Radio-TV Broadcast History

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KEZI is a digital broadcast television station operating in Eugene, Oregon, United States. It is the ABC affiliate for Eugene and produc

Eugene, Oregon
Branding KEZI 9
Slogan Connecting You
Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
Translators K07JS Coos Bay

K53CU Roseburg (for others see article)

Affiliations ABC
Owner Chambers Communications Corporation

(KEZI, Inc.)

First air date December 19, 1960
Call letters' meaning Formerly "E-Z on the I"; no longer used or promoted[1]
Sister station(s) KOHD
Former callsigns KEZI-TV (1960–1986)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

9 (VHF, 1960–2009) Digital: 44 (UHF, 2000–2009)

Former affiliations CBS (secondary, 1960–1982)[1]
Transmitter power 43.9 kW
Height 533.3 m
Facility ID 34406
Transmitter coordinates 44°6′56.5″N 122°59′56.7″W / 44.115694°N 122.999083°W / 44.115694; -122.999083

es more than 24 hours of newscasts a week. The station is owned by Chambers Communications Corp., a Eugene-based entity, making KEZI the only locally-owned television operation in the counties it serves.

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[edit] History[]

In 1959, a group of Eugene investors formed Liberty Communications and were granted a license for KEZI. These investors included former Chevrolet dealer Julio Silva and his daughter, Carolyn S. Chambers. KEZI went on the air for the first time at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 19, 1960. Studios and offices were located at 2225 Coburg Road in north Eugene, and the transmitter was located atop the Coburg Hills northeast of the city. In its inaugural broadcast, KEZI boasted that it was Eugene's first full-power television station. Broadcasting at a powerful 316 kW, KEZI reached 146,000 viewers at its inception.

For much of its first 20 years, KEZI not only carried ABC programming, but selected CBS programs as well. Prior to 1982, Eugene-area viewers had to subscribe to cable TV in order to receive a full-time CBS affiliate (KOIN of Portland). This was somewhat unusual for a two-station market like Eugene, since ABC would be nowhere on the level of CBS and NBC until the 1970s. In most two-station markets at the time, ABC was relegated to secondary status. In October 1982, when KMTR signed on to take the NBC affiliation, KVAL switched its status over to CBS, and KEZI stopped carrying CBS programs on a part-time basis.

In its first 24 years, Liberty grew exponentially, becoming one of the nation's largest cable system operators. In 1983, Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) purchased Liberty's cable and television assets for $186 million.

Chambers then formed Chambers Communications Corp. and purchased several former Liberty entities, including KEZI. Chambers Communications moved on to purchase the Medford and Klamath Falls ABC affiliates, KDRV and KDKF. Today, Chambers owns many media-related businesses, including an Internet service provider and a multimedia production house, Chambers Productions.

On February 14, 1998 KEZI's entire operation was moved from the original Coburg Road location to the recently completed Chambers Media Center. This 100,000 square foot building is now home to most Chambers Communications projects. Among the amenities at CMC are five sound stages, one of the largest such facilities on the West coast (Chambers Productions' two films, Puerto Vallarta Squeeze and The Sisters, were shot at CMC and in Eugene). KEZI also enjoys a fully digital master control and an advanced newsroom facility.

In September 2006, Chambers Communications established KOHD-TV in Bend, Oregon. KOHD is a sister station of KEZI and an ABC affiliate, with digital broadcasts on channel 51.

[edit] Digital television[]

KEZI's broadcasts are digital-only, effective February 17, 2009.[2]

Digital channels

Channel Name Programming
9.2 KEZI-SD KEZI 9+ Nonstop News

[edit] News department[]

[edit] News operations[]

The KEZI news department is a large operation serving most of southwestern Oregon. KEZI's sister stations KDRV Medford and KDKF Klamath Falls provide news and video for KEZI's broadcasts, and vice versa. The news department also operates bureaus in Corvallis, Roseburg, and Coos Bay. For national stories, the station primarily relies on ABC NewsOne and CNN. KEZI also carries Portland-area stories from KOIN and KGW.

Weather reporting is overseen by Justin Stapleton, Melissa Frey, and Megan Taylor.

KEZI prides itself on its coverage of sports. The station was the longtime flagship of the Oregon Sports Network, official TV net for University of Oregon football, basketball and other sports. KEZI's parent company, Chambers Communication, terminated its relationship with the Oregon Sports Network in 2008. [3]

In March 2010, newscasts started originating from a temporary set in the newsroom while a new set was constructed and other upgrades were made to prepare for HD. Chambers Communication's cancellation of long-form newscasts at KOHD, KEZI's sister station in Bend, Oregon, allowed KEZI to upgrade equipment.[4]

On April 26, 2010 KEZI became the first (and only) station to broadcast local news in high definition in the Eugene market.[5]

[edit] Current on-air staff[]

  • Steve Andress – Sports Reporter/Anchor
  • Bryce Anslinger – Morning Anchor
  • Dan Corcoran – Weekend Anchor/Reporter/Producer
  • Rick Douglas – Weeknight Anchor
  • Melissa Frey – Weekend Meteorologist
  • Susan Gager – Reporter
  • Heather Hintze – Reporter
  • Paris Jackson – Reporter
  • Stacia Kalinoski – Reporter
  • Sharon Ko - Roseburg Reporter
  • Holly Menino – Morning Anchor
  • Kate Renner – Weeknight Anchor/Reporter
  • Bryan Salmond- Sports Director/Anchor
  • Sean Schoppe – Executive Producer
  • Jeff Skrzypek – Reporter
  • Brandi Smith – Weeknight Anchor/Producer
  • Justin Stapleton – Chief Meteorologist
  • Megan Taylor - 9+/11pm Meteorologist
  • Heather Turner - Corvallis Reporter
  • Gia Vang – Weekend Anchor/Reporter

[edit] Notable former staff[]

Rick Dancer

Rick Dancer, a long-time veteran of the news industry, anchored KEZI's primary evening newscasts. A native of Hillsboro, Dancer got his start in broadcasting in Coos Bay before settling on Eugene. Dancer spent nearly 18 years working in the Eugene TV market, 16 of them at KEZI, before launching an unsuccessful run for Oregon secretary of state in 2008. Among Dancer's accomplishments are several Associated Press awards for news stories, as well as interviewing Peter Jennings for Dancer's sit-down "Watercooler" interview segment (parts of which aired in memory of Jennings after his death). Dancer also traveled to produce features for KEZI, including a trip to Guatemala with photojournalist Kurt Richter to document the living conditions in the Central American nation.

John Fischer

Another long-time KEZI figure, John Fischer is one of the more recognizable weather personalities in the market for his light on-camera demeanor and gardening segments (gardening is merely one of his many passions). Fischer, a graduate of the University of California-Davis, was a weekend meteorologist at WBAY in Green Bay, Wisc. before becoming KEZI's chief meteorologist in 1985. He has earned the nickname "The Fish," based on his last name.

Al Peterson

Former co-anchor of the morning newscast with Kerri Stewart, Al Peterson was at KEZI from 1990 to 2007. Al is working toward American Meteorological Society certification. He received national fame for a clip regularly played on news "bloopers" programs, in which he mistakenly reads "Black Angus cows" as "Black and Gus." Weathercaster John Fischer is also seen on the clip, pointing out Peterson's blooper. In September 2007, Peterson joined cross-town rival KVAL-TV, co-hosting the morning show with Shelley Kurtz.

Lisa Verch (Fletcher)

Now an ABC News correspondent (known as Lisa Fletcher), working with Charlie Gibson and on Nightline. Lisa co-anchored KEZI's evening newscasts until moving to Phoenix in 2002. Fletcher worked at various stations in Oregon before joining KEZI, where she covered natural disasters, including some of the Northwest's most devastating floods and forest fires. She also anchored coverage of one of the nation's worst high-school shootings, the May 1998 tragedy at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., adjacent to Eugene. Lisa's coverage of the Thurston High shootings was honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast excellence.

Many KEZI personalities have moved on to larger markets. Ron Magers, anchor of the 10 p.m. newscast on WLS-TV Chicago, started his career at KEZI in 1965. Mark Bernheimer, who anchored the station's 11:00 PM newscast in the late 1980s, went on to become a national correspondent for CNN. Bruce King, one of KEZI's earliest sportscasters, was sports anchor at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO-TV from 1968 to 1999. King, who also spent one year (1981) at WABC-TV in New York, can still be seen throughout the Northwest on ads for Poulsbo RV Sales.

Jack Penning left KEZI for Portland in 2003, to become KGW's aviation reporter. Tim Gordon, briefly at KEZI, reports in Portland for KOIN-TV. Colleen Nelson was co-anchor of the evening newscasts until 2005, when she joined KATU-TV in Portland.

[edit] News/station presentation[]

[edit] Newscast titles[]

  • Eyewitness News (1970s– late '90s)
  • KEZI News (late '90s–2002)
  • 9 News (2002–2007)
  • KEZI 9 News (2007–present)

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • Your Local News Team (2003–2008)
  • Connecting You (2008–present)

[2] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.===[edit] Recent awards=== KEZI's Rick Dancer and Al Peterson were highlighted in the Oregon Associated Press Best Feature category for Division II in 2005.[6] KEZI won several Oregon Associated Press awards in 2010, including Overall Excellence.

[edit] Programming[]

KEZI's broadcast schedule is dominated by news, local features and ABC network programming. Sports is also a prominent part of KEZI programming, with Oregon Ducks football and basketball, and ABC's extensive sports coverage. In addition to ABC network programming, KEZI airs such shows as The Insider, Judge Judy, and the syndicated version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

In seasons past, KEZI aired reruns of Star Trek, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Taxi (which are kept in the station's 1" tape library to this day).[citation needed] KEZI also has a number of feature films on 1" tape it can air for lack of other programming.[citation needed]

[edit] Original shows[]

KEZI's news department occasionally airs a special culled from a feature seen on news: Rick Dancer's aforementioned Guatemala trip became a one-time special in 2005.[citation needed]

In late 2005, KEZI pioneered high definition television (HDTV) programming in the Eugene market by airing a locally-originated Oregon Ducks football game in HDTV. KEZI coordinated the broadcast with the Oregon Sports Network and ESPN Plus. Up until that point, no other broadcast station had aired local HDTV programming in western Oregon (all HDTV broadcasts had been network).[citation needed] On April 26, 2010 KEZI became the first station in the Eugene market to broadcast local news in high definition.

[edit] Translators[]

KEZI is rebroadcasted on the following translators:

Low power translators for Myrtle Point, Newport and Black Butte Ranch have been discontinued.

[edit] See also[]

[edit] References[]

  1. ^ Nelson, Bob (June 2, 2009). "Call Letter Origins". 238. The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
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[edit] External links[]