From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
San Diego, California
United States
Branding KPBS Television
Channels Digital: 30 (UHF)
Virtual: 15 (PSIP)
Owner San Diego State University
(The Board of Trustees of the California State University for San Diego State University)
First air date June 25, 1967; 51 years ago (1967-06-25)
Call letters' meaning K Public
Sister station(s) KPBS-FM
Former callsigns KEBS-TV (1967–1970)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 15 (UHF, 1967–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1967–1970)
Transmitter power 350 kW
Height 567.4 m
Facility ID 6124
Transmitter coordinates 32°41′53″N 116°56′3″W / 32.69806°N 116.93417°W / 32.69806; -116.93417 (KPBS)Coordinates: 32°41′53″N 116°56′3″W / 32.69806°N 116.93417°W / 32.69806; -116.93417 (KPBS)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KPBS, virtual channel 15 (UHF digital channel 30), part of KPBS Public Media, is a PBS member television station located in San Diego, California, United States. The station is owned by San Diego State University. KPBS maintains studio facilities located on the SDSU campus on Campanile Drive in San Diego, and its transmitter is located on San Miguel Mountain in southwestern San Diego County.

On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications (in standard definition), Spectrum Cable and AT&T U-verse channel 11 and Cablemás channel 146 and in high-definition on Cox on digital channel 1011 and Spectrum Cable digital channel 711, AT&T U-verse channel 1011 and Izzi Baja California digital channel 93; likewise the only time KPBS's over-the-air channel 15 placement is mentioned at all is during the rare times it signs on or off.


In 1960, San Diego State College (now San Diego State University) applied for a license from the Federal Communications Commission to operate a noncommercial educational television station to serve San Diego. The station first signed on the air on June 25, 1967 as KEBS-TV. The station was originally a member of National Educational Television, before becoming a member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) when it launched on October 6, 1970, at which time the station changed its call letters to KPBS. Despite the calls, which mimic the callsign schemes used by stations owned by ABC, NBC and CBS in New York City and Los Angeles, it is not an owned-and-operated station (nor is similarly-named WPBS in Watertown, New York), as PBS therefore cannot own or operate any of its member stations or regional member networks due to the network's local and non-profit nature; the KPBS callsign reflects the station's affiliation and programming, but not any special status within the PBS network.

On January 1, 2011, when Los Angeles' longtime PBS station KCET dropped its membership with the network, KPBS began to be carried on cable providers in the Bakersfield market, alongside fellow PBS stations KVCR-DT in San Bernardino and KVPT in Fresno. It is also one of three PBS member stations that serve the Palm Springs market, alongside KVCR-DT and KOCE-TV in Huntington Beach (which succeeded KCET as Los Angeles' primary PBS member station). As with most other PBS members, KPBS carries nationally distributed programs from PBS, American Public Television, and other distributors.

Digital television[edit]

KPBS started broadcasting digital television on 21 November 2001.[1] The initial lineup consisted of two multiplexed channels: the main high definition channel in 720p and the standard definition channel in 480i.[1]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KPBS shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 15, 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 30.[2][3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 15.

Digital channels[edit]

From 2007 through the end of 2016 the station had two multiplexed channels:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming Data Rate[4]
15.1 1080i 16:9 KPBS-HD Main KPBS programming / PBS 15.6 Mbit/s
15.2 480i 4:3 V-Me Spanish-language multicast 2 Mbit/s

By the end of 2000s, KPBS was experiencing budgetary constraints and erosion of viewership. The locally produced current affairs show Full Focus attracted less than 1 percent of the potential audience. One of the ways to increase viewership was to increase the number of subchannels as other public TV stations had done.[5]

In January 2017 the Spanish-language TV channel Vme ended its multicast service for public television, transitioning to commercial cable. KPBS, along with many other PBS affiliates, replaced Vme with PBS Kids multicast channel.[6] KPBS also has added two more multiplexed channels: KPBS2 and Create. John Decker, director of programming at KPBS in San Diego, explained that multicasts such as PBS Kids, Create, World and locally developed programming "gives public TV an opportunity to increase value and thus loyalty among viewers" as well as "allows KPBS to expand its universe".[7]

Simultaneously with the lineup change, KPBS switched from 1080i to 720p for its HD channels.

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[8] Data rate[9]
15.1 720p 16:9 KPBS-HD Main KPBS programming / PBS 5.5-6 Mbit/s
15.2 KPBS-H2 World / local programming 5-5.5 Mbit/s
15.3 480i Create Create 2.1-2.5 Mbit/s
15.4 Kids PBS Kids 2.1-2.7 Mbit/s

Image quality degradation, caused by sharing of available bandwidth over four multiplexed channels, was noticed by viewers.[10]


Typical lineup[11] on the main KPBS channel includes children programming from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. The news programs include Nightly Business Report, BBC World News, KPBS Evening Edition, PBS NewsHour. The evening hours are taken by documentaries, travel videos, episodes of Frontline and drama series.

The KPBS2 channel offers various news and analytical programs, like Amanpour On PBS, NHK Newsline, DW News, BBC World News America, as well as the same news programs as on the main channel, but several hours apart. This channel also offers multitude of documentary and travel films. Often, a film shown in the morning is repeated in the afternoon the same day.

The KPBS Create channel is dedicated to home improvement, gardening, cooking and other hobbies and crafts.

The KPBS Kids broadcasts children's programming 24 hours a day, in addition to 11 hours of the children's programming on the main channel.


KPBS broadcasts syndicated PBS, World Channel and BBC news, as well as a local news program.

Syndicated news[edit]

KPBS broadcasts PBS NewsHour provided by PBS, NHK Newsline and DW News provided by World, as well as BBC World News America provided by BBC America.

KPBS news[edit]

KPBS produces a nightly half-hour news program on weeknights titled KPBS Evening Edition, a self-contained television newscast that is an extension of the Midday Edition newscast aired by its radio sister. KPBS' news department is editorially independent from the station's management, San Diego State University and corporate underwriters and donors. The station's investigative reports are conducted in collaboration with the nonprofit newsgathering organization Investigative Newsource, which shares a newsroom with KPBS television and radio at the Campinale Drive studios. In addition, the station collaborates on breaking news coverage and shares news video with ABC affiliate KGTV (channel 10).

On-air staff[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]
KPBS Evening Edition[12]
  • Dwane Brown - anchor/reporter
  • Peggy Pico - host
  • Beth Accomando - arts and culture reporter
  • Matthew Bowler - education reporter
  • Megan Burks - general assignment reporter; also web editor
  • Angela Carone - arts and culture reporter
  • Joanne Faryon - investigative reporter
  • Kenny Goldberg - health reporter
  • Christopher Maue - videojournalist
  • Nicholas McVicker - videojournalist
  • Brad Racino - multimedia investigative reporter
  • Katie Schoolov - videojournalist
  • Guillermo Sevilla - videojournalist
  • Amita Sharma - investigative reporter
  • Alison St. John - North County bureau chief
  • Claire Trageser - multimedia enterprise reporter
  • David Wagner - science and technology reporter
  • Joe Yerardi - multimedia investigative reporter; also data specialist
Local program hosts[12]
  • Ken Kramer - host of Ken Kramer's About San Diego
  • Tim Mantoani - host of SnapShot
  • Dwane Brown - host of KPBS Spectrum
  • Jorge Meraz - host of Crossing South
  • Mark Sauer - host of KPBS Roundtable; also senior news editor
  • Elsa Sevilla - host of San Diego's Historic Places
  • Nan Sterman - host of A Growing Passion
  • Su-Mei Yu - host of Savor San Diego


  1. ^ a b "KPBS-DT (San Diego) live November 21st". 21 November 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ CDBS Print
  4. ^ "TSReader data". 2 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  5. ^ Dotinga, Randy (4 January 2009). "Station Identification: KPBS Faces 'Time of Tremendous Change'". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  6. ^ Sefton, Dru (14 December 2016). "Spanish-language multicaster Vme will soon drop public TV service". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  7. ^ Sefton, Dru (15 January 2017). "Launch of PBS Kids streaming channel reshapes multicast lineups". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  8. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KPBS
  9. ^ "TSReader data". 18 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  10. ^ "KPBS Sub Channels". 28 December 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  11. ^ "KPBS Schedule at a glance" (PDF).
  12. ^ a b KPBS Staff

External links[edit]