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_06
KDRV’s Evan Bell at the controls in the station’s Medford studio. The station is the acknowledged news leader, in part because of its investment in cutting-edge broadcast technology.
// Photo by Jamie Lusch

 

“But,” says Mark Hatfield, Chambers Communications (KDRV) managing director of news and programming, pointing to the bank of TVs on the wall of his office in Medford, “this is still the screen that people look at at the end of the day. We as news organizations will continue as long as we’re relevant and serve our communities. I actually think the future for this market is bright.”

Bright for whom? In fact, consolidation among the stations has already begun. In 2006, the local Fox affiliate, KMVU, contracted with KOBI for news coverage. The relationship has been “very successful,” Smullin says, and it adds a much-needed revenue stream to COBI’s coffers. While the partnership isn’t comparable to the situation in Redding-Chico, it represents a step in the direction of consolidation.

Many area residents would feel the loss of even one news operation. Medford and neighboring towns like Klamath Falls, Ashland, Grants Pass and Jacksonville have grown accustomed to excellent local news coverage, from Friday night high school football games to breaking news about weather, forest fires and traffic tie-ups, to information about charity fundraisers.

Steve Safron, editor of the online broadcast industry publication Lost Remote, thinks it unlikely that any of the networks would abandon Medford. “The networks care about those small markets,” he says. “It’s an aggregate thing; they want those households. They help sell advertising and they maintain their brands.”

Yet the networks might be inclined to reduce costs if possible. Combining news operations might make financial sense in a tight, small market, Fay says. But the community would lose an irreplaceable asset, says Melanie Wingo, a former KDRV reporter now with KATU in Portland.

Wingo says Medford viewers are devoted to their favorite news programs. “They will turn the dial when a [network] program ends to hear the news from the local team they’re loyal to,” she says. “You don’t always see that in larger markets.” She worries that Medford could become merely a satellite market to Eugene (No. 118), which has been growing in the number of households served as Medford has stagnated. KDRV is part of Chambers Communications, which is based in Eugene, but Hatfield says KDRV is not a satellinte station run out of Eugene. Hatfield is the market manager of KDRV, and managing director of news and programming for KDRV, KEZI in Eugene and KOHD in Bend, the result of a round of management layoffs in the summer of 2010.

“I hope no part of the Medford market goes away,” she says. “People there simply rely on their TV stations too much.”

 



 

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

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...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

13 West Coast seafood species now 'sustainable'

News
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Fishing OrBiz Fishing 0357 ADOBErgbCiting the transition to catch shares management as a key to rebuilding stocks and reducing bycatch, 13 species caught by the West Coast trawl fishery today earned designation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable.


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


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