KOBI

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For other uses, see Kobi (disambiguation).
KOBI
Nbc5.png
Medford, Oregon
United States
City of license Medford, Oregon
Branding NBC 5
Slogan Your Place
Channels Digital: 5 (VHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels 5.1 NBC
5.2 ThisTV
Translators (see article)
Affiliations NBC (primary 1983-present; secondary 1953-1961)
Owner California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc. (Smullin family)
First air date August 1, 1953 (1953-08-01)
Call letters' meaning K(C)alifornia
Oregon
Broadcasting
Incorporated
Former callsigns KBES-TV (1953-1962)
KTVM (1962-1968)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
5 (VHF, 1953-2009)
Digital: 15 (UHF)
Former affiliations Primary:
CBS (1953-1978)
ABC (1978-1983)
Secondary:
DuMont (1953-1955)
ABC (1953-1978)
CBS (1978-1983)
Transmitter power 6.35 kW
Height 823 m
Facility ID 8260
Transmitter coordinates 42°41′49.5″N 123°13′45.1″W / 42.697083°N 123.229194°W / 42.697083; -123.229194
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.kobi5.com

KOBI is a local NBC affiliate based in Medford, Oregon. It is owned by Patricia Smullin. The company, California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc., is the longest continuously independent broadcast group in the West and one of the three oldest in the country.[1]

The station also operates a satellite station in Klamath Falls, KOTI on channel 2, as well as a large network of translators. Together, the two stations serve 12 mostly rural counties in southern Oregon and northern California.

The station's vice president and general manager is Robert Wise, who served as general manager of KOBI's former sister station KRCR-TV in Redding, California, from 1995 to 2005. The studios are located on South Fir Street in downtown Medford.

History[edit]

It was founded on August 1, 1953 by Bill Smullin, a 20-year veteran of the television industry. The station's call letters were originally KBES-TV (BESt TV), and it carried programming from all four major networks.[1] However, for its first 25 years, it was a primary CBS affiliate. It was the second television station in Oregon, following KPTV in Portland by eleven months, and the first on the VHF band.

Smullin soon realized that KBES' signal was not strong enough to cover all of southern Oregon, which the FCC had ruled was part of the Medford market. Fortunately, he was able to buy the license for channel 2 in Klamath Falls, and KOTI debuted on August 12, 1956.

In 1962, Smullin changed the call letters to KTVM. When channel 10 was allocated to Medford, Smullin helped the owners of KMED-AM get the license, as well as space on his transmitter on Blackwell Hill. Partly because of his help, KMED-TV (now KTVL) signed on in 1961. In 1968, KTVM moved to a powerful transmitter on King Mountain and changed its calls to the current KOBI.

By 1978, KOBI had become a primary ABC affiliate, which by then had become the top network.[2] However, they continued to carry some CBS programs (such as the CBS Evening News and several daytime shows). In 1983, KOBI picked up NBC from KTVL, which switched to CBS. It carried a few ABC programs for another year until KDRV signed on.

For many years, KOBI branded itself as "Channel 5M," with a logo showing a "5" on an interstate highway sign, reflecting the interstate that goes through the Medford area, Interstate 5. The interstate sign motif was later extended to KOTI and KRCR. KOBI rebranded itself as "The News Channel" in 1998 and as "NBC 5" in 2004, but the highway sign remains today.

The station has a UHF translator, K32DY-D, to serve non-antenna-rotator-equipped households between Medford and Ashland. It is located on Mt. Baldy, east of Phoenix.

KOBI has brought many firsts to Southern Oregon and Northern California. It was the first station in Medford to offer local color programming, the first station to operate in stereo, the first Medford station to employ electronic news gathering technology, and was the first Medford station with statewide microwave news coverage.

Bill Smullin retired in 1985 and was succeeded by his daughter, Patricia C. "Patsy" Smullin, who serves as owner and president today.

KOBI added a DT2 channel for AccuWeather's local weather and national weather digital channel to KOBI's digital signal were instituted in early 2008. It was replaced by ThisTV in January 2014.

Jackpot Bingo[edit]

During the 1980s, KOBI broadcast a popular interactive game show called Jackpot Bingo, hosted by Tom Carnes. The show aired before Days of Our Lives. Jackpot Bingo gave contestants the opportunity to win up to $5,000 in cash by playing blackout bingo. However, contestants usually won the minimum $200 prize. Carnes was replaced by Sally Holliday in 1987 and the show was renamed $10,000 Jackpot Bingo as the prize money doubled. Still, contestants usually won $200. The show garnered the highest ratings for its time slot,[3] although it was cancelled in 1988.

Jackpot Bingo takes after the popular Dialing for Dollars format.

Academic Challenge quiz bowl[edit]

This competition, similar to GE College Bowl, places local high schools in a head to head battle for the championship title and over $40,000 in scholarship money.

Twenty high schools from all over Southern Oregon are participating in the NBC Academic Challenge. Each school brings in a team of five students, four participating and one alternate, who answer a series of questions from the host, NBC 5 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Heaton, on topics such as history, math, literature, current events and a variety of other categories.

At the end of this double-elimination competition the final two teams will split the scholarship money, 60% to the championship team, 40% to the second place team.

The idea for Academic Challenge originally started at KRCR-TV in Redding in 1998 and was hosted by Gary Gunter from '98 to 2005, then Tim Mapes from then on. NBC 5's newly hired general manager Bob Wise brought the identically-formatted program to southern Oregon in 2005.

The program regularly airs on Sundays at 6:30pm, yet does air after NBC Sunday Night Football and NBC 5 News during the NFL season.

Southern Oregon Meth Project[edit]

In 2005, KOBI started a special program called the Southern Oregon Meth Project to educate viewers and concerned citizens about the dangers of methamphetamine and what can be done to prevent. The project was headed up by KOBI's lead news anchor Christina Anderson, where she remained until her departure for KOVR in Sacramento in 2010.[4] Information can be found at www.somp.org.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[5]
5.1 1080i 16:9 KOBI-HD Main KOBI programming / NBC
5.2 480i 4:3 KOBI-WX This TV

Medford stations KOBI (NBC), KDRV (ABC), KMVU (FOX) and KSYS (PBS) broadcast only digital signals, effective February 17, 2009.[6]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KOBI shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 15 to VHF channel 5 for post-transition operations.[7][8]

Translators[edit]

KOBI is rebroadcast on the following network of translator stations. Some channels currently broadcasting, are not listed in the FCC database:

City Grade Translators:

LPTV Translators:

Repeater Stations:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]