|City of license||Medford, Oregon|
|Channels||Digital: 5 (VHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||NBC (primary 1983-present; secondary 1953-1961)|
|Owner||California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc. (Smullin family)|
|First air date||August 1, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||K(C)alifornia
|Former callsigns||KBES-TV (1953-1962)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
5 (VHF, 1953-2009)
Digital: 15 (UHF)
|Transmitter power||6.35 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KOBI is a local NBC affiliate based in Medford, Oregon. It is owned by Patricia Smullin. The company, California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc., is the longest continuously independent broadcast group in the West and one of the three oldest in the country.
The station also operates a satellite station in Klamath Falls, KOTI on channel 2, as well as a large network of translators. Together, the two stations serve 12 mostly rural counties in southern Oregon and northern California.
The station's vice president and general manager is Robert Wise, who served as general manager of KOBI's former sister station KRCR-TV in Redding, California, from 1995 to 2005. The studios, located near 9th and Fir Streets in downtown Medford, cover an entire city block.
- 1 History
- 2 News
- 3 News/Station presentation
- 4 Jackpot Bingo
- 5 Academic Challenge quiz bowl
- 6 Southern Oregon Meth Project
- 7 Digital television
- 8 Translators
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
It was founded on August 1, 1953 by Bill Smullin, a 20-year veteran of the television industry. The station's call letters were originally KBES-TV (BESt TV), and it carried programming from all four major networks. However, for its first 25 years, it was a primary CBS affiliate. It was the second television station in Oregon, following KPTV in Portland by eleven months, and the first on the VHF band.
Smullin soon realized that KBES' signal was not strong enough to cover all of southern Oregon, which the FCC had ruled was part of the Medford market. Fortunately, he was able to buy the license for channel 2 in Klamath Falls, and KOTI debuted on August 12, 1956.
In 1962, Smullin changed the call letters to KTVM. When channel 10 was allocated to Medford, Smullin helped the owners of KMED-AM get the license, as well as space on his transmitter on Blackwell Hill. Partly because of his help, KMED-TV (now KTVL) signed on in 1961. In 1968, KTVM moved to a powerful transmitter on King Mountain and changed its calls to the current KOBI.
By 1978, KOBI had become a primary ABC affiliate, which by then had become the top network. However, they continued to carry some CBS programs (such as the CBS Evening News and several daytime shows). In 1983, KOBI picked up NBC from KTVL, which switched to CBS. It carried a few ABC programs for another year until KDRV signed on.
For many years, KOBI branded itself as "Channel 5M," with a logo showing a "5" on an interstate highway sign, reflecting the interstate that goes through the Medford area, Interstate 5. The interstate sign motif was later extended to KOTI and KRCR. KOBI rebranded itself as "The News Channel" in 1998 and as "NBC 5" in 2004, but the highway sign remains today.
The station has a UHF translator, K32DY-CD, to serve non-antenna-rotator-equipped households between Medford and Ashland. It is located on Mt. Baldy, east of Phoenix.
KOBI has brought many firsts to Southern Oregon and Northern California. It was the first station in Medford to offer local color programming, the first station to operate in stereo, the first Medford station to employ electronic news gathering technology, and was the first Medford station with statewide microwave news coverage.
Bill Smullin retired in 1985 and was succeeded by his daughter, Patricia C. "Patsy" Smullin, who serves as owner and president today.
Bill Smullin, who died in 1995, is best known for a mission statement he shared during a rare television interview in 1983 as the company and the station celebrated their 30th anniversary: "Maintenance-free television is so vitally important to the American people. It's vitally important for the simple reason that communications with the people helps preserve our national institutions and including the freedom which we enjoy under the United States of America flag."
This statement was replayed on Eyewitness News in August 2003 in celebration of the station's 50th anniversary.
KOBI is the home for NBC 5 News at Sunrise anchored by Travis Koch, Jennifer Elliott, and weather from meteorologist Jeff Heaton. The 5 p.m. newscast is anchored by Christine Pitawanich and the Five On Five segment is hosted by Craig Smullin. The 6:00pm and 11:00pm newscasts are anchored by Craig Smullin, Natalie Hurd, and weather from Adam Colpack.
Lyle Ahrens serves as the markets only Klamath Basin bureau chief at KOTI-TV 2. In 2006, Fox affiliate KMVU began broadcasting a half-hour newscast, "First at Ten," anchored by Audrey Kuchen (now anchored by Shari Small) with weather from Adam Colpack and produced by KOBI. On January 10, 2011, a 7am news program called FOX 26 Morning News Live at Seven anchored by Anne McCloy, Austin Reed and Cameron Loughlin debuted (now anchored by Travis Koch, Jennifer Elliott and Jeff Heaton).
KOBI (as well as competitor KTVL) does not currently have a local sportscast.
- Craig Smullin - 6 PM Anchor & News Director
- Natalie Hurd - 6 & 11 PM Anchor
- Christine Pitawanich - 5PM Anchor & Reporter
- Travis Koch - Morning Anchor/Midday Reporter (and on, FOX 26 Morning News Live at Seven)
- Jennifer Elliott - Morning Anchor/Midday Reporter (and on, FOX 26 Morning News Live at Seven)
- Kyle Aevermann - Weekend Anchor/Weekday Reporter
- Adam Colpack- Weeknights 5, 6, 10 (on FOX 26), and 11PM
- Jeff Heaton - Weekday Mornings (and on FOX 26 Morning News Live at Seven)
- Matt Jordan - Weekends (Weekday Reporter)
- Joe Camarlinghi - Features
- Kassi Nelson - General Assignment
- Roma Villavicencio - General Assignment
- Dr. Robin Miller - Medical
- Lyle Ahrens - Klamath Basin bureau chief
Notable former on-air staff
- Christina Anderson - News Anchor/Reporter; now at KOVR-TV CBS 13 & KMAX-TV CW 31 in Sacramento.
- Mindi Bach - Reporter; now Sports Anchor/Reporter for CSN Bay Area.
- Nate Bynum - Anchor/Reporter; now Sports Reporter at KATU-TV in Portland,OR.
- Laura Cavanaugh - Anchor/Reporter; now Reporter/Fill-In Anchor at XETV in San Diego, CA.
- Tom Carnes - Host of Jackpot Bingo; now account executive at KMVU FOX 26 in Medford.
- Carlo Cecchetto - Weekend Anchor/Reporter; now Anchor at KFMB-TV in San Diego, CA.
- RaeAnn Christensen - Anchor/Reporter/Weather; now weekend anchor at KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo, CA.
- Chris Corcoran - News Anchor; now a councilman on the Medford City Council.
- Chris Egan - Sports Anchor; now Sports Reporter for KING-TV in Seattle, WA
- Steve Fetveit - Now Anchor at KECI-TV in Missoula, MT.
- Kristine Harrington - Anchor/Reporter; now spokesperson Scottsdale Unified School District.
- Andrew Hasbun - Morning Anchor/Reporter; now reporter at KSAZ-TV in Phoenix.
- Sally Holliday - Hostess of Jackpot Bingo
- Leon Hunsaker - Meteorologist; later with KTVL Channel 10 and KDOV-FM 91.7 Radio, aka theDove.
- Graham Johnson - Anchor/Reporter; now reporter at KIRO-TV in Seattle, WA.
- Dan Joseph - Anchor
- Audrey Kuchen - News Anchor; now with FOX Connecticut.
- Hillary Lake - Anchor/Reporter; now Reporter at KATU-TV in Portland.
- Cameron Loughlin - Morning Meteorologist.
- Jordan Mason - Sports Anchor/Reporter; now at KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs.
- Jacqueline Mazur - Weekend Anchor/Reporter; now Anchor/Reporter at KSBW-TV.
- Anne McCloy - News Anchor/Reporter; now a morning reporter for WSMV-TV in Nashville.
- John Mercer - News Anchor; now primary anchor at WDEF-TV in Chattanooga, TN.
- Larry Miller - Anchor/Reporter; now a reporter at WBMA-LD ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Courtney Olish - Morning Anchor/Reporter; now weather forecaster at KPAX-TV in Missoula, MT.
- Dan Pope - Meteorologist; now at KTVX-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Heather Redal - Anchor/Reporter; now Anchor in Pierce County, Washington.
- Austin Reed - News Anchor/Executive Producer; now serves as Anchor/Reporter at WENY-TV in Elmira, NY.
- Josh Schwartzkopf - Anchor/Reporter/Producer; now Assignment Editor at KMIT-TV in Mason City, Iowa
- Dan Spindle - Weekend Anchor/Reporter; now morning anchor at KNXV-TV in Phoenix.
- Victoria Warren - Morning Anchor; now reporter at WHDH-TV in Boston, MA.
- Collette Wieland - Reporter; now reporter at KGW in Portland.
- Gayle Wilson - News Anchor/Reporter
- I-Five News (1970s?)
- Eyewitness News (1970s-1998)
- The News Channel (1998–2005)
- NBC 5 News (2005–present)
- Your Place (current slogan)
- Working for you (2008-2010)
- Local News Comes First (1998-2008)
- We're locally owned (1960s-?)
During the 1980s, KOBI broadcast a popular interactive game show called Jackpot Bingo, hosted by Tom Carnes. The show aired before Days of our Lives. Jackpot Bingo gave contestants the opportunity to win up to $5,000 in cash by playing blackout bingo. However, contestants usually won the minimum $200 prize. Carnes was replaced by Sally Holliday in 1987 and the show was renamed $10,000 Jackpot Bingo as the prize money doubled. Still, contestants usually won $200. The show garnered the highest ratings for its time slot, although it was cancelled in 1988.
Jackpot Bingo takes after the popular Dialing for Dollars format.
Academic Challenge quiz bowl
This exciting competition, similar to GE College Bowl, places local high schools in a head to head battle for the championship title and over $40,000 in scholarship money.
Twenty high schools from all over Southern Oregon are participating in the NBC Academic Challenge. Each school brings in a team of five students, four participating and one alternate, who answer a series of questions from the host, NBC 5 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Heaton, on topics such as history, math, literature, current events and a variety of other categories.
At the end of this double-elimination competition the final two teams will split the scholarship money, 60% to the championship team, 40% to the second place team.
The idea for Academic Challenge originally started at KRCR-TV in Redding in 1998 and was hosted by Gary Gunter from '98 to 2005, then Tim Mapes from then on. NBC 5's newly hired general manager Bob Wise brought the identically-formatted program to southern Oregon in 2005.
Southern Oregon Meth Project
In 2005, KOBI started a special program called the Southern Oregon Meth Project to educate viewers and concerned citizens about the dangers of methamphetamine and what can be done to prevent. The project was headed up by KOBI's lead news anchor Christina Anderson, where she remained until her departure for KOVR in Sacramento in 2010. Information can be found at www.somp.org.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|5.1||1080i||16:9||KOBI-HD||Main KOBI programming / NBC|
KOBI shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 15 to VHF channel 5 for post-transition operations.
KOBI is rebroadcast on the following network of translator stations. Some channels currently broadcasting, are not listed in the FCC database:
City Grade Translators:
- KOBI website
- ThisTV Southern Oregon website
- Western States Museum of Broadcasting: History of Television In Southern Oregon
- Bill Smullin: Southern Oregon TV's pioneer
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOBI
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOBI-TV
- William B. Smullin NAB Distinguished Service Award, YouTube.com
- YouTube: KOBI's First 50 Years - The 1980s
- Christina Anderson's KOVR profile page
- RabbitEars TV Query for KOBI
- http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090205/NEWS/902050325 Digital delay bill awaits Obama's signature; But most local network affiliates plan to make the switch on the initial February 17 date if possible, Greg Stiles, Mail Tribune, February 5, 2009
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print