Shoutout Fun Facts — #3

Another week, another story of fun facts on public media stations.

Another post to dedicated another week of shoutouts made by @PubMediaFans on Twitter to dedicate the excellent work that public media stations throughout the country do on a continuing basis. They all have facts that many people may not know and that’s where I shine a light on them. So here’s another list of shoutouts, this time from Week 3.

Third Week Shoutouts (5–15/5–21)

WUFT-TV 5 became the first television station to sign-on in the Gainesville area in 1958.
89.1 WUFT-FM is Gainesville and Gator Country’s NPR News station.
  1. Monday, May 15th, 2017: WUFT-TV 5 and 89.1 WUFT-FM / Gainesville (also on 90.1 WJUF / Inverness — Ocala)

WUFT has a long and unique history with public broadcasting in Gainesville, Ocala and North Central Florida. For starters, WUFT-TV became the first television station to sign-on in the Gainesville area (commercial or non-commercial) back in 1958. It took another 13 years before the area finally saw its first commercial TV station, WCJB 20 (ABC) in 1971. The station has long produced its own local TV newscast, staffed and produced by the students at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville. First at 5:30, then later moved to 5:00 p.m. where it stands today.

89.1 WUFT-FM is the area’s NPR News station. Known as Florida’s 89.1, similar to TV’s Florida’s 5, UF was actually relatively late to public radio since it didn’t sign on the station until 1981. It operates a satellite station, 90.1 WJUF which serves Inverness and Ocala, basically the southern half of the market.

What’s interesting about this group is that its owned by the University of Florida, which owns a mix of non-commercial AND commercial stations. The non-commercial ones are WUFT-TV 5 (PBS), 89.1 WUFT-FM/90.1 WJUF (NPR) and yes, WRUF-LD 10 (Cable 6) which provides 24-hour local weather coverage from the UF WeatherCenter inside UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. Within WUFT-FM, it also operates non-commercial WUFT Classic, home to Classical Music and Jazz on 102.7 FM W274BT / Williston and the HD2 subchannels of WUFT and WJUF and a commercial station, GHQ, which plays Top 40 (CHR) hits on 95.3 FM W237EJ / Gainesville as well as the HD3 subchannels of WUFT and WJUF.

Not only that, it also owns commercial sports radio station AM 850 WRUF (one of the oldest radio stations in Florida) and 98.1 FM W251CG / Gainesville, which is known as ESPN 98.1/850 WRUF and commercial Country music station 103.7 WRUF-FM / Gainesville, also known as Country 103.7 — The Gator. So WUFT, through U.F., owns several non-commercial and commercial stations, which is something rare in this industry from a major university.

P.S.: Yours truly is actually going to be studying at the University of Florida with a major in Telecommunications/Journalism and hopefully, a minor in French. I really do want to get into broadcasting. In fact, I chose this group as a shoutout because on this day, I took part of UF’s orientation at the University and it was my first visit to UF since 2013 and my second visit to Gainesville in total. I have since gone back to Gainesville last week and I will probably make one more visit soon before starting classes at UF in August.

WNET is known as THE most-watched PBS affiliate in the country.

2. Tuesday, May 16th, 2017: WNET 13 / Newark, NJ — New York City

WNET 13 is one of the most influential and THE most-watched PBS affiliate in the country. It has produced a handful of programs for PBS nationwide, including at the moment, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Great Performances, Live from the Lincoln Center, Nature, Tavis Smiley and the weekend editions of the PBS NewsHour, among others.

The late great American journalist Edward R. Murrow introduced WNET 13 in its current form (back when it was known as WNDT) in 1962, giving the market its first TRUE non-commercial educational television station, even though WNET 13 has actually been around since 1948 because it used to be a commercial Independent station beforehand.

Today, WNET 13 is owned by, which also owns Long Island-based PBS affiliate WLIW 21 in Garden City and operates NJTV (PBS for New Jersey) through a subsidiary non-profit. Today, it enjoys its run as one of the most successful PBS affiliates in the country and THE most-watched as well.

Chicago’s Window To The World station and the flagship PBS for the market.

3. Wednesday, May 17th, 2017: WTTW 11 / Chicago

WTTW 11 can also be distinguished as another very successful PBS affiliate. It did produced two programs that made it into the national PBS network, the political discussion show The McLaughlin Group and the music program Soundstage. The former no longer airs while the latter still airs but has very limited airings.

One of the most successful programs ever on WTTW 11 is a local program that continues to air and is called Chicago Tonight, a nationally recognized one-hour newsmagazine and analysis program started in 1984, currently hosted by Phil Ponce and deals with issues facing Chicago and the surrounding areas as well as the latest news, art and restaurant reviews. Legendary Chicago TV news journalist Carol Marin (WMAQ 5 — NBC and WBBM 2 — CBS) currently works for the program as a regular contributor as well as moderating panels on political discussions and issues involving the city.

This station is one of three PBS member stations in Chicago alongside WYCC 20 (owned by City Colleges of Chicago) and Gary, Ind.-based WYIN 56 (Lakeshore Public Television). WTTW 11 also owns a world-renowned classical music station at 98.7 FM, known as 98.7 WFMT, home to the Beethoven and Jazz networks and its programming is available worldwide.

94.9 KUOW-FM is located in a frequency that’s usually reserved for commercial radio.

4. Thursday, May 18th, 2017: 94.9 KUOW-FM / Seattle

94.9 KUOW is the flagship NPR for Seattle but is located where its usually reserved for commercial radio. In fact, Seattle’s main NPR and main classical station are BOTH on the commercial frequency dials (94.9 KUOW — NPR and Classical KING-FM 98.1). It airs many of the NPR programs and carries a lot of news/talk services on its HD subchannels, a second stream of news/talk called KUOW2 on its HD2 subchannel, the World Radio Network (WRN) on its HD3 and a full-time 24/7 feed of the BBC World Service on its HD4.

The station is also repeated on two translators, both full-power: AM 1340 KUOW in Tumwater (also serving Olympia) and 90.3 FM KQOW Bellingham (also serving Northwest Washington).

The station is home to a local program called The Record which currently airs at 12:00 Noon on Mondays-Thursdays and covers a mix of news and interviews. It airs a Week in Review on Fridays at Noon. It’s also home to a very unique podcast called How’s Your Day? in which the station describes it this way:

How’s Your Day? tells you a story you don’t know from a day we all remember. How’s Your Day? revisits iconic events, shifting the focus to a different story from the same day. Innovative, deeply personal narratives add a new dimension to landmark moments in history. These are little known first-hand accounts from those who experienced triumphs and tragedies while the world was looking somewhere else.

Very unique, huh? Plus, the reason why I gave KUOW a shoutout is because they had an amazing logo (see above). At least until they changed it not too long ago.

WITF-TV 33 and 89.5 WITF-FM serves as PBS and NPR for the Susquehanna Valley.

5. Friday, May 19th, 2017: WITF-TV 33 and 89.5 WITF-FM / Harrisburg — Lancaster — Lebanon — York

I was recognized by WITF on Twitter which is why they were given a shoutout on this day. WITF-TV 33 is one of the smaller recognized PBS affiliates in the country but was the first in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to sign on a digital signal in 1998. Its spectrum will be shared with another TV station following the spectrum auction for $25 million. Its programming is also seen on two low-power translators: W33CR-D 33 in Chambersburg and W24CS 24 in Reading.

89.5 WITF-FM is the NPR News station for the area known as the Susquehanna Valley. It has only been an all-news/talk station since 2012 after previously serving a mix of news and classical music. It’s programming is also heard, since 2009, on full-power satellite station 93.3 FM WYPM in Chambersburg and on low-power translator 99.9 FM W260CC in Lancaster.

Just recently, WITF has been awarded with another Edward R. Murrow award, this time in sports and it is their 13th since 2007:

90.7 WMFE has long been known as one of the best NPR member stations in Florida.

6. Saturday, May 20th, 2017: 90.7 WMFE-FM / Orlando — Daytona Beach — Melbourne

90.7 WMFE is probably best known as being one of the most successful NPR member stations in the state of Florida. It has been on-air since 1980 and previously had a mix of news and classical music until HD Radio technology allowed them in 2009 to air all-news and talk on HD1 and all-classical on HD2.

It produces a twice-weekly local program called Intersection which focuses on Central Florida news and issues and airs on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00–10:00 a.m.

The station has recently launched a Dare to Listen campaign which encourages Central Floridans from all walks of life to actively listen to the station and engage in civil discourse. Anyone can take the dare below:

Also, the station has launched two special podcasts: one in English and one in Spanish that goes in-depth about the Pulse nightclub massacre from last year that killed 49 people and injured 50 more in the worst mass shooting in modern American history. Life After Pulse (English) and Orlando — Un Año Después (Spanish) are bilingual podcasts that dive deeper into this event and are both are (and still as of this post) currently available as podcasts. That can be found below:

91.5 WBEZ is home to several national public radio programs, most notably This American Life and Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

7. Sunday, May 21st, 2017: 91.5 WBEZ / Chicago

91.5 WBEZ was signed on-air by Chicago Public Schools in 1943 and became a charter member of NPR in 1970, thus becoming one of 90 to air the inaugural All Things Considered in 1971. Chicago Public Media took over control of the station in 1990 (back when it was known as WBEZ Alliance, Inc.) and has been running it ever since.

Today, 91.5 WBEZ is best known as being the national home to several well known public radio programs, one is the music program Sound Opinions (distributed by PRX), This American Life with Ira Glass (self-distributed by WBEZ with PRX delivering to the stations) and NPR’s news quiz show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! That program is hosted by Peter Sagal and announced by legendary Chicago newsman Bill Kurtis (WBBM 2 — CBS and Through the Decades host on the national subchannel network, Decades.)

As mentioned before, Chicago Public Media owns 91.5 WBEZ. But not only that, it also owns a user-generated radio station called Vocalo that is broadcast on 89.5 WBEW in Chesterton, Ind. (and serving Northwest Indiana), on 91.5 WBEZ-HD2 in Chicago or on 91.1 FM W216CL, also in Chicago but fed via WBEZ-HD2’s signal.

91.5 WBEZ’s programming is also heard on full-power satellite station 90.7 FM WBEQ in Morris, Ill.

That’s the third week shoutouts. I will get to Week Four tomorrow. A lot of deserving stations with these shoutouts and I’ll offer more fun facts about them by tomorrow. Oh and if you have the time, please donate to your favorite PBS or NPR station to keep them and public broadcasting alive. And follow me @PubMediaFans for more great information and news on public media.

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