KBNZ had been a translator in Bend, OR for New Vision Television’s KOIN-TV (CBS) Portland, but now the LPTV on analog Channel 7 is going to be a full-fledged CBS affiliate in its own right. New Vision Exec. VP Steve Spendlove told TVBR he hopes to launch in mid-September, with KBNZ originating some local news and gradually simulcasting less and less of KOIN as it builds local programming.
“This is another great example of New Vision’s ability to see opportunities and move quickly on them,” said President and COO John Heinen. New Vision, headed by Chairman and CEO Jason Elkin, is a portfolio investment of HBK Capital Management.
The move by New Vision gives Bend a pretty full assortment of network affiliates, where not long ago there were only a couple. News, Press & Gazette is the established player with its full-power NBC, but now also has Fox, CW and Telemundo on DTV multicasts, along with an LPTV for the Fox outlet. Meanwhile, Chambers Communications just last year signed on full-power KOHD as a digital-only ABC affiliate.