|3 Television Circle|
|September 3, 1955|
KCRA-TV, channel 3, is a television station in Sacramento, California, United States. 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 intended to be KRCA, but the letters were tranposed 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 inherited the NBC affiliation from the now-defunct KCCC-TV (channel 40), the Sacramento market's first station which carried affiliations with all four networks before other outlets went on the air.
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 1999, when it was purchased by what was then known as Hearst-Argyle Television. Channel 3 has always been an NBC affiliate, and along with Fox affiliate KTXL (the present-day channel 40), is the only "Big Four" station in the Sacramento market 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 is best known for its commitment to local news. Early on, the station devoted significant resources to its news operation, resulting in a higher-quality product than conventional wisdom would suggest for what was then a medium-sized market. The station's motto, "Where The News Comes First", has become a symbol for its news coverage. KCRA has used the slogan since December 1958 (Kelly filed to trademark the slogan in 1980) and has licensed it out to other television stations. It has been the dominant news station in Sacramento for many years, winning every timeslot during sweeps periods by wide margins. In the May 2010 sweeps period, KCRA had the highest-rated 11 p.m. newscast but trailed KOVR's 10 p.m. newscast in total households.
KCRA has long been an innovator in local news coverage. In 1965, it first used color film in its newscasts. A station press release at that time claimed that KCRA was the first station in Sacramento with video tape, the first NBC affiliate with "network color," and the first station with local film, slide and video tape color. 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 in the 1970s.
Harry Geise was hired by KCRA as its main weatherman in the mid-1960s. 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 KCRA's 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 market to broadcast digitally in HDTV. KCRA satellite truck at the 2006 California International Marathon.
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.
In February 2010, KCRA introduced a new slogan, "It's how you know." This features local news, weather, and sports that would lead to its website. Hearst sister-stations KSBW and WMUR also uses this slogan, which is seen at the beginning of each video segment on YouTube.  Weather Plus
In early 2005, KCRA introduced its localized version of NBC Weather Plus. Although NBC shut down their NBC Weather Plus branding after purchasing the Weather Channel in 2008, KCRA continued to use the NBC Weather Plus branding on sub-channel 3.2 until late 2008.
On August 2, 2010, KCRA relaunched their digital subchannel 3.2 as "moreTV Sacramento," a locally-programmed channel that shuffles syndicated programming from KCRA and sister-station KQCA, a branding used by Hearst sister station WMOR-TV in the Tampa, Florida market, and previously by KCWE in Kansas City, Missouri before their 2006 affiliation with the CW. The channel shows comedies (Roseanne, The Cosby Show, That 70's Show), dramas (Law & Order: SVU) and talk shows (Maury, Jerry Springer, Dr. Oz, Oprah). moreTV Sacramento also rebroadcasts news from KCRA, including a 7pm rebroadcast of KCRA's 6pm newscast; a rebroadcast of late news on KCRA and KQCA at midnight; and a simulcast of KCRA's news at 12pm. KCRA continues WeatherPlus programming in the early morning hours in lieu of paid programming, however, as of October 15, 2010, KCRA no longer shows Weather Plus. (At the same time, nearby Hearst station KSBW also started broadcasting an alternate set of primetime programming over on its second digital subchannel branded as "KSBW PrimePLUS+" until February 1, 2011.)
To report breaking news to KCRA: call (916) 444-7316, email or text firstname.lastname@example.org