Radio-TV Broadcast History
Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
SloganTelevision Unlimited
Channels Analog: 13 (VHF)

Digital: 14 (UHF)

TranslatorsK44GS ch.44 (UHF), Wichita Falls
Owner North Texas Public Broadcasting, Inc.
First air dateSeptember 1960[1]
Call letters’ meaningNew ERA in broadcasting
Sister station(s)KERA (FM)
Former affiliationsNET (1960-1970)
Transmitter Power316 kW (analog)
475 kW (digital)
Height520.5 m (analog)
500 m (digital)
Facility ID49324
Transmitter Coordinates[ 32_34_43.5_N_96_57_13_W_type:landmark_scale:2000 32°34′43.5″N, 96°57′13″W]

KERA-TV channel 13 is the Public Broadcasting Service member station in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Licensed to Dallas, it broadcasts from a transmitter located in Cedar Hill. However, it also serves as the default PBS station for the Abilene, San Angelo, Tyler/Longview/Lufkin/Nacogdoches and Sherman/Ada markets; none of these markets have PBS stations of their own. It is also available on cable in Waco and Texarkana. The station's programming can also be seen on K44GS in Wichita Falls; this repeater provides PBS programming to the Texas side of the Wichita Falls/Lawton market.

[1] Since 2003, it has also broadcast a digital signal on channel 14.

The station's call letters, which are said to represent a "new era in broadcasting," are shared with Dallas National Public Radio affiliate KERA-FM; both are owned by North Texas Public Broadcasting Inc. While there is cross-promotion between stations, each operates its own pledge drives.

KERA contributes original programming to the nationwide PBS system, including documentaries such as JFK: Breaking the News and the national Emmy Award-nominated Matisse and Picasso.

In 1974, KERA became the first American television station to air Monty Python's Flying Circus.

KERA's early operation benefitted frequently from help from the local commercial broadcasters. The physical plant at 3000 Harry Hines Boulevard had been built for KBTV channel eight in 1949. KBTV was acquired by the Belo/Dealey/Dallas Morning News/WFAA interests in 1950 and channel 8 was renamed WFAA-TV. It maintained studios at this site from 1950 to 1960 when it moved to a new site next to the Dallas Morning News. They used the tower until the mid fifties when "Hill Tower Corporation" (half owned by Dallas Morning News, half owned by Dallas Times Herald channel 4 (then KRLD-TV now KDFW) built a 1,521 foot tower at Cedar Hill, Texas.

KERA-TV signed on in 1960 using the old WFAA-TV tower, and antenna and transmitter (modified to move from channel 8 to channel 13). KERA-TV used the tower until 1970 when they moved in with KTVT at Cedar Hill.

Station Presentation[]

Station Slogans[]

  • TV Worth Watching, TV Worth Paying For (1987-2000)
  • Television Unlimited (2000-present)

Digital Television[]

Analog Channel Digital Channel Programming
13 14.1 KERA / PBS HD

On or before February 17, 2009, KERA will stop transmitting on channel 13 and continue broadcasting on digital channel 14 to complete the analog to digital conversion.[2] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers could display KERA-TV's virtual channel as "13.1" unless station management decides to tell the truth about what channel KERA actually uses.

Wichita Falls[]

Prior to the opening of KERA's Wichita Falls translator, it had a unique arrangement to get its programming aired in one of the few areas of Texas (and the country) without its own PBS station. A group headed by longtime State Representative Ray Farabee signed on KIDZ-TV, channel 24, in 1973. In those pre-cable days the goals were simple; get Sesame Street on the air in Wichita Falls. The local group had planned to apply for and build a translator. In those days, translators were only allowed to use signals picked up off the air, and KERA's signal was marginal at best in that part of North Texas.

The station shared tower space with KAUZ-TV in Wichita Falls. It rebroadcast KERA-TV during all of the hours KAUZ was on the air, roughly between 6 am and midnight. This meant that some weekend specials were cut off early when the KAUZ engineers (who tended ch 24 as a public service) went home.

By the late 70s, rules changed to allow the microwave feed to be used to feed the translator class of station. KERA was thus able to build its own translator in Wichita Falls, also on channel 24, as K24AA. The translator provided a better picture, and could operate during all the hours KERA was on the air. It has since been moved to channel 44, K44GS.

See also[]

  • KERA (FM)
  • KDTN, former sister station

External links[]

BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KERA-TV


  1. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says September 14, while the Television and Cable Factbook says September 11.

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