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WGBX-TV 44 logo.png
Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Branding WGBX 44
Channels Digital: 43 (UHF)
(channel shares with WYCN-CD/Nashua, New Hampshire)
Virtual: 44 (PSIP)
Owner WGBH Educational Foundation
First air date September 25, 1967 (50 years ago) (1967-09-25)
Call letters' meaning Western Great Blue Hill EXperimental
Sister station(s) WCRB, WFXZ-CD, WGBH, WGBH-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
44 (UHF, 1967–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1967–1970)
Transmitter power 500 kW
Height 391 m (1,283 ft)
Facility ID 72098
Transmitter coordinates 42°18′37″N 71°14′14″W / 42.31028°N 71.23722°W / 42.31028; -71.23722Coordinates: 42°18′37″N 71°14′14″W / 42.31028°N 71.23722°W / 42.31028; -71.23722
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website wgbh.org

WGBX-TV, virtual channel 44 (UHF digital channel 43), is a non-commercial educational PBS member television station located in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The station is owned by the WGBH Educational Foundation, and is a sister station to fellow Boston area PBS member station and company flagship WGBH-TV, Springfield, Massachusetts-based PBS station WGBY-TV and Boston area public radio stations WGBH, WCRB and WCAI radio (and satellites WZAI and WNAN) on Cape Cod. WGBX's studios are located on Guest Street in Boston, and its transmitter is located in Needham, Massachusetts.

The X in its callsign stands for "Experimental", as WGBX (more primarily in the 1970s) was home to programming that was given a trial run on the lower-rated UHF signal before possibly moving onto the more-established WGBH-TV. Such Eastern Educational Network imports from the United Kingdom as Doctor Who were seen first or more frequently on WGBX, and one late 1970s local "nightclub"-style variety show, Club 44, proved popular enough to be moved over to WGBH and retitled The Club. The station airs PBS programs that are not aired by WGBH-TV as well as additional supplemental programming. Reruns of the previous night's programming either from WGBH-TV or from WGBX-TV itself also makes up part of channel 44's programming schedule.

WGBX also carries most of the national digital subchannel networks (except for World) which are managed by the WGBH Educational Foundation (along with an additional station, as described below); this enables WGBH to maintain a high-bitrate 1080i high definition picture resolution on its main channel 2 signal, with little loss in visual quality.


WGBX-TV's logo prior to 2013

The station initially existed as a construction permit for WJDW-TV, a commercial station co-owned by television producer Jack Wrather and his business partner, Maria Helen Alvarez. In 1965, Wrather and Alvarez donated the license to WGBH Educational Foundation, in which WGBH used to launch its secondary educational station. WGBX-TV first signed on the air on September 25, 1967; its transmitter has been located in Needham (on a broadcast tower that is owned operated by CBS Corporation, and is used by some of the Boston markets' commercial television stations, including CBS-owned WBZ-TV[2]), WGBX's current digital transmitter shares the master antenna at the very top of the tower with the commercial stations. The now defunct analog signal maintained a separate antenna on a lower portion of the tower that was shared with WGBH's digital transmitter.

WGBX shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 44, on April 23, 2009. The station's digital signal continued to be broadcast on its pre-transition UHF channel 43.[3] Through the use of PSIP digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 44.

World moved from digital subchannel 44.2 to 2.2 in the spring of 2012, replacing WGBH's standard definition simulcast; the 44.2 subchannel is not currently mapped.

On January 16, 2017, WGBX switched its .4 subchannel from a locally programmed loop of children's programming (which looped twice a day) to the national resurrection of the national PBS Kids channel.[4]

One year later on January 18, 2018, WGBX began a channel share with Nashua, New Hampshire-licensed WYCN-CD (channel 15), which was acquired by the NBC Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal. Despite WYCN's low-power status, WGBX's transmitter will act as a full-market relay of NBC O&O station WBTS-LD (channel 8) through WYCN-CD, along with its Cozi TV subchannel; WGBX's multiplexer was upgraded to handle WGBX's existing HD channel and two SD channels, along with WYCN-CD's HD channel and one subchannel as a result of the channel share.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[5]
44.1 1080i 16:9 WGBX-HD Main WGBX programming / PBS
44.3 480i Create WGBH Create
44.4 Kids 'GBH Kids


  1. ^ a b "Digital TV Market Listing for WGBX". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ "The Newton/Needham Towers". Boston Radio History. May 2003. Retrieved 19 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ Peery, Lexi (January 13, 2017). "WGBH to launch a 24-hour channel devoted to kids". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WGBX". rabbitears.info. Retrieved 2018-06-30. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]