KDTN, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 29), is the flagship station of the Daystar Television Network serving the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex and licensed to Denton, Texas, United States, owned by its subsidiary Word of God Fellowship. KDTN's studio facility is part of the Daystar headquarters located off SH 121 in nearby Bedford, and its transmitter is located on Tar Road in Cedar Hill, just south of the Dallas–Ellis county line. It is available on cable TV via Charter Communications' "Spectrum" service on channel 19 (channel 2 in some areas), and FiOS from Frontier on channel 2.
|Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas|
|Channels||Digital: 29 (UHF)|
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
|Owner||Word of God Fellowship|
(Community Television Educators of DFW, Inc.)
|First air date||September 1, 1988|
|Call letters' meaning||DenToN|
(also a coincidental backronym of Daystar Television Network)
|Former channel number(s)|
|Former affiliations||PBS (1988–2004)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
415 kW (CP)
|Height||494.2 m (1,621 ft)|
|Transmitter coordinates||Coordinates: |
|Public license information||Profile|
In 1948, Variety Broadcasting (controlled by Lee Segall), owner of KIXL radio (1040 AM, now KGGR and 104.5 FM, now KKDA-FM), applied to the Federal Communications Commission for a license to operate a television station on VHF channel 2, to have been given the callsign KIXL-TV. However, the station ultimately never launched. By the time the FCC lifted its freeze on new television station license applications in 1952, the channel 2 allocation had been reassigned to Denton and as a non-commercial educational channel. This did not stop Harwell V. Shepard, the owner of KDNT radio (1440 AM, now KTNO and 106.1 FM, now KHKS), from applying for a commercial license for the station; the application was declined, as other applicants insisted to the FCC that the VHF channel 2 allocation be designated an educational station.
North Texas Public Broadcasting, owner of PBS member station KERA-TV (channel 13), first expressed interest in establishing a secondary educational television station on channel 2 in May 1977. Several other groups applied for the allocation and a long fight for a construction permit ensued with the FCC. After several other applicants dropped out, KERA worked out an agreement with the lone remaining applicant in 1984 to gain the right to put the station on the air.
As part of the agreement, KERA constructed a studio facility on the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton for the new station, which was given the call letters KDTN (in reference to its city of license), and agreed to run some programs produced by the university. The station first signed on the air on September 1, 1988. KERA used the station primarily to run educational and instructional programs that had previously filled much of KERA's daytime schedule. Channel 13 then shifted to offering primarily entertainment programming from PBS and other public television distributors. Originally branded as "KDTN 2," the station was rebranded as "KERA 2" in the early 2000s.
In 2003, North Texas Public Broadcasting decided that running a second television station in the Metroplex was no longer viable and placed KDTN up for sale; this gave religious broadcast network Daystar an opportunity to get a better signal in the market; as a result, Daystar sold its original flagship station KMPX (channel 29, now an Estrella TV owned-and-operated station) in order to purchase KDTN. The acquisition by Daystar was finalized on January 13, 2004; during KDTN's last two days as a PBS member station before Daystar officially took ownership, the station ran marathons of The Joy of Painting and the entire run of the ITV drama series Upstairs Downstairs.
However, by special arrangement, KERA announced plans at the time to continue carrying programming sourced from the station on KDTN's digital signal, to free up bandwidth on KERA's main digital signal to allow the station to upgrade its main channel to transmit programming in high definition. As of 2018, with improvements in multiplexer technology allowing carriage of separate PBS Kids and Create subchannels without affecting picture quality, this arrangement has gone unused.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
KDTN shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on April 30, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 43, using PSIP to display KDTN's virtual channel as 2 on digital television receivers.