Oregon Public Broadcasting

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Oregon Public Broadcasting
Opb logo.svg
Statewide Oregon
(except the MedfordKlamath Falls market; additional coverage in southern Washington)
United States
ChannelsDigital: See below
  • Radio:
  • Television:
OwnerOregon Public Broadcasting
First air date
  • Radio:
    January 23, 1923 (98 years ago) (1923-01-23)
  • Television:
    October 7, 1957 (63 years ago) (1957-10-07)
NET (1957–1970)
Call sign meaning
See below
Technical information
Facility IDSee below
ERPSee below
HAATSee below
Transmitter coordinatesSee below

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.


20th century[edit]

KOAC Radio building, circa 1941

OPB traces its roots to January 23, 1923, when KFDJ signed on from the Corvallis campus of Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). The radio station's call letters were changed to KOAC on December 11, 1925. In 1932, KOAC became a service of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education General Extension Division[1]

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.[2][3]

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.[1] In 1993, OPB severed its last direct ties to the state government and became a community-licensed organization supported by the state of Oregon.

University of Oregon (Eugene) studio, 1963
KOAC Eugene control room 1963

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 began broadcasting on 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, a commercial independent station licensed to Salem. Channel 3 struggled to compete with Portland's established independent, KPTV (channel 12), and in 1972, 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. During the sale, KATU (channel 2), Portland's ABC affiliate, objected over duplication of programming, and there were also objections to Liberty's common ownership of local cable systems and the television station. As a result, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowed Liberty to buy KVDO-TV on the condition that it sell the station within three years.

The state government approved the purchase of KVDO-TV in 1975, with OEPBS taking control of the station on February 19, 1976. Nine days later, on February 28, 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; from then until March 31, 1981, the station broadcast an alternate program lineup to KOAP-TV and KOAC-TV, featuring time-shifted OEPBS programs, shows for the Spanish-speaking population in the Willamette Valley, and several local productions in Salem. OEPBS consistently eyed moving the station elsewhere to reduce duplication, which became more acute when budget cuts prompted KVDO-TV to drop its separate programs in 1981. The network pursued and won approval from the FCC to move the channel 3 allocation and license to Bend, which had no PBS coverage. KVDO-TV ceased broadcasting in Salem on July 31, 1983; on December 22, 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.[2] 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. Most of Eugene could only get a clear picture from KOAC-TV on cable.[citation needed]

In the early 2000s, OPB installed Oregon's first digital transmitter, taking a critical first step in the digital television transition.[4]

21st century[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[6]

On December 4, 2007, OPB launched OPBmusic, a 24-hour online radio channel spotlighting Pacific Northwest musicians.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

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:[10]

  • 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 the Emmy for Informational/Instructional – Feature/Segment.
  • Hanford won the Emmy for Documentary – Historical.
  • Vince Patton – Vince Patton Reporting won for Reporter – Programming.
  • Tom Shrider – James DeRosso won the Emmy for Video Journalist – No Time Limit.

Television stations[edit]

Station City of license Channels
(RF / VC)
First air date Call letters'
ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Public license information
KOPB-TV[a] Portland 10 (VHF)
February 6, 1961
(60 years ago)
32.4 kW 524 m (1,719 ft) 50589 45°31′20.5″N 122°44′49.5″W / 45.522361°N 122.747083°W / 45.522361; -122.747083 (KOPB-TV) Profile
KOAC-TV Corvallis 7 (VHF)
October 7, 1957
(63 years ago)
18.1 kW 357 m (1,171 ft) 50590 44°38′24.9″N 123°16′29.3″W / 44.640250°N 123.274806°W / 44.640250; -123.274806 (KOAC-TV) Profile
KEPB-TV Eugene 29 (UHF)
September 27, 1990
(30 years ago)
100 kW 403 m (1,322 ft) 50591 44°0′9″N 123°6′58.5″W / 44.00250°N 123.116250°W / 44.00250; -123.116250 (KEPB-TV) Profile
KOAB-TV[b] Bend 11 (VHF)
February 24, 1970
(51 years ago)
90 kW 245 m (804 ft) 50588 44°4′39.9″N 121°20′0.3″W / 44.077750°N 121.333417°W / 44.077750; -121.333417 (KOAB-TV) Profile
KTVR[c] La Grande 13 (VHF)
December 6, 1964
(56 years ago)
Grande Ronde
16.1 kW 775 m (2,543 ft) 50592 45°18′32.7″N 117°43′58.3″W / 45.309083°N 117.732861°W / 45.309083; -117.732861 (KTVR) Profile
Map this section's coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML


  1. ^ KOPB-TV used the callsign KOAP-TV from its 1961 sign-on until 1989.
  2. ^ KOAB-TV used the callsign KVDO-TV from its 1970 sign-on until 1983. It was a commercial independent station until OEPBS bought the station in 1976. It was licensed to Salem until 1983.
  3. ^ KTVR was a commercial station relaying KTVB from Boise, Idaho until 1977.

Cable and satellite availability[edit]

OPB Television is available on all cable providers in its service area. On Dish Network, KOPB-TV, KEPB-TV, and KOAB-TV are available on the Portland, Eugene and Bend local broadcast station lineups, respectively. KOPB-TV and KEPB-TV are available on the Portland and Eugene DirecTV broadcast station lineups.

Digital television[edit]

OPB's first digital channel was OPB CREATE (an affiliate of the Create network), announced in January 2006; its availability was limited to certain Comcast digital cable customers and on Clear Creek Television in Oregon City.[11]

In December 2008, in anticipation of the original February 18, 2009, deadline for switching to all-digital broadcasting, OPB announced the launch of three digital subchannels: OPB, which would air OPB programming with an "improved picture for viewers with traditional sets", OPB HD, airing programming in "high definition with the highest-quality picture and sound", and OPB Plus, which offered "more choices in viewing times and added programs in news, public affairs and lifestyle."[12]

Digital channels[edit]

OPB currently offers four digital multiplex channels:[13]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[14][15][16][17][18]
xx.1 1080i 16:9 OPB Main programming / PBS[13]
xx.2 OPBPlus OPB Plus[13]
xx.3 480i 4:3 OPBKids OPB Kids (PBS Kids)
xx.4 OPB-FM OPB radio main programming (SAP audio channel 1)
opbmusic (SAP audio channel 2)
KMHD Jazz Radio (SAP audio channel 3)[13]

OPB was one of the partners of The Oregon Channel, a public affairs network that began with the 74th Oregon Legislative Assembly in 2007. Programming consisted of Oregon legislative sessions and other public affairs events. The Oregon Channel was discontinued in 2011.

All of OPB's digital channels are also available on cable providers Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum and Frontier FiOS, and three other providers serving specific regions and communities in Oregon: Clear Creek (a cooperative serving the Redland area of Oregon City), BendBroadband (serving Central Oregon), and Crestview Cable Communications (serving Madras, Prineville, and La Pine).[12]

On July 6, 2011, OPB combined OPB and OPB SD into one high-definition channel feed on the main channel of its digital stations. OPB Plus moved from the third digital subchannel to the second subchannel and OPB Radio moved from the fourth digital subchannel to the third subchannel.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

During 2009, OPB shut down the analog transmitters of the stations on a staggered basis. The station's digital channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[19][20]

  • KOAC-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 39 to VHF channel 7.
  • KOPB-TV shut down its analog, signal, over VHF channel 10; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 27 to VHF channel 10.
  • KEPB-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 28; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 28.
  • KOAB-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 11. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.
  • KTVR shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 5 to channel 13.


Oregon Public Broadcasting maintains several low-powered repeaters that rebroadcast its television programming throughout the state. A few of these repeaters are not owned by OPB.

There are also two repeaters in Washington: K31IR-D in Grays River and K28IH-D in Longview (licensed to Rainier).

Radio stations[edit]

Call sign Frequency City of license Facility ID Class Power
(m (ft))
KOAC-FM 89.7 FM Astoria 81807 A 180 321 m (1,053 ft)
KOBK 88.9 FM Baker City 94195 C3 600 559 m (1,834 ft)
KOAB-FM 91.3 FM Bend 50609 C1 75,000 199 m (653 ft)
KOBN 90.1 FM Burns 174446 A 600 274 m (899 ft)
KOAC 550 AM Corvallis 50587 B 5,000
KOTD 89.7 FM The Dalles 173179 A 50 589 m (1,932 ft)
KETP 88.7 FM Enterprise 174467 A 100 535 m (1,755 ft)
KOPB 1600 AM Eugene 841 B 5,000 day
1,000 night
KOGL 89.3 FM Gleneden Beach 91095 A 210 −14 m (−46 ft)
KHRV 90.1 FM Hood River 90769 A 65 227 m (745 ft)
KOJD 89.7 FM John Day 174221 A 900 −39 m (−128 ft)
KTVR-FM 89.9 FM La Grande 94194 C2 400 760 m (2,490 ft)
KOAP 88.7 FM Lakeview 93285 A 170 −180 m (−590 ft)
KOPB-FM[a] 91.5 FM Portland 50607 [21] C0 73,000 470 m (1,540 ft)
KRBM 90.9 FM Pendleton 50608 C2 25,000 180 m (590 ft)
KTMK 91.1 FM Tillamook 91082 A 140 356 m (1,168 ft)


Broadcast translators of KOPB-FM
Call sign Frequency
City of license Facility ID Class ERP
(m (ft))
K283BT 104.5 Astoria 142734 D 70 107.4 m (352 ft)
K276BU 103.1 Corvallis 50601 D 15 326 m (1,070 ft)
K214AQ 90.7 Mount Vernon 50603 D 25 383 m (1,257 ft)
K293BL 106.5 Nedonna Beach 50610 D 10 396.9 m (1,302 ft)
K228DT 93.5 Pacific City 50614 D 10 677 m (2,221 ft)
K212AQ 90.3 Riley 50598 D 50 524.7 m (1,721 ft)
K252DL 98.3 Walton 92367 D 8 489.8 m (1,607 ft)

Since the spring of 2009, OPB has operated jazz radio station KMHD; the station is owned by Mount Hood Community College, but operates out of OPB's studio facilities in Portland.

HD stations[edit]

Currently only KMHD and KOPB-FM carry HD radio content.

The OPB HD radio channels are:

Channel Programming
OPB FM HD-1 Main OPB radio programing
OPB FM HD-2 opbmusic[22]
KMHD-FM HD-1 KMHD "Jazz Radio"[23]

Other radio frequencies[edit]

Translators upgrading to full-power stations:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b KOAC timeline Archived 2008-09-06 at the Wayback Machine from the Oregon State University website
  2. ^ a b Kristi Turnquist (March 31, 2010). "Oregon Public Broadcasting wins Peabody Award". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  3. ^ ""Our Hidden Enemy—Venereal Disease" for Outstanding Public Service by a Local Station". Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "History of Oregon Public Broadcasting". OPB. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  5. ^ "Don't reduce funding for public broadcasting". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. April 10, 2007. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  6. ^ a b Ros Atkins (4 June 2010). "Farewell to OPB". World Have Your Say blog. BBC. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  7. ^ Kristi Turnquist (December 11, 2007). "OPBmusic launches". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  8. ^ "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Selects Initiative Manager for American Archive Project". Corporation for Public Broadcasting. March 26, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  9. ^ 69th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2010.
  10. ^ "2014 – 51st Annual Emmy Recipients". OPB. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  11. ^ "Oregon Public Broadcasting Launches Its First Digital Multicast Channel". OPB. January 31, 2006. Retrieved 2013-02-25.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b "OPB to Launch New Digital Television Channel Lineup". OPB. December 5, 2008. Retrieved 2013-02-25.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b c d "Channels". OPB. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  14. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KOAC
  15. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KOPB
  16. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KEPB
  17. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KOAB
  18. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KTVR
  19. ^ Portland TV stations backtrack, delay digital transition, a February 6, 2009, article from The Oregonian
  20. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  21. ^ FCC License KOPB-FM Channel: 218C0 91.5 MHz
  22. ^ "How To Listen". OPB. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  23. ^ "About KMHD". OPB. Retrieved 2014-07-31.

External links[edit]