KGO-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, is an ABC owned-and-operated television station licensed to San Francisco, California, United States and serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is owned by the ABC Owned Television Stations subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. KGO-TV's studios are located at the ABC Broadcast Center in downtown San Francisco north of the city's Financial District, and its transmitter is based at Sutro Tower.


KGO-TV first signed on the air on May 5, 1949 as the San Francisco Bay Area's second-oldest television station, signing on five months after KPIX (channel 5) and the 50th in the United States. In fact, KPIX had a hand in getting KGO-TV on the air, as the CBS-affiliated (and now CBS-owned) station produced informational programming on how to receive and view ABC's channel 7. KGO-TV's original studios were located in the renovated Sutro Mansion near Mount Sutro in San Francisco, next to the transmitter tower it shared with KPIX.

Channel 7 was the fourth of ABC's five original owned-and-operated stations to sign-on, after outlets in New York City, Chicago and Detroit, and before Los Angeles. In addition, it is the only ABC station to keep its original call letters, which were inherited from KGO radio (810 AM). In addition to airing ABC programming, KGO-TV also aired syndicated programs from the Paramount Television Network; among the Paramount programs aired were Time For Beany,[1] Hollywood Reel, Sandy Dreams, Hollywood Wrestling, and Cowboy G-Men.

Channel 7 had a limited broadcasting schedule during its first year on the air. It was not until September 1950 that the station announced, in the San Francisco Chronicle, that it would broadcast on all seven days of the week. For much of the 1950s, the station signed on late in the morning or early afternoon, especially on the weekends, because the ABC network didn't offer many daytime programs then. For many years, Saturday programming began with King Norman's Kingdom of Toys, a popular children's program hosted by the owner of a San Francisco toy store, Norman Rosenberg, from 1954 until 1961. He died in December 2016 at the age of 98.

In 1954, KGO-TV moved to one of the most modern broadcasting facilities on the West Coast at the time at 277 Golden Gate Avenue, formerly known as the Eagle Building. The building was demolished between 2010 and 2011. As an ABC-owned station, KGO-TV originated a few network daytime shows, including programs hosted by fitness expert Jack La Lanne, singer Tennessee Ernie Ford, and entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee. Syndicated game shows Oh My Word and The Anniversary Game were produced at KGO-TV by Circle Seven Productions. In the mid-1950s, KGO-TV telecast live weeknight variety shows hosted by KSFO disc jockey Don Sherwood, until Sherwood was fired for making a political comment in defiance of a warning from station management. In September 1962, KGO began carrying ABC's first color program, the animated series The Jetsons, followed by The Flintstones. In the mid 1960s, KGO became the first Bay Area station to broadcast local programs in color, including its newscasts. In 1985, KGO-TV began broadcasting from its current studios at 900 Front Street, sharing the facility with radio stations KGO (AM 810), KSFO and KMKY (the former two are now owned by Cumulus Media).

By 2012, the radio stations had vacated 900 Front Street. In late 2014, MyNetworkTV affiliate KRON-TV (channel 4) moved its operations from 1001 Van Ness Avenue, a building it had occupied since 1967, to the ABC Broadcast Center, leasing from KGO-TV/ABC the space on the third floor that had been occupied by the radio stations. KRON-TV also uses one of the two studios on the first floor for production of its news programming.

For most of its existence, KGO-TV was the only network-owned television station in the Bay Area, even throughout the time when ABC underwent ownership changes: Capital Cities Communications bought out ABC and merged with the network in 1985, the combined company Capital Cities/ABC was then sold to The Walt Disney Company in 1996. As such, the station did not heavily preempt network programming unlike its local competitors or its sister stations—such as Philadelphia's WPVI-TV, Houston's KTRK-TV and Fresno's KFSN-TV—which were known for doing so in those days (as of 2007, some exceptions to this policy may be made when breaking news events or selected ABC Sports programs warrant exclusive coverage, in which case independent station KOFY-TV (channel 20), may pick up the pre-empted ABC programming scheduled for the time period). The distinction of being the Bay Area's only O&O station ended in 1995 when several other stations in the San Francisco-Oakland market became network-owned stations over the next twenty years—including KBHK (now KBCW) becoming a charter member of UPN (in which the station's then-owner was a partner) in 1995, KPIX becoming a CBS O&O with the network's 1995 merger with Westinghouse, KNTV becoming an NBC O&O in 2002 after being bought by the network after it disaffiliated from KRON-TV, and KTVU becoming a Fox O&O in 2015 after being acquired by the network alongside sister station KICU-TV a year prior (although KICU remains an independent station due to KRON-TV's affiliation with MyNetworkTV). After ABC sold Detroit's WXYZ-TV to Scripps–Howard Broadcasting in 1986 as part of the Capital Cities/ABC merger, KGO-TV went on to be the longest-serving ABC O&O outside of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

KGO in the Salinas, Monterey and Santa Cruz marketEdit

In 1999, KGO-TV—seeking to gain advertising revenue in the South Bay—reached an agreement with the Granite Broadcasting Corporation, then-owner of San Jose's ABC affiliate KNTV to pay Granite to drop KNTV's ABC affiliation, resulting in KGO-TV becoming the network's exclusive Bay Area outlet. This resulted in the Salinas–Monterey–Santa Cruz market losing over-the-air reception of ABC programs since KNTV had also served those communities (the station temporarily affiliated with The WB, before replacing KRON-TV as the Bay Area's NBC affiliate in January 2002). In response, a cable-only ABC affiliate was set up for the areas affected, that simulcast KGO-TV's programming (including ABC programming and local newscasts), with the exception of programs that channel 7 was only allowed to show within the San Francisco market under syndication exclusivity rules. On December 20, 2010, Hearst Television, owners of NBC affiliate KSBW, signed an affiliation agreement with ABC to bring the network's programming to KSBW's second digital subchannel. The new subchannel (branded on-air as "Central Coast ABC") debuted on April 18, 2011, effectively displacing KGO from cable providers in California's Central Coast, which replaced the station with KSBW's ABC-affiliated subchannel.


KGO-TV was one of the earliest ABC stations to use the original Circle 7 logo (along with sister station WBKB (now WLS-TV) in Chicago). According to Broadcasting magazine, KGO unveiled this logo, created by San Francisco design consultant G. Dean Smith, on August 27, 1962. When the station incorporated ABC into its branding in the late 1990s (initially as "Channel 7 ABC" from 1996 to 1997, then as "ABC 7"), the station—along with several other ABC stations broadcasting on channel 7 that used the original version of the Circle 7 logo—simply attached the ABC logo to the Circle 7

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TV stations in California
KABC, Los Angeles

KEYT, Santa Barbara/Santa Maria/San Luis Obispo
KAEF, Eureka
KXTV, Sacramento
KRCR, Redding/Chico
KESQ, Coachella Valley/Palm Springs
KGO, San Francisco
KSBW-DT2, Monterey
KECY-DT2, El Centro/Yuma
KFSN, Fresno
KERO, Bakersfield

TV stations in the San Francisco Bay Area
KAXT-CD 1 (Decades)
KTVU 2 (Fox)
KDTV 14 (Uni)
KOFY 20 (Ind)
KTSF 26 (Ind)
KICU 36 (Ind)
KMMC-LD 40 (3ABN Latino)
KTNC 42 (Ind)
KBCW 44 (CW)
KZHD-LD 49 (Ind)
KKPX 65 (Ion)
KFSF 66 (UMas)
KTLN 68 (H&I)
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