Killeen station will replace KWBU on TV in Waco at midnight

While KWBU is closing, its accompanying public radio station, KWBU-FM 103.3 will continue.

As KWBU goes off the air at midnight tonight, it’s not the end of public broadcasting in Waco.

Killeen public television station KNCT-TV will continue to broadcast on Time Warner Cable and begin showing on Grande Communications. KNCT also will be available on Directv and Dish Network.

In terms of the most popular programming, the shows will be the same, said Cindy Tincher, spokeswoman for Time Warner.

“You’re not going to miss any of your programs,” she said.

The station will be on Channel 4 on both Time Warner and Grande. KWBU had been on Channel 4 with Time Warner and Grande before.

KNCT already had been broadcasting on Time Warner in Waco on Channel 13. There will be a high-definition channel at 1004 on Time Warner and 804 for HD on Grande.

Create TV, which was available with KWBU, still will be on the air at Channel 156 for Time Warner and channels 173 and 283 on Grande.

The Pentagon Channel, which carries military news, will be a new addition to the Waco Market brought by KNCT. The Pentagon Channel, will be at 1012 on Time Warner and 189 and 284 on Grande. The channel will not begin broadcast in Waco until early July.

Dish Network and Directv customers will not have Create or the Pentagon Channel, said Max Rudolph, KNCT’s general manager.

While Grande and Time Warner will be adding the Pentagon Channel, Grande will be doing away with some programming. V-ME, a Spanish broadcast channel that was multicast with KWBU will be gone from the Waco market, said Matt Rohre, Grande’s general manager in Waco.

Create is a big deal with viewers, Rohre said.

“We had a lot of customer concerns about Create with this change,” he said.

While KWBU is closing, its accompanying public radio station, KWBU-FM 103.3 will continue. The television station was knocked off the air by a $380,000 budget shortfall for the 2010-11 fiscal year. A $1 million line of credit to help operate the station had been used up.

Station manager Clare Paul is the last person employed at KWBU offices. She was spending the last days on the air packing up tapes and archiving items, she said.

The station was trying to do more local programming, and that could be lost since the replacement is from Killeen and not Waco, she said.

“I hate seeing Waco lose a local PBS station; I think we’re going to lose out,” she said. Rudolph said KNCT covers a wide area of smaller, separate communities and does not do targeted programing. The station takes a regional approach, he said.

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