KBNZ-LD is the CBS-affiliated television station for Central Oregon that is licensed to Bend. It broadcasts a low-powered digital signal on VHF channel 7 from a transmitter in the city on Awbrey Butte west of U.S. 97. The station can also be seen on BendBroadband channel 6 and in high definition on channel 606. Owned by Zolo Media, an affiliate of BendBroadband, KBNZ has studios on Sherman Road.

Translators

Since KBNZ is a low-powered station, it relies on translators to expand its reach.

Call signChannelCity of licenseTransmitter location
K04BJ-D4La Pinesoutheast of city
K31CR-D31PrinevillePowell Buttes
K34AI-D34La Pinewest of Sunriver
K47LM-D47PrinevilleGrizzly Mountain

Digital television

Digital channel

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[2]
7.11080i16:9KBNZ-DTMain KBNZ-LD programming / CBS

History

KBNZ originated in the mid-1980s as a low-powered translator of KOIN in Portland. In October 2008, KOIN owner New Vision Television announced plans to convert KBNZ into a local CBS affiliate with a separate feed. Four of KOIN's translators in Central Oregon were switched from airing KOIN's signal to that of KBNZ. It also received its own section on KOIN's Website. Master control and some internal operations remained based at KOIN's studios at the KOIN Center in Downtown Portland. One reason that the station split from KOIN is a result of the Bend market growing in population. With the change, this leaves Meredith Corporation-owned MyNetworkTV affiliate KUBN-LP as the only area station serving as a full-time satellite of a Portland station. News personnel based at KBNZ began to contribute 2-4 local stories each day to air on KOIN broadcasts. It had been planned that as this station grew, a fully produced local newscast originating from Central Oregon would be introduced. [3]

Although identifying as a separate station in its own right, KBNZ was still reckoned as a KOIN semi-satellite. It cleared all of KOIN's newscasts and most of its syndicated programming, but aired separate identifications and commercials.

KBNZ's signal does not reach far outside Bend. The only other city it reaches is Deschutes River Woods which is south of Bend and can only be obtained in the northern tip of the area. KBNZ's signal can also be seen in the western portion of Crook County. K31CR-D transmits a digital rebroadcast of KOIN programming and is not available east of Prineville but services an area larger than KBNZ. K31CR's signal reaches Crook, Jefferson, Deschutes, and Wasco Counties. In contrast, KBNZ's signal does not exit Deschutes County.

On March 31, 2010, BendBroadband bought KBNZ from New Vision Television through a subsidiary, Zolo Media. The new owner initially didn't plan any immediate or major changes. [4] Since the ownership change, contact information for this station as well as listings for reporter Brittney Hopper and photographer Brandon Anderchuk have been removed, and the weather information for the Bend area on the KBNZ section has not been updated.

In the summer of 2011, KBNZ launched a new website. Zolo Media also announced that it would take over master control operations from KOIN, starting on September 1. With the severing of the electronic umbilical cord with KOIN, KBNZ also dropped KOIN's 5:30 pm and 6 pm newscasts and rolled out a new logo.[5] Currently, KBNZ continues to simulcast KOIN's weeknight 5 pm and nightly 11 pm newscasts although KOIN was sold to LIN TV in October 2012.

BendBroadband announced on May 1, 2014 that it will merge with Telephone and Data Systems, a Chicago cable firm, in a $261 million deal.[6]