- This article is for the television station in Philadelphia. For the television station in Pinehurst, North Carolina, see WYBE-CD.
WYBE, UHF digital channel 35, is a non-commercial educational independent television station located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The station is owned by Independence Public Media of Philadelphia (also known as Independence Media). WYBE maintains offices on the southwest edge of the Northern Liberties neighborhood with transmitter facilities in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia.
The station's main channel was previously carried in the New York City television market on the 66.4 digital subchannel of MHz WorldView affiliate WNYJ-TV. Now, the only relationship is WNYJ's main channel is carried over WYBE's 35.5 subchannel.
The UHF channel 35 allocation in Philadelphia was first used by WHYY-TV in 1957. However, it was obvious by then that a UHF station was not nearly enough to serve a market that stretched from the Lehigh Valley to the north to the Jersey Shore in the south. In 1963, WHYY moved its call letters and programming to VHF channel 12, licensed to nearby Wilmington, Delaware. Metropolitan Philadelphia Educational Radio and Television, owner of WHYY, continued to operate channel 35 as WUHY-TV, using it mostly to air instructional programming on weekdays (outside of designated legal and administrative holidays) during the school year. WUHY-TV was the first station in the world to broadcast Sesame Street during a week of test broadcasts in July 1969. A slightly-retooled version of the show made its national premiere on National Educational Television (NET) four months later in November 1969.
By 1975, WHYY had stopped operating the UHF station, and eventually returned its license to the Federal Communications Commission. In the 1980s, the channel 35 frequency was used by W35AB, a translator relaying Univision programming from New York City's WXTV, while the FCC evaluated applications for a new permanent licensee. The translator ultimately moved to channel 28 and evolved into WFPA-CD, then into a full-power station of its own as WUVP-TV (WFPA currently carries Univision sister network UniMás). WYBE, the new permanent licensee on channel 35, began broadcasting on June 1, 1990.
From 1998 to 2004, the organization was led by Sherri Hope Culver, formerly of the New Jersey Network (NJN). During this period, WYBE moved into a new facility; began operating a digital signal, and focused on original productions, such as Culture Trek (a series of three specials, followed U.S. teenagers as they pursued projects with local teens in Costa Rica, Ireland and Jamaica), The Neighbors Project and The Tolerance Project (which addressed race, sexual orientation and religion). The station also featured a nightly talk show, Philly Live, which was later restructured into five different talk shows: Gente (aimed at Hispanic audiences), Shades of Opinion (focusing on issues relevant to African-American community), Asian Outlook, Global Lens and Out Loud (focusing on LGBT issues). Most of WYBE's programs are syndicated shows distributed by American Public Television and NETA. Several of these programs won national Telly Awards, Emmy nominations and a special screening at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The WYBE World Heritage Council Initiative supports Philadelphia's diverse ethnic communities, funded by the William Penn Foundation.
Since 2005, WYBE was led by Howard Blumenthal, who also served simultaneously as executive director of the New Jersey Network from 2009 to 2010.
MiND: Media Independence
On May 15, 2008, the station was rebranded as "MiND: Media Independence", which emphasized its schedule on short-form programs, often with a "public media for the public good" perspective. MiND became the first broadcast television station in the U.S. whose program stream was simultaneously available online and on broadcast television worldwide, in a form of an internet simulcast of its broadcast signal, and a library of programs available on-demand. Some WYBE programs are also available on the MHz Worldview network, which is seen on selected television stations and cable systems, as well as on satellite and the internet.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|35.1||480i||4:3||MiND||Main WYBE programming|
|Table data as of December 27, 2014|
WYBE shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 35, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 34 to its former analog-era UHF channel 35 for post-transition operations.
The station's digital signal formerly operated at only 25% power until March 2010, when WYBE's power was increased fully to their FCC-authorized effective radiated power.
WYBE broadcasts a wide array of programming, such as those featuring independent filmmakers (such as Through the Lens and Philadelphia Stories); international programming from countries such as India, Japan, France, China, Greece, the United Kingdom, and Germany; programming aimed at the LGBT community (such as Gay USA); and public affairs and current events programming (such as Democracy Now and GRITtv).