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WPBT, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 18), is a non-commercial educational, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Miami, Florida, United States. It serves as the flagship station of South Florida PBS, which also owns Boynton Beach-licensed fellow PBS member WXEL-TV (channel 42, serving the West Palm Beach market) and Miami-licensed Class A station WURH-CD (channel 13). The three stations share transmitter facilities on Northwest 199th Street in Andover; WPBT's studios are located on Northeast 20th Avenue in North Miami. In addition to serving the Miami–Fort Lauderdale market, the station has significant viewership in much of the West Palm Beach market, and is the only Miami area television station to serve the entire South Florida metropolis.

HistoryEdit

The Community Television Foundation of South Florida was formed in November 1953. It immediately jumped into the bidding for Florida's first non-commercial educational television station. The only major competition came from the Dade County School Board. Ultimately, the Federal Communications Commission awarded licenses to both groups in a time-share arrangement. They signed on channel 2 as a shared operation on August 12, 1955, operating as a member station of National Educational Television (NET) under the call letters WTHS-TV.

Under the arrangement, the school board and the foundation alternated airtime on channel 2 airing their programming from separate studios. The school board would air five hours of educational programming during the day, while Community Television Foundation was responsible for evening programming.

Gradually, Community Television Foundation expanded nighttime broadcasting hours, especially after the school board signed on WSEC-TV (channel 17) as a secondary station. WTHS-TV's broadcast day increased further after the formation of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1967. At that time, the foundation began using the WPBT call letters for its programming. WTHS-TV continued to share the channel with WPBT until the Dade County Schools moved all instructional programming to WSEC-TV.

As both PBS and South Florida grew during the 1970s, it became apparent that a time-share arrangement was no longer feasible for what had become a major market. Finally, in 1979, the Dade County School Board relinquished its share of channel 2 and returned the WTHS license to the FCC. The board moved WTHS' programming inventory to channel 17, which changed its calls to WLRN-TV.

Until WXEL-TV signed on as the PBS member for West Palm Beach in 1982, WPBT served as the default PBS member for the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. For some time after WXEL signed on, WPBT continued to claim the Palm Beaches as part of its primary coverage area, going as far as to identify as "Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beaches." The analog channel 2 signal traveled a very long distance under normal conditions.

In 2010, WPBT rebranded as "2 HD" along with its children's program block KidVision.

On July 15, 2015, the Community Television Foundation announced an agreement with the WXEL Public Broadcasting Corporation, owner of WXEL, to merge the two stations' operations into a new entity, to be known as "South Florida PBS". The merger, which was formally filed with the FCC on July 16, would enable the two stations to pool resources and fundraising efforts to offer more program content. However, the two stations have separate governing boards and conduct separate fundraising efforts. With the FCC's repack program, WXEL-TV will relocate its signal to WPBT's transmitter after relinquishing their digital channel 27 license to the FCC. WXEL will continue to broadcast as a digital subchannel on WPBT's signal.


TV stations in Florida
WPBT/WLRN, Miami

WEDU/WEDQ, Tampa
WUFT, Gainesville
WJCT, Jacksonville
WFSU, Tallahassee
WFSG, Panama City
WSRE, Pensacola
WUCF, Orlando
WGCU, Fort Myers
WXEL, West Palm Beach

TV stations in South Florida and the Keys, including Miami–Dade, Fort Lauderdale and Key West
WPBT 2 (PBS)
WFOR 4 (CBS)
WTVJ 6 (NBC)
WSVN 7 (Fox)
WGEN 8 (ESTRELLA)
WPLG 10 (ABC)
WTXI-LD 11 (TLR)
WURH-CD 13 (TFC/THC)
W16CC-D 16 (Cubana)
WLRN 17 (PBS)
WDFL-LD 18 (MIRA)
WEYW-LP 19 (ACTION)
WSBS 22 (MEGA)
WLTV 23 (UNI)
WDGT-LD 24 (CTN Int'l)
WBFS 33 (MNTV)
WVFW-LD 34 (ESTRELLA)
WPXM 35 (Ion)
WCAY-CD 36 (Tourist info)
WBEH-CD 38 (AZA)
WSFL 39 (CW)
WJAN-CD 41 (ATeVe)
W43CB-D 43 (Ind)
WHFT 45 (TBN)
WFUN-LD 48 (ATeVe)
WSCV 51 (TLM)
WLMF-LD 53 (LATV)
WBEC 63 (ETV)
WAMI 69 (UMas)
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