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KETC
KETC Logo.png
St. Louis, Missouri
Channels Digital: 39 (UHF)
Subchannels 9.1/39.1 KETC-TV
9.2/39.2 KETC Kids
9.3/39.3 PBS World
9.4/39.4 Create
Affiliations PBS
Owner St. Louis Regional Public Media, Inc.
First air date September 20, 1954
Call letters’ meaning St. Louis
Educational
Television
Commission
(former name for St. Louis Regional Public Media)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
9 (1954-2009)
Former affiliations NET (1954-1970)
Transmitter Power 124.6 kW (digital)
Height 278.6 m (digital)
Facility ID 62182
Transmitter Coordinates 38°28′55.8″N 90°23′52.6″W / 38.482167°N 90.397944°W / 38.482167; -90.397944
Website www.ketc.org

KETC is the PBS member station in St. Louis, Missouri. Owned by St. Louis Regional Public Media, the call letters KETC represent the St. Louis Educational Television Commission, the former name of the organization originally responsible for bringing public television to St. Louis.

KETC Channel 9 is the most-watched public television station in the country in 2008, according to an A.C. Nielsen company report. KETC ranked first out of 362 PBS stations in the nation.

The station broadcasts in stereo and broadcasts a secondary audio program (SAP) channel, used for descriptive video service (DVS). The station's analog channel operates on channel 9 while its digital channel operates on channel 39.

Some of the few programs produced by KETC for nationwide consumption include The Letter People, an instructional program about reading, which was seen on many PBS and educational television stations since the mid-1970s.

History

KETC

KETC began broadcasting on September 20, 1954. Its first general manager was the well-known Shelby Storck, who also emceed the station's first evening of broadcasting.

During the 2004 elections, KETC partnered with KSDK, St. Louis' NBC affiliate, to provide St. Louisans with the most comprehensive and up-to-date local and national election results. This partnership was first utilized to simulcast a gubernatorial debate between Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt(R) and State Auditor Claire McCaskill(D). On election night, KSDK aired NBC's primetime election coverage with Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert as well as segments of local results; on KETC, Mike Bush and Karen Foss hosted three hours of all local election results. Viewers could also watch election results online at ksdk.com and ketc.org.

The successful KETC/KSDK partnership was used again in September 2005 when, along with radio partners KYKY (y98, 98.1FM) and KEZK (Soft Rock, 102.5FM), a telethon for Hurricane Katrina relief was simulcast that raised more than $5 million. The telethon featured an appearance by John Goodman, a native of Affton, Missouri who now calls New Orleans home and whose family was actually missing for a time during the storm's peak. Sheryl Crow, a native of Kennett, Missouri, and her fiancé Lance Armstrong urged viewers to call when they were interviewed by phone from the region.

The channel has gained a certain infamy among viewers in St. Louis for preempting a large number of PBS programs to air library shows or less controversial programs, such as WQED's doo-wop specials, on a regular basis, preferring to air the network shows at late hours. However, KETC has been known to cave in to pressure regarding this: when St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Eric Mink wrote an editorial about how they would show a Stars on Ice show over a September 11, 2001 documentary, KETC announced the next day that they would change and air the scheduled network program.

In May 2008, the E! cable network contracted with KETC to film two episodes of weekly pop culture series The Soup at their studios to accommodate host Joel McHale's filming of a movie in the St. Louis area [1].

The station has recently been partnered with the Saint Louis Beacon, an online-only, non-profit news publication, to form the Public Insight Network, a citizen journalism initiative created in conjunction with American Public Media.

KETC is a member of LARK International, a public-television production company, whose stations also include KUHT in Houston, Texas; WTVS in Detroit, Michigan; and KCTS-TV in Seattle, Washington. However, unlike these other stations, KETC has never used LARK's sunburst device in its logo.

External links

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