Shoutout Fun Facts — #2

Fun Facts from the second week of shoutouts done by @PubMediaFans on Twitter.

These shoutouts are really well liked by those stations who notice it. We always shoutout these stations for doing excellent work in their communities and for providing great and intelligent public television and radio to their local hometowns. That’s why these shoutouts are delivered and we kept going at it. Here are some more fun facts from week two of our shoutouts and all of them are done on Twitter.

Second Week Shoutouts (5–8/5–14)

WGBH-TV 2 is probably THE most-recognized and THE most influential PBS affiliate in the country.
89.7 WGBH-FM is known for competing against one of NPR’s top stations, 90.9 WBUR. Its also known for producing a handful of national programs with PRI.
  1. Monday, May 8th, 2017: WGBH-TV 2 and 89.7 WGBH-FM / Boston

This is probably one of the most influential public TV and radio stations in this country and is synonymous with Boston and the United States. WGBH (meaning “G”reat “B”lue “H”ill, the original location of the stations’ transmitters) has produced a vast amount of TV programs for PBS. In fact, 2/3rd’s worth is produced by WGBH. If you heard of programs like NOVA, Frontline, Masterpiece, American Experience, The Victory Garden and This Old House, then chances are (you’ve probably heard of it by now, the jingle at the end of programs) it was produced by WGBH Boston (the tagline to the ending of the programs). It’s even produced programs for PBS Kids like Curious George, Arthur and ZOOM. It’s synonymous with public television. It also has a sister secondary PBS station in the market, WGBX 44, which can be sometimes known as ‘GBH Plus.

Their radio counterpart, 89.7 WGBH-FM, is just as synonymous with public radio. WGBH Radio has been on a mounting ratings roll with their ratings skyrocket in recent years since switching to all-news/talk in 2012. WGBH Radio also co-produces national radio programs, mainly for Public Radio International (PRI). It co-produces The World with Marco Werman with PRI and the BBC (mainly the BBC World Service) as well as assisting on The Takeaway with John Hockenberry (former correspondent of ABC’s Day One) with The New York Times and produced by PRI and AM 820/93.9 FM WNYC New York City. WGBH Radio mainly tends to air more PRI programs than NPR as most of NPR’s programs are heard on “rival” station 90.9 WBUR / Boston. Not only that, WGBH Radio is very unique as it also airs PRX Remix during the overnight hours which is less heard on most stations than the BBC World Service.

But if you don’t think Boston is a public radio town, think again: WBUR is the sixth most-listened to NPR News station in the country while WGBH is tenth. In other words, this market can support two public radio stations in town.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting is the most-threatened public broadcasting network out there.

2. Tuesday, May 9th, 2017: West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB) is probably one of the most smallest “big name” public broadcasting networks out there in the country. It operates three PBS stations in the state (WVPB 33 / Huntington — Charleston, WSWP 9 / Grandview — Beckley — Bluefield and WNPB 24 / Morgantown — Clarksburg) and a handful of translators. It also operates twelve NPR stations spread across the state as well as handful of translators.

The network is also home to the nationally syndicated NPR program Mountain Stage, which broadcasts traditional and modern music. It has been on-the-air since 1983 by Larry Groce.

Unfortunately, WVPB has been severely stricken by budget cutbacks that has resulted recently in a $1 million cut and the loss of 5 employees. While it was saved in the state legislature, this cutback was better than first anticipated because West Virginia could’ve been the first state in the country to end all public broadcasting. Thankfully, that didn’t take place and WVPB remains alive. For fans of public media, we’re grateful that WVPB still exists.

DISCLAIMER: Let me take the time to tell you that you can hopefully donate to WVPB so that this situation can be avoided in the future. They raised $500K to keep it alive and hopefully more can be raised soon. Visit the WVPB website to get started.

WHYY-TV 12 is the Philly’s flagship PBS station and was the longtime home to Hometime.
90.9 WHYY-FM is best known as the longtime home to NPR’s interview program, Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

3. Wednesday, May 10th, 2017: WHYY-TV 12 and 90.9 WHYY-FM / Philadelphia (TV is licensed to Wilmington, Del.)

WHYY has had a longtime run of success in public broadcasting for the Delaware Valley and is known as the flagship PBS affiliate for Philadelphia and neighboring Delaware. Not many people may know this but WHYY 12 was the home to the nationally syndicated DIY program Hometime, which no longer does new episodes but is still aired across the country, in both non-commercial and commercial TV stations.

Just recently, they discontinued the Y Info channel on WHYY 12.3 in favor of the 24/7 PBS Kids channel.

WHYY-FM probably is more known than WHYY-TV because of ONE program… NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. The program has been on-air since 1975, first as a local weekly program, then as a national weekly program in 1985 before becoming a daily program in 1987. Today, it has become the TOP interview program on radio, whether its commercial or non-commercial. The program is aired Mondays-Thursdays with a rebroadcast on Fridays.

It was one of the inaugural NPR member stations to carry the first edition of All Things Considered in 1971 and one of only 90 to ever do so. Also, WHYY-FM is one of the few stations left to round its frequency on its branding. The station is located at 90.9 FM but they brand themselves “91 FM.”

KPCC is operated by the same folks who bring you Marketplace.

4. Thursday, May 11th, 2017: 89.3 KPCC / Pasadena — Los Angeles

89.3 KPCC is probably known as the most secreted NPR station that you’ve never heard of. For once, its the flagship NPR News station for Los Angeles since the other public radio station, 89.9 KCRW in Santa Monica, also plays music throughout the day and weekend. Its also known as the station that is operated by American Public Media Group, yes the same folks who are pretty much American Public Media and bring you programs like Marketplace and A Prairie Home Companion. KPCC broadcasts its content over three satellite stations: 89.1 FM KUOR at the University of Redlands in Redlands, 90.3 FM KVLA-FM in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley and 89.5 KJAI Ventura County.

If you need a recommendation as to how go public radio and KPCC really is: I recommend following their KPCC Insider account on Twitter: @KPCCInsider. It’s full of behind-the-scenes action at KPCC while also posting quotes from listeners who value the service of 89.3 KPCC and bringing NPR News to Los Angeles.

88.5 WAMU is best known as the long-time home to Diane Rehm and currently, 1A.

5. Friday, May 12th, 2017: 88.5 WAMU / Washington, D.C.

The flagship NPR News station for the nation’s capital and the station that’s closest to the NPR Headquarters in Washington, D.C., 88.5 WAMU is best known as the long-time home to public radio legend Diane Rehm’s news/talk show, The Diane Rehm Show. After her retirement, it has been taken over by Joshua Johnson and 1A, which is named after the First Amendment. The program is produced live from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET.

But the one thing it may now be known by the American public is that it operated a Bluegrass service online called Bluegrass Country and played Bluegrass, Americana and Roots music. It has since sold it to a non-profit organization to keep it running but continues to carry it on its HD2 subchannel.

The station is also on two translators: 88.3 WRAU in Ocean City, Md. and 89.5 WYAU in Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va.

WETA-TV 26 is mainly known as the home to many of PBS’ national news programs including the PBS Newshour.

6. Saturday, May 13th, 2017: WETA-TV 26 / Washington, D.C.

Considering that everything happens in Washington, D.C., not just its the nation’s capital but also where the country’s politics happen on a continually basis, its no surprise that many of PBS’ news programs like the PBS Newshour and Washington Week are produced at the studios of WETA 26. It’s also home to the yearly special, A Capitol Fourth (which, as of this post, was aired earlier tonight on most PBS stations) and much of legendary filmmaker Ken Burns’ documentaries.

WETA-TV 26 is a very unique PBS affiliate because its main signal is not on the main channel, but rather on its DT4 subchannel, 26.4, in SD while the HD feed is broadcast on the main channel at 26.1 and offers a very unique 24/7 UK-programming channel called WETA UK, where many programs from the BBC, ITV and others are shown here and its on its DT2 subchannel, 26.2. 26.3 is home to the new 24/7 PBS Kids channel.

WUCF-TV 24 is one of the newest PBS affiliates in the country that has a long-time past of public TV.

7. Sunday, May 14th, 2017: WUCF-TV 24 / Orlando — Daytona Beach — Melbourne

This market’s had a pretty complicated relationship with PBS in the beginning of this decade but it has recovered quite nicely and since the departure of WMFE-TV 24 in 2011, WUCF-TV 24 has become the flagship PBS affiliate for all of Central Florida. We gave them a shoutout early because the writer of yours truly was on vacation in the Orlando area and got to see WUCF in person while watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow in which that particular episode was broadcast from where else? Orlando.

WMFE-TV decided to sell off its TV assets to the University of Central Florida in 2012 to then convert it to WUCF-TV. And yes, UCF currently owns the station. This took place around the same time when the two other PBS affiliates in the market, WDSC 15 (Daytona Beach) and WEFS 68 (Cocoa Beach) left the network to become public independent stations which left WUCF-TV as the only PBS affiliated station in the region.

WUCF-TV is also very unique in which it carries a 24/7 international news channel from Japan called NHK World and is carried on their DT4 subchannel on 24.4.

WUCF-TV has only been around since 2011 (through one of WEFS’ subchannels) but in reality, PBS has been on Channel 24 since WMFE-TV started in 1965. So Central Florida has a long history of public television but with WUCF-TV only around since 2011, it has a short life in a long history of public broadcasting in Central Florida. Plus, its one of the newest PBS affiliates in the state of Florida.

So that’s pretty much Week 2 from our shoutouts. Come back tomorrow for another one and remember to follow us on Twitter @PubMediaFans for even more news and tidbits in public media.

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