Oregon Public Broadcasting
(except the Medford–Klamath Falls market)
|Channels||Analog: See below
Digital: See below
NPR, PRI, APM, PRX
PBS (1970–present), APT
|Owner||Oregon Public Broadcasting|
|First air date||Radio:
January 23, 1923
October 7, 1957
|Call letters’ meaning||See below|
|Former affiliations||NET (1957–1970)|
|Transmitter power||See below|
|Facility ID||See below|
|Transmitter coordinates||See below|
Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) is the primary television and radio public broadcasting network for most of the U.S. state of Oregon as well as southern Washington. OPB consists of five full-power television stations, dozens of VHF or UHF translators, and over 20 radio stations and frequencies. Broadcasts include local and regional programming as well as television programs from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and American Public Television (APT), and radio programs from National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), American Public Media (APM), Public Radio Exchange (PRX), and the BBC World Service, among other distributors. Its headquarters and television studios are located in Portland.
OPB is also a major producer of television programming for national broadcast on PBS and Create through distributors like APT, with shows such as History Detectives, Barbecue America, Foreign Exchange, Rick Steves’ Europe, and travel shows hosted by Art Wolfe.
As of 2006[update], OPB had over one million viewers throughout its region and an average of over 380,000 radio listeners each week. The part of southwestern Oregon not served by OPB is served by Jefferson Public Radio and Southern Oregon Public Television.
OPB traces its roots to January 23, 1923, when KFDJ-AM signed on from the Corvallis campus of Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). The radio station’s call letters were changed to KOAC-AM on December 11, 1925. In 1932, KOAC became a service of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education General Extension Division
KOAC Radio won OPB’s first Peabody Award when it was recognized for Outstanding Public Service by a Local Station for a 1942 program called Our Hidden Enemy, Venereal Disease.
KOAC-TV in Corvallis began operations on October 7, 1957. KOAC-AM-TV soon became the primary stations for a large statewide network of radio and television stations. Originally known as Oregon Educational Broadcasting, it became the Oregon Educational and Public Broadcasting Service (OEPBS) in 1971. In 1981, OEPBS was spun off from the Oregon State System of Higher Education and became a separate state agency, Oregon Public Broadcasting. The former Portland satellites, KOAP-FM-TV, became the flagship stations. In 1993, OPB severed its last direct ties to the state government, and became a community-licensed organization supported by the state of Oregon.
In addition to the studio and transmission facilities in Corvallis, there was another production studio located on the top floor of Villard Hall at the University of Oregon in Eugene that was connected by microwave link. Up until 1965, all programs from the Eugene studio were live, since they did not get any video recording equipment until then. During that time period, the Eugene studio operated two RCA TK31 cameras.
KOAP-TV in Portland signed on the air February 6, 1961; it became the flagship of OPB in 1981 and changed its call letters to KOPB-TV on February 15, 1989.
KTVR-TV in La Grande went on the air December 6, 1964 as a commercial television station that affiliated primarily with NBC and also carried select ABC network programs. KTVR operated as a semi-satellite of Boise, Idaho station KTVB, but had a La Grande studio at 1605 Adams Ave., producing a nightly newscast and other local programming. However, by 1967, the La Grande studio and office had been closed and KTVR became a full-fledged satellite of KTVB. KTVR was unique in the Pacific Time Zone, because as a repeater of a Mountain Time Zone station, its “prime-time” schedule was broadcast from 6 to 9 p.m. OEPBS bought KTVR on August 31, 1976 and converted it to PBS on February 1, 1977. At first, KTVR rebroadcast programming from KWSU-TV in Pullman, Washington and KSPS-TV in Spokane, Washington until OEPBS completed a transmission link to La Grande. On September 1, 1977 OEPBS took KTVR off the air for transmitter repairs, due to increasing technical problems. KTVR returned to the air on January 1, 1978, carrying OEPBS programming for the first time.
KOAB-TV in Bend began broadcasting on February 24, 1970 as KVDO-TV, an independent station licensed to Salem. Channel 3 struggled to compete with Portland‘s established independent, KPTV (channel 12), and in 1974 the station was purchased by Liberty Communications, then-owners of Eugene’s ABC affiliate KEZI (channel 9). The intention was to make KVDO a full-power satellite of KEZI. KATU (channel 2), Portland’s ABC affiliate, responded by taking legal action, forcing KEZI to instead operate KVDO on a limited basis. OEPBS purchased the station on February 19, 1976, and turned the station into a PBS member station, rebroadcasting OEPBS programming that was already available from KOAC and KOAP (now KOPB). A few days later on February 28, 1976, a disgruntled viewer protesting KVDO’s sale to OEPBS cut guy wires, toppling the channel 3 transmitter tower. On September 20, 1976, KVDO signed back on the air with a new tower. On August 6, 1983, after many complaints about duplication of service to Salem-area viewers (see above), KVDO was shut down. OEPBS petitioned the FCC to move Channel 3’s license and channel allocation to Bend, which had no PBS coverage; the FCC honored their request. On December 22, 1983, channel 3 signed back on the air as KOAB. The call letters were modified to KOAB-TV when KOAB-FM signed on the air January 23, 1986.
KOAC won a 1972 Peabody Award for a program called Conversations with Will Shakespeare and Certain of His Friends. KEPB-TV in Eugene began operation on February 27, 1990 as Eugene’s first public television station, bringing most of Eugene a clear signal for PBS programming from the first time ever. Although KOAC-TV had long claimed Eugene as part of its primary coverage area (Corvallis is part of the Eugene market), it only provided rimshot coverage to most of Eugene itself, and was marginal at best in the southern portion of the city.
In the early 2000s, OPB installed Oregon’s first digital transmitter, taking a critical first step in the digital television transition.
For 2001 and 2002, the Oregon state government provided about 14 percent of OPB’s operational budget; for 2003 and 2004, it was cut to 9 percent.
In 2007, OPB Radio added World Have Your Say (WHYS) to its schedule, with its listeners becoming the show’s most numerous contributors from the United States and second in number worldwide only to Nigeria. According to WHYS host Ros Atkins, a “significant number of listeners [disliked the] ‘tone’ and ‘production'” of the show, resulting in the removal of the show from OPB’s schedule after three years.
On December 4, 2007, OPB launched OPBmusic, a 24-hour online radio channel spotlighting Pacific Northwest musicians. In March 2009, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting chose OPB to manage the pilot version of American Archive, CPB’s initiative to digitally preserve content created by public broadcasters.
- OPB received the Emmy for Station Excellence
- Oregon Field Guide won the Emmy for Environmental – Program/Special
- Oregon Field Guide: The White Salmon River Runs Free shared the Emmy for Public/Current/Community Affairs – Program/Special
- Oregon Field Guide: Glacier Caves – Mt. Hood’s Secret World won two Emmys, for Documentary – Topical and Writer – Program (Ed Jahn & Amelia Templeton)
- Diving for Science shared the Emmy for Health/Science – Program/Special
- Giles Clement won for Informational/Instructional – Feature/Segment
- Hanford won for Documentary – Historical
- “Vince Patton Reporting” won for Reporter – Programming
- “James DeRosso” won an Emmy for Video Journalist – No Time Limit (Tom Shrider)
|Station||City of license||Channels
(RF / VC)
|First air date||Call letters’
|ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Public license information|
|KOPB-TV[note 1]||Portland||10 (VHF)
|February 6, 1961||Oregon
|32.4 kW||524 m (1,719 ft)||50589||Profile
|October 7, 1957||Oregon
|18.1 kW||357 m (1,171 ft)||50590||Profile
|September 27, 1990||Eugene
|100 kW||403 m (1,322 ft)||50591||Profile
|KOAB-TV[note 2]||Bend||11 (VHF)
|February 24, 1970||KOAC
|90 kW||245 m (804 ft)||50588||Profile
|KTVR[note 3]||La Grande||13 (VHF)
|December 6, 1964||TeleVision
|16.1 kW||775 m (2,543 ft)||50592||Profile
- KOPB-TV used the callsign KOAP-TV from its 1961 sign-on until 1989.
- KOAB-TV used the callsign KVDO-TV from its 1970 sign-on until 1983. It was a commercial independent station until OEPBS bought the station in 1976. It was licensed to Salem until 1983.
- KTVR was a commercial station relaying KTVB from Boise, Idaho until 1977.
Cable and satellite availability
OPB Television is available on all cable providers in its service area. On Dish Network, KOPB-TV, KEPB-TV, and KOAB-TV are available on the Portland, Eugene and Bend local broadcast station lineups, respectively. KOPB-TV and KEPB-TV are available on the Portland and Eugene DirecTV broadcast station lineups.
OPB’s first digital channel was OPB CREATE (an affiliate of the Create network), announced in January 2006; its availability was limited to certain Comcast digital cable customers and on Clear Creek Television in Oregon City.
In December 2008, in anticipation of the original February 18, 2009, deadline for switching to all-digital broadcasting, OPB announced the launch of three digital subchannels: OPB, which would air OPB programming with an “improved picture for viewers with traditional sets”, OPB HD, airing programming in “high definition with the highest-quality picture and sound”, and OPB Plus, which offered “more choices in viewing times and added programs in news, public affairs and lifestyle.”
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|xx.1||720p||16:9||OPB||Main programming / PBS|
|xx.2||OPBPlus||OPB Plus (PBS Encore)|
|xx.3||480i||4:3||OPBKids||OPB Kids (PBS Kids)|
|xx.4||OPB-FM||OPB radio main programming (SAP audio channel 1)
opbmusic (SAP audio channel 2)
KMHD Jazz Radio (SAP audio channel 3)
OPB was one of the partners of The Oregon Channel, a public affairs network that began with the 74th Oregon Legislative Assembly in 2007. Programming consisted of Oregon legislative sessions and other public affairs events. The Oregon Channel was discontinued in 2011.
All of OPB’s digital channels are also available on cable providers Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum and Frontier FiOS, and three other providers serving specific regions and communities in Oregon: Clear Creek (a cooperative serving the Redland area of Oregon City), BendBroadband (serving Central Oregon), and Crestview Cable Communications (serving Madras, Prineville, and La Pine).
On July 6, 2011, OPB combined OPB and OPB SD into one high-definition channel feed on the main channel of its digital stations. OPB Plus moved from the third digital subchannel to the second subchannel and OPB Radio moved from the fourth digital subchannel to the third subchannel.
- KOAC-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7; the station’s digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 39 to VHF channel 7.
- KOPB-TV shut down its analog, signal, over VHF channel 10; the station’s digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 27 to VHF channel 10.
- KEPB-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 28; the station’s digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station’s virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 28.
- KOAB-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3; the station’s digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 11. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station’s virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.
- KTVR shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13; the station’s digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 5 to channel 13.
Oregon Public Broadcasting maintains several low-powered repeaters that rebroadcast its television programming throughout the state. A few of these repeaters are not owned by OPB.
|Call sign||Frequency||City of license||FCC info|
|KHRV||90.1 FM||Hood River||FCC|
|KOBK||88.9 FM||Baker City||FCC|
|KOGL-FM||89.3 FM||Gleneden Beach||FCC|
|KOJD||89.7 FM||John Day||FCC|
|KOTD||89.7 FM||The Dalles||FCC|
|KTVR-FM||89.9 FM||La Grande||FCC|
|City of license||FCC info|
Currently only KMHD and KOPB-FM carry HD radio content.
The OPB HD radio channels are:
|OPB FM HD-1||Main OPB radio programing|
|OPB FM HD-2||opbmusic|
|KMHD-FM HD-1||KMHD “Jazz Radio”|
Other radio frequencies
- Halfway – 91.3 FM
- Happy Hollow, Oregon – 93.5 FM
- Nedonna Beach – 106.5 FM
- Ontario – 107.5 FM (the only OPB Radio translator located in the Mountain Time Zone)
- Richland – 91.9 FM
- Silver Lake (Lake County) – 91.7 FM
- Valley Falls (Lake County) – 91.1 FM
Translators upgrading to full-power stations:
- Barry Serafin – Early OPB news reporter
- High-Five Challenge – A high school quizbowl competition in Oregon and Washington
- Soccer Made in Germany – 1980s highlights of West German soccer games, distributed nationwide by OPB
- KOAC timeline Archived 2008-09-06 at the Wayback Machine from the Oregon State University website
- Kristi Turnquist (March 31, 2010). “Oregon Public Broadcasting wins Peabody Award”. The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- ““Our Hidden Enemy—Venereal Disease” for Outstanding Public Service by a Local Station”. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- “History of Oregon Public Broadcasting”. OPB. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- “Don’t reduce funding for public broadcasting”. The [Bend] Bulletin. April 10, 2007. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Ros Atkins (4 June 2010). “Farewell to OPB”. World Have Your Say blog. BBC. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Kristi Turnquist (December 11, 2007). “OPBmusic launches”. The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Selects Initiative Manager for American Archive Project”. Corporation for Public Broadcasting. March 26, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- 69th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2010.
- “2014 – 51st Annual Emmy® Recipients”. OPB. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- “Oregon Public Broadcasting Launches Its First Digital Multicast Channel”. OPB. January 31, 2006. Retrieved 2013-02-25.[permanent dead link]
- “OPB to Launch New Digital Television Channel Lineup”. OPB. December 5, 2008. Retrieved 2013-02-25.[permanent dead link]
- “Channels”. OPB. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOAC
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOPB
- RabbitEars TV Query for KEPB
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOAB
- RabbitEars TV Query for KTVR
- Portland TV stations backtrack, delay digital transition, a February 6, 2009 article from The Oregonian
- “DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- “How To Listen”. OPB. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- “About KMHD”. OPB. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- Official website
- The Remembered Years – KOAC history
- BIAfn’s Media Web Database — Information on KOPB-TV
- BIAfn’s Media Web Database — Information on KOAC-TV
- BIAfn’s Media Web Database — Information on KEPB-TV
- BIAfn’s Media Web Database — Information on KOAB-TV
- BIAfn’s Media Web Database — Information on KTVR-TV