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Gainesville, Florida
United States
Branding Florida's 5 WUFT-TV
Channels Digital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels 5.1 PBS
5.2 Create
5.3 TFC/World
Affiliations PBS (since 1970)
Owner University of Florida
(Board of Trustees, University of Florida)
First air date November 10, 1958 (59 years ago) (1958-11-10)
Call letters' meaning University of
Sister station(s) WUFT-FM
Former channel number(s) 5 (VHF analog, 1958–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1958–1970)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 263 m (863 ft)
Class DT
Facility ID 69440
Transmitter coordinates 29°42′35.4″N 82°23′41.1″W / 29.709833°N 82.394750°W / 29.709833; -82.394750 (WUFT)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.wuft.org
Broadcast transmitter for WUFT in Gainesville, Florida in June 2018

WUFT, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 36), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Gainesville, Florida, United States. The station is owned by the University of Florida, and maintains studios and offices at Weimer Hall on the University's campus; its transmitter is located on Northwest 53rd Avenue in Gainesville.

On cable, WUFT can be seen on Cox channel 3 in Gainesville and channel 5 in Ocala. There is a high definition feed offered on Cox digital channel 1003 in Gainesville and channel 1005 in Ocala. It is also available on Comcast Xfinity channel 25 in Jacksonville (ABC affiliate WJXX, which broadcasts over the air on virtual channel 25, is carried on Xfinity channel 5).


WUFT first signed on the air November 10, 1958 as the third educational television station in Florida.

The station was a major beneficiary of a quirk in the FCC's plan for allocating stations. In the early days of broadcast television, there were twelve VHF channels available and 69 UHF channels (later reduced to 55 in 1983). The VHF bands were more desirable because they carried longer distances. Since there were only twelve VHF channels available, there were limitations as to how closely the stations could be spaced.

After the FCC's Sixth Report and Order ended the license freeze and opened the UHF band in 1952, it devised a plan for allocating VHF licenses. Under this plan, almost all of the country would be able to receive two commercial VHF channels plus one noncommercial channel. Most of the rest of the country ("1/2") would be able to receive a third VHF channel. Other areas would be designated as "UHF islands" since they were too close to larger cities for VHF service. The "2" networks became CBS and NBC, "+1" represented non-commercial educational stations, and "1/2" became ABC (which was the weakest network usually winding up with the UHF allocation where no VHF was available).

However, what would become of the Gainesville market is sandwiched between Jacksonville (channels 4, 7, and 12) to the northeast, Tallahassee (channels 6 and 11) to the northwest, and Orlando (channels 2, 6, and 9) and Tampa Bay (channels 3, 8, 10, and 13) to the south. This created a large "doughnut" in North Central Florida where there could only be one VHF license. WUFT was fortunate enough to gain that license, and as a result, Gainesville became unique in that a public television station was the market's oldest television station (Gainesville's first commercial television station, WCJB-TV, did not sign on until 1971).

WUFT rebranded in August 2010, calling itself "Florida's 5".

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
5.1 1080i 16:9 WUFT-HD Main WUFT programming / PBS
5.2 480i 4:3 WUFT-D2 Create
5.3 WUFT-D3 The Florida Channel (6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday)
World (all other times)

WUFT is the only PBS affiliate in the state of Florida to not carry the national 24/7 PBS Kids network on one of its subchannels.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WUFT discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, 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 remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 36.[2] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 5.


WUFT-TV broadcasts local newscasts staffed and produced by students in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. WUFT-TV broadcasts two main newscasts, along with a variety of special reports and half-hour specials. First Edition, currently a six-minute newscast, airs weekdays at noon for 100 shows per year. WUFT News - First at 5:00 (the main newscast, formerly known as Report 5 and Evening News) is a half-hour weekday newscast at 5 p.m. which airs 200+ days per year. Starting in the Spring of 2014, WUFT-TV added a 6 p.m. newscast, that is also thirty minutes long, but that has since been canceled, leaving just the 5 p.m. news. Before the move to 5 p.m., the newscast used to be on at its long-time home at 5:30 p.m., to possibly avoid competing against ABC affiliate WCJB. When it was moved to 5 p.m., the same reason existed.


On the set of News 5 (note previous logo)


External links[edit]