As of yesterday, KOHD news is no more.
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.