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, 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 KLCC radio, Jefferson Public Radio, and Southern Oregon PBS.
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.
In 2010, OPB won a 2009 Peabody Award for a radio series called Hard Times, which followed a group of Oregonians through the recession year of 2009.
On June 7, 2014, the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held their 51st Regional Emmy Awards: OPB and its staff won 10 Emmys:
- 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)
Full Power StationsEdit
|Call signs||Location||CH||First Air Date|
|KOPB||Portland, OR||10||February 6, 1961|
|KOAC||Corvallis, OR||7||October 7, 1957|
|KTVR||La Grande, OR||13||December 6, 1964|
|KOAB||Bend, OR||3||February 24, 1970|
|KEPB||Eugene, OR||28||September 27, 1990|
|TV stations in Oregon|
|KOPB, Portland||KSYS/KFTS, Medford/Klamath Falls|
|KTVR, La Grande|
|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)
|TV stations in Western Oregon, including Eugene|
| KPIC 4 (CBS) |
KOAC 7 (PBS)
KEZI 9 (ABC)
KCBY 11 (CBS)
KVAL 13 (CBS)
KORY-CD 15 (Youtoo)
KMTR 16 (NBC)
KMCB 23 (NBC)
KEVU-CD 23 (MNTV)
KEPB 28 (PBS)
KLSR 34 (Fox)
KTVC 36 (3ABN)
KHWB-LD 38 (HWB)
KTCW 46 (NBC)
|TV stations in Central Washington and Northeastern Oregon, including Yakima|
| KUNW-CD 2 (UNI) |
KNEE-LD 10 (Ind)
KFFX 11 (Fox)
KTVR 13 (PBS)
KEPR 19 (CBS)
K21JQ-D 21 (Esperanza)
K22LU-D 22 (3ABN)
KNDO 23 (NBC)
K25FP-D 25 (3ABN)
KNDU 25 (NBC)
KIMA 29 (CBS)
KTNW 31 (PBS)
KYPK-LD 32 (AZA)
K33EJ-D 33 (3ABN)
KAPP 35 (ABC)
KWYT-LD 36 (ESTRELLA)
KCYU-LD 41 (Fox)
KVEW 42 (ABC)
KDHW-CD 45 (TBN)
KWWO-LP 47 (TBN)
KWCC-LD 47 (Ind)
KYVE 47 (PBS)
KRLB-LD 49 (TBN)
|TV stations in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties of Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Madras and Culver|
| KOAB 3 (PBS) |
KBNZ-LD 7 (CBS)
KQRE-LP 20 (TLM)
KTVZ 21 (NBC)
KFXO-CD 39 (Fox)
KUBN-LD 49 (MNTV)
KOHD 51 (ABC)