WHDT, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 42), is an Escape-affiliated television station serving West Palm Beach, Florida, United States that is licensed to Stuart. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, as part of a duopoly with West Palm Beach-licensed NBC affiliate WPTV-TV (channel 5); Scripps also operates West Palm Beach-licensed Fox affiliate WFLX (channel 29) under a shared services agreement (SSA) with owner Gray Television. The three stations share studios on South Australian Avenue in downtown West Palm Beach (mailing address says Banyan Boulevard, also known as 1st Street); WHDT's transmitter is located in Wellington. Until 2019, the station's programming was simulcast on translator station WHDN-CD, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 26), in Naples, Florida.
The station was founded on May 25, 2000; WHDT became the first digital television station in the United States, following a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the station could provide primary over-the-air service using only a digital signal. On June 1, 2001, the station conducted the first over-the-air broadcast using a progressive high definition format operating at 720p/60 fps, with custom-designed 35 mm frame-transfer cameras.
WHDT established the legal precedent requiring local cable systems to carry the primary programming of all digital television stations in both high definition format and in standard definition analog format. It is the first television station to have its high definition and standard definition feeds carried on cable providers under the FCC's digital "must-carry" rules. The station originally operated as the first broadcast partner of the Deutsche Welle World Television Service. WHDT is one of three stations operated by WHDT World Television Service (DE), a business unit of Marksteiner AG.
The station's two translators, WHDT-CD in Miami (now WLPH-CD) and WHDT-LD in Boston are notable as those stations were the first and second digital translators to be authorized by the FCC. WHDT-CD has a longer history than its full-power cousin. The station was first licensed as W25AL on September 21, 1987. In 1989, it was moved to Coral Springs as W55BO, which functioned as a translator of Miami CBS owned-and-operated station WCIX (channel 6, now WFOR-TV on channel 4). Ownership of the station was transferred to Günter Marksteiner in 1996. The station continued to carry a full schedule of CBS programming until 1997, when it was relocated to North Miami and began digital translator operations for WHDT in December 2001. In January 2014, the call sign was changed to WLPH-CD, and in March, the station was sold to LocusPoint Networks.
In August 2010, WHDT became the first high-definition affiliate of the Retro Television Network. The network's classic television programming was aired up-converted to 16:9 HD format as opposed to being remastered from the original film masters. On October 27, 2011, WHDT announced that it would disaffiliate from RTV and begin carrying programming from WeatherNation TV; it switched to WeatherNation on the weekend of October 29.
On June 15, 2012, WHDT launched The Auto Channel (TACH-TV), a full high-definition broadcast service dedicated to automobile enthusiasts,. WHDT is the first broadcast affiliate of The Auto Channel network.
On July 13, 2015 until December 31, 2015 WHDT carried SonLife Broadcasting Network (SBN), the Christian television network of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.
On April 1, 2016, the station affiliated with Gun TV upon that network's launch the same day. Gun TV ceased operations in January 2017 and was subsequently dropped by the station.
On January 15, 2017, the station added the educational series TED Talks to its nightly lineup.
On December 3, 2018, it was announced that WHDT would be sold to the E. W. Scripps Company for $25 million. The sale was completed on April 4, 2019.
|TV stations in Florida|
|Miami – Fort Lauderdale||Tampa – St. Petersburg||Jacksonville||Orlando – Daytona Beach – Melbourne||Gainesville||West Palm Beach – Fort Pierce||Panama City||Fort Myers – Naples||Pensacola / Mobile|
|WCAY-CD, Key West||WPDS-LD, Largo||WJXT, Jacksonville||WDSC, Daytona Beach||WRUF-LD, Gainesville||WWCI-CD, Vero Beach||WPCT, Panama City Beach||WGPS-LP, Fort Myers||WRBD-LP, Pensacola|
|WURH-CD, Miami||WARP-CD, Tampa||WQXT-CD, St. Augustine||WRDQ, Orlando||WBXG-CA, Gainesville||WHDT, Stuart||WBQP-CD, Pensacola|
|WBEC, Ft. Lauderdale||WTAM-LD, Tampa||WBXJ-CD, Jacksonville||WFEF-LD, Orlando||WYME-CD, Gainesville||WBEC, Boca Raton||WJTC, Pensacola|
|WMOR, Lakeland||W39DF-D, Jacksonville||WRCF-CD, Winter Park||WXOD-LD, Wabasso||WFBD, Destin|
|WZRA-CA, Oldsmar||WEFS, Cocoa||W05DH-D, Jupiter||WPAN, Fort Walton Beach|
|WHDO-CD, Orlando||WAWD, Fort Walton Beach|
|TV stations in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, including Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Pierce|
| WPTV 5 (NBC) |
WFPI-LP 8 (Ind)
WHDT 9 (COURT)
WWCI-CD 10 (Ind)
WPEC 12 (CBS)
WTCE 21 (TBN)
WPBF 25 (ABC)
WFLX 29 (Fox)
WXOD-LD 33 (Buzzr)
WTVX 34 (CW)
WSLF-LD 35 (Daystar)
WXEL 42 (PBS)
WTCN-CA 43 (MNTV)
W47DW-D 47 (Ind)
WWHB-CA 48 (AZA)
WBWP-LD 57 (Ind)
WFGC 61 (CTN)
WBEC 63 (ETV)
WPXP 67 (Ion)