WEFS

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WEFS
Cocoa/ Orlando, Florida
United States
CityCocoa, Florida
BrandingWEFS-TV
Channels Digital: 30 ( UHF)
Virtual: 68 ( PSIP)
Affiliations68.1: Educational Ind.
68.2: Classic Arts Showcase
68.3: NASA Educational Channel
68.4: Florida Channel
Owner Eastern Florida State College
First air dateJune 18, 1987; 32 years ago (1987-06-18)
Call sign meaningEastern
Florida
State College
Former call signsWRES (1987–1991)
WBCC (1991–2013)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
18 (UHF, 1987–1991)
68 (UHF, 1991–2008)
Former affiliations PBS (2002–2012)
Transmitter power300 kW
Height491 m (1,611 ft)
Class NCE DT
Facility ID6744
Transmitter coordinates 28°36′35″N 81°3′35″W / 28.60972°N 81.05972°W / 28.60972; -81.05972
Latitude and Longitude:

28°36′35″N 81°3′35″W / 28.60972°N 81.05972°W / 28.60972; -81.05972
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information Profile
CDBS
Website WEFS

WEFS, virtual channel 68 ( UHF digital channel 30), is a educational independent television station serving Orlando, Florida, United States that is licensed to Cocoa. The station is owned by Eastern Florida State College (formerly Brevard Community College). WEFS' studios are located at the EFSC campus in Cocoa, and its transmitter is located near Bithlo, Florida.

History

Early years

WEFS began on June 18, 1987 as WRES on channel 18. The station's original slogan was "WRES, Your Educational Resource;" the call letters were derived from the word "resource." It was originally an educational independent station. In 1991, the station changed its call letters to WBCC and swapped channel positions with commercial WKCF, moving to channel 68.

PBS membership and digital conversion

On January 1, 2002, the station became a secondary Public Broadcasting Service ( PBS) member station, showing some limited programming from the network. By that April, renovations began to accommodate WBCC-DT channel 30, which took to the air on November 4, 2003. [1]

Partnerships with University of Central Florida, Brevard Public Schools, Florida Knowledge Network and The Florida Channel filled out the channel lineup.

Carriage of WUCF-TV

Prior to July 2011, WMFE-TV had been the flagship PBS station for central Florida. In fall 2010, WMFE's owner, Community Communications, announced that it had been forced to furlough several employees due to financial difficulties. [2] [3] On April 1, 2011, WMFE announced that it would sell channel 24 and leave PBS due to these financial difficulties and "critical uncertainties in federal and state funding". [4]

When news spread of the sale, a campaign was undertaken by local residents and students at UCF to try to keep an active PBS station in the Orlando market. [5] [6] On May 26, 2011, the UCF Board of Trustees approved a partnership with BCC to create WUCF-TV, the new primary PBS station for Central Florida. The new station would lease WBCC's primary digital channel, and operate from WBCC's facilities. However, WBCC would retain its license and call letters. [7] On June 2, PBS approved the creation of WUCF and announced that it would become Central Florida's primary PBS channel. [8] The station served as the Orlando market's only PBS station, as WDSC-TV in Daytona Beach left PBS on July 1, concurrent with WMFE's departure from PBS and the launch of WUCF. [9]

Resuming independence

WBCC's last logo before becoming WEFS

On June 21, 2012, Community Communications announced that it would sell all of WMFE-TV's assets, except the studio facilities, to UCF. However, UCF will rent the studios from Community on an as-needed basis. [10]

The purchase of WMFE's license by UCF and the subsequent approval of WUCF-TV's license by the FCC on August 15, 2012 led to the creation of WUCF as a separate entity. UCF dissolved its partnership with BCC on November 15, 2012, moving all operations of WUCF-TV to the stronger channel 24. At the same time, WBCC ended its PBS membership and is once again an educational independent station. [11]

In July 2013, Brevard Community College changed its name to Eastern Florida State College in order to advertise the offering of new four-year degrees. As a result, on July 1, WBCC changed its call letters to WEFS. [12] [13]

Programming

WEFS-HD airs a mix of public and independent programming. WEFS-CL currently airs Classic Arts Showcase. WEFS-NS airs NASA TV's educational channel. WEFS-FL airs The Florida Channel.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming [14]
68.1 1080i 16:9 WEFS-HD Main WEFS programming
68.2 480i 4:3 WEFS-CL Classic Arts Showcase
68.3 WEFS-NS NASA Educational Channel
68.4 WEFS-FL The Florida Channel

Analog-to-digital conversion

WEFS (as WBCC) shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 68, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed forward to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 30. [15] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 68, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.

References

  1. ^ "History". Know WBCC-TV. WBCC-TV. 2003. Retrieved May 23, 2006.
  2. ^ "WMFE avoids layoffs, asks employees to go on two-week furloughs". Orlando Sentinel. October 5, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "WMFE fund-raising: Radio is terrific, but television is off". Orlando Sentinel. September 21, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  4. ^ "WMFE sale: Dallas religious broadcaster is the buyer". Orlando Sentinel. April 2, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  5. ^ "Two UCF students fight WMFE's sale of Channel 24". Orlando Sentinel. May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "Board to vote on future of PBS". Central Florida Future. May 25, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  7. ^ "PBS to play on WUCF in Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. May 26, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  8. ^ "WUCF-TV will be Central Florida's PBS station". Orlando Sentinel. June 2, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  9. ^ Bodeker, Hal (June 17, 2011). "PBS: Daytona Beach station will stop PBS lineup July 1". The Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 19, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  10. ^ Boedecker, Hal (June 21, 2012). "WMFE to sell Channel 24 license, equipment to UCF". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Ryan, Mackenzie (November 1, 2012). "WBCC TV to resume role as independent public station". Florida Today. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  12. ^ WBCC Official Site
  13. ^ "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  14. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WEFS
  15. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2012.

External links