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(Satellite station of WKLE, Lexington, Kentucky)
Owenton/Frankfort, Kentucky
United States
SloganWhere Learning Comes To Life
ChannelsDigital: 44 (UHF)
(to move to 24 (UHF))
Virtual: 52 (PSIP)
TranslatorsW23DM-D 23 Falmouth
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 OwentoN
Sister station(s)WCVN-TV, WKLE, WKHA, WKAS, WKSO-TV
Former channel number(s)Analog: 52 (UHF, 1968-2009)
W56AM 56 Falmouth (UHF, 199?-2009) [1]
Former affiliationsNET (1968-1970)
Transmitter power49.7 kW
Height214 metres (702 ft)
Facility ID34211
Transmitter coordinates38°31′31.5″N 84°48′39.4″W / 38.525417°N 84.810944°W / 38.525417; -84.810944

WKON is a non-commercial public television station that is licensed to and located in Owenton, Kentucky. Serving Kentucky's capital (Frankfort and portions of the upper Bluegrass area, the station is a broadcast relay station of the Kentucky Educational Television network (KET). As a KET satellite, the station is a PBS affiliate owned by the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television.[2]

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 44 (virtual channel 52 via PSIP) from its transmitter located along Kentucky Route 22 (KY 22) near its junction with KY 227 just outside Owenton's eastern city limits, in Owen County.[3]


The station signed on the air at precisely 3:00 PM Eastern time on September 23, 1968, as one of the ten charter stations of the Kentucky Educational Television network.[4][5] All of the network's satellites were strategically located to serve as much of the state as possible.

Although WCET in Cincinnati, Ohio was already providing educational programming to northern Kentucky, WKON served as the default KET-aligned station for that part of the state. This ended in September 1969, when the network signed on WCVN-TV in Covington.

Digital television[edit]

The station's digital television companion signal, WKON-DT, along with the digital companions of thirteen other KET stations (except WKPC and WKMJ) signed on the air in May 2002.[5]


WKON also operates a low-powered digital translator, W23DM-D. Licensed to Falmouth, it transmits from a tower located on Grimes Road off KY 159 north of Falmouth.[6] It serves a replacement for WKON's former analog translator W56AM, which was shut down in 2009 as per the digital TV transition, even though it was exempt from the DTV transition as LPTV stations were not required to make the digital transition until 2015.

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7]
52.1 720p 16:9 KET Main KET programming / PBS
52.2 480i 4:3 KET2 PBS Encore / KET2
52.3 KET KY Kentucky Channel

Analog-to-Digital television transition[edit]

On April 16, 2009, WKON shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 52 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 completed the transition on April 16.[8] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 44. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 52, which was among the high-band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

Spectrum incentive auction results[edit]

WKON currently holds a construction permit to reallocate its digital signal onto UHF channel 24. This is part of the network's participation in the FCC's Spectrum incentive auction of 2016-17. The digital signal is scheduled to be reallocated to UHF channel 24 at some point in 2019.[9][10] The station's current digital frequency, on UHF channel 44, is one of the upper-mid UHF band channels (38-51) to be removed from broadcasting use, and to be used for wireless services


Over-the-air coverage[edit]

WKON primarily serves the southwestern portions of the Cincinnati, Ohio market in northern Kentucky, along with the northeastern portion of the Louisville market, and the northwestern areas of the Lexington market. Its signal can be received in an area from Lawrenceburg to just north of Rising Sun, Indiana and the Erlanger, Kentucky area, and from La Grange to just short of Mount Olivet.[11]

As it is with most other KET stations, over-the-air signal covers some of the same areas as those of some of KET's other stations. In the case of WKON, the signal is overlapped by network flagship station WKLE/Lexington, WKPC-TV/Louisville, and WCVN-TV/Covington. WKON's coverage area includes most rural areas between the three cities of Louisville, Lexington, and Covington. WKON provides a good quality signal to Kentucky's capital city of Frankfort, and provides grade B signal quality from WKON is also available in northern portions of the metro Lexington area and into Madison, Indiana as well.[11][12][13]

Cable carriage[edit]

KET is offered on all cable systems in the state of Kentucky. The statewide cable coverage includes Charter/Spectrum systems, Mediacom systems, and several locally owned cable television systems in this portion of the state.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RabbitEars.info List of Deleted Stations
  2. ^ Digital TV Market Listing for WKON
  3. ^ https://www.rabbitears.info/contour.php?appid=588290
  4. ^ “Historical marker unveiled for KET’s 50th anniversary”. WKYT-TV. September 18, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  5. ^ 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]
  6. ^ RabbitEars Signal Contour Map for W23DM-D
  7. ^ Digital TV Market Listing for WKMU
  8. ^ "Calls come after KET, WKYT digital TV transition". Lexington Herald-Leader. April 17, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  9. ^ http://rabbitears.info/phasemap.php?maptype=s&phase=6
  10. ^ Post Incentive Auction Television Data Files
  11. ^ a b Signal coverage maps of all full-power stations -- Cincinnati, Ohio. (Federal Communications Commission, 2009)
  12. ^ Signal coverage maps of all full-power stations -- Louisville, Kentucky. (Federal Communications Commission, 2009)
  13. ^ Signal coverage maps of all full-power stations -- Lexington, Kentucky. (Federal Communications Commission, 2009)
  14. ^ KET Cable and Satellite Company Channel Listings

External links[edit]