WJCT went on the air on September 10, 1958, broadcasting a report on educational television from Florida Governor Leroy Collins. Its broadcast reached Live Oak, St. Augustine, Palatka, and Folkston, Georgia. WJCT became Florida’s second educational television station, following Miami, and preceding Gainesville’s WUFT and Tampa’s WEDU by several weeks. WJCT filled its first month with “national educational television” programs from PBS’ predecessor, NET.
On April 10, 1972, WJCT added its second media platform, meeting the community’s needs for fine arts and music. WJCT-FM went on the air as “Stereo 90,” broadcasting music, news and public affairs programming approximately 18 hours a day. Eighteen months later, in October 1973, Channel 7 and Stereo 90 presented their first simulcast, broadcasting a concert by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
In May of 2014, the launch of the Digital Convergence Alliance Network Operations Center (DCA-NOC) marked the culmination of work begun four years prior by WJCT Public Broadcasting. WJCT spearheaded a major initiative, laying the foundation for a collaborative venture of 11 public television stations that would not only foster economies of scale but create opportunities to better serve their respective communities, the first of which is the DCA-NOC. A grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) enabled WJCT and community partners to develop a technical plan for the creation of a centralized master control operation.
Throughout its 56-year history, the First Coast community has been a vital component of WJCT’s success, providing individual and corporate support, contributing countless hours of volunteer work, serving on boards, partnering in productions, events and services. With continuing community support, WJCT stands poised to serve the First Coast community for another 50 years, and more, using its unique assets as a resource for citizens to come together to celebrate human diversity, experience lifelong learning, and actively engage in matters of civic importance, all to improve the quality of our lives and our community.