KPDX, virtual channel 49 (UHF digital channel 30), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station serving Portland, Oregon, United States that is licensed to Vancouver, Washington. As such, it is the only major commercial station in Portland that is licensed to the Washington side of the market.
The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation, as part of a duopoly with Portland-licensed Fox affiliate KPTV (channel 12). The two stations share studios on NW Greenbrier Parkway in Beaverton and transmitter facilities in the Sylvan-Highlands section of Portland. Master control operations for both KPDX and KPTV are based at Meredith's West Coast hub facility at the studios of Phoenix, Arizona sister station KPHO-TV.
The station is available on channel 13 on Comcast Xfinity and other local cable television providers in the market. KPDX's signal is relayed in Central Oregon through translator station KUBN-LD (channel 43) in Bend, making the station available in about two-thirds of the state.
Since February 2018, KPDX has been branded as Fox 12 Plus, an extension of the branding used by KPTV.
As an independent station
The station first signed on the air on October 9, 1983, as a general entertainment independent station; the station's format consisted of cartoons, sitcoms, classic movies, drama series and religious programs. The station was originally owned by locally-based Columbia River Television, and first operated from studio facilities located in Vancouver. It was originally licensed under the call letters KLRK, for C(K)lark County, Washington (sic) (which is turn is named after William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame), where Vancouver is located, but the station changed to the present KPDX callsign prior to the station's launch.
Portland had been big enough since at least the 1960s to support a second independent station alongside long-established KPTV. However, the Portland market is a very large one geographically; it stretches across a large swath of Oregon as well as much of southwestern Washington. The established stations needed an extensive translator network to reach the entire market, an expense which stymied the first attempt at a second independent in the market, Salem-based KVDO-TV (now Bend Oregon Public Broadcasting outlet KOAB-TV). By the early 1980s, however, cable and satellite—which are all but essential for acceptable television in the rural portions of the market—had gained enough penetration for a second independent to be viable.
Although it was well behind KPTV, one of the strongest independent stations in the country, KPDX more than held its own in its early years and received decent ratings.
As a Fox affiliate
By 1988, KPTV was one of several Fox affiliates across the country that were disappointed with the network's weak programming offerings. KPTV subsequently disaffiliated from the network that year and reverted to being an independent station. KPDX assumed the market's Fox affiliation on August 29, 1988. However, until 1993, the station was a de facto independent station because Fox would have only select days of primetime programming at that time (it would finally have programming on all seven days a week in 1993). The station relocated its studios to a new building located on NE Union Avenue (now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) in Portland by 1989, by which point they had rebranded themselves as 'Fox 49'. Columbia River Television sold the station to Cannell Communications, a broadcast group owned by television producer and author Stephen J. Cannell in 1992. Cannell sold both KPDX and sister station WHNS in Greenville, South Carolina to First Media Television in 1994. The station began to add more talk and children's programs in the 1990s. KPDX and WHNS were acquired by Meredith Corporation in 1997. It gradually drew closer to KPTV as Fox came into its own as a network.
As a UPN affiliate
Meredith acquired KPTV, by then a UPN affiliate, in 2002 following a station swap with Fox Television Stations—which had acquired the station as part of Chris-Craft/United Television's sale of its stations to Fox—in exchange for WOFL in Orlando, Florida (and its semi-satellite WOGX in Ocala). The KPTV purchase resulted in the creation of the first television station duopoly in the Portland market with KPDX. Since KPTV was still well ahead of KPDX in the ratings, Meredith opted to move the Fox affiliation back to KPTV on September 2, 2002. KPDX took the UPN affiliation from KPTV. However, Fox's Saturday morning children's program lineup remained on KPDX, where it continued to air under the brand 4Kids TV until Fox discontinued children's programming on December 27, 2008. Meredith took advantage of the KPTV acquisition by moving the latter station from its older downtown studios and into the new modern facility built for KPDX in Beaverton.
As a MyNetworkTV affiliate
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create The CW, a new "fifth" network that would combine programming from both The WB and UPN. The market's WB station, KWBP (channel 32, now KRCW-TV), was named as The CW's Portland affiliate through a 16-station group agreement with KWBP's owner, the Tribune Company. One month later on February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced the launch of a new "sixth" network called MyNetworkTV, which would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. On March 9, 2006, it was announced that KPDX would become a charter affiliate of the new network.
KPDX dropped the UPN branding on April 1, 2006, rebranding from "UPN 49" to "PDX 49", and adopted a new logo in the process. This change of branding had been planned before UPN's shutdown was announced, but the timing of the change was convenient for the upcoming affiliation switch. KPDX's move mirrored those implemented at future MyNetworkTV stations WDCA in Washington, D.C. (which branded as "DCA 20") and KUTP in Phoenix (which branded as "PHX 45"), which began using the station's last three letters in their callsigns as its station branding. KPDX is one of nine MyNetworkTV affiliates not to adopt the network's "blue TV" logo and/or branding style (the others being KTRV, KCWX, KAUT-TV (now a present-day former fellow affiliate since KAUT reverted to independent status), KARZ-TV, WSTR-TV, sister station KSMO-TV, WPME-TV, and Madison, Wisconsin's digital subchannel of WISC-TV).
On September 8, 2008, KPDX moved MyNetworkTV programming from 8–10 p.m. to 9–11 p.m., making it one of five MyNetworkTV stations at the time that did not air the network's programming in its normal 8–10 p.m. timeslot (KEVU-LP in Eugene, KRON-TV in San Francisco, KQCA in Sacramento—which has since moved MyNetworkTV programming back to its normal 8–10 p.m. timeslot—and KMYQ (now KZJO) in Seattle were the others). Concurrent with the schedule change and in anticipation of the station's 25th anniversary, KPDX's on-air brand was modified from "PDX 49" to "PDX TV".
On September 8, 2015, Media General announced that it would acquire Meredith for $2.4 billion, with the combined group to be renamed Meredith Media General once the sale was finalized by June 2016. Because Media General already owns CBS affiliate KOIN (channel 6) and Meredith owns KPTV and KPDX, the companies would have been be required to sell either KPTV or KOIN to comply with FCC ownership rules that forbid common ownership of two of the four highest-rated television stations in a given market in total day viewership, as well as recent changes to FCC ownership rules that restrict sharing agreements; KPDX was the only one of the three stations affected by the merger that could legally be acquired by Meredith Media General, as its total day viewership ranks below the top-four ratings threshold. However, on January 27, 2016, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Media General, resulting in the termination of Meredith's acquisition by Media General.
On February 12, 2018, KPDX branding was changed from PDX-TV to "Fox 12 Plus", as an extension of KPTV's "Fox 12 Oregon" branding.
|TV stations in Washington|
KPDX, Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR
|TV stations in Oregon|
|KPDX, Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR|
|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)