Shoutout Fun Facts — #10
It’s been a while since we did one of these.
Hello there. Once again, its time to get smarter about your local public broadcasting station and there’s lots of things that you may not know about your specific station. We try to bring those to light, every time we do this.
Tenth Week Shoutouts (7/3–7/9)
- Monday, July 3rd, 2017: WYES-TV 12 / New Orleans
WYES is 60 years old and still groovin’ ! At least how they’re promoting themselves this year after the station turned 60 back on April 1st (no joke). This is the only station in Louisiana that is not affiliated with the state-wide PBS network, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB). However, programming from LPB is available on “rival” station WLAE-TV 32.
The station is best known for being home to two Louisiana-based chefs, Justin Wilson and Paul Prudhomme (he was mentioned on Family Guy as a reference; check YouTube for that).
Actually from 1984–2013, WYES and WLAE were PBS affiliates until WLAE disaffiliated from it on August 1st of the latter year.
This station was severely affected from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which was the worst-ever Hurricane to hit the United States and was the costliest in history (still is today). Its original headquarters in Navarre (the only place WYES has ever been) was flooded completely and it wasn’t until 2011 when WYES returned to Navarre. During that time, it had temporary facilities in Metairie. Plus, its signal went off-air for four months starting in August and it wasn’t until December when it came back on-air. Full capacity didn’t return until 2011 when WYES had its signal working and was at its HQ.
But now, WYES is currently building a new three-story building for the station’s headquarters located at Navarre Ave. in Lakeview. It’s scheduled to open this Fall.
2. Tuesday, July 4th, 2017: KVCR-TV 24 and 91.9 KVCR-FM / San Bernardino — Riverside
The station that got the historic July 4th shoutout… KVCR. While this may be a secondary PBS and NPR member station for Los Angeles, its actually the flagship for San Bernardino, Riverside and the Inland Empire. It’s also considered the flagship for Palm Springs since they don’t have a local PBS or NPR affiliate of its own.
KVCR is not the flagship for L.A. and yet, it was the first public television station to sign on in the market. In other words, its older than KCET 28 which used to be home to PBS, by two years (1964). Also older than KPBS 15 down south in San Diego by five years (1967), the flagship PBS for L.A. — KOCE 50 by ten years (1972) and the third PBS affiliate for L.A., KLCS 58 by eleven years (1973).
Back to Palm Springs, KVCR offers a Coachella Valley-based feed called KVCR Desert Cities. Its located on the station’s third subchannel as well as broadcasting on Channel 24 throughout the Palm Springs area. This is even though that market also has KODG-LD Channel 17 which rebroadcasts KOCE PBS SoCal.
Meanwhile, the radio side of KVCR, located at 91.9 FM, broadcasts NPR News and Talk programming, just like Pasadena’s 89.3 KPCC and Santa Monica’s 89.9 KCRW. It was one of 90 initial stations, five in California, to carry the inaugural episode of NPR’s All Things Considered in 1971. It doesn’t carry any kind of music though, unlike KCRW.
3. Wednesday, July 5th, 2017: WKAR-TV 23, AM 870 and 90.5 FM — WKAR / East Lansing — Lansing — Jackson
From Michigan State University, here’s WKAR. WKAR Television is the second oldest continuing-operated public television station in the country after Houston’s KUHT 8 and it has been owned by MSU since the beginning.
What’s interesting about this station is that it shared time with a commercial outlet, WILX-TV 10, which is currently the area’s NBC affiliate, for 13 years from 1959 until they both went their separate ways in 1972.
WKAR-TV had a fire take place in 1978 that took out its TV and FM operations and both didn’t return until months later (TV in October and FM in September).
Today, the TV side airs four subchannels and three of those actually carry a radio station on a SAP audio channel, which makes the radio stations available on both radio and TV.
Speaking of radio, the radio side of WKAR is composed of two stations: AM 870 and 90.5 FM. The AM station is all-news/talk but its only broadcast during the daytime hours and that’s because its to avoid interference from clear channel 50,000-watt blowtorch station 870 WWL in New Orleans. It’s basically on from sunup to sundown but it is available 24/7 on a translator through W233CH at 94.5 FM in East Lansing. It was one of the 90 stations to carry the first ATC episode in 1971. It’s analog signal during the daytime can reach Flint, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, the three areas where NPR is served through Michigan Radio.
90.5 WKAR-FM, however unlike AM 870, is not all-news/talk since it does carry Classical music every night with Classical 24. In other words, the only station that carries all-news/talk 24/7 from NPR is through Michigan Radio and their Ann Arbor signal of 91.7 WUOM. WKAR-FM used to offer a 24/7 classical music format on HD2 and a simulcast of AM 870 on HD3, but as of just last month, HD Radio operations were discontinued at WKAR, leaving just analog signals.
Both AM and FM used to be carried together until they went their separate ways with their programming in 1965. But just like AM, FM can also cover Flint, Detroit and Grand Rapids. It’s the primary EAS station for the state but secondary for the market.
The FM side was the first FM station for the market when it signed on in 1948 while the AM side was also the first AM station for the market when it signed on in 1922.
4. Thursday, July 6th, 2017: 90.7 WFAE / Charlotte
When you hear that WFAE has only been on-air since 1981, it kinda makes you think why they didn’t go on-air sooner. In fact, before WFAE came to light, NPR was served in Charlotte through South Carolina Public Radio and its affiliate 88.9 WNSC-FM in Rock Hill, S.C.
Back in its early days, it had a variety mix for public radio: News, Classical and Jazz. Today, its nothing but news and it has been since 2000 and has had a satellite station, 90.3 WFHE in Hickory, N.C., since the year yours truly (the writer of this publication) was born in 1995.
One of WFAE’s local programs is Charlotte Talks. Hosted by Mike Collins since the founding in 1998, its one of the most closely-watched and influential programs on record in the area and airs weekdays from 9:00 — 10:00 a.m. ET.
In 2004, it became the first public radio station in Charlotte and North Carolina to broadcast in HD Radio. Yes, 2004. WFHE was added to that as well. Today, HD1 is the simulcast of WFAE/WFHE. HD2 is known as The Charlotte Jazz Channel, a 24-hour Jazz-formatted channel and HD3 has the Public Radio Remix from PRX.
WFAE even has two translators that were added in 2012, 93.7 FM W229BD in Southern Pines, N.C. and 106.1 FM W291BM in Laurinburg, N.C.
5. Friday, July 7th, 2017: WILL-TV 12, AM 580 and 90.9 FM — WILL / Urbana — Champaign
Three services, under one branding of Illinois Public Media. TV went on-air in 1955, AM did in 1922 and FM did in 1941. All owned by the University of Illinois, located at Urbana — Champaign.
While TV did sign-on in 1955, it didn’t broadcast 7 days a week until 1974 and not 24-hours a day until 1999. There wasn’t much facts about the TV side but there’s a lot about the radio side.
The radio side is AM 580 and FM 90.9 which both air NPR News programming but the AM side is all-news/talk while FM airs more of classical music. Again, both were part of the 90 stations that carried the initial broadcast of ATC in 1971.
The AM side’s signal is directional due to clear channel station 580 WIBW in Topeka, Ks. but its strong enough to reach Chicago and Indy. Plus, its another NPR member station that serves Terre Haute alongside Bloomington’s 103.7 WFIU since Terre Haute doesn’t have an NPR station of its own which is pretty unfortunate. The FM side was the first FM station ever in the country to be licensed by a University and in this case, Univ. of Ill.
WILL-FM, just like many other public radio broadcasters, are in HD Radio. They use 90.9 HD1 to simulcast the analog signal, 90.9 HD2 to carry classical music 24-hours a day and 90.3 HD3 to provide 24/7 coverage of AM 580 since that signal has to reduce its power at night-time due to interference to protect clear channel 580 WIBW in Topeka, Ks. They also have a translator for 90.9 FM located at 106.5 FM W293AF in Danville, Ill. and one for the HD2 classical music service, located at 101.1 FM W266AF in Urbana, thus the reason why the service is called WILL-FM 101.1.
Today, the radio side is home to a statewide program called The 21st, hosted by Niala Boodhoo. It’s only aired on AM 580 on weekday mornings from 11:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. CT but there are other public radio stations statewide that carry the program as well.
This year, Illinois Public Media celebrated its 95th anniversary through the sign-on of WILL AM 580.
6. Saturday, July 8th, 2017: WOSU-TV 34 and 89.7 WOSU-FM / Columbus
WOSU has a long, lengthy history even though its a weird one because even though it dates back to 1922, the station that caused for that long history no longer exists.
It first began as AM 820 in 1922, then changed call letters from WEAO to WOSU in 1933. Unfortunately, the station signed off-air for good in 2011. Then came the FM side in 1949. It went 24-hours in 1960 and was all-classical from 1980 to 2008 while AM 820 was home to NPR’s news and talk programming. That was discontinued in 2008 when it became partly news and classical and that remained until 2010 when classical moved to WOSA at 101.1 FM.
The TV side came on-air in 1956. It wanted Channel 12 but the FCC gave them Channel 34 instead and my critical thinking probably thinks why is because it could’ve created interference from WKRC-TV 12 (CBS) in Cincinnati, which went on the air in 1949. In 1973, the station got a full-power satellite in WPBO Channel 42 in Portsmouth, Oh., which used to serve Southeast Ohio and was actually a part of the Charleston — Huntington, W.V. television market. I say actually because WPBO is scheduled to go off-air later this year because of the FCC Spectrum Auction. Don’t worry though, WOSU will remain on-air.
WOSU Radio is currently home to a two-hour local program called All Sides with Ann Fisher, which is broadcast weekdays from 10:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. ET. The radio side made history in 2004 when it became the first radio station the country to broadcast an HD Radio subchannel full-time. It used be on HD2 subchannel and from 2008–2010, it carried an all-classical music service. As of 2010, there’s no need for it because classical music is now being broadcast on 101.1 WOSA, otherwise known as Classical 101, even though the station is also carried on HD2, allowing for the classical music service to continue.
WOSU-FM does have a repeater in 89.3 FM W202CE in Coshocton, Oh.
7. Sunday, July 9th, 2017: WTVS 56 / Detroit
There probably isn’t that much facts to bring you about WTVS but what we can say is that it started in 1955 and today, its known as the most-watched PBS affiliate in Michigan. It was the first public broadcaster in Michigan to broadcast in digital television and that was back in 2000.
If anything, WTVS is known as the station that PBS relies on for the creation of concert DVDs and CDs for the popular Italian singing group Il Volo.
And because Detroit is close to Windsor and Western Ontario, WTVS is carried on Canadian cable and satellite systems. It is one of a few PBS affiliates to be carried on cable and satellite in the country up north alongside KCTS in Seattle, WNED in Buffalo, WPBS in Watertown, N.Y., WCFE in Burlington, V.T. and MPBN in Maine, among others.
WTVS, otherwise known as Detroit Public Television (DPTV), also manages a classical/jazz music radio station on 90.9 WRCJ.
That’s the tenth week shoutouts from @PubMediaFans. We’ll be back next time for Edition #11. In case we don’t do another one before Sunday, then make sure to keep an eye out for Edition #4 of The Best of @PubMediaFans, our weekly newsletter. Must warn you now (haha) that there may not be that much content for this week compared to past editions.
Other than that, until next time!