WKBS-TV (Philadelphia)

WKBS-TV (Philadelphia)

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WKBS-TV (Philadelphia)

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WKBS-TV was an independent television station licensed to Burlington, New Jersey, which served the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area from 1965 to 1983. WKBS-TV had studio facilities located in South Philadelphia, and transmitter at the Roxborough tower farm in Philadelphia.


WKBS-TV began operations on September 1, 1965, owned by Kaiser Broadcasting. It was the second independent station in the Philadelphia market, having signed on almost six months after WIBF-TV (channel 29, later WTAF-TV and now WTXF-TV) and two weeks before WPHL-TV (channel 17). The studios were located at 3201 South 26th Street in South Philadelphia near a set of oil refineries. The station struggled at first, in part because it signed on only a year after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required television manufacturers to include UHF tuning capability. However, WKBS was on stronger financial footing than WPHL and WIBF, and quickly established itself as the leading independent in Philadelphia. It retained the top spot for almost a decade.

WKBS' schedule was typical of most independent stations of the time, with a mix of off-network programs, children's programs, movies, and local-interest shows, including a dance show hosted by local radio personality Hy Lit, which also aired on at least three of Kaiser's other stations: WKBD-TV in Detroit, WKBG-TV in Boston and WKBF-TV in Cleveland. In addition, WKBS aired shows produced by other Kaiser stations, such as from WKBD. (In a...
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