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ATSC 3.0 station
OwnerKentucky Authority for Educational Television
First air date
September 2, 1970
(53 years ago)
Former call signs
WKMJ (1970–1983)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 68 (UHF, 1970–2009)
  • Digital: 38 (UHF, 2003-2019)
  • NET (via KET, 1970)
  • PBS (via KET, 1970–1997)
  • Dark (1997)
Call sign meaning
Kentucky Media and Journalism
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID34195
ERP40 kW
HAAT257 m (843 ft)
Transmitter coordinates38°22′1″N 85°49′54″W / 38.36694°N 85.83167°W / 38.36694; -85.83167
Public license information

WKMJ-TV (channel 68) is a PBS member television station in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. It is the flagship station for KET2, the second television service of Kentucky Educational Television (KET), which is owned by the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television.

The station's master control and internal operations are located at KET's main studios at the O. Leonard Press Telecommunications Center in Lexington.[not verified in body] WKMJ's transmitter, like those of several other Louisville stations including main KET transmitter WKPC-TV, is located at the Kentuckiana Tower Farm at Floyds Knobs, in Floyd County, Indiana.[not verified in body] WKMJ and WKPC are the only KET-owned stations whose transmitters are outside Kentucky's borders.[not verified in body]


As KET's original Louisville station

When Kentucky Educational Television began broadcasting in 1968, it was built to provide the widest statewide coverage with the fewest transmitters possible.[3] Network officials expected that the transmitters in Elizabethtown (WKZT-TV, channel 23) and Owenton (WKON-TV, channel 54) would provide sufficient service in the Louisville area. Reception, however, was poorer than expected, prompting KET in March 1969 to announce plans to file for UHF channel 68 and strike a deal with NBC affiliate WAVE-TV for a new tower, which would also house a stronger WKPC-TV.[3] The station, with the callsign WKMJ (the -TV suffix was added in 1983), began test broadcasts on August 17, 1970,[4] and full service began two weeks later.[5] Channel 68 originally went off the air when the rest of the stations of KET was airing the same programming as WKPC-TV.[4] Duplication remained low, and at the end of 1982, an agreement was reached for WKPC-TV to be the primary PBS outlet in Louisville.[6]

However, after this arrangement, duplication returned. In 1995, after WKPC-TV experienced a series of financial reversals caused by for-profit ventures intended to bolster station income,[7] talks about intending to merge the two stations began, with channel 15—with its stronger signal—becoming the primary KET station.[8] An agreement was reached in December 1996,[9] by which KET acquired certain technical assets, including the land to the Floyds Knobs tower it still shared with WKPC-TV, and the license.[10]

The launch of KET2

On July 1, 1997, KET's main programming moved to WKPC-TV. WKMJ-TV simultaneously suspended operations for a transmitter overhaul;[11] it returned a month later at increased power, carrying a new service called KET2, which initially featured additional children's programs, adult education programming and local productions.[12] Outside of Louisville, KET2 was seen on cable systems statewide;[10] it also replaced the cable-only KET Etc. service in Lexington, an earlier attempt in launching a second programming service.[13]

Digital subchannel history

In 2009, WKMJ-DT2 began broadcasting the Kentucky Channel, simulcasting the DT3 subchannel of KET's other stations.[citation needed] At the same time, KET ED, the Education Channel became available on WKMJ-DT3 on a 24-hour-a-day basis; this ended in September 2009, when WKMJ-DT3 went silent for four years following that linear service's discontinuation.[citation needed] In 2013, WKMJ-DT3 began broadcasting the World network by American Public Television (APT).[citation needed] As the only KET station broadcasting that network, Louisville was the only major market in Kentucky to receive that channel until 2023, when the network began offering it on WCVN-TV's ATSC 3.0 signal in Covington.[citation needed] In late 2020, WKMJ-TV's main channel was upgraded to 720p HD, with KETKY on 68.2 upgraded to widescreen standard definition. This upgrade also took place on the DT2 and DT3 feeds of all other KET satellites.


Main articles: List of programs broadcast by Kentucky Educational Television and Kentucky Educational Television § Programming

As the second service of KET, WKMJ-TV broadcasts the national PBS schedule from the PBS Satellite Service along with additional syndicated programs from American Public Television (including how-to programs, documentaries, and imported comedy and drama series), Kentucky-focused public affairs programs, and some local programming focusing on the Louisville area. As of 2023, WKMJ-TV does not air children's programming broadcast by PBS or through independent distributors; this is despite that FCC Children's Television Act regulations (which require television stations to air a minimum of three hours of educational children's programming per week) apply to WKMJ, as it transmits the KET2 schedule locally. (While KET2 is simulcast on the DT2 subchannel of KET's other stations, exemptions to Children's Television Act enforcement—as implemented in January 2020—only apply to services transmitted exclusively through subchannels.)[14]


See also: Kentucky Educational Television § Stations

This section may contain material not related to the topic of the article and should be moved to Kentucky Educational Television instead. Please help improve this section or discuss this issue on the talk page. (November 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

KET2 was originally available exclusively in the Louisville market over-the-air upon its launch in 1997; some cable systems elsewhere in Kentucky, including systems in Lexington, began to carry the service. The over-the-air statewide relaunch of KET2, via the digital television signals of all KET stations broadcasting the statewide feed, occurred in 2002 by making it available through a second digital subchannel. The 15 principal KET satellites and 3 accompanying digital low-powered translators presently provide KET2 on their respective DT2 subchannels.[15]

Currently, KET2's cable carriage covers roughly 62% of all subscribers in the state. This includes most Charter Spectrum systems, including all of the state's major cities and several rural areas. It is also available on DirecTV and Dish Network satellite television in the Louisville market.[16][17] KET2 is also available on cable in Louisville's southern Indiana suburbs.[17]

Digital television


WKMJ-TV began broadcasting its digital television companion signal, WKMJ-DT, in 2003, making it the last television station in the KET system to do so.[18]

Analog-to-digital conversion

Main article: Kentucky Educational Television § Subchannels

On April 16, 2009, WKMJ-TV shut down its analog signal on UHF channel 68 in compliance with the federally-mandated digital television transition. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 38. Digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as 68, its former UHF analog channel, which was one of the upper-band UHF channels (52–69) that was discontinued for broadcast television use with that transition.[19][20][21]

Spectrum incentive auction results

In July 2017, WKMJ-TV held a construction permit to move its digital signal to UHF channel 34 as part of the network's participation in the 2016–17 FCC Spectrum incentive auction. WKMJ's digital signal was reallocated to its new position in October 2019.[22][23][needs update]

ATSC 3.0

On September 19, 2022, at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the signal of WKMJ was upgraded to become the first ATSC 3.0 station in the KET system, and the second ATSC 3.0 station in the Louisville market after WBKI.[1]

WKMJ digital channels

WKMJ is the only KET-network station whose subchannels are not configured the same way as the other satellites. The station's signal is multiplexed in this manner:

Subchannels of WKMJ-TV[24][1]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
68.1 720p 16:9 KET2 Main WKMJ-TV programming / PBS ("KET2")
68.2 KET KET
68.3 480i KETKY Kentucky Channel
68.5 KETWRLD World

See also


  1. ^ a b c "NextGen TV". KET. Archived from the original on July 28, 2023. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WKMJ-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ a b Doussard, James (March 30, 1969). "Louisville to Get New Educational Television Station". Courier-Journal. pp. A1, A28. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Doussard, James (August 17, 1970). "Channel 68 Begins Air Tests Today". Courier-Journal. p. B2. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  5. ^ "WKMJ-TV" (PDF). Broadcasting Yearbook. 1974. p. A-24. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  6. ^ Dorsey, Tom (December 31, 1982). "Changing their image: Channels 15, 68 agree to end duplicate programs". Courier-Journal. p. C5. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  7. ^ Voskuhl, John (September 28, 1996). "How Channel 15's grand plans went bust". Courier-Journal. pp. A1, A7. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  8. ^ Dorsey, Tom (August 25, 1996). "KET, WKPC move toward merger". Courier-Journal. p. A1. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  9. ^ Dorsey, Tom (December 12, 1996). "KET will run PBS station in Louisville". Courier-Journal. pp. A1, A7. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  10. ^ a b Fox, Virginia G. (August 2, 1997). "A new day for public TV". Courier-Journal. p. A7. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  11. ^ Dorsey, Tom (June 11, 1997). "Public-TV station WKPC becomes history July 1". Courier-Journal. p. D1, D2. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  12. ^ Dorsey, Tom (July 31, 1997). "KET2, too". Courier-Journal. p. C1. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  13. ^ Svokos, Heather (July 29, 1997). "KET rechannels part of lineup: Cable offspring will have younger, more urban flavor". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. p. Today 3. Archived from the original on December 11, 2022. Retrieved December 11, 2022 – via
  14. ^ "KET Channels : KET3". Kentucky Educational Television. Archived from the original on September 28, 2006. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  15. ^ "query on Kentucky Authority for Educational Television". 2011-08-26. Archived from the original on 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  16. ^ "KET Cable and Satellite Company Channel Listings" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-05. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  17. ^ a b "KET - Cable and Satellite Company Channel Listings". Kentucky Educational Television. Archived from the original November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  18. ^ "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada". Broadcasting Yearbook 2003-2004. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 2004. p. B-38. [1]
  19. ^ "Calls come after KET, WKYT digital TV transition". Lexington Herald-Leader. April 17, 2009. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  20. ^ "The Digital Transition: The Malcolm (Mac) Wall Years". KET. Kentucky Educational Television. Archived from the original on 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  21. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). 2012-03-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  22. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". RabbitEars.Info. 2011-08-26. Archived from the original on 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  23. ^ FCC. "Post Incentive Auction Television Data Files". Archived from the original on 2018-02-09. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  24. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WKMJ".