Each day KSPS PBS invites people in two million households throughout the Inland Northwest and Canada to experience the worlds of science, history and nature; listen to diverse viewpoints and trusted reporting; and take front row seats to world-class performances. KSPS PBS serves Spokane and eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, southeastern British Columbia, and most of Alberta including Calgary and Edmonton. KSPS PBS is also seen across the nation of Canada on Shaw Direct. KSPS PBS is carried over the air, on translator systems, on cable systems and via satellite. KSPS PBS is licensed to Friends of KSPS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Washington. USA Tax ID Number: 237203753
KSPS PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television station in Spokane, Washington. It also has viewership in the province of Alberta, Canada, including the cities of Edmonton and Calgary. The station broadcasts its main signal from its site at Krell Hill, also known as "Tower Mountain", with its general studios at Joel E. Ferris High School in the South Gate neighborhood on Spokane's south side. KSPS PBS can be seen in high-definition on channel 107 on Comcast in the Spokane area, and channel 707 in the Coeur d'Alene and Palouse areas, as well as on channel 7 on Dish Network and DirecTV in both standard and high-definition. In the Edmonton area it is broadcast on Channel 22 on Shaw Cable, and Channel 140 on Telus Optik TV. In the Calgary area it is broadcast on Channel 14 on Shaw Cable, and Channel 140 on Telus Optik TV.
In spring 1967, the station first signed on the air, from the basement of Adams Elementary of Spokane Public Schools. A series of school levy failures in the early 1970s forced the station to secure alternate funding and, in 1972, Friends of Seven, later known as Friends of KSPS, was founded to provide financial support to KSPS PBS.
On July 26, 2012, the board of Spokane Public Schools voted unanimously to spin off KSPS PBS to the Friends of KSPS. A day later, the Friends of KSPS board also voted unanimously to move forward with taking full control of the station. The transition from an educational license to a community license was completed in fall 2013. School board employees working for KSPS PBS would become employees of the non-profit organization. Gary Stokes, the executive director of the Friends of KSPS, says that he hopes to "keep things as business-as-usual as possible. That includes keeping the employees a part of our station." Friends of KSPS has become the primary financial supporter for the station in recent years and Stokes said he believed that his organization was in a position to take over the station outright. The station plans to remain at Ferris High School in the short term; the school board has no plans to sell the building in which the station is located. Soon after the sale closed and the station officially became a community-licensed station, Friends of KSPS changed its name to KSPS Public Television, which became KSPS PBS in 2019.
KSPS PBS provides programing from PBS and local sources. The station's main signal reaches parts of Washington and Idaho, and it operates a translator network covering parts of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. It is also carried on cable in most of Alberta and parts of British Columbia, and on satellite systems across western Canada.
The majority of the station's donations from pledge drives come from Calgary and Edmonton. Calgary and Edmonton each have populations which are more than double the entire population of KSPS PBS's American coverage area, and most of the station's members live in those two cities. Not only must KSPS PBS take its large Canadian audience into account in its programming, but a significant portion of its donations are in Canadian dollars. It is one of five local Spokane TV stations seen in Canada on Shaw Cable.
It was the first station to carry Mary Ann Wilson's Sit and Be Fit program, as KSPS PBS serves as the primary production studio and distributor of the series since it debuted in 1987.