KOIN virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 40) is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Portland, Oregon, United States. The station is owned by Media General. KOIN's studios are located in the basement of the KOIN Center skyscraper on Southwest Columbia Street in downtown Portland and its transmitter is located in the Sylvan-Highlands section of Portland.
KOIN's history traces back to a radio station at 970 AM that launched on November 9, 1925 as KQP; the station changed its call sign to KOIN on April 12, 1926. It became an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), now known as the CBS Radio Network, on September 1, 1929. During the golden years of radio, KOIN was one of Portland's major radio stations, with an extensive array of local programming, including live music from its own studio orchestra.
As a CBS radio affiliate, KOIN was the local home for CBS radio programmes such as the CBS World News Roundup, Lux Radio Theater and Suspense. An FM station, KOIN-FM (at 101.1 Mc.), was launched in 1948. Both stations were owned by Field Enterprises, Inc. from 1947 until sold in 1952 to the Mount Hood Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation.
KOIN and KOIN-FM were sold on May 1, 1977 to the Gaylord Broadcasting Company, and effective May 12, 1977 their call signs changed to KYTE (both AM and FM). Its affiliation with CBS ended, and the CBS Radio Network's programming in the Portland market moved to KYXI at that time. The stations using the former KOIN frequencies currently are KUFO (AM) and KXL-FM.
KOIN-TV began broadcasting on October 15, 1953, as Portland's first VHF television station. At the time, it was jointly owned by Mount Hood Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation; Newhouse Broadcasting Corporation (now Advance Publications), owner and publisher of The (Portland) Oregonian; local investors and Marshall Field's department stores. The station took its calls from KOIN radio (AM 970 and 101.1 FM), which was a joint venture of Mount Hood Broadcasting and Newhouse. Eventually, Marshall Field sold its stake to Newhouse. Lee Enterprises purchased KOIN-TV in April 1977 from the Mount Hood-Newhouse group. KOIN's first colour television broadcast was made on August 14, 1954, only three days after then-NBC-affiliate KPTV had made Portland's first such broadcast.
On February 27, 1971, both transmitter towers used by KOIN-FM and KOIN-TV – the 1,000-foot main tower and the 700-foot auxiliary tower – collapsed throughout an ice and wind storm. The two KOIN (AM) towers, located on the same property, weren't damaged. Nine days later, on March 9, 1971, KOIN-FM and KOIN-TV returned to the air when a temporary tower was erected on the site of the collapsed auxiliary tower. During those nine days off the air, CBS programming was provided to the Portland market (and, by extension, most of Oregon) by independent station KVDO-TV in Salem (Oregon Public Broadcasting later purchased KVDO and moved the station to Bend as KOAB-TV). In 1978, a production company MIRA Mobile Television was founded.
During the 1970s, KOIN had a few locally produced programmes on the air, including the cooking show KOIN Kitchen, and public affairs programmes such as News Conference Six and Northwest Illustrated. In 1976, KOIN-TV became the second television station in the Portland market (after KPTV, channel 12) to broadcast Portland Trail Blazers basketball games. Selected Trail Blazer games aired on KOIN-TV until 1996. KOIN was the first flagship station of the Trail Blazers' radio network, beginning in the inaugural 1970-71 season, and ending when the station was sold shortly before the Trail Blazers won the 1976-77 NBA championship.
By the 1980s, one of KOIN's past general managers – Richard M. "Mick" Schafbuch – served one term in 1981 as President of the CBS Network Affiliates Group. During KOIN-TV's thirtieth anniversary week in 1983, the station aired classic CBS programming from the 1950s and 1960s. By this time, the station had moved into its new location at KOIN Center. In 1984, the station aired the Japanese programme From Oregon With Love and at the same time KOIN-TV has shortened into KOIN on January 2, 1984. In 1982, C. Stephen Currie, KOIN's programme operations manager, was elected to serve as the president of the National Association of Television Program Executives.
In October 2000, the Lee Enterprises television group, including KOIN was purchased by Emmis Communications. On January 27, 2006, Emmis sold KOIN (along with KHON-TV/Honolulu, KSNT/Topeka, and KSNW/Wichita) to Montecito Broadcast Group for $259 million.
Due to a dispute over fees, Comcast didn't offer KOIN's high definition feed for over two years after it started offering additional Portland area stations in HD. After Montecito took ownership, Comcast started carrying KOIN in high definition on February 28, 2006. KOIN was additionally in a dispute with DirecTV over transmission of its HD feed, as both sides claimed the additional to be the problem. In August 2008, KOIN's HD feed began to be carried on DirecTV.
KOIN updated its website in September 2006 as part of a partnership with WorldNow. KOIN expected the switch to lead to over $1 million in revenue throughout its first year; it was characterised by KOIN general sales manager Bob Singer as a "creative new way" to boost revenue for a station with a "somewhat average ratings position."
On July 24, 2007, Montecito announced the sale of all of its stations (KOIN, plus KHON-TV in Honolulu and its satellites, KSNW in Wichita and its satellites, and KSNT in Topeka) to New Vision Television. The sale closed on November 1, 2007. In March 2008, KOIN relaunched its website through Newport Television subsidiary Inergize Digital, replacing the old WorldNow-powered site. The websites of several of its sister stations in additional markets additionally switched to the Inergize platform in late December 2008 and early January 2009. In October 2008, KOIN converted its central Oregon translators into a locally focused semi-satellite, KBNZ, which was sold off in 2010.
On December 30, 2008, one of the 15 guy wires on the main transmitter tower snapped, putting the tower in danger of collapsing (as with the 1971 tower collapse, this incident followed a prolonged snow and ice storm). The Portland Police Bureau evacuated about 500 local residents and closed several roads around the tower, including a portion of Skyline Boulevard, the main north-south road through the West Hills of Portland. At first, officials feared that the wire itself – which is over 1,000 feet long and weighs several tonnes – had snapped, which would have taken several weeks to manufacture and instal a replacement. Upon inspection, it was revealed that one of the high frequency insulators incorporated into the guy wire assembly had shattered. Repair crews replaced the insulator by 4:00 p.m. the next day and the surrounding neighborhood was reopened to residents and car traffic. KOIN had to pay $1,500 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
On May 7, 2012, LIN Media announced that it would acquire KOIN and the additional New Vision stations for $330.4 million and the assumption of $12 million in debt. The FCC approved the sale on October 2, and it was completed ten days later on October 12, 2012. The group deal reunited KOIN, KHON, KSNW and KSNT with several former Emmis-owned stations which had been purchased by LIN seven years earlier, such as KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico, WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama and WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin (KOIN, KRQE, KSNW, and KSNT had additionally been sister stations under Lee Enterprises).
On March 21, 2014, Media General announced that it would purchase LIN Media and its stations, including KOIN, in a $1.6 billion merger. The merger was completed on December 19. Less than a year later, on September 8, 2015, Media General announced that it would acquire the Meredith Corporation for $2.4 billion, with the combined group to be renamed Meredith Media General once the sale is finalised by June 2016. Because Meredith already owns Fox affiliate KPTV (Channel 12), and the two stations rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Portland market in total day viewership, the companies would have been required to sell either KPTV or KOIN to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as recent changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations that restrict sharing agreements; KPTV's MyNetworkTV-affiliated sister station KPDX (channel 49) could gave remained with either KPTV or KOIN or be spun off to the suitor as its total day viewership ranks below the top-four ratings threshold.
However, the proposed deal with Meredith would later fall apart, and on January 27, 2016, it was announced that the Nexstar Broadcasting Group would buy Media General for $4.6 billion. KOIN will become part of "Nexstar Media Group" and will be the company's first station in Oregon.
On January 11, 2016, KOIN activated digital subchannel 6.2, which carried a standard definition version of KOIN and CBS programming for the next twenty days. At 12:05 a.m. PST on February 1, 2016, subchannel 6.2 began carrying GetTV programming.
On March 10, 2016, KOIN activated digital subchannel 6.3 and began carrying Decades programming.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|6.1||1080i||16:9||KOIN-HD||Main KOIN programming / CBS|
KOIN shut down its analogue signal, over VHF channel 6, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 40, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analogue channel 6.
As part of the SAFER Act, KOIN kept its analogue signal (which was additionally heard at 87.7 FM) on the air from 7:28 a.m. on June 12 until June 27 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements in English and Spanish from the National Association of Broadcasters. On June 27, 2009, at 7:06 a.m., KOIN broke from the nightlight PSA loop to air the station's 25th anniversary special (originally broadcast in 1978) for the station's final 24 minutes of analogue broadcasting; the analogue signal permanently shut down at 7:30 a.m. that morning. As a result of the digital transition, those in the market lost access to KOIN's audio feed that was transmitted over the 87.7 FM frequency.
KOIN presently broadcasts 35.5 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). On February 1, 2007, KOIN became the first television station in the Portland market to being broadcasting its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. According to Oregon Media Insiders, throughout Montecito's ownership of KOIN, its local news ratings declined in all time periods; among the four news-producing stations in the Portland market, KOIN had the greatest loss in audience share.
For the first time in ten years, KOIN finished in first position in the 11 p.m. news in the May 2008 NSI sweeps. KOIN News 6 at 11 – unlike a year earlier when it lost over 20 percent of its CBS lead-in share – held its prime time share throughout its 11 p.m. newscast in the May 2008 NSI sweeps. In January 2008, KOIN's then-owners, New Vision Television, fired news director Jeff Alan and replaced him with Lynn Heider. Afterwards, KOIN was dropped its slogan "Bringing News Home" as Jeff Alan had trademarked it under his name in 2000 before he worked at KOIN.
Under new news director Heider and long-time creative services director Rodger O'Connor, KOIN's 11 p.m. newscast increased its household ratings from May 2007 to May 2008 by 12 percent and its household share by 19 percent. It increased its household ratings by thirty percent from February 2008 to May 2008 and its household share by 33%. According to general manager Christopher Sehring, "The defining moment for KOIN News came in the third week of the sweeps. Up until then, we were having a strong ratings run against a few terrific competition. Unfortunately, we then lost two straight nights – and I was worried that these losses might shake our new-found confidence. Fortunately, our team roared back on Thursday night, delivering an 8 household rating by increasing Without A Trace’s 19 share lead-in to a 21 share. This type of comeback is indeed the sign of a station that refuses to toss in the towel – and will go a long way to helping us continue New Vision's plan to reenergize this great operation." This was the first time in a decade that KOIN's newscasts has won any timeslots.
On September 9, 2009, KOIN launched a new local programme airing weekdays at 4 p.m., called Keep It Local. The show explored local neighbourhoods and highlighted events taking place in Portland. The programme was hosted by Priya David, with Mike Donahue and Araksya Karapetyan serving as its reporters. In 2010, Keep It Local was reformatted into Studio 6, a product and lifestyles magazine, hosted by Jenny Hansson, Anne Jeager, Hayley Platt and Jake Byron.
On July 26, 2010, KOIN became the third television station in the Portland market to being broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. It is additionally the first in the market to broadcast all aspects of its news programming, including field reporting, studio and weather segments completely in the format. Two additional stations, KGW and KATU, broadcast studio segments within their newscasts in high definition but continue to present live field storeys in widescreen standard definition. KPTV was the only station remaining in the market that broadcast its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition until it upgraded to HD on August 26, 2013.
Notable current on-air staff
- Jeff Gianola – anchor
Notable former on-air staff
- Carlos Amezcua – reporter (now weekday morning anchor for KUSI-TV in San Diego)
- Christine Chen – reporter
- Priya David – Keep It Local host (2009–2010; now with CBS News)
- Jenni Hogan – traffic reporter (now with KING-TV in Seattle)
- Tim Joyce – meteorologist (now with KCPQ in Seattle)
- Lars Larson – morning show host of "The Buzz" (1998–2000; now a talk radio personality at KXL-FM)
- Rick Metsger – sports reporter (now working as a politician)
- Charles Royer – reporter (later mayor of Seattle, Washington)
- Barry Serafin – reporter (now with ABC News)
- Anne State – weeknights anchor
KOIN is rebroadcast on the following network of translator stations.