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KCTS-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 9, is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Seattle, Washington, United States and also serving Tacoma. The station's offices and studios are located at the northeast corner of Seattle Center, and its transmitter is on Capitol Hill in Seattle.
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)|
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
|Translators||K18AD-D 18 (UHF) Wenatchee|
|Owner||Cascade Public Media|
|First air date||December 7, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||King County Community Television Service|
|Former channel number(s)|
|Former affiliations||NET (1954–1970)|
|Transmitter power||21.7 kW|
|Height||249 m (817 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
KCTS-TV also operates semi-satellite KYVE (virtual channel 47, UHF digital channel 21) in Yakima, which serves as the PBS member station for the western portion of the Yakima/Tri-Cities market. KYVE maintains its own studios on Second Street in Yakima and transmitter on Ahtanum Ridge.
KCTS first went on the air on December 7, 1954, broadcasting from the campus of the University of Washington, the station's original licensee, and using equipment donated by KING-TV owner Dorothy Bullitt. Channel 9 was a sister station to KUOW-FM, which the University of Washington put on the air two years earlier.
During the 1950s and 1960s, KCTS primarily supplied classroom instructional programs used in Washington State's 1–12 schools, plus National Educational Television (NET) programs. Outside of schoolrooms, KCTS' audience among the general public was somewhat limited, and most programming was in black-and-white until the mid-1970s (although the station did install color capability in 1967).
In 1970, National Educational Television was absorbed into the newly created Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). As a PBS member station, KCTS began offering a vastly enhanced scope of programming for the general public, including British programming.
Thanks to a major fundraiser drive during the mid-1980s, KCTS moved to its present location on the Seattle Center campus in October 1986; shortly after, in 1987, the University of Washington spun off KCTS, and the station became a community licensee.
KCTS is seen throughout southwestern British Columbia on local cable systems, as well as across Canada on the Bell TV and Shaw Direct satellite providers, as well as on many other Canadian cable TV systems. According to KCTS, "over 800,000 viewers tune in every week" from British Columbia KCTS receives substantial financial support from its far-flung Canadian audience as well as from viewers in Washington State.
In January 2016, as part of a broader strategy redefine itself as a content provider for various other platforms other than television, the name of the licensee, KCTS Television became Cascade Public Media; its properties include KCTS-TV, Crosscut, a non-profit daily news site, and Spark Public, a local website devoted to millennial life.
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)|
Virtual: 47 (PSIP)
47.2 PBS Kids
|Translators||17 K17IL-D Ellensburg|
(Cascade Public Media)
|First air date||November 1, 1962|
|Call letters' meaning||Yakima Valley Educational|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
47 (UHF, 1962–2009)
|Former affiliations||NET (1962–1970)|
|Transmitter power||50 kW|
|Height||280 m (919 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
In 1994, KCTS merged with KYVE, which has served central Washington since November 1, 1962. However, this wasn't the first time that the two stations had partnered together; during the early 1960s KYVE's engineers switched to and from KCTS' signal until the station's owners, the Yakima Board of Education, got enough funding for the station to be self-supporting. The station became a community licensee in 1984, but found the going difficult until its merger with KCTS.
During the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, some programs included a combined KCTS/KYVE visual bug in the lower-right corner of the screen, indicating they were simulcast to both markets. However, since the early 2000s, KYVE has largely been a straight simulcast of KCTS. Combined, the two stations serve 2.4 million people, accounting for almost two-thirds of Washington state's population.
The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|Main KCTS-TV programming / PBS|
Main KYVE programming / PBS
KCTS-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 41 to VHF channel 9.
KCTS is perhaps best known for producing/distributing the popular PBS Kids show Bill Nye the Science Guy, as well as other programs such as Students by Nature (not a PBS-distributed program), The Miracle Planet, cooking shows by Nick Stellino, Chefs A' Field, and the annual televised high school academic competition KYVE Apple Bowl, among other shows.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2010-12-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Hanscom, Greg; Power-Drutis, Tamara (December 2, 2015). "An Exciting New Chapter for Northwest Public Media". Crosscut.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Cullen, Hilda (December 2, 2015). "News Website Crosscut Merging into KCTS 9" (PDF) (Press release). KCTS-TV. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Tu, Janet I. (December 2, 2015). "KCTS-TV to absorb Crosscut and another local website". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Connelly, Joel (December 2, 2015). "KCTS-TV will merge with Crosscut". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- http://kcts9.org/kcts-9-in-canada | KCTS 9 in Canada
- RabbitEars TV Query for KCTS
- RabbitEars TV Query for KYVE
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
- KCTS 9
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCTS
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KYVE
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for KCTS
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for KYVE
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KCTS-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KYVE-TV
- History KCTS from 1954 through 2003 (Seattle Times)