|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 only 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 southern CA market although it is based in Orange County not Los Angeles in 2011). KLCS is also one of eight television stations in U.S. that is licensed to a local school system. (KCET is based in Burbank, CA.)
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. KLCS will begin high definition broadcasting in the autumn of 2014.
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, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. 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.
Channel sharing trial
In February 2014, KLCS and KJLA were granted special temporary authority by the FCC to conduct trials in partnership with CTIA and the Association of Public Television Stations, which tested the ability and viability of broadcasting two sets of television services within the same 6 MHz channel band, including varying combinations of high and standard definition feeds. These tests came as the FCC was in the process of preparing for a spectrum auction in 2015; broadcasters will be able to voluntarily sell their television spectrum to the government, and then receive profits from its sale to wireless providers. An FCC spokesperson stated that channel sharing would allow broadcasters to "[take] advantage of the incentive auction’s once-in-a-lifetime financial opportunity", while still maintaining its ability to run over-the-air television programming. The experiment, which occurred in March 2014, was deemed successful, although certain scenarios (particularly two HD feeds on both channels) were found to affect video quality on more complex content.
- "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
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- "FCC Grants STA for L.A. Spectrum Sharing". TV Technology. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- "TV Stations in Los Angeles to Share a Channel to Free Up Spectrum". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- "LA trial finds that broadcasters can share their TV channels". Gigaom. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Overview of the KLCS/KJLA Channel Sharing Pilot — A Technical Report". Alan Popkin, Director of Television Engineering & Technical Operations, KLCS-TV, Los Angeles
Roger Knipp, Broadcast Engineer, KLCS-TV, Los Angeles
Eddie Hernandez, Director of Operations & Engineering, KJLA-TV. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- KLCS.org – Official website for KLCS
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KLCS
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KLCS-TV