Sponsored by Lane Powell

Medford's unique TV market reaches a critical crossroad

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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
 
 
Guest
0 #2 adminGuest 2013-03-20 03:06:37
This is the direction of Television now..
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

5 stats about Oregon fireworks

The Latest
Thursday, June 18, 2015
fireworksthumb001BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

The Green Paradox

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY EMILY LIEDEL

Inside the topsy-turvy world of corporate sustainability rankings.


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Credit Unions Perspective

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.


Read more...

Sun set

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night. 


Read more...

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


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