Southern Oregon PBS Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Oregon_PBS

Southern Oregon PBS logo 2019.png
BrandingSouthern Oregon PBS
SO PBS (alternate)
Affiliations8.1: PBS
8.2: World
8.3: Create
8.4: PBS Kids
OwnerSouthern Oregon Public Television, Inc.
First air date
January 17, 1977 (45 years ago) (1977-01-17)
Former channel number(s)
8 (VHF, 1977–2009)
42 (UHF, until 2009)
Call sign meaning
SYSkiyou Mountains (sic)
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID61350
ERP16.9 kW
HAAT818 m (2,684 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°41′31.4″N 123°13′49.2″W / 42.692056°N 123.230333°W / 42.692056; -123.230333 (KSYS)
Translator(s)See below
Public license information
Brandingsee KSYS infobox
Affiliations22.1: PBS
22.2: World
22.3: Create
22.4: PBS Kids
OwnerSouthern Oregon Public Television, Inc.
First air date
January 27, 1989 (33 years ago) (1989-01-27)
Former channel number(s)
22 (UHF, 1989–2009)
Call sign meaning
Klamath Falls Television Service
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID61335
ERP9.6 kW
HAAT649 m (2,129 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°5′49.5″N 121°38′2.9″W / 42.097083°N 121.634139°W / 42.097083; -121.634139 (KFTS)
Translator(s)See below
Public license information

Southern Oregon PBS (SO PBS, formerly Southern Oregon Public Television or SOPTV) is the PBS member network for most of the southwest region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It operates KSYS (channel 8) in Medford and full-time satellite KFTS (channel 22) in Klamath Falls. Studios are located on South Fir Street in downtown Medford. KSYS' transmitter is located on King Mountain, while KFTS' transmitter is atop Stukel Mountain.


In 1965, Oregon Educational Broadcasting, forerunner of Oregon Public Broadcasting, persuaded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign channel 8 from Brookings to Medford. OEB intended to make channel 8 the third station in its television network, which at that time included flagship KOAC-TV in Corvallis and KOAP-TV (now KOPB-TV) in Portland. Southern Oregon was the only region of the state without public television.

However, channel 8 at Medford was not reserved for noncommercial applicants, and two commercial applicants also demonstrated interest in the channel. The Medford Printing Company owned the Mail Tribune newspaper and radio station KYCJ.[1] A joint venture of Liberty Television, owners of KEZI in Eugene and several cable systems, and Medford-based Siskiyou Broadcasting, also filed.[2] Both commercial groups sought to operate channel 8 as an ABC affiliate.

The FCC slated the applications from the Oregon Board of Higher Education, Medford Printing, and the Liberty/Siskiyou joint venture for hearing in December 1967, alongside an objection by the Southern Oregon Broadcasting Company, owner of KTVM channel 5, which believed a third commercial outlet in Medford would cause economic harm to its business.[3] The state dropped out in May 1968, and after Medford Printing failed to respond, the commission awarded the construction permit to Liberty and Siskiyou in 1969.[4]

Liberty and Siskiyou, however, were impeded from building the channel due to continued objections from KOBI (the former KTVM); the final petition for reconsideration from that station was denied in March 1971.[5] Even after those were dismissed, Liberty hesitated to build the station, designated KSYS, which would have made Medford into the smallest market in the country with three commercial TV stations.[6]

The owners of the two commercial stations in the area—Bill Smullin of KOBI and Ray Johnson of KMED-TV (now KTVL)—helped a new non-profit corporation, Southern Oregon Educational Company, buy the channel 8 construction permit from Liberty. (Liberty claimed the growth of cable TV in the region reduced the need for a third commercial outlet.[6]) They also pledged payments of $50,000 once the station signed on. Getting the funds to buy necessary equipment proved more difficult than expected, presumably because the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) balked at donating to a non-profit that was backed by two commercial broadcasters.

With the FCC permit about to run out, KSYS went on the air on January 17, 1977 from a transmitter on the JacksonJosephine county line with the strongest signal of any station in the region, at 191,000 watts. (The FCC redesignated channel 8 as reserved noncommercial in December 1977 and instead allocated channel 12 to Medford for a third network station, leading to the establishment of KDRV seven years later.[7])

Originally, Klamath Falls was served by a low-powered translator. In 1986, SOEC (later renamed Southern Oregon Public Television, Inc.) immediately applied for another full-power station to cover the Klamath Valley. It would be another three years before that station, KFTS, went on the air in January 1989 from a transmitter just south of the city.

The two stations are the only public television stations in the state not affiliated with OPB, but occasionally air some of OPB's programs. They also carry local, PBS, and American Public Television programs, along with programs from other distributors.

In December 2019, the station renamed itself to Southern Oregon PBS as part of a national initiative of PBS stations to clarify their roles in their communities.

Technical information[edit]


The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming
8.1 22.1 1080i 16:9 SOPTV-HD Main SO PBS programming / PBS
8.2 22.2 480i 4:3 SOPTV-SD World
8.3 22.3 SOPTV-OR Create
8.4 22.4 SOPTV-KD PBS Kids

SO PBS also operates a cable-only channel on Charter Spectrum channel 8 in Medford, Ashland, Klamath Falls, Grants Pass and Brookings (channel 7 in Roseburg), featuring popular PBS programming at alternate times. SO PBS is also available on satellite providers in the region on channel 8. The secondary channel, World, is available on Spectrum channel 192, The third channel, Create, is carried on Spectrum channel 191, and the fourth channel, PBS Kids, is carried on Spectrum channel 193,

SO PBS is also one of the partners of The Oregon Channel, a public affairs network. Programming consists of Oregon legislative sessions and other public affairs events. It was previously featured also on the x.4 subchannel, until it was made exclusively available on cable.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

SOPTV's stations shut down their analog signals 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:[8]

  • KSYS shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 42 to VHF channel 8 due to problems caused by UHF's severe terrain limitations.[9]
  • KFTS shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 22; 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 22. In 2018, SOPTV transitioned from channel 42 down to channel 34 due to the federally-mandated television repack. (Despite this change, most television sets' metadata continues to show viewers receiving channel 8.)


KSYS is rebroadcast on the following translators:

City of license Callsign Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates
Brookings, etc. K15IM-D 15 1 kW 362 m (1,188 ft) 61354 42°7′22.3″N 124°18′0.3″W / 42.122861°N 124.300083°W / 42.122861; -124.300083 (K15IM-D)
Cave Junction K22IQ-D 22 0.1 kW 536 m (1,759 ft) 168453 42°15′28.4″N 123°39′43.2″W / 42.257889°N 123.662000°W / 42.257889; -123.662000 (K22IQ-D)
Gold Hill, etc. K27KW-D 27 157 m (515 ft) 61352 42°25′40.4″N 123°0′8.1″W / 42.427889°N 123.002250°W / 42.427889; -123.002250 (K27KW-D)
Grants Pass K19HS-D 19 0.2 kW 320 m (1,050 ft) 168454 42°24′42.4″N 123°16′58.2″W / 42.411778°N 123.282833°W / 42.411778; -123.282833 (K19HS-D)
Phoenix, etc. K34DJ-D 34 12 kW 432 m (1,417 ft) 61344 42°17′53.5″N 122°45′3.1″W / 42.298194°N 122.750861°W / 42.298194; -122.750861 (K34DJ-D)
Pinehurst K13PF-D 13 0.013 kW 488 m (1,601 ft) 61342 42°8′21.4″N 122°26′29″W / 42.139278°N 122.44139°W / 42.139278; -122.44139 (K13PF-D)
Prospect K02JG-D 2 407 m (1,335 ft) 61339 42°43′38.4″N 122°36′32.1″W / 42.727333°N 122.608917°W / 42.727333; -122.608917 (K02JG-D)
K13PI-D 13 0.007 kW 210 m (689 ft) 61347 42°13′11.4″N 123°2′3.1″W / 42.219833°N 123.034194°W / 42.219833; -123.034194 (K13PI-D)
Shady Cove K13PE-D 0.0075 kW 419 m (1,375 ft) 61348 42°42′21.2″N 122°48′37.7″W / 42.705889°N 122.810472°W / 42.705889; -122.810472 (K13PE-D)
Williams K02JJ-D 2 0.07 kW 623 m (2,044 ft) 61343 42°22′55.4″N 123°16′33.2″W / 42.382056°N 123.275889°W / 42.382056; -123.275889 (K02JJ-D)


  1. ^ "TV Station Right Asked". The Statesman. Associated Press. October 8, 1966. p. 10. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Second Firm Bids for TV In Medford". The Statesman. Associated Press. October 14, 1966. p. 14. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Stout, Jed (December 9, 1967). "Medford TV Channel Subject of Struggle". Capital Journal. UPI. p. 8.
  4. ^ "FCC board upholds Medford UHF [sic] grant" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 18, 1969. p. 25. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  5. ^ FCC History Cards for KSYS
  6. ^ a b "Medford gains educational TV". Capital Journal. UPI. September 28, 1972. p. 12. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  7. ^ Federal Communications Commission (January 10, 1978). "Television Broadcast Stations in Medford and Grants Pass, Oreg.; Changes made in Table of Assignments" (PDF). Federal Register. p. 1503 (41). Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  9. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-90A1.pdf[bare URL PDF]

External links[edit]