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

100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.


Read more...

Undersea Power

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.


Read more...

No Boundaries

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Floor plans embrace the great wide open.


Read more...

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.


Read more...

Destination Resorts 2.0

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


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