KRCW-TV, virtual channel 32 (UHF digital channel 33), is a CW-affiliated television station serving Portland, Oregon, United States that is licensed to Salem. The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company. KRCW maintains studios located on Southwest Arctic Drive in Beaverton, and its transmitter is located in the Sylvan-Highlands section of Portland. It operates a low-powered fill-in translator in Portland, KRCW-LP (channel 5), which operates its transmitter alongside KRCW's digital signal.
The station was launched on May 8, 1989 under the call sign KUTF (standing for "Keep Up The Faith"), its original transmitter was located outside Molalla. The station's original programming format almost entirely consisted of religious programs. It was originally operated by Dove Broadcasting then sold to Eagle Broadcasting on July 17, 1991. On February 11, 1992, the station's callsign was changed to KEBN (standing for "Eagle Broadcasting Network"). The previous KUTF calls now reside on the Daystar owned-and-operated station in Logan, Utah. On April 26, 1992, it was announced that KEBN would adopt a general entertainment programming format as "Oregon's New Eagle 32". On October 1, the station went off the air but returned on September 5, 1994 airing a number of infomercials, public domain movies, and brokered shows for eight hours a day (it expanded to 24 hours by Labor Day of that year). James R. McDonald owned the station via Channel 32, Inc.
KEBN became a charter affiliate of The WB upon its launch on January 11, 1995 and changed its call letters to KWBP to reflect its new affiliation on October 2. By the fall of that year, bartered syndicated programming (including cartoons, and some older sitcoms and dramas) were added to the station's schedule. It also relayed the O. J. Simpson trial from future sister station KTLA in Los Angeles. After becoming a WB affiliate, KWBP significantly upgraded its on-air look and schedule. It acquired several first-run syndicated sitcoms and talk shows. It grew even further after being purchased by ACME Communications in 1997. At that point, a low-power relay, KWBP-LP (originally operating on channel 4, now on channel 5) was established in Downtown Portland to address signal issues in that area. By the start of the new millennium, KWBP had established itself as a solid competitor to established non-Big Three stations KPTV and KPDX.
On December 30, 2002, ACME sold KWBP and KPLR-TV in St. Louis, Missouri to the Tribune Company for $270 million ($70 million of which was declared as the purchase price for KWBP). KWBP's growth continued, also helped in part by the decline of KPDX after its affiliation switch to UPN that fall.
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down The WB and UPN and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new "fifth" network called The CW. KWBP was announced as Portland's CW affiliate through a 16-station group affiliation agreement with Tribune, while the market's UPN affiliate KPDX-TV (channel 49, owned by the Meredith Corporation) was named as the Portland affiliate of MyNetworkTV (another new network created by News Corporation as a result of the formation of The CW).
On September 16, 2006, KWBP changed its call letters to the current KRCW-TV. It affiliated with The CW when it launched on September 18, 2006. On April 6, 2009, KRCW joined other Tribune-owned CW affiliates in phasing out the network's branding from the station's own on-air brand, referring to itself as "NW 32 TV." The station reinstated CW branding in August 2012, rebranding as "Portland's CW 32."
In 1993, a small low-power station by the call letters K04OG was launched. It was licensed to Reedville with a transmitter on Cooper Mountain and carried programming from America One. Originally broadcasting on VHF channel 4, then-KWBP-LP moved to channel 5 when Paxson Communications petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move KPXG-TV (channel 22)'s digital signal from UHF channel 20 to channel 4. On December 1, 1998, the call letters were changed to KENY-LP to reflect the founder of the station, Kenny J. Seymour. In 2000, KENY-LP was bought by ACME Communications and became a repeater station for KWBP. The transmitter was moved to Sylvan-Highlands to provide better coverage to the Downtown Portland area. The station changed its calls to KWBP-LP. In 2006, to coincide with its parent call letter change, the repeater became KRCW-LP. In 2014 KRCW-LP flash-cut to a digital signal.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|32.1||1080i||16:9||KRCW-TV||Main KRCW programming / The CW|
In addition to KRCW's main channel, the station's digital subchannels are carried on the digital tiers of local cable providers; digital channel 32.3 is carried on Comcast channel 303 and Frontier FiOS digital channel 463, while digital subchannel 32.2 is carried on Comcast channel 304 and Frontier FiOS digital channel 462. The This TV affiliation on digital subchannel 32.3 was added on June 25, 2012, replacing the second digital subchannel of ABC affiliate KATU as that network's affiliate for the Portland market (KATU replaced This TV on its 2.2 subchannel with the network's then-sister network Me-TV).
KRCW-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 32, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 33, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 32.
In addition to its rebroadcast on KRCW-LP, KRCW-TV is repeated on the following low-power translator stations:
|Call letters||Channel||City of license|
Syndicated programming on the station includes Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, Futurama, The Jerry Springer Show, and Maury among others. The station serves as the over-the-air television home for the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team in the Portland market.
From 2003 to 2005, NBC affiliate KGW (channel 8) produced a nightly 10 p.m. newscast called Northwest NewsChannel 8 at 10 on PAX for the area's Pax TV owned-and-operated station KPXG-TV (which is now with Pax successor Ion Television). The program was moved over to KWBP on October 3, 2005 through a news share agreement that was struck between KGW and KWBP. Renamed as Northwest NewsChannel 8 at 10 on Portland's WB, it was the first news program of any kind ever to be broadcast on this station. The program title was changed on September 18, 2006, when KRCW made the affiliation switch to The CW. On January 21, 2008, KGW became the first television station in the Portland market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition, the KRCW broadcast was included in the upgrade. On July 22, 2014, KRCW's newscast was retitled KGW News at 10 on Portland's CW 32, in accordance with KGW's retiring of the Northwest NewsChannel 8 brand after 20 years.
The prime time production originates from KGW's studios on Southwest Jefferson Street in Downtown Portland and competes with the hour-long and in-house 10 o'clock broadcast that airs on Fox affiliate KPTV (channel 12). KGW advertises the KRCW newscast as having the most important news of the day, along with an updated weather forecast in the first ten minutes of the program. In turn, KPTV promotes its broadcast as having the first weather forecast at 10. The KGW newscast on KRCW is similar to news share agreements that Tribune maintains in select other markets where a station of theirs does not operate a news department (such as the WPVI-TV-produced 10 p.m. newscast that airs on Philadelphia sister station WPHL-TV).
In addition, since November 14, 2011, KRCW produces local news and weather cut-ins under the name Portland's Morning News during the Tribune-produced EyeOpener program; the cut-ins are anchored by Ken Ackerman in-studio and weather segments are anchored by Tim Joyce.