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(Satellite station of WKLE Lexington, Kentucky)
Hazard, Kentucky
United States
ChannelsDigital: 16 (UHF)
Virtual: 35 (PSIP)
Subchannels35.1 PBS/KET
35.2 PBS Encore/KET2
35.3 Kentucky Channel
35.4 KET PBS Kids
Translators(see article)
AffiliationsPBS via KET
OwnerKentucky Educational Television
(Kentucky Authority for Educational Television)
First air dateSeptember 23, 1968; 50 years ago (1968-09-23)
Call letters' meaningW Kentucky HAzard
Sister station(s)WKPI-TV, WKSO-TV, WKLE-TV, WKMR-TV
Former channel number(s)Analog: 35 (1968-2009)
Translators: W09AX 9 Cowan Creek (VHF, 198?-199?)
W66AH 66 Whitesburg (UHF, 198?-199?)
W67AN 67Letcher (UHF, 198?-199?)
Former affiliationsNET (1968-1970 via KET)
Transmitter power38.2 kW
Height1,262 feet (385 m)
Facility ID34196
Transmitter coordinates37°11′35″N 83°11′17″W / 37.19306°N 83.18806°W / 37.19306; -83.18806

WKHA-TV is a non-commercial public television station that is licensed to and located in Hazard, Kentucky. The station is a broadcast relay station of the Kentucky Educational Television network (KET) serving the southeastern Kentucky mountain areas. As a KET satellite, the station is a PBS affiliate owned by the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television.

The station’s master control hub and internal operations are located at KET’s main studios at the O. Leonard Press Telecommunications Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The station transmits its signal on UHF channel 16 (virtual channel 35 via PSIP) from its transmitter located near Viper, in southern Perry County.


The station signed on the air at exactly 3:00 PM Eastern time on the afternoon of September 23, 1968, as one of the ten charter stations of the Kentucky Educational Television network, with Lexington’s WKLE acting as the network flagship.[1][2] WKHA, along with fellow KET satellites WKPI-TV in nearby Pikeville and WKSO-TV of Somerset, were the first television stations to sign on the air in service to the Eastern Kentucky Coalfield and Mountains region. All of the network’s satellites were strategically located to serve as much of the state as possible, and by launching three satellites in the same region, it is almost guaranteed that a viewer in this area can receive, at the very least, a KET-aligned signal. Until the network signed on its ten charter satellites, the Eastern Kentucky mountains region was one of the last remaining areas of the United States without a television station, commercial or non-commercial, in the area. The area did not get its first commercial television station until NBC affiliate WKYH-TV signed on the air in Summer 1969. That station, which has since become CBS affiliate WYMT-TV (a semi-satellite of Lexington-based WKYT-TV) in 1985, is the only full-power commercial station based in this region. Cable or satellite television service is necessary to receive all other networks (e.g. ABC, Fox, NBC, and/or The CW) since Lexington’s commercial stations do not operate any low-powered translators in the area. This area is highly penetrated with cable subscribers. Some areas southwest of Hazard, however, are close enough to the Knoxville, Tennessee area to pick up those signals over-the-air. The mountains pretty much curb the Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia television signals to come into the area.

Former translators[edit]

In the 1980s and early 1990s, and as late as 1994-95, at least three low-powered translators were repeating the WKHA signal, including W09AX in Cowan Creek[3], W66AH in Whitesburg, and W67AN in Letcher, which broadcast over VHF channel 9 and UHF channels 66 and 67, respectively. [4]

Digital television[edit]

The station’s digital television companion signal, WKHA-DT, along with the digital companions of thirteen other KET stations (except WKPC and WKMJ) signed on the air in May 2002. [2]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[5]
35.1 720p 16:9 KET Main KET programming / PBS
35.2 480i 4:3 KET2 PBS Encore / KET2
35.3 KET KY Kentucky Channel

Analog-to-Digital television transition[edit]

On April 16, 2009, WKHA-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 35 as part of the mandatory analog-to-digital television transition of 2009. The deadline was moved from February 17 to June 12 of that year as part of the DTV Delay Act, but all KET stations, along with Lexington CBS affiliate WKYT-TV, completed the transition on April 16.[6] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 16. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 35.

Spectrum auction results[edit]

WKHA currently holds a construction permit for the signal to move to digital UHF channel 33, and to boost its effective radiated power from its current 38,200 watts to 55,900 watts. This is part of KET’s involvement in the 2016-17 FCC Spectrum incentive auction. The station must relocate its digital signal to their new elected allocation due to channel repack. The transition, in this case, should be complete at some point in September or early October 2016.[7][8]


Over-the-air coverage[edit]

WKHA-TV’s signal can cover an area from London to Pikeville, as far north as West Liberty, and as far south as Harrogate, Tennessee. The signal can also cover three counties and two independent cities in far southwestern Virginia.[9]

As it is with most other KET stations, WKHA’s over-the-air signal covers some of the same areas as those of some of KET’s other stations, including WKMR/Morehead, WKPI-TV/Pikeville, and WKSO-TV/Somerset. Signal coverage of all KET stations are subject to change as a result of the FCC Spectrum auction.

Cable carriage[edit]

All cable systems carry at least the flagship KET service, a few of which also carry KET2 and the Kentucky Channel, also, especially in the areas served by bigger cable companies such as Charter/Spectrum and Suddenlink Communications. Much of this area between London and Pikeville is served by locally-owned cable companies, all of which carry at least the main KET service. The network is also available on cable and satellite via Dish Network and DirecTV. However, network flagship WKLE is the only KET station uplinked to the Lexington market.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “Historical marker unveiled for KET’s 50th anniversary”. WKYT-TV. September 18, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b ”Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada”. Broadcasting Yearbook 2003-2004. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 2003-04.pp. B37-B39. [1]
  3. ^ Frontline Funding and Washington Week Funding PBS/KET (February 1988). 9 July 2012 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Washington Week Ending, Wall Street Week Opening & PBS/KET Commercials (February 1988). 10 July 2012 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Digital TV Market Listing for WKHA
  6. ^ "Calls come after KET, WKYT digital TV transition". Lexington Herald-Leader. April 17, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  7. ^ http://rabbitears.info/phasemap.php?maptype=s&phase=6
  8. ^ Post Incentive Auction Television Data Files
  9. ^ Signal coverage maps of all full-power stations -- Lexington, Kentucky. (Federal Communications Commission, 2009)

External links[edit]