|Mount Vernon, Illinois/St. Louis, Missouri
|City||Mount Vernon, Illinois|
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
|Translators||KUMO-LD 51 St. Louis (Daystar only)|
|First air date||March 13, 1983|
|Call letters' meaning||PAX TV Southern Illinois
PAX TV St. Louis
(after former owners)
|Former callsigns||WCEE (1983–1998)|
|Former channel number(s)||
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Height||91 m (299 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WPXS, virtual channel 13 (UHF digital channel 21), is a Daystar owned-and-operated television station serving St. Louis, Missouri, United States that is licensed to Mount Vernon, Illinois (a city within the Paducah, Kentucky/Cape Girardeau, Missouri/Harrisburg, Illinois television market). The station is owned by the Daystar Television Network. WPXS maintains offices located on Carter Road in Kell, and its transmitter is located near Saint Rose, Illinois.
The station first signed on the air on March 13, 1983 as WCEE, which branded itself on-air as "C-13". It was the second independent station to serve the Paducah/Cape Girardeau/Harrisburg market, following WDXR-TV, which operated from 1971 to 1981, when it donated the station's broadcast license to the PBS member network Kentucky Educational Television. WCEE was a typical independent station airing a mix of first-run and off-network syndicated programs, and movies. It also aired simulcasts of NBA games from the Chicago Bulls, and Cubs and White Sox Major League Baseball games from WGN-TV in Chicago. Unusual for a small-market independent station, WCEE produced a half-hour newscast on weekdays, and also carried PM Magazine.
In 1998, the station was sold to Paxson Communications (the forerunner of Ion Media Networks), and changed its callsign to the current WPXS. At the same time, it signed on a translator station in St. Louis, KUMO-LP (channel 51). WPXS and KUMO became charter affiliates of Paxson's family-oriented broadcast network Pax TV when the network launched on August 31, 1998, serving as that network's owned-and-operated station for both the Paducah/Cape Girardeau/Harrisburg and St. Louis markets. WPXS' transmitter, which was located north of Kell, Illinois, was close enough to St. Louis to cover most of the Illinois portion of the St. Louis market; St. Louis itself was served by KUMO-LP. In 2004, the station affiliated with the Daystar religious broadcast network. The following year, Equity Broadcasting bought the station from Paxson; WPXS subsequently rejoined Pax (which rebranded as i: Independent Television that summer, and then to Ion Television in 2007).
In 2008, WPXS affiliated with the Retro Television Network, a network owned by Equity at the time. By this time, the bulk of the station's audience was located in St. Louis. In 2010, Daystar purchased WPXS outright; this resulted in the station switching back to the network on August 12 of that year. With that move, DirecTV pulled WPXS from its St. Louis local station lineup on September 11, 2010, as WPXS had become a straight simulcast of Daystar's national feed (unlike fellow religious network, TBN, Daystar's television stations do not produce any local programming). On Dish Network, the provider lists Daystar programming as airing on WPXS, though the provider continues to offer the Retro Television Network feed.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|13.2||Retro TV||Retro TV|
WPXS opted to build its digital transmitter in Saint Rose, Illinois, which is part of the St. Louis market. The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, on April 30, 2009. The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 21. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 13.
The station's signal now covers areas of the St. Louis market east of the I-270 loop, including Belleville, Edwardsville and Alton, Illinois. After the switchover, the broadcast radius of WPXS's digital signal covered a smaller area than the former analog signal, resulting in the loss of the station's reception to nearly 93,000 viewers in Effingham, Clay and Wayne counties and large portions of Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Jasper, Richland and Shelby counties in Illinois. Although WPXS's digital transmitter creates redundancies with KUMO-LP on the Illinois side of the St. Louis market, the transmitter still provides only rimshot coverage of the Missouri side of the market, most likely due to the need to protect KMOV's transmitter on nearby digital channel 24. KUMO-LD flash-cut its digital signal into operation in June 2011, without an RTV subchannel.
- WPXS, TVNewsCheck.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WPXS
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.