|Fort Myers/Naples, Florida
|City of license||Fort Myers, Florida|
|Branding||WGCU TV 3
|Slogan||Florida's Gulf Coast Public Television Station|
|Channels||Digital: 30 (UHF)
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
30.3 Create/PBS Encore
30.4 The Florida Channel
|Owner||Florida Gulf Coast University
(Board of Trustees, Florida Gulf Coast University)
|First air date||August 15, 1983|
|Call letters' meaning||Florida Gulf Coast University|
|Former callsigns||WSFP-TV (1983–1996)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
30 (UHF, 1983–2009)
|Transmitter power||50 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WGCU, virtual channel 30 (UHF digital channel 31), is a PBS-member television station located in Fort Myers, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Florida Gulf Coast University. WGCU maintains studio facilities located on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus in Fort Myers, and its transmitter is located in unincorporated southern Charlotte County.
Known on-air as "TV 3", the branding is derived from WGCU's primary cable position in the market on Comcast Xfinity and most other cable providers in the area. This practice stems in part from the area's exceptionally high cable penetration rate, which is one of the highest in the United States. In addition, WGCU is carried on cable providers in Sarasota, which although part of the Tampa Bay market, has long been claimed by the station as being part of WGCU's primary coverage area.
The station first signed on the air on August 15, 1983 as WSFP-TV. It was originally owned by the University of South Florida in Tampa, owners of public broadcasting stations WUSF (FM) and WUSF-TV. At the time, the Fort Myers-Naples area was the only media market in Florida without a public television station of any sort that was available over-the-air. Area cable providers usually piped in out-of-market PBS stations WEDU in Tampa or WPBT in Miami, depending on the location. WSFP-TV operated as a separate station from WUSF-TV, broadcasting first-run programming from PBS.
The broadcast license was transferred to the new Florida Gulf Coast University in 1996, while construction on the university's campus was being completed. The station then changed its call letters to WGCU on August 11, 1997, two months before FGCU opened.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|30.1||1080i||16:9||WGCU-HD||Main WGCU programming / PBS|
|30.3||16:9||CREATE||Create (6 a.m.-6 p.m.)
PBS Encore (6 p.m.-6 a.m.)
|30.4||4:3||FLCH||The Florida Channel|
WGCU discontinued regular programming on analog signal, over UHF channel 30, 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 31, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 30.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WGCU
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- WGCU Public Media
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WGCU
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WGCU-TV