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View From the Bay: KGO Launches Hi-Def News

KGO San Francisco launched high-definition newscasts Saturday, Feb. 17, becoming the second station in the No. 5 market to broadcast high-definition newscasts, after Cox station and Fox affiliate KTVU.

KGO is the 32nd station nationwide to offer HD news, following recent launches by WTVF Nashville, WFAA Dallas and KTLA Los Angeles, and the fifth ABC owned-and-operated station to do so. It will provide 33.5 hours of HD news weekly, along with five hours of local entertainment (the daily View from the Bay talk show) and an hour of local affairs programming.

"We’ve been closely examining what the shots look like and what the set looks like, and have made distinct changes to really take advantage of what HD can do," says David Salinger, KGO VP of programming and creative. He says the station has been planning the HD switch since July 2006.

KGO, which first deployed a hi-def helicopter last year, has reworked its news studio by moving the anchor desk and installing Ikegami HD cameras with Canon lenses, Christie HD projection systems, and VizRT HD graphics. For now, field production will be handled in widescreen standard-definition and upconverted.