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|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)|
(to move to 13 (VHF))
Virtual: 57 (PSIP)
|Owner||WGBH Educational Foundation|
|First air date||September 26, 1971|
|Call letters' meaning||Western Massachusetts |
Great Blue Yonder
(referring to WGBH's transmitter and distance from mother station; all WGBH television stations include these two letters)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
57 (UHF, 1971–2008)
58 (UHF, 2000–2009)
|Transmitter power||50 kW|
30 kW (CP)
|Height||306 m (1,004 ft)|
302.9 m (994 ft) (CP)
|Public license information:||Profile|
WGBY-TV, virtual channel 57 (UHF digital channel 22), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to 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. However, it brands as a separate, locally-focused PBS outlet. WGBY's transmitter is located on the peak of Mount Tom in Holyoke with the area's commercial television stations, and 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 board member). WGBY can also be received in Windham County, Vermont on Comcast channel 2.
The station was first signed on the air on September 26, 1971. Its digital programming channels include WGBY Kids, Create and World, which are similar to the WGBH channels of the same names seen in Boston on WGBH-TV and WGBX-TV, but have some changes made to include locally produced WGBY programs. In October 2006, WGBY became the first television station in New England to produce all of its local programming content in high definition.
Unlike its Boston counterpart, WGBY does not operate an affiliated NPR member station; the area is instead served by the Five College Consortium's WFCR in Amherst and WNNZ/WAIC. 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. Some Spanish-language programming is also broadcast for Springfield's Hispanic & Latino community.
On August 4, 2008, WGBY filed a request with the 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. WGBY also filed for an STA to operate at 50% analog power prior to the early shut down date due to equipment failure 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, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 57, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
As a result of the FCC's 2016 spectrum auction, the WGBH Educational Foundation accepted a $57 million offer to move WGBY-TV to the VHF spectrum in 2019 on channel 13, along with WGBH-TV for $161.7 million.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "FCC Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Auction 1001 Winning Bids" (PDF). 13 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- Kelly, Ray (January 13, 2017). "WGBY-TV, Channel 57, making PBS Kids a 24/7 offering". The Republican. MassLive Media. Retrieved January 30, 2017.