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WTCI logo
Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
Branding WTCI
Slogan Your Favorite Public Television Station
Tennessee Valley PBS
Channels Digital: 29 (UHF)
Virtual: 45 (PSIP)
Subchannels 45.1 PBS
45.2 Create
45.3 PBS Kids
Affiliations PBS (1970–present)
Owner The Greater Chattanooga Public Television Corporation
First air date March 4, 1970; 47 years ago (1970-03-04)
Call letters' meaning Tennessee Chattanooga Instructional Television
Former channel number(s) Analog:
45 (UHF, 1970–2009)
Former affiliations NET (March–October 1970)
Transmitter power 200 kW (digital)
Height 336 m (digital)
Facility ID 65667
Transmitter coordinates 35°12′26″N 85°16′52″W / 35.20722°N 85.28111°W / 35.20722; -85.28111
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

WTCI is the PBS member television station for Chattanooga, Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley. It transmits on digital channel 29 from a location north of Chattanooga, and west of Middle Valley, covering much of southeast Tennessee. The station is carried on cable channel 5.


The Tennessee Department of Education began WTCI on March 4, 1970 on channel 45, as the third in a series of public television stations that included WLJT in Martin and WSJK-TV (now WETP) in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville; WCTE-TV in Cookeville followed later in the decade. It is now operated by the Greater Chattanooga Public Television Corporation, a non-profit community organization, which assumed the station's broadcast license in 1984.

WTCI offers a diverse mix of programming and cultural entertainment shows from both local and PBS resources to viewers in portions of four states (Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina). However, some program duplication occurs with Georgia Public Broadcasting's North Georgia station, WNGH-TV, which operates at a much higher power and is seen in most (if not all) of WTCI's broadcast range, including Chattanooga itself. This has been the case throughout the history of WTCI's existence and is simply the result of adjoining state boundaries, not of any deliberate action on GPB's part to encroach on WTCI's territory.

Shows created by WTCI include "The A List", "Tennessee Insider", "First Things First", "Southern Accents", and "Chattanooga History Makers". It is also a member of The Tennessee Channel Network. It also carries PBS's Create. WTCI Create and Tennessee Channel, airing on weekends, is on channel 45.2 and Comcast channel 208.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
45.1 1080i 16:9 WTCI-HD Main WTCI programming / PBS
45.2 480i 4:3 CREATE Create
45.3 KIDS PBS Kids

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WTCI shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 45, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 29.[2] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 45.

See also[edit]

East Tennessee PBS (for more details on Tennessee's ETV network in the 1970s)


External links[edit]