In October 1962, the Connecticut Educational Television Corporation began broadcasting over station WEDH-TV (Channel 24) in black and white from the basement of the Trinity College Library in Hartford, Connecticut. In the beginning, motivated and eager individuals had a vision: to enrich people's lives through high-quality, non-commercial, educational programming. Institutions like Trinity College and the State of Connecticut supported this goal of reaching out to the community through public broadcasting.
The station broadcast its first local children’s programming a few weeks after it went on the air, followed a month later by a biweekly local series highlighting the world of arts, entertainment and public affairs in the state. A mobile truck arrived in 1967, color in 1968, auctions in 1972, and pledge in 1973. By 1974, three additional stations across the state had joined WEDH-TV and CPTV was born. The statewide network earned its first Emmy Award in 1977, received its first satellite transmission in 1979, and taped its first national pledge special in 1985.
The first public radio station in Connecticut signed on in June 1978, and soon Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR) joined CPTV to form what is now known as Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Initially airing primarily classical and radio music, WNPR now focuses on news and information. Together, the two community-supported, statewide public broadcasting networks are dedicated to serving Connecticut with a mix of educational, news, public affairs, children's and entertainment programming and services.
Today, CPTV and WNPR reach the entire state of Connecticut – an estimated 550,000 television viewers and more than 240,000 radio listeners each week. Connecticut Public Broadcasting is the state’s only locally owned media organization producing TV, radio, print and Internet content for distribution to Connecticut’s wide-ranging and diverse communities.
Mundo Real (CPTV, 1976-1978) - One of the first television series to focus on a Puerto Rican family, Mundo Real was a Spanish-English bilingual educational children’s series aimed at ages 7-11. It was funded by four successive grants from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. A total of 39 episodes were produced. The series was syndicated to commercial and public television stations throughout the country, airing on at least 60 in 1978 and PBS aired episodes nationally in 1981.
Open Air New England / The Faith Middleton Show (WNPR, 1981-Present) - The two-time Peabody Award-winning Faith Middleton Show has been widely recognized for fostering insightful, thought-provoking conversation for more than 30 years. Faith offers her listeners some of the world's most fascinating people and subjects. The show has been inducted into the Connecticut Magazine Hall of Fame as “Best Local Talk Show.”
Barney & Friends (CPTV, 1992-2005) - For over a decade, CPTV co-produced Barney & Friends for PBS. A CPTV executive thought Barney might be a good fit for television after renting a Barney video for his daughter. When it premiered in April 1992, the series was a huge hit, far more popular than anyone could have possibly imagined.
CPTV UConn Women's Basketball (CPTV, 1994-2012) - CPTV was the TV broadcast home of the phenomenally successful UConn Women’s Basketball team for 18 years. With some of the consistently highest ratings and strongest membership levels of any program on public television for close to two decades, UConn Women’s Basketball on CPTV is considered by many to be the most successful local franchise in public television history.
Infinity Hall Live (CPTV, 2011-Present) - Since 2011, CPTV has produced and distributed nationally to public television stations across the country this Emmy-award winning series that provides an all-access pass to engaging performances and backstage conversations with today’s most intriguing musical artists. It offers authentic and heartfelt performances taped at Infinity Music Hall, an acoustically perfect Victorian-era concert hall in Norfolk, CT. Artists featured on the series include The Barenaked Ladies, Joan Osborne, Fountains of Wayne, Tori Amos, and Wilson Phillips.