In the early 1980’s, a group of local investors, led by Medford orchardist Dunbar Carpenter, formed Sunshine Television, Inc. The group secured a license from the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast locally on VHF Channel 12.
Sunshine Television built its new station, KDRV-TV, on property just off Biddle Road near the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport.
On February 26, 1984, KDRV-TV signed on as an affiliate of the ABC Television Network.
KDRV-TV soon launched local news. NewsWatch 12 premiered September 16, 1985. In a few short years, the station’s newscasts became the most-watched in the region. That tradition continues. Today, NewsWatch 12 produces 22 hours of local news programming a week, more than any other station in the region.
NewsWatch 12 has earned honors for excellence in journalism from numerous professional organizations, including the Oregon Associated Press Award for Best Newscast during four out of five years. The Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has twice nominated NewsWatch 12 for Outstanding Daily Newscast.
KDRV-TV’s commitment to the communities it serves has made it an innovator in local television news. NewsWatch 12 produced the market’s first late local weekend newscasts. We introduced the region’s first 6:00 p.m. weeknight newscast. We were the first to bring Southern Oregon a live early-morning newscast. The addition of KDKF-TV in 1989 brought a powerful signal carrying KDRV-TV programs to viewers in the Klamath Basin, in addition to a permanently staffed newsroom in Klamath Falls.
KDRV/KDKF have been sold twice: to Love Broadcasting, Inc. in 1987 and to Chambers Communications Corporation in 1994.