WPCB-TV

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WPCB-TV
Greensburg - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
City Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Branding Cornerstone Television
Slogan God is here
Channels Digital: 50 (UHF)
Virtual: 40 (PSIP)
Subchannels 40.1 Cornerstone
40.2 Bible Discovery TV
Owner Cornerstone Television
First air date April 15, 1979; 37 years ago (1979-04-15)
Call letters' meaning Western
Pennsylvania
Christian
Broadcasting
(original name of company)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
40 (UHF, 1979–2009)
Transmitter power 362 kW
Height 264 m (866 ft)
Facility ID 13924
Transmitter coordinates 40°23′34″N 79°46′54″W / 40.39278°N 79.78167°W / 40.39278; -79.78167
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.ctvn.org


WPCB-TV, channel 40, is a television station licensed to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, United States and serving Pittsburgh television market. WPCB-TV is the flagship station of the Christian television network Cornerstone Television, which originates most of its programs from the station. WPCB-TV's studios and transmitter are co-located in Wall, Pennsylvania.

WPCB-TV programming is also seen on satellite station WKBS-TV (channel 47) in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

History[edit]

In the 1960s, Rev. Russ Bixler was visiting the Virginia Beach area and came across independent station WYAH-TV, which was running an all-Christian format. Russ came to visit the Christian Broadcasting Network studios, meeting Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker. Concluding that Pittsburgh needed a similar station, Russ applied for the channel 22 license in the 1970s, but lost to Commercial Radio Institute, a forerunner of Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1975, who would launch that station as secular independent WPTT-TV in 1978. Bixler then applied for a license on channel 40, and was granted a construction permit for that channel in 1976.

After several hurdles, Bixler was able to get the needed equipment and was able to sell a few hours a day of programming time to Christian organizations. WPCB-TV finally began operations on April 15, 1979. The station was initially on the air for 15 hours a day, and within a year expanded to a 24-hour schedule. Programming consisted of several runs a day of the two-hour edition of the PTL Club, the 90-minute edition of The 700 Club, several other shows produced by CBN for the CBN Cable channel, a few children's educational and religious shows, televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart, Rex Humbard, Oral Roberts and Jerry Falwell, and some local church programs. The station also produced a local variety talk and music show, Getting Together. WPCB-TV's programming remains entirely Christian-oriented to this day. From before their sign on, when a person phones the station, the receptionists answer "Jesus Loves You TV 40".

Over the decades, owing to holding a license to operate a commercial television station, WPCB-TV has received countless offers from commercial broadcasters wanting to convert the station into a conventional independent station, but has flatly refused them each time. However, in 1998, Cornerstone attempted to buy the license for non-commercial station WQEX (channel 16), which would have required a sale of the channel 40 license. Paxson Communications made an offer to buy channel 40; if the deal went through, it would have been relaunched as a Pax TV owned-and-operated station under the call letters WKPX-TV.[1] However, at that time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not deem WPCB-TV's religious programming as educational, and Cornerstone's application was withdrawn in 2000; channel 40 was then taken off the market.[1] A couple of years later, the FCC reversed its position (WQEX was converted into a commercial license in 2002; in 2011, it was sold to Paxson's successor, Ion Media Networks, and now carries programming from Pax TV's successor Ion Television as WINP-TV).

Russ Bixler died in 2000, and Ron Hembree, who hosted a program on WPCB-TV, took over as the station's president. Hembree died in June 2010.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2]
40.1 1080i 16:9 WPCB-DT Cornerstone
40.2 480i 4:3 PFFC Bible Discovery TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WPCB-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 40, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 50.[3][4] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 40.

References[edit]

External links[edit]