, 2007 KCRA started broadcasting all of its news broadcasts in HD and also debuted its news set designed by FX Group and also LiveCopter 3 HD, becoming the first station in the Sacramento viewing area and first in the Hearst-Argyle family to broadcast the majority of its programming and the first to deliver local newscasts in HD. Only in-studio cameras shoot in HD, while the helicopter's camera, field cameras and other station camera feeds are in SDTV and are up-converted to a 16:9 aspect ratio in the control room. In September 2008, KCRA began using a new "Triple Doppler" system with high-definition graphics.

News Station/Presetation

Newscast Titles

  • Channel 3 Reports (1960s-1998)
  • KCRA 3 Reports (1999-present)

Station Slogans

  • Where the News Comes First (1957-present; The slogan has been a historical part of the station. It was trademarked by Kelly Broadcasting and licensed to other stations.)
  • Channel 3, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 3, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We're Channel 3, Just Watch Us Now! (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • You've Been Watching Channel 3 Reports, the Valley's Largest and Most Respected Broadcast News Team. (1982-1987; slogan that was announced at the end of most newscasts; As news staff expanded, the word "Valley" eventually was replaced with "northern California."
  • Come Home to Channel 3 (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 3 (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 3, is The Place to Be (1990-1992; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • It's a Whole New Channel 3 (1992-1993; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Stars are Back on Channel 3 (1993-1994; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • It's Channel 3! (1994-1995; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • It's a Whole New Channel 3 (sweeps) (June-September 1995; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Year to Be on Channel 3 (1995-1996; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Northern California's News Leader (2000-2004)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

News Team

Current News Personalities

  • NOTE: Some reporters are also feature reporters for nearby Hearst sister station KSBW, and Washington Bureau reporters appear on all Hearst Television stations

Current Personalities/Joined Date


  • Walt Gray- Weekday Noon Anchor 12pm & 5 pm Anchor/Reporter (1988)
  • Gulstan Dart- Weekday Evening Anchor 6, 6:30, 10pm (KQCA) 11pm (2008)
  • Edie Lambert- Weekday Evening Anchor 5, 6, 6:30, 11pm (1995)
  • Chris Riva- Weekend Evening Anchor (2005)
  • Deirdre Fitzpatrick- Weekday Morning Anchor 5-7am, 7-9am on KQCA My 58/ Reporter (1997)
  • Adrienne Bankert- Weekday Noon Anchor/Reporter (2004)
  • Kevin Riggs- Weekend Morning Anchor/Weekday Political Reporter (1994)
  • Teo Torres, Weekday Morning Anchor 7-9am on KQCA My 58, Noon Reporter (2008)


  • Mark Finan- Weekday Evening Chief Meteorlogist (1991)
  • Eileen Javora- Weekday Morning/Noon Meteorologist (2005) (AMS Certified)
  • Dirk Verdoorn- Weekend Morning and Evening Meteorologist (1998)
  • Jeff Martinez- Fill-in Weekend meteorologist (2009)
  • Jeff Thompson- Fill-in Weekend morning meteorologist (2009)


  • Del Rodgers- Weekday Evening Sports Anchor 6, 10, 11pm (1997)

Traffic Team


LiveCopter 3

Past News Staffers

  • Miguel Almaguer, Reporter (March 2003-May 2006), now works in Los Angeles as a West Coast Correspondent for NBC News
  • John Alston, 6 p.m. & 11 p.m. Anchor/Reporter (2002-2006), now at KGO-TV as reporter/anchor.
  • Stan Atkinson, Anchor (1970s?-1994), later moved to KOVR in Sacramento. Now, retired.
  • Carol Bland, Anchor/Reporter (1980s?-1994), later moved to KGW Portland as Carol Jensen. Retired and lives in San Diego [5]
  • Cory Bergman - Assignment editor (1993-1996), now at in Seattle
  • Josh Bernstien- Investigative Reporter (2005-2007) Now at KNXV in Phoenix
  • Mike Boyd, Anchor/Reporter (1963-2001), died of lung infection on October 14, 2006
  • Lisa Breckenridge, Anchor/Reporter (1991-1997), now at KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles; also on Fox News
  • Catalina Martinez, Reporter from Aug '07-Dec 2007 former KUVS-TV Univision Weather Anchor.
  • Angela Buchman, Meteorologist (1998-2001), now at WISH-TV in Indianapolis
  • Mike Bond, Reporter - (2005-2007), now back at KTXL FOX40 Sacramento
  • Tana Castro, General Assignment Reporter (1995-2006), Switched careers
  • Ed Chapuis, former News Director, now News Director at KTVU Oakland
  • Chuck Copola - Reporter 80's - San Francisco
  • Deborah Collura, Assistant News Director / Executive Producer, now at WDIV-TV Detroit
  • Ryan Disch, Traffic (2005-2009)
  • Maurice DuBois, Anchor/Reporter, now at WCBS-TV in New York, NY
  • Jon Duncanson, Reporter/News Anchor (1988-1992)- retired from TV news, living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Gina Garcia, General Assignment Reporter, now Reporter / KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles
  • Sarah Gardner, Anchor at 6, 10 p.m. Stay-at-home mother now. (1993-2007) [6], now weekday 5-7 AM and Noon sub-anchor at KOVR.
  • Bill George, Assignment Editor, now in Public Relations, Sacramento
  • Gary Gerould, Sports, now radio play-by-play for the Sacramento Kings.
  • John Gibson, Bay Area correspondent for many years, now at Fox News Channel
  • Marty Gonzalez, Reporter/Producer/Host (1980-1987), now at KRON weekend morning anchor in San Francisco
  • David Gregory, now moderator of Meet the Press
  • Rick Griffin, Chief Meteorologist (1989-1992), rejoined The Weather Channel in 1992. Married to AMS & NWA broadcast certified meteorologist Vicki Williams Griffin.
  • Kristine Hanson, Former Playboy Playmate, Sports/Weather/Entertainment, 1980s
  • Ethan Harp, Reporter (2000-2003), later KNTV NBC11 in San Jose, now writer at CNN in New York.
  • Lois Hart Anchor 5 and 6:30pm (1990-2008) Retired
  • Susan Hirasuna, Anchor/Reporter (1988-1991), now Anchor/reporter KTTV Fox 11, Los Angeles
  • Bob Hogue, Sports Director early 1980s, former Hawaiian State Senator
  • Ron Hyde, Sports Director/Anchor/Reporter (1991-2006), now at KOVR
  • Candice Jones, Morning News Reporter (2001-2003)
  • Ron Jones, Anchor/Reporter (1998-2001), now Anchor / Reporter at KOVR/KMAX
  • Michael Kidd, LiveCopter 3 Pilot (1990s)
  • Lilian Kim, Reporter, [1995-2000] now at KGO ABC7 in San Francisco
  • Grace Lee, Reporter, (January 2004-May 2007), Now at KGMB in Honolulu
  • Tom Loffman, Meteorologist, later moved to KOVR/KMAX, and now runs Loffman Realty and Property Management. Maintains a number of web sites including "" Tom Loffman's Sacramento Weather Web Site.
  • Rick Lopes, Producer (1991-94), later moved to Producer at KPIX, San Francisco, Executive Producer at WJXT, Jacksonville, Executive Producer at KTXL, Sacramento, now Chief of Public Affairs, California Contractors State License Board
  • Mike Luery, Call 3 Reporter 1984-2000, later Capitol Bureau Chief for KNTV NBC11 in San Jose
  • Joan Blunden, started in television here in the 1970s, moved to ABC Good Morning America. she changed her surname to Lunden.
  • Scott Mace, sub-weather anchor at KCRA and full time weather at KSBW 1998 and 1999, later at KMGH, now chief meteorologist at KGPE in Fresno
  • Eric McLendon, Sports Director/Anchor/Reporter (early 1990s), later moved to WNBC-TV in New York, NY
  • Alicia Malaby, Anchor/Reporter (1989-1999), now Weekend Anchor/ Reporter at KXTV in Sacramento.
  • Randy Mann, weather internship (1970's). Currently a fill-in meteorologist for KREM-TV in Spokane, WA.
  • Harry Martin, Weather and Entertainment reporter, retired, Died 2/08-Cancer 81 yrs old
  • Marty Matthews, Morning Meteorologist, now news anchor at WTSP-TV, Tampa-St. Petersburg
  • Rob Mayeda, Meteorologist/Anchor/Reporter (1999-2000), now at KNTV NBC11 in San Jose
  • Bryon Miranda Weekend Morning weather Anchor (2008-2009), now Chief Meteorologist at KGTV in San Diego, CA
  • Todd Mokhtari, Itern / editor / writer/ producer, now News Director at KIRO-TV Seattle
  • Shelly Monahan, Meteorologist (1985-1989 and 1992-1997), now at KHQ in Spokane, WA
  • Heather Moore, Reporter (2002-2004), was Reporter at KTVK in Phoenix (2004-2008), now at KUSI in San Diego
  • Leyna Nguyen, Anchor/Reporter, now at KCAL in Los Angeles
  • Joe Oliver, Reporter, Now Weekend Anchor WESH in Orlando
  • Margaret (Pelley) Larson, Anchor/Reporter (1980s), later moved to KING 5 in Seattle and NBC News, now working with Mercy Corps based in Seattle
  • Kent Pierce, Reporter, (1967 to early 2000s when he reitred), died Dec. 17, 2008.
  • Ken Pritchett, General Assignment reporter (2002-2005), now at KTVU in Oakland.
  • Danny Pommells- Weekend Evening Sports Anchor (2005-2009)
  • Jeff Ranieri, Meteorologist (2000-2005), later at MSNBC/NBC Weather Plus, now weeknight meteorologist at KNTV in San Jose
  • Beth Ruyak, Anchor (1980s), now an Olympics commentator for NBC Sports, also hosts program for Sutter Health
  • Creighton Sanders, Sports Director/Anchor (briefly during the 1980s)
  • Sam Shane, Reporter (1996-1999), Now Anchor/Reporter at KOVR/KMAX in Sacramento
  • Bryan Smith, reporter (1981), now at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia
  • Christie Smith, Reporter (1999-2001), now at KNTV NBC11 in San Jose
  • Bianca Solorzano, Weekend Morning Anchor and Reporter (1999-2003), now a CBS News correspondent in New York, NY
  • Patty Souza, Morning/ Noon Meteorologist (2002-2006), now at KXTV News10 Chief Meteorologist
  • Eric Sperling, News and Sports Producer, now at KOLO in Reno
  • Gordon Tokumatsu, Reporter (1991-1993), now at KNBC in Los Angeles
  • Kaity Tong, Anchor/Reporter (1979-1981), now at WPIX in New York, NY
  • Bette Vasquez, News/Weather Anchor/ Reporter (1985-1991) Now retired
  • Roy Walkenhorst, Anchor/Reporter (1969–1980), now CEO of Lightbridge Media[7]
  • David Walker Anchor 5 and 6:30pm (1990-2008) Retired
  • Sarah Wallace, Reporter/Anchor (?-1984), now at WABC-TV in New York, NY
  • Julie Watts - Weekend Morning Weather anchor (2005-2008), now fill-in weather anchor at KPIX
  • Bob Whitten, Main News Anchor 60's and 70's. Died while on the air during a radio shift.
  • Kirsten Wolff, Executive producer, now Assistant News Director at WESH in Orlando
  • Pamela Wu, Weekend anchor/ reporter 2001-Feb. 2009. She now serves as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall).[8]
  • Ryan Yamamoto, Reporter (1998-2004), now Sports Anchor/Reporter at KXTV in Sacramento
  • Dan Weiser, former News Director now Senior Web Editor, U.S. House of Representatives
  • John Zuchelli, Assignment Editor (1997-2000), now News Director at KCOY and KKFX the CBS and FOX stations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.


External links


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