KPBS, virtual channel 15 (UHF digital channel 30), part of KPBS Public Media, is a PBS member television station located in San Diego, California, United States. The station is owned by San Diego State University. KPBS maintains studio facilities located on the SDSU campus on Campanile Drive in San Diego, and its transmitter is located on San Miguel Mountain in southwestern San Diego County.
On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications (in standard definition), Spectrum Cable and AT&T U-verse channel 11 and Cablemás channel 146 and in high-definition on Cox on digital channel 1011 and Spectrum Cable digital channel 711, AT&T U-verse channel 1011 and Cablemás digital channel 168; likewise the only time KPBS's over-the-air channel 15 placement is mentioned at all is during the rare times it signs on or off. It is one of two PBS member stations that operate as border stations – alongside WPBS-DT in Watertown, New York; in this case, KPBS serves viewers in both the United States and Mexico.
In 1960, San Diego State College (now San Diego State University) applied for a license from the Federal Communications Commission to operate a noncommercial educational television station to serve San Diego. The station first signed on the air on June 25, 1967 as KEBS-TV. The station was originally a member of National Educational Television, before becoming a member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) when it launched on October 6, 1970, at which time the station changed its call letters to KPBS. Despite the calls, which mimic the callsign schemes used by stations owned by ABC, NBC and CBS in New York City and Los Angeles, it is not an owned-and-operated station, as PBS therefore cannot own or operate any of its member stations or regional member networks due to the network's local and non-profit nature; the KPBS callsign reflects the station's affiliation and programming, but not any special status within the PBS network.
On January 1, 2011, when Los Angeles' longtime PBS station KCET dropped its membership with the network, KPBS began to be carried on cable providers in the Bakersfield market, alongside fellow PBS stations KVCR-DT in San Bernardino and KVPT in Fresno. It is also one of three PBS member stations that serve the Palm Springs market, alongside KVCR-DT and KOCE-TV in Huntington Beach (which succeeded KCET as Los Angeles' primary PBS member station). As with most other PBS members, KPBS carries nationally distributed programs from PBS, American Public Television, and other distributors.
KPBS started broadcasting digital television on 21 November 2001. The initial lineup consisted of two multiplexed channels: the main high definition channel in 720p and the standard definition channel in 480i.
KPBS shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 15, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 30. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 15.
From 2007 through the end of 2016 the station had two multiplexed channels:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming||Data Rate|
|15.1||1080i||16:9||KPBS-HD||Main KPBS programming / PBS||15.6 Mbit/s|
|15.2||480i||4:3||V-Me||Spanish-language multicast||2 Mbit/s|
In January 2017 the Spanish-language TV channel Vme ended its multicast service for public television, transitioning to commercial cable. KPBS, along with many other PBS affiliates, replaced Vme with PBS Kids multicast channel. KPBS also has added two more multiplexed channels: KPBS2 and Create. John Decker, director of programming at KPBS in San Diego, explained that multicasts such as PBS Kids, Create, World and locally developed programming "gives public TV an opportunity to increase value and thus loyalty among viewers" as well as "allows KPBS to expand its universe".
To provide adequate quality for the multiplexed channels, KPBS switched from 1080i to 720p for KPBS-DT and KPBS-H2.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming||Data rate|
|15.1||720p||16:9||KPBS-HD||Main KPBS programming / PBS||5.5-6 Mbit/s|
|15.2||KPBS-H2||World / local programming||5-5.5 Mbit/s|
|15.4||Kids||PBS Kids||2.1-2.7 Mbit/s|
Image quality degradation, caused by sharing of available bandwidth over four multiplexed channels, was noticed by viewers.
KPBS broadcasts syndicated PBS, World Channel and BBC news, as well as a local news program.
KPBS produces a nightly half-hour news program on weeknights titled KPBS Evening Edition, a self-contained television newscast that is an extension of the Midday Edition newscast aired by its radio sister. KPBS' news department is editorially independent from the station's management, San Diego State University and corporate underwriters and donors. The station's investigative reports are conducted in collaboration with the nonprofit newsgathering organization Investigative Newsource, which shares a newsroom with KPBS television and radio at the Campinale Drive studios. In addition, the station collaborates on breaking news coverage and shares news video with ABC affiliate KGTV (channel 10).
Current on-air staff
- KPBS Evening Edition
- Dwane Brown - anchor/reporter
- Peggy Pico - host
- Beth Accomando - arts and culture reporter
- Matthew Bowler - education reporter
- Megan Burks - general assignment reporter; also web editor
- Angela Carone - arts and culture reporter
- Joanne Faryon - investigative reporter
- Kenny Goldberg - health reporter
- Christopher Maue - videojournalist
- Nicholas McVicker - videojournalist
- Brad Racino - multimedia investigative reporter
- Katie Schoolov - videojournalist
- Guillermo Sevilla - videojournalist
- Amita Sharma - investigative reporter
- Alison St. John - North County bureau chief
- Claire Trageser - multimedia enterprise reporter
- David Wagner - science and technology reporter
- Joe Yerardi - multimedia investigative reporter; also data specialist
- Local program hosts
- Ken Kramer - host of Ken Kramer's About San Diego
- Tim Mantoani - host of SnapShot
- Dwane Brown - host of KPBS Spectrum
- Jorge Meraz - host of Crossing South
- Mark Sauer - host of KPBS Roundtable; also senior news editor
- Elsa Sevilla - host of San Diego's Historic Places
- Nan Sterman - host of A Growing Passion
- Su-Mei Yu - host of Savor San Diego