WNBC-TV originally signed on as WNBT-TV Channel 1 on July 1, 1941. WNBT was officially the first TV station in the United States, although they and WCBW (now WCBS-TV) were supposed to sign on at the same time. WCBW was delayed by one hour by technical issues. The WNBT call letters meant NBCTelevison.
In 1954 WNBT became WRCA-TV. The call letters WRCA meant Radio Corporation of America.
Briefly in 1980, this logo was preceded by an "Octagon 4" and a "zig-zag" 4 that looked somewhat like a cross between the 4 seen here and the logo used by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ABC affiliate WTAE-TV.
This logo also served as a template and was used for some of NBC's owned and operated television stations and for MSNBC.