|Channels||Digital: See below|
|Affiliations||.1: PBS (1970–present)|
.2: PBS Plus
.4: PBS Kids
|Owner||Vermont Public Co.|
First air date
|October 16, 1967|
Call sign meaning
|Facility ID||See below|
|Transmitter coordinates||See below|
Vermont PBS (VPBS) is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network for the U.S. state of Vermont. It is operated by Vermont Public Co., which also owns the Vermont Public Radio network. Originally owned and operated by the University of Vermont (UVM), the network has been operating since October 16, 1967. In the late 1970s, UVM sold the network to Vermont ETV. Until 1997, it was known as Vermont Educational Television, or Vermont ETV. Between 1997 and May 2014, it was known as Vermont Public Television or VPT. On September 9, 2020, Vermont PBS announced that it had agreed to merge with Vermont Public Radio, creating Vermont Public Co. on July 1, 2021. A unified brand for Vermont PBS and Vermont Public Radio is expected to be announced in 2022.
|Station||City of license||Channels
VC / RF
|First air date||Call letters' meaning||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Public license information|
|October 16, 1967||Educational Television||90 kW||830 m (2,723 ft)||69944||Profile|
(shared with WVTA)
|March 18, 1968||Vermont or Vermont Educational Rutland||15 kW
56 kW (DTS1 CP)
0.1 kW (DTS2 CP)
0.3 kW (DTS3 CP)
0.4 kW (DTS4 CP)
0.1 kW (DTS5 CP)
|385 m (1,263 ft)
425.2 m (1,395 ft) (DTS1 CP)
648.9 m (2,129 ft) (DTS2 CP)
357.6 m (1,173 ft) (DTS3 CP)
−142.9 m (−469 ft) (DTS4 CP)
204.3 m (670 ft) (DTS5 CP)
|WVTB||St. Johnsbury||20 (PSIP)
|February 26, 1968||Vermont, Burke (transmitter location)||75 kW||590 m (1,936 ft)||69940||Profile|
(shared with WVER)
|March 18, 1968||Vermont, Ascutney (transmitter location)||see WVER||see WVER||69943||see WVER||Profile|
VPBS was also relayed on analog translators W36AX in Manchester and W53AS in Bennington, which directly repeated WVER. These translators were used to feed cable systems on the Vermont side of the Albany–Schenectady–Troy, New York market. The translators' licenses were cancelled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 28, 2011. However, WVER remains on most cable systems in southwestern Vermont.
On February 17, 2017, VPBS announced that it had sold the WVTA broadcast license for $56 million in the FCC's spectrum auction. In a statement, the network said that its other signals would be upgraded to cover the area served by WVTA.
The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|xx.1||1080i||16:9||VPBS||Main VPBS programming / PBS|
Network translator stations
A translator network also serves portions of the state where over-the-air reception for a full-power station is hindered by area topography, and to fill in holes between full-power stations. All of the listed translators are owned by Vermont ETV, and flash-cut from analog to digital on February 17, 2009, including adding the subchannel services. Each translator has its virtual channel mapped via PSIP to the channel number of the closest full-power station to the translator.
|City of license||Callsign||Translating||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates|
|Manchester||W30DM-D||WVER 28||30||0.796 kW||702 m (2,303 ft)||189112|
|Pownal||W46EW-D||WVER 28||20||1.26 kW||367 m (1,204 ft)||189111|
VPBS' stations shut down their analog signals 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). As part of the SAFER Act, the stations, as rarities for members of PBS, kept their analog signals on the air until April 18 to inform viewers of the digital television transition.
Each station's post-transition digital allocations are as follows. All stations remained on its pre-transition digital channels. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers map to its analog channel position as its virtual channel:
|Call Sign||Analog Channel||Digital Channel||PSIP / virtual channel|
In terms of market and population size, Vermont PBS is the smallest PBS member in New England, and one of the smallest in the entire PBS system. Most of its viewership lives in Canada, principally in Montreal, Quebec, a city which is ten times larger than the entire population of VPBS' American viewing area. This is a similar comparison with WPBS-TV in Watertown, New York; most of its audience lives near Ottawa, Ontario. It relies heavily on its Canadian viewership for its survival, even as most of Vermont's major commercial stations have lessened their dependence on Canadian revenue in recent years. VPBS not only takes its large Canadian audience into account in its programming, but it accepts Canadian dollars for its fundraising efforts even though most of them are targeted toward Vermont viewers. It also operates a separate fundraising arm for its Canadian members, the Public Television Association of Quebec.
As is true of Vermont's population as a whole, most of VPBS' viewership lives primarily in rural areas or in towns and small cities. The only major urban area in its service territory is Montreal.
VPBS shares much of its core market (the Champlain Valley in Vermont and New York as well as the southern Quebec and Montreal area) with Plattsburgh, New York-based WCFE-TV. In the Upper Connecticut Valley, VPBS competes with New Hampshire Public Television, while in Bennington and Windham counties (the only Vermont counties not in the Burlington–Plattsburgh television market), VPBS also competes with WMHT in Schenectady and WGBY-TV in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Vermont PBS' four transmitters cover almost all of Vermont and bordering regions of New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and southern Quebec, including Montreal.
On cable, VPBS can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 6 in Burlington and channel 7 in Bennington, Burlington Telecom channels 6 and 206 (HD), and Charter Spectrum channel 3 in Plattsburgh and channel 17 in Glens Falls and Queensbury. On Vidéotron's Illico digital cable system in Montreal, it can be seen on channel 88. WETK is also seen across nearly all of the state on the Burlington–Plattsburgh DirecTV and Dish Network feeds.
Some VPBS-produced programs also air on WGBY, whose signal reaches parts of southern Vermont.
- Venta, Lance (September 9, 2020). "Vermont Public Radio & Vermont PBS To Merge". RadioInsight. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
- "Vermont Public Radio, Vermont PBS To Merge". All Access. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
- "Corporations Division". Secretary of State of Vermont.
- "Together For Vermont". Vermont PBS. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
- Hallenbeck, Brent (February 17, 2017). "Vermont PBS sells broadcast licenses for $56 million". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- Frechette, Kristin (February 17, 2017). "Vermont PBS Sells off one of its Broadcast Licenses". MyChamplainValley.com. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WETK
- RabbitEars TV Query for WVER
- RabbitEars TV Query for WVTB
- RabbitEars TV Query for WVTA
- "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.
- Vt. TV stations opt for early digital switch[permanent dead link]. Joel Banner Baird, Burlington Free Press; February 5, 2009
- TV Stations Say Digital Switch Delay Will Be Costly, Curt Nickisch, National Public Radio, Morning Edition, February 3, 2009
- "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- FCC.gov Appendix B All Full Power Station By DMA, Indicating Those Terminating Analog service On Or Before February 17, 2009
- Vermont PBS web site
- TV Hat : Trivial facts about Southern QC, Upstate NY and VT stations
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WETK-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WVER-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WVTA-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WVTB-TV