|Los Angeles, California
|Channels||Digital: 41 (UHF)
Virtual: 58 (PSIP)
PBS Kids (DT2)
|Owner||Los Angeles Unified School District|
|First air date||November 5, 1973|
|Call letters' meaning||Los Angeles
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
58 (UHF, 1973–2009)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KLCS, virtual channel 58 (UHF digital channel 41), is the secondary PBS member television station located in Los Angeles, California, United States. The station is owned by the Los Angeles Unified School District. KLCS's studios are located on West Temple Street in downtown Los Angeles (near Route 101), and its transmitter is located atop Mount Wilson.
It is the fifth most-watched public television station in the country and is one of three PBS stations that serve the Los Angeles television market, alongside KVCR-DT (channel 24) in San Bernardino and KOCE (channel 50) in nearby Huntington Beach (which replaced KCET, channel 28, as the primary PBS station for the Los Angeles market in 2011). KLCS is also one of eight television stations in U.S. that is licensed to a local school system.
Pre-KLCS years (1957–1973)
In October 1957, the Los Angeles Unified School District began producing televised instructional programs to be viewed in school by students. By the 1966-67 school year, it was producing over 700 television programs per year for broadcast on various local stations in the Los Angeles area and leasing airtime to broadcast 40 hours of instructional programming Monday through Friday each week. Over the years, the district earned the support of teachers and administrators who were impressed with the effectiveness of the programs on the learning experience in the classroom.
In 1963, the LAUSD began the application process to acquire a license from the Federal Communications Commission and launch its own full-service television station on UHF channel 58. In 1967, the district also applied for and later received state and federal grants to build and equip a broadcast facility for the new station. In the summer of that year, advocates for the LAUSD testified before the FCC on the benefits of an instructional television station for students, staff and the local community. Five years later, on March 3, 1972, the FCC granted the district a license to broadcast on channel 58, and the new station signed on the air on November 5, 1973 as KLCS, the call letters an apparent acronym for "Los Angeles City Schools".
The station presently produces more than 700 hours of educational, informational, sports and entertainment programming a year, including live telecourse instruction from the California State University system. It is one of five television stations licensed in the Los Angeles market that continue to utilize their original call signs, alongside KTLA (channel 5), KTTV (channel 11), KCET and KMEX (channel 34).
Since 1984, KLCS has produced Homework Hotline, a weekday afterschool call-in program where students receive homework help from LAUSD teachers and other faculty who appear on the show. In its first year, Homework Hotline was featured in a Time magazine article titled "Education: Help from the Hotline", and has won many Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards over the years, including two in 1986 for Best Instructional Program and Creative Technical Crafts.
Unlike most public television stations, KLCS neither holds an annual pledge drive nor broadcasts its programming in high definition. However, its website lists special premiums and discounts given to subscribers who support the station at various levels, including recognition on-air and in KLCS' monthly viewer magazine.
For a period of time, instead of broadcasting a 24-hour program schedule, KLCS signed off at the end of each broadcast day, ceasing programming on some or all of its four subchannels at either 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. and resuming its schedule the next morning at either 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. One subchannel may continue overnight programming, such as for Create programs or regular meetings of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, while the others have individually signed off. In lieu of a test pattern, a overnight-themed title card is aired reminding viewers to tune in the next morning when programming resumes. This made KLCS one of the largest television stations in the United States by market size to still have traditional sign-on and sign-off procedures. KLCS has since resumed a 24-hour schedule. Its second digital subchannel also broadcasts 24 hours a day and is featured as part of DirecTV's digital programming package.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|58.1||480i||4:3||KLCS-1||Main KLCS programming / PBS|
*The Annenberg Channel originally aired on channel 58.4 until October 1, 2008, when that service was discontinued.
KLCS shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 58, at 3:00 p.m. on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 41, using PSIP to display KLCS's virtual channel as 58 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
The short farewell video that preceeded the shutdown was a montage of KLCS's on-air logos throughout its history (to that date), set to the song It's The End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., which was also used by other television stations to commemorate the transition to digital broadcasting, including KTLA (channel 5) locally.
- "About KLCS", from station website. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- Linan, Steven, "KNBC and KHJ Take Top Honors in Local Emmys", Los Angeles Times, 5 May 1986. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- "Support KLCS", from station website. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- "TV Schedules", program schedule for all KLCS subchannels at station website. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KLCS
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- YouTube video of analog TV shutoffs in Los Angeles
- KLCS.org – Official website for KLCS
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KLCS
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KLCS-TV