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Coordinates: 33°47′10″N 84°23′44″W / 33.7861°N 84.3956°W / 33.7861; -84.3956 (Georgia Public Broadcasting headquarters)

GPB logo

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) is the public radio and television broadcast network in the U.S. state of Georgia.

GPB operates all of the PBS and NPR stations in Georgia, except WPBA, WABE, and WCLK in Atlanta, WFSL-FM in Thomasville (which relays WFSQ-FM from FSU radio in Tallahassee, Florida), and WTJB-FM in Columbus (which relays Troy University Public Radio from WTSU-FM in Troy, Alabama).

Contents

History

In 1960, the University of Georgia began WGTV, Georgia's second public television station (after WETV, now WPBA). From 1960 to 1964, in a separate initiative, the Georgia Board of Education started up four noncommercial educational TV stations across the state, aimed at in-school instruction. In 1965, the university and the board merged their efforts as Georgia Educational Television (GETV). It became Georgia Public Television (GPTV) in 1983, a year after the state legislature transferred authority for the stations to the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission, the oversight board for GPB.

In 1984, the GPTC entered public radio for the first time, starting stations in Macon and Columbus. These formed the nuclei of Peach State Public Radio, renamed Georgia Public Radio in 2001. During the 1980s and 1990s, stations that had been operated by other educational institutions and community groups became affiliated with the network.

In early 2004, it officially became known as Georgia Public Broadcasting, which had been the official corporate name since 1995. The name now serves as an umbrella title for all GPB operations.

Its headquarters and primary radio and TV production facility is on Fourteenth Street in Midtown Atlanta, just west of the Downtown Connector in the Home Park neighborhood of Atlanta, north of Georgia Tech and south of Atlantic Station. This facility caused some controversy when, because of its inherently educational nature, GPB was allowed to use Georgia Lottery funds for construction of the mid-rise building.

GPB Radio

GPB Radio broadcasts 24 hours per day on several FM stations across the state, except in Atlanta. The network had translator station W264AE in Atlanta on 100.7 FM with a tower located downtown. However, it (and WGHR) was forced to go silent when a full-power station WWWQ (now WNNX) FM 100.5 was moved-in on an adjacent channel from Anniston, Alabama (where it was WHMA-FM).

Previously, GPB Radio could be heard on the second audio program (SAP) of GPB analog TV at most times, and can still be heard this way on DirecTV, but for unknown reasons not on over-the-air digital TV. On FM it reaches nearly all of Georgia, plus parts of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Some stations have some locally-produced programming.

GPB Radio stations in southern and southeastern Georgia also relay hurricane evacuation information for listeners approaching or leaving Georgia's Atlantic coast or the Florida panhandle. Signs along Interstate and other major highways in the region direct the evacuee to the nearest GPB Radio station carrying the emergency information.

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Radio stations

WGPB and WNGH were commercial radio stations purchased by a GPB foundation in the late 2000s, hence their location outside of the 88-92MHz reserved band.

Except for W250AC in Athens and former W264AE IN Atlanta, none of the translator stations are owned by GPB/GPTC, but rather by Radio Assist Ministry and Edgewater Broadcasting, two related companies that speculatively apply for such stations during FCC filing windows, assign them to non-commercial educational "parent" stations to avoid broadcast license fees, then rent or sell them to other stations for a profit. While many more RAM/EB stations are assigned to rebroadcast GPB stations in the FCC database, only these five are listed by GPB.

GPB Television

GPB Television broadcasts PBS and GPB programming 24 hours per day on a network of nine GPTC-owned stations across the state, plus numerous low-power LPTV broadcast translator stations (especially in the state's mountainous northeastern counties). The Descriptive Video Service can be heard on the SAP channel when the current program offers it, and GPB Radio can be heard when it does not. It reaches nearly all of Georgia, plus parts of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. All stations are rebroadcasters, simulcasting at all times. GPB-produced programming includes Gardening in Georgia, Georgia Backroads, Georgia's Business, Georgia Outdoors, Georgia Traveler, and many more, such as annual coverage of the Georgia General Assembly when it is in legislative session early in the year.

WGTV-DT station ID on the GPB Knowledge channel.

GPB Knowledge is a digital subchannel (x.3), operating since September 2008 but officially launched on October 1. GPB Knowledge carries PBS World in prime time and GPB documentary and news programming (including BBC World News). It replaces GPB Education, which is still available to schools statewide on demand by Internet.

GPB Kids began in January 2009 on channel x.2, replacing the standard-definition feed (identical to analog) of GPB's main channel. In December 2008, it was only a static station ID for all nine stations (including the GPB/PBS Kids logo), and the electronic program guide for the channel continued to show GPB TV main-channel information.

Television stations

Each of GPB's television stations identifies itself with two locations -- usually, the smaller community where the station is licensed by the FCC (almost always the transmitter location) and the larger city it serves. The exceptions are WVAN and WJSP, which are actually licensed in major Georgia cities: WVAN is licensed to Savannah, while WJSP is licensed to Columbus. However, in order to conform to the pattern, GPB lists the locations for the stations' transmitters as the second city.

This rule only applies to the television stations, not to those on radio, which, except for two, bear only the location of the transmitter.

As of 2010, the GPB television stations are:

Station City of license
(transmitter location)
Channels
TV / RF
Founded ERP HAAT Transmitter coordinates FCC
facility ID
WGTV Athens (Atlanta) 8 (PSIP)
8 (VHF)
May 23, 1960 21 kW 326 m 33°48′18″N 84°8′40″W / 33.805°N 84.14444°W / 33.805; -84.14444 23948
WXGA-TV Waycross (Valdosta) 8 (PSIP)
8 (VHF)
December 4, 1961 316 kW
20 kW
314 m
286 m
31°13′22.7″N 82°34′40.4″W / 31.222972°N 82.577889°W / 31.222972; -82.577889 23929
WVAN-TV Savannah (Pembroke) 9 (PSIP)
9 (VHF)
September 16, 1963 316 kW
20 kW
320 m
293 m
32°8′49.2″N 81°37′4.3″W / 32.147°N 81.617861°W / 32.147; -81.617861 23947
WABW-TV Pelham (Albany) 14 (PSIP)
6 (VHF)
January 2, 1967 5000 kW
3.8 kW
378 m
474 m
31°8′8.7″N 84°6′15.6″W / 31.13575°N 84.104333°W / 31.13575; -84.104333 23917
WNGH-TV3 Chatsworth (Dalton) 18 (PSIP)
33 (UHF)
January 30, 1967 5000 kW
426 kW
564 m
537 m
34°45′2.3″N 84°42′52.7″W / 34.750639°N 84.714639°W / 34.750639; -84.714639 23942
WCES-TV Wrens (Augusta) 20 (PSIP)
6 (VHF)
September 12, 1966 4790 kW
30 kW
452 m
436 m
33°15′32.9″N 82°17′7.5″W / 33.259139°N 82.285417°W / 33.259139; -82.285417 23937
WACS-TV 1 Dawson (Americus) 25 (PSIP)
8 (VHF)
March 6, 1967 501 kW
6 kW
329 m
313 m
31°56′12.3″N 84°33′13″W / 31.93675°N 84.55361°W / 31.93675; -84.55361 23930
WJSP-TV Columbus
(Warm Springs)
28 (PSIP)
23 (UHF)
August 10, 1964 5000 kW
250 kW
461 m
462 m
32°51′6.9″N 84°42′5.6″W / 32.851917°N 84.701556°W / 32.851917; -84.701556 23918
WMUM-TV 2 Cochran (Macon) 29 (PSIP)
7 (VHF)
January 1, 1968 5000 kW
22 kW
350 m
369 m
32°28′12.2″N 83°15′18″W / 32.470056°N 83.255°W / 32.470056; -83.255 23935
Footnotes

1 WACS-TV was off-air from March 1, 2007 to April or May 2008, due to a radio tower collapse caused by a tornado.
2 At the time of its sign-on in 1968, WMUM-TV was known as WDCO-TV and broadcasted on channel 15. WDCO-TV moved to channel 29 in 1990, and changed to its current call letters in 2006.
3 At the time of its sign-on in 1967, WNGH-TV was known as WCLP, which changed from WCLP-TV (1979) to its current call letters in 2008 to match the new GPB FM station.

Digital television

WGTV, WXGA-TV, and WVAN-TV were the first GPB stations to commence digital television operations. The other six stations began digital broadcasting in July 2008. The ERP/HAAT figures listed within the table for those stations are based on those listed in the stations' individual Wikipedia articles, though some of the stations were operating at low power, and only went full-power when the final analog television shutdown occurred.

Georgia Public Broadcasting broadcasts the following digital subchannels:

Channel Label Programming
x.1 GPB-TV GPB (mainly PBS) main programming, with some HDTV content (1080i)
x.2 Kids GPB Kids (PBS Kids) channel in SD (480i), since January 2009 Formerly main GPB programming in SD and GPB Radio on SAP, changed in mid-December 2008 to a placeholder station ID for future GPB Kids
x.3 Know GPB Knowledge (mainly PBS World) in standard definition (480i)

Programming is the same on all nine stations, but channel labels differ somewhat between them. The above example labels are from WGTV, while another station uses "WNGH-DT", "Kids", and "Knowled" (the limit for channel label being seven characters).

The hourly TV ident indicates all stations have a -DT suffix, when in fact all still legally have -TV, except for WGTV which has no suffix.

After analog shutdown

GPB shut down all analog transmissions on February 17, 2009, which was the original date for full-power stations to cease analog operations; the date was later moved to June 12, 2009.[1] [2]

After the analog television shutdown:

  • WACS-TV, WNGH-TV, WJSP-TV, and WMUM-TV remained on their respective, pre-transition channel numbers (8, 33, 23, and 7). [3] [4] [5] [6]
  • WGTV, WXGA-TV, and WVAN-TV returned to channels 8, 8, and 9, respectively, for their digital transmissions; [7] [8] [9]
  • WABW-TV and WCES-TV each moved to channel 6 for their digital broadcasts. [10] [11]

Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display virtual channels for each GPB station corresponding to their previous analog channel numbers.

GPB has placed most of its stations on VHF due to the lower effective radiated power requirements (20 or 32 kW instead of 1000kW), which in turn reduces the cost of buying the transmitter and using the electrical power for it. For WABW and WCES, this will make them one of the few in the country to use low-VHF channels (2 to 6), which require larger receiving antennas, are prone to tropospheric ducting (weather) and impulse noise, make mobile TV (ATSC-M/H) difficult, and for 5 and 6 are also an obstacle to expanding the FM broadcast band. The upper-VHF channels also have these problems, but less so.

Broadcast translators

Several low-power broadcast translator stations are or were found in the hilly and mountainous terrain of the north Georgia mountains. These include:

The first two are assigned to WGTV, the middle to WCES, and the latter two to WNGH. W49AD in downtown Carrollton was assigned to WJSP, while W13DJ-D is outside of town.

Former translators

The following translators were abandoned by GPB, which had their licenses (and in some cases digital applications and permits) cancelled by the FCC, apparently at GPB's request, possibly due to the expense of running and upgrading them.

  • Carnesville, channel 52 -- signal reached parts of Franklin County in northeastern Georgia
  • Cedartown, channel 65 -- signal reached parts of Polk and Floyd counties in northwestern Georgia
  • Draketown, channel 27 -- signal reached parts of Haralson and Paulding counties in northwestern Georgia
  • Elberton, channel 60 -- signal reached parts of Elbert County in northeastern Georgia
  • Flintstone, channel 51 -- signal reached parts of Walker, Dade, and Catoosa Counties in Northwestern Georgia, as well as parts of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • LaFayette, channel 35 -- signal reached parts of Walker and Dade counties in northwestern Georgia

Television shows

Series

  • Gardening in Georgia
  • Georgia's Backroads and More Georgia Backroads
  • Georgia's Business
  • Georgia Outdoors
  • Georgia Traveler

Specials

  • Georgia Aquarium: Keepers of the Deep
  • Georgia Gazette
  • Georgia Graduation Stories
  • Georgia On My Mind
  • Georgia Quilts: Stitches And Stories
  • Georgia Read More
  • Georgia Serenade
  • Georgia Valor
  • Georgia Weekly
  • Georgia's Civil War
  • Georgia's Historic Inns
  • Historic Houses of Georgia: The Antebellum Years
  • Main Street Georgia
  • Secret Seashore: Georgia's Barrier Islands (see Golden Isles)
  • Sites to Behold: The History of Georgia's State Parks
  • Sustainable Georgia
  • The Georgia Meth Invasion
  • The South Takes Flight: 100 Years of Aviation in Georgia
  • The Thomas B. Murphy Story (see Tom Murphy)
  • Vanishing Georgia
  • Lost Atlanta: The Way We Were
  • The Day Atlanta Stood Still

GPB Education

GPB Education (formerly known as Peachstar) serves state agencies and the Georgia learning community through the use of telecommunications technology. GPB delivers high-quality educational programming that reflects state standards to Georgia classrooms using the GPB satellite network, open-air television, and the GPB video streaming portal. GPB provides professional development to Georgia educators through face-to-face trainings, satellite-delivered programs, and interactive webcasts. GPB also meets the training needs of state agencies through its video production, satellite broadcast, and interactive webcasting services, as well as through its extensive digital library.

GPB is currently transitioning its GPB Education programming from direct broadcast satellite to digital terrestrial television, through their GPB Knowledge subchannel. [12]

References

  1. ^ Public TV to end analog era, Kristi E. Swartz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 14, 2009
  2. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-221A3.pdf
  3. ^ CDBS Print
  4. ^ CDBS Print
  5. ^ CDBS Print
  6. ^ CDBS Print
  7. ^ CDBS Print
  8. ^ CDBS Print
  9. ^ CDBS Print
  10. ^ CDBS Print
  11. ^ CDBS Print
  12. ^ DTV Satellite Transition

External links


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