22 February 2006

[media] KWVT, Televison for Salem, Redux

It's been a looooong time since Salem's had a station that it can call its own. I'm old enough to remember KVDO-Channel 3, back in the '70's, and its studio at 3000 Portland Rd NE (the building still stands, I think; its on the east side of Portland Road, I believe the cross-street is Beach Ave NE), and I remember when it was moved to Bend after Oregon Public Broadcasting acquired it (and the damage caused when and upset view went out to the tower site and cut the thing down!). I also remember KECH-22 (called by me and my amigos "Retch-22") which was at first an outlet for a broadcast version of cable-style programming called "ON-TV" and which morphed into KWVT-Channel 22, which had actual local Salem news for a while before folding and becoming the local Home Shopping Channel outlet.

What television there was in Salem introduced me to that quirky televangelist, Dr Gene Scott.

Good times.

Now Tim King has decided to step into the Salem TV gap and create KWVT TV anew. Now, though, it's a low-power UHF at Channel 52, which is brand new for Salem. It's got a scrappy attitude and a "Salem for locals" approach which this jaded TV kid finds quite refreshing.

Tim King was late of KATU. As he says on KWVT's companion website, Salem-News.com:

After working for KATU for over three years, Tim recently separated from the station when the station’s new management decided to substantially reduce their coverage of the Salem area. Cutting ties with the Portland TV station now allows Tim to pursue the full development of Salem-News.com with his wife and business partner, Bonnie King, and several other team members.

Thier program schedule is available on thier website as a PDF: it contains small-market sports programming, old movies, minor-league professional wrestling (sound kind of exciting, actually!), a flock of half-hour shows, and an armful of what looks to be delighful old movies.

While Salem may seem bucolic (even I will cop to sometimes calling it "Snailem", but, I was a teenager there; it's affectionate, believe me) I agree it's been given short-shrift by current electronic media who see no profit in covering Salem. I applaud Tim King's effort; I hope he makes it, and I hope the Capitol City gets behind this one.

Variety is good. Local for locals is better.


Anonymous said...

Tim King and Salem-News.com have some very exciting ideas for developing local programming.

Just to clarify, KWVT channel 52 Salem is operated by Northwest Television, LLC (aka. NWTV). Tim King and Salem-News.com do not own or control NWTV.

Many local people have expressed interest in producing local programming for broadcast television. Stay tuned, there's much more coming!

Website: www.kwvtsalem.com

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

The anonymous clarification is appreicated, and I regret any errors in expression I may have committed in my own post.

More than that, of course, is that I'm completely on board with the rest of the comment. I think the KWVT effort ought to have a chance to succeed, and it's great to know that locals are getting on board to back you up!

Ken Lewetag said...

You have forgotten good old Stu Martin I think he was the orginal home shopping model. For those of you that do not know him he ran movies with products in between well I should say Products with movies in between I think it was 10 min movie 30 min of products.

The reason Mike and I started KWVT is so that once again the mid valley will have it's own station one that cares about the area.

Thanks for the good words

co-owner KWVT 52