Connecticut Public Television
(additional coverage in Greater New York, Rhode Island, and western Massachusetts)
|Channels||Digital: See below|
|Slogan||Media for the Curious|
|Affiliations||.1: PBS (1970–present)|
.2: PBS Kids
.3: CPTV Spirit
|Owner||Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc.|
|Connecticut Public Radio|
First air date
|WEDH: October 1, 1962|
Call sign meaning
|Facility ID||See below|
|Transmitter coordinates||See below|
Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network for the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is owned by Connecticut Public Broadcasting, a community-based non-profit organization that holds the licenses for all PBS member stations licensed in the state, and also owns the state's National Public Radio (NPR) member, Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). Together, the television and radio stations make up the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). CPBN is the state's only locally owned media organization producing TV, radio, print and Internet content for distribution across the state. As of 2019, Mark Contreras was announced as the new President / CEO. The organizational structure of CPTV also includes a Board of Trustees. The network co-produced the long-running children's television series, Barney & Friends until the show (alongside other HiT programs) were transferred to WNET.
The network's first station, WEDH in Hartford, signed on with a monochrome black and white transmitter in 1962, based out of facilities in the Trinity College library building. It was the fourth educational television station in New England, following WGBH-TV in Boston, WENH-TV in Durham, New Hampshire (now part of New Hampshire Public Television), and WCBB in Augusta, Maine (now part of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network). Originally a member of National Educational Television (NET), it joined PBS upon its launch on October 4, 1970. Originally known as Connecticut Educational Television, it became Connecticut Public Television in 1967.
CPTV remained based in rented space at Trinity College until selling its headquarters back to the school for $10 million in 2002. In 2004, CPTV moved to a facility in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford. The infrastructure of CPTV was eventually upgraded through a partnership with Sony Systems Integration Center (SIC), which enabled the delivery of HD quality telecommunications to subscribers.
Since 1985, CPTV has received the following awards:
- 69 Regional Emmy Awards
- 6 Golden Eagle Awards
- 7 Mark Twain Awards from the Associated Press
- 2 George Foster Peabody Awards
- 2 Gracie Allen Awards
- 2 Ohio State Awards for Broadcast Excellence
Shows produced by CPTV
CPTV is a major producer of children's programming for the PBS network. Its best-known offering was Barney & Friends. The character was discovered in 1991 when CPTV executive Larry Rifkin bought a Barney and the Backyard Gang home video for his daughter and was mesmerized by it. CPTV continued to distribute the show until 2006; it is now distributed by WNET in New York. Other children's shows originated and/or distributed by CPTV are Thomas & Friends, Bob The Builder, Make Way for Noddy, Angelina Ballerina, and The Saddle Club as well as the first season of SeeMore's Playhouse (the second season was distributed by Oregon Public Broadcasting).
From 1993 to 2005, M*A*S*H star Alan Alda hosted the science series Scientific American Frontiers, based on the popular magazine Scientific American. That show was also produced by CPTV and aired nationwide.
Since 2002, CPTV has been working with HIT Entertainment, which has helped distribute some of CPTV's children's programs. Beginning in 2008, most of CPTV's children's programming (which since 2002 have been produced with HIT Entertainment) has been presented by WNET.
Other programs produced by or for CPTV include:
- Able Lives
- All Things Connecticut
- Behind the Wheel: Parents and Teens
- A Child, A Family, A Future: Foster Care and Adoption in Connecticut
- Closing the Gap
- The Cobblestone Corridor
- Common Ground (formerly known as Conversations on the Green)
- Connecticut on Alert
- Critical Call for Oral Health
- Critical Condition: Focus on Connecticut
- Eating CT
- Facing the Mortgage Crisis
- Infinity Hall Live
- Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop
- Mundo Real
- My First Breath
- Off the Menu
- Open Doors to Family Learning
- Opening Doors Opening Minds
- OTR: On The Record
- Positively Connecticut
- Power of Giving
- Scully: The World Show
- Sharing CT
- Sprawl: Driven by Denial
- Today's Children
- The Warming of Connecticut
- Where Art Thou
- WNPR Health Forum
- Work Learn Live
- Young American Heroes
|Station||City of license||Channels
(VC / RF)
|First air date||Fourth letter's meaning||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter coordinates||Facility ID||Public license information|
(shared with WEDY)
|October 1, 1962||Hartford||490 kW
497 kW (CP)
|505 m (1,657 ft)
506 m (1,660 ft) (CP)
|March 5, 1967||Norwich||4.2 kW||192 m (630 ft)||13607||Profile|
(shared with WZME)
|December 17, 1967
(in Bridgeport; license moved to Stamford in 2019)
|Western Connecticut||170 kW
1,000 kW (CP)
|222 m (728 ft)||
(shared with WEDH)
|December 1, 1974
was W71AG from 1967 until 1974 
|Yale University||490 kW
497 kW (CP)
|505 m (1,657 ft)
506 m (1,660 ft) (CP)
CPTV is available on all cable systems in the state. On satellite, WEDH is available in nearly all of the state on the Hartford–New Haven DirecTV and Dish Network feeds, while WEDW is carried on the New York City DirecTV and Dish Network feeds; Stamford is part of the New York market. WEDW is also available both over-the-air and on several cable systems in portions of Greater New York, including the non-bordering states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Additionally, WEDH is carried by most cable systems in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, providing a second choice for PBS programming alongside WGBY-TV in Springfield. Finally, WEDN has wide over-the-air and cable availability in Rhode Island, including Providence (sharing the market with WSBE-TV and Boston's WGBH-TV/WGBX-TV). This gives CPTV a potential audience of 21 million people in six states, including much of Southern New England.
The digital signals of CPTV's stations are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|Main CPTV programming / PBS|
in 2009, leading up to the analog-to-digital television transition on June 12, CPTV 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:
- WEDH shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 45, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 24.
- WEDW shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 49, 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 relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 52, 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 UHF channel 49.
- WEDN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 53, on June 12, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 9, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 53.
- WEDY went off the air on July 31, 2005, as the result of an equipment failure. Connecticut Public Broadcasting was granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission to temporarily keep the station off the air until repairs were completed. CPBI also petitioned the FCC to allow WEDY's analog signal to remain off the air permanently, citing the need to use available funds on the construction of its digital facilities. The station's digital signal resumed on its pre-transition VHF channel 6 on June 13, 2009, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 65. However, most New Haven viewers kept access to PBS programming due to the high penetration of cable and satellite in the area.
On March 16, 2011, the FCC granted WEDY's petition to move from VHF channel 6 to UHF channel 41 because of viewer reception issues and interference from both WPVI-TV in Philadelphia and WRGB in Schenectady, New York (both also operate on channel 6), after those two stations implemented recent power increases.
An offshoot of CPTV, CPTV Sports provides access to Connecticut scholastic sports on an as-needed basis as of mid-2016. During other times, the channel re-broadcasts CPTV and PBS programming. On August 1, 2017, CPTV Sports was replaced by CPTV Spirit, and CPTV4U was retired.
On August 1, 2017, CPTV introduced the CPTV Spirit, a new public media television channel.
Each evening will feature a different programming "theme," including:
- Mondays – Exploration & Adventures
- Tuesdays – Science & Tech
- Wednesdays – Indie Films, Documentaries & Big Ideas
- Thursdays – The Maker Movement
- Fridays – Film, Arts & Culture
- Saturdays – Dramedy
- Sundays – Nature & the Animal Kingdom
On December 3, 2018, CPTV introduced Create, a joint venture with Create TV, public TV's most-watched lifestyle channel. Create features cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening, and arts & crafts shows, with educational and entertaining series and specials including America's Test Kitchen, Rick Steves' Europe and This Old House. In 2020, CT Public replaced CPTV Create with PBS Kids 24/7, while many series on Create were moved to CPTV Spirit.
CPTV streams the full-time PBS Kids network feed on their website; 11½ hours per weekday of CPTV's main schedule is devoted to PBS Kids programming, along with four hours on weekend mornings. In 2020, CT Public launched PBS Kids 24/7, replacing the Create channel.
In 2019, CPTV introduced a livestream of their main channel, CPTV, to their website, for those within the CPTV coverage area.
CPBN Learning Lab
The CPBN Learning Lab's goal is to train journalists and journalism instructors. Presently, the Hartford Public Schools Journalism & Media Academy (JMA) receives full-time access to the facility in order to enhance media skills.
Since 2007, CPBN Media Lab instructors and mentors have provided real-world technical and journalism training for over 600 Connecticut students through seminars, workshops, and courses. The Media Lab has brought journalism and technical media skills training to middle school students through its Future Producers Academy, "Media is Magic" SAND Media Enrichment Program and West Middle Media Project and for high school students through its Media 101 and Young Entrepreneur courses in its Impact Academy.
Internships are provided to undergraduate college students, often for college credit, and for recent graduates seeking to acquire technical and editorial skills.
Graduates of the CPTV college program have gone on to work in diverse media companies.
The CPBN Media Lab has been a partner with the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs from their inception in 2010, serving as the professional mentor for five Connecticut high schools: Hill Regional Career High School and the Metropolitan Business Academy in New Haven, Crosby High School in Waterbury, Terryville High School in Terryville and Bethel High School in Bethel. It is also the professional mentors to the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab it established at America's Choice at SAND school in Hartford, one of three in the nation to work with middle school students.
Projects produced by the Media lab include:
- Foul Play, a look into the use of metal bats in Little League baseball
- Youth Vote, which documents the experiences of youth voters in the 2008–2012 elections
- (I)NTERVIEW, a behind the scenes look into the lives of notable Connecticut celebrities
- Outdoor Enthusiast, a look into Connecticut's state parks and scenic areas, launched alongside the original release of Ken Burns' series for PBS, The National Parks: America's Best Idea.
Awards and recognition
- The CPBN Media finished strongly in the 2010 Pepsi Refresh competition with a proposal to help Connecticut schools produce 21st-century journalists.
- The CPBN Media Lab won the CT Secretary of State's youth vote video competition in 2012.
- The CPBN Media Lab won two Student Emmy Awards, from the Boston New England Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences in 2013.
- The CPBN Media Lab received recognition as a finalist in the Student Emmy Awards from the Boston New England Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences in 2013.
- "Board of Trustees". Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Grandjean, Pat (April 2013). "CPTV Celebrates 50 Years: Present at the Creation". Connecticut Magazine.
- "Trinity College - Press Release". trincoll.edu. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-08-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Amendment of Section 73.622(i) Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments (Bridgeport and Stamford, Connecticut)". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. April 8, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- "UCONNHUSKIES.COM :: University of Connecticut Huskies Official Athletic Site". uconnhuskies.com. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Amarante, Joe (11 May 2012). "SNY steals, CPTV reels from UConn decision on Lady Huskies". New Haven Register. Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
- "Alan Alda, on season 4". Scientific American Frontiers. Chedd-Angier Production Company. 1993–1994. PBS. Archived from the original on 2006.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2011-03-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
- "Defunct translators above channel 69". www.w9wi.com. D. Smith W9WI. 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Stations for Owner - LocusPoint Networks". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "Stations for Owner - Connecticut Public Broadcasting". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db0316/DA-11-501A1.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "CPTV Spirit". Retrieved 4 August 2017.