Georgia Public Broadcasting
Coordinates: Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) is the public broadcasting radio and television state network in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is operated by the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission.
GPB operates all of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) stations in Georgia, except WPBA, WABE, and WCLK in Atlanta, WFSL-FM in Thomasville (which relays WFSQ-FM from FSU radio in Tallahassee, Florida), and WTJB-FM in Columbus (which relays Troy University Public Radio from WTSU-FM in Troy, Alabama).
- 1 History
- 2 GPB Radio
- 3 GPB Television
- 4 Cable and satellite availability
- 5 GPB Education
- 6 Departments
- 7 Idents
- 8 References
- 9 External links
In 1960, the University of Georgia began WGTV, Georgia's second public television station (after WETV, now WPBA). From 1960 to 1964, in a separate initiative, the Georgia Board of Education started up four educational television stations across the state, aimed at in-school instruction. In 1965, the university and the board merged their efforts as Georgia Educational Television (GETV). It became Georgia Public Television (GPTV) in 1970, a year after the state legislature transferred authority for the stations to the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission, the oversight board for GPB.
In 1984, the GPTC entered public radio for the first time, starting stations in Macon and Columbus. These formed the nuclei of Peach State Public Radio, renamed Georgia Public Radio in 2001. During the 1980s and 1990s, stations that had been operated by other educational institutions and community groups became affiliated with the network.
In 1995, the GPTC began using "Georgia Public Broadcasting" as its corporate name. In early 2004, GPTV and Georgia Public Radio officially became known as Georgia Public Broadcasting, which now serves as an umbrella title for all GPB operations.
Its headquarters and primary radio and television production facility is on Fourteenth Street in Midtown Atlanta, just west of the Downtown Connector in the Home Park neighborhood, north of Georgia Tech and south of Atlantic Station. This facility caused some controversy when, because of its inherently educational nature, GPB was allowed to use Georgia Lottery funds for construction of the mid-rise building.
The GPB studios were used for the first-season production of the syndicated CBS Television Distribution program Swift Justice With Nancy Grace via a subsidy by the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, and was credited as such at the end of each episode. Production of that series was moved to Los Angeles for its second season.
GPB Radio broadcasts 24 hours per day on several FM stations across the state, except in Atlanta. The network had translator station W264AE in Atlanta on 100.7 FM with a tower located downtown. However, it (and WGHR) was forced to go silent when full-power station WWWQ (now WNNX) FM 100.5 was moved in on an adjacent channel from Anniston, Alabama (where it was WHMA-FM). Despite having almost no presence in Atlanta, the network reaches nearly all the rest of Georgia, plus parts of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
The stations air a mix of classical music and NPR news and talk. Some stations have some locally-produced programming.
Previously, GPB Radio could be heard on the second audio program (SAP) of GPB analog TV at most times. It can still be heard this way on DirecTV, but for unknown reasons not on over-the-air digital television or cable.
GPB Radio stations in southern and southeastern Georgia also relay hurricane evacuation information for listeners approaching or leaving Georgia's Atlantic coast or the Florida panhandle. Signs along Interstate and other major highways in the region direct the evacuee to the nearest GPB Radio station carrying the emergency information.
|Brunswick||88.9 FM||WWIO-FM||relays WSVH|
|Carrollton||90.7 FM||WUWG||Some local content from University of West Georgia|
|Chatsworth||98.9 FM||WNGH-FM||Simulcasts WGPB|
|Cochran/Macon||89.7 FM||WMUM-FM||Some local programming from Mercer University|
|Demorest||88.3 FM||WPPR||Translator W300AY (107.9 FM) Hartwell|
|Fort Gaines||90.9 FM||WJWV||Translator W257BS (99.3 FM) Bainbridge|
|Rome||97.7 FM||WGPB||Feeds WNGH-FM Chatsworth|
|Savannah||91.1 FM||WSVH||Feeds WWIO and WWIO-FM|
|St. Marys||1190 AM||WWIO||Relays WSVH Savannah|
|Tifton||91.1 FM||WABR||Translator W232AB (94.3 FM) Camilla|
|Valdosta||91.7 FM||WWET||Translator W279BD (103.7 FM) Thomasville|
|Warm Springs/Columbus||88.1 FM||WJSP-FM|
|Young Harris||90.3 FM||WBTB||Not yet on air|
Except for W250AC in Athens and former W264AE IN Atlanta, none of the translator stations are owned by GPB/GPTC, but rather by Radio Assist Ministry and Edgewater Broadcasting, two related companies that speculatively apply for such stations during FCC filing windows, assign them to non-commercial educational "parent" stations to avoid broadcast license fees, then rent or sell them to other stations for a profit. While many more RAM/EB stations are assigned to rebroadcast GPB stations in the FCC database, only these five are listed by GPB.
GPB Television broadcasts PBS and GPB programming 24 hours per day on a network of nine full-power stations plus numerous low-power LPTV broadcast translator stations (especially in the state's mountainous northeastern counties). The Descriptive Video Service can be heard on the SAP channel when the current program offers it, and GPB Radio can be heard when it does not. It reaches nearly all of Georgia, plus parts of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. All stations are rebroadcasters, simulcasting at all times. GPB-produced programming includes Gardening in Georgia, Georgia Backroads, Georgia's Business, Georgia Outdoors, Georgia Traveler, and many more, such as annual coverage of the Georgia General Assembly when it is in legislative session early in the year.
GPB Knowledge is a digital subchannel (x.3), operating since September 2008 but officially launched on October 1. GPB Knowledge carries PBS World in prime time and GPB documentary and news programming (including BBC World News). It replaces GPB Education, which is still available to schools statewide on demand by Internet.
GPB Kids began in January 2009 on channel x.2, replacing the standard-definition feed (identical to analog) of GPB's main channel. In December 2008, it was only a static station identification for all nine stations (including the GPB/PBS Kids logo), and the electronic program guide for the channel continued to show GPB TV main-channel information.
Each of GPB's television stations identifies itself with two locations—usually, the smaller community where the station is licensed by the FCC (almost always the transmitter location) and the larger city it serves. The exceptions are WVAN-TV and WJSP-TV, which are actually licensed in major Georgia cities: WVAN-TV is licensed to Savannah, while WJSP-TV is licensed to Columbus. However, in order to conform to the pattern, GPB lists the locations for the stations' transmitters as the second city.
This rule only applies to the television stations, not to those on radio, which, except for two, bear only the location of the transmitter.
The GPB television stations are:
|Station||City of license / City served||Channels
TV / RF
|Public license information|
|WGTV||Athens / Atlanta||8 (PSIP)
|May 23, 1960||21 kW||326 m||23948||Profile
|WXGA-TV||Waycross / Valdosta||8 (PSIP)
|December 4, 1961||20 kW||286 m||23929||Profile
|WVAN-TV||Savannah / Pembroke||9 (PSIP)
|September 16, 1963||20 kW||293 m||23947||Profile
|WABW-TV||Pelham / Albany||14 (PSIP)
|January 2, 1967||3.8 kW||474 m||23917||Profile
|WNGH-TV3||Chatsworth / Dalton||18 (PSIP)
|January 30, 1967||426 kW||537 m||23942||Profile
|WCES-TV||Wrens / Augusta||20 (PSIP)
|September 12, 1966||30 kW||436 m||23937||Profile
|WACS-TV 1||Dawson / Americus||25 (PSIP)
|March 6, 1967||6 kW||313 m||23930||Profile
|WJSP-TV||Columbus / Warm Springs||28 (PSIP)
|August 10, 1964||250 kW||462 m||23918||Profile
|WMUM-TV 2||Cochran / Macon||29 (PSIP)
|January 1, 1968||22 kW||369 m||23935||Profile
1 WACS-TV was off-air from March 1, 2007 to April or May 2008, due to a radio tower collapse caused by a tornado.
2 At the time of its sign-on in 1968, WMUM-TV was known as WDCO-TV and broadcast on channel 15. WDCO-TV moved to channel 29 in 1990, and changed to its current call letters in 2006.
3 At the time of its sign-on in 1967, WNGH-TV was known as WCLP, which changed from WCLP-TV (1979) to its current call letters in 2008 to match the new GPB FM station.
On December 23, 2010, the University of Georgia announced that its television station WNEG-TV in Toccoa will be starting a programming partnership with GPB, which would provide all programming to the station, with most of the content coming from its GPB Knowledge subchannel. The station filed with the FCC to change to a non-commercial license. The new partnership between UGA and GPB is due to a reduction of advertising dollars, resulting from the economic downturn and WNEG's loss of CBS affiliation. At 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 1, 2011, the station has started airing GPB Knowledge programming, with the call letter change to WUGA-TV commencing a day later.
WGTV, WXGA-TV, and WVAN-TV were the first GPB stations to commence digital television operations. The other six stations began digital broadcasting in July 2008. The ERP/HAAT figures listed within the table for those stations are based on those listed in the stations' individual Wikipedia articles, though some of the stations were operating at low power, and only went full-power when the final analog television shutdown occurred.
Georgia Public Broadcasting broadcasts the following digital subchannels:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|x.1||1080i||16:9||GPB-HD||Main GPB programming / PBS|
Programming is the same on all nine stations, but channel labels differ somewhat between them.
The above example labels are from WGTV, while another station uses "WNGH-DT", "Kids", and "Knowled" (the limit for channel label being seven characters).
The hourly station identification indicates all stations have a -DT suffix, when in fact all still legally have -TV, except for WGTV which has no suffix.
After analog shutdown
After the analog television shutdown:
- WACS-TV, WNGH-TV, WJSP-TV, and WMUM-TV remained on their respective, pre-transition channel numbers (8, 33, 23, and 7).
- WGTV, WXGA-TV, and WVAN-TV returned to channels 8, 8, and 9, respectively, for their digital transmissions;
- WABW-TV and WCES-TV each moved to channel 6 for their digital broadcasts.
GPB has placed most of its stations on VHF due to the lower effective radiated power requirements (20 or 32 kW instead of 1000 kW), which in turn reduces the cost of buying the transmitter and using the electrical power for it. For WABW and WCES, this will make them one of the few in the country to use low-VHF channels (2 to 6), which require larger receiving antennas, are prone to tropospheric ducting (weather) and impulse noise, make mobile TV (ATSC-M/H) difficult, and for 5 and 6 are also an obstacle to expanding the FM broadcast band. The upper-VHF channels also have these problems, but less so.
Cable and satellite availability
GPB Television is carried on all cable systems in Georgia. Additionally, Savannah's WVAN is carried on Hargray's cable systems in southeastern South Carolina; Columbus' WJSP is carried on cable systems in Phenix City and Auburn, Alabama; and Augusta's WCES is carried on most cable systems in Aiken and Edgefield, South Carolina. WABW is carried on Comcast's Tallahassee system.
On satellite, WGTV, WVAN, WCES, WJSP, WNUM, WABW, WNGH, WXGA and WACS are carried on the Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Albany, Chattanooga, Jacksonville and Tallahassee DirecTV and Dish Network feeds, respectively.
- W13DJ-D Carrollton, channel 13—digital signal reaches parts of Carroll County in northern west-central Georgia, replaced W49AD in late summer 2009
- W08EG-D Toccoa, channel 68—signal reaches parts of Stephens and Habersham counties in northeastern Georgia, and replaced W68AF
- W11DD-D Hartwell & Royston, channel 11—signal reaches Hart and neighboring counties in northeastern Georgia, replaced analog W22AC
- W12DK-D Young Harris, channel 12—located on Brasstown Bald (highest point in state) with future GPB WBTB FM; was formerly W04BJ, whose signal from a different site reached parts of Towns and Union counties in far north-northeastern Georgia, off-air since May 2008 due to equipment failure
- W50AB Hiawassee, channel 50—signal reached parts of Towns and Rabun counties in northeastern Georgia, digital coverage provided by W04BJ's replacement
The first two are assigned to WGTV, the middle to WCES, and the latter two to WNGH. W49AD in downtown Carrollton was assigned to WJSP, while W13DJ-D is outside of town.
The following translators were abandoned by GPB, which had their licenses (and in some cases digital applications and permits) cancelled by the FCC, apparently at GPB's request, possibly due to the expense of running and upgrading them.
- Carnesville, channel 52—signal reached parts of Franklin County in northeastern Georgia
- Cedartown, channel 65—signal reached parts of Polk and Floyd counties in northwestern Georgia
- Draketown, channel 27—signal reached parts of Haralson and Paulding counties in northwestern Georgia
- Elberton, channel 60—signal reached parts of Elbert County in northeastern Georgia
- Flintstone, channel 51—signal reached parts of Walker, Dade, and Catoosa Counties in Northwestern Georgia, as well as parts of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee
- LaFayette, channel 35—signal reached parts of Walker and Dade counties in northwestern Georgia
- Gardening in Georgia
- Georgia's Backroads and More Georgia Backroads
- Georgia's Business
- Georgia Outdoors
- Georgia Traveler
- On the Story
- Georgia Aquarium: Keepers of the Deep
- Georgia Gazette
- Georgia Graduation Stories
- Georgia High School Sports
- Georgia On My Mind
- Georgia Quilts: Stitches And Stories
- Georgia Read More
- Georgia Serenade
- Georgia Valor
- Georgia Weekly
- Georgia's Civil War
- Georgia's Historic Inns
- Historic Houses of Georgia: The Antebellum Years
- Main Street Georgia
- Quarterly Pledge Drives
- Secret Seashore: Georgia's Barrier Islands (see The Golden Isles of Georgia)
- Sites to Behold: The History of Georgia's State Parks
- Sustainable Georgia
- The Georgia Meth Invasion
- The South Takes Flight: 100 Years of Aviation in Georgia
- The Thomas B. Murphy Story (see Tom Murphy)
- Vanishing Georgia
- Lost Atlanta: The Way We Were
- The Day Atlanta Stood Still
- On the Story
GPB Education (formerly known as Peachstar) serves state agencies and the Georgia learning community through the use of telecommunications technology. GPB delivers high-quality educational programming that reflects state standards to Georgia classrooms using the GPB satellite network, open-air television, and the GPB video streaming portal. GPB provides professional development to Georgia educators through face-to-face trainings, satellite-delivered programs, and interactive webcasts. GPB also meets the training needs of state agencies through its video production, satellite broadcast, and interactive webcasting services, as well as through its extensive digital library.
GPB News is the news-gathering department of GPB. It is responsible for news updates to both GPB Radio and GPB TV, and collaborates with the Atlanta Business Chronicle to produce Georgia Business News. Prime Time Lawmakers (formerly known as Lawmakers) is the main broadcast for coverage and commentary on the Georgia General Assembly throughout each session. In 2014 GPB News discontinued Prime Time Lawmakers and now airs "On the Story".
GPB Sports produces news coverage and commentary on sports throughout the state. It produces GPB SportsCentral, PrepSports, and Road to the Dome.
From 1960 to 1970, the logo for Georgia Educational Television probably consisted of just in-credit notices at the end of locally produced programs and simple text on identification slides or cards at the beginning of each program. It is currently unknown whether an actual logo was employed or not; typically, public stations in most areas during that time (as well as lower-budget commercial stations) did not have the resources to design emblems for branding.
Ten years later in 1970, GETV was renamed Georgia Public Television. The first GPTV ident had the screen flashing rainbow colors, and different-colored backgrounds would, one by one, ease back as red, green, and blue circles on a yellow background, which would then zoom back as a yellow circle on a black background. As the yellow background turned into a circle and zoomed behind the first three circles, which were now arranged in a pyramid-like formation, it would reveal the white words "Georgia Public Television" in a 1970s-like font. When the animation ends, the logo looks like an abstract film cylinder. GPTV used this ID for thirteen years, which used a somewhat startling musical fanfare with a rising synthesizer undertone at the end.
In 1983, the cylinder logo was recreated with early CGI. The film cylinder, colored white this time around, rolled and floated on a blue background towards the words "Georgia Public Television" as colors shot through its three holes. It came to rest next to the words, and the accompanying jingle was a drumbeat, and a buzzing electronic sound with two chimes.
The rest of the idents will come momentarily.
- Gainesville Times: "WNEG to join Georgia public broadcasting", December 24, 2010.
- Associated Press, via Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "UGA TV station to join GA.'s state network", December 25, 2010.
- Public TV to end analog era, Kristi E. Swartz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 14, 2009
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- DTV Satellite Transition