KPTV is the Fox-affiliated television station serving the Portland, Oregon market, which includes most of the state of Oregon and portions of Southwest Washington. KPTV is owned by the Meredith Corporation in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate KPDX (channel 49), with its studios located in Beaverton and transmitter in Portland. However, the master controls for KPTV and KPDX have been located at Meredith's west coast hub facility at KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Arizona since May 2010. The station broadcasts its digital signal on VHF channel 12.
KPTV is a news-intensive Fox affiliate with over 50 hours a week of locally-produced newscasts, as well as first-run prime time, late night and sports programming from Fox. The station also airs off-network sitcoms, talk shows, reality shows and court shows.
KPTV signed on the air September 20, 1952 on channel 27, as Oregon's first television station, as well as the world's first commercial TV station on the UHF band. (The first experimental UHF station was Bridgeport, Connecticut's KC2XAK on channel 24).
Originally, KPTV was owned by Empire Coil. As Portland's only TV station at the time, it carried programming from all four networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, and the now-defunct DuMont Television Network. CBS programming disappeared from KPTV's schedule when Portland's first VHF station, KOIN (channel 6), signed on the air on October 15, 1953. KPTV then became a primary NBC affiliate, and also continued to air some ABC and Dumont programming.
KPTV also aired programs from the short-lived Paramount Television Network; in fact, it was one of that network's strongest affiliates, carrying Paramount programs such as Time For Beany, Hollywood Wrestling, and Bandstand Revue. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.
Future Oregon governor Tom McCall, a longtime journalist before entering politics, joined KPTV in 1955 as a newscaster and political commentator. McCall left KPTV in late 1956 for KGW-TV, where he was a member of the original news team for seven years before leaving to run for Oregon's secretary of state.
Portland's channel 12 was first occupied by KLOR-TV, which signed on March 8, 1955 as an ABC primary affiliate with a secondary DuMont affiliation. However, KLOR's network affiliations were short-lived. In 1956 DuMont ceased network operations, and KLOR lost the ABC affiliation to KGW-TV (channel 8) when that station signed on the air in December.
On April 17, 1957, KPTV and KLOR came under common ownership when Detroit business owner George Haggerty purchased KPTV from Storer and KLOR from its local owners. Both stations signed off the air April 30, and merged under KPTV's license and call letters on the following day, using KLOR's channel 12 assignment. Channel 27 was later used by independent station KHTV, which was on the air for less than four months in 1959. More recently, the channel 27 frequency was used by the digital signal of PBS member station KOPB-TV, which returned to its original channel 10 assignment following the analog shutdown.
On April 17, 1959, KPTV swapped affiliations with KGW and became an ABC affiliate. Later that year, KPTV was sold to the NAFI Corporation, which then purchased Chris-Craft in early 1960. The merged companies became known as Chris-Craft Industries.
KPTV can boast being the home of the two top children's TV hosts in Portland's history: Rusty Nails, a sweet-natured clown who was the rough inspiration for "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening's "Krusty the Klown;" and "Ramblin' Rod" Anders. While Rusty Nails ran Three Stooges shorts, Ramblin' Rod ran Popeye cartoons. "Ramblin' Rod" was the longest-running kid's show in Portland TV history, airing from 1964 to 1997.
Other KPTV children's hosts included longtime KPTV personality Gene Brendler who played two characters, first "Bent Nails" (Rusty's "brother"), and later "Dr. Zoom." Bob Adkins, better known as "Addie Bobkins," brought his show to KPTV from Eugene's KVAL-TV in 1961. "Addie Bobkins" featured a wise-cracking beatnik hand puppet named "Weird Beard." Both Brendler and Adkins ran a variety of cartoons to entertain the kids.
On March 1, 1964, KPTV lost its ABC affiliation to previously independent KATU (channel 2), which had debuted in March 1962. KPTV sued ABC and KATU owner Fisher Broadcasting for breach of contract. The proceeds from the settlement went to rebuild KPTV into a color-capable station, and to purchase a color mobile unit. KPTV soon became known as one of the top independent TV stations in the western United States.
In 1967, Portland Wrestling returned to KPTV after a 12-year absence. Frank Bonnema, news reporter and afternoon movie host, served as the voice of Portland Wrestling until shortly before his death on October 5, 1982. KPTV had originated telecasts of professional wrestling in 1953, with commentator Bob Abernathy, but lost the franchise to rival KOIN two years later. KPTV regained the franchise in 1967, and aired wrestling until December 1991. Later wrestling commentators were KISN radio DJ Don Coss and former wrestlers Dutch Savage and Stan Stasiak. Portland Wrestling's chief promoters were Don Owen, and later, former wrestler-referee Sandy Barr. Primary long-time sponsors for the show were Chevrolet dealers Ron Tonkin of Portland and Friendly of Lake Oswego, and the celebrated ever-smiling furniture dealer Tom Peterson. Peterson was also the top sponsor for KPTV's late night movies.
The station's long-running news program, The 10 O'Clock News, first aired in 1970. Also that year, KPTV became the first local station to broadcast Portland Trail Blazers basketball games. Sports Director Jimmy Jones was the Blazers' first TV play-by-play announcer. KPTV aired Blazers games until the end of the 1977-78 season.
KPTV's studios and offices near the Sunset HighwayKPTV was one of the Fox network's original charter affiliates in 1986. However, the station disaffiliated from the network in 1988 and reverted to independent status. The Fox affiliation shifted to KPDX, which first took the air in 1983.
In 1993, BHC aligned its unaffiliated stations with the Prime Time Entertainment Network. In 1995, KPTV became a United Paramount Network (UPN) owned and operated station, the first such station in the market, under United/Chris Craft's stake. Chris-Craft sold most of its television holdings, including KPTV, to News Corporation in 2000. The sale closed on July 31, 2001. Instead of keeping KPTV, News Corp. decided to trade it to Meredith in exchange for two Florida stations, a deal which was finalized on June 17, 2002. This move gave Meredith, which already owned KPDX, the first "duopoly" operation in the Portland market.
Meredith decided to move the Fox affiliation to the higher-rated KPTV, and the affiliation switch occurred on September 2, 2002, with KPTV rejoining Fox while KPDX joined UPN. KPTV left its studio in East Portland for KPDX's facility in suburban Beaverton. KPTV also absorbed KPDX's news department, resulting in the cancellation of KPDX's 10 p.m. newscast. KPDX now airs a KPTV-produced newscast at 8 p.m.
After the June 12, 2009 analog television shutdown, KPTV moved its digital signal to channel 12. On that date, KPTV turned off its analog transmitter. When KPTV switched away from its temporary DTV transmitter (on channel 30), sister station KPDX immediately switched its signal to that transmitter. Viewers watching KPTV in DTV saw a cut from the opening of that day's episode of The 700 Club to the cold open of an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. (KPDX turned off its analog transmitter at 9:30 a.m.)
- Empire Coil (1952–1954)
- Storer Broadcasting (1954–1957)
- George Haggerty (1957–1959)
- NAFI Corporation (1959–1960)
- Chris-Craft Television (1960–2001)
- News Corporation (2001–2002)
- Meredith Corporation (2002–present)
KPTV clears the entire Fox network schedule (nightly primetime, Saturday late night, and Fox Sports programming, and the political talk show Fox News Sunday; except for Fox's Saturday morning infomerical block, Weekend Marketplace, which airs on KPDX). Much like the stations that were affected by the Fox/New World affiliation switches of 1994, KPTV chose not to air Fox's children's programming (4Kids TV; formerly Fox Kids) after the 2002 affiliation switch to Fox; the lineup remained on KPDX until 4Kids TV was discontinued by Fox in December 2008.
The institution of Perry Mason at noon
In 1966, KPTV began airing reruns of the TV series Perry Mason on weekday evenings. In 1970, KPTV shifted Perry Mason to a new time, weekdays at noon. With the exception of a ten-month shift to 12:30 p.m. in 1974-75, KPTV has aired Perry Mason in the same time slot ever since. Audience research indicates that one out of every 11 people watching TV in the Portland market at noon on weekdays is watching Perry Mason. When Meredith Broadcasting named Patrick McCreery as KPTV's new general manager in 2008, they told him that he could make any other change to the local programming schedule that he wished, but that he could not cancel Perry Mason, nor could he move it from its weekday noon time slot.
Current syndicated programming includes The Martha Stewart Show, The Bonnie Hunt Show, The Doctors, Scrubs, The Insider, Judge Judy, Access Hollywood and TMZ on TV, with Boston Legal and Desperate Housewives airing on weekends.
KPTV broadcasts a total of 50 hours of local news a week (8½ hours on weekdays, and five hours each on Saturdays and Sundays), more than any other television station in the state of Oregon (however as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, KPTV's Saturday and Sunday 5 p.m. newscasts are subject to preemption or delay due to sports coverage from Fox); in addition the station produces a half-hour sports wrap-up show called Oregon Sports Final on Sundays at 11 p.m., and KPTV produces an additional 10 hours of local news for sister station KPDX; KPTV is one of the few Fox affiliates to produce a newscast for another television station in the same market.
Throughout its entire history, as a network affiliate and as an independent station, KPTV has always operated a local news department. The station's long-running primetime newscast, The 10 O'Clock News, first aired in 1970. KPTV was also one of the first television stations in the country to run a mid-afternoon newscast, with a 3 p.m. bulletin airing from 1974 to 1978. Since then (especially after switching to Fox), KPTV has begun to go head-to-head with competitors KGW, KATU and KOIN by taking on a more news-intensive format, which took years to take effect.
The station launched its morning program, Good Day Oregon, in 1996 as a three-hour broadcast. The program has since been extended, and currently runs from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m., KPTV was one of a growing number stations in the country with a morning newscast beginning before 5 a.m. until April 19, 2010, when the 4:30-5 a.m. portion of Good Day Oregon was cut. KPTV is also one of the few local stations and one of a handful of Fox stations to offer a three-hour newscast on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
In 2007, KPTV became the second Portland television station to broadcast its newscasts in widescreen. A year later on March 4, 2008, it expanded its newscast schedule to include a weekday 4 p.m. newscast, as well as a weekday 8 p.m. newscast on KPDX, with MyNetworkTV programming on KPDX airing from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. as a result. On June 5, 2007, KPTV became the second Portland TV station to broadcast its daily newscasts in 16:9 widescreen. The station expanded its 5 p.m. newscast (which had been airing only on Sundays, except when Fox sports programming was scheduled to preempt it) to seven nights a week, now airing on weeknights after its existing 4 p.m. program on September 8, 2008. On April 19, 2010 KPTV began producing a fifth hour of Good Day Oregon for KPDX called More Good Day Oregon, running from 9-10 a.m. and debuted a half-hour 11 a.m. newscast on KPTV called Mid-Day Oregon.
Notable former staff
- Ken Ackerman - sports/feature reporter (-1996); Good Day Oregon co-host (1996-2002)
- David Apple (deceased) - 10 p.m. meteorologist (1992-1998)
- Tim Becker - sports anchor (1996-2006)
- Adam Bjaranson - sports anchor/reporter (2001-2007)
- Mindy Burbano - morning entertainment reporter
- Robin Burke - reporter/fill-in anchor; Good Day Lifestyles co-host (2002-2003)
- Chad Carter - anchor/reporter (2005-2010)
- Phil Cassidy (deceased) - sports anchor/reporter (-1996); Good Day Oregon feature reporter (1996-2002)
- Dan Christopherson - sports anchor/reporter (-2002)
- Kevin Coari - anchor/reporter (2003-2010)
- Kelley Day - anchor/reporter (2002-2004)
- Ryan Deal - reporter (-2002)
- Jim Donovan - 10 p.m. weather anchor (-1992)
- Amy Freeze - morning entertainment reporter
- Monica Guza - weather anchor/reporter (-2002)
- Cindy Hamill - reporter
- Gary Hill - 10 p.m. news anchor
- Rod Hill - 10 p.m. meteorologist (1998-2003)
- Ken Hoyt - Good Day Lifestyles co-host (2002-2003)
- Drew Jackson - meteorologist (2004-2010); Good Day Lifestyles co-host (2004-2005)
- Hilary Hutcheson - anchor/reporter (2002-2007)
- Anna Katayama - anchor/reporter (1996-2002)
- Jamie Kern - anchor/reporter
- Pat Kirk - 10 p.m. news anchor (1993-1996)
- Theresa Luce - reporter/fill-in anchor
- Kurt Ludlow - 10 p.m. news anchor (1999-2002)
- Jim Marr - anchor/reporter
- Chris Murphy - anchor/reporter (1999-2002; 2009-2010)
- Mike O'Brien - sports anchor (-1996)
- Stephanie Ortmann - meteorologist/reporter (2008-2009)
- Kristi Powers - meteorologist/reporter (2003-2004); Good Day Lifestyles co-host (2003-2004)
- Barbara Roberts - reporter
- Roxanne Rodriguez - reporter
- Jessica Silva - reporter
- Kim Singer - 10 p.m. news anchor (-2000); Good Day Lifestyles co-host (2002-2005); Better TV correspondent (2006-2009)
- Kathy Smith - Good Day Oregon news anchor (1996-2001)
- George Stephan - meteorologist
- Laura Stephenson - Good Day Oregon co-host (1996-1998)
- Dave Thompson - anchor/reporter (-1999)
- Kerry Tomlinson - investigative reporter (-2009)
- Janice Waibel (deceased) - reporter/fill-in anchor
- Rebecca Wu - reporter/fill-in anchor (-2002)
- Lars Larson - 10 p.m. news anchor/reporter (-1999); Northwest Reports host/producer
- Tom McCall - political commentator (and former Oregon governor)
KPTV, like all other Portland stations, has low-power repeater stations throughout Oregon and Washington. Some of the repeaters are owned by KPTV, while others are owned by local translator districts.
Part of the Eugene Market:
- Lars Larson - Former KPTV news report/anchor and host of Northwest Reports.
- Portland Wrestling - A weekly sports program seen on KPTV for many decades.
- Prime Time Entertainment Network - Chris-Craft stations carried PTEN programing from 1993–1995
- Ramblin' Rod Anders - Children's programing.
- Rusty Nails - Children's programing.
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- ^ a b "TV Film Purchases". Billboard: 16. October 18, 1952.
- ^ "The Nation's Top Television Programs". Billboard: 10. July 30, 1955.
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- ^ a b "BHC Communications, Inc. Companies History". Company Histories. Funding Universe. 1997. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/BHC-Communications-Inc-Company-History.html. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- ^ Susan, King (January 23, 1994). "Space, 2258, in the Year 1994". Los Angeles Times. pp. 4. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-01-23/news/tv-14354_1. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- ^ Whiteside, Lee (1995-04-06). "B5: Babylon 5 TV Station List/Times updated!". rec.arts.sf.tv. Google Groups. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.tv/browse_thread/thread/98843822ed20a79c/5dbb63b15ca806e7?lnk=st&q=%22Prime+Time+Entertainment+Network%22+%22station+list%22+95&rnum=1. Retrieved 2006-11-27.
- ^ http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/portland_tv_stations_backtrack.html
- ^ CDBS Print
- ^ Tom Hallman Jr., "Like rain or the MAX, 'Perry Mason' a part of Portland", The Oregonian, February 28, 2009
- ^ KPTV Timeline
- ^ http://oregonmediacentral.com/2010/03/i-said-good-day-kptvkpdx-expands-morning-broadcasts