KDRV, channel 12, is an ABC television affiliate based in Medford, Oregon. The station is located near Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport in north Medford. The station is owned by Heartland Media.
KDRV's programming can also be seen in Klamath Falls on KDKF digital channel 29. KDKF has its own newsroom in Klamath Falls.
Prior to 1984, KOBI served as the primary ABC affiliate for southern Oregon, but Medford was only partially covered. Viewers could also receive KATU in Portland on cable. This was partly because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had reserved channel 8, the last VHF frequency in the area, for noncommercial use (currently occupied by PBS member KSYS).
The Medford-Klamath Falls market is one of the geographically largest in the country, covering a large swath of southern Oregon and northern California. This area is very mountainous, and it is very difficult to get decent UHF reception in rugged terrain. However, in 1978, the FCC took the unusual step of dropping in a channel 12 allocation for Medford without anyone requesting such action. While a Christian broadcaster initially made a bid for the station, it was a foregone conclusion that the license would go to Sunshine Television, a local investment group.
KDRV signed on for the first time on February 26, 1984. The station's studio had not been finished yet, and live local programming was not possible from its temporary studio. The new studio was finished later in 1984, and the station was able to begin news and other local programming a year later. Sunshine sold the station to Love Broadcasting in 1987. Chambers Communications bought the station in 1994. KDKF debuted on October 17, 1989.
On March 5, 2014, Chambers Communications announced that it would exit broadcasting and sell its stations to Heartland Media, a company owned by former Gray Television executive Bob Prather. The sale was completed on July 15.  Heartland recently added Chico, California, CBS affiliate KHSL-TV to its family of stations, effectively making KDRV and KEZI their new sister stations.
Launched on September 16, 1985, KDRV has a fully staffed news department known as NewsWatch 12. It has consistently been the #1 news operation in the Medford market for just over two decades. Like fellow stations KOBI and KTVL, they air newscasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. but beginning in 2013, weekend newscasts began airing at 8:00 AM, 5:00, 6:00, 6:30 and 11 p.m. unlike its rivals. KDRV airs its morning news starting at 5 a.m. (as does KTVL). Anchor and reporter Ron Brown (Known as the "Dean of News Anchors" in Southern Oregon) and Chief Meteorologist Scott Lewis were the longest-tenured newscasters in the station's history, but Lewis retired in 2012 and Brown retired in May of 2015. This means Anchor Brian Morton (who joined the station in 1995) will succeed Brown as KDRV's longest tenured anchor. Brown hosted the weekly "Oregon Trails" segment, which took a look back in Southern Oregon's history, while Morton reports on "Wednesday's Child", an adoption segment. The newscast has received numerous awards, including several National Association of Broadcasters, Associated Press and Emmy Awards.
For a short period of time, KDRV was the only station in the Medford market to continue airing local sportscasts while rival stations KTVL and KOBI dropped their sportscasts in 2009. This has since changed.
On January 5, 2011, NewsWatch 12 was the first station in the market to begin broadcasting its newscasts in 16:9 widescreen to coincide with its new look, which is similar to sister station KEZI in Eugene. The station is also the first in the market to broadcast commercials in high-def.
On September 9, 2013, KDRV added yet another newscast to its daily schedule known as NewsWatch 12 Midday, which airs Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m.
KDRV Channel 12.2
On February 28, 2011, KDRV launched its new SD (standard definition) channel 12.2 as a way to proved more variety from the local station. It is shown on the digital channel 12.2 tier over-the-air (with converter box and antenna) in standard definition format as well as on Charter Cable channel 291 and (as of June 2012) on Northland Communications channel 137 in Yreka, California.
On September 2, 2011, KDRV began airing local high school football games live at 7:00pm in what is known as the "Friday Night Blitz Game of the Week" (named after its Friday night football highlight show during NewsWatch 12 at 11:00). On January 3, 2012, the station began airing select local high school basketball games at various times in what is known as "Roundball Wrap Game Of The Week" (named after its Friday night basketball highlight show during NewsWatch 12 at 11:00). The play-by-play was handled by Bill Jacobs (simulcast with KTMT-AM ESPN 580) with reporter Steven Sandberg as an occasional fill-in and Chris Leone and Chris Breece on color analysis. Starting in 2012, sports reporter Brandon Kamerman took Breece's spot. Starting in 2013, Jacobs did not return to the live telecasts and was replaced by Sandberg. (Jacobs is now master control operator at KMVU and the radio voice of the Medford Rogues collegiate woodbat baseball team. )
The subchannel has gone through a few changes since its inception as indicated below:
NewsWatch 12+ Nonstop News (2011–2013)
On February 28, 2011, KDRV launched a new 24-hour news channel called NewsWatch 12+ Nonstop News, which includes recorded local 30-minute newscasts that repeat every half-hour as well as regular live NewsWatch 12 broadcasts. NewsWatch 12+ also aired six back-to-back episodes of Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures on Saturday afternoons only (to comply with the FCC's children's programming laws) since its inception, but now airs E/I programs such as Danger Rangers, Exploration with Richard Wiese and others (as of September 3, 2011).
On September 8, 2013, NewsWatch 12+ ceased all operations on channel 12.2 due to low ratings and disinterest from viewers. (see below)
Live Well Network Southern Oregon (2013–2014)
On September 9, 2013, KDRV 12.2 replaced NewsWatch 12+ with Live Well Network Southern Oregon. Live Well Network is a home, health and lifestyle high definition digital subchannel network owned by Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company and is operated by the ABC Owned Television Stations. It launched on April 27, 2009, but KDRV didn't add the network to 12.2 until September 9.
Despite that change, KDRV will continue to carry the "Friday Night Blitz" and "Roundball Wrap" Games of the Week on 12.2.
On October 26, 2014, Live Well Network ended its operations, thus all affiliates carrying the network (including KDRV) had to go to other networks.
KDRV Classics (2014–present)
On October 27, 2014, KDRV replaced Live Well Southern Oregon with Antenna TV, a classic television network, and gave it the brand "KDRV Classics". Despite this latest change, KDRV will continue to carry the "Friday Night Blitz" and "Roundball Wrap" Games of the Week on Friday nights.
Notable former on-air staff
- Walt Maciborski – news anchor
- Ron Brown – news anchor
- Scott Lewis - weather man
Dancing With The Rogue Valley Stars
Since 2009, NewsWatch 12 airs a one-hour televised special called Dancing With The Rogue Valley Stars, which raises money for local charities and is sponsored by USA Dance Southern Oregon and Southern Oregon Sparrow Clubs in association with KDRV. Patterned after ABC's highly rated and successful Dancing with the Stars, the competition featured popular local personalities and officials dancing various styles of dance. In 2010, KDRV's Ashley Hall participated in the event dancing the salsa. In 2011, KDRV's Kaylin Krashesky and Kristin Ketchell participated with Kaylin dancing the west coast swing and Kristin dancing the samba. (Krashesky placed 3rd in people's and judges' voting.) In 2012, sports director Chris Leone and news anchor Erin Maxson represented the station as contestants with Leone dancing the salsa and Maxson dancing the western two-step. (Maxson placed 3rd in the people's voting and 2nd in the judges' voting.) In 2013, weekend anchor Christy Lewis and weekday meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese were chosen to represent the station as contestants for the 5th annual event.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Southern Oregon
In 2011, NewsWatch 12 aired an award winning 30-minute special called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Southern Oregon, a behind-the-scenes look at an episode of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition when the show selected C.J. and Lindsay McPhail, founders of the Southern Oregon Sparrow Clubs and parents of three children (two diagnosed with autism) to have their home torn down and rebuilt. News anchors Brian Morton and Danielle Craig led the hosting duties. The special was produced by Erin Maxson.
Various carrier disputes
Dispute with Dish Network
On December 10, 2010, KDRV announced on its newscast that their owners Chambers Communications (who also own KEZI in Eugene, KOHD in Bend and KDKF in Klamath Falls) and Dish Network could not come to a long-term agreement to keep the station on the air in the Medford market and were in danger of losing local ABC programming as a result. Viewers were encouraged to read a special Q&A page regarding this matter. Despite their best efforts, their previous agreement expired on December 15 and the stations were removed from the Dish Network local line-ups. Chambers and Dish finally came to an agreement to resume service and as of December 30, 2010 the stations returned on Dish Network.
KDRV replaces KRCR on Mt. Shasta cable
In January 2012, KDRV replaced Redding, California ABC affiliate KRCR-TV on Northland Communications cable channel 7 in Mt. Shasta, California as Northland and KRCR severed ties after failing to come to a mutual agreement to continue coverage on the Mt. Shasta cable system. Thus, Northland placed KDRV in the channel 7 slot. (Northland management has tried several times to get Siskiyou County put in the Chico-Redding market, but the FCC rejected their requests every time.)
Despite being in California, Siskiyou County is technically (yet officially) part of the Medford DMA according to the FCC. KDRV had been on Northland's Yreka cable system on channel 12 since the station launched in early 1984 and the advent of local cable television back in the early to mid 1980's.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|Main programming / ABC|
Both stations shut down their analog signals, respectively on February 17, 2009, the original target date in 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 channel allocations post-transition are as follows:
- KDRV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 38 to VHF channel 12 for post-transition operations.
- KDKF shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 31; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 29, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 31.
KDRV is rebroadcast on the following translator stations: