WGCU (TV)

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WGCU
Fort Myers/Naples, Florida
United States
City Fort Myers, Florida
Branding WGCU
Channels Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 30 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations PBS
Owner Florida Gulf Coast University
(Board of Trustees, Florida Gulf Coast University)
First air date August 15, 1983; 34 years ago (1983-08-15)
Call letters' meaning Florida Gulf Coast University
Sister station(s) WGCU-FM
Former callsigns WSFP-TV (1983–1996)
Former channel number(s) 30 (UHF analog, 1983–2009)
Transmitter power 294 kW
Height 276 m (906 ft)
Facility ID 62388
Transmitter coordinates 26°48′54″N 81°45′43″W / 26.81500°N 81.76194°W / 26.81500; -81.76194 (WGCU)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wgcu.org

WGCU, virtual channel 30 (UHF digital channel 31), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)-member television station licensed to Fort Myers, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Florida Gulf Coast University. WGCU maintains studio facilities located on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus in Fort Myers, and its transmitter is located in unincorporated southern Charlotte County.

National programming on WGCU comes from PBS, American Public Television, and other distributors, as well as from independent producers.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on August 15, 1983 as WSFP-TV. It was originally owned by the University of South Florida in Tampa, owners of Tampa Bay's secondary PBS member station, WUSF-TV, and primary NPR member WUSF-FM. At the time, the Fort Myers/Naples area was the only media market in Florida without a public television station of any sort that was available over-the-air. Area cable providers usually piped WEDU in Tampa or WPBT in Miami, depending on the location. WSFP-TV operated as a typical PBS member station.

The broadcast license was transferred to the new Florida Gulf Coast University in 1996, while construction on the university's campus was being completed. The station then changed its call letters to WGCU on August 11, 1997, two months before FGCU opened.

WGCU's broadcasts became digital-only, effective June 12, 2009. [1]

For much of the first two decades as a locally-focused station, WGCU identified as "TV 3," after its location on most Southwest Florida cable systems. This was a nod to the exceptionally high penetration of cable and satellite in Southwest Florida; cable and satellite are all but essential for acceptable television in much of the market. Since 2017, however, it has identified solely with its call letters. For several years, it was also carried on cable in Sarasota. While Sarasota is part of the Tampa Bay market, WGCU long claimed Sarasota as part of its primary coverage area.

Digital programming[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming [2]
30.1 1080i 16:9 WGCU-HD Main WGCU programming / PBS
30.2 480i WORLD World
30.3 CREATE Create (6 a.m.-6 p.m.)
PBS Encore (6 p.m.-6 a.m.)
30.4 FLCH The Florida Channel
30.5 PBSKids PBS Kids

References[edit]

External links[edit]