Sponsored by Lane Powell
Home Back Issues August 2011 Medford's unique TV market reaches a critical crossroad

Medford's unique TV market reaches a critical crossroad

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Article Index
Medford's unique TV market reaches a critical crossroad
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Medford's Broadcasting History
Behind the TV screens
0811_MedfordTV_04
Television journalists around the nation still fondly recall the often-harsh lessons they learned in Medford from their mentor, KOBI GM Bob Wise, considered the ultimate pro by his rival peers. 
// Photo by Jamie Lusch

As it now stands, Medford television viewers continue to reap the benefits of William Smullin’s obsession with building a broadcast empire. With a population of 75,000, it’s home to four network affiliates, a PBS station and a Telemundo Spanish language station. The stations and the companies that own them represent a substantial generator of local wealth and jobs, while the market’s viewers enjoy a free-of-charge news and programming menu usually found only in much larger markets.

Medford is considered a small broadcast market, ranking just No. 140 in the Nielsen ratings. Yet its ranking is about the same as those of Amarillo, Bakersfield and Topeka, all of which have substantially larger populations. At No. 118, Eugene ranks much higher, yet has the same number of “free TV” stations as Medford. Bend is smaller and has fewer stations.

The larger Medford TV market, estimated to include some 172,000 TV-viewing homes and as many as 500,000 viewers, is one of the biggest geographically in the nation. It stretches across 12 counties from east of Klamath Falls, west to Coos Bay, north almost to Bend, and south into northern California. Although the area is  difficult to serve because of the mountains along the Oregon-California border, men like William Smullin and women like his daughter have gone to great lengths to train their signals into every town within their reach. As a result, its market ranking rivals that of, for example, Bakersfield, population 347,000.

But a shrinking of the market could be at hand, thanks in large measure to the recession and the high cost of purchasing the equipment needed to compete in today’s television industry.

Kingsley Kelley, general manager for KTVL, believes “consolidation is inevitable,” although he stopped short of predicting a station might go away. “I think there will be some consolidation in markets our size,” says Smullin.

 



 

Comments   

 
Mike Gantenbein
-1 #1 Crossroads?Mike Gantenbein 2011-07-27 13:50:21
Great overview of the TV market in Medford - but I'm not sure that the market has arrived at some sort of "crossroads". It is in flux and will continue to be as the internet continues to offer new avenues for content developers (e.g. networks) to distribute their products. However, flux is normal in this market - there were only two TV stations in the market when I first moved here.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Mike Nelson
+1 #2 The News Czar Wears New ClothesMike Nelson 2011-08-01 10:03:34
Little Hatfield is mistaken if he thinks his current staff and limited knowledge of emerging technology is going to keep KDRV on top. Oprah is gone, Jeopardy will not last, and Mr. Hat will soon find himself "number two" when tech-savvy KTVL and KOBI merge.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
0 #3 adminGuest 2013-03-20 03:06:37
This is the direction of Television now..
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Report Card

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strong public schools shore up the economy, survey respondents say. But local schools demonstrate lackluster performance.


Read more...

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Two sides of the coin

Contributed Blogs
Monday, August 25, 2014
0825 thumb moneyBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS