Shoutout Fun Facts — #6

Another week, more fun facts. Getting you smarter about public broadcasting.

We’re currently in week 11 on Twitter while on Medium, we’re just recent. Here are fun facts from the shoutouts we’ve done on Week 6. If you haven’t followed us on Twitter by now, please do @PubMediaFans.


Sixth Week Shoutouts (6–5/6–11)

UNC-TV is home to one of the largest public TV networks in the country.
  1. Monday, June 5th, 2017: University of North Carolina Television (UNC-TV)

UNC-TV is probably one of the biggest public television stations in the country, considering that it operates 12 stations and a handful of translators. It’s currently the home to one program that’s produced for PBS, the how-to woodworking DIY show, The Woodwright’s Shop. One of the most well-known programs that UNC-TV does for the state is the weekly newsmagazine NC Now, which used to air as a daily program.

It’s 12 television stations currently offer four digital subchannels including the PBS Kids channel, The Explorer Channel (World and travel programs) and The North Carolina Channel (North Carolina-centric and related programs).

Each call signs of the 12 TV stations uses “UN” for “U”niversity of “N”orth Carolina and then the last letter is by order of sign-on date (ex. WUNC-TV 4 in Chapel Hill — Raleigh — Durham signed on-air January 8th, 1955. Then came WUND-TV 2 in Edenton — Elizabeth City, N.C. signed on-air September 10th, 1965. See the difference?)

UNC-TV owns every PBS station in North Carolina… with the exception of one: WTVI 42 / PBS in Charlotte.

KPBS-TV 15 and 89.5 KPBS-FM are named after what else? PBS. The Public Broadcasting Service. There you go.

2. Tuesday, June 6th, 2017: KPBS-TV 15 and 89.5 KPBS-FM / San Diego

KPBS-TV is owned by San Diego State University and despite naming its call letters after the Public Broadcasting Service, its not owned and operated by PBS as it can’t own or operate any of its member stations due to preference of having local or state-wide ownership (such as organization, school board, university, etc.) of its member stations. But the call sign does reflect the PBS network and its programming.

Before this year, KPBS only carried two subchannels: its main signal and the Spanish public media channel V-me. It now carries World and local programming on its DT2, Create on DT3 and PBS Kids on DT4.

KPBS-TV is home to one of the largest PBS member stations in the country that produces and airs its own local newscast called the KPBS Evening Edition. It airs weeknights as a half-hour program at 5:00 and repeats at 6:30 p.m. and sometimes rely on video from commercial station KGTV 10 (ABC in San Diego) through an agreement. It is an extension of the KPBS Midday Edition program that it produces for its radio sister 89.5 KPBS-FM.

Speaking of radio station, 89.5 KPBS-FM is the NPR outlet for San Diego. This is where you’ll hear the KPBS Midday Edition on weekdays from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 p.m. The main station is aired on its HD1 and Classical music is aired on HD2 but it airs a unique format on its HD3 called Groove Salad. It’s syndicated from SomaFM, an internet-only station group this particular station airs what the group describes as…

“A nicely chilled plate of ambient/downtempo beats and grooves.”

Its unique and probably the only public radio station that I know of that airs something like this and its on HD3 subchannel.

KPBS-FM has a full-power satellite station: 97.7 FM KQVO in Calexico as well as a low-power repeater: 89.1 FM K206AC in La Jolla. It’s also one of five member stations in California to air the inaugural episode of NPR’s All Things Considered in 1971.

Rhode Island Public Radio is one of the smallest networks within NPR’s member station.

3. Wednesday, June 7th, 2017: Rhode Island Public Radio

Rhode Island Public Radio. You probably don’t think much of it since its a small network within NPR’s member system but it has a huge impact on public radio throughout the state. Plus, its also one of the more recent networks out there, having only been around since 1998.

The flagship station is 88.1 WELH in Providence which serves the Northern portions of the state. It doesn’t carry RIPR 24/7 though since its owned by The Wheeler School and airs a sports talk show from 12:00 — 3:00 a.m. ET on Friday nights/Saturday mornings. One of the main satellites of the network is 102.7 WRNI-FM in Narragansett Pier which serves the Southern portions of the state and does air 24/7.

The other satellites are 91.5 FM WCVY in Coventry which serves the Central portions of the state but is owned by Coventry High School and airs their own programming from 2:00 — 8:00 p.m. ET when school is in session, therefore not carry RIPR 24/7. One that is pending could be their strongest and widest signal yet… 89.3 FM WUMD, currently licensed to North Darmouth, Mass. but will be soon licensed to Newport, R.I and have its call letters changed to WXNI and will more likely be a 24/7 RIPR station. WUMD, as currently known, signed-off on June 26th as a terrestrial station pending the change and has been running an online station every since. Meanwhile the new WXNI will not only reach most of Rhode Island from the Southern portions of the state but also the South Coast of Mass. including New Bedford (DISCLAIMER: I have part of my family there as well as in Providence so Southern New England is my third home).

So eventually, WXNI will become a RIPR member and the network will become larger on a small-look-a-like NPR member network.

Oregon Public Broadcasting serves all of Oregon through TV and Radio with the exception of the Southwest corner.

4. Thursday, June 8th, 2017: Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a big network but doesn’t serve the entire state. The TV side has five stations and serves all of Oregon with the exception of the Southwest corner because its served by Southern Oregon Public Television (SOPTV). It started in 1957 with the original flagship KOAC-TV 7 in Corvallis, Ore. since it was the first station within the network. By 1961, KOAP 10 signed on air and became the flagship, twenty years later. By 1989, it became KOPB. The others are as follows:

  • KTVR 13 in La Grande, Ore. (signed on-air in 1964)
  • KOAB 3 in Bend, Ore. (signed on-air in 1970)
  • KEPB 28 in Eugene, Ore. (signed on-air in 1990)

The TV side was home to a national program for PBS called History Detectives. A documentary series to identify artifacts among other things, the show is no longer in production but continues to air in repeats.

Another fun fact: KTVR 13 used to be a commercial station as it relayed KTVB 7 (NBC in Boise) until 1977, hence the similarities in call signs.

The radio side has more stations than there is television. 16 full-power stations to be exact plus a translator of flagship 91.5 KOPB-FM in Portland, located in Corvallis.

It carries three HD Radio subchannels which are also available on OPB’s five television stations on DT4 through three different audio channels:

  • OPB-FM HD1: Main OPB Radio programming (SAP 1 on DT4)
  • OPB-FM HD2: OPB Music (SAP 2 on DT4)
  • OPB-FM HD3: 89.1 KMHD in Gresham, Ore. (Jazz; SAP 3 on DT4)
Hawaii Public Radio recently shook up its programming schedules on its two services: HPR-1 and HPR-2

5. Friday, June 9th, 2017: Hawaii Public Radio

Hawaii Public Radio serves NPR for all of America’s 50th state.

Before February 2017, HPR had two services: HPR-1 for classical and fine arts programming and HPR-2 for news/talk and jazz/blues music at night. On February 14th of this year, they swapped out the services and now the news/talk and jazz/blues music is on HPR-1 while classical and fine arts is on HPR-2.

Plus, as of last week, I believe that HPR became the first station in the NPR member network to air All Songs Considered as an on-air program from NPR Music. It’s airing on HPR-1 on Friday nights as a half-hour program at 6:30 p.m. HT.

Five stations fill the HPR-1 service while four serve HPR-2. Also good to mention is that HPR is also available on television through Spectrum. HPR-1 is on Channel 894 while HPR-2 is on Channel 895.

It produces so many programs that it would probably take up half of this section about HPR. However it has been known by HPR to be one of the most successful donation-given, underwriting stations in the member network.

If you wanna see the changes that HPR put up back in February, here are some few links to check out:

North Carolina Public Radio, even though its just on one main station: 91.5 WUNC in Chapel Hill.

6. Saturday, June 10th, 2017: 91.5 WUNC / Chapel Hill — Raleigh — Durham

The flagship NPR news source for the Research Triangle (Raleigh — Durham), WUNC is the only non-commercial radio station owned by the University of North Carolina, which by the way, also owns the television network UNC-TV which we gave a shoutout to earlier in the week.

WUNC is probably best known within the NPR network for producing and syndicating the health-focused program called The People’s Pharmacy, hosted by the married couple of Joe and Terry Graedon. It also airs a local program called The State of Things which is aired at 12:00 Noon ET weekdays.

WUNC, which carries an all-news/information format, airs its programming across five stations including WUNC, which is the flagship (and serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle, but also covers the eastern Piedmont Triad, including Greensboro and High Point):

  • 90.9 FM WRQM in Rocky Mount, N.C. (serving far eastern Triangle and Greenville, N.C.)
  • 88.9 WUND-FM in Manteo, N.C. (Northeastern North Carolina and Outer Banks)
  • 91.1 WUNW-FM in Welcome, N.C. (portions of Davidson County)
  • 91.9 FM WFSS in Fayetteville.

WUNC also needs two translators of its own:

  • 91.9 FM W216BE in Buxton, N.C.
  • 99.9 FM W260CU in Southern Pines, N.C.

Just last year, WUNC (through the WUNC-FM signal ONLY) carries an Adult Album Alternative music format on its HD2 subchannel called WUNC Music. It also plays Indie rock, Americana and North Carolina-centric music. None of the other full-power satellite stations carry an HD Radio signal.

WQED Pittsburgh. You’ll hear that when you watch Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood or even Daniel Tiger’s Neighorhood in the end.

7. Sunday, June 11th, 2017: WQED-TV 13 / Pittsburgh

Out of all of the public television stations that exists in this country, WQED Pittsburgh is the station that was TRULY influential in public broadcasting because THIS station made Fred Rogers very famous and popular in kids all across America.

WQED became the first community-sponsored television station in the United States when it signed on-air April 1st, 1954. Fred Rogers came to WQED in 1968, two years before National Educational Television (NET) folded and gave way to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). He hosted his program until 2001 but his spirit lives on today through the spin-off PBS Kids show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

WQED actually employed a now-big time celebrity by the name of Michael Keaton, who worked behind the scenes on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and has since emerged as an international superstar with hits such as Night Shift (1982) and Beetlejuice (1988).

WQED also had its very own post-production office and editing facilities in Los Angeles (LA for god sakes! Not even WGBH Boston had one). Known as QED West, it was the editing center for much of WQED’s national programming. However, it has since been shut down.

It also owned a secondary PBS station for the Pittsburgh market in WQEX Channel 16. They owned it until 1999 when they tried to sell it but failed tremendously. In 2002, it became commercial-ized and went all-shopping initially with ShopNBC (now Evine). In 2010, WQED finally sold WQEX to ION Media Networks which, don’t be surprised to hear this, converted it to a ION Television station in 2011 and changed its call sign to WINP.

However, despite the struggles that WQED was facing in the late 90s — early 2000s, it still enjoys its success as one of the most watched and most recognized PBS affiliates in the country. And when you see a WQED-produced program in the end, you’ll definitely heard the words: WQED Pittsburgh.


That’s your shoutouts from Week 6 of @PubMediaFans on Twitter. Check us out on Sundays when we release our weekly sorta-type newsletter here on Medium, “The Best of @PubMediaFans” and the best part, as long as you follow it, its FREE! Can’t go wrong with that. We’ll do this again tomorrow.

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