Medford's unique TV market reaches a critical crossroad

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Behind the TV screens

 

 

Diversified corporations own each of the four major network affiliates based in Medford. Each has multiple businesses and revenue sources designed to offset the swings in station revenue, as well as to pay for the high cost of purchasing new equipment required to remain competitive in today’s complex broadcast world.

KOBI (Channel 5, NBC) is the oldest TV station (1953) of parent company California Oregon Broadcasting Inc., owned and operated by Patsy Smullin. COBI owns TV stations in Medford, Klamath Falls, and Eugene. KOBI-TV serves the largest number of households of any of the Medford television stations due to serving via microwave 11 counties. COBI owns cable systems in central and eastern Oregon and operates a high-end digital production company that caters to corporate and other video clients. And while KDRV is the local news leader by most key ratings, Patsy Smullin is the face of the local broadcast industry.

KDRV (Channel 12, ABC) is the Medford flagship for Chambers Communications, based in Eugene. Founded and owned by Carolyn S. Chambers, Chambers operates ABC affiliates in Medford, Eugene, Klamath Falls and Bend, has cable interests and a production/post-production video unit similar to that of COBI’s, and owns the Oregon Sports Network. Since a management downsizing last summer, KDRV Market Manager Mark Hatfield’s corporate responsibilities have increased; he now oversees news and programming in Bend and Eugene as well as Medford.

KTVL (Channel 10, CBS) is owned and operated by Freedom Communications, which recently emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization. Freedom has myriad media and related interests, including the Orange County Register, the daily newspaper in Orange County, Calif., and seven other medium-to-small-market television stations. Where KTVL’s corporate owner once represented a substantial competitive edge due to its deep pockets, now that all its assets are on the auction block, KTVL’s future is uncertain. Bids for Freedom’s properties have been solicited but as of July 1, no media assets had been sold.

KMVU (Channel 26, Fox) is the Medford flagship for Fox Broadcasting. KMVU doesn’t do local programming; it contracts out its news programming to KOBI. In Eugene, the situation is reversed: the Eugene Fox station, KLSR, provides news content for KOBI’s sister station, KEVU. However, both stations are owned by COBI, KOBI’s corporate owner. Another revenue stream for Patsy Smullin’s media empire.



 

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

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


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...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


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...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Apartment Mania

Guest Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4805983977 11466ce1d6 zBY BRAD HOULE | CFA

While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.


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