|New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Slogan||Your Public Television Station in New Orleans|
|Channels||Digital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
12.2 Kids & World
|Owner||Greater New Orleans Educational Television Foundation|
|First air date||April 1, 1957|
|Call letters' meaning||The word "yes"|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
8 (VHF, 1957-1970)
12 (VHF, 1970-2009)
|Former affiliations||NET (1957-1970)|
|Transmitter power||70.8 kW|
WYES-TV is the primary Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member public television station in New Orleans, Louisiana, owned by the Greater New Orleans Educational Television Foundation. It broadcasts on virtual channel 12, with studios located on Navarre Avenue in the Navarre neighborhood.
The station's digital signal on VHF 11, is multiplexed:
|12.1||720p||16:9||WYES-HD||Main WYES programming / PBS|
|12.2||480i||4:3||WYESSD1||WYES Kids / World|
WYES traces its history to 1953, when a group of civic leaders formed the Greater New Orleans Educational Television Association. The Federal Communications Commission had allocated channel 8 in New Orleans for noncommercial use, and the group quickly snapped up the license.
After numerous fits and starts, WYES signed on the air April 1, 1957 as the nation's 12th educational television station and the second in Louisiana. It was originally associated with NET until it became PBS in 1970. On June 8 of that year at 8:00 PM, the station swapped dial positions with WVUE and moved to channel 12, where it is today. This was done so that WVUE could have a stronger broadcasting signal such that it did not interfere with Jackson, Mississippi station WJTV, also on channel 12.
WYES is best known outside of New Orleans as the home of famous Louisiana chef and storyteller Justin Wilson, whose show originated from WYES's studios. It is also known as the home for another famous Louisiana chef, Paul Prudhomme. The station is also seen on cable in Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi alongside south Mississippi's own PBS station, WMAH-TV.
Due to massive flooding from the levee failure disaster during Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, WYES' studios sustained severe damage. Navarre is located in a low-lying area that sustained particularly severe damage due to flooding.
The transmitters were spared serious damage, but the storm damaged the backup generator that provided emergency power to the transmitter facility, keeping the station off the air for almost four months.
Following Katrina, WYES began carrying the feed of Louisiana Public Broadcasting in November on local cable television systems. On December 30, WYES returned to over-the-air broadcasting for the first time since Katrina, from temporary studios on Veterans Boulevard and Phosphor Avenue in Metairie. The auction department moved back to the Navarre Avenue facility in 2012, with the rest of the station's operations following later that year.
- WYES, WVUE Stations Switch Channel Numbers, June 10, 1970, The Times-Picayune
- WYES contact information
- WYES.org - Official Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WYES
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WYES-TV