Kentucky Educational Television

Kentucky Educational Television

call_letters = Kentucky Educational Television
city =
station_slogan = The Kentucky Network
station_branding = KET
analog = see table below
digital = see table below
other_chs =
affiliations = PBS
network =
founded =
airdate = September 23, 1968
location = statewide Kentucky
callsign_meaning = see table below
former_callsigns =
former_channel_numbers =
owner = Kentucky Authority for Educational Television
licensee =
sister_stations =
former_affiliations = NET (1968-1970)
effective_radiated_power = see table below
HAAT = see table below
class =
facility_id = see table below
coordinates = see table below
homepage = []
The Kentucky Educational Television network a.k.a. "KET, The Kentucky Network" is Kentucky's statewide public television network. It delivers the PBS national schedule plus a wide range of local programming, basic skills and workplace education, and college credit courses.The network, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky is operated by the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television. It is the largest PBS network in the nation, operating all of the PBS affiliates licensed to Kentucky with the sole exception of WKYU-TV channel 24 in Bowling Green. Its main headquarters and studios are located adjacent to the University of Kentucky campus, although it has no direct affiliation with the school.


KET was the brainchild of O. Leonard Press, a public relations employee at the University of Kentucky. In the mid-1950s, he taped a popular anthropology course, and the response was enough for him and two of his colleagues to consider founding an educational television station at UK. When they couldn't get the money, they decided to try for a statewide educational television network.

The idea gained little momentum until 1959, when Press addressed the local Rotary Club in the state capital, Frankfort, and a story about it appeared in the "Louisville Courier-Journal". After landing support from UK officials, what was supposed to be a short meeting with Governor Bert T. Combs turned into a proposal to start the network. The Kentucky Authority for Educational Television was created in 1962, with Press as executive director (a position he held until 1991). However, the project made little progress until 1965, when a donation from Ashland Oil founder Paul Blazer allowed the authority to acquire its first 13 transmitters. KET finally took to the air on September 23, 1968. Later, its acquisition of Louisville PBS station WKPC-TV allowed it to start a second service on the Louisville station it already owned.


KET's television service consists of six channels plus a high definition broadcast service in Louisville. Its original service, KET1, is its largest, consisting of 16 transmitters and 3 translators covering all of Kentucky and portions of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.

*1. WKGB-TV used the callsign WKGB (without the -TV suffix) from its 1968 sign-on to 1988.
*2. WCVN-TV used the callsign WCVN (without the -TV suffix) from its 1969 sign-on to 1983.
*3. The "Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook" says WCVN signed on September 9, while the "Television and Cable Factbook" says it signed on September 8.
*4. WKZT-TV used the callsign WKZT (without the -TV suffix) from its 1968 sign-on to 1983.
*5. WKPC-TV was intependently owned and operated from its 1958 sign-on right up to the time it was acquired by KET in 1998. It used the callsign WFPK-TV from its 1958 sign-on to 1969. It was an affiliate of NET from its 1958 sign-on until 1970.
*6. The "Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook" says WKPC (then WFPK) signed on September 5, while the "Television and Cable Factbook" says it signed on September 8.
*7. WKMA-TV used the callsign WKMA (without the -TV suffix) from its 1968 sign-on to 1983.
*8. WKPD was a commercial independent station, using the callsign WDXR-TV, from its 1971 sign-on to 1981.
*9. WKPI-TV used the callsign WKPI (without the -TV suffix) from its 1968 sign-on to 1983.
*10. WKSO-TV used the callsign WKSO (without the -TV suffix) from its 1968 sign-on to 1989.

KET2 based on KET's original Louisville station, WKMJ channel 68 airs the national PBS schedule, local programming including shows focused on the Louisville area, children's shows, how-to series, documentaries and public affairs programs. Outside of Louisville, KET2 can be seen on several cable systems across Kentucky, as well as on KET's digital signals.

*11. WKMJ-TV used the callsign WKMJ (without the -TV suffix) from its 1970 sign-on until 1983.
*12. The "Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook" says WKMJ signed on August 31, while the "Television and Cable Factbook" says it signed on September 2. Coming soon, WKMJ-TV 68 is moving to Corbin.

KET KY (formerly KET3), which is available on digital, formerly broadcast all of the network's educational programming. Beginning in January 2008, however, KET3 became KET KY, "The Kentucky Channel," broadcasting programs by, about and for Kentuckians 20 hours each day. KET KY also broadcasts coverage of the Kentucky General Assembly while it is in session, combining the services previously offered on KET5 and KET6. From 8:00 to midnight Eastern time, KET KY broadcasts as KET HD, showing high-definition programming from PBS and other public television sources.

KET ED (formerly KET4), offered KET's digital service in prime time and the Annenberg Channel at other times and was available on digital. In Louisville, this service was also available around-the-clock on WKMJ's digital signal, but has since been discontinued, due to PBS's increase of fees for the usage of the national PBSHD channel. Instead, KET reinvested the money for new digital equipment, plus the ability to present local and delayed programming in high-definition. This increase of PBSHD fees has also led to KET scheduling HD programming themselves, rather than merely picking up the national feed. [] Today, KET ED has combined the educational programming from ITV, Annenberg and KET's own professional development series and PBS' educational content, all of which was previously seen on either KET3 or KET4.

KET5 and KET6 featured live coverage of the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate respectively, while the state General Assembly was in session. These channels were eliminated in January 2008 when KET realigned its digital programming (see KET KY and KET ED above).

KET was affiliated with NET when the network was first established on September 23, 1968.


Louisville's WKPC and WKMJ are the only KET stations to have their transmitters outside of Kentucky -- their transmitters are located at the Tower Farm in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, just north of New Albany. Because of its location and signal strength (according to FCC data), WKPC and WKMJ cover more of Indiana than Kentucky. (Similarly, Covington's WCVN covers more of Ohio than Kentucky, although its transmitter is located in Kentucky.)

WCVN also serves Cincinnati, while WKOH also serves Evansville, Indiana.

Distance Learning

KET, among its many educational programs, runs a Distance Learning program. The program has course offerings for Latin, Humanities, Physics and German language. The program offers leveled courses ranging from introductory to advanced placement classes. The program is offered primarily for high school students in Kentucky, for whom it is offered tuition free. However, out-of-state schools may enroll students in the course for a small tuition fee.

The aim of the program is to provide a full course in the aforementioned subjects for schools who do not offer a particular class. Often schools seek distance learning as a temporary solution in cases of funding cuts which lead to dismissal of teachers or discontinuation of the teaching of certain subjects altogether. The program also is popular with parents of homeschooled children.

The program was established in 1989 primarily for high school students in Kentucky. The direct-to-school model became possible after a substantial expansion of the network's headquarters (now dubbed "The O. Leonard Press Telecommunications Center") and legislative funding to provide a satellite receiver for every school and public library in the state. The course was originally administered and taught via live satellite broadcasts directly into classrooms with two-way keypads for real-time student-teacher interaction. Homework, tests, quizzes, etc. were distributed by modem and mail.

Since the mid nineties, KET's Distance Learning program has migrated from broadcast lessons to instruction via KET's website and multimedia lessons on tape, CD, and DVD.

External links

* [ KET official Web site]
* [ KET Distance Learning official site]

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