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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


KMED


    Lieutenant Goldsborough of the Medford aviation field tried out the wireless outfit last night and picked up messages all along the coast, one being a telephone wireless from Los Angeles to Cataline Island. The local field is in splendid shape now, representing a high degree of orderliness and neatness. Lieutenant Goldsborough is one of the best-known aviators on the coast, took part in the transcontinental flight last year and had a narrow escape when his plane collided with a mountaintop in the Rockies. Goldsborough escaped with a few minor injuries, but his companion was killed.
"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, August 7, 1920, page 2


PUT VALLEY RADIO IN AT CENTRAL POINT
    W. J. Virgin of Central Point is installing a radio transmitting set and will broadcast market and news reports furnished by The Mail Tribune. He will start with a 5-watt station, but a 50-watt transmitter will be installed as soon as possible. The reports will be able to be heard with suitable receiving apparatus all over southern Oregon.
    It is expected that the set will be in operation within the next three weeks. Mr. Virgin is doing the work himself and has bought the apparatus. Concerts will be broadcasted in addition to the news and market reports from The Mail Tribune.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 21, 1922, page 3


RADIO BROADCASTING STATION AT FAIR GR'S
    Construction work has started this morning on the new broadcasting station located on the Jackson County fairgrounds. This station will be under the personal supervision of W. J. Virgin, radio expert, who has recently located in Medford and will do much toward placing Medford on the map throughout the radio world.
    Broadcasting equipment will be installed above the orchestra platform in the fairgrounds amusement pavilion, and the latest popular dance music as present by Launspach's pavilion orchestra will be broadcasted for hundreds of miles. Mr. Virgin expects to have all equipment in operation this week, and the first concert will no doubt be broadcasted Saturday.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 21, 1922, page 2


    Construction work on the new radio broadcasting station at the fairgrounds was progressing rapidly today, and it is hoped that all will be in readiness for the initial concert tonight. A large broadcasting instrument will be installed above the orchestra platform in the dance pavilion, and the latest dance hits as featured by Launspach's new pavilion orchestra will be broadcasted throughout the state. Radio enthusiasts plan to attend the pavilion dance tonight to see the first broadcasting station in southern Oregon in actual operation.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1922, page 2


RADIO FANS ENTHUSE OVER MEDFORD ACTION
    Radio fans throughout the valley are deeply interested in the new broadcasting station which is now under construction at the fairgrounds. This novel enterprise will cost in the neighborhood of one thousand dollars and will enable radio owners for hundreds of miles to "tune in" on the concerts and entertainment provided by the Medford station. Far better results will thus be obtained for local radio fans than have been received in the past from far distant broadcasting stations. That this new project will be a great publicity medium for Medford there is no doubt, as it will put Medford on the radio map for the entire coast. It is planned to have all equipment ready by Saturday evening, when the first concert will be broadcasted from Launspach's pavilion orchestra.
    Many people from all parts of the valley plan to attend the pavilion dance tomorrow night and see this novel broadcasting equipment in operation for the first time in this part of the state.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1922, page 3


CO. FAIR RADIO WILL BROADCAST TONIGHT
    Radio station "K.F.A.Y.," located at Jackson County fairgrounds, will broadcast music this evening from 7:30 to 8:30.
    A regular program will be arranged for at least three nights a week commencing Wednesday night with Launspach's orchestra, which will furnish dance music from 9:30 p.m. to 12 p.m.
    The station, which is transmitting on low power tonight, will have the larger set installed by Wednesday.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 25, 1922, page 1


RADIO STATION AT FAIR IS GETTING SPLENDID RESULTS
    Radio station K.F.A.Y., located at Medford, Oregon, is getting excellent results. Last Saturday night when broadcasting Launspach's orchestra on low power and with the aerial incomplete they were picked up by Santa Cruz, Calif., Sedro Woolley, Wash., Salt Lake City, Utah, and other equally distant points.
    Last night, with the completed aerial and high power, they probably reached over a radius of 1500 miles. A list of stations answering them will be published in the near future, as soon as the mails bring the answers.
    The owners of the station, W. J. Virgin of Virgin's Radio Service, and Sam Jordon of the Jordon Electric Company in Ashland, wish the public to consider the installation a community affair and wish the support of all local talent to make it a success. They wish all musicians to register with them who are willing to sing or play over the radio-phone.
    The station is open to the public, and visitors are allowed during broadcasting hours. A regular program will be arranged for three or four nights a week.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 28, 1922, page 8


Radio Program
    A message was received yesterday by Virgin's Radio Service from Meade, operating O.I.C., at St. Michael, Alaska. The message is as follows: "Replying to your broadcast, midnight, September 27th. Radiophone very loud, also very clear. Loud enough to be heard all over room. Enjoyed concert very much."
    Another concert has been arranged for this evening. The following program by Alford's Imperial Four will be broadcasted between 8:30 and 9:30: "I Wish I Knew," "Mississippi Moon," "Tomorrow," "Carolina Rose," "Georgia" and "She Comes from Dixie."
    These numbers will be heard by radio fans for hundreds of miles. The Imperial Four, a new organization in Medford, is a saxophone quartet under the supervision of Herb Alford and is expected to make a hit with local music lovers, as well as with radio fans within a large radius.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1922

November 6, 1922 Medford Mail Tribune
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1922

MAY BROADCAST CROP REPORTS FROM MEDFORD
    Radio broadcasting station K.F.A.Y. of Medford, Ore. has been recommended by the Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau, to the Department of Navigation to be granted a license for broadcasting of U.S. market crop and weather reports.
    This privilege is granted to but few stations and is assigned a special wavelength for this purpose only, 485 meters.
    This service will start as soon as the license arrives. The Medford Mail Tribune was instrumental in securing this concession. The latter will also broadcast news items on 360 meters.
    A musical program was broadcast last night consisting of several numbers by the 23-12 orchestra of the Medford High School.
    The next program will be broadcast 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. next Wednesday evening.
    The following cities have heard our music since the list printed;
    Shandon, Calif.; Bellingham, Wash.; Lebanon, Ore.; Redmond, Ore.; Grants Pass; Vacaville, Calif.; Santa Cruz, Calif.; Mill Valley, Calif.; Agnew, Calif.; Cowichan Station, Vancouver, B.C.; Molalla, Ore.; and Kelso, Wash.
    A radio voice conversation was held with K.F.C.C. of Wallace, Idaho, between 11 and 12 p.m. October 2.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 3, 1922, page 18


May Lose Radio Station
    To the Editor: Medford has been placed on the map and advertised to a greater extent lately than ever before. This has been done through the agency of the broadcasting station at the fair grounds, and has been the means of hundreds of letters being received from people as far away as Honolulu, Alaska and even Mississippi River points, many of the writers probably never having heard of Medford before. This is good advertising, and has been done wholly by private individuals who bore all the expense of installing and operating this station. They are prohibited from making any charge for sending out any broadcasted matter, so the burden has become so heavy for them that one of the owners has quit, and the other, Mr. Virgin of this city, cannot see where he can continue much longer. Many Medford people have enjoyed this service and would miss it very much if it is discontinued, to say nothing of the word going out that Medford "fell down" on their radio station.
    It has been learned, however, that another city has offered Mr. Virgin to pay all his operating expenses if he would move the station there and advertise that place instead of Medford, which would effectually kill the large amount of radio advertising for Crater Lake next spring, in addition to which the answers to these hundreds of letters of inquiry would be dated at another city. Let us work to keep the station here. Let the booster organizations lend a hand to help the thing along; get the musical organizations to assist in furnishing programs; get the merchants interested as a business proposition for the good of Medford.
    I am not connected with the Virgin Radio in any manner whatsoever, am not even in business for myself, just a salary man, but I have enough interest in the advertisement feature that Medford gets out of it to chip in something towards keeping the station here. Let's hear from some of the Medford people owning radio sets as to what they think of losing the station.
MEDFORD RESIDENT.
Medford, Nov. 21st.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 23, 1922, page 4


    Radio fans from all sections of Southern Oregon met Monday night at Hotel Medford and organized the Rogue River Valley Radio Club. The initial roster bears the names of eight-five members, which will be increased to three hundred in the near future, the officials predict. The purpose of the organization is to work jointly to secure favorable legislation and to otherwise promote this growing industry. W. J. Virgin of Medford was elected president, A. B. Brownell of Grants Pass vice president and Elmer Morris of Ashland secretary.

"Yourself and Others," Medford Clarion, November 2, 1923, page 5


Radio Station Map 1924
Radio station map 1924

KMED 1926-10-6MMT
Medford Mail Tribune, October 6, 1926


MEDFORD BROADCASTING.
    Of some importance from a publicity standpoint, and an act of much enterprise, is the fact that the valley will soon have a radio broadcasting station. The Mail Tribune of Medford and Virgin, the radio man, are back of the proposition, and they are expecting to be broadcasting to the world every night, beginning December 15. We suggest, if we are permitted to do so, that the fans now organize a nightclub to hold forth one night a week. Call them "The Pear Pickers from the Land Where the Rogue River Flows." Eh?
Central Point American, December 3, 1926, page 2


MAIL TRIBUNE RADIO STATION TEST PRAISED
    The Mail Tribune-Virgin broadcasting station, KMED, went on the air yesterday afternoon, in a test, and hundreds of radio fans in southern Oregon and northern California "listened in" at the initial program. Scores of telephone calls were received from local and out-of-town points. The reception, on a 250 wavelength, was clear and distinct.
    Tomorrow evening the informal opening of the station will be held with the broadcasting of "The Star of Bethlehem," a cantata presented by the choir of the Christian Church of this city.
    The formal opening of the station presented by the Craters Club of this city will be held the coming week. The program will consist of music, short talks, song numbers and features by local talent.
    Regular programs will be given thereafter consisting of musical numbers, local and general news, market reports and other radio attractions.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, December 26, 1926



Now to Broadcast.
    Jackson County now has a real radio broadcasting station. Medford is the home of KMED, made possible by the enterprise of the Mail Tribune and Mr. Virgin, radio dealer. KMED is on the air every night, and offers very good programs. You will find them by turning the wavelength to 250.
Central Point American, December 31, 1926, page 1

Medford Mail Tribune, 9-14-1927
Medford Mail Tribune, September 14, 1927


KMED Radio Programs Entertain Coast Fans
RADIO FANS HEAR K.M.E.D. BROADCAST
Station Operates Under Supervision of Federal Radio Commission--
Has 11 Remote Control Wires--Owned by W. J. Virgin and Medford Mail Tribune

    Each day brings scores of telegrams, letters, cards and long-distance telephone calls from radio fans who have "listened in" and enjoyed programs from KMED, the popular southern Oregon broadcasting station owned and operated by W. J. Virgin and the Medford Mail Tribune. From sunny Mexico to the rugged mountain country of northern Canada and Alaska, people have been tuning in on KMED's radio entertainment, and this station has won an enviable reputation for the excellence of its programs.
    Few cities of the size of Medford have the distinction of having an up-to-the-minute radio broadcasting station, and KMED has a record of having more churches broadcasting services than any similar station in the United States. Eleven remote control wires enter the Sparta Building studio of KMED, and four of these are owned by the station. A direct wire connects the studio with the offices of the Mail Tribune, and Associated Press and local news items and markets are sent out daily over the ether together with election returns and play-by-play accounts of great sporting events.
    Through KMED's service, communities surrounding Medford are kept more closely in touch with valley, state, national and international news as well as afforded a chance to enjoy carefully prepared musical programs and radio frolics. World Series baseball games are given to them direct from the great eastern ball parks. Thrilling play-by-play accounts of gridiron tilts and basketball games are brought instantly to their homes while ringside blow-by-blow reports of championship prize fights also come to them over KMED. Medford merchants, too, have used the Mail Tribune-Virgin station to familiarize the public with their stores.
    KMED station has been "on the air" for more than a year, and its popularity has increased with phenomenal rapidity, as evidenced by the increasing volume of fan mail. It is managed by W. J. Virgin, well-known local radio expert, and operated under supervision of the Federal Radio Commission.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page B3


KMED SETS RECORD FOR BROADCAST
Medford Station Gives More Sport Programs Than Any Coast Station--
Weather Reports Given Orchardists--Power Increase Planned--Station Advertises Community.
    Repeating its achievement of the year before, KMED, the Mail Tribune-Virgin radio broadcasting station, in 1929 broadcasted the most football games, play by play, of any station on the Pacific coast regardless of size. Through this station and the courtesy of local business men, Medford and southern Oregon football fans listened to accurate accounts of practically every important game in which coast teams figured.
    On three occasions, the station was on the air beginning at 11 o'clock and continuing until late in the afternoon, giving account of two games, difference in time making it possible for play-by-play returns of eastern games in which western teams took part, to be broadcast in time to be followed by a game on the coast.
    Unlike larger stations, which contract to broadcast a certain number of games, the Medford station followed the championship trend of teams and placed on the air only the most important games.
World Series Broadcasted
    KMED was also the only station on the coast to broadcast complete returns of the World Series baseball games and [this] was done through the cooperation of the Mail Tribune, which began the use of radio three years ago to disseminate the news of the annual series. It has proven to be a popular service and has reached all southern Oregon and often distant parts of the state, keeping thousands of radio listeners informed with up-to-the-minute accounts.
    Another big service of the station is the daily, noon and evening broadcasts of news as received by Associated Press leased wires by the Mail Tribune. Short news notes of interest are broadcast at 12:30 each noon, followed by a more complete broadcast of news at 6:15 in the evening. These features have become a part of the household routine of hundreds of families, listening for the reading of the reports of foreign, national and local news, in addition to market and weather reports. A wisecrack, written daily by Arthur Perry in the Smudge Pot columns of the Mail Tribune, is also included.
Last-Minute News Given
    In addition to being on the air at these hours, the station has often broadcast news of especial interest, and it was only last month [sic] when the death of Governor Patterson, Saturday night, December 21, was put on the air 12 minutes after the first telegram was received in Medford. The station was silent at the time, but was immediately placed in operation to give all southern Oregon residents an opportunity to learn of his tragic passing.
    KMED is on the air beginning at 8 o'clock in the morning until four in the afternoon, continuously presenting programs of a varied nature for business men of Medford and other cities in the county. Dinner-hour concerts are also given, in addition to good programs in the evening, including radio dramas, music recitals and other numbers of musical interest. Church services are broadcast each Sunday evening, with studio services followed by services by the International Bible School.
Help to Orchardists
    The station in the spring of each year is of especial importance to the orchardists of Rogue River Valley. Floyd Young, government frost expert arriving each year in the spring, sends frost warnings through the station, which is open to his use at any time. If it were not for this service, orchardists would likely spend many sleepless nights, now eliminated by merely listening to the daily frost reports, usually given between the hours of eight and ten each night.
Power Increase Planned
    However, due to atmospheric conditions, there are some orchards in the valley that have difficulty of listening to Medford, and to overcome these conditions, made worse by undue interference, the station is planning to increase its power so that its important service in protecting the annual five-million-dollar fruit crop may be 100 percent successful. The value of the station for frost work has been confirmed by Mr. Young in a sworn statement.
    Sudden unexpected drops in temperature are predicted by Mr. Young, giving orchardists information which they otherwise would never know.
    Another feature of the station is the daily broadcast at 6:30 of special syndicate educational hours for schoolchildren. KMED is the only small station to have this service and [it] is proving to be immensely popular.
    KMED also bears the distinction of being the only station in the entire United States to be owned and operated by a woman, Mrs. W. J. Virgin. There is another that is owned by a woman, but is not operated by the owner. She has been devoting her entire time to the station and has developed it in a high standard and made it almost a part of every household in southern Oregon having radio receiving sets. It is the official Mail Tribune station, being run in conjunction with this newspaper.
    It was established December 26, 1927 [sic], by W. J. Virgin, who died January 28, 1928. He was southern Oregon's radio pioneer, and established his radio station here when radio was still in its infancy. It was known as KFAY, and was one of the very few on the Pacific coast. He laid the foundation for the present success.
    The staff of KMED is as follows: Lee Bishop, announcer, program director and continuity writer; Hum Greig, sales manager; Floyd Rush, engineer; Eddie Randall, assistant announcer and assistant engineer. Mr. Bishop has proven himself an unqualified success, and his easily understood voice is heard by thousands daily. Mr. Rush has been with the station for several years and formerly also did the announcing.
    The station is recognized through the southern part of the state and also in northern California, where it is easily heard, as being one of the biggest and best publicity mediums for Medford.
    Whenever it is off the air temporarily, telephone calls arrive at the studio headquarters by the hundreds from anxious radio listeners.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1929, page B7


BUSY REMODELING AT RADIO STATION
    Due to improvements being made at the broadcast studios in the Sparta Building, KMED, the Mail Tribune-Virgin station, will be operating on condensed schedule for the next three weeks. Considerable work has already been done, but much remains before the improvement program will have been completed.
    The studio is being remodeled, with the operating department enclosed in glass. The studio will also be lined with new sound insulation. In a short time the station will begin the installation of a new 100-watt transmitter.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 8, 1931, page 6


RADIO STATION IN NEW DRESS SOON
    The major reconstruction and remodeling of KMED, the Mail Tribune-Virgin station, is now rapidly nearing completion, with the exception of decorating and trimming of the studios and offices. The work is expected to be completed within the next ten days. At that time an official opening will be announced with invitations extended to the public to inspect the new studios, located in the Sparta Building.
    The general design and layout of the studios, monitor room and transmitter rooms are such that maximum efficiency will be gained from all broadcast efforts, whether by studio, transcription, chain, remote control and records. The rooms have been made soundproof with a double layer of insulation, assuring a more even and pleasant tone basis for programs.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 6, 1931, page 5


GRAND OPENING OF STATION KMED THURSDAY MAY 21
Local Radio Station Beautifully Remodeled and Decorated. Will Be Open for Public Inspection.
    The long-awaited formal opening of the local radio station, KMED, has been planned for broadcast Thursday evening, May twenty-first, between the hours of seven-thirty and twelve o'clock. After many months of work in rebuilding of transmitter and studios, the station is now in complete readiness for public inspection. The plans for the opening call for civic or dedication ceremonies between seven-thirty and eight-thirty on the evening of this coming Thursday. At that hour there will be talks from the studios by representatives of the local Chamber of Commerce, city council and other civic bodies, together with a short informal talk by Mrs. W. J. Virgin, owner and operator of KMED. From eight-thirty until midnight there will be conducted open house, for the benefit of all in this part of the country who would like to inspect, first hand, the studios, transmitting equipment and furnishings of the new station. The program from the studios will feature Don Provosts and His Pep Peddlers, alternating in half-hour cycles with Jim Grieves and His Prospectors. In this manner, two of the finest entertaining organizations obtainable will be on hand for entertainment on the air and for entertainment of visitors to the studios.
    The management of KMED, while employing, in as far as was possible, local supplies and labor, has succeeded in making the station one of the show places of Southern Oregon. There has been no effort nor money spared in bringing the transmitting equipment to its highest possible point of operating efficiency, and at present the station is operating on the new one hundred watts power officially granted by the radio commission. This is just double the power that the original station was employing.
    Even before the studios were officially opened to the public, visitors found their way to the studios of the station, in the Sparta Building, and without exception remarked about its unusual beauty. Time, effort and talent have made it possible to transform an ordinary room into a garden of Oriental delight. The soft hues and colors of China, and the Far East, together with the symbolical decorations, foo dogs, rich tapestries, etc., have combined to make not only a most efficient studio for the transmission of sound, but a most unusual and altogether beautiful studio.
    Because there has been so much effort expended in making the new studios so attractive and efficient, the management of KMED sincerely hopes that visitors will make the tour of inspection on Thursday evening next, when special features will make the visit most pleasant.
    Mrs. W. J. Virgin, owner and operator, is most ably assisted in the operation of station KMED by Mr. F. M. Rush, who has been with the station almost from its first inception under the direction of W. J. Virgin, its founder. Mr. Rush is well known locally and holds the position of chief technician. It was largely due to his untiring efforts that KMED is still on the air, as no task is too small or too large for "Floyd," as he is better known, to undertake, to better Medford's popular broadcasting station.
    Mrs. Virgin is also assisted in the operation by Mr. L. P. Bishop, the affable commercial manager; David Reese, announcer and technician--the local boy with the real radio voice; Hal McCracken, also announcer and technician, and Liston Bowden, assistant engineer.
    One thing about KMED is the fact that this station has kept well ahead of the growth of Medford, and with the advent of the opening of the newly remodeled station Medford can well feel proud of the efforts of Mrs. W. J. Virgin and her co-workers, for they have placed at the service of Medford patrons a station that would be a credit to any city. In fact, the newly equipped station is better than can be found almost anywhere along the coast, so be sure to go to the opening. If you have never visited a broadcasting station, go, and if you have been there before go anyway and show your appreciation to the managers of the local station who have so untiringly worked to keep Medford on the air.
    The new station in the Sparta Building is a dream; it is well equipped--but best of all it is Medford's own station. We just let Mrs. Virgin operate it and pay the bills, but Medford receives the glory and the advertising.
    If you cannot attend the opening, send flowers and then sit at home and tune in and celebrate the best you can, as Medford is permanently on the air, and has the ONE BEST broadcasting station along the Pacific coast.
Pacific Record Herald, May 14, 1931, page 1



Local Radio Station a Credit to Medford
    Medford people will be agreeably surprised by the many improvements that have been made when they attend the opening of the local KMED station [in the Sparta Building] Thursday night, May 21.
    After broadcasting for the radio audience in southern Oregon all manner of queer sounds of hammering, sawing, sliding, etc. for the past few months, the local radio station is now in readiness to welcome the public for the opening night. All work has been completed on the new station, and transmitters as well as studios are now ready for display.
    The program for the opening night is to be divided into two distinct sections. The first time division, from 7:30 until 8:30 opening night, will be set aside for the civic dedication ceremonies, which will be broadcast from the studios and which local radio fans may hear in their own homes. From 8:30 until midnight there will be conducted open house, with cordial invitations extended to everyone. The feature programs on the air during open house will consist of music by Provost's dance band, alternating with Jim Grieve's Prospectors. In this way there will be plenty of entertainment for those who will be unable to visit the station during opening night ceremonies, as well as those who are expected to stop in and view first-hand the completely new KMED.
    The complete revision of room plans now makes it possible to have transmitter space, monitoring for operating space, separate studios, offices and reception rooms, all partitioned off with double glass windows. This makes observation of activities easy, yet does not interfere with any programs being broadcast. The transmitter is now operating on the authorized 100 watts in place of the original 50, and represents a completely new machine. Along with the transmitter has come the new-type condenser microphones, etc., which make modern studio or recorded broadcast easily possible.
    Studios of the station have been designed along unusual, yet delightfully effective, Oriental lines. Shaded lights, colors, decorations, tapestries, symbolical foo dogs, all blend to create a distinctive Oriental atmosphere. The effect in evening is most pleasant, for the absence of direct sunlight gives full play on the colors and color combinations.
    The station with its new studios and transmitter represents a local organization which has grown along with local needs in radio entertainment, and because of the strong interest shown in KMED activities there is expected a large number of people for the opening ceremonies Thursday evening next.
    The local radio station was founded in 1922 and known as KFAY, being located at the fair grounds, and it was there that the entire equipment of the station was stolen during the years 1924 and 1925. In 1926 the new KMED was founded by W. J. Virgin and officially recorded, and since that time has been individually owned, first by W. J. Virgin exclusively, then by Mrs. W. J. Virgin, his widow. The station is recorded as single ownership, no other persons or interests having any financial investment in it.
    The opening scheduled for Thursday evening, May 21, is open to all of the of the people of this vicinity, and an urgent request is sent out in the hope that many will attend.
Medford Daily News, May 19, 1931, page 3
Medford Mail Tribune, May 30, 1931 
Medford Mail Tribune, May 30, 1931. Open the image in another window for a clearer view.

RADIO STATION TO HAVE NEW MASTS
    Last in the series of major improvements for the local Virgin radio station KMED will be accomplished today, when engineers put in place the new antenna systems and counterpoise.
    Black and yellow masts have been raised seventy-five feet from the roof of the Sparta building, or a total of 125 feet above the street. This last improvement will require the station to be quiet most of today.
    Completion of the antenna system will place the local station on a strictly modern basis throughout.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 7, 1931, page 7


MEDFORD
(Pop.: 11,107)
KMED
Owner and operator:
    Mrs. W. J. Virgin, Medford.
    Studio: Matin and Riverside.
    Transmitter: Main and Riverside.
Station representative:
    Scott Howe Bowen, Inc.
Power:
    100 w.
Time:
    Full time.
Basic rates:
     1 hour $30.00
    ½ hour 17.00
    ¼ hour 9.00
Transcription equipment:
    33⅓ and 78 r.p.m. double turntables.
Pierre-Key's Radio Annual 1933, page 378


KMED JOINS NBC NETWORK SUNDAY
    Sunday, September 5 will mark the debut of the National Broadcasting Company in southern Oregon, using the facilities of KMED, Medford radio station. Although the original date for the initial broadcast of NBC network programs was set for September 15th, the date has been advanced ten days so that the first program will be presented next Sunday. Both the Pacific Coast Blue and the Pacific Coast Red networks will be featured, according to Mrs. Blanche Virgin, owner of the Medford station.
    Recent improvements in facilities have been effected by KMED with affiliation with the National Broadcasting Company in view. The station has a regional channel frequently of 1410 kilocycles with a power of 250 watts. The nearest National Broadcasting stations are located at Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California.
    Mrs. Virgin is one of the few women owners and operators of commercial broadcasting stations in the United States. The local station was established near Medford in 1922 by William J. Virgin, and since his death in 1927 Mrs. Virgin has continued the station's operation. Lee Bishop is commercial manager and Arthur Adler advertising manager.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 2, 1937, page 9



    Valley fruit men will have the benefit of daily frost reports again this year, following the announcement that Roy J. Rogers, affiliated with the United States Weather Bureau, will arrive here March 15 to conduct frost report activities. Mr. Rogers comes here from Pomona, Calif., and will be here until the first of June. Reports are expected to be given nightly over the local radio station, KMED, as has been the past program.
"Medford, Ore. News Notes," The Chicago Packer, March 12, 1938, page 5


Second Bid Filed for KMED Purchase
WEEU Sale Also Asked of Commission Last Week
    Fourth competitive bid under the FCC's Avco procedure was filed with the Commission last week when the Medford Radio Corp. matched Luther E. Gibson's
original offer of $250,000 for KMED Medford, Ore., and accompanying construction permit for an FM station. Filing of the rival application foreshadows Mr. Gibson's second encounter with FCC's auction plan. In a competitive bid for KROY Sacramento, he was denied purchase of the station by the Commission [Broadcasting, May 13].
    Competitive applicant for KMED, Medford Radio Corp., consists principally of residents of Medford, who propose to render a local service.
    Medford Radio Corp., is owned by Glen L. Jackson, vice president of KWIL Albany, Ore. and the Albany (Ore.) Herald-Democrat, who is president (13.33%); Alfred S. V. Carpenter, local orchardist, vice president (13.33%); H. S. Deuel, orchardist, treasurer (6.66%); Otto J. Frohnmayer, attorney, secretary (13.33%); John R. Tomlin, majority owner of Timber Products, manufacturers of lumber and 25% holder in Medford Ice and Cold Storage Co., director (26.66%); F. Corning Kenly, orchardist, d i r e c t or (6.66%); Leonard Carpenter, orchardist, director (13.33%), and Eugene Thorndike, bank manager, who also is a director (6.66%).
Gibson Holdings
    Mr. Gibson owns KHUB Watsonville, Calif., has a conditional FM grant for Salinas, Calif., and is sole owner of the daily Times-Herald and News Chronicle at
Vallejo, Calif., in addition to other business interests. KMED, now solely owned by Mrs. Blanche Virgin, is on 1440kc with 1000w full time.
Broadcasting, July 15, 1946, page 20


KMED Competing Bidder Approved
FCC Invokes Avco Rule Auction Provisions in Oregon Case

    In the first decision of its kind, FCC proposed last week to approve the sale of a station to a competing bidder under the Avco Rule's "auction" provisions, rather
than to the original "purchaser."
    The proposal looks toward approval of transfer of KMED Medford, Ore. (1440kc, 1kw fulltime), from Mrs. W. J. Virgin to Medford Radio Corp., a new company which matched Gibson Broadcasting's earlier offer of $250,000 cash and $20,900 in stock to Mrs. Virgin. The transaction includes an FM permit.
    FCC based its decision on grounds that Medford Radio, composed of local residents, is more likely to serve the community's broadcast needs than Gibson Broadcasting, principally owned by a nonresident.
    Luther E. Gibson, licensee of KHUB Watsonville, Calif., controls Gibson Broadcasting and was its sole owner when he negotiated the original $250,000 purchase contract with Mrs. Virgin in April 1946. FCC noted that after this offer was matched by Medford Radio, Mr. Gibson transferred to Mrs. Virgin 209 shares of stock (33.5%, par value of $20,900), thus reducing his own ownership to 66.5%. Medford Radio then offered, in event its application was granted, to transfer a like amount of its own stock to Mrs. Virgin.
    The Commission's decision to deny transfer to Gibson Broadcasting and approve it to the rival applicant would not--if made final after oral argument--require Mrs. Virgin to sell to the new firm. Under the Avco Rule, she will be allowed 30 days in which to complete arrangements with the approved transferee if she wishes to sell to that company. If she prefers not to sell to the company approved by the Commission she must retain the station or seek another purchaser.
    FCC noted that there are "minor differences" in the two offers to Mrs. Virgin, "including the fact that Mr. Gibson has offered to personally endorse the notes representing the balance due on the purchase price, while no similar guarantee
has been made by the stockholders of Medford Radio Corp." But these, FCC said, are matters which may be settled by negotiation, "if [the parties] desire to do so, during the 30-day period. . . ." The decision added:
    "The Commission's sole concern herein is the determination of which applicant is best qualified to operate in the public interest and, having made this determination in favor of Medford Radio Corp., it is now wholly a matter for the present licensee to determine whether or not she desires to assign the license and construction permit to the preferred applicant at the price agreed upon and upon what specific conditions."
    Explaining its preference for local owners--a favorite yardstick of the Commission in passing upon mutually exclusive applications for new stations--FCC noted that with the exception of Mrs. Virgin, none of the stockholders or officers of Gibson Broadcasting is now or will become a resident of Medford.
    (Mr. Gibson, the only other stockholder, would spend two days a month there. John A. Bohn, his attorney and an officer but not a stockholder, has made "five or six trips" to Medford and would spend about 25% of his time there if transfer to Gibson were granted, FCC said. Mrs. [Virgin], as one-third owner, would advise on local matters and programming, and "be guided by Mr. Gibson's wishes" concerning amount of time she would devote to station operation.)
Owned by Residents
    FCC pointed out that Medford Radio "is owned by eight individuals, all of whom have been longtime residents of Medford and have been actively identified with its
civic and community life." They are:
    "Glen L. Jackson, businessman and an officer and 10% stockholder of KWIL
Albany, Ore., president; Alfred S. V. Carpenter, vice president, and Eugene Thorndike, orchard operator; H. S. Deuel, associated with several business enterprises, treasurer; Otto J. Frohnmayer, attorney, secretary; John R. Tomlin, businessman; B. E. Harder, retired businessman; and John P. Moffat, department store manager. Mr. Tomlin owns 20%; Messrs. Harder and Mofat 6.88% each, and the others 13.33% each. A rearrangement of the stock setup would be necessary if transfer to Medford Radio is completed, in view of the offer of a stock interest to Mrs. Virgin."
    Medford Radio proposed to employ Harold McKenna Byer, sales manager of KWIL, as general manager. The station is an NBC affiliate.
    The purchase contract and matching offer called for a $10,000 escrow deposit, $52,600 payable upon FCC approval, and the remaining $187,500 payable at $2,000 a month starting one year after FCC approval.
    Since the plan of opening station sales to public bidding was evolved in FCC's famed Avco Decision [Broadcasting, Sept. 10, 1945], there has been no parallel of the KMED decision. The nearest approach was in Monroe B. England's $150,000 sale of WBRK and WBRK--FM Pittsfield, Mass., in the fall of 1945 [Broadcasting, Oct. 14, 1945].
    In that case the transfer was approved to the competing bidder, Leon Podolsky, but under different circumstances. The original bidder, Western Massachusetts Broadcasting Co., had indicated a willingness to assign its contract if it could get
a new-station grant--and simultaneously with approval of the transfer to Mr. Podolsky, FCC authorized Western Massachusetts to construct a new station (WBEC).
Broadcasting, July 7, 1947, page 30


Medford Case Said Violation of Avco
    Gibson Broadcasting, whose application for FCC consent to the purchase of KMED Medford, Ore. was given a proposed denial, told FCC last week that the rival bidder under the Avco Rule, who won approval, was not legally qualified and that its purchase offer failed to meet the Avco Rule's requirements.
    Mrs. W. J. Virgin, KMED owner, joined in the exceptions filed by Gibson, original applicant for acquisition of the station. They requested oral argument on the proposed decision, which was issued July 1 [Broadcasting, July 7].
    They contended that Medford Radio Corp., winner of the proposed decision, violated its charter by beginning business before the required amount of capital had been paid in; that one of Medford's stockholders was not financially qualified, and that Medford's purchase offer failed in many respects to comply with the Avco Rule's requirement that it match the terms of the Gibson offer.
    In its offer to meet the Gibson delivery to Mrs. Virgin of $20,900 worth of stock (33.4 %), they contended, Medford actually was offering only 8.4% of its own stock. They argued that this would have a book value of only $5,225.
    The exceptions were filed by Frank Roberson and Russell Rowell of the Washington law firm of Spearman & Roberson, Washington counsel for Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting.
    Gibson Broadcasting is principally owned by Luther E. Gibson (66.6 %), owner of KHUB Watsonville, Calif.
    KMED is on 1440kc and has a grant for 5kw operation. The purchase price is $250,000 aside from the stock transfer.
Broadcasting, August 4, 1947, page 84


Competing Bidder for KMED Denies Charges of Not Complying with Avco
    Medford Radio Corp., competing bidder for acquisition of KMED Medford, Ore., denied to FCC last week that substantial differences exist between its purchase offer and that of Gibson Broadcasting, the original bidder.
    The company's contentions were filed in reply to Gibson Broadcasting's exceptions to the FCC proposal to approve transfer to Medford Radio [Broadcasting, July 7]. Gibson Broadcasting and Mrs. W. J. Virgin, present owner of KMED, claimed the Medford offer was so different from the Gibson bid that it failed to meet the requirements of the Avco Rule [Broadcasting, Aug. 4].
    In its point-by-point reply, the Medford applicant asserted that if any differences exist they are "only differences in form, rather than differences in substance."
    The reply denied claims of Gibson Broadcasting and Mrs. Virgin that Medford Radio had violated its charter, that one of its stockholders is not financially qualified, and that the book value of stock to be transferred to Mrs. Virgin would be less under Medford Radio's offer than under Gibson's.
    Purchase price includes $250,000 plus stock valued at $20,900. KMED operates on 1440kc and has a grant for 5kw operation. Medford Radio is owned by a group of Medford businessmen who won FCC preference on grounds of local residence as compared with nonresidence of Luther E. Gibson, KHUB Watsonville, Calif., owner who controls (66.6%) Gibson Broadcasting.
    The Medford group's reply to the exceptions of Gibson Broadcasting and Mrs. Virgin was filed by John W. Kendall of the Portland law firm of Black & Kendall.
Broadcasting, August 11, 1947, page 60


KMED Sales Decision Final; Jones Dissents on Bid Terms
    A decision giving finality to its original proposal to approve the sale of KMED Medford, Ore. to the competing bidder under the Avco Rule, not to the original "purchaser," was issued by FCC last week, accompanied by a strong dissent by Comr. Robert F. Jones.
    The Commission majority, with retiring Chairman Charles R. Denny not participating, ruled that Medford Radio Corp., a new firm owned by eight Medford residents, should be preferred over Gibson Broadcasting, principally owned by owner Luther E. Gibson of KHUB Watsonville, Calif., who negotiated the original contract to buy the station from Mrs. W. J. Virgin.
    Under Avco Rule procedure, Mrs. Virgin may either sell or refuse to sell to the approved purchaser. If she chooses to sell, she has 30 days to sign a contract with Medford Radio. Sales price is $250,000 plus $20,900 in stock in the purchasing company.
    While the majority followed their proposed decision in the case [Broadcasting, July 7], Comr. Jones, who was not then a member of the Commission, protested that Medford Radio's offer does not match the "same terms and conditions" of the Gibson offer, as required by the Avco Rule, and should therefore be denied.
Terms in Contract
    He pointed out the contract provides for 75% of the sales price to be secured by note, payable $2,000 at the end of the first year and $2,000 monthly thereafter until paid in full. Whereas Mr. Gibson agreed personally to endorse and guarantee the Gibson Broadcasting  note to Mrs. Virgin, he asserted, the stockholders of Medford Radio made no comparable offer.
    The majority's decision that Medford Radio's and Gibson Broadcasting's offers are "substantially the same in . . . terms," Comr. Jones declared, makes it necessary for Mrs. Virgin to "have confidence in Medford's officers, directors and stockholders to meet the corporate obligations without any security whatsoever. The said officers, directors and stockholders do not have such confidence in themselves; i.e., they refuse to personally endorse the Medford corporate notes. Lacking such faith, she may have no alternative but to retain her license and facility."
    Mr. Jones said "this difference in terms of sale is substantial and the Gibson offer to endorse the Gibson corporation note is not unique." He added:
    "If it is argued that the Gibson endorsement of the Gibson corporation note is a unique term not contemplated by the Avco Rule on the theory that only the endorsement by Gibson of the Medford corporation notes would equal the Gibson endorsement of the Gibson corporation notes, it should be noted that the majority did not have any difficulty in finding that $20,900 of the Medford corporation stock (7.7% of the total authorization) equals $20,900 of the Gibson corporation stock (33.4% of the total authorization). The personal endorsement of the respective stockholders of their respective corporate obligations is not unique and is a consideration which should be met by competing applicants under the Avco Rule."
    Mr. Jones argued that "it is not necessary to make a comparative determination as to which of the applicants is better qualified," since Medford Radio "did not, under the Avco Rule, satisfy the condition precedent for comparative consideration with the Gibson corporation by meeting the Gibson offer on the same terms and conditions. . . . "
    He asserted belief that Gibson Broadcasting is qualified and that its purchase of KMED should be approved. KMED operates on 1440kc with 1kw, full time, and has a grant for 5kw operation. The sales transaction includes an FM construction permit. The majority's choice of the competing bidder was based on local ownership. The decision noted that while Mr. Gibson proposed to spend two days a month at Medford if his application were granted, all stockholders of Medford Radio are "long-time residents of Medford and have been actively identified with its civic and community life."
    The owners, business and professional men, are Glen L. Jackson, president, and Alfred S. V. Carpenter, H. S. Deuel, Otto J. Frohnmayer, and Eugene Thorndike, who have 13.33% each; John R. Tomlin, 20%; and B. E. Harder and John P. Moffat, 6.66% each. They plan to employ Harold McKenna Byer, sales manager of KWIL Albany, Ore. since 1941, as KMED manager.
    Comr. Jones, although not a member of FCC when the proposed decision was issued, participated in oral argument, held Oct. 8.
Broadcasting, November 3, 1947, page 86


KMED Sale Under 'Avco' Hits Snag
Time Extension Granted
Medford Radio Corp. Despite Protest

    What may be the first rebuff handed FCC's Avco Rule on public bidding in station transfers loomed last week as a possible development in the $250,000-plus sale of KMED Medford, Ore. [Broadcasting, Nov. 3].
    The Commission allowed Medford Radio Corp., the "competing" purchaser which FCC preferred over the original applicant, an additional 30 days (to Dec. 29) in which to complete a purchase contract with Mrs. W. J. Virgin, station owner.
    FCC acted over the protest of both Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting, the original "buyer," and despite the contention of Mrs. Virgin that she had refused to sign with Medford Radio and had agreed to reinstate the original application for transfer to Gibson.
    In asking additional time to negotiate with Mrs. Virgin, Medford Radio declared that Mrs. Virgin's original contract with Gibson prohibited her from negotiating with anyone else for 30 days after the FCC decision. Medford expressed confidence that it could negotiate a contract if additional time were granted.
    But Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting, replying to the request for time, told FCC that negotiations already had been undertaken with the Medford group but had failed because the Medford stockholders refused to endorse their company's promissory notes for $187,500 of the purchase price.
    In an affidavit Mrs. Virgin said she told Medford Radio "that she would not assign the license and construction permit [license for KMED, CP for KMED-FM] to Medford Radio Corp. inasmuch as she deemed such endorsement to be an essential condition and term for the sale."
    She continued:
    "Inasmuch as affiant still desires and intends to dispose of a major portion or all of her radio interests to provide for the future security of herself and her family, she has agreed with Gibson Broadcasting to reinstate their application to the Commission for consent to assignment of the KMED license and the FM permit from affiant to Gibson Broadcasting, pursuant to the terms of the contract, the application and the hearing record already on file with the Commission."
    Mrs. Virgin's affidavit, dated Nov. 29, charged that "the long delay of one year and eight months which she has been subjected to in carrying out the contemplated sale . . . has caused hèr constant worry, suffering and extreme hardship.  . . ."
Comr. Jones Dissents
    The question of endorsements on the promissory notes was a major argument of Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting against FCC's decision to approve transfer to Medford Radio rather than to the Gibson firm. It also was a principal point raised by FCC Comr. Robert F. Jones, who dissented not only from the majority's grant to Medford Radio but also from last week's decision to allow additional time to negotiate a contract.
    Luther E. Gibson, owner of KHUB Watsonville, Calif., and principal owner of Gibson Broadcasting, had agreed to give personal endorsement to the notes which his company offered as security for some 75% of the sales price. The stockholders of Medford made no comparable offer.
    The FCC majority ruled that Medford Radio's bid was substantially the same as Gibson Broadcasting's and therefore met the terms of the Avco Rule. Comr. Jones, however, rejected this view. He contended that the majority's decision requires Mrs. Virgin to "have confidence in Medford's officers, directors, and stockholders to meet the corporate obligations without any security whatsoever." But, he said, they "do not have such confidence in themselves; i.e., they refuse to personally endorse the Medford corporate notes. Lacking such faith, she may have no alternative but to retain her license and facility."
    Mr. Jones claimed Medford's offer did not meet the "same terms and conditions" requirement of the Avco Rule and should not have been considered by the Commission. Instead, he argued, FCC should have approved the transfer to Gibson Broadcasting.
    Mr. Gibson originally offered $250,000 for the station. The proposed sale was thus advertised in compliance with the Avco Rule, and Medford Radio filed a competing bid offering to match the same terms. Mr. Gibson, then sole owner of Gibson Broadcasting, increased his offer to include approximately one-third interest (valued at $20,900) in the company, and Medford Radio then offered to match this bid. The transfer to Medford Radio was approved on that basis.
    Under the Avco Rule, approvals of a sale to a competing bidder is conditioned on the filing of a sales contract within 30 days after the FCC decision, which in the KMED case was Oct. 29. Last week's extension put the deadline at Dec. 29.
Broadcasting, December 22, 1947, page 19


KMED Medford Refuses Sale to Avco-Approved Purchaser
    The FCC-approved sale of KMED Medford, Ore., to the competing rather than the original bidder has been refused by the KMED owner in the first, but not unanticipated, rebuff of FCC's Avco "auction" rule on station transfers [Broadcasting, Dec. 22].
    The Commission was notified last week that Mrs. W. J. Virgin had rejected a $250,000 cash offer from Medford Radio Corp., the competing bidder whom FCC approved for acquisition of the station, and she and Gibson Broadcasting, the original "purchaser," petitioned anew for reconsideration and approval of transfer to
Gibson.
    Anticipating that Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting might seek reinstatement of their original application, Medford Radio asked to be notified as an "interested
party" to take part in any future proceedings in the case.
    Deadline for consummation of transfer to Medford Radio was Dec. 29. The original date, Nov. 29, was subsequently extended 30 days at the request of the Medford group, who contended that until Nov. 29 Mrs. Virgin was bound by her agreement with Mr. Gibson not to negotiate with anyone else.
    The snag in negotiations was the Medford Radio stockholders' failure to give personal endorsement to a $187,500 note involved in the transaction. Luther E. Gibson, owner of KHUB Watsonville, Calif., and chief owner of Gibson Broadcasting, had offered personal endorsement of his company's note. The FCC majority contended that the two applicants' offers were sufficiently alike to meet the "same terms and conditions" requirement of Avco Rule, but Comr. Robert F. Jones argued that they were not, because personal endorsement would give greater security to the corporate note.
Owner Rejects
    Mrs. Virgin refused to take Medford Radio's corporate note without endorsement of the stockholders. Subsequently the company offered $250,000 cash, which Mrs. Virgin rejected "for obvious reasons." In a petition submitting
copies of the correspondence, she and Mr. Gibson told the Commission that the offer Medford Radio made at the time of the hearing was "for $250,000 plus 209 shares of stock . . . alleged to have a value of $20,900."
    The petition, filed by Frank Roberson of the Washington law firm of Spearman & Roberson, counsel for Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting, was a supplement
to their mid-November request, not yet acted upon, for reconsideration of the Commission's decision in the case.
    Meanwhile, John W. Kendall of the Portland (Ore.) firm of Black & Kendall, counsel for Medford Radio, sent FCC on Dec. 30--the day after deadline for transfer had passed--a summary of the case "so that the Commission may be fully advised as to the procedure followed by the respective parties. . . ." He asked that
Medford Radio be notified of any further proceedings.
    With respect to Mrs. Virgin's insistence on personal endorsements of the corporate note, Mr. Kendall said "this requirement . . . was not set up by Mrs. Virgin in preliminary negotiations between the parties" but was made "by
Mrs. Virgin after the joint petition for reconsideration or rehearing was filed by Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting."
    Sale of KMED (1440kc, 1kw) to Mr. Gibson was negotiated April 9, 1946. After the advertisement required by the Avco Rule was published, Medford Radio offered to match Mr. Gibson's $250,000 bid. Mr. Gibson then offered Mrs. Virgin a 33.5% interest in Gibson Broadcasting, valued at $20,900, and Medford Radio expressed a willingness to make a similar change in its own offer. FCC preferred Medford Radio, composed of eight local businessmen headed by Glen L. Jackson,
on the grounds of local ownership and knowledge of the community.
Broadcasting, January 12, 1948, page 18


KMED Asks Sale to Original Bidder
    Another chapter in the long--and thus far futile--KMED Medford, Ore. transfer case opened last week when Mrs. W. J. Virgin, the owner, noted that the "buyer" whom FCC approved has withdrawn, and asked the Commission to let her go ahead with her original sale.
    This would involve transfer of the station to Gibson Broadcasting, owned by Luther E. Gibson, for $250,000 plus a 33.5% interest in the company. Mr. Gibson, licensee of KHUB Watsonville and KSLI (FM) Salinas, Calif., would own the remaining stock of Gibson Broadcasting.
    Mr. Gibson was the original "buyer" but Medford Radio Corp. filed a competing bid under the Avco Rule and won FCC approval on grounds of local ownership. Mrs. Virgin contended that the Medford group, by failing to offer personal endorsement of a $187,000 note toward the purchase price, had not complied with the "same terms and conditions" requirement of the Avco Rule. She won Comr. Robert F. Jones' support for this view, but the majority of the Commision rejected the argument.
    In the new petition last week, Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting told the Commission again that Medford Radio Corp. had refused to sign a contract based on the same terms and conditions as her original agreement with Mr. Gibson.
    She called FCC's attention to a letter sent to the Commission by Medford Radio on August 11 stating in substance that it was no longer interested in the matter of the control of Radio Station KMED.
    Since the only competing bidder has withdrawn, she argued, her original application for transfer to Gibson Broadcasting should be reinstated and granted without further proceedings.
    KMED is on 1440kc with 5kw day and 1kw night.
Broadcasting, September 6, 1948, page 67


KMED TRANSFER
Sale Negated by FCC Procedure Rule
    The "No Sale" sign was rung up last week over the most bitterly contested transfer case FCC has faced since it put the Avco public-bidding policy on transfers into effect in October 1945.
    The Commission was informed that the $250,000-plus sale of KMED Medford, Ore., by Mrs. W. J. Virgin to Luther E. Gibson's Gibson Broadcasting is all off. With the information FCC got a politely reproachful letter of explanation noting that all the so-called transfer had brought Mr. Gibson was an out-of-pocket expense of some $40,000.
    The case has been pending almost as long as the Avco advertising policy has been in effect. It went through the open-bidding procedure required by the Avco Rule, with FCC subsequently approving transfer not to Gibson Broadcasting but to Medford Radio Corp., a local firm which had filed a competing bid [Broadcasting, Nov. 3, 1947].
    But Mrs. Virgin and Medford Radio were not able to come to terms, and Medford Radio finally withdrew [Broadcasting, Sept. 6, 1948]. Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting then asked FCC to reinstate and grant their original application.
    The Commission granted reinstatement--but ruled that the application was in effect a new one and therefore would have to go through the public advertising procedure again. This action, disclosed last week, was taken Dec. 8.
    Norman E. Jorgensen, Washington attorney, wrote FCC on behalf of Mrs. Virgin and Gibson Broadcasting that it obviously would have been impossible to advertise the sale for the Avco-prescribed 60-day period in the time between Dec. 8 and Dec. 31, when the contract expired.
    "Thus," he wrote, "the entire sale and transfer of this station was as effectively denied as if the Commission had refused to permit it."
    He continued:
    "It is respectfully pointed out to the Commission that two years and nine months have elapsed from the date this contract of sale was first executed. During all this period of time the proposed  purchaser had financial commitments to the seller and to the Commission totaling nearly $400,000. During that period of time, there have been wide and frequent fluctuations of the radio Industry as a whole as well as many changes in Radio Station KMED itself.
    "The station has had its power increased from 1000 to 5000w, necessitating further capital commitments, and its competitive and network position in the radio industry has been changed. All of the economic and other factors entering into the operation of a business of this size and character have been subject to pronounced fluctuations several times during this long period from April 6, 1946, to Dec. 31, 1948.
    "The sale contract having expired on the latter date, it is now impossible for the parties to agree upon a new contract for the sale and transfer of this facility and therefore in view of the Commission's decision of Dec. 8, 1948. they are no longer able to proceed.
    "I am sure that the Commission will appreciate Mr. Gibson's reluctance again to commit the very considerable sum of money pledged to this particular venture for almost three years, to no result except an out-of- pocket cost to him of some forty thousand dollars."
    Mr. Gibson is licensee of KHUB Watsonville and KSLI (FM) Salinas, Calif. Under the expired contract with Mrs. Virgin he would have given her $250,000 plus a one-third interest in Gibson Broadcasting, in return for KMED. KMED is on 1440kc with 5kw day and 1kw night.
    Mrs. Virgin's refusal to sell to Medford Radio, the FCC-approved purchaser, was based on her claims that the new company's offer was not the same as Mr. Gibson's and therefore did not meet the "same terms" provision of the Avco Rule. Comr. Robert F. Jones, who dissented from FCC's approval of transfer to Medford Radio, sided with Mrs. Virgin on this point.
Broadcasting, January 31, 1949, page 36



KMED Ownership to Change Hands Saturday, July 1
    Radio Medford, Inc., will take over ownership of radio station KMED as of July 1 under terms of sale now in process of completion, it was reported today by V. J. Robinson, president of the recently formed corporation.
    Approval of the $290,000 sale was given last week by the Federal Communications Commission in Washington. Seller is Mrs. W. J. Virgin Randle, who has owned the station for a number of years. Previous prospective sales have been held up through FCC disapproval, litigation or the inability of the parties to reach an agreement.
    Radio Medford, Inc. was formed early this year for the express purpose of purchasing and operating the station. Besides Robinson, officers include J. L. DeArmond, vice president; H. B. Murphy, treasurer and William McAllister, secretary. Other stockholders include Drs. Dwight H. Findley and B. L. Lageson.
    Announcement of the conditional sale was made April 7.
    Robinson said the station will retain its present staff, with Bernard Cooney continuing as manager.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 28, 1950, page 1


    FCC's Avco Rule on station sales also caused the Commission trouble during 1948. KMED Medford, Ore., balked when FCC ruled that the station should be sold to Medford Radio Corp. rather than Gibson Broadcasting, the firm which originally had "purchased" the station. Mrs. W. J. Virgin, KMED owner, told FCC in January that she would not sell the station to Medford Radio Corp., a competing bidder under the Avco Rule. In September Medford withdrew and Mrs. Virgin filed another application for sale of the station to Gibson. No final action was taken during the year.
"WGOV" Decision Draws Fire from Capitol Hill," Broadcasting, October 16, 1950, page 157


APPLICATIONS
    Medford, Ore.--Liberty Television. Seeks VHF ch. 8 (180-186 mc); ERP 8.902 kw vis.; 1.78 kw aur. Ant. height above ground 376 ft; above average terrain 695 ft. P.O. address: Box 518, Medford. Estimated construction cost, $415,500; first-year operating cost, $325,517, revenue, $275,000. Geographic coordinates 42°25'56" north lat., 122°59'44" west long. Type trans. GE TT-49-B. Type ant. GE TY-42-A. Legal counsel Fly, Shuebruk, Blume and Gaguine, consulting engineer Silliman, Moffet & Kowalski.
    Liberty Television is joint venture comprised of Liberty Television Inc. and Siskiyou Broadcasters Inc. Liberty Television Inc. is licensee of KEZI-TV Eugene, Ore. Edward Branchfield, Medford attorney, owns 100% of Siskiyou Broadcasting. Ann. Oct. 11.
    Medford, Ore.--Medford Printing Co. Seeks VHF channel 8 (180-186 mc); ERP
141 kw vis.; 28 kw aur. Ant. height above average terrain 3,231 ft., above ground 223 ft. P.O. address: Box 1108, Medford (97501). Estimated construction cost, $490,954.63; first-year operating costs, $614,500; revenue $330,000. Trans. location, atop Mount Ashland. Studio location, Barnett Road, Medford. Geographic coordinates: 42°04'55" north lat.; 122°43'09" west long. Type trans. RCA TT-25DH. Type ant. RCA TW- 9A8-P. Legal counsel, Cottone & Fannelli. Consulting engineer, Raymond E. Rohrer & Associates. Medford Printing Co. owns KYJC Medford and publishes Medford Mail Tribune. Ann. Oct. 11.
"New TV Stations," Broadcasting, October 17, 1966, page 86


    Medford, Ore.--Liberty Television, joint venture comprised of Liberty Television Inc. and Siskiyou Broadcasters Inc. Seeks VHF ch. 8 (180-186 mc); ERP 316 kw vis., 63.2 kw aur. Ant. height above ground 376 ft.; ant. height above average terrain 712 ft, P.O. address: Box 518, Medford. Estimated construction cost $415,500: first-year operating cost $325,517; revenue $275,000. Geographic coordinates 42°25'56" north lat.; 122°59'44" west long. Type trans. RCA TT- 25-E-H. Type ant. RCA Vee Zee Custom D. Legal counsel Fly, Shuebruk, Blume and Gaguine, consulting engineer Silliman, Moffet & Kowalski. Liberty Television Inc. is licensee of KEZI-TV Eugene, Ore. Principals: Richard E. Miller (0.6%), chairman, Donald E. Lykeson, president (13.3%), Durward L. Boyles, vice president (22%) et al. in Liberty TV Inc. Principals of Siskiyou are Payette I. Briston, president (25%), Richard L. Swanson, vice president (12.5%) et al.
    Medford, Ore.--Medford Printing Co. Seeks VHF ch. 8 (180-186 mc); ERP 141 kw vis., 28 kw aur. Ant. height above average terrain 2,231 ft., above ground 223 ft. P.O. address: Box 1108, Medford 97501. Estimated construction cost $490,954.63; first-year operating cost $614,500; revenue $330,000. Trans. location atop Mount Ashland. Studio location Barnett Road, Medford. Geographic coordinates 42°04'55" north lat.; 122°43'09" west long. Type trans. RCA TT-25DH. Type ant. RCA TW-9A8-P. Legal counsel Cottone & Fannell; consulting engineer Raymond E. Rohrer & Associates. Medford Printing Co. owns KYJC Medford and publishes Medford Mail Tribune.
    Medford--State of Oregon acting by and through State Board of Higher Education. VHF ch. 8 (180-186 mc); ERP 27.3 kw vis., 5.5 kw aur. Ant. height above average terrain 695 ft., above ground 270 ft. P.O. address: c/o H. A. Bork, Box 5175, Eugene, Ore. 97403. Estimated construction cost $75.000; first-year operating cost $56,000. Studio and trans. both to be located in Blackwell Hill, near Medford. Geographic coordinates 42°25'41" north lat., 133°00'04" west long. Type trans. RCA TT-5A; type ant. RCA TF-6AH. Legal counsel Fisher, Wayland, Duvall, and Southmayd, Washington; consulting engineer Grant S. Feikert, Corvallis, Ore. To be administered by state board of education, licensee of KOAC-AM-TV Corvallis, and KOAP-FMTV Portland, both Oregon.
"TV Applications: Oregon," 1968 Broadcasting Yearbook, page A-108


    KTVL (TV) Medford, Ore.: Sold by Sierra Cascade Communications Inc. to Freedom Communications Inc. for $12.5 million. Seller is owned by J. L. DeArmond, George R. Johnson and John R. Dellenback (one-third each). They also own KTMT (FM) Medford and 55% of KTVZ (TV) Bend, Ore. Buyer is owned by Freedom Newspapers Inc., Santa Ana, Calif.-based publisher of 31 daily and five weekly newspapers in nine states. It is owned by C. H. Hoiles, chairman, and family who have no other broadcast interests. KTVL is primary CBS affiliate (secondary NBC) on ch. 10 with 132 kw visual, 26.3 kw aural and antenna 3,310 feet above average terrain.
"Changing Hands," Broadcasting, March 2, 1981, page 80


Viewers Are Few, Far Between
    With a little over 400,000 people, Medford-Klamath Falls, Ore., isn't the most populous market in the country. Geographically speaking, though, it's huge, covering some 50,000 square miles. Two of the four stations in the market have satellite stations, and all four have numerous translators to assist in covering the market.
    And you'd be surprised at the size of their engineering staffs. NBC affiliate KOBI, for example, has a dozen engineers to maintain the main station in Medford, a satellite in Klamath Falls, and 44 translators.
    The market doesn't yet have local carriage by DBS operators,  which is an issue for the broadcasters. KDRV General Manager Renard  Maiuri says the market lost a county and dropped one place in the Nielsen market rankings, largely because of out-of-market viewing. He won't take advertising from DBS operators, which have tried to buy ads.
    Station executives say the ad market is holding its own and didn't suffer as terribly as many did during last year's recession. "We went through some bad times earlier when the timber industry phased out" roughly a decade ago, says Maiuri.
    The market's big industry, and one of its two biggest ad categories, is health care. The other is autos. There's also a fair amount of tourism. And, for a 100-plus market, Medford-Klamath Falls has a sizable chunk of national spot business. About 45% of KOBI's business is national, 55% local, according to General Manager John Larkin.
    As of now, there's no UPN affiliate in the market, but MSO Charter airs The WB on one of its channels, and KDRV sells the ad time. Charter and KDRV are in retransmission-consent talks, and one point of negotiation is moving the WB signal from an expanded basic tier to the more universal basic tier, says Maiuri.
    Celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, KOBI is owned by the Smullin family, the second-oldest family broadcaster in the U.S., says Larkin.--Steve McClellan

Broadcasting, September 9, 2002, page 23




Last revised October 13, 2017