|Buffalo, New York|
|Channel||Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 17 (PSIP)
|Owner||Western New York Public Broadcasting Association|
|First air date||March 30, 1959|
|Sister station(s)||WNED (AM), WNED-FM|
|Former affiliations||NET (1959-1970)|
|Effective power||156 kW|
WNED-TV is a PBS member public television station in Buffalo, New York. Owned by the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association, it broadcasts on digital channel 43 from studios in downtown Buffalo and a transmitter located in Grand Island, New York. Until April 16, 2009, it was also broadcast on analog channel 17.
In addition to Buffalo, WNED also has a substantial viewership in Southern Ontario, including Toronto; it identifies as "Buffalo/Toronto" on-air. Many cable and satellite providers in Southern Ontario include WNED as the PBS station, and more than half of its financial support comes from Canada.
Channel 17 first signed on in 1953 as WBUF-TV an early UHF commercial station launched in 1953. It was sold to NBC in 1955. NBC bought channel 17 as an experiment to see if a UHF station could compete with VHF. However, despite a large investment, WBUF never made much headway against WBEN-TV (now WIVB-TV) and WGR-TV (now WGRZ-TV). Part of the problem was that television manufacturers were not required to build in UHF tuning capability. Viewers needed a very expensive converter to watch WBUF, and even with one the picture quality was marginal at best. In fact, viewers in the eastern portion of the Buffalo metropolitan area often got a better signal from WROC-TV in Rochester, which then operated on low-band VHF channel 5. The final blow came in 1956, when the FCC issued a third VHF license to Buffalo, on channel 7 -- what was to become WKBW-TV. The station signed off on September 30, 1958 (the same day WKBW signed on).
NBC donated its license and some equipment to the newly-formed Western New York Public Broadcasting Association. Channel 17 returned to the air on March 30, 1959 as WNED-TV, the second educational station in New York State. Although WNED-TV still had a commercial license, it operated as a noncommercial educational station.
WNED-TV has become a leading PBS member. It produced several original programs that have been carried throughout the PBS system such as the Mark Russell comedy specials and Reading Rainbow, produced in association with GPN until early 2006. Starting in May 2006, co-production of Reading Rainbow continued with Educate Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland, after The University of Nebraska Regents (the owners of GPN and NET) sold its long-time production interest to WNED. 
In 1975, the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association bought two commercial radio stations, WEBR-AM and WREZ-FM. The AM station had been founded in 1924, while the FM station was founded as WEBR-FM in 1960, becoming WBCE-FM in the early 1970s before becoming WREZ. The FM station was renamed WNED-FM in 1977, when it adopted a classical music format. In 1977, WEBR-AM became the nation's first public all-news radio station and was the top-rated public radio station in the country by 1978. In 1993 it was renamed WNED-AM after cutbacks in government funding forced it to dramatically cut its local programming in favour of network and syndicated content.
From 1987 to 2000, WNED-TV operated a sister station, WNEQ, on channel 23. The operation of two PBS television stations proved unviable. In late 1999, the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association announced that it would sell WNEQ to LIN Broadcasting.
Until this time WNED-TV had maintained the old commercial license it had inherited from WBUF-TV, while WNEQ had operated on a traditional non-commercial license. LIN needed WNED's commercial license in order to make its acquisition viable. At one point, it seemed likely that LIN would actually purchase channel 17 from the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association. This would have resulted in the WNED-TV intellectual unit moving to channel 23, while channel 17 would have become a commercial station. However, the long history of channel 17 as a PBS station prevented this. The FCC was persuaded to allow channel 17 and channel 23 to swap licenses, allowing WNEQ to be sold to LIN. After 42 years of operating as a commercial licensee operating as a non-commercial broadcaster, WNED acquired an educational license in 2000. WNEQ was sold to LIN in early 2001, and is now WNLO, an affiliate of the CW network.
Through the use of a digital subchannel, WNED-TV now provides ThinkBright as a second programming service, covering most of New York State with twelve hours a day of regional, educational and cultural programming. It is available on all New York PBS member stations except Long Island/New York City.
WNED-TV is simulcast on many translators, including W46BA, in Jamestown, New York, and W62AE, licensed to Cherry Creek, New York. These stations are analog, but are "grandfathered," allowing them to operate past the national digital transition if necessary. Because of inadequate signal coverage to rural schools in the valley areas of mountainous southwestern New York State, WNED once had a massive network of translator licenses--some active and some now defunct, in some cases even "extra-legal." The transmitters and towers belong to the Chautauqua Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the experimental Appalachian Television Project, and Cattaraugus Area Television System (CATS) group and are scattered across numerous small towns in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties in areas that have virtually no population in their FCC-designated coverage areas. It is unknown whether or not these licenses have actual stations associated with them, but the network predates the FCC's discontinuation of channels 70 through 83, since some of the Cattaraugus County licenses were in that range. In addition, the CATS system originates some of its own local programming, such as live high school football games.
Over the years, WNED-TV has shown different logos, citing stylistic changes and changes in network logos as well.
Current logo of PBS HD / WNED-HD (WNED-DT) "Buffalo-Toronto" (DT 43.1)
Current logo of WNED-TV/-DT "Buffalo-Toronto" (DT 43.2)
Current logo of WNED-TV/-DT "Buffalo-Niagara" (DT 43.3)
The station's digital signal on UHF channel 43 is multiplexed:
WNED-DT broadcasts on digital channel 43.
WNED converted to digital-only broadcast on April 16, 2009.  W46BA and W62AE, as low-power stations, are not required to broadcast digitally.