S.F.’s KPIX to bump ‘CBS This Morning’

Don’t look for NBC or CBS to hold affiliate meetings in San Francisco anytime soon.

Both network affiliates there may be in danger of pre-empting their way out of contracts. NBC affil KRON-TV, already in hot water with the Peacock web for its recurring preemptions of “NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw,” didn’t do itself any favors when it confirmed plans to preempt “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” in favor of MCA TV’s latenight strip “Last Call.”

Now CBS affil KPIX-TV is getting into the act with a plan to preempt “CBS This Morning” with its own locally produced newsmagazine show.

KPIX wants to carry “CBS This Morning” live from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. and its own morning show from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., according to station sources in the market.

KPIX general manager Richard Blangiardi declined comment on the reports. Tony Malara, president of CBS affiliate relations, is in Norway for the Winter Olympics, and could not be reached for comment.

Group W-owned KPIX would become the latest of several CBS affils preempting “CBS This Morning.” Two weeks ago, CBS affil WHDH, Boston, said it would drop the morning show Feb. 28 for its own news show. And CBS affiliates WJBK, Detroit , and WAGA, Atlanta, already carry their own morning shows, meaning that three of the top 10 markets may not be carrying the show.

Further preemptions or schedule changes by affiliates could put CBS in a panic mode regarding the future of the third-place morning show.

Ironically, KPIX’s share for “CBS This Morning” went up in the November 1993 sweeps, compared to a year earlier.

But with CBS losing the NFL rights to Fox, KPIX-TV wants to find new revenue to help recoup its anticipated losses from 49er football broadcasts jumping to Fox affil KTVU.

KTVU also has the strongest news programming in the market, something KPIX wants to change by competing head-to-head with the Fox affil’s No. 1 morning show.

Of the two web affiliates, KRON appears to be in the most danger of losing its affiliation. NBC has sent the word that it will not tolerate any preemptions or scheduling changes of its latenight programing.

KRON-TV president and general manager Amy McCombs could not be reached for comment on talks with NBC.

While NBC is said not to have had any official talks with San Francisco independents KOFY and KICU about becoming affiliates, one source said the network has been checking the ratings and market penetration of KOFY.

Pacific FM-owned KOFY and Chris Craft-owned KICU are affiliated with the Warner Bros. and Paramount fifth network efforts, respectively, but could be open to talks.

There is also the possibility that NBC may try to buy a station, although it may have already missed its opportunity. Last year, Cox Broadcasting dropped its efforts to sell KTVU. Now, with NFL Football coming to the station, Cox has no intentions of selling.

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