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KET: The Kentucky Network (secondary)
|Slogan||Where Learning Comes to Life|
|Channels||Digital: 41 (UHF)|
(to move to 23 (UHF))
Virtual: 29 (PSIP)
29.2: KET2/PBS Encore
29.3: KY Channel
29.4: KET PBS Kids
|Owner||Kentucky Authority for Educational Television|
|First air date||May 31, 1971|
|Call letters' meaning||W Kentucky PaDucah|
|Former callsigns||WDXR-TV (1971–1978)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
29 (UHF, 1971–2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1971–1981)|
|Transmitter power||55.7 kW|
90 kW (CP)
|Height||143 m (469 ft)|
156 m (512 ft) (CP)
|Public license information|
(satellite of WKLE, Lexington, Kentucky) Profile
(satellite of WKLE, Lexington, Kentucky) CDBS
WKPD, virtual channel 29 (UHF digital channel 41), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Paducah, Kentucky, United States. Owned by the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television, the station is operated as part of the statewide Kentucky Educational Television (KET) network. WKPD's transmitter is located on Coleman Road off KY 305 on the west side of Paducah, near the McCracken County Soccer Complex.
As an independent station
The station began its life on the air on May 31, 1971, as commercial independent station WDXR-TV. Local businessman E. Weeks McKinney-Smith, along with wife Lady Sarah McKinney-Smith and George T. Bailey, each owned a 33.3% interest in the station. E. Weeks McKinney-Smith and Lady Sarah McKinney-Smith also owned WDXR radio. Lady Sarah McKinney-Smith became the sole owner of WDXR, Inc. after E. Weeks died in February 1974.
A typical broadcast day on WDXR-TV consisted of public domain movies and/or cartoons, barter syndicated sitcoms and/or drama shows, and some religious programming. However, at one point, the station also aired a few newscasts of their own focusing on Western Kentucky's Jackson Purchase region, competing with the news department of locally-based NBC affiliate WPSD-TV. Paducah Broadcasters Inc. purchased both WDXR-TV and WDXR radio on December 1977.
As a KET satellite
On February 28, 1978, Paducah Broadcasters Inc. donated the license of WDXR to the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television. Later that year, it was briefly taken off air, and was converted into a relay station of the Kentucky Educational Television network. It returned to air on April 17, 1978, and has been part of that statewide network ever since. This made WKPD the fifteenth full-power station in Kentucky to become a KET satellite. Until that time, WSIU-TV in Carbondale, Illinois was the only source for NET/PBS programming in the area. In the nine years between the October 1968 and the format transition, WKMU-TV in Murray, Kentucky was the default KET satellite for the Purchase region, but it didn't have complete signal coverage over the entire region. For all intents and purposes, WKPD's conversion into a KET satellite expanded signal coverage for the Purchase region, and to provide a second option for PBS programming for far southern Illinois.
Although WKPD covers most of the same areas of the Purchase region as WKMU except for Fulton County, WKPD's signal can also be received in areas of the region where WKMU couldn't. Examples include parts of Ballard County, as well as areas of southernmost Illinois and parts of Mississippi County in southeast Missouri. Signal coverage of WKPD can go from Charleston, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois, as far east as Eddyville, as far south as an area south Mayfield near WKMU's tower, and as far north as northern Johnson and Pope counties in Illinois.
The main channel of WKPD is available on DirecTV and Dish Network satellite television in the Paducah–Cape Girardeau market in its entirety, even the customers who live on the Illinois or Missouri sides of the market, including the Paducah market's two other principal cities of Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Harrisburg, Illinois. All cable television providers in the Kentucky segment of the media market provide at least the main channel of the network. WSIU is mostly carried on cable in the Illinois and Missouri segments of the DMA.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|29.1||720p||16:9||KET||Main KET programming / PBS|
|29.2||480i||4:3||KET2||PBS Encore / KET2|
|29.3||KET KY||Kentucky Channel|
WKPD-TV shut down its analog signal over UHF channel 29 in compliance with the 2009 digital television transition. Although the mandatory deadline was June 12 2009, after the DTV Delay Act pushed back 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 41. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 29.
WKPD currently holds a construction permit to move its digital signal to UHF channel 23 as part of the network's participation in the 2016–17 FCC Spectrum incentive auction.
- ”Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada”. Broadcasting Yearbook 1974. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1974. p. A-24. 
- History of UHF Television -- Channels 26-44
- Maps of the coverage areas of all Full-power stations in Paducah, KY and Cape Girardeau, MO. Federal Communications Commission (2009).
- Digital TV Market Listing for WKPD
- "Calls come after KET, WKYT digital TV transition". Lexington Herald-Leader. April 17, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- "The Digital Transition: The Malcolm (Mac) Wall Years". KET. Kentucky Educational Television. Retrieved 2017-01-13.