KOVR Sacramento is switching to an early primetime starting March 6, the day the station becomes a CBS affiliate. The CBS primetime lineup will start at 7 p.m. and “Late Show With David Letterman” at 11.

CBS has given KOVR and its parent company, River City Broadcasting, approval on the move. “We are most supportive of the station in making this move,” said Tony Malara, president, CBS Affiliate Relations.

Engineering the move for KOVR is Rick Blangiardi, group president, River City Broadcasting, and the former VP/general manager of CBS affiliate KPIX San Francisco, which went to an early primetime four years ago.

When KPIX first tried an early primetime, CBS was reluctant but willing. The ratings remained solid and now “Letterman” is getting very strong ratings there.

But NBC has taken a much harder line on stations wanting to start an early primetime.

Both KCRA Sacramento and KRON San Francisco had to drop their early prime shift or lose their network affiliation despite success with the switch on KCRA.

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