A spokeswoman for KNBC TV has confirmed to the L.A. Weekly that Channel 4 will not  broadcast live coverage of January 19's annual Kingdom Day Parade — the first timeChannel 4 has not provided extended coverage since it began live reporting of the parade in 2001. The 23-year-old event, which celebrates the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is one of the most important dates on the local African American calendar and for communities along its route in South Los Angeles.

News of the cancellation first came Thursday in a passing comment from a press release from one of the event's sponsors. Contacted KNBC programming staffers told the Weekly that they hadn't heard of the change. Today, however, media spokeswoman Erin Dittman acknowledged the dropping of the live coverage, although she said the event would still be the subject of news reports. At press time Dittman said she did not know the reason behind the programming change, although others familiar with the parade speculated it is for economic reasons.

Late this morning KNBC released the following statement to the Weekly:

“NBC4 has been proud to present live broadcast coverage of the Kingdom Day Parade since 2001. This year, the station plans to cover this important community celebration honoring Dr. King within our newscasts, on our website and on 'News Raw,' our news service airing on NBC4's Digital Channel 4.2 (Time Warner Channel 225 – Cox Channel 804 – Charter Cable 304).”

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.