KOHD Bend (Ore.),
which is replacing its newscasts with shorter news "updates", says it's simply
adapting to the evolving habits of its viewers. The Chambers-owned station will
air its last traditional newscast at 11 p.m. March 5, and 14 staffers are
"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," GM Jerry Upham
said on KOHD.com. "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 7
KOHD will also air a 10 minute mini-news at 11 p.m.
The ABC affiliate's break from traditional-length newscasts was previously
reported on the media blog Oregon
KOHD is relatively new to the local news game in DMA No. 189, launching its
product in high def in September 2007. Management said viewer interest has not
been enough to sustain the costs of full-scale news gathering. "Changes to the
local television landscape in Central Oregon,
and the broadcast industry overall, have been significant during the last three
years," KOHD said in a statement. "The ripple effects of the worst economic
conditions since The Great Depression have dramatically impacted advertisers
and due to the high start-up costs associated with bringing a fully high
definition station to market, KOHD has been especially hard hit."
Besides KOHD and KEZI, Chambers Communications owns Oregon
stations KDRV in Medford and KDKF in Klamath Falls.
Upham says KOHD will not be a bureau for sister station KEZI Eugene.
Upham saluted the 14 departing KOHD staffers. "We thank each of them for all
that they have done on behalf of the station," he said. "We also want to thank
those viewers and advertisers who have supported the station's efforts. We will
continue to keep them top of mind as we take these necessary steps to maintain
station operations during these challenging and uncertain economic times."