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WDSE 2010 Logo.png
WDSE: Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin
WRPT: Hibbing, Minnesota
United States
Branding PBS North
Channels Digital:
WRPT: 31 (UHF)
Subchannels xx.1 PBS/WPT HD
xx.2 PBS Satellite
xx.3 Create
xx.4 PBS Kids
xx.5 Minnesota Channel
Affiliations PBS (1970–present)
Owner Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation
First air date WDSE: September 1, 1964; 52 years ago (1964-09-01)
WRPT: December 27, 2008; 8 years ago (2008-12-27)
Call letters' meaning WDSE:Duluth-Superior Educational
WRPT: Iron Range Public Television
Former channel number(s) Analog:
8 (VHF, 1964–2009)
38 (UHF, 2003–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1964–1970)
Transmitter power WDSE:
34 kW
250 kW
Height WDSE:
295 m (968 ft)
167 m (548 ft)
Facility ID WDSE: 17726
WRPT: 159007
Transmitter coordinates WDSE:
46°47′30″N 92°7′19.9″W / 46.79167°N 92.122194°W / 46.79167; -92.122194
47°22′53.1″N 92°57′15.7″W / 47.381417°N 92.954361°W / 47.381417; -92.954361 (WRPT)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: / WRPT Profile
Website www.wdse.org

WDSE is an educational television station in Duluth, Minnesota, serving portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin as a PBS member station on channel 8, with studios located on campus at the University of Minnesota Duluth. WDSE is a "border station" serving residents of both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Along with programming from PBS, Minnesota Public Television, and Wisconsin Public Television, locally produced programs such as Minnesota Legislative Report, WDSE Cooks, Almanac North, Venture North, Native Report, Great Gardening, Lawyers on the Line, and Doctors on Call are area favorites included in the broadcast schedule. WDSE produces, broadcasts, and supplies to the networks an intensive schedule of local and regional programming.

In addition to regular television programming, WDSE broadcasts computer data on a full-time basis, a service called "datacasting." The stream consists of Datacast Wisconsin, a service of Wisconsin Public Television. One Mbs of WDSE's 19.3 Mbs digital stream is devoted to Datacast Wisconsin.

In November 1982 WDSE was the first Minnesota television broadcaster to utilize a circularly polarized broadcast antenna, in April 1985 the first in Minnesota to begin full-time stereo television broadcasting, and in May, 2003 WDSE became the first broadcaster in Minnesota to launch a channel, 8.2 PBS-HD, fully devoted to high-definition programming. In June 2008 WDSE became the first station in the Duluth-Superior market to begin producing local programming in High Definition - HD. In another first, WDSE/WRPT was the first station in the Duluth-Superior market to begin broadcasting in 5.1 Dolby surround sound starting June 12, 2009.

In late August 2010 WDSE was rebranded from "PBS eight" to "PBS North" to reflect their extended coverage with WRPT into more of northeastern Minnesota.

During the school year WDSE airs educational/instructional programming from Wisconsin Public TV from 9AM to 11:30AM and 1PM to 2:00PM during daytime hours, and the overnight "block feed" for pre-recording purposes from 1AM to 3AM.


WDSE also operates sister station WRPT, channel 31, in Hibbing, Minnesota to serve the Minnesota Iron Range communities. WRPT began broadcasting December 27, 2008 utilizing a directional antenna that beams the signal across the Minnesota Iron Range communities. WRPT operates with a power of 250 Kilowatts.


WDSE first went on the air on September 1, 1964 as the second educational station in Minnesota. Its digital signal first went on the air on April 28, 2003. WRPT first went on the air as a digital station on December 27, 2008. On June 16, 2009 WDSE-TV/DT officially changed the station's call sign to simply WDSE, dropping the "TV or DT" at the end of the call sign.

WDSE's former logo until September 2010.

WRPT was one of the first of two construction permits ever granted by the FCC as a "digital singleton" facility; WRPT is a rare ground-up digital only station that had no analog counterpart. On March 1, 2010 WRPT-DT officially changed the station's call sign to simply WRPT dropping the "DT" at the end of the call sign.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Both stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
xx.1 720p 16:9 WDSE-DT
Main programming / PBS
xx.2 480i PBS West PBS Satellite Service
xx.3 Create Create
xx.4 Kids PBS Kids
xx.5 MNC Minnesota Channel

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WDSE discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 8, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[2] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 38 to VHF channel 8.

Translator stations[edit]

The translator in Orr is owned by a private entity, while the other two are owned by Koochiching County. The last translator owned directly by WDSE was K67CT in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Rather than move from channel 67 to a channel between 2 and 51 as required to comply with the digital television transition in the United States, the translator was taken off the air December 1, 2011.[3]


External links[edit]