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Waco, Texas
United States
Affiliations dark
Owner Baylor University
(Brazos Valley Broadcasting Foundation)
First air date May 22, 1989 (originally low-power 1978-1989)
Last air date July 31, 2010
Call letters' meaning DaYstar Waco
Former callsigns KCTF (1989-2000)
KWBU-TV (2000-2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
34 (UHF, 1989-2009)
Digital: 20 (UHF, 2003-2010)
Former affiliations PBS (1989-2010)
Transmitter power 700 kW
Height 319 m
Facility ID 6673
Transmitter coordinates 31°19′17″N 97°20′40″W / 31.32139°N 97.34444°W / 31.32139; -97.34444Coordinates: 31°19′17″N 97°20′40″W / 31.32139°N 97.34444°W / 31.32139; -97.34444

KDYW was a television station in Waco, Texas. The station was owned by the Brazos Valley Broadcasting Foundation. The station (as KCTF and KWBU-TV) operated as a PBS member station for much of its on-air history, but was slated to be sold to Community Television Educators of Waco, Inc., a group associated with the Daystar Television Network, before surrendering its license.


last KWBU logo, used until 2010.

The station began in 1978, when Central Texas College's KNCT set up a low-powered translator on channel 34 in Waco, as a way to bring PBS programming to the city. Until then, cable systems in the area piped in both KNCT and KERA-TV in Dallas. After a long effort to bring a local PBS station to Waco, on May 22, 1989 it was upgraded to a full-powered station, KCTF, with the ability to produce local programming. That station replaced KNCT on cable systems in and around Waco. In 1994, Central Texas College transferred control of KCTF to the Brazos Valley Broadcasting Foundation, a community group formed a year earlier. In 1999, Baylor University took control of the foundation, changing the call letters to KWBU-TV a year later.

In 2003, KWBU activated its digital signal on channel 20, becoming the first Central Texas station to air a digital signal.

KWBU's analog transmitter was damaged in late January 2009. With the impending shutdown of analog broadcasting in the United States, the station opted to shut off its analog broadcasts and air solely in digital on February 3--two weeks before the other major stations in Central Texas went digital-only. However, through PSIP, the station's signal remapped to its former analog channel 34.

In the Waco area, it aired on cable channel 4 on Time Warner Cable and Grande Communications.

KWBU-TV's digital signal offered the following subchannels:

Sub-channel Programming
34.1 main KWBU-TV/PBS programming in HD
(replaced with Create on July 1, 2010 during its final month on air)
34.2 Create (DIY programming)
34.3 V-me (Spanish-language programming)

Funding problems and shutdown[edit]

Due to funding problems, KWBU ceased local programming at the end of May 2010, resulting in some PBS programming, as well as all syndicated shows, being dropped from the station; it was replaced by a national PBS feed. All PBS programming ended by the end of June, with Create replacing PBS on 34.1. After June 30, KNCT took over KWBU's cable slots on Time Warner and Grande channel 4, and became available on DirecTV. KWBU remained on the air with a skeleton crew until going off the air entirely on July 31, 2010.

The move came after KWBU-TV and its sister radio station, KWBU-FM, were unable to secure more funding from Baylor after exhausting a $1 million line of credit. For most of its history, the stations had suffered from low community support. Although Baylor has majority control of the Brazos Valley Broadcasting Foundation, the KWBU stations are still technically community licensees. However, the partnership with Baylor led to the perception that it was a "Baylor station," thus cutting into the community support needed to keep the station on the air. The stations only have a total of 1,600 members, a very low number even for a market of Waco's size and far lower than what station officials needed to keep channel 34 on the air.

KWBU-FM was deemed less expensive to operate and remains in operation.[1]

Attempted sale to Daystar[edit]

On May 31, 2011, the callsign for KWBU was changed to KDYW;[2] however, it was not until August 2011 that the party buying the station was revealed - "Community Television Educators of Waco Inc.", a group headed by Marcus Lamb, the head of the Dallas-based Daystar network, which owns the organization. The station was acquired by the group for $250,000. In paperwork filed by the purchasers, the owners planned to use the station to broadcast local, educational, ethnic and socially-relevant programming, in addition to the programming currently offered by Daystar.[3]

In the meantime, KDYW temporarily resumed operations from July 15[4] to August 5, 2011.[5] On March 13, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) raised questions as to whether Daystar, through associated nonprofit companies, was qualified to purchase KDYW and another former PBS outlet, WMFE-TV in Orlando, Florida. Specifically, the FCC questioned whether the nonprofits listed as the prospective owners of WMFE and KDYW were actually straw buyers for Daystar, and also doubted whether the stations would air enough educational programming to meet the conditions for the stations' noncommercial licenses.[6]

The WMFE deal was canceled two days later (it has since been resold and has returned to PBS as WUCF-TV); on September 7, 2012, the Brazos Valley Broadcasting Foundation informed the FCC that it would request the dismissal of the license assignment application and return the KDYW license to the FCC. Per the foundation's request, the FCC canceled the channel 34 license on September 27.[7]


  1. ^ "A Message From Joe Riley, President of KWBU". April 26, 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ FCC: Call Sign History for KDYW
  3. ^ "Lamb planning to graze in Waco". August 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Resumption of Operations". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. July 15, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Re: Form 314 Application for Consent to Assignment of License of…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ Harding, Kevin R. (September 27, 2012). "In Re: BLCDT-20060622AAS…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 

External links[edit]