WGBH

From Academic Kids

Missing image
WGBH_logo_large.jpg
The TV version of the WGBH drop-shadow logo

WGBH is an established public television station for Boston, Massachusetts, affiliated with public radio stations (PBS, and NPR & PRI). WGBH produces many shows for these networks, including nearly a third of PBS's national prime-time TV. These programs include Nova, Frontline, American Experience, and This Old House. It is one of six local Boston TV stations seen in Canada on the Bell ExpressVu satellite provider. The license-holder is the WGBH Educational Foundation.

Recognized for its contributions to non-commercial educational television programming, WGBH is also a leader in services for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH invented television closed captioning and the Descriptive Video Service (DVS), and they provide those access services to commercial TV programs as well as public TV, and to home video, web sites, and movie theaters nationwide.

For more than thirty years, WGBH's on-air TV signature has been the synth-and-animation logo that now appears at the close of each PBS program it produces. The original seven-second piece began appearing at the beginning of WGBH's national shows in the 1970s, accompanied by different visuals -- including the "outline" design that is the WGBH emblem. The audio "sounder" now appears as a three or four-second stinger.

Contents

History

WGBH received its first broadcasting license in 1951 under the auspices of the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council, a consortium of local universities and cultural institutions, whose collaboration stems from an 1836 bequest by textile manufacturer John Lowell, Jr. calling for free public lectures for the citizens of Boston.

WGBH-TV Channel 2 went on the air on May 2, 1955, at 5:20pm with studios located at 84 Massachusetts Avenue until a fire destroyed the studios in the early morning hours of October 14, 1961. After going to so many studios, and on August 29, 1964, WGBH-TV Channel 2 and WGBH 89.7 FM signed-on from new studios at 125 Western Avenue in Allston

Transmission Facilities

"GBH" stands for Great Blue Hill, the location of WGBH's FM transmitter, and the original location of WGBH-TV's transmitter as well. Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts has an elevation of 635 feet (193 m) and is the highest point in the Boston area. Today, WGBH-TV's and WGBX-TV's transmitters are located at the Viacom digital television facility in Needham, Massachusetts, where channel 44 originally signed on September 25, 1967; channel 2 moved there on June 18, 1966. WGBX-TV's digital service on channel 43 shares the master antenna at the very top of the tower with the commercial stations; analog channel 44 has a separate antenna lower down shared with digital WGBH-TV on channel 19.

WGBH operates a CANCOM satellite uplink facility which provides Boston broadcast television stations to Canadian cable and satellite TV distributors. (As a Canadian company, CANCOM is not legally entitled to operate an uplink facility in the United States and so pays WGBH to perform this service on its behalf.) This facility is also located at the Viacom tower in Needham.

Studios

WGBH's original studios were located in building W20 (http://ilp-www.mit.edu/display_page.a4d?key=P4h59) (presently Stratton Student Center) on the campus of MIT until the building burned down in a 1963 fire. The building was rebuilt, but by the time of completion, the station had moved to its present location on Harvard University property in the Allston neighborhood of Boston. The ZIP code of the station and its post-office box -- 02134 -- was made famous in a recurring jingle on its 1970s and late 1990s children's program, "Zoom." In 2006, WGBH will move to new studios in Boston's Brighton neighborhood.

Channels and Digital Services

  • WGBH-TV 2 Boston (DT 19)
  • WGBX-TV 44 Boston (DT 43)
  • WGBH World (WGBX-DT and digital cable)
  • WGBH Create (WGBX-DT and digital cable)
  • 'GBH Kids (WGBX-DT and digital cable)
  • WGBH On Demand (digital cable)
  • WGBH High Definition (WGBH-DT and digital cable)
  • Boston Kids & Family TV (Boston cable)
  • WGBY-TV 57 Springfield
  • WGBH 89.7 Boston
  • WCAI 90.1 Woods Hole
  • WNAN 91.1 Nantucket

Major WGBH Productions

Television

Radio

On-line

  • The WGBH Forum Network

External link

Template:Boston TV

Template:Springfield MA TV

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