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For the former channel 12 in Wilmington, see WVUE (Delaware).

WHYY: Wilmington, Delaware/
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WDPB: Seaford, Delaware
Branding WHYY TV12
Slogan Wider Horizons Know WHYY
Channels Digital:
WHYY: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
WDPB: 44 (UHF)
Virtual: 64 (PSIP)
Affiliations PBS
Owner WHYY, Inc.
First air date WHYY: September 2, 1957
WDPB: December 4, 1981
Call letters’ meaning WHYY:
Wider Horizons for
You and Yours
Delaware Public
Sister station(s) WHYY-FM
Former channel number(s) Analog:
35 (1957-1963)
12 (1963-2009)
64 (1981-2009)
50 (1999-2009)
Former affiliations NET (1957-1970)
Transmitter Power WHYY: 20 kW
WDPB: 98 kW
Height WHYY: 259 m
WDPB: 196 m
Facility ID WHYY: 72338
WDPB: 72335
Transmitter Coordinates WHYY:
40°2′30.9″N 75°14′21.9″W / 40.041917°N 75.239417°W / 40.041917; -75.239417
38°39′16.1″N 75°36′39.1″W / 38.654472°N 75.610861°W / 38.654472; -75.610861 (WDPB)

WHYY-TV, channel 12, is the PBS member station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its main studio and office facility is co-located with sister station WHYY-FM (90.9 MHz.) in Center City Philadelphia. The station also operates a secondary studio in Wilmington, Delaware, its city of license. Both stations share a transmitter, which is located in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia.

WHYY-TV also operates WDPB (channel 64) in Seaford, Delaware, a full-time satellite which serves the Delmarva Peninsula.



WHYY-TV signed on for the first time on September 2, 1957, on channel 35. It was the 23rd educational station in the country, and the second in Pennsylvania (WQED-TV in Pittsburgh had signed on three years earlier). It was owned by Metropolitan Philadelphia Educational Radio and Television Corporation. It broadcast from a studio on Chestnut Street in Center City, which had previously been home to WCAU-TV (channel 10).

The station found the going difficult at first, in part because television sets were not required to have UHF tuning capability. Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission had collapsed most of Delaware, the Lehigh Valley and the Jersey Shore into the Philadelphia market, and the channel 35 transmitter was not nearly strong enough to serve this large area.

Then, in 1958, WVUE, a channel 12 station in Wilmington which had lost its NBC affiliation and then struggled as an independent, went off the air. WHYY's owners applied for the vacant channel 12 allocation in Wilmington, which was the nearest available VHF allocation to Philadelphia. The FCC granted WHYY's request to move the station to channel 12 in 1963, and WHYY signed on channel 12 for the first time on September 12. It operated from WVUE's old tower in Glassboro, New Jersey.

As part of an agreement with Delaware officials and the FCC, WHYY-TV also opened a studio in Wilmington, and began producing a newscast focused on Delaware issues, "Delaware Tonight." Although it is licensed in Wilmington, WHYY is still a Philadelphia station for all intents and purposes; to this day it identifies as "Wilmington/Philadelphia" on-air. A similar situation exists in New York City; its flagship PBS station, WNET is licensed to Newark, New Jersey.

Later in 1963, WHYY moved its main studio in Philadelphia to the former home of WFIL-TV (channel 6, now WPVI-TV) on 46th and Market streets. In 1979, channel 12 moved to its current home on Independence Mall, first in the old Living History Center museum and theatre (which was also used for Nickelodeon game shows such as Double Dare and the Bill Cosby revival of You Bet Your Life) before it was transformed into their current building in 1999 as part of the redevelopment of the Independence Mall area.

In the late 1970s, WHYY-TV moved its transmitter to the Roxborough tower farm, home to most of Philadelphia's television stations. The new tower provides at least grade B coverage as far west as Lancaster; as far south as Dover, Delaware and as far north as New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In 1984, WHYY bought WDPB and turned it into a full-time satellite of channel 12. WDPB had signed on in 1981.

Controversy erupted in the Summer of 2007 when station CEO Bill Marrazzo was cited by the watchdog group Charity Navigator as the highest paid CEO in all of public broadcasting.

Frustrated by a percieved lack of local coverage, in December 2009 the city of Wilimington filed a challange to WHYY's license with the FCC [1]

Series produced

WHYY-TV presents four regular TV series for PBS stations:

PBS's Show:

Syndicated TV Programs:

MoneyTrack began in April 2005. These shows are produced by independent companies for WHYY. The station has also developed several TV specials, such as The Great Comet Crash and Trading Women.

Currently, WHYY-TV produces three original programs including the local nightly news show Delaware Tonight, broadcasting from WHYY Wilmington studios. WHYY receives grants from Delaware and Pennsylvania. Government grants are not underwriting grants and are not used to produce individual programs. Government grants help to ensure service to constituents. Some people believe this program is produced with funding from the state of Delaware, raising conflict of interest issues about the programs ability to report independently on state government and current officeholders. The historical review of the programs confirms that this concern is invalid. However, on June 17th, the station announced they will cancel the program effective July 17th and replace it with a weekly newsmagazine and look for noew headquarters for their Wilmington offices. Other programs includeExperience shorts, about Philadelphia's cultural community; and Flicks, a three-minute movie review by film critic Patrick Stoner. The shorter version of Flicks, Quick Pics, is also shown on many PBS stations around the country. WHYY was also one of the first PBS affiliates to air Doctor Who.

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed. Its digital broadcast signal is at a low enough power that even those who live in various areas of the City of Philadelphia cannot get it reliably.[2] [3]



WHYY-DT broadcast on digital channel 50 before June 12, 2009, and channel 12 after. The problems with VHF digital broadcasts have prevented many people from seeing the WHYY-DT signal even after the transition. [4]

Digital channels

Channel Name Programming
12.1 WHYY-DT main WHYY-TV/PBS programming
12.2 WHYY-DT2 Y Arts (arts and cultural programming)
12.3 WHYY-DT3 Y Info (news/information/public affairs)

Out of market Cable carriage

Outside of the Philadelphia market in central New Jersey, WHYY is carried in southern Middlesex County on Comcast in the municipalities of Plainsboro, South Brunswick, Monroe, Cranbury, Jamesburg, Helmetta, Spotswood, and East Brunswick on digital channel 12 but has been removed from analog channel 12 to preserve bandwidth. Comcast of Central New Jersey also caries the HD version of WHYY on digital channel 241 with sub channels Y arts on digital channnels 257/267 and Y info on digital channel 258. In Ocean County, Comcast's Toms River system caries WHYY on digital only channel 24 with the HD version of WHYY on digital channel 241 with sub channels Y arts on digital channnel 257 and Y info on digital channel 258. WHYY is unavailable on Comcast's Brick system. WHYY is also caried on channel 21 by Cablevision in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Comcast (formerly Patriot Media) caries WHYY on digital only channel 12 in Somerset and Hunterdon counties with HD on digital channel 151, Y-arts on digital channel 224 and Y-info on digital channel 225.

See also


External links



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