From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
KUAT logo 2014.jpg
Tucson, Arizona
United States
Branding PBS 6
Channels Digital: KUAT: 30 (UHF)
KUAS: 28 (UHF)
Translators K20GG-D Duncan
Owner University of Arizona
(Arizona Board of Regents for the benefit of the University of Arizona)
First air date KUAT: March 8, 1959; 58 years ago (1959-03-08)
KUAS: July 22, 1988; 29 years ago (1988-07-22)
Call letters' meaning KUAT:
University of
University of
-or even-
the Indonesian word for strong
KUAT Secondary
KUAT Stereo
Sister station(s) KUAT-FM
Former channel number(s) Analog:
6 (VHF, 1959–2009)
27 (UHF, 1988–2009)
Former affiliations
Transmitter power KUAT: 667.5 kW
KUAS: 50 kW
Height KUAT: 1092.1 m
KUAS: 177.9 m
Facility ID KUAT: 2731
KUAS: 2722
Transmitter coordinates

32°24′55.4″N 110°42′54.2″W / 32.415389°N 110.715056°W / 32.415389; -110.715056

32°12′51.5″N 111°0′17.8″W / 32.214306°N 111.004944°W / 32.214306; -111.004944 (KUAS-TV)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: / KUAS-TV Profile
Website www.azpm.org

KUAT-TV, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 30), is a Public Broadcasting Service member television station located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. Owned by the Arizona Board of Regents and operated by the University of Arizona, it broadcasts from the facilities of Arizona Public Media, located on campus in the Modern Languages Building. KUAT's transmitter is located atop Mount Bigelow. KUAT operates a full-time satellite KUAS-TV (virtual channel 27, UHF digital channel 28), also licensed to Tucson, that covers northwest Tucson and the communities west of Mount Lemmon that are shielded from KUAT's signal. Its transmitter is located on Tumamoc Hill, west of downtown Tucson. KUAT is also rebroadcast on one low-power translator: K20GG-D (channel 20) in Duncan.

KUAT-TV's audio signal was heard on 87.75 MHz until March 31, 2009.


Former logo.

KUAT-TV launched on March 8, 1959 as the first public television station in Arizona. It was an affiliate of National Educational Television (NET), forerunner to PBS, from 1959 through 1970, when PBS replaced NET.

Like the other stations in the Mount Bigelow tower farm, KUAT-TV is barely viewable in much of northwest Tucson and areas west of Mount Lemmon (even though its coverage area should theoretically include most of southern Arizona). The Santa Catalina Mountains abruptly end with a steep drop-off in Oro Valley, a Tucson suburb, and communities near the mountain are shielded by terrain from the signal. As a result, much of this area only got a grade B ("rimshot") signal from KUAT-TV until the arrival of cable television in Tucson in the 1970s.

Eventually, the U of A activated Tucson's second noncommercial license on UHF channel 27, and opened KUAS as a satellite of KUAT. The construction permit was granted on July 25, 1985, and after two failed attempts, the station went on the air on July 22, 1988 under Program Test Authority, and was licensed on December 20.

In July 2003, the Aspen fire interrupted the KUAT transmitter's remote control system. The station was forced to remain off the air, instead of signing on in the morning, as it could not restart its transmitter. Operations on KUAS and cable distribution were unaffected.[2]

Both stations were granted construction permits to build digital facilities in August 2001, and both signed on in February 2003. KUAT-DT received Special Temporary Authorization to operate at reduced power the same month. KUAS-DT was licensed on June 5, 2003, and KUAT-DT received a license for its full facilities on September 23, 2004.

KUAT-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 6, at 11:59 PM on March 31, 2009, two months and 13 days before June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[3] The poor audio quality on the video clip of the shut-off was owed to interference from KLTU, a K-Love station which had been broadcasting on 88.1 MhZ and thus had pounced on the KUAT audio signal throughout the time prior to the analog signal being shut off. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 30, using PSIP to display KUAT-TV's virtual channel as 6 on digital television receivers.

With dropping of PBS Kids network in 2005, KUAT programmed its own children's channel, KUAT Kids.[1] On 6.3, V-me started broadcasting on November 30, 2007 while .1 and .2 were HD and SD PBS.[4] On December 1, 2011, the station's affiliated with Create was dropped for an independent lifestyle channel branded Ready TV.[5][1]

After providing $2.6 million in cash to AZPM in the 2013-2014 school year, the University of Arizona planned cost for 2014-2015 of $400,000 and continued cuts until 2019.[6]

On October 11, 2016, the station changed its line up to match on both KUAT 6 and KUAS 27. V-me move to cable only from 6.2 while UA Channel move to online only from cable. ReadyTV and World programming would share the same channel .3 and while PBS Kids would be on .2.[7]


As a PBS member station, KUAT-TV televises the most popular PBS shows, such as Frontline, NOW, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Washington Week and Antiques Roadshow.

Two notable long-running series on KUAT are produced in-house: Arizona Illustrated, a nightly newsmagazine which has provided in-depth coverage and analysis on local public affairs issues since 1980, and The Desert Speaks, an Emmy Award-winning natural history and travel series (hosted for its first few seasons by veteran Western TV and film actor Don Collier). University students handle most of the production of Arizona Illustrated, providing them with valuable hands-on experience. The Desert Speaks is produced in high-definition, has been distributed nationally to PBS member stations and has been picked up by the high-definition television channel, HDNet. KUAT also produces Reflexiones Domingo, a Spanish-language newsmagazine that airs on Sunday mornings.

In addition to its primary programming, KUAT operates two digital subchannels, PBS Kids and PBS World. KUAT Kids, formerly known as PBS Kids, offers youth-focused educational and entertainment programming, while World features non-fictional programming.

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[8]
6.1 720p 16:9 KUAT-HD Main KUAT-TV programming / PBS
6.2 480i 4:3 KIDS PBS Kids
6.3 ReadyTV Ready TV/World
cable UA Channel University of Arizona community


  1. ^ a b c Sefton, Dru (June 11, 2012). "Multicasts tailored to local priorities". Current. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Aspen fire puts Tucson TV transmitter site in harm’s way, causes shutdowns". BroadcastEngineering. 2003-07-15. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  3. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Schuster, John (November 29, 2007). "Media Watch". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  5. ^ Schuster, John (December 1, 2011). "Media Watch: AZPM Switches Alternate Channel". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ Alaimo, Carol Ann (June 17, 2014). "Public broadcaster faces steep UA funding cut". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Changes to AZPM Television Channel Lineup". AZPM. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  8. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KUAT

External links[edit]