||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
|Branding||'GBH 2 (general)
WGBH Boston (national productions)
|Slogan||Produced in Boston, Shared with the World|
|Channels||Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||2.1 WGBH HD
2.2 WORLD SD
|Owner||WGBH Educational Foundation|
|First air date||May 2, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||Great Blue Hill—see below
Western Great Blue Hill
|Sister station(s)||WGBH, WGBX-TV, WCAI, WNAN, WZAI, WCRB|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
2 (VHF, 1955 –2009 )
|Former affiliations||NET (1955 –1970 )|
|Transmitter power||700 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
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 (PBS), 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 (channel 44) and the public radio stations WGBH (FM) and WCRB in the Boston area, and WCAI (and satellites WZAI and WNAN) in Cape Cod. Another sister station is WGBY-TV (channel 57), 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 (Descriptive Video Service), 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.
WGBH Educational Foundation received its first broadcasting license (for radio) 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 (for Raytheon Television Broadcasting). WRTB never made it on the air, opening the way for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 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.
Initial funding for starting the first public broadcasting television station in Boston came from the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation .
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.
Transmission facilities 
"GBH" stands for Great Blue Hill, the location of WGBH's FM transmitter, as well as the original location of WGBH-TV's transmitter. Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts, has an elevation of 635 feet (193 m) and is the highest point in the Boston area. Today, WGBH-TV's and WGBX-TV's transmitters are located at the CBS digital television facility in Needham, Massachusetts, where channel 44 first transmitted on September 25, 1967; channel 2 moved there on June 18, 1966. WGBX-TV's digital service on channel 43 shares the master antenna at the very top of the tower with the commercial stations. Analog channel 44 has a separate antenna lower down that is shared with WGBH-DT on channel 19.
WGBH operates a Shaw Broadcast Services satellite uplink facility which provides Boston broadcast television stations to Canadian cable and satellite TV distributors. As a Canadian company, Shaw is not legally entitled to operate an uplink facility in the United States. Hence, it pays WGBH to perform this service on its behalf. This facility is also located at the CBS (WBZ-TV) tower in Needham.
WGBH's original studios were located at 84 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts (presently Stratton Student Center) on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until the building burned down in a 1961 fire. Three years later, after being based in temporary offices and using the studios of Boston's commercial television stations to produce local programming, the station moved to 125 Western Avenue in the Allston neighborhood of Boston. The ZIP code of the station and its post-office box—PO Box 350, Boston, MA 02134—gained notice in a recurring jingle on its 1970s and late 1990s children's program, ZOOM.
As WGBH's operations grew, the 125 Western Avenue building proved inadequate; some administrative operations were moved across the street to 114 Western Avenue, with an overhead pedestrian bridge connecting the two buildings. By 2005, WGBH had facilities in more than a dozen buildings in the Allston area. The station's need for more studio space dovetailed with Harvard Business School's desire to expand its adjacent campus; Harvard already owned the land on which the WGBH studios were located. WGBH built a new studio complex, designed by James Polshek & Partners, in nearby Brighton, spanning the block of Market Street from Guest Street to North Beacon Street, with radio studios facing pedestrian traffic on Market Street. The postal address and lobby entrance of the new studio building is 1 Guest Street; it was inaugurated in June 2007. The outside of the building carries a 30 by 45 feet (14 m) "digital mural" LED screen, displaying a different image each day to commuters on the passing Massachusetts Turnpike. Television shows and radio programs continued to shoot at the Western Avenue studios until migration to the new facility reached completion in September 2007. The old Western Avenue studios were renovated by Harvard University in 2011 to house the Harvard Innovation Lab.
Callsign history 
WGBH's original transmitter was located on Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts (thus the choice of WGBH as a callsign) and the FM radio transmitter is still there. In the late 1960s, WGBH planned a second TV station for Boston, and four other TV stations across Massachusetts. As a result, all of WGBH's TV stations have the WGB* call letters; channel 44 in Boston (launched in 1967) has WGBX, while channel 57 in Springfield, Massachusetts (launched in 1971) has WGBY. There were to have been three additional WGBH-owned stations, including a WGBW in Adams, Massachusetts on channel 35 (its W was to stand for West; the callsign has since been reassigned to a radio station in Two Rivers, Wisconsin), and stations in New Bedford and Worcester. Only WGBX and WGBY actually made it on the air.
WGBH's callsign is occasionally jokingly expanded as "God Bless Harvard", although the station's connections with the university are at best indirect. (Harvard was one of several Boston-area universities which took part in the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council and rented space to WGBH on Western Avenue in Allston for the station's studios.)
The Media Access Group division at WGBH provides not only its own captions but also most of the captions for broadcast network shows, with the exception of ABC. Plus, it is the main provider for audio description soundtracks for the visually impaired viewer.
Channels and digital services 
This is the main television service of WGBH, as it is the television station first licensed by the Foundation. It broadcasts mixed programming during the week with children's programs during the day and documentary and entertainment material at night; Saturday programming focuses heavily on cooking and home improvement how-to shows.
Similar to WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, WGBH operates a secondary station, WGBX-TV. The current tagline for this station is "independent, original, 'GBX 44". WGBX-TV focuses on program genres not covered by WGBH-TV. Reruns of the previous night's programming either from WGBH-TV or from WGBX-TV itself also makes up a part of the station's programming. WGBX's digital channel provides several digital side channels that rerun programming from both WGBH and from other PBS stations around the country.
- WGBX-TV 44/DT 43 Boston
WGBH also owns and manages WGBY, the PBS affiliate in the Springfield, Massachusetts market; it however has its own branding and logo and is run separately from the Boston operation. Its digital channel carries similar programming to WGBX.
Other TV services 
WGBH is one of six local Boston TV stations seen in Canada on the Bell TV satellite provider.
WGBH Online 
The internet is WGBH's "third platform" - All radio and television programs have web components that are available at wgbh.org. There are also "web-only" productions:
- WGBH Forum Network Free web public lecture videos and podcasts in partnership with Boston's leading cultural and educational organizations
- WGBH Podcasts - wgbh.org/podcasts
- WGBH Media Library and Archives - openvault.wgbh.org
Digital television 
The stations digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|2.1||1080i||16:9||WGBH-HD||Main WGBH programming / PBS|
|44.1||WGBH 44 HD|
|44.4||1080i||16:9||'GBH Kids||Children-oriented programs|
Formerly WGBH HD showed a separate slate of programming from the analog channel to showcase PBS's high definition content; however, in 2008 it switched to a high-definition simulcast of the analog channel, with standard-definition programming presented in windowbox or letterbox format.
Channel 2.2 480i was WGBH-SD, a non-high-definition version of 2.1 1080i WGBH-HD. In about April 2012 channel 2.2 started broadcasting PBS World instead, a copy of 44.2.
WGBH now exclusively broadcasts a digital signal on UHF channel 19, retaining its Channel 2 branding and mapping on digital tuners as virtual channel 2 via PSIP technology. After the June 12, 2009 transition to digital TV mandated by the FCC, WGBH's analog signal broadcast nightlight service information at a lower power before permanently ceasing transmission. Eventually the channel 2 frequency (54-60 megahertz) will be available for other uses.
In early 2010, the station became the first mobile DTV provider in the Boston area. It transmits two free-to-air channels using the ATSC-M/H standard, at 2.75 Mbit/s, with its first subchannel labelled as "WGBH CH 2".
Major WGBH television productions 
- Africans in America (1998–1999) PBS
- All About You
- America's Ballroom Challenge
- American Experience (1988–present PBS)
- Andre's Mother
- Antiques Roadshow (U.S.) (1997–present) PBS
- Antiques Roadshow FYI
- Arthur (1996–present PBS with Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc.)
- Basic Black (formerly Say Brother)
- Camera Three
- Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy (2002) PBS
- Coyote Waits Granada Television PBS
- Curious George (with Imagine Entertainment and Universal Animation Studios)
- Culture Shock (2000) PBS
- Between the Lions (with Sirius Thinking Ltd. and Mississippi Public Broadcasting)
- Design Squad (with PBS Kids GO!)
- Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish
- Discover: The World of Science
- Discovering Psychology
- Don't Look Now! (1983, a short-lived spinoff clone of the Canadian TV show You Can't Do That on Television)
- Endgame: Ethics and Values in America (2002) Scott Goldstein Productions PBS
- Evening at Pops (1970–2005) Boston Symphony Orchestra PBS
- Evening Compass
- Evolution (2001) Clear Blue Sky Productions, Inc. PBS
- FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman
- Timmy Time (with Aardman Animation)
- Gaspard and Lisa (with Chorion and Georg Hallensleben)
- Shaun the Sheep (with Aardman Animation)
- French in Action
- The French Chef
- The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
- Greater Boston, a public affairs program on issues of local interest, airing weeknights on WGBH Channel 2 and repeated later on WGBH Channel 44, hosted by Emily Rooney
- Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie
- High School Quiz Show
- La Plaza (1978–present) - series producer Patricia Alvarado Nuñez
- Lidia's Italy (from 2009)
- Long Ago & Far Away
- Last Chance Garage
- Martha Speaks (as of September 1, 2008, co-produced by Studio B Productions)
- MIT Science Reporter
- Masterpiece (formerly known as Masterpiece Theatre) (1971–present PBS
- Mill Times (2002) Public Broadcasting Service
- Misunderstood Minds (2002) PBS
- NOVA (1974–present PBS)
- NOVA scienceNOW
- Neighborhood Kitchens (2011–present, season two currently in production, created, written, directed and series produced by Patricia Alvarado Nuñez
- Old Settler (2001–2004) PBS
- Peep and the Big Wide World (with Ragdoll Productions)
- People's Century (1995) PBS
- Postcards from Buster (2004-2008, 2012- ) (with Marc Brown Studios and Cinar) PBS
- Rebop PBS
- The Reporters PBS
- Right Here, Right Now (2000) American Documentaries Inc. ITVS PBS
- A Science Odyssey (1997-1998) PBS
- Skinwalkers PBS
- Simply Ming
- Conspiracy of Kindness (2005) PBS
- The Ten O'Clock News
- The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (1996–present) PBS
- This Old House (1979–present PBS)
- Ask This Old House
- The New Yankee Workshop
- They Made America (2004) PBS
- Time Warp Trio (2005-2006 Discovery Kids)
- The Question of God (2001) (co-production with Walden Media) PBS
- The Victory Garden (1975–2010) PBS
- War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
- The Wizard of Oz (1958, now produced by DiC Entertainment)
- The Western Tradition
- Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego (in partnership with WQED in Pittsburgh)
- Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego (in partnership with WQED in Pittsburgh)
- WayBack (1998–2004) PBS
- WOOF! (1998–2002) PBS
- ZOOM (1999–2006) PBS
- El Chavo: the Animated Series (2006-2013) PBS
- Morning Stories Public radio's first podcast directed and produced by Tony Kahn for WGBH 89.7 and WGBH.org.
Notable people who have appeared regularly in WGBH productions 
- Julia Child, "The French Chef"
- James Underwood Crockett, "The Victory Garden"
- Bob Vila, "This Old House"
- Alistair Cooke, "Masterpiece Theatre"
- Russell Baker, "Masterpiece Theatre"
- Will Lyman, "Frontline"
- Gene Shalit, "Mystery!"
- Vincent Price, "Mystery!"
- Diana Rigg, "Mystery!"
- Robert Krulwich, "NOVA ScienceNOW"
- Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, "NOVA ScienceNOW"
- Christopher Lydon, "The Ten O'Clock News"
- Michael Kolowich, "The Ten O'Clock News"
- Steve Curwood, "The Ten O'Clock News"
- Meg Vaillancourt, "The Ten O'Clock News"
- Emily Rooney, Greater Boston
- Thomas J. MacDonald, Rough Cut - Woodworking with Tommy Mac
- Michael Dukakis, The Advocates
- Roger Fisher, The Advocates
- William A. Rusher, The Advocates
- Elliot Norton, Elliot Norton Reviews
- Bud Collins, Tennis: US Pro; National Doubles
WGBH alum maintain a website where stories and photographs can be shared. Occasional reunions are held, including ones in 2000 and 2006.
- "Fire Ravages WGBH". The Tech. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. - WGBH Headquarters
- "About our digital mural"
- "Harvard Innovation Lab Opens". Harvard Business School. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
- "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2006-02-19.
- Mobile TV takes three steps forward in Asia, North America, one step back in Europe
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: WGBH Guest Street studios|
- WGBH website
- WGBH Alumni
- WGBH Forum Network
- @wgbh on Twitter
- WGBH Channel 2 Boston on Facebook
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WGBH
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WGBH-TV
- WGBH-TV signoff, March 1, 1991
- WGBH Open Vault
- WGBH, News and Culture at the iTunes Preview