When Granite Broadcasting Corporation agreed to purchase the station after the ABC affiliation contract expired, KNTV switched its affiliation from ABC to The WB, becoming one of two affiliates of that network in the San Francisco Bay Area, alongside with then-sister station KBWB (now known as KOFY).
At 11:35pm Pacific Standard Time on New Year's Eve, 2001, KNTV became an NBC affiliate after a disagreement over reverse compensation to carry NBC programming led KRON-TV to end its affiliation with NBC after 51 years, becoming an independent station. Later, on April 30, Granite sold KNTV to NBC. NBC had just purchased Telemundo, which owns KSTS in San Jose, and NBC wanted a duopoly in the Bay Area. The name NBC3 refers to the station's cable placement.
Station ID used during switch to NBC affiliation (2002)