WGBH Educational Foundation

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WGBH Educational Foundation
WGBH logo.svg
"Produced in Boston, shared with the world"
Named after1st radio station call sign
FormationApril 5, 1951; 68 years ago (1951-04-05)[1]
Founded atBoston, Massachusetts
  • Boston, Massachusetts
FieldsPublic broadcasting
LeaderJonathan Abbott
SubsidiariesPBS Distribution
Public Radio International
American Public Media
American Public Television
National Educational Telecommunications Association
Revenue (2016[2])
$187 Million
Expenses (2016[2])$176 M

The WGBH Educational Foundation was established in 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts, as an American nonprofit organization that oversees all of the PBS member stations licensed to the state of Massachusetts: the WGBH stations in Boston (WGBH-TV, the foundation's flagship property, and WGBX-TV) and WGBY-TV in Springfield. The foundation also oversees a group of NPR member stations, including WGBH (FM) in Boston, and other productions.[3] Other significant activities include production of prime-time and children’s content for PBS and accessible media services for people with disabilities. The foundation won a Peabody Award in 2007 for Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial[4] and Design Squad.[5]


In 2003, WGBH and the City of Boston formed a joint venture for Boston Kids & Family TV channel that replaces one of the city's cable access channels. Boston Kids was launched on October 31, 2003.[6]

By December 2005, Boston’s WGBH and WNET were already broadcasting a local version of World on a subchannel.[7] and added by April 2006, Washington’s WETA. Then, WGBH and WNET team up with PBS, APT and NETA to roll out a national version of the local channels as PBS World. The network was launched nationally on August 15, 2007.[8]

In July 2012, WGBH acquired Public Radio International (PRI). PRI would continue with its own board while WGBH would be able to distribute more of its programs through PRI.[9]

In November 2015, WGBH purchased GlobalPost with editorial operation and reporting resources being merged with PRI's The World news staff.[10]


Financial information
Calendar year Total revenue
2014[11] $190,500,789
2013[12] $195,429,649
2012[13] $144,090,672
2011[14] $145,723,999
2010[15] $187,306,594
2009[15] $141,381,933

WGBH reported a total revenue of $190,500,789 for the tax year ending June 30, 2015, in their last IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement filing.[11]

Board of Trustees[edit]

Richard M. Burnes, Jr. of Charles River Ventures is the chair of the board as of 2014, replacing Amos Hostetter, Jr, who left the board. Henry P. Becton, Jr., former WGBH President, and Maureen L. Ruettgers, the wife of former EMC Corporation CEO Michael Ruettgers, are vice chairs. Jonathan C. Abbott, as WGBH president, is also on the board. William N. Thorndike, Jr., managing partner of the Housatonic Partners private equity firm, is on the board of trustees as the chair of the WGBH board of overseers.

The presidents of four regional universities are institutional trustees: Joseph E. Aoun of Northeastern University, Jackie Jenkins-Scott of Wheelock College, Frederick M. Lawrence of Brandeis University, and L. Rafael Reif of MIT.

The remaining board members are:


  • First 8 Studios, learning mobile app design group for kids ages 8 and younger
  • Forum Network, a Lowell Institute funded online lecture
  • GlobalPost
  • PBS Distribution, a joint venture with PBS to distribute PBS and WGBH programs to various markets, home video, foreign, and commercial
  • PBS LearningMedia, a joint venture with PBS to distribute teacher material related to PBS programs
  • WGBH Education



Public Media Management[edit]

Public Media Management is a joint venture of WGBH and Sony Electronics for remote TV master control services over the internet.[18]

Public Media Management was tested for a year.[19] The services were available starting April 1, 2015, just before the two Las Vegas shows, PBS's April 8–10 TechCon and NAB Show April 11–16, to be able to showcase the service during the shows.[18] WGBH's two Boston stations went live with PMM first followed by its Springfield, Massachusetts station WGBY in early May 2015. New Hampshire Public Television launched the system next.[19] In August 2015, Maryland Public Television switched to using their system.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ownership Report For Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Station". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "WGBH Educational Foundation on the Forbes The 100 Largest U.S. Charities List". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  3. ^ Mike Tigas and Sisi Wei (ed.). "WGBH Educational Foundation". Nonprofit Explorer. New York: ProPublica. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  4. ^ 67th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2008.
  5. ^ 67th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2008.
  6. ^ a b Ryan, Suzanne C. (October 31, 2003). "City revives kids' PBS channel". Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  7. ^ "Knight Foundation backs launch planning for PBS's Public Square". Current. December 19, 2005. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  8. ^ Egner, Jeremy (April 3, 2006). "World and Go! streams flow into PBS plans". Current. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  9. ^ Everhart, Karen (July 26, 2012). "WGBH, the top producer of PBS programs, now owns Public Radio International". Current. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Yu, Roger (September 24, 2015). "Boston-based WGBH buys world news site GlobalPost". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  11. ^ a b IRS 2014 Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  12. ^ IRS 2013 Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  13. ^ 2012 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  14. ^ 2011 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  15. ^ a b 2010 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement
  16. ^ WGBH Spring 2009
  17. ^ a b June-Friesen, Katy (March 2, 2009). "Packaged channels for multicasting, 2009". Current.org. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Halonen, Doug (April 16, 2015). "Sony, WGBH roll out cloud-based alternative to master-control systems". Current. American University School of Communication. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Soltz, Ned (May 7, 2015). "WGBH and Sony Partner on Cloud Workflow". TV Technology. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  20. ^ Zurawik, David (July 28, 2015). "More downsizing at MPT as master control function shifts to Boston". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  21. ^ "Ralph Lowell Award". USA: Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2017-01-05.

External links[edit]