call_letters = WGTV
city =
station_slogan = Bringing You the Best
station_branding = GPB
analog = 8 (VHF)
digital = 12 (VHF)
other_chs =
affiliations = PBS
network =
founded =
airdate = May 23, 1960
location = Athens / Atlanta, Georgia
callsign_meaning = Georgia TeleVision
former_callsigns =
former_channel_numbers =
owner = Georgia Public Broadcasting
licensee = Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission
sister_stations =
former_affiliations = NET (1960-1970)
effective_radiated_power = 316 kW (analog)
16 kW (digital)
HAAT = 326 m (analog)
304 m (digital)
class =
facility_id = 23948
coordinates = coord|33|48|18.7|N|84|8|39.4|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.gpb.org/ www.gpb.org]

WGTV (channel 8, DTV 12) is the metro Atlanta station and flagship for Georgia Public Broadcasting (formerly Georgia Public Television), Georgia's PBS network.

The station transmits from the top of Stone Mountain in state-owned Stone Mountain Park, located just east of Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The city of license remains as Athens, Georgia. It is considered the flagship station of GPB TV, and is the primary ("parent") station for one (originally two) LPTV broadcast translator, in the north Georgia mountains. Eight other full-power stations also simulcast the network across the state, originally relayed via microwave radio towers and now via communications satellite.

WGTV's analog TV signal is the strongest of the GPB TV network, covering most of the northern part of Georgia, extending in about a 75-mile (120 km) radius from the transmitter site. WGTV's digital/HDTV facility started broadcasting on December 20, 2007 on channel 12. However, it is at very low power, unable to be received through much (if not most) of metro Atlanta. It will move from on channel 12 to full power on channel 8 after the analog shutdown in 2009. This selection, made without conflict in the first-round digital channel election, is most likely due to WDEF-TV 12 (analog) in Chattanooga, which will permanently stay digital on channel 47. WGTV was originally assigned channel 22 for DTV operations, but requested the allotment change to channel 12 by the FCC, also allowing a change to 22 (from 59) by WSKC-CA.


In 1960, WGTV channel 8 signed on the air on May 23, licensed to the University of Georgia and operating out of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The station's VHF allocation was originally occupied by WSB-TV, which at that time was owned by the "Atlanta Journal". The "Journal"'s competitor in Atlanta, the "Atlanta Constitution", had applied for and received from the FCC a construction permit for channel 2, which was to be called WCON-TV. When the "Journal" and "Constitution" merged, media ownership rules of the day did not permit one entity to own two television stations in the same market. Plans for WCON-TV were scrapped, WSB-TV moved to channel 2 from channel 8 in 1951. The ABC-TV affiliate WLTV broadcast on Channel 8 from 1951 to 1953, when the station moved to channel 11 (now WXIA-TV) to avoid radio interference with newly-launched WROM-TV Rome, operating on adjacent channel 9.

In 1953, channel 8 was given to the University for an educational television station, which did not begin broadcasting until 1960. In 1982, ownership of the license was transferred from the University of Georgia to the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission, the oversight board for GPTV (now GPB TV).


Programming on WGTV TV 8 and WPBA TV 30, both PBS affiliates, is basically the same, with some important differences. Programs shown in prime time on one station, such as "Live from Lincoln Center", will often be shunted on the other station to Sunday afternoons, which in some quarters is considered "viewing limbo", since many people are either at church, at sporting events, or at the movies. Sometimes a program carried by WPBA will not be shown at all by WGTV. Very often, WGTV has its own local programs, such as "Georgia Outdoors".WPBA is owned by the Atlanta Public School System, and is only seen in metro Atlanta. Prior to 2001, both stations went off the air at midnight; WPBA still goes off the air on Sunday nights. WGTV used to sign off with Ray Charles's version of "Georgia On My Mind" which is the state's official song, while showing scenes from the north Georgia mountains to the Georgia coast.

Broadcast translators

Both broadcast translators are or were located near the state's border with South Carolina, in areas where coverage from a full-powered GPB transmitter is insufficient, due to the distance from the main transmitters and the hilly or mountainous terrain in northeast Georgia.

*W68AF Toccoa, which has applied for digital on 10 and has a construction permit on 8
*W52AA Carnesville, applied for digital on 12, dismissed October 2006, cancelled August 2007

Three (originally several) other translators are assigned to other GPB TV stations WNGH-TV (two) and WJSP-TV (one), though all stations simulcast.

Digital television (over the air)

The station's over the air digital channel is multiplexed:

In 2009, WGTV will shut down analog operations on channel 8 and commence broadcasting digital TV on channel 8 (operation on physical RF channel 12 will cease at the same time) when the analog to digital TV conversion is complete.http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf]


External links

* [http://www.gpb.org/public/tv/ GPB Website]

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