Connecticut Public Television

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Connecticut Public Television
CPTV Logo.png
FoundedOctober 1, 1962
PurposePublic Broadcasting for Connecticut
Key people
Jerry Franklin (CEO)[2]
Meg Sakellarides Mokoski (CFO)
Parent organization
Connecticut Public Broadcasting
SubsidiariesCPTV Learning Lab Edit this at Wikidata
The studio of CPTV and WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut

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 organization which holds the licenses for all of the 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 is the state's only locally owned media organization producing TV, radio, print and Internet content for distribution to Connecticut's wide-ranging and diverse communities. The broadcasting company is led by Jerry Franklin, President of CPTV. The organizational structure of CPTV also includes a Board of Trustees.[3] It also co-produced the long-running children's television series Barney & Friends.


The network's first station, WEDH in Hartford, signed on in 1962, airing broadcasts in "black and white" at the Trinity College Library. 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).[4] Originally a member of National Educational Television (NET), it joined PBS upon its launch October 4, 1970. Originally known as Connecticut Educational Television, it became Connecticut Public Television in 1984.

CPTV remained based on rented space at Trinity College until selling its headquarters back to the school for $10 million in 2002.[5] In 2004, CPTV moved to a state-of-the-art facility on Asylum Avenue 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.[6] In the 1990s, a "volunteer of the week" program was offered.[7]


Since 1985, CPTV has received the following awards:[8]



Shows produced by CPTV[edit]

CPTV was the broadcast and web streaming home of UConn Women's Basketball from 1994-2012.[9] The game broadcasts were the highest-rated locally produced program in the PBS system.

CPTV is a major producer of children's programming for the PBS system. Its best-known offering was Barney & Friends. The character was actually discovered in 1991 when the daughter of CPTV executive Larry Rifkin bought a Barney and the Backyard Gang home video 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 by CPTV are Thomas & Friends, Bob The Builder, Make Way for Noddy, Angelina Ballerina, and The Saddle Club and as well as the first season of SeeMore's Playhouse (the second season was distributed by OPB in Oregon).

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.[10] That show was also produced by CPTV and aired nationwide.

Since 2002, CPTV has been working with HiT Entertainment, who has helped distribute some of CPTV's children's programs. Beginning in 2008, most of CPTV's kids programming (which are all of post 2002 production with HiT Entertainment) have been presented by WNET.

Other programs produced by or for CPTV include:[11]

  • 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
  • Connecticut on Alert
  • Critical Call for Oral Health
  • Critical Condition: Focus on Connecticut
  • Eating CT
  • Facing the Mortgage Crisis
  • Impact
  • Infinity Hall Live
  • Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop
  • Mundo Real
  • My First Breath
  • Open Doors to Family Learning
  • Opening Doors Opening Minds
  • OTR: On The Record
  • Positively Connecticut
  • Power of Giving
  • Scully: The World Show
  • Sprawl: Driven by Denial
  • Today's Children
  • The Warming of Connecticut
  • WNPR Health Forum
  • Work Learn Live
  • Young American Heroes


The CPTV stations are:

Station City of license Channels
(VC / RF)
First air date Fourth letter's meaning ERP HAAT Transmitter coordinates Facility ID Public license information
WEDH Hartford 24 (PSIP)
30 (UHF)
(shared with WEDY)
October 1, 1962 (56 years ago) (1962-10-01) Hartford 490 kW
497 kW (CP)
505 m (1,657 ft)
506 m (1,660 ft) (CP)
41°42′13″N 72°49′55″W / 41.70361°N 72.83194°W / 41.70361; -72.83194 (WEDH) 13602 Profile
WEDN Norwich 53 (PSIP)
9 (VHF)
March 5, 1967 (52 years ago) (1967-03-05) Norwich 4.2 kW 192 m (630 ft) 41°31′14″N 72°10′1″W / 41.52056°N 72.16694°W / 41.52056; -72.16694 (WEDN) 13607 Profile
WEDW Stamford 49 (PSIP)
21 (UHF)
(shared with WZME)
December 17, 1967 (51 years ago) (1967-12-17)
(in Bridgeport; license moved to Stamford in 2019[12])
Western Connecticut 170 kW
1,000 kW (CP)
222 m (728 ft) 41°16′44.3″N 73°11′6.4″W / 41.278972°N 73.185111°W / 41.278972; -73.185111 (WEDW)
41°3′10.2″N 73°33′47″W / 41.052833°N 73.56306°W / 41.052833; -73.56306 (CP)
13594 Profile
WEDY New Haven 65 (PSIP)
30 (UHF)
(shared with WEDH[13])
December 1, 1974 (44 years ago) (1974-12-01) Yale University 490 kW
497 kW (CP)
505 m (1,657 ft)
506 m (1,660 ft) (CP)
41°42′13″N 72°49′55″W / 41.70361°N 72.83194°W / 41.70361; -72.83194 13595 Profile

The network previously operated a translator in Waterbury, W12BH (channel 12), which directly repeated WEDY. That station was taken off the air to allow WTXX to begin digital television operations.

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 available on the New York City local feeds. 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. This gives CPTV a potential audience of 21 million people in five states.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The digital signals of CPTV's stations are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[14][15]
1080i 16:9 WEDH-1
Main CPTV programming / PBS
480i WEDH-2
480i WEDH-3
CPTV Spirit

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, 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:[16]

  • 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,[17] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 65. However, most New Haven viewers didn't lose access to PBS programming due to the high penetration of cable and satellite in the area.

On March 16, 2011, the FCC granted WEDY its 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.[18]

CPBN Learning Lab[edit]

The CPBN Learning Lab's goal is to create 21st century journalists and train instructors to pass that gift forward. Donations from The Wounded Warrior Project, The Newman's Own Foundation, Wal-Mart Foundation, SBM Charitable Foundation, Farmington Bank Community Foundation, and others were noted as making this Learning Lab possible.[19][20] In July 2013, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy also obtained an Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $141,420 as a contribution to the lab for a series of fire safety videos.[21] The KBE Building Corporation was selected to build Robert Roach of Friar Associates' design for CPTV's learning lab, which was completed in Spring of 2013.[22] 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, including researching, interviewing, shooting, editing, and posting.

Graduates of our college program have gone on to Journalism school in London, the masters of arts in Journalism program at Hofstra University, in online services at CPBN, as an animation and graphics producer at CPBN, as an account executive at WTNH-New Haven, and as working journalists as the editor of the Avon Patch and as a reporter for the Journal Inquirer. CPBN Media Lab graduates are also working at A&E Networks, Hasbro Studios, Nickelodeon, Sacred Heart University, the Rachael Ray Show, TracyLocke, Taft School, Mohegan Sun and CPBN Education.

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.

Currently the media lab is serving as the professional mentors to the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab it established at America's Choice at SAND school in Hartford, CT., where it is only one three in the nation to work with middle school students.

Projects produced by the Media lab include:

Awards & 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.

CPTV Sports[edit]

An offshoot of CPTV, this channel provides access to Connecticut scholastic sports on an as-needed basis as of mid-2016. During other times, the channel rebroadcasts CPTV and PBS programming.[23] On August 1, 2017, CPTV Sports was replaced by CPTV Spirit, and CPTV4U was retired.[24]

CPTV Spirit[edit]

On August 1, 2017, CPTV introduced CPTV Spirit, a new public media television channel created to help people explore their passions. CPTV Spirit features more action, edgier journalism and documentaries, and more active ways to feed viewers’ curiosity.[24]

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

CPTV Create[edit]

On December 3, 2018, CPTV introduced Create, a joint venture with Create TV, public TV's most-watched lifestyle channel. Create will feature public television's best 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Science Odyssey: Resources: Map of Outreach Sites: Connecticut". Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Charity Navigator Rating - Connecticut Public Broadcasting". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Board of Trustees". Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  4. ^ Grandjean, Pat (April 2013). "CPTV Celebrates 50 Years: Present at the Creation". Connecticut Magazine.
  5. ^ "Trinity College - Press Release". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-08-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Volunteer Of The Week". tribunedigital-thecourant. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  8. ^ "UCONNHUSKIES.COM :: University of Connecticut Huskies Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Alan Alda, on season 4". Scientific American Frontiers. Chedd-Angier Production Company. 1993–1994. PBS. Archived from the original on 2006.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2011-03-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  14. ^ "Stations for Owner - LocusPoint Networks". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  15. ^ "Stations for Owner - Connecticut Public Broadcasting". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^
  18. ^[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2013-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Blumenthal, Murphy, Larson Announce Federal Grant to CPTV to Produce Fire Safety Educational Videos". 8 July 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  22. ^'s%20Learning%20Lab%20on%20target%20for%20Fall%202013%20open_press%20release%20FINAL%20(2).doc[permanent dead link]
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b "CPTV Spirit". Retrieved 4 August 2017.

External links[edit]