RIP KOHD

As of yesterday, KOHD news is no more.

The first story I saw about it was this one Thursday evening, twittered by KTVZ’s Nina Mehlhaf.

Employees at the ABC affiliate were informed this morning [Thursday] that the station will become a Bend bureau for KEZI, Chambers Communications’ sister station in Eugene. Bend employees will then create local packages for KEZI-produced Bend cut-ins.

Their last locally-produced newscast was last night at 11pm.

Yesterday morning KOHD posted their official notice/letter on their Facebook page:

Unfortunately, KOHD News viewer’s habits are not reflected positively in Nielson ratings. Factor in the dramatic impact of the economic conditions since The Great Depression, we now are taking the next logical step and changing our news product that better matches the current trend of how people get their news.

The result, after careful thought and review, KOHD-TV has made the decision to discontinue the station’s current schedule of news programming. KOHD will air its last regularly scheduled newscast in its current form at 11 PM on March 5th.. However, a news team will remain at KOHD, providing solid local coverage for the Bend market with news and weather updates – both on-air and online – throughout the day. These updates will air more frequently than the current long form shows, including reports every half hour in the morning, weather updates every hour during the day, and news updates again in the evening at 5, 6 and 7pm. At 11pm there will be a 10 minute broadcast that will give viewers all the day’s local news, weather and sports.

It’s unfortunate that this (once again) gives KTVZ a virtual monopoly on local TV. I think KTVZ upped their quality when they had serious competition, despite the sometimes painful-to-watch efforts of their newcomers, but I remember back before KOHD (and Fox) offered any alternatives, KTVZ was really frustrating: such is the quality of the lone TV station in a small market.

Is Bend/Central Oregon large enough to support more than one local TV station/news program? Obviously three years ago we all thought so, but now the answer apparently appears to be "no." Which sucks.

2 thoughts on “RIP KOHD

  1. Bummer. Its going to be hard for another news channel to step into the Bend market. Its going to take something fresh and different to capture an audience. KTVZ has gotten a lot better though.

  2. I think there is room for two stations. Honestly, Part of the problem was the amount of money spent at the outset to build the station with HD capabilities, and the cost to purchase the the license. Given how long it takes to change viewer’s habits, and build a solid sales revenue stream, I think KOHD just ran into a basic economics problem, that was both self-induced and related to the recession.

    I agree that it sucks. Competition in the market is better for everyone, including the viewers.

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