|Huntington Beach/Los Angeles, California|
|Channels||Digital: 48 (UHF)|
50.2 OC Channel
50.4 PBS World
|Translators||KBAB-LD 50 Santa Barbara
KODG-LP 17 Palm Springs
K41CB Lucerne Valley
|First air date||November 20, 1972|
|Call letters' meaning||Orange
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
50 (UHF, 1972-2009)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
KOCE-TV is the primary Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member station for Los Angeles and Southern California. KOCE also features programming focused on the communities of Orange County, California. It airs Orange County's only nightly newscast, Real Orange, with a concentration on human interest and public service stories. It also broadcasts several college courses (telecourses) by the Coast Community College District, which was its original owner. It is licensed to Huntington Beach, with studios in the South Coast Corporate Center south of the San Diego Freeway in Costa Mesa. Its transmitter is located at the Southern California tower farm on Mount Wilson. KOCE has 4 digital subchannels including the OC Channel. It is one of three PBS member stations serving Greater Los Angeles, the others being KVCR-DT, and KLCS. A fourth public television station, KCET, Channel 28, in Los Angeles, ceased its 40-year membership in PBS in 2010 and is currently the nation's largest independent public television station.
KOCE began broadcasting on November 20, 1972 as the first television station licensed in Orange County, with 4 hours of airtime per day. It broadcast its first telecourse in 1973. It was based in studios at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. For most of its history, KOCE was a "beta" or secondary PBS station, airing only 25 percent of the national PBS schedule.
The station became the Los Angeles area's primary PBS station on January 1, 2011, when the area's previous primary station, KCET, ended its link to PBS after 40 years and became an independent public television station.
After KCET left PBS, KOCE entered into a broadcast agreement with KLCS and KVCR to form PBS SoCal effective January 1, 2011. The PBS programming originally carried on KCET is now shared between the three stations. As a consequence, on December 31, 2010 KOCE expanded its cable coverage into Santa Barbara, with Palm Springs soon to follow. Both San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria, however, were not included in the cable coverage, as those communities are now served by San Francisco PBS member KQED via cable. San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria were previously served by KCET. (Palm Springs is also served by KVCR-DT and San Diego PBS member KPBS-TV, while Bakersfield, which was also served by KCET, is now served via cable and over-the-air through Fresno PBS member KVPT.)
In the spring of 2011, KOCE moved its administrative offices to a modern facility in Costa Mesa.
KOCE vs. Daystar
In 2002, the District offered KOCE for sale in order to raise revenue for other programs. A bidding war ensued between the Daystar Television Network and members of the community who wanted to continue membership with PBS.
In 2004, the sale was finalized to the KOCE-TV Foundation, an organization made up of civic and business leaders who wanted to keep KOCE an educational station, for a bid price of $25.5 million, reduced from an initial bid of $32 million ($8 million up front and the rest in 25 equal installments without interest beginning in 2009). Daystar's unsuccessful bid was $25 million, all cash.
Daystar sued in state court, stating that under the terms of the auction, its all-cash bid should have been accepted. A lower court ruled in favor of the college district and the foundation, but on June 23, 2005, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the sale of KOCE was illegal, since the offer was modified after the end of bidding and because the value of the bid was not expressed in net present value terms. Both sides appealed this decision. On November 22, 2005, a state appeals panel reheard arguments in the case following a petition from KOCE, the foundation, the district and Daystar. On May 25, 2006, the appeals court reaffirmed its decision, again ruling the sale illegal.
At the same time, Daystar also filed a federal lawsuit, alleging religious discrimination, civil rights violations and racketeering. On May 1, 2006, the District Court dismissed the racketeering, but not the civil rights, portion of the lawsuit.
In June 2006, a state assembly bill that had previously been approved was changed to allow the Coast Community College District to sell KOCE below fair market value in order to keep it a PBS station. The new bill was passed by the assembly, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it citing concerns about serving the public interest in the sale of public property and the unresolved legal challenges to the type of sale that the bill would have authorized.
In June 2007, an agreement was reached in which the KOCE-TV Foundation will keep the station, provided that Daystar would be allowed to broadcast over one of KOCE's digital services. Thus, KOCE-DT3 is reserved to air Daystar's national schedule without local deviation.
|50.1||1080i||16:9||PBS-HD||Main KOCE-TV programming / PBS|
|50.3||Daystar||Daystar Television Network|
KOCE-TV shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009 at 11:30 PM, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station remained on its pre-transition channel 48  using PSIP to display its virtual channel as 50.
On January 1, 2011, PBS World moved from KCET-DT4 to KOCE-DT4.
KOCE Weather Center
KOCE employs a Weather Center stationed in La Habra Heights, CA, about 20 miles north of the KOCE's broadcasting center in Huntington Beach. It is also located in the same area as the KOCE's transmitter site for the Orange County area. This Weather Station, which only consists of a weather camera, is shown live only on Real Orange broadcasts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the weather reports. The weather radar image and other data are gathered from other weather sources as KOCE does not employ its own weather radar.
- The voice heard in KOCE's station identification spots is that of popular voice-over artist Camille Dixon.
- KOCE's broadcasting facility was located inside Golden West College's campus.
- Long time KTLA Los Angeles news anchor Ed Arnold is now a co-anchor alongside Ann Pulice for Real Orange.
- KOCE formed a partnership with the Orange County Register for gathering the news for their newscasts as well as being their sponsor for their program.
- KOCE has also teamed up with Chapman University in Orange, CA for programming on the OC Channel, located on digital sub-channel 50.2.
- OC Channel
- "A Nostalgic Look at the Milestone Events Which Have Formed the Rich History Of KOCE-TV". The KOCE-TV Foundation. 2005-09-15. Retrieved 2006-05-20.
- Larsen, Peter (October 8, 2010). "KOCE takes over as top PBS station after KCET cuts ties with network". The Orange County Register. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- KQED Public Television Provides Service in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria(PDF)
- Fisher, Marla Jo (2005-11-23). "Appellate court hears KOCE sale dispute". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2006-03-08.
- Campbell, Ron (2006-05-27). "State court strikes down sale of KOCE-TV". The Orange County Register]. Retrieved 2006-06-06.
- Fisher, Marla Jo (2006-05-01). "KOCE lawsuit can continue, judge rules". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2006-06-06.
- Fisher, Marla Jo (2006-08-10). "Lawmakers take up KOCE bill". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
- Schwarzenegger, Arnold (2006-09-30). "AB 523 Assembly Bill - Veto". Legislative Council of California. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
- Powers, Ashley (2010-10-10). "KOCE stays with PBS in settlement". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- Fisher, Marla Jo (2007-06-21). "KOCE-TV will stay with PBS". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- YouTube video of analog TV shutoffs in Los Angeles
- PBS SoCal
- OC Channel
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOCE
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KBAB-LD
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KODG-LP
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOCE-TV
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