Alabama Public Television is a network of PBS member stations serving the US state of Alabama. The stations are licensed by the Alabama Educational Television Commission which was created by the Alabama state legislature in 1953. The broadcast signals of the nine stations combine to provide complete geographic coverage of the state. The network produces its own news and public affairs programming and broadcasts content produced by the state's universities for online education and course credit as well.
Today APT's mission continues to be focused mainly on education. It provides educational services to the people of Alabama online, on air from three digital and one analog channel, and through outreach services to educators and service provides statewide.
WAIQ in Andalusia (now WDIQ in Dozier) went on the air in August 1956, bringing APT to south Alabama for the first time before being reassigned to Montgomery in December 1962. WAIQ was the first APT station to broadcast a digital signal as Channel 14 in 2003, but it was later changed to Channel 27 on account of Montgomery station WSFA. Mobile television station WALA-TV donated its former transmitter in Spanish Fort to APT in 1964, allowing WEIQ to bring the network to Mobile and Baldwin counties in November. WEIQ's power was increased during the 1980s.
In 1976, the FCC delayed renewal of AETC's licenses, on grounds of APT's refusal to air programs pertaining to the Vietnam War or the African-American community. APT management feared that airing these types of programs would have put the network's future in jeopardy, due to potential losses of funding from outraged (politically conservative) public officials. Therefore, APT followed orders by state officials not to air certain programming during the 1960s and 1970s. However, it has taken a more independent stance over the last 30 years.
In August 2004, APT began datacasting on its digital broadcast signals to distribute digital multimedia content to ten elementary and secondary schools, in a pilot program.
For longer than a quarter century, Alabama Public Television has aired a public affairs program, For the Record, which takes a very aggressive approach to covering state government. In January 2007, APT reduced the frequency of For The Record to a weekly one-hour slot on Friday nights after two decades of being a nightly show, the longest-running program of its kind on a PBS affiliate or regional or state network. For The Record: Focus and For the Record: Face to Face (interview show) are two other versions that appear on APT. Capitol Journal, which covers the Alabama Legislature's activities, is aired during times when the Legislature is in session.
APT began broadcasting a high definition channel (APT HD) in 2005. In December 2006 it launched a how-to channel featuring established cooking, gardening, decorating, crafts and sewing programs on APT Create. A family learning channel, APT IQ, began airing in March 2007.
|Station||City of license|| Channels|
|First air date|| Second letter|
|WAIQ||Montgomery|| 26 (UHF)|
|December 18, 1962||Alabama|| 1410 kW|
| 183 m|
|WBIQ||Birmingham|| 10 (VHF)|
53 (UHF) 7
|April 28, 1955||Birmingham|| 316 kW|
| 426.3 m|
|WCIQ1||Mount Cheaha|| 7 (VHF)|
56 (UHF) 7
|January 7, 1955||Cheaha|| 316 kW|
| 610 m|
|WDIQ2||Dozier|| 2 (VHF)|
|August 8, 1956||Dozier|| 100 kW|
| 226 m|
|WEIQ||Mobile|| 42 (UHF)|
|November 19643||Educational|| 1170 kW|
| 183 m|
|WFIQ||Florence|| 36 (UHF)|
|August 19674||Florence|| 851 kW|
| 221 m|
|WGIQ||Louisville|| 43 (UHF)|
|September 9, 1968||Greater Alabama|| 4180 kW|
| 262 m|
|WHIQ||Huntsville|| 25 (UHF)|
|November 19655||Huntsville|| 1230 kW|
| 338.2 m|
|WIIQ||Demopolis|| 49 (UHF)|
|September 13, 19716||Informational|| 1950 kW|
| 324 m|
|WAIQ||the southern portion of the geographical center of the state.|
|WBIQ||the northern portion of the geographical center of Alabama and the west central counties of the state including the city of Tuscaloosa to the Mississippi state line|
|WCIQ||the east central portion of the state to the Georgia state line|
|WDIQ||the south central portion of the state to the Florida state line|
|WEIQ||Mobile and Baldwin counties along Alabama's Gulf Coast and several counties to the north as well as parts of southeastern Mississippi and northwestern Florida Though, it's been received in Florida VIA long range UHF Antennas in the Florida Panhandle|
|WFIQ||the northwestern portion of the state and some counties in southern central Tennessee and northeastern Mississippi|
|WGIQ||most of the southeastern portion of the state and some parts of southwestern Georgia|
|WHIQ||most of the north central and northeastern portion of the state as well as some counties in southern central Tennessee|
|WIIQ||much of southwestern Alabama in the region known as the "Black Belt"|
On all stations, HDTV is on subchannel 1, and SDTV is on subchannel 2. The date the station commenced broadcasting is in parentheses. The network's offices and Network Operations Center are located in Birmingham, but APT also operates a studio in Montgomery for pledge drives and For the Record. The AETC also operates a public radio station, WLRH 89.3 FM, in Huntsville.