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WJCT, virtual and VHF digital channel 7, is a PBS member television station located in Jacksonville, Florida. Owned by WJCT, Inc., it is a sister station to NPR member WJCT-FM (89.9 MHz). The two stations share studios on Festival Park Avenue in Downtown Jacksonville's Stadium District and transmitter facilities on Hogan Road. On cable, WJCT is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 8 (channel 7 is occupied by a leased access channel) and in high definition on digital channel 440.

Wjct logo with your community your world slogan.png
Jacksonville, Florida
United States
SloganYour community, your world
ChannelsDigital: 7 (VHF)
(to move to 9 (VHF))
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
OwnerWJCT, Inc.
First air dateSeptember 10, 1958 (61 years ago) (1958-09-10)
Call letters' meaningJacksonville
Sister station(s)WJCT-FM
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 7 (VHF, 1958–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 38 (UHF, until 2009)
Former affiliationsNET (1958–1970)
Transmitter power18 kW
17.5 kW (CP)
Height302 m (991 ft)
296.6 m (973 ft) (CP)
Facility ID73130
Transmitter coordinates30°16′51″N 81°34′12″W / 30.28083°N 81.57000°W / 30.28083; -81.57000 (WJCT)Coordinates: 30°16′51″N 81°34′12″W / 30.28083°N 81.57000°W / 30.28083; -81.57000 (WJCT)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile


Before the airwavesEdit

In 1952, Dr. Heywood Dowling, a local podiatrist, learned that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had reserved 242 local television channels for non-commercial educational use, including the allocation for channel 7 for Jacksonville. Dowling then undertook a six-year campaign to license and fund an educational television station for the First Coast region.[2] His efforts were successful, and WJCT signed on the air on September 10, 1958.[3]

Today in the LegislatureEdit

In 1973, Florida Public Broadcasting, a joint venture between WJCT and Tallahassee PBS station WFSU-TV, under the aegis of the Florida Public Broadcasting Service, began a program covering the Florida Legislature, which was syndicated to Florida's eight PBS member stations, from a mobile facility located on the grounds of the State Capitol. The program, Today in the Legislature, was the first of its kind in the United States, preceding legislative programs in other states, and U.S. Congressional coverage by C-SPAN.[4]

Reaction to the first year of the program was positive.[5][6] The state legislature dedicated funds to expand the program, managed exclusively by WJCT.[7] Production facilities migrated into the (old) Capitol building, with engineering and studio facilities constructed on the third floor. The first broadcast from the new facility was on April 2, 1974. Today in the Legislature expanded into an hour-long weekday program during the legislative session, with a one-hour Spanish language summary, Hoy en la Legislatura produced on Fridays as well as a sign language program. It was hosted by veteran broadcaster Jim Lewis, with additional commentary by Elizabeth "Bib" Willis.[8] Research, engineering, and production crews were composed chiefly of recent graduates from the Florida State University Department of Communications (now the Florida State University College of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts), nearly all under the age of 25, including producer Elliott C. Mitchell and director John P. Leu, as well as future Georgia legislator Chesley V. Morton, who worked as a still photographer and camera operator for the program.[9][10][11] Today in the Legislature was described as a "unique blend of television of record and more conventional news coverage."[4][12] A research study concluded that the program generated more positive attitudes about the legislature and increased political knowledge in adolescents who viewed the broadcast, although only 12% found the programming to be "interesting".[13]

Digital channelsEdit

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
7.1 720p 16:9 WJCT-HD Main WJCT programming / PBS
7.2 480i 4:3 Create Create
7.3 16:9 World World
7.4 More The Florida Channel / WJCT More!
7.5 Kids PBS Kids

WJCT discontinued analog broadcasting on April 6, 2009, ahead of the federally-mandated deadline on June 12.[14]

WJCT-HD4 carries The Florida Channel during its broadcast day (6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays); the subchannel otherwise broadcasts a secondary schedule of WJCT and PBS programs under the branding "WJCT More!". The subchannel formerly carried Florida Knowledge Network in the same time period (with its remaining airtime filled by "WJCT International") until its closure in 2011.


  1. ^ a b "Digital TV Market Listing for WJCT". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  2. ^ "(Obituary) Dr. Heywood A. Dowling". Florida Times-Union. January 28–29, 2003. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  3. ^ "WJCT". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  4. ^ a b David J. LeRoy; C. Edward Wotring; Jack Lyle (September 1974). ""Today in the Legislature" A Florida Story - Journal of Communication. Volume 24, Issue 3". Wiley Online Library: 92–98. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1974.tb00395.x. Retrieved June 19, 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ David C. LeRoy; C. Edward Wotring (1974). "Reaction and Evaluation of "Today in the Legislature" by Legislators, Capital Press and the Public". National Library of Australia. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  6. ^ American Bar Association (December 1974). ABA Journal. American Bar Association. p. 1585.
  7. ^ Public affairs become more and more public, Broadcasting Magazine, August 18, 1974.
  8. ^ Network Meets in Sarasota, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 23, 1984.
  9. ^ "(Obituary) John Patrick Leu". Tallahassee Democrat. February 18, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "(Obituary) Elliott C. Mitchell III". The Tennessean. February 2, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "House Resolution 1285" (PDF). Georgia House of Representatives. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "Today in the Legislature Keeps Viewers Informed of Happenings in Tallahassee". March 31, 1974. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Charles K. Atkin; Bradley S. Greenberg (March 1974). "Public Television and Political Socialization; A Field Experiment on the Impact of a Public Television Series on the Political Knowledge, Attitudes and Communication Behaviors of Adolescents". ERIC. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Basch, Mark (February 6, 2009). "Jacksonville TV stations might not wait to switch to digital". Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2019.

External linksEdit