In 1952, following a four-year-long freeze on awarding station licenses, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revised its channel allocation table and reserved 242 frequencies, including channel 7 in Jacksonville, for noncommercial educational use. In Jacksonville, podiatrist Dr. Heywood Dowling launched a campaign to bring educational television to the First Coast region. While many other public stations at the time were affiliated with universities, Dowling proposed that Jacksonville's station be owned and funded by the community. Civic leaders embraced the concept, and after years of fundraising, the FCC issued a construction permit for channel 7 on February 28, 1957.
WJCT television first went on the air on September 10, 1958. Its first broadcast was a report by then-Florida governor LeRoy Collins on educational television. As Channel 7 initially had no production facility of its own, it used the studios of the city's two commercial stations, WMBR-TV (channel 4, now WJXT) and WFGA-TV (channel 12, now WTLV). It was Florida's second public television station, following time-sharing outlets WTHS-TV and WPBT in Miami. Its service area extended past Jacksonville to Live Oak, St. Augustine, and Palatka, Florida, and Folkston, Georgia. Its first month was dedicated to national programs from National Educational Television.
WJCT added a radio station, WJCT-FM, in 1972. Originally on air under the name "Stereo 90", WJCT-FM's broadcasting covered music, fine arts, news, and public affairs. In October 1973, WJCT produced its first television and radio simulcast of a concert by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
In 2014, WJCT spearheaded the Digital Convergence Alliance Network Operations Center (DCA-NOC), a central master control operation funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This was the first network operations center developed in a partnership of 11 public broadcasting companies.
WJCT's television station transmits on virtual and VHF digital channel 7, and is the PBS member station for the Jacksonville area. Its studio facilities are located on Festival Park Avenue, near EverBank Field in Downtown Jacksonville's Stadium District and its transmitter is located on Hogan Road in the Killarney Shores neighborhood. On cable, the station is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 8 (cable channel 7 is occupied by a leased access channel) and in high definition on digital channel 440.
The station first signed on the air on September 10, 1958. WJCT's schedule includes programming from PBS and other programming services, including the BBC and American Public Television. WJCT also produces and broadcasts local news, public affairs programs and documentaries.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|7.1||1080i||16:9||WJCT-HD||Main WJCT programming / PBS|
|7.4||More||WJCT More! (6 p.m.-6 a.m.)|
The Florida Channel (6 a.m.-6 p.m.)
WJCT Public Television began broadcasting on September 10, 1958. WJCT offers more than 52 hours per week of children's educational series and features primetime programming from PBS, American Public Television, BBC and NET. Drama, science, history, fine arts, music and public affairs are among the program genres featured. WJCT also produces and broadcasts local news and public affairs programs and documentaries.
WJCT Create (7.2)
Create TV was launched in 2006 to serve viewers' interest in do-it-yourself programs. Program genres seen on Create® TV include public television series and specials on cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening, arts and crafts, and other lifestyle interests. The programs seen on Create TV come from American Public Television, The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
WJCT Kids (7.3)
WJCT More! (7.4)
WJCT's fourth television channel features two major blocks of programming. The first programming block is The Florida Channel. The second programming block is additional (hence the name "More!") programming similar to the kind seen regularly on WJCT-TV (7.1), which airs when the Florida Channel is not operating. This programming block is often either themed by genre or features marathons of a specific show.
Florida Knowledge Network
WJCT previously operated a fourth subchannel that operated in a timeshare format in the same manner as digital subchannel 7.4, consisting of Florida Knowledge Network (airing weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and "WJCT Informational" (airing weekdays from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and all day on weekends); this service was discontinued July 1, 2011 following the closure of the Florida Knowledge Network.
WJCT World (7.5)
WORLD℠ is a 24/7, full service multicast channel featuring public television's signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming complemented by original content from emerging producers.
WJCT-FM (89.9 MHz) is the NPR-member public radio station in Jacksonville, Florida. The station has been on the air since 1972, and airs NPR news and talk during the week and a mix of news, talk, eclectic music on weekends. Original programming includes First Coast Connect and locally produced music shows specializing in chill out, indie, blues, country, doo wop and more.
WJCT Public Radio (89.9 FM, HD1)
Launched in 1972, 89.9 WJCT-FM is WJCT's original radio channel. Programming consists of news and public affairs programming during the day and music programs at night.
WJCT Arts (89.9 HD2)
WJCT Arts is a 24/7 HD radio station featuring classical music.
Anthology (89.9 HD3)
Anthology is a 24/7 HD radio station featuring more than 2,000 songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s curated by WJCT Music Director David Luckin. It is described as "the perfect collection of music for powering through a workout, jamming in your car, setting the mood for a party, or just surviving the workday."
Electro Lounge Radio (89.9 HD4)
Electro Lounge Radio is a 24/7 HD radio station that carries a variety of lounge music from around the world, in a music format described as "ranging from chill out with the relaxing, laid-back sounds of downtempo, to nu jazz, reggae and dub."
Online and digital services
The official WJCT website offers extensive content including television and radio schedules, local news, corporate and station news, digital channel information, events, educational/kids pages, podcasts, blogs, access to on-demand video streaming of local productions, and more.
On April 1, 2013, WJCT launched WJCT News, an online news source to complement the news reports and programming on 89.9 WJCT-FM. WJCT News features local and national news stories, photos and bios of WJCT's news team, podcasts, information about locally produced programs, and tools to stream 89.9 WJCT-FM live.
The WJCT App
The WJCT App, launched in October 2015, provides access to PBS programs on demand (including PBS Kids programs), WJCT's radio and television schedules, WJCT News and more. Use of the app is not limited to WJCT's listening and viewing area. The WJCT App is free to download in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
WJCT Radio Reading Service
Broadcast on a closed-circuit subchannel of 89.9 WJCT-FM, this 24/7 service provides readings of local and national newspapers, books and other materials to assist visually impaired individuals.
- "About WJCT". www.wjct.org. WJCT. 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- "FCC grants San Angelo ch. 3, educational Jacksonville ch. 7" (PDF). Broadcasting - Telecasting. March 4, 1957. p. 66. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- "For the Record: Station authorizations, applications–New TV stations–Actions" (PDF). Broadcasting - Telecasting. March 11, 1957. p. 107. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- Marbut, Max (September 10, 2008). "WJCT marks its golden anniversary". Jacksonville Daily Record. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
- "WJCT". American Archive of Public Broadcasting. 2019.
- http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- Jacksonville TV stations might not wait to switch to digital, The Florida Times-Union, February 6, 2009.
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WJCT". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- WJCT's Media Showcase
- "Public Television's top shows in Cooking, Travel, Home Improvement, Gardening and Arts & Crafts".
- "PBS KIDS".
- "PBS 24/7 Kids Channel". WJCT. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "Main About Page".
- "OnDemand Archives - WJCT Public Media".
- WJCT Media Showcase
- "WJCT News | Jacksonville, Florida News | WJCT News".
- http://www.wjct.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wjct-annual-report-2013.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- http://www.wjct.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2015-CPB-Report-Final_01.pdf[bare URL PDF]