FIRST ON THE BLOG: Get ready for a major change in San Francisco television. KTVU’s sister station is about to get a major new look and focus to the Bay Area. And I thought this was a late April Fools’ Day joke, but nope. It’s all real.
Starting Monday April 25th, KTVU 2’s sister station KICU 36 will go from TV 36 to KTVU Plus, a name that now resembles KTVU 2 and its operations. It will remain as an Independent station, so forget FOX’s MyNetworkTV moving here for quite some time because this is a good indication that KICU 36 will remain as an Independent. The biggest change with this is KTVU’s newscasts as its news operation will expand because of this and here’s what you need to know. There’s gonna have to be a list for this…
- KTVU 2 is expanding its weekday morning newscast, KTVU Mornings on 2, to another hour. The station is adding another LIVE hour to KTVU Plus from 10:00-11:00am, making the weekday morning newscast, a full 7 hours (something that KRON 4 – MyTV used to do before with its weekday morning newscast until 2013). This will be the ONLY local morning newscast to air at 10:00am and the ONLY ones to air 7 hours in the morning, alongside both stations. This now gives the San Francisco Bay Area, access to LIVE morning and midday news from 4:00am-1:00pm, thanks to 4:00-11:00am on KTVU 2, 11:00am-12:00pm on KNTV 11 (NBC) and 12:00-1:00pm back on KTVU 2.
- KTVU 2’s half-hour 6:00pm weeknight newscast is being expanded to a full hour with another half-hour at 6:30pm. KTVU FOX 2 News at 6:30 will be anchored by the current 6:00pm team, consisting of Frank Somerville and Julie Haener. In terms of competition, it will be the last station in the market to start airing a 6:30pm weeknight newscast as KRON 4, KPIX 5 (CBS), KGO 7 (ABC) and KNTV 11 have had weeknight hour-long newscasts at 6:00pm for years.
- The half-hour 7:00pm weeknight newscast for KICU 36 will be expanded to a full hour and according to TV listings, will be renamed to The 7:00 O’Clock News on KTVU Plus and The 7:30 News on KTVU Plus, even though the name would more likely be KTVU FOX 2 News at 7:00 on KTVU Plus. With this extra half-hour, the hour-long 7:00pm newscast will continue to remain as the ONLY home for local news in that timeslot in the market and will give the San Fran Bay Area, access to LIVE weeknight news from 4:00-11:35pm.
- KTVU 2’s nightly 10:00pm newscast will continue to repeat on KTVU Plus from 11:00pm-12:00am and touted as The 10:00 O’Clock News on KTVU Plus.
- If FOX Sports programming takes over on KTVU 2 and pre-empts any of their newscasts, then those newscasts would instead be seen on KTVU Plus as before, the pre-empted newscasts weren’t seen on KICU 36. At least now with the rebrand and whole new look, KTVU 2 is taking advantage of their second channel to offer those newscasts there when the main channel can’t.
The channel will keep some entertainment programs like Modern Family, TMZ on TV, Right This Minute and Dr. Oz, among others. And yes… no channel slots will be changed because of this. KICU 36 will remain on 36.1 and on the same cable/satellite slots across the Bay Area.
So this is actually an exciting thing that’s happening in the Bay Area and I think this will be beneficial to everybody. But let’s see if the viewers agree, starting on Monday.