KNTV hires PRx after its help with NBC station switch in Bay Area

SAN JOSE, CA: PRx has been hired to handle media and community relations for KNTV/NBC3, a local television station that was recently acquired by NBC Television.

SAN JOSE, CA: PRx has been hired to handle media and community relations for KNTV/NBC3, a local television station that was recently acquired by NBC Television.

The relationship was sealed once the sale to NBC was made final. The station's former owner, Granite Broadcasting, previously retained PRx, and the agency also helped during the tough transition.

KNTV became the Bay Area's new NBC station in January after NBC ended its relationship with another local station, KRON. The change, which meant viewers had to tune in to channel three rather than channel four for NBC programming, required massive community outreach programs.

It also meant that more than 100,000 households in the area were unable to get the channel if they relied on an antenna, because of change in signal. Steve Mangold, EVP of PRx, said that even though the previous station also had coverage difficulties, the new NBC station was lambasted in the media for the problems.

"That was an issue that we tried to make go away, and it just wouldn't," he said. Since then, more viewers have been turning to satellite and cable options, and the problem has diminished.

The PR firm also put together a community relations plan to help the station make the long-term transition.

"One of the most important things we did was make sure the news and station management, as well as top anchors, were introduced to the Bay Area movers and shakers,

said Mangold.

These "ascertainment meetings

were followed up by a live broadcast from each of the communities, where KNTV executives answered questions from the public about what the station would be covering.

PRx also helped the station broaden its community relations to the entire Bay Area, comprising Silicon Valley, as well as Oakland and San Francisco.

Previously, the channel was oriented to the San Jose region exclusively.

The station made an unprecedented move from being the 119th-ranked national TV market to the fifth-ranked.

"Our mission is to keep helping the transition team, and get the station manager networked into the community,

Mangold said.

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