|Channels||Digital: See below|
|Affiliations||.1: PBS (1970–present)|
.2: PBS Kids
|Owner||Iowa Public Broadcasting Board|
First air date
|April 27, 1959|
(statewide network launch)
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
2nd letter: See below
|Facility ID||See below|
|Transmitter coordinates||See below|
Iowa PBS, formerly Iowa Public Television (IPTV), is a network of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member stations in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is owned by the Iowa Public Broadcasting Board, an agency of the state education department which holds the licenses for all the PBS member stations in the state. Iowa PBS' headquarters are located at 6450 Corporate Drive in Johnston, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines. The nine stations cover almost all of Iowa, as well as portions of Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska.
The electrical engineering department at the State University of Iowa (SUI) in Iowa City demonstrated television with an exhibit at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on August 28, 1931. J. L. Potter supervised the project. At the conclusion of the Iowa State Fair, the television experiment was set up in the communications laboratory of the electrical engineering building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
By 1933, the University of Iowa received an FCC license for experimental TV station W9XK, later W9XUI providing twice a week video programming, with WSUI radio providing the audio channel. By 1939, the FCC allocated TV channels 1 and 12 for W9XUI. This early attempt at educational broadcasting ended by December 1941, with the entrance of the United States into World War II.
The University of Iowa later applied for a construction permit for station WSUI-TV on channel 11 in February 1948.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) froze the granting of new television licenses, on September 30, 1948. The FCC, at the time, was swamped with hundreds of requests for licensing. It was creating a problem for allocation and causing interference issues. The FCC wanted time to study the issues and work towards a better overall solution.
The freeze, originally set to last just six months, was extended when the Korean War began. Plus, the issues the FCC was trying to resolve were complicated and many. It ended up taking four years to end the freeze.
The April 14, 1952 FCC “6th Report and Order” effectively lifted the freeze. The decisions had been made on all five dilemmas. In the end, a color standard was chosen, 242 channels were designated for educational non-commercial use, strict rules separated stations sharing channels, channel allocation was resolved with an assignment table, and the entire spectrum of UHF band channels was authorized for use.
Meanwhile, Iowa State University's WOI-TV in Ames avoided the 1948 Freeze and began commercial broadcast operations in 1950 and carried some National Educational Television programming. Des Moines Public Schools applied for the channel 11 allocation and signed on KDPS-TV as the educational station for central Iowa in 1959. However, in the 1960s the only other areas of the state with a clear signal from an educational station were the southwest (from Nebraska ETV's KYNE-TV in Omaha), and the northwest (from South Dakota ETV's KUSD-TV in Vermillion).
In 1969, the state of Iowa bought KDPS-TV from the Des Moines Public Schools and changed its calls to KDIN-TV, intending it to be the linchpin of a statewide educational television network. As part of the state's ambition, it rebranded KDIN as the Iowa Educational Broadcasting Network.
The network's second station, KIIN-TV in Iowa City, joined IEBN in 1970 to expand statewide educational programming to eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. Soon afterward, IEBN became a charter member of PBS. By 1977 the newly renamed Iowa Public Broadcasting Network had eight full-power stations. The Iowa Public Television name was adopted in 1982 and began on-air January 1, 1983. In 2003, it purchased KQCT-TV in Davenport, which repeated the programming of Quad Cities PBS station WQPT-TV in the Iowa side of the Quad Cities. The calls were changed to KQIN.
IPTV was originally run by the state's General Services Department before Governor Terry Branstad signed a bill creating Iowa Public Television as a separate state agency on May 16, 1983. In 1986, IPTV became part of the state's Cultural Affairs Department, and on July 1, 1992, IPTV became part of the Iowa Department of Education.
On December 2, 2019, IPTV announced that it would rebrand as Iowa PBS in 2020, in alignment with PBS' new national brand identity.
Nine full-power TV stations make up the network; all stations have callsigns beginning with the letter K, as licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and ending in IN (standing for Iowa Network). Aside from their transmitters, the network's stations (except KDIN-TV) do not maintain any physical presence in their cities of license.
|Station||City of license
(other cities served)
(RF / VC)
|First air date||Second letter's meaning||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Former callsigns||Public license information|
|September 7, 1975||Council Bluffs||200 kW||98 m (322 ft)||29108||Profile|
|KDIN-TV||Des Moines||11 (VHF)
|April 27, 1959||Des Moines||22.5 kW||600 m (1,969 ft)||29102||Alleman)(||KDPS-TV (1959–1969)||Profile|
|KHIN||Red Oak||35 (UHF)
|September 7, 1975||600 kW||475 m (1,558 ft)||29085||Hancock)(||Profile|
|February 8, 1970||Iowa City||57 kW||439 m (1,440 ft)||29095||West Branch)(||Profile|
Moline–Rock Island, IL)
|December 16, 1991||Quad Cities||368 kW||233 m (764 ft)||5471||Orion, IL)(||KQCT (1991–2003)||Profile|
|December 15, 1974||WateRloo||250 kW||584 m (1,916 ft)||29114||Rowley)(||Profile|
|KSIN-TV||Sioux City||28 (UHF)
|January 4, 1975||Sioux City||400 kW||348.3 m (1,143 ft)||29096||Profile|
|KTIN||Fort Dodge||25 (UHF)
|April 8, 1977||600 kW||355 m (1,165 ft)||29100||Bradgate)(||Profile|
|KYIN||Mason City||18 (UHF)
|May 14, 1977||533 kW||448.5 m (1,471 ft)||29086||Meyer)(||Profile|
|City of license||Callsign||Translating||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates|
|Decorah||K25PE-D||KYIN 24||25||15 kW||132 m (433 ft)||29113|
|Fort Madison||K28JD-D||KIIN 12||28||15 kW||133 m (436 ft)||29099|
|Keokuk||K19KX-D||KIIN 12||19||5.36 kW||69 m (226 ft)||29097|
|Keosauqua||K24IM-D||KIIN 12||24||15 kW||121 m (397 ft)||29091|
|Lansing||K31NJ-D||KYIN 24||31||15 kW||182 m (597 ft)||29112|
|Ottumwa||K18GU-D||KIIN 12||18||15 kW||142 m (466 ft)||29087||
|Rock Rapids||K33PV-D||KSIN 27||33||15 kW||145 m (476 ft)||29092||
|Sibley||K26JI-D||KSIN 27||26||14 kW||160 m (525 ft)||29084|
The digital signals of Iowa PBS' stations are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|xx.1||1080i||16:9||IowaPBS||Main Iowa PBS programming / PBS|
Iowa PBS (as IPTV) shut down its stations' analog signals 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 channel allocations post-transition are as follows:
- KBIN-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 32; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 33. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 32.
- KDIN-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 50 to VHF channel 11.
- KHIN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 36; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 35. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 36.
- KIIN shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 45 to VHF channel 12.
- KQIN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 36; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 36.
- KRIN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 32; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 35. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 32.
- KSIN-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 27; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 28. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 27.
- KTIN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 21; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 25. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 21.
- KYIN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 18. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 24.
Late night programming
Starting August 31, 2013, Iowa PBS (as IPTV) had gone off-the-air nightly from midnight to 5 a.m. over-the-air due to budget concerns, reduced from a 24-hour schedule. Mediacom continued to carry the network in their markets with 24-hour programming due to their direct fiber connection from IPTV in Johnston to their Des Moines headend, which distributes the four IPTV channels statewide. The national satellite services carry the network's primary HD channel (IPTV.1) and have a fiber connection so the channel was available 24/7 to their subscribers. At the present time, they do not carry the three sub-channels.
The network restored over-the-air 24-hour service on January 15, 2019; late night programming mainly consists of the national PBS schedule.
Although Iowa PBS provides PBS programming and also coordinates several political debates during the Iowa Caucuses, it also produces original programs, such as:
- Iowa Press, a political panel discussion show.
- Iowa Ingredient, with host Charity Nebbe, highlighting various foods grown, raised and produced in Iowa.
- Iowa Outdoors, with hosts Scott Siepker and Kellie Kramer, highlighting outdoor recreation, environmental issues, conservation initiatives and Iowa's outdoor natural resources.
- Market to Market, a nationally distributed show about agribusiness.
- Iowa PBS Sports, a series of high school girls' championship events sanctioned by the IGHSAU including basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
Friends of Iowa PBS
In 1970, Friends of Iowa Public Television (Iowa Public Television Foundation Board) was created for the development, growth and support of Iowa PBS through the building of a strong statewide membership base. Its 65,000 member households across Iowa and bordering states contribute nearly 90% of the out-of-pocket costs for acquiring and producing general audience programming. When IPTV rebranded as Iowa PBS in December 2019, Friends of Iowa Public Television changed its name to Friends of Iowa PBS.
- IPTV History from the Iowa Public Television web site, accessed April 1, 2006
- "Television stations authorized by the FCC, January 1, 1941". RCA Radio Travel-Log. 1941. Archived from the original on August 18, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "The FCC: Seventy-Six Years of Watching TV" (PDF). FCC. Summer 2003. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Rick Plummer. "A Short History of Television Station W9XK/W9XU". Early Television Museum. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "The Untold Story, W9XK - Iowa City". Wartburg College. Archived from the original on 2 July 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "Outlook Among [TV] Grantees, CPs, And Applications" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. April 12, 1948. p. 91.
- "Comments on Proposed [Non-Commercial] Allocations" (PDF). Broadcasting-Telecasting. May 14, 1951. pp. 74–75.
- "ISC paid for TV with Federal Funds" (PDF). The Daily Iowan. 25 January 1951. p. 1. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Iowa Public Television will become Iowa PBS in 2020". IPTV. 2019-12-02. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
- "Application Search Details". Retrieved 21 May 2020.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KBIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KDIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KHIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KIIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KQIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KRIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KSIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KTIN
- RabbitEars TV Query for KYIN
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "IPTV Schedule". IPTV. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "Friends of Iowa Public Television Foundation". IPTV. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Iowa PBS' official website
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KDIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KIIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KTIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KYIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KSIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KBIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KRIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KHIN-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KQIN-TV