|St. Louis, Missouri|
|Branding||The Nine Network|
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||PBS (since 1970)|
|Owner||St. Louis Regional Public Media, Inc.|
|First air date||September 20, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||St. Louis
(former name for St. Louis Regional Public Media)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
9 (VHF, 1954-2009)
|Former affiliations||NET (1954-1970)|
|Transmitter power||124.6 kW|
KETC is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member Public television station in St. Louis, Missouri. Owned by St. Louis Regional Public Media, the call letters KETC represent the St. Louis Educational Television Comission, the former name of the organization responsible for bringing public television to St. Louis.
The station broadcasts in stereo and broadcasts a secondary audio program (SAP) channel, used for descriptive video service (DVS). The station's digital signal operates on UHF channel 39, using the station's former analog VHF channel 9 as its virtual channel via PSIP.
Some of the programs produced by KETC for nationwide consumption include Inside/Out and The Letter People, instructional program about reading, which was seen on many PBS and educational television stations in mid-1970s, A Time for Champions an hour long documentary chronicling the St. Louis University soccer dynasty of the 1960s and 1970s, and Homeland and upcoming limited series examining the topic of immigration in the United States.
KETC began broadcasting on September 20, 1954. Its first general manager was the well-known Shelby Storck, who also emceed the station's first evening of broadcasting. It was the first community-licensed educational station in the United States. It originally broadcast from the Baer Memorial Building on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, the first facility specifically built for educational television. In 1998, it moved to the Dana Brown Communications Center in the Grand Center district.
During the 2004 elections, KETC partnered with area NBC affiliate KSDK, to provide St. Louisans with the comprehensive and up-to-date local and national election results. This partnership was first utilized to simulcast a gubernatorial debate between Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt (Republican) and State Auditor Claire McCaskill (Democrat). On election night, KSDK aired NBC's primetime election coverage with Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert as well as segments of local results. Meanwhile, KETC ran three hours of local election results hosted by KSDK anchors Mike Bush and Karen Foss. Viewers could also watch election results online on the stations' websites.
The successful KETC/KSDK partnership was used again in September 2005 when, along with radio partners KYKY (y98, 98.1FM) and KEZK (Soft Rock, 102.5FM), a telethon for Hurricane Katrina relief was simulcast that raised more than $5 million. The telethon featured an appearance by John Goodman, a native of Affton, Missouri who now calls New Orleans home and whose family was actually missing for a time during the storm's peak. Sheryl Crow, a native of Kennett, Missouri, and her then fiancé Lance Armstrong urged viewers to call when they were interviewed by phone from the region.
After being known for most of its history as "KETC 9," the station rebranded itself as "The Nine Network" in 2010.
KETC has acquired a certain infamy among viewers in St. Louis for preempting a large number of PBS programs to air library shows or less controversial programs, such as WQED's doo-wop specials, on a regular basis, preferring to air the network shows at late hours. However, KETC has been known to cave in to pressure regarding this: when St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Eric Mink wrote an editorial complaining about the station's scheduling a Stars on Ice show instead of a PBS September 11, 2001 documentary, KETC announced the next day that it would change and air the scheduled network program.
In May 2008, the E! cable network contracted with KETC to film two episodes of weekly pop culture series The Soup at its studios to accommodate host Joel McHale's filming of The Informant! in the St. Louis area .
The station has recently been partnered with the St. Louis Beacon, an online-only, non-profit news publication, to form the Public Insight Network, a citizen journalism initiative created in conjunction with American Public Media. As of October 13, 2010
|9.1||720p||16:9||KETC HD||Main KETC programming / Nine PBS|
- Official website
- Nine Kids & Family
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KETC
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KETC-TV