KGW, virtual and VHF digital channel 8, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Portland, Oregon, United States. The station is owned by the Dallas, Texas-based Belo Corporation. KGW's studios are located on Jefferson Street in southwestern Portland, and its transmitter is located in the city's Sylvan-Highlands section. KGW also serves as the Portland bureau for co-owned regional news channel Northwest Cable News.
The station was an extension of radio station KGW (620 AM, now KPOJ). The Oregonian newspaper created KGW by purchasing an existing transmitter from the Shipowners Radio Service. The U.S. Department of Commerce licensed the radio station, and it began broadcasting on March 25, 1922 (after a test transmission two days earlier). Among the station's early personalities was "The Man of 1000 Voices," Mel Blanc, who debuted on the radio program The Hoot Owls. The station's studios and transmitter were located in The Oregonian Building (of 1892) until 1943, when a fire destroyed them and the station moved to other quarters. The Oregonian applied for and received a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) construction permit for a television station in 1947, but later returned it in order to focus on its core newspaper business. It later bought KOIN (970 AM, now KUFO) and used it to start KOIN-TV (channel 6).
The Oregonian sold KGW-AM-FM to North Pacific Television, a consortium of Seattle businesswoman Dorothy Bullitt and five Portland businessmen, on November 1, 1953. Bullitt's King Broadcasting Company, who also owned KING-AM-FM-TV in Seattle, was the largest shareholder in the venture, with a 40 percent stake. Bullitt eventually bought out her partners (and in doing so, became the sole owner of the station), and KGW-TV signed on the air on December 15, 1956 on channel 8 as an ABC affiliate. On April 26, 1959, it swapped affiliations with KPTV (channel 12), becoming an NBC affiliate (KGW's sister station, KING-TV in Seattle, which would eventually rejoin CBS in 2001, also switched from ABC to NBC with KOMO-TV at the same time).
The KGW-TV tower was a prominent victim of the Northwest's historic, and violent Columbus Day Storm on October 12, 1962. The station returned to the air on October 16 using a temporary tower, as well as an antenna on loan from KTNT-TV (now KSTW) of Tacoma, Washington. A new antenna and tower were placed into service on January 28, 1963.
In January 1964, KGW began building a new broadcast center at 1501 SW Jefferson Street, which has served as its headquarters and main studios location ever since. The station moved into the new facility, from an old building located two blocks to the east, in 1965, the radio facilities in the spring and the television facilities in July 1965. Located at the west edge of downtown Portland, the two-story building had approximately 54,000 sq ft (5,000 m2) of space.
In 1992, King Broadcasting (which also included KING-TV in Seattle, KREM-TV in Spokane, Washington, KTVB in Boise, Idaho and KHNL in Honolulu, Hawaii) merged with The Providence Journal Company. Only five years later, in 1997, KGW became part of the Belo Corporation when it bought The Providence Journal Company.
As an ABC stationEdit
On July 16, 2000, after Cox Communications signed an affilation deal with ABC that renewed the network's affiliation with its affiliate in Orlando (which was heavilly targeted by NBC to replace one station that was slated to switch to TDN) and caused three other stations to switch to the network, Fisher Communications signed a long-term deal with NBC, in which several Fisher-owned stations (two of which were aligned with ABC) would become NBC affiliates. (NBC would acquire Fisher Communications one year later, turning all of the Fisher television stations into owned-and-operated stations of the network.)