Stations’ bootstrap stories
Most histories of public broadcasting shortchange the stories of the hundreds of grassroots struggles — often as ingenious as they were persistent — to create community and statewide institutions.
Alabama Public Television — one of the first public TV operations licensed to a state government
Boise State Radio — a multistream network that serves Idaho from Boise State University
Georgia Public Broadcasting as described in the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Georgia Humanities Council
ideastream in Cleveland — a nonprofit combination of WCPN-FM and WVIZ-TV and now owner of classical WCLV-FM
Idaho Public Television, based in Boise — the state-owned network that is Idaho’s only interconnected, universally available medium
Iowa Public Radio, now based in Des Moines — a relatively recent combination of university stations, as reported in Current
Jefferson Public Radio (KSOR) in Ashland, Ore. — uses pubradio’s largest translator network to serve sparsely populated southern Oregon and northern California (an area proposed in the past to become the State of Jefferson)
KCET-TV in Los Angeles — until 2011 a major PBS outlet, which broke with the network in 2010 and began a new life as an independent pubTV channel
KING-FM, Seattle’s classical station run by the Bullitt family since 1948, donated to a nonprofit in 1994 and converted to a noncommercial station in 2011
KUAR-FM— University of Arkansas, Little Rock
KLRN-TV in San Antonio, Texas, began as the station for both Austin and San Antonio in 1962 and split into two separate licensees in the 1980s
KNME-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., looks back on its first 50 years
KPFA in Berkeley — first listener-funded noncommercial station, flagship of the politically progressive Pacifica chain
KPLU-FM — serves Seattle, Tacoma and Puget Sound with “NPR News and All That Jazz”
KQED in San Francisco — a fertile producer in public TV’s early days, now one of its most-watched stations
KUHT (HoustonPBS) — the country’s first public TV station, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2003
KUNM-FM in Albuquerque, N.M.— a sometimes-volatile mix of university/community station, whose history page is found on a separate site
KSMQ-TV, established as a teaching tool in Austin, Minn.
KWCM/KSMN serving western Minnesota from Appleton
Louisiana Public Broadcasting, a state-operated network, brought public TV to the rest of the state in 1975, 18 years after independent nonprofit WYES started in New Orleans
Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media, a powerhouse hybrid of a statewide broadcaster and public radio’s No. 2 national producer/distributor.
New Hampshire Public Radio, based in Concord — serves the Granite State through seven transmitters and four translators
OETA: The Oklahoma Network — created in 1953 by the first state law instituting a public TV network
Ozarks Public Television at Missouri State University in Springfield, also serving Joplin
Pacifica Radio — a chain of five pubradio stations historically dedicated to peace and freedom
Prairie Public, based in Fargo, N.D. — North Dakota’s nonprofit statewide public TV and radio network
South Dakota Public Broadcasting, based in Vermillion, the state-operated public TV and radio network
WAMU-FM at American University, Washington, D.C.
WBUR-FM at Boston University — a strong news/information station with a growing stable of national productions
WGBH-FM/TV (timeline) in Boston — the most prolific producer for PBS and an active producer for public radio, with the largest staff in public media and outlying stations from Springfield, Mass., to Cape Cod and Rhode Island. Its alumni site written by retirees is a great resource.
WFIU at Indiana University in Bloomington — recently celebrated its 50th anniversary
WHA in Madison and Wisconsin Public Radio — WHA being probably the oldest public broadcasting station in the country, as described by Wisconsin Public Radio. A separate article by WPR’s Randall Davidson is posted on Portal Wisconsin.
WHYY in Philadelphia
WILL at the University of Illinois — one of the earliest educational radio stations, and longtime home of NAEB, predecessor of NPR and PBS
WITF in Harrisburg, Pa., which has celebrated its 40th anniversary
WKSU-FM at Kent State University — a nationally prominent station serving the Cleveland area
WLRH-FM, Huntsville, Ala., the only radio station co-owned by Alabama Public Television
WMHT-TV/FM in Albany/Schenectady, N.Y.
WNET in New York City, a flagship producing station of public TV that celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012
WNYC (New York Public Radio), whose AM station goes back more than 90 years and its FM, more than 60, bought its freedom from City Hall and later acquired the New York Times‘ classical station, WQXR (slideshow)
WOI at Iowa State University — an early radio station with roots going back to 1912, shaped by the populist spirit of extension education, whose TV sister station went commercial
WOSU at Ohio State University, Columbus
WOUB at Ohio University, Athens
WPFW, Pacifica’s outpost in Washington, D.C.
WPLN in Nashville — Nashville Public Radio, a rare station that originated in a city library system
WQED in Pittsburgh — one of the earliest freestanding community stations, with a history of high-quality program production
WRKF in Baton Rouge, La. — a latecomer to public radio, founded by the community in 1975
WRTI-FM in Philadelphia — Temple University’s station, going on 60 years old
WSKG-FM/TV in Binghamton, N.Y.
WMVS/WMVT in Milwaukee, Wis.
WSVH in Savannah, Ga.
WTVP in Peoria, Ill.
WUFT in Gainesville, Fla.
WVIA in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
WVIZ in Cleveland
WVPT in Harrisonburg, Va.
WVXU in Cincinnati — operator of X-Star, one of the few public radio networks operating across state lines
WYEP, community radio station in Pittsburgh
WYES-TV in New Orleans
Do you know of other extensive station histories on the web? Please suggest link addresses to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
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