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Lexington, Kentucky
United States
SloganWhere Learning Comes To Life
ChannelsDigital: 42 (UHF)
(to move to 35 (UHF) (CP))
Virtual: 46 (PSIP)
AffiliationsPBS (1970-present)
OwnerKentucky Educational Television
(Kentucky Authority for Educational Television)
First air dateSeptember 23, 1968; 50 years ago (1968-09-23)
Call letters' meaningW Kentucky LExington
Sister station(s)WKHA, WKMR, WKON, WKSO-TV
Former channel number(s)Analog: 46 (UHF, 1968-2009)
Former affiliationsNET (1968-1970)
Transmitter power45.8 kW
Height257.6 metres (845 ft)
Facility ID34207
Transmitter coordinates37°52′45″N 84°19′32.8″W / 37.87917°N 84.325778°W / 37.87917; -84.325778

WKLE is a non-commercial public television station that is licensed to Lexington, Kentucky, and serving the central Kentucky Bluegrass region. The station is the flagship station of the Kentucky Educational Television network (KET), and serves as 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, located at 600 Cooper Drive in Lexington, Kentucky. The station transmits its signal on UHF channel 42 (virtual channel 46 via PSIP) from a transmitter tower located near the corner of Simpson Lane and Igo in northern Madison County near Boonesborough and the Fort Boonesborough State Park, and can be easily be seen from the I-75 Exit 97 interchange.


In 1962, the Kentucky Board of Education had ten construction permits to create an educational television network via a flagship station in Lexington, plus several satellite stations throughout the state. The station signed on the air on September 23, 1968 at approximately 3:00 PM Eastern time, as one of the ten charter stations of the Kentucky Educational Television network, with WKLE serving as the network flagship station.[1][2] WKLE was the second educational television station to sign on; the first was WFPK-TV (now WKPC-TV) in Louisville, which signed on ten years before. All of the network’s satellites were strategically located to provide over-the-air broadcast signal coverage to much of, if not all of the state of Kentucky.

Digital television[edit]

The station’s digital television companion signal, WKLE-DT, along with the digital companions of thirteen of KET’s other satellites (except WKPC and WKMJ) signed on the air in May 2002, almost three years after WKPC’s digital signal was first activated. [2]

Current digital channels[edit]

WKLE, along with the fourteen other principal KET satelites and three translators, multiplex their digital signals in this manner:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
46.1 720p 16:9 KET Main KET programming / PBS
46.2 480i 4:3 KET2 PBS Encore / KET2
46.3 KET KY Kentucky Channel

Analog-to-Digital television transition[edit]

On April 16, 2009, WKLE shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 46 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 CBS affiliate WKYT-TV, completed the transition on April 16.[4] WKGB's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 48. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 46.

Spectrum incentive auction results[edit]

As of July 2017, WKLE currently holds a construction permit to move its digital signal to UHF channel 35 as part of the network’s participation in the 2016-17 FCC Spectrum incentive auction. WKLE’s digital signal is scheduled to be reallocated to its new position in early Fall 2019.[5][6] The station’s current digital frequency, on UHF channel 42, is one of the upper-mid UHF band channels (38-51) to be removed from broadcasting use, and to be made for use of wireless services.


Station IDs[edit]

Although the market’s principal city of Lexington is the city of license for WKLE, its legal station ID between programs originally identified itself by KET’s voiceover narrator as “Channel 46, WKLE, Lexington/Richmond, Kentucky.”[7] Richmond is included in the legal ID due to the transmitter site of WKLE being located on the Madison County side of the Kentucky River, with Richmond being the closest city to the transmitter. A similar situation exists for two other KET stations in the system (WKOH and WKMU), and most television affiliates of Georgia Public Broadcasting that includes the city of license and the closest city to the transmitter site.


Over-the-air coverage[edit]

WKLE’s primary over-the-air coverage area includes most of the Bluegrass region of Central Kentucky, including Lexington, Frankfort, Danville, Winchester and Richmond. [8]

As it is with most other KET stations, WKLE’s over-the-air signal covers small parts of the same areas as those of some of KET’s other stations, including WKHA/Hazard, WKMR/Morehead, WKSO-TV/Somerset and WKON/Owenton, the latter of which is technically in the Cincinnati, Ohio market. The OTA signals of all four of the aforementioned stations and WKLE help the network cover the Lexington designated market area in its entirety; indeed, WKON’s over-the-air broadcast signal does cover some of Lexington’s northern suburbs.

Cable carriage[edit]

All cable systems throughout the state of Kentucky carry at least the flagship KET service, a few of which also carry KET2 and the Kentucky Channel, also, especially in the areas of the immediate area served by bigger cable companies such as Charter/Spectrum. The network is also available on satellite via Dish Network and DirecTV.[9]

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. ^ Digital TV Market Listing for WKGB
  4. ^ "Calls come after KET, WKYT digital TV transition". Lexington Herald-Leader. April 17, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  5. ^ http://rabbitears.info/phasemap.php?maptype=s&phase=6
  6. ^ Post Incentive Auction Television Data Files
  7. ^ PBS Interstitials from WKLE, 1999. 2016 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Signal coverage maps of all full-power stations -- Lexington, Kentucky. (Federal Communications Commission, 2009)
  9. ^ KET Cable and Satellite Company Channel Listings

External links[edit]