Mississippi Public Broadcasting

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Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Mississippi Public Broadcasting Logo.svg
statewide Mississippi
United States
Branding MPB
Slogan Educating, Entertaining, Enlightening
Channels Digital: see table below
Subchannels see table below
Affiliations Television:
PBS (1970-present)
Radio: NPR
Owner Mississippi Authority for Educational Television
First air date February 1, 1970; 44 years ago (1970-02-01) (television)
1984; 30 years ago (1984) (radio)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Public Broadcasting Profile
Public Broadcasting CDBS
Website www.mpbonline.org

Mississippi Public Broadcasting is the public broadcasting state network in Mississippi, United States. It is owned by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, an agency of the Mississippi state government that holds the licenses for all of the PBS and NPR member stations in the state.

History[edit]

In January 1970, WMAA-TV, channel 29 (now WMPN-TV) started broadcasting from Jackson as the first-ever public broadcasting station in the state.[citation needed] Mississippi was a relative latecomer to public broadcasting; channel 29's debut made Mississippi the last state east of the Mississippi River to obtain a public television station within its borders. Previously, the only areas of the state to get a clear signal from a National Educational Television (NET) or PBS station had been the northwestern counties (from Memphis' WKNO) and the counties along the Gulf Coast (from New Orleans' WYES-TV and Mobile's Alabama Educational Television outlet, WEIQ). The initial broadcast was written by Jeanne Lucket and produced and directed by Mims Wright, then Director of Public Affairs at Jackson NBC affiliate WLBT.

Only four months after beginning operations, MAET received unwanted national attention when it refused to carry Sesame Street because of its racially integrated cast. That decision was reversed 22 days later after a nationwide outcry.[1][2] Six other stations began operation over the next few years, and the state network became known as Mississippi Educational Television, or simply ETV.

Public radio came even later, arriving in the state in 1983. Eventually, Public Radio in Mississippi or PRM expanded to eight stations throughout the state.

In 2005, MAET adopted "Mississippi Public Broadcasting" as an umbrella on-air name for all television and radio operations.

Educational programming[edit]

Since its inception, MPB has produced many Educational television or instructional television programs from its Jackson studios. A partial list includes Tomes & Talismans, The Write Channel, Clyde Frog Show, About Safety, Ticktock Minutes, Zebra Wings, Posie Paints, Project Survival, The Metric System, and Between the Lions.

MPB Television[edit]

As of 2009, the MPB television stations are: [3]

Station City of license Channels
TV / RF
First air date Call letters'
meaning
ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
WMPN-TV1 Jackson 29 (PSIP)
20 (UHF)
February 1, 1970 Mississippi
Public
Network
400 kW 482 m 43168 32°11′29″N 90°24′22″W / 32.19139°N 90.40611°W / 32.19139; -90.40611 (WMPN-TV)
WMAH-TV Biloxi 19 (PSIP)
16 (UHF)
January 14, 1972 540 kW 474.4 m 43197 30°45′18″N 88°56′44″W / 30.75500°N 88.94556°W / 30.75500; -88.94556 (WMAH-TV)
WMAE-TV Booneville 12 (PSIP)
12 (VHF)
August 11, 1974 31 kW 223 m 43170 34°40′0.8″N 88°45′5″W / 34.666889°N 88.75139°W / 34.666889; -88.75139 (WMAE-TV)
WMAU-TV Bude 17 (PSIP)
18 (UHF)
January 14, 1972 682 kW 340 m 43184 31°22′22″N 90°45′4″W / 31.37278°N 90.75111°W / 31.37278; -90.75111 (WMAU-TV)
WMAO-TV Greenwood 23 (PSIP)
25 (UHF)
September 15, 1972 815 kW 317.3 m 43176 33°22′34″N 90°32′32″W / 33.37611°N 90.54222°W / 33.37611; -90.54222 (WMAO-TV)
WMAW-TV Meridian 14 (PSIP)
44 (UHF)
January 14, 1972 880 kW 369 m 43169 32°8′18″N 89°5′36″W / 32.13833°N 89.09333°W / 32.13833; -89.09333 (WMAW-TV)
WMAB-TV Mississippi State 2 (PSIP)
10 (VHF)
July 4, 1971 8 kW 349 m 43192 33°21′14″N 89°9′0″W / 33.35389°N 89.15000°W / 33.35389; -89.15000 (WMAB-TV)
WMAV-TV Oxford-University 18 (PSIP)
36 (UHF)
May 19, 1972 272.5 kW 426.3 m 43193 34°17′28″N 89°42′21″W / 34.29111°N 89.70583°W / 34.29111; -89.70583 (WMAV-TV)

Notes:

  • 1. WMPN-TV used the callsign WMAA-TV from its 1970 sign-on until 1990.

Coverage areas[edit]

Station Signal Reach
WMPN Jackson and West Central Mississippi
WMAB Southern portion of the Tupelo/Columbus market and Northern portion of Meridian market.
WMAE Northeast Mississippi (Northern portion of the Tupelo/Columbus market)
WMAH South Mississippi (Hattiesburg/Laurel and Biloxi/Gulfport markets, as well as parts of Mobile/Pensacola and New Orleans markets)
WMAO Mississippi Delta (Greenwood/Greenville)
WMAU Southwest Mississippi
WMAV Northwest Mississippi, as well as parts of Tennessee and Arkansas (Memphis, TN market)
WMAW Meridian market and Northern portion of the Hattiesburg/Laurel market


Mississippi Public Broadcasting also operates a translator station: W45AA-D in Columbia (digital).

Mississippi Public Broadcasting has also operated a microwave-relay station KMZ-77 for many years. This special microwave relay station has been used as a studio-to-transmitter link (STL) for WMPN-TV in Jackson. During the weekly signoff message (formerly nightly signoff message), KMZ 77 would be mentioned following the technical specifications of WMPN-TV; as of 1992, it operates with a frequency of 7012.5 MHz to serve the studio in Jackson. KMZ-77 was also mentioned in the same manner during the time prior to 1990 when WMPN-TV carried the call sign of WMAA-TV. Each station in the state network and KMZ-77 would be identified in the state network's signoff message as being owned and operated by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, with studios at 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson.[4]

Although the FCC apparently granted MPB a permit to build WMAA channel 43, a digital-only station near Columbus, MPB has stated there are currently no plans or funding to build the station.

MPB Television covers nearly all of the state, as well as parts of Alabama and Tennessee. Additionally, WMAV is carried on DirecTV and Dish Network's Memphis feeds, bringing its programming to an additional 1.4 million people in Tennessee and Arkansas. Oxford is part of the Memphis market.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The digital signals of MPB's stations are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]
xx.1 480i 4:3 MPB-SD Main MPB programming / PBS
xx.2 1080i 16:9 MPB-HD
xx.3 480i 4:3 MPB-CR Create
xx.4 MPB-FM MPB Music Radio

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur on June 12, MPB shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. Listed below are the dates each analog transmitter ceased operations as well as their post-transition channel allocations:[12]

  • WMPN-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 29, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 20. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 29.
  • WMAH-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 19, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 16. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 19.
  • WMAE-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 55, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 12.
  • WMAU-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 17, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 18. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 17.
  • WMAO-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 23, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 25. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 23.
  • WMAW-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal, remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 44. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 14.
  • WMAB-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 10. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.
  • WMAV-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 18, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 36. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 18.

Notable local programming[edit]

MPB Radio[edit]

MPB Radio consists of eight stations covering most of the state. It airs mostly news and talk programming from NPR, along with several locally produced shows.

Recently, MPB has added a 24-hour classical music service on its second HD channel. It brands this programming as "Music Radio," while the original MPB Radio service is known as "Think Radio."

MPB Radio streams both of its services live in Windows Media and Mac formats.

Call sign Frequency Watts Class City of license Broadcast Area
WMAB 89.9 FM 64,300 C1 Mississippi State, Mississippi [1]
WMAE 89.5 FM 85,000 C1 Booneville, Mississippi [2]
WMAH 90.3 FM 100,000 C Biloxi, Mississippi [3]
WMAO 90.9 FM 100,000 C1 Greenwood, Mississippi [4]
WMAU 88.9 FM 100,000 C1 Bude, Mississippi [5]
WMAV 90.3 FM 100,000 C Oxford, Mississippi [6]
WMAW 88.1 FM 100,000 C Meridian, Mississippi [7]
WMPN 91.3 FM 45,000 C Jackson, Mississippi [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jan/08/entertainment/et-book8?pg=2
  2. ^ http://www.newsweek.com/id/199141
  3. ^ http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20090206/BIZ/902060338/-1/frontpagetabmodule-1V
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMPN
  5. ^ [http;//www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=station_search&callsign=WMAH#station RabbitEars TV Query for WMAH]
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMAE
  7. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMAU
  8. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMAO
  9. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMAW
  10. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMAB
  11. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMAV
  12. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

External links[edit]