|West Palm Beach, Florida
|City of license||West Palm Beach, Florida|
|Slogan||PBS for the Palm Beaches|
|Channels||Digital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 42 (PSIP)
42.4 World/The Education Network
|Translators||W31DC-D 31 (digital) Fort Pierce|
|Owner||WXEL Public Broadcasting Corporation|
|First air date||July 8, 1982|
|Call letters' meaning||EXcELlence|
|Former callsigns||WHRS-TV (1982-1985)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
42 (UHF, 1982-2009)
|Transmitter power||400 kW (digital)|
|Height||440 m (digital)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WXEL-TV is the PBS member public television licensed to West Palm Beach, Florida. WXEL is a community-based public television station, independently owned and operated by The WXEL Public Broadcasting Corporation (referred to as the “Corporation”), a Florida not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational and cultural organization.
WXEL signed on-the-air on July 8, 1982 as WHRS-TV. The call letters refer to the Hagen Ranch School. Initially, the station’s mission was to serve migrant farming families and their children. The first program broadcast by WHRS was Sesame Street. Prior to 1982, Miami's WPBT had doubled as the PBS member for the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. On January, 1985, the station became known as "WXEL-TV" along with its sister radio station, WXEL-FM (now WPBI). (The WXEL call sign was previously used on channel 8 in Cleveland, Ohio, on what is now WJW.)
In 1997, WXEL TV & FM was purchased by Barry University, a Catholic university located in Miami Shores. During its ownership, WXEL was one of at least three PBS members owned and operated by a Catholic-related organization (WLAE-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana and KMBH in the Rio Grande Valley are the others), and one of at least four run by a religious organization in general (counting Provo, Utah's KBYU-TV). Despite the Catholic-based ownership, WXEL showed no religious programming, other than documentaries provided by PBS.
Over the intervening years the stations grew under Barry University’s stewardship and the station’s then CEO, Jerry Carr. In 2004, the station began digital broadcasting as part of the nation’s conversion to DTV and later, in 2009, turned off its analog signal and went completely digital. During this period, the University decided to sell WXEL-TV & FM as part of a change in strategic direction. It entered into a purchase agreement with the Educational Broadcasting Corporation (owners of New York City’s WNET and WLIW) and the Community Broadcast Foundation of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast. This agreement was terminated in 2008 with the University subsequently selling WXEL-FM separately to the American Public Media Group in 2011. Carr retired in 2010.
While a number of organizations approached Barry University as candidates to purchase the television station, the University announced on February 27, 2012 that the station would be acquired by a group led by the station’s current CEO, Bernie Henneberg. Henneberg’s group formed the Corporation for the purpose of acquiring and operating the station. The Corporation sought and was granted approval by the Department of Education of the State of Florida to operate the station and continue to receive State financial support. In July 2012, after completing an extensive review of its application, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the Corporation the license to operate WXEL-TV. The sale was finalized on July 21, 2012. On February 7, 2013, the FCC issued a license renewal authorization for a term expiring on February 1, 2021.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|42.1||720p||16:9||WXEL-DT||Main WXEL-TV programming / PBS|
|42.4||WXEL-D4||World (6 a.m.-6 p.m.)
T.E.N.: The Education Network (6 p.m.-6 a.m.)
WXEL-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 42, 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 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as 42. WHDT subsequently moved its digital signal to UHF channel 42, moving from channel 59 which was removed from broadcast use as part of the transition.
In addition to its main signals, WXEL is also carried on the following repeater:
|Call Letters||Channel||City of License||Licensee|
|W31DC-D||31||Fort Pierce||WXEL-PBC||Digital repeater|
WXEL's use of a repeater is necessary as WXEL's main signal does not reach all of its viewers along the Treasure Coast.
- Official FCC Website
- RabbitEars TV Query for WXEL
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- WXEL website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WXEL
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WXEL-TV