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 /  Homepage / Special Projects / History of Broadcasting in Southern Oregon / History of Television in Southern Oregon / Chronology of Development of Television in Southern Oregon

Chronology of Development of Television in Southern Oregon

1927
May Philo Farnsworth transmits first experimental electronic television pictures.

1928
March Vladimir Zworykin patents the iconoscope tube which makes electronic television feasible.

1932
NBC installs an experimental television station in newly-constructed Empire State Building in New York.

1933
RCA initiates use of Zworykin's iconoscope tube for experimental use.

1935
NBC announces a major commitment to develop commercial television and installs primitive television studio in New York.

1936
November British Broadcasting Company (BBC) initiates the world's first regular television broadcast service in England.

1937
Seventeen experimental television stations are operating.

1939
April 30 Formal opening of NBC's television service in New York offering one program day. TV sets go on sale at prices ranging between $200 and $600. CBS and Du Mont Television follow suit.

1940
February FCC authorizes limited commercial television as of September but changes its mind in March.

August CBS airs the first "colorcast" using the CBS color system.

1941
July 1 Commercial telecasting begins from NBC.

1942
February There are ten stations on the air but television broadcasting and set production shuts down for the duration of World War II.

1945
With the end of the war telecasting resumes.

1946
Summer RCA resumes TV set production.

November RCA publicly demonstrates all-electronic color television system.

1947
There are 14,000 television sets in the nation. Television industry creates its first regular programs like "Howdy Doody", "Kraft Television Theatre" and "Kukla, Fran and Ollie."

March FCC declines to authorize CBS color television system.

1948
September With 16 TV stations on the air, the FCC imposes a freeze on new construction of stations.

Texaco Star Theatre, starring Milton Berle (who becomes known as 'Mr. Television' as a result of the program) focuses the nation's attention television and causes the sale of more television receivers than any other phenomenon.

August NBC and CBS announce plans for major television network expansion by 1950. A New York television station, ABC's first, goes on the air.

1949
The nation's first cable television system is built in Astoria.

January Eastern and midwestern television networks are connected by telephone cables allowing live television programming in those areas.

December There are 190,000 televisions sets in use nationally and much of that growth is due to Milton Berle.

1950
Television sets nationally number 1,000,000.

October FCC approves CBS's mechanical color television system.

1951
June 25 CBS presents its "gala premiere" first commercial color telecast with Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan and Faye Emerson.

September First coast-to-coast live network television broadcast.

October Manufacture of color television sets, using the CBS system, is halted for duration of Korean War.

"I Love Lucy" debuts on the CBS.

1952
April FCC lifts freeze on TV station construction and authorizes creation of UHF channels 14-83.

September First UHF television station in the nation, KLOR (now KPTV) takes to the air in Portland.

1953
There are 20,000,000 television homes in the nation.

August 1 Southern Oregon's first television station, KBES, Channel 5, signs on in Medford. Station changes call signs to KTVM in early 1960's.

December FCC reverses its earlier position and authorizes NBC's system of electronic, compatible color television as the nation's standard.

1954
March 9 Edward R. Murrow takes on Sen. Joe McCarthy on CBS' "See It Now" program demonstrating the potency of television and setting new expectations for broadcast journalism.

1955
September Du Mont Television Network goes out of existence.

1956
April 1 Roseburg's first television station, KPIC signs on Channel 4 operating as a satellite of KVAL, Eugene.

August 12 Klamath Falls' first television station, KOTI, signs on on Channel 2 as a satellite of KBES, Medford.

1958
Fall Southern Oregon Cable Television first brings all four network services, and other television programming, to subscribers in the Medford-Ashland area.

1959
October-November Rigged network quiz show scandals scandalize the nation and rock the television industry.

1960
October 1 KCBY, Channel 11, signs on as Coos Bay's first television station. KCBY operates as a satellite of KVAL, Eugene.

Fall The first televised presidential election debates, the "Great Debates" between Kennedy and Nixon, probably change the outcome of the presidential election.

1961
October 3 KMED-TV, Channel 10, signs on in Medford as the community's second television station.

1963
September NBC and CBS begin half-hour evening television newscasts.

1965
Fall Networks have adopted color television for programming. NBC broadcasts virtually all its shows in color; CBS and ABC offer about half of their schedules in color.

1966
September KMED-TV moves its transmitter to Mt. Ashland.

1967
January First live interconnected public television programming, the Public Broadcasting Laboratory, takes to the air one night weekly under grant from Ford Foundation. Same month the Carnegie Commission issues an influential report advocating establishment of a public radio and television system in U.S.

November Corporation for Public Broadcasting is established based upon Carnegie Commission's recommendations.

1968
September KTVM changes its call sign to KOBI and moves its transmitter to King Mountain, dramatically increase its coverage.

1977
January 17 KSYS, Channel 8, signs on bringing southern Oregon on-air public television for the first time.

1979
KMED-TV sold to Freedom Communications and its call sign changed to KTVL.

1980
PBS begins using satellite transmission to link the network's stations.

1981
Southern Oregon Cable sold to McCaw Cablevision.

1984
February 26 KDRV, Channel 12, signs on. Medford now has full television outlets for all three major television networks.

1985
NBC is first commercial television network to begin using satellite interconnection for its stations.

1986
October Fox Broadcasting Company takes to the air as the first successful fourth national television network.

1989
March KFTS, Channel 22, signs on in Klamath Falls as a satellite of KSYS, Medford.

October 17 KDKF, Channel 31, a satellite of KDRV, Medford, signs on as Klamath Falls' third television station.

1991
July 8 KMTZ, Channel 23, signs on in Roseburg as a satellite of KMTR, Eugene.




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