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KOIN, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 25), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Portland, Oregon, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. KOIN's studios are located in the basement of the KOIN Center skyscraper on Southwest Columbia Street in downtown Portland, and its transmitter is located in the Sylvan-Highlands neighborhood of Portland.

History[]

Radio origins[]

KOIN's history traces back to a radio station at 970 AM that launched on November 9, 1925 as KQP; the station changed its call sign to KOIN on April 12, 1926. It became an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), now known as the CBS Radio Network, on September 1, 1929. During the golden years of radio, KOIN was one of Portland's major radio stations, with an extensive array of local programming, including live music from its own studio orchestra.

As a CBS radio affiliate, KOIN was the local home for CBS radio programs such as the CBS World News Roundup, Lux Radio Theater and Suspense. An FM station, KOIN-FM (at 101.1 Mc.), was launched in 1948. Both stations were owned by Field Enterprises, Inc. from 1947 until sold in 1952 to the Mount Hood Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation.

KOIN and KOIN-FM were sold on May 1, 1977 to the Gaylord Broadcasting Company, and effective May 12, 1977 their call signs changed to KYTE & KYTE-FM, respectively. Its affiliation with CBS ended, and the CBS Radio Network's programming in the Portland market moved to KYXI at that time. The stations using the former KOIN frequencies currently are KUFO (AM) and KXL-FM.

Television station[]

KOIN-TV began broadcasting on October 15, 1953, as Portland's first VHF television station. It took on an affiliation with the CBS Television Network, to match the radio station (channel 6 has always been a primary CBS affiliate). At the time, it was jointly owned by Mount Hood Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation; Newhouse Broadcasting Corporation (now Advance Publications), owner and publisher of The (Portland) Oregonian; local investors and Marshall Field's department stores. The station took its calls from KOIN radio (AM 970 and 101.1 FM), which was a joint venture of Mount Hood Broadcasting and Newhouse. Eventually, Marshall Field sold its stake to Newhouse. Lee Enterprises purchased KOIN-TV in April 1977 from the Mount Hood-Newhouse group. KOIN's first color television broadcast was made on August 14, 1954, only three days after then-NBC-affiliate KPTV (channel 12) had made Portland's first such broadcast.

On February 27, 1971, both transmitter towers used by KOIN-FM and KOIN-TV—the 1,000-foot (300 m) main tower and the 700-foot (210 m) auxiliary tower—collapsed during an ice and wind storm. The two KOIN (AM) towers, located on the same property, were not damaged. Nine days later, on March 9, 1971, KOIN-FM and KOIN-TV returned to the air when a temporary tower was erected on the site of the collapsed auxiliary tower. During those nine days off the air, CBS programming was provided to the Portland market (and, by extension, most of Oregon) by independent station KVDO-TV in Salem (Oregon Public Broadcasting later purchased KVDO and moved the station to Bend as KOAB-TV). In 1978, a production company, MIRA Mobile Television, was founded.

During the 1970s, KOIN had a few locally produced programs on the air, including RFD 6, Hi! Neighbor, the cooking show KOIN Kitchen, and public affairs programs such as News Conference Six and Northwest Illustrated. In 1976, KOIN-TV became the second television station in the Portland market (after KPTV) to broadcast Portland Trail Blazers basketball games. Selected Trail Blazer games aired on KOIN-TV until 1996. KOIN was the first flagship station of the Trail Blazers' radio network, beginning in the inaugural 1970-71 season, and ending when the station was sold shortly before the Trail Blazers won the 1976-77 NBA championship, which was broadcast on KOIN-TV via CBS's coverage.

By the 1980s, one of KOIN's past general managers—Richard M. "Mick" Schafbuch—served one term in 1981 as President of the CBS Network Affiliates Group. In 1982, C. Stephen Currie, KOIN's program operations manager, was elected to serve as the president of the National Association of Television Program Executives.[10] During KOIN-TV's 30th anniversary week in 1983, the station aired classic CBS programming from the 1950s and 1960s. By this time, the station had moved into its new location at KOIN Center. In 1984, the station aired the Japanese program From Oregon With Love. The "-TV" suffix was dropped on August 31, 1992, fifteen years after KOIN radio was sold off.

In October 2000, the Lee Enterprises television group, including KOIN was purchased by Emmis Communications. On January 27, 2006, Emmis sold KOIN (along with KHON-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii, KSNT in Topeka, Kansas and KSNW in Wichita, Kansas) to Montecito Broadcast Group for $259 million.

Due to a dispute over fees, Comcast did not offer KOIN's high definition feed for over two years after it started offering other Portland area stations in HD. After Montecito took ownership, Comcast started carrying KOIN in high definition on February 28, 2006. KOIN was also in a dispute with DirecTV over transmission of its HD feed, as both sides claimed the other to be the problem. In August 2008, KOIN's HD feed began to be carried on DirecTV.

KOIN updated its website in September 2006 as part of a partnership with WorldNow. KOIN expected the switch to lead to over $1 million in revenue during its first year; it was characterized by KOIN general sales manager Bob Singer as a "creative new way" to boost revenue for a station with a "somewhat average ratings position."

On July 24, 2007, Montecito announced the sale of all of its stations (KOIN, plus KHON-TV and its satellites, KSNW and its satellites, and KSNT) to New Vision Television. The sale closed on November 1, 2007. In March 2008, KOIN relaunched its website through Newport Television subsidiary Inergize Digital, replacing the old WorldNow-powered site. The websites of several of its sister stations in other markets also switched to the Inergize platform in late December 2008 and early January 2009. In October 2008, KOIN converted its central Oregon translators into a locally focused semi-satellite, KBNZ, which was sold off in 2010.

On December 30, 2008, one of the 15 guy wires on the main transmitter tower snapped, putting the tower in danger of collapsing (as with the 1971 tower collapse, this incident followed a prolonged snow and ice storm). The Portland Police Bureau evacuated about 500 local residents and closed several roads around the tower, including a portion of Skyline Boulevard, the main north-south road through the West Hills of Portland. At first, officials feared that the wire itself—which is over 1,000 feet (300 m) long and weighs several tons—had snapped, which would have taken several weeks to manufacture and install a replacement. Upon inspection, it was revealed that one of the high frequency insulators incorporated into the guy wire assembly had shattered. Repair crews replaced the insulator by 4:00 p.m. the next day and the surrounding neighborhood was reopened to residents and car traffic. KOIN had to pay $1,500 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

On May 7, 2012, LIN Media announced that it would acquire KOIN and the other New Vision stations for $330.4 million and the assumption of $12 million in debt. The FCC approved the sale on October 2, and it was completed ten days later on October 12, 2012. The group deal reunited KOIN, KHON, KSNW and KSNT with several former Emmis-owned stations which had been purchased by LIN seven years earlier, such as KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico, WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama and WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin (KOIN, KRQE, KSNW, and KSNT had also been sister stations under Lee Enterprises).

On March 21, 2014, Media General announced that it would purchase LIN Media and its stations, including KOIN, in a $1.6 billion merger. The merger was completed on December 19. Less than a year later, on September 8, 2015, Media General announced that it would acquire the Meredith Corporation for $2.4 billion, with the combined group to be renamed Meredith Media General once the sale is finalized by June 2016. Because Meredith already owns Fox affiliate KPTV (channel 12), and the two stations rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Portland market in total day viewership, the companies would have been required to sell either KPTV or KOIN to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as recent changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations that restrict sharing agreements; KPTV's MyNetworkTV-affiliated sister station KPDX (channel 49) could have remained with either KPTV or KOIN or be spun off to the suitor as its total day viewership ranks below the top-four ratings threshold.

However, the proposed deal with Meredith would later fall through, and on January 27, 2016, it was announced that Nexstar Broadcasting Group would buy Media General for $4.6 billion. KOIN became part of "Nexstar Media Group" and is the company's first station in Oregon.

On December 3, 2018, Nexstar announced it would acquire the assets of Chicago-based Tribune Media—which has owned CW affiliate KRCW-TV (channel 32) since 2003—for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. Nexstar included the overlap between KOIN and KRCW-TV among the television stations in thirteen markets where the group may consider making divestitures to address national ownership cap issues related to the Tribune transaction and/or to comply with FCC local ownership rules preventing it from owning two or more stations in the same market. However, KRCW does not rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Portland market in total day viewership, and FCC regulations no longer preclude legal duopolies that would leave fewer than eight independently owned television stations in a single market (a KOIN/KRCW combination would leave only seven full-power commercial television stations with independent ownership remaining in the market, barring a second legal duopoly in the market under the previous "eight-voices test" rules repealed by the FCC in November 2017), hence there are no legal hurdles in place which would otherwise preclude a KOIN/KRCW duopoly.

Gallery[]

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TV stations in Oregon
KOIN, Portland

KVAL/KPIC/KCBY, Eugene/Roseburg/Coos Bay
KTVL, Medford
KBNZ-LD, Bend

TV stations in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington, including Portland, Salem and Vancouver
KATU 2 (ABC)
KOIN 6 (CBS)
KOAC 7 (PBS)
KGW 8 (NBC)
KOPB 10 (PBS)
KPTV 12 (Fox)
KTVR 13 (PBS)
KRHP-LD 14 (IBN)
KUNP 16 (UNI)
KORS-CD 16 (HSN)
KWVT-LD 17 (Youtoo)
KOXI-CD 20 (Youtoo)
KPXG 22 (Ion)
KNMT 24 (TBN)
KSLM-LD 27 (RTV)
KRCW 32 (CW)
KORK-CD 35 (Youtoo)
KEVE-LD 36 (3ABN)
KKEI-CD 38 (TLM)
KOXO-CD 41 (Youtoo)
KGWZ-LD 46 (Ind.)
KPDX 49 (MNTV)
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