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WGBH (1955)


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WGBH-TV, channel 2, is a non-commercial educational public television station located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. WGBH-TV is a member station of the Public Broadcasting Service , and produces more than two-thirds of PBS's national prime time television programming. Programs produced for PBS include Masterpiece, NOVA, Frontline, American Experience, The Victory Garden and This Old House. WGBH is also well-known for having co-produced numerous period dramas and has collaborated for years with British production companies.

The WGBH Educational Foundation, the parent organization, also owns and operates WGBX-TV and the public radio stations WGBH and WCRB in the Boston area, and WCAI in Cape Cod. Another sister station is WGBY-TV , the PBS member station in Springfield, Massachusetts.

WGBH is also considered a leader in accessible media services for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH invented television closed captioning, audio description , and created the Rear Window Captioning System for films they provide these access services to commercial and public TV producers, and to home video, Web sites, and movie theaters nationwide.


For more of a history of the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council see the article on John Lowell, Jr.

WGBH Educational Foundation 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 Radio Boston signed on at 89.7 MHz FM on October 6, 1951, with a live broadcast of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The original construction permit for Channel 2 in Boston went to Raytheon, an electronics company based in neighboring Waltham, Massachusetts, who would have launched a commercial television station under the call letters WRTB-TV . WRTB never made it on the air, opening the way for the Federal Communications Commission to allocate Channel 2 for noncommercial purposes and for WGBH to receive a license to operate on that channel.

WGBH-TV Channel 2 went on the air on May 2, 1955, at 5:20 p.m. with studios located at 84 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. When a fire destroyed the studios in the early morning hours of October 14, 1961, WGBH-TV Channel 2 and WGBH 89.7 FM broadcast from the studios of other broadcasting stations until they were able to build new studios located at 125 Western Avenue in Allston, and begin operations there on August 29, 1963. WGBH moved to a new studio complex on Guest Street in Boston in June 2007.

WGBH was New England's first non-commercial television station and a pioneer in what is now known as public television. Many programs seen on National Educational Television and later, the Public Broadcasting Service, originated at the facilities of WGBH or were otherwise produced by the station.

Today WGBH is known around the U.S. as PBS's primary station due to its great production for PBS prime time television programming and PBS Kids programming.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "WGBH", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.