KMTR, virtual channel 16 (UHF digital channel 17), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Eugene, Oregon, United States. The station is owned by Roberts Media, LLC; the Dorado Media Group, which owns Fox affiliate KLSR-TV (channel 34), operates KMTR under a shared services agreement. KMTR's studios are located on International Court in Springfield, and its transmitter is located on Coburg Ridge; KSLR maintains separate facilities on Chad Drive in Eugene.
The station began broadcasting on October 4, 1982, after former NBC affiliate KVAL-TV began selectively omitting certain NBC prime-time broadcasts from its evening lineup, replacing them with alternate programming from the rival network, CBS. The resulting conflict over this programming decision preceded the introduction of KMTR to the media market and a switch of KVAL's affiliation from NBC to CBS. The Columbia Empire Broadcasting Corporation of Yakima, Washington acquired the station in 1984.
In late 1995, the station was bought by the Wicks Broadcast Group of New York City. In March 1996, Wicks Broadcast Group named Brian Benschoter the station's new GM; he started shaking things up immediately for the third-place Eugene-based station. On May 21, 1996, he abruptly fired longtime sports anchors Brian Lamb and Steve Freedman without warning. Lamb, an 11½ year veteran of the station, and Freedman, an 8½ year employee, introduced the "Prep Athlete of the Week" segment that became an immensely popular weekly honor. The award is still considered by locals as the top media honor one can receive for high school sports in the Eugene/Springfield area. Lamb and Freedman were replaced by Joe Giansante, a sports talk radio host on KUGN AM 590.
In September 1998, an agreement between KMTR, The WB 100+ Station Group and the area's cable provider allowed the station to launch cable-only WB affiliate "KZWB". Since it was a cable-exclusive outlet, the call sign was not officially recognized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). KMTR provided sales and promotional opportunities to the cable channel.
In March 1999, Wicks sold KMTR to the Ackerley Group, who merged with Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) in 2001. KMTR was named "Station of the Year" for 2005 by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters (OAB).
In February 2006, the two satellite stations, KMTZ and KMTX, changed their call letters to KUCW and KTCW, respectively. In May 2005, KMTR signed a long-term affiliation agreement with The CW, a replacement network for the WB. In September 2006, KMTR added The CW on a digital subchannel, replacing the cable-only KZWB.
On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a unit of Providence Equity Partners. The deal closed on March 14, 2008.
In 2012, Newport Television entered into agreements to sell most of its stations to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cox Media Group and Shield Media, LLC. It would not be until November 26, 2012, when Newport announced a sale to Fisher Communications. Because Fisher already owns KVAL-TV, Fisher assigned the rights to acquire the FCC license to KMTR Television, LLC, which is wholly owned by Roberts Media, LLC. Roberts Media is wholly owned by veteran broadcaster Larry Roberts. KMTR Television, LLC then entered into a Shared Services Agreement with Fisher. WHAM-TV in Rochester, New York was the last remaining station to be owned by Newport Television as of November 2012 that had not yet been sold, until December 3 when it was announced that Sinclair would acquire the non-license assets of WHAM. While still awaiting FCC approval of the sale to KMTR Television, LLC, on April 11, 2013. The FCC granted its approval of KMTR to KMTR Television, LLC on April 24 and the sale was consummated June 3, 2013. On February 19, KMTR was the sole Newport Television property, until June 1 when it was the last station to have its sale completed. After the completion of the sale, certain operations and personnel changes were made.
In 2016, KMTR remained the only "Big Four" network-affiliated station in Western Oregon to produce its local newscasts in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition until finally switching to 16:9 on October 22.
Digital Television Edit
Digital channels Edit
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|16.1||1080i||16:9||KMTR-HD||Main KMTR programming / NBC|
Analog-to-digital conversion Edit
KMTR shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 16, on February 17, 2009, the original target date on which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 17. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 16.
|Dorado Media Group|
| ABC affiliates: KTUL WCHS-TV WSYX|
CBS affiliates: WRGB