About KMTR - NBC16KMTR began broadcasting on October 4, 1982, following a conflict between former NBC affiliate KVAL-TV and the network. KVAL had begun omitting certain NBC prime time broadcasts from its evening lineup and replacing them with programming from rival network CBS, leading to a switch of KVAL's affiliation from NBC to CBS. This decision paved the way for the introduction of KMTR to the media market.
In 1984, the Columbia Empire Broadcasting Corporation of Yakima, Washington acquired the station. In late 1995, it was bought by the Wicks Broadcast Group of New York City. In March 1996, the new General Manager, Brian Benschoter, made some significant changes to the station, including the firing of longstanding sports anchors Brian Lamb and Steve Freedman on May 21, 1996. The two had introduced the popular "Prep Athlete of the Week" segment, which remains a highly respected media honor for high school sports in the Eugene/Springfield area. They were replaced by sports talk radio host Joe Giansante from KUGN AM 590.