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CitySpringfield, Massachusetts
BrandingNew England Public Media
OwnerWGBH Educational Foundation
OperatorNew England Public Media via program service agreement
Radio: WFCR
First air date
September 26, 1971 (52 years ago) (1971-09-26)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 57 (UHF, 1971–2008)
  • Digital: 58 (UHF, 2000–2009), 22 (UHF, 2009–2019)
Call sign meaning
Great Blue Yonder (referring to WGBH's transmitter and distance from mother station; all WGBH television stations include these two letters)
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID72096
ERP63 kW
HAAT303.2 m (995 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°14′29.5″N 72°38′54.1″W / 42.241528°N 72.648361°W / 42.241528; -72.648361
Public license information

WGBY-TV (channel 57) is a PBS member television station in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. Owned by the Boston-based WGBH Educational Foundation, it is a sister station to that organization's flagship and namesake, WGBH-TV, channel 2 (however, it brands as a separate, locally focused PBS outlet); New England Public Media, which also controls Amherst-licensed NPR member WFCR (88.5 FM), operates WGBY-TV under a program service agreement. WGBY-TV provides programming to much of western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, with studios based in the Irene Mennen Hunter Public Media Center on Hampden Street alongside I-91 in downtown Springfield (named for the heiress to the Mennen personal care fortune and former WGBY-TV board member). Its transmitter is located on the peak of Mount Tom in Holyoke with the area's commercial television stations. WGBY-TV is also available on Comcast Xfinity channel 2 in Windham County, Vermont (alongside Vermont Public).


The station first signed on the air on September 26, 1971, as a PBS member station.[2] Prior to the station's sign-on (and for the network's first year of existence), viewers in Western Massachusetts could watch PBS programming over the air on outskirt public television stations, including WGBH-TV to the east, WMHT from Albany from the west, or WEDH from Hartford (the latter remains available on most cable providers in the Springfield market). In October 2006, WGBY became the first television station in New England to produce all of its local programming content in high definition. Some Spanish-language programming is also broadcast for Springfield's Hispanic and Latino community.

Unlike its Boston counterpart, WGBY had no affiliation with an NPR member station in the area previously; the area has been served by the Five College Consortium's WFCR and WNNZ/WAIC, collectively known as New England Public Radio. The WGBH Educational Foundation held the license of WFCR from 1961 until its transfer to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1967, four years before WGBY-TV began operations.

On April 11, 2019, WGBY and WFCR announced that they would consolidate operations under the New England Public Media banner, effective in July; the WGBH Educational Foundation will retain the WGBY-TV license, with NEPM operating the station under a program service operating agreement.[3][4] All of the various NEPR stations and WGBY will continue to have their licenses and facilities owned by their individual organizations and schools. In July 2020, WGBY officially rebranded as a part of New England Public Media, rather than being a part of WGBH's overall September 1, 2020, rebranding of their Boston operations to remove the "W" as branding for their radio and television stations.


WGBY features several locally produced programs, including the daily program Connecting Point, which has local features and roundtables involving aspects of Pioneer Valley arts, issues, economic, criminal, and educational issues. The Friday edition of the series is entitled The State We're In and deals with local and Commonwealth political issues, along with debate programming in election years.

As Schools Match Wits is a long-running local quiz bowl program which originated on WWLP in 1961, and moved to WGBY in 2007 under license from WWLP due to costs associated with newly enacted FCC regulations involving closed captioning. The program is co-produced with Westfield State University.

Finally, Presencia is a weekly bilingual program which spotlights the region's Hispanic-American community, and uses captioning, dubbing, and subtitling to allow both Spanish and English-speaking viewers to equally watch the program.[5]

Technical information[edit]


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WGBY-TV[6]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
57.1 1080i 16:9 WGBYDT1 Main WGBY-TV programming / PBS
57.2 480i 4:3 WGBYDT2 NEPM World
57.3 WGBYDT3 NEPM Kids
57.4 WGBYDT4 NEPM Create

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

On August 4, 2008, WGBY filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to discontinue regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 57, on November 5, 2008—some three months prior to the original mandated analog shut-off date. The petition cited the need to replace the current analog antenna with the post transition digital 22 antenna.[7] WGBY also filed for an STA to operate at 50% analog power prior to the early shut down date due to equipment failure[8] Although it had an assigned digital channel that it would move to post-transition that differed from its original digital channel, WGBY continued to broadcast its digital signal on its pre-transition allocation (UHF channel 58). On April 27, 2009, the station's digital signal later moved to UHF channel 22,[9] using virtual channel 57.

As a result of the FCC's 2016 spectrum auction, the WGBH Educational Foundation accepted a $57 million offer to moved WGBY-TV to the VHF spectrum on July 22, 2019, on channel 13, along with WGBH-TV for $161.7 million.[10]

On January 16, 2017, the station launched the newest iteration of the PBS Kids Channel on their third subchannel.[11]


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WGBY-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ FCC History Cards for WGBY-TV. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ Kinney, Jim (April 11, 2019). "New England Public Radio, WGBY-TV in Springfield to merge; boosting local news coverage". masslive.com. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Falk, Tyler (April 11, 2019). "New England Public Radio and WGBY to combine operations". Current. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Sefton, Dru; Editor, Senior (April 14, 2016). "Bilingual magazine show premieres this week on Massachusetts' WGBY". Current. Retrieved February 26, 2019. {{cite web}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WGBY
  7. ^ "CDBS Print".
  8. ^ "CDBS Print".
  9. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Auction 1001 Winning Bids" (PDF). April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  11. ^ Kelly, Ray (January 13, 2017). "WGBY-TV, Channel 57, making PBS Kids a 24/7 offering". The Republican. MassLive Media. Retrieved January 30, 2017.

External links[edit]