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BrandingNBC 5
Affiliations5.1: NBC (secondary 1953–1961, primary since 1983)
5.2: Cozi TV
5.3: Quest (soon)
5.4: Twist (soon)
OwnerCalifornia Oregon Broadcasting, Inc.
(Smullin family)
First air date
August 1, 1953 (68 years ago) (1953-08-01)
Former call signs
KBES-TV (1953–1962)
KTVM (1962–1968)
Former channel number(s)
5 (VHF, 1953–2009)
15 (UHF, until 2009)
CBS (1953–1978)
ABC (1978–1983)
DuMont (1953–1955)
ABC (1953–1978, 1983–1984)
CBS (1978–1983)
AccuWeather (2008–2014)
This TV (2014–2019)
Call sign meaning
K(C)alifornia (sic) Oregon Broadcasting, Inc.
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID8260
ERP6.35 kW
HAAT823 m (2,700 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°41′49.5″N 123°13′45.1″W / 42.697083°N 123.229194°W / 42.697083; -123.229194
Translator(s)See below
Public license information

KOBI (channel 5) is a television station in Medford, Oregon, United States, affiliated with NBC. It is the flagship television property of locally based California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc.[1] KOBI's studios are located on South Fir Street in downtown Medford, and its transmitter is located atop Kings Mountain, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of the city.

KOBI also operates a satellite station in Klamath Falls, KOTI (channel 2). Together, the two stations serve 12 mostly rural counties in southern Oregon and northern California.


The station was founded on August 1, 1953, by Bill Smullin, a 20-year veteran of the television industry. Its call letters were originally KBES-TV ("Best TV"), and it carried programming from all four major networks.[2] However, for its first 25 years, it was primarily a CBS affiliate. It was the first television station in the Medford and Southern Oregon area, the second television station in Oregon, following KPTV in Portland by eleven months, and the first on the VHF band.

Smullin soon realized that KBES' signal was not strong enough to cover all of southern Oregon, which the FCC had ruled was part of the Medford market, so he bought the license for channel 2 in Klamath Falls, and KOTI debuted on August 12, 1956.

In 1962, Smullin changed the call letters to KTVM. When channel 10 was allocated to Medford, Smullin helped the owners of KMED get the license, as well as space on his transmitter on Blackwell Hill. Partly because of his help, KMED-TV (channel 10, now KTVL) signed on in 1961. In 1968, KTVM moved to a powerful transmitter on King Mountain and changed its calls to the current KOBI.

By 1978, KOBI had become a primary ABC affiliate, which by then had become the top network.[3] However, they continued to carry some CBS programs (such as the CBS Evening News and several daytime shows). In 1983, KOBI picked up NBC from KTVL, which switched to CBS. It carried a few ABC programs for another year until KDRV (channel 12) signed on.

For many years, KOBI branded itself as "Channel 5M," for its channel bullet designation within the Oregon State/Southern Oregon State edition of TV Guide, with a logo showing a "5" on an interstate highway sign, reflecting the interstate that goes through the Medford area, Interstate 5. The interstate sign motif was later extended to KOTI and KRCR. KOBI rebranded itself as "The News Channel" in 1998 and as "NBC 5" in 2004, but the highway sign remains today.

The station has a UHF translator, K32DY-D, to serve non-antenna-rotator-equipped households between Medford and Ashland. It is located on Mt. Baldy, east of Phoenix.

KOBI has brought many firsts to Southern Oregon and Northern California. It was the first station in Medford to offer local color programming, the first station to operate in stereo, the first Medford station to employ electronic news-gathering technology, and was the first Medford station with statewide microwave news coverage.

Bill Smullin retired in 1985 and was succeeded by his daughter, Patricia C. "Patsy" Smullin, who serves as owner and president today.

KOBI added a DT2 channel for AccuWeather's local and national weather digital channel to KOBI's digital signal were instituted in early 2008. It was replaced by This TV in January 2014, then Cozi TV in December 2019.

KOBI studios on South Fir Street in Downtown Medford
KOBI studios on South Fir Street in Downtown Medford


Jackpot Bingo

During the 1980s, KOBI broadcast a popular interactive game show called Jackpot Bingo, hosted by Tom Carnes. The show aired before Days of Our Lives and took after the popular Dialing for Dollars format. Jackpot Bingo gave contestants the opportunity to win up to $5,000 in cash by playing blackout bingo. However, contestants usually won the minimum $200 prize. Carnes was replaced by Sally Holliday in 1987 and the show was renamed $10,000 Jackpot Bingo as the prize money doubled. Still, contestants usually won $200. The show garnered the highest ratings for its time slot,[4] although it was cancelled in 1988.

Academic Challenge

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2015)

The Academic Challenge quiz bowl program, similar to GE College Bowl, places local high schools in a head-to-head battle for the championship title and over $40,000 in scholarship money.

Twenty high schools from Southern Oregon and Northern California participate in the Academic Challenge. Each school brings in a team of five students, four participating and one alternate, who answer a series of questions from the host, NBC 5 chief meteorologist Jeff Heaton, on topics such as history, math, literature, current events and a variety of other categories.

At the end of this double-elimination competition the final two teams will split the scholarship money, 60% to the championship team, 40% to the runner-up team.

The idea for Academic Challenge started at KRCR-TV in Redding in 1998 and was hosted by Gary Gunter from 1998 to 2005, then Tim Mapes from then on. NBC 5's newly hired general manager Bob Wise brought the identically formatted program to southern Oregon in 2005.

The program regularly aired on Sundays at 6:30 p.m., or after NBC Sunday Night Football and NBC 5 News during the NFL season, but has since been canceled.

Southern Oregon Meth Project

In 2005, KOBI started a special program called the Southern Oregon Meth Project to educate viewers and concerned citizens about the dangers of methamphetamine and what can be done to prevent it. The project was headed up by KOBI's lead news anchor Christina Anderson, where she remained until her departure for KOVR in Sacramento in 2010.[5]

News operation

KOBI presently broadcasts 22 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with four hours each weekday and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays).

Technical information


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[6]
5.1 1080i 16:9 KOBI-HD Main KOBI programming / NBC
5.2 480i COZI Cozi TV
5.3 QUEST Quest (soon)
5.4 TWIST Twist (soon)

Analog-to-digital conversion

KOBI shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 15 to VHF channel 5 for post-transition operations.[7][8]


City of license Callsign Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Owner
Brookings K07JT-D 7 0.075 kW 205 m (673 ft) 8276 42°2′42.3″N 124°14′4.3″W / 42.045083°N 124.234528°W / 42.045083; -124.234528 (K07JT-D) California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc.
Cave Junction K07PZ-D 0.028 kW 541 m (1,775 ft) 8258 42°15′30.4″N 123°39′40.2″W / 42.258444°N 123.661167°W / 42.258444; -123.661167 (K07PZ-D)
Coos Bay K36BX-D 36 4.73 kW 154 m (505 ft) 8307 43°23′32.6″N 124°7′54.5″W / 43.392389°N 124.131806°W / 43.392389; -124.131806 (K36BX-D)
Cottage Grove K16LL-D 16 0.2 kW 138 m (453 ft) 61125 43°46′40.4″N 123°2′36.4″W / 43.777889°N 123.043444°W / 43.777889; -123.043444 (K16LL-D) South Lane Television, Inc.
Gold Beach K25EN-D 25 0.117 kW 87 m (285 ft) 8299 42°26′24″N 124°25′2″W / 42.44000°N 124.41722°W / 42.44000; -124.41722 (K25EN-D) California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc.
Grants Pass K31OQ-D 31 1.5 kW 322 m (1,056 ft) 8270 42°24′42.5″N 123°16′58.5″W / 42.411806°N 123.282917°W / 42.411806; -123.282917 (K31OQ-D)
K33PM-D 33 0.615 kW 148 m (486 ft) 8261 43°25′41.4″N 123°0′8.3″W / 43.428167°N 123.002306°W / 43.428167; -123.002306 (K33PM-D)
Harbor K34KJ-D 34 1.62 kW 191 m (627 ft) 8248 41°58′10″N 124°11′17″W / 41.96944°N 124.18806°W / 41.96944; -124.18806 (K34KJ-D)
Medford K32DY-D 32 14.2 kW 386 m (1,266 ft) 8309 42°17′53.4″N 122°45′1.1″W / 42.298167°N 122.750306°W / 42.298167; -122.750306 (K32DY-D)
Port Orford, etc. K08AK-D 8 0.074 kW 38 m (125 ft) 8277 42°44′24.3″N 124°30′21.3″W / 42.740083°N 124.505917°W / 42.740083; -124.505917 (K08AK-D)
Roseburg K20MK-D 20 0.408 kW 174 m (571 ft) 183755 43°12′2″N 123°23′2″W / 43.20056°N 123.38389°W / 43.20056; -123.38389 (K20MK-D)
Squaw Valley, etc. K13MI-D 13 0.123 kW 462 m (1,516 ft) 13070 42°23′50.7″N 124°21′55.5″W / 42.397417°N 124.365417°W / 42.397417; -124.365417 (K13MI-D)
Williams K07HS-D 7 0.002 kW 134 m (440 ft) 8283 42°9′59.4″N 123°17′57.1″W / 42.166500°N 123.299194°W / 42.166500; -123.299194 (K07HS-D)
Yoncalla K25OK-D 25 0.196 kW 297 m (974 ft) 8296 43°38′18.4″N 123°19′37.3″W / 43.638444°N 123.327028°W / 43.638444; -123.327028 (K25OK-D)
Fort Jones, etc., CA K13HU-D 13 0.006 kW 364 m (1,194 ft) 8287 41°27′59.5″N 122°55′44.1″W / 41.466528°N 122.928917°W / 41.466528; -122.928917 (K13HU-D)
Yreka, CA K34OW-D 34 2.06 kW 0 m (0 ft) 8252 41°43′30.4″N 122°37′35.7″W / 41.725111°N 122.626583°W / 41.725111; -122.626583 (K34OW-D)

See also


  1. ^ William B. Smullin NAB Distinguished Service Award,
  2. ^ Kramer, Ronald. "History of Television in Southern Oregon". Western States Museum of Broadcasting. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ YouTube: KOBI's First 50 Years - The 1980s
  5. ^ Christina Anderson's KOVR profile page
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KOBI
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  8. ^ CDBS Print(registration required)