Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Opb logo.png
statewide Oregon
(except southwestern Oregon)
Branding OPB
Channels Analog: see table below
Digital: see table below
Affiliations NPR, PRI (radio)
PBS (television)
Owner Oregon Public Broadcasting
First air date January 23, 1923 (radio)
October 7, 1957 (television)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1957-1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Website www.opb.org

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) is the primary television and radio public broadcasting network for most of Oregon as well as southern Washington. With its headquarters and television studios in Portland, OPB consists of five full-power television stations, dozens of VHF or UHF translators, and over 20 radio stations and frequencies. Broadcasts include local programming as well as television programs from Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and the BBC World Service.

OPB is also a major producer of television programming for national broadcast on PBS or on Create, with shows such as History Detectives, Barbecue America, Foreign Exchange, and travel shows hosted by Rick Steves and Art Wolfe.

(As of 2006), OPB has over one million viewers throughout its region and an average of over 380,000 radio listeners each week.[dated info] The part of southwestern Oregon not served by OPB is served by Jefferson Public Radio and Southern Oregon Public Television.



20th century

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). It became KOAC-AM 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]

KOAC-TV (Corvallis) began operation October 7, 1957. KOAC-AM-TV soon became the primary station for a large state network of radio and television stations. Originally known as Oregon Educational Broadcasting, it became as the Oregon Educational and Public Broadcasting Service (OEPBS) in 1971. In 1981, OEPBS was spun off from the Oregon State System of Higher Education, moved to Portland, and became the community-licensed Oregon Public Broadcasting. KOAC's former Portland satellites, KOAP-FM-TV, became the flagship of the new organization.[1] 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.

KOAP-TV (Portland) signed on the air February 6, 1961; it became the flagship of OPB in 1981 and changed its calls to KOPB-TV on February 15, 1989.

KTVR-TV (La Grande) went on the air December 6, 1964 as a commercial television station, an NBC primary affiliate that also carried selected ABC television network programs.[citation needed] KTVR was a 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 was a total 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 programming 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 TV 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 (Bend) began broadcasting on February 24, 1970 as KVDO-TV, an independent station licensed to Salem.[citation needed] Channel 3 struggled to compete with Portland's established independent, KPTV, and in 1974 the station was bought out by Liberty Communications, then-owners of Eugene's ABC affiliate KEZI. The intention was to make KVDO a full-power satellite of KEZI. KATU, 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 affiliate, 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 TV tower.[citation needed] 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, where they had no PBS coverage; the FCC honored their request. On December 22, 1983 channel 3 signed back on the air as KOAB. Call letters changed 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 (Eugene) began operation on February 27, 1990 as Eugene's first public television station, rebroadcasting OPB programming clearer than KOAC's rimshot signal from Corvallis.[citation needed]

OPB installs Oregon’s first digital transmitter, taking a critical first step in the digital television transition.[3]

21st century

For 2001 and 2002, the Oregon state government provided about 14 percent of OPB's operation budget; for 2003 and 2004, it was cut to nine percent.[4]

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 worldwide in number only to Nigeria.[5] According to WHYS host Ros Atkins, a "significant number of listeners [disliked the] 'tone' and 'production'" of the show, resulting after three years to the removal of the show from OPB's schedule.[5]

On December 4, 2007, OPB launched OPBmusic, a 24-hour online radio channel spotlighting Pacific Northwest musicians.[6]

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.[2][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]

Television stations

Station City of license Channels
First air date Call letters’
Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
KOPB-TV1 Portland 10 (VHF) 10 (VHF) February 6, 1961 Oregon
32.4 kW 524 m 50589 45°31′20.5″N 122°44′49.5″W / 45.522361°N 122.747083°W / 45.522361; -122.747083 (KOPB-TV)
KOAC-TV Corvallis 7 (VHF) 7 (VHF) October 7, 1957 Oregon
18.1 kW 357 m 50590 44°38′24.9″N 123°16′29.3″W / 44.64025°N 123.274806°W / 44.64025; -123.274806 (KOAC-TV)
KEPB-TV Eugene 29 (UHF) 28 (UHF) September 27, 1990 Eugene
100 kW 403 m 50591 44°0′9″N 123°6′58.5″W / 44.0025°N 123.11625°W / 44.0025; -123.11625 (KEPB-TV)
KOAB-TV2 Bend 11 (VHF) 3 (VHF) February 24, 1970 KOAC
90 kW 245 m 50588 44°4′39.9″N 121°20′0.3″W / 44.07775°N 121.333417°W / 44.07775; -121.333417 (KOAB-TV)
KTVR3 La Grande 13 (VHF) 13 (VHF) December 6, 1964 TeleVision
Grande Ronde
16.1 kW 775 m 50592 45°18′32.7″N 117°43′58.3″W / 45.309083°N 117.732861°W / 45.309083; -117.732861 (KTVR)


  • 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

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

Digital television

As of July 6, 2011, Oregon Public Broadcasting has three digital channels:[9]

Digital channels

Channel Name Programming
xx.1 OPB Main OPB programming / PBS
xx.2 OPBPlus PBS encore
xx.3 OPB-FM OPB Radio
KMHD Jazz Radio

OPB is also one of the partners of The Oregon Channel, a public affairs network. Programming consists of Oregon legislative sessions and other public affairs events. The Oregon Channel is a Government-access television (GATV) service that is currently available only on cable TV.

All of OPB's digital channels are also available from two nation-wide cable systems (Comcast and Frontier FiOS) and three others serving specific Oregon regions and communities: Clear Creek (cooperative serving the Redland area of Oregon City), BendBroadband (serving Central Oregon), and Crestview Cable Communications (serving Madras, Prineville, and La Pine).[9]

On July 6, 2011 OPB combined OPB and OPB SD into one HD channel on xx.1. OPB Plus moved from xx.3 to xx.2 and OPB Radio moved from xx.4 to xx.3.

Post-analog shutdown

After the analog television shutdown scheduled for June 12, 2009:[10]

  • KOAC-TV, KOPB-TV, and KTVR returned to channels 7, 10, & 13.[11][12][13]
  • KOAB-TV and KEPB-TV remain on their respective, pre-transition channel numbers (11 & 29).[14][15]

Currently,[when?] OPB Plus is show material from the Create network during the daytime, and news and public affairs programming during the evenings and nights.


There are also many low-powered repeaters statewide that rebroadcast OPB programming. A few repeaters are not owned by OPB.

There are also two repeaters in Washington: K31IR-D in Grays River, and K28IH-D in Longview.

Radio stations

Station City Frequency Callsign Meaning
KOPB-FM (flagship) Portland 91.5 FM Oregon Public Broadcasting
KETP Enterprise 88.7 FM EnTerPrise
KHRV Hood River 90.1 FM Hood RiVer
KOAB-FM Bend 91.3 FM KOAC Bend
Corvallis 550 AM
103.1 FM
Oregon Agricultural College (Note: KOAC AM is the only directional AM Radio Station in the US which uses a shunt-fed antenna [16])
KOAC-FM Astoria 89.7 FM Oregon Agricultural College
KOAP Lakeview 88.7 FM KOAC Portland (after former callsign of Portland station)
KOBK Baker City 88.9 FM Oregon BaKer City
KOBN Burns 90.1 FM Oregon BurNs
KOGL-FM Gleneden Beach 89.3 FM Oregon GLeneden Beach
KOJD John Day 89.7 FM Oregon John Day
KOPB Eugene 1600 AM Oregon Public Broadcasting
KOTD The Dalles 89.7 FM Oregon The Dalles
KRBM Pendleton 90.9 FM Radio Blue Mountain
KTMK-FM Tillamook 91.1 FM TillaMooK
KTVR-FM La Grande 89.9 FM TeleVision Grande Ronde

Additionally, since the spring of 2009 OPB has operated KMHD, the Portland area's main jazz station. It is still licensed to Mount Hood Community College, but operated out of OPB's studios in Portland.

HD stations

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

The OPB HD radio channels:

Channel Programming
OPB FM HD-1 Main OPB radio programing
OPB FM HD-2 opbmusic[17]
KMHD-FM HD-1 Main KMHD "Jazz Radio" programming

Other radio frequencies

Translators upgrading to full power stations

See also


  1. ^ a b KOAC timeline from the Oregon State University website
  2. ^ a b c Kristi Turnquist (March 31, 2010). "Oregon Public Broadcasting wins Peabody Award". The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/movies/index.ssf/2010/03/oregon_public_broadcasting_win.html. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  3. ^ "History of Oregon Public Broadcasting"
  4. ^ "Don't reduce funding for public broadcasting". The [Bend] Bulletin. April 10, 2007. http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070410/NEWS0107/704100313&SearchID=7327774985. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  5. ^ a b Ros Atkins (4 June 2010). "Farewell to OPB". World Have Your Say blog. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2010/06/farewell_to_opb.html. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  6. ^ Kristi Turnquist (December 11, 2007). "OPBmusic launches". The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2007/12/opbmusic_launches.html. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  7. ^ "Hard Times". OPB. http://news.opb.org/hardtimes/. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  8. ^ "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Selects Initiative Manager for American Archive Project". Corporation for Public Broadcasting. March 26, 2009. http://www.cpb.org/pressroom/release.php?prn=719. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  9. ^ a b OPB to Launch New Digital Television Channel Lineup from OPB's website
  10. ^ Portland TV stations backtrack, delay digital transition, a February 6, 2009 article from The Oregonian
  11. ^ CDBS Print
  12. ^ CDBS Print
  13. ^ CDBS Print
  14. ^ CDBS Print
  15. ^ CDBS Print
  16. ^ http://www.fybush.com/sites/2007/site-070223.html
  17. ^ opbmusic.org

External links

FCC Information for OPB's radio stations:

FCC Information for OPB's television stations:

FCC Information for OPB's television repeaters:

BIAfn's Media Web Database—Information on OPB's television stations:

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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