WFSU-TV is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member Public television station in Tallahassee, Florida. It is owned by the Florida State University with the studios located at the Public Broadcast Center on the Florida State campus.
WFSU-TV is seen on digital channel 32 (virtual channel 11) in Tallahassee and serves north central Florida and southwestern Georgia with the full PBS line-up.
WFSU's programming is also seen in the Panama City area on WFSG, digital channel 38 (virtual channel 56). WFSG signed on July 22, 1988, replacing a low-powered translator on channel 22 that had served Panama City since the late 1970s. Although Panama City is in the Central Time, all schedules are listed in Eastern Time.
WFSU also operates a statewide public affairs network, The Florida Channel, that covers the state legislature, a local version of C-SPAN. This network is seen on selected cable TV systems and Government-access television (GATV) channels throughout the state of Florida.
WFSU also operates "4FSU", which carries simulcasts of The Florida Channel and programming related to the university community; it also provides a training ground for students studying for careers in the broadcasting field.
WFSU went on the air for the first time on September 20, 1960 on Channel 11. The Federal Communications Commission had allocated only one VHF channel to Tallahassee. After a large chunk of southwest Georgia was collapsed into the Tallahassee market, Florida State persuaded the FCC to make channel 11 a noncommercial license as UHF was not seen as viable at the time. While this move assured north-central Florida and southwest Georgia of PBS service, it also meant that Tallahassee would have a long wait for full service from all three major commercial networks—another commercial station wouldn't sign on in Tallahassee until WECA-TV (now WTXL-TV) opened in 1976.
Today in the Legislature
In 1973, "Florida Public Broadcasting" (FPB), a joint venture between WFSU and WJCT in Jacksonville, and under the aegis of the Florida Public Broadcasting Service, began program coverage of the Florida Legislature, which was transmitted to and broadcast by the eight affiliated PBS television stations in Florida, from a mobile facility located on the grounds of the State Capitol. The program was called Today in the Legislature, and was the first of its kind in the United States, preceding legislative programs in other states, and U.S. Congressional coverage by C-SPAN.
The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|Main programming / PBS|
|The Florida Channel|
WFSU-TV & WFSG shut down their analog signals on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital channel allocations post-transition are as follows:
- WFSU-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 32. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 11.
- WFSG shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 56; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 38. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 56, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
In June 2011, it was revealed that WFSU will receive $2.8 million in funding for various services related to Florida government, including The Florida Channel. This is despite the $4.8 million of funding to other public radio and television stations vetoed by Governor Rick Scott in May 2011.