A new NBC broadcast station is coming to the St. Joseph market, the News-Press & Gazette Co. said Wednesday.
Officials with the media company told a gathering of employees of a major new investment planned. NPG, through its subsidiary News-Press TV LLC, has reached an affiliation agreement with Comcast/ NBCUniversal, the parent organization for the NBC network.
The new station serving St. Joseph and the nearby region will be known as NBC 21 KNPG and is expected to go on the air this fall.
The NBC affiliate will be operated jointly with four other local broadcast properties owned by News-Press TV. These include a FOX affiliate, FOX 26 KNPN, launched in 2012 along with entertainment network The CW, Spanish-language Telemundo and the 24/7 news and weather channel News-Press NOW.
The broadcast stations share a newsroom with the St. Joseph News-Press and newspressnow.com.
“This is another step forward for NPG as we continue with our focus on building a diverse media company that serves our communities with the best local news and sales services,” said Eric Bradley, general manager for News-Press TV. “We couldn’t be more pleased than to be able to provide our viewers and advertisers with a locally owned and operated NBC affiliate that is in tune with their needs and interests.”
Bradley said viewers of the new station will see content focused on their needs, as determined from consumer research. As an example, he said a St. Joseph-based affiliate will benefit NBC viewers who are interested in watching network programming without unwarranted interruptions for weather alerts or election updates affecting far-off communities. Any breaking news or weather alerts will be focused on the St. Joseph community, he said.
NBC’s most-watched entertainment programming includes “The Voice,” “The Blacklist,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Grimm” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The network also carries NFL games on Sundays and Thursdays. This season, NBC will feature three primetime Kansas City Chiefs games on Sunday, Oct. 2, vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Dec. 8, vs. the Oakland Raiders and on Christmas night, Sunday, Dec. 25, vs. the Denver Broncos.
Bradley said viewers of the station will receive three hours of local news programming daily. This will include an hour and a half in the mornings from 5:30 to 7 a.m. leading into NBC’s “Today” show, a half-hour news program at 5 p.m. before “NBC Nightly News” and additional half-hour news programs at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The local FOX and NBC stations together will offer a total of five hours of news programming each weekday and at least one and a half hours on both Saturday and Sunday. The total for the week will be at least 28 hours compared to the 19.5 hours provided currently on the single channel.
“We are especially excited to be able to add news programming on our family of stations serving the St. Joseph area,” Bradley said. “Consistently, viewers have told us they value weather and local news reporting, and they want access to it throughout the day.”
As with KNPN, the signal for NBC 21 KNPG will be broadcast to digital antennas within about a 30-mile radius of the tower in St. Joseph. It also is expected to be available through cable and satellite providers. Details will be announced later on the launch date for KNPG and where to find the station on Suddenlink, Rainbow Communications, United Electric Co-Op, Dish and DirecTV.
NPG has no influence on whether the Kansas City NBC station, KSHB-TV, will be available on cable and satellite systems in St. Joseph after NBC 21 KNPG is launched later this year. That determination will be made by the cable and satellite distributors.