|Mount Vernon, Illinois/St. Louis, Missouri|
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)1
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
13.2 Retro TV
|Translators||KUMO-LD 51 St. Louis (Daystar only)|
|Affiliations||Daystar Television Network (2004-2005, 2008-present)|
|Owner||Daystar Television Network
|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)||Analog:
|Former affiliations||Retro Television Network (2008-2010)
Pax TV/i/ ion Television (1998-2004, 2005-2008)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
WPXS is the owned and operated Daystar Television Network for St. Louis, Missouri; broadcasting a digital signal on UHF channel 21, which redirects to former analog channel 13 via PSIP. WPXS is licensed to Mount Vernon, Illinois, which is located in the Paducah, Kentucky/Cape Girardeau, Missouri/Harrisburg, Illinois television market. However, it targets the St. Louis market. In fact, its transmitter is located near St. Rose, Illinois, which is in the St. Louis market.
Channel 13 started operating in March 13, 1983 as WCEE, identified on air as "C-13". It was the second independent station in the vast Paducah/Cape Girardeau/Harrisburg market, following WDXR-TV which broadcast from 1971 until ceasing operation in 1981 and donating the broadcast license to the Kentucky Educational Television network. WCEE was a typical independent station airing a mix of syndicated programs, movies, and reruns. It also piped in WGN-TV's broadcasts of Chicago Bulls NBA Basketball games during the winter months and Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball games during the summer months. WCEE was also unusual for a small-market television station because it produced a 30-minute newscast on weekdays, and also carried PM Magazine.2
In 1998, it was sold to Paxson Communications, forerunner of ION Media Networks, and changed its calls to the current WPXS. At the same time, it opened a repeater in St. Louis, KUMO-LP, on channel 51. When Paxson's new network, Pax TV debuted that fall, WPXS/KUMO served as that network's station for both the Paducah/Cape Girardeau/Harrisburg and St. Louis markets. WPXS' transmitter 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. Other than a brief peoriod during 2004 and 2005 when the station aired programming from Daystar, WPXS aired programming from Pax and its successors, i and Ion Television, from August 1998 until 2008, when it changed affiliation to Retro Television Network (RTN, later RTV), a network owned at the time by Equity Broadcasting, which would buy the station from Paxson in 2005.
By this time, the bulk of the station's audience was located in St. Louis. With this in mind, WPXS opted to build its digital transmitter in St. Rose, in the St. Louis market. WPXS officially went all-digital on April 30, 2009. It now covers all of the St. Louis area east of the I-270 loop, including Belleville, Edwardsville, and Alton, Illinois. Areas that lost WPXS coverage as a result of the digital transition include all of Effingham, Clay, and Wayne counties and large portions of Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Jasper, Richland and Shelby counties in Illinois with nearly 93,000 viewers losing service. Although WPXS' new transmitter makes KUMO-LP redundant on the Illinois side of the St. Louis market, the new 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.
As of August 12, 2010, WPXS switched its affiliation from RTV to Daystar. With that move, DirecTV pulled WPXS from its St. Louis locals line-up on September 11, 2010, as WPXS is now a straight simulcast of the Daystar national feed. On Dish Network, the program guide lists Daystar programming but RTV is still being shown.
KUMO-LD flash-cut to digital in June 2011, without an RTV subchannel.
- FCC Decision on WCEE must-carry in the St. Louis area
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WPXS
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WPXS-TV