Digital: 38 (UHF)|
Virtual: 68 (PSIP)
68.1 PBS Encore|
68.2 Kentucky Channel
|Translators||WKPC-DT2 15.2 Louisville|
|Owner||Kentucky Authority for Educational Television|
|First air date||August 31, 1970|
|Call letters' meaning||W Kentucky Media and Journalism|
|Former channel number(s)||
68 (UHF, 1970–2009)
NET (September–October 1970)
PBS (via KET, October 1970–July 1997)
Dark (July–August 1997)
KET ED (2009)
|Transmitter power||61.6 kW|
|Height||218 metres (715 ft)|
|Public license information:||
|Type||Non-commercial educational television network|
|Branding||KET2 (on-air ident)|
First air date
|August 1, 1997|
southern Illinois (limited)
Mississippi County, Missouri (OTA only)
southwestern and south-central Ohio
northern Tennessee (limited)
southwestern Virginia (limited)
Huntington, West Virginia area
|Owner||Kentucky Authority for Educational Television|
|Parent||Commonwealth of Kentucky|
WKMJ-TV is a non-commercial public television station that is licensed to and located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the flagship station for KET2, the second television service of Kentucky Educational Television (KET), which is owned by the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television, a unit of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The station's master control and internal operations are located at KET's main studios at the O. Leonard Press Telecommunications Center in Lexington, Kentucky. WKMJ's transmitter, like those of several other Louisville stations including main KET transmitter WKPC-TV, is located at the Tower Farm at Floyds Knobs, in Floyd County, Indiana. WKMJ and WKPC are the only KET-owned stations whose transmitters are outside Kentucky's borders.
Louisville's original educational, or public television station, was locally owned WFPK-TV (now KET affiliate WKPC-TV), which was locally owned by the Louisville Free Public Library, who also operated two non-commercial radio stations, WFPL and WFPK. WFPK-TV signed on the air in 1958, ten years prior to the KET network's September 1968 sign on. It was also a member of National Educational Television until 1970, when it joined PBS. WKPC-TV was the only public television station in Kentucky that was not affiliated with KET until 1989, when standalone PBS member staton WKYU-TV/Bowling Green was signed on by the broadcasting unit of Western Kentucky University.
WKMJ-TV, however, never signed on the air until August 31, 1970. When it did so, WKMJ became the fourteenth public television station in Kentucky after WFPK and KET's first 13 satellite stations. In the 23 months between KET's September 1968 Sign-on and the day WKMJ went on the air, WKZT-TV in nearby Elizabethtown was the default KET relay station that could serve Louisville and surrounding areas south of there. WKMJ was one out of three satellites that were slated to be part of the network, but signed on later than the other ten charter satellites; the other two were WKMU/Murray and WCVN-TV/Covington, which signed on in October 1968 and September 1969, respectively.
From its 1970 inception until July 1997, WKMJ followed the statewide KET schedule. This ended, however, when WKPC was acquired by the statewide network. All KET programming in the Louisville area was relocated to WKPC on July 1, 1997. On the same day, WKMJ-TV has gone silent for a transmitter upgrade. On August 1 of the same year, WKMJ-TV returned to the air to become KET's second television service for the Louisville area, KET2.
In 2009, WKMJ-DT2 began broadcasting the Kentucky Channel, simulcasting the DT3 subchannel of all other KET stations. Also in 2009, KET ED became available on WKMJ-DT3, but on a 24-hour-a-day basis until September of that year, when WKMJ-DT3 went silent for four years. In 2013, WKMJ-DT3 began broadcasting the World network by American Public Television. It is the only KET station broadcasting that service, thus making the Louisville market the only areas in the state to receive that channel. The only other areas of Kentucky that can receive the World channel full-time are the Dale Hollow Lake area (from Cookeville, Tennessee's WCTE-DT2) and the Paducah area (from WSIU-DT2 of Carbondale, Illinois). Areas of Kentucky where the World channel can be viewed via an OTA signal on a limited basis includes parts of far southeastern Kentucky (from East Tennessee PBS satellite WKOP-TV of Knoxville, Tennessee), and in northern Kentucky (from WPTO of Oxford, Ohio from the Cincinnati market).
WKMJ-TV, as the second service of KET, currently broadcasts the national PBS schedule from the PBS Satellite Service, along with additional syndicated programs from American Public Television. This includes how-to programs, a few documentaries, public affairs programs, and some children's programming. Any local programming broadcast by the service mainly focuses on the Louisville area.
The KET2 service became available over-the-air statewide via the digital television signals of all KET stations broadcasting the statewide feed in the early 2000s, through the then-new method of a second digital subchannel. Each of the 15 principal KET satellites and, beginning Fall 2007, three accompanying digital low-powered translators began making KET2 available on their respective DT2 subchannels.
KET2's cable carriage covers roughly 62% of all subscribers in the state. This includes most Time Warner Cable/Spectrum systems in the state, including all of the state's major cities, and several rural areas. It is also available on DirecTV and Dish Network satellite television in the Louisville market only. KET2 is also available on cable in Louisville's southern Indiana suburbs.
WKMJ-TV began broadcasting its digital television companion signal, WKMJ-DT, in 2003, making it the last KET-affiliated television station to make its broadcast signal available in digital.
Analog-to-digital television transition
On April 16, 2009, WKMJ-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 68 in compliance with the federally-mandated digital television transition. Although the mandatory deadline was June 12, 2009 after the DTV Delay Act extended the deadline from February 17, the analog signal was shut down on April 16. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 38. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 68.
Spectrum incentive auction results
As of July 2017, WKMJ-TV currently holds a construction permit to move its digital signal to UHF channel 34 as part of the network’s participation in the 2016-17 FCC Spectrum incentive auction. WKMJ’s digital signal is scheduled to be reallocated to its new position in early Fall 2019.
WKMJ digital channels
WKMJ is the only KET station whose subchannels are not configured the same way as the other satellites. The station's signal is multiplexed in this manner:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|68.1||480i||4:3||KET2||Main WKMJ-TV programming / KET2 / PBS Encore|
|68.2||KETKY||Kentucky Channel (via WKPC-DT3)|
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