WCNY, founded in 1965 as The Educational Television Council of Central New York, is today a community-owned public media company that produces content across multiple platforms, including television and radio programs, dynamic web and targeted e-mail content, the bimonthly WCNY Connect magazine, and of course, social media. Through our use of streaming technology, we now have a global broadcast audience of viewers and listeners throughout the United States and 17 countries.
As Central New York's public media voice and a dual licensee public broadcaster (now five television and three radio channels), WCNY serves 1.8 million households over an area that comprises about one-third of New York. This audience relies on WCNY for local television and radio production, educational outreach, and educational web content and services. We are an innovator in local and national programming, as evidenced by numerous awards including Emmys, for our local television programming including Cycle of Health, Financial Fitness, Insight, Double Down and Ivory Tower along with long-form documentaries. We are the smallest city in America to have a hosted classical radio show, nearly 2000 visually-impaired community members enjoy the services of our 24/7 Readout Radio service, and the community is invited to attend our Live at Noon performances (broadcast on radio live) that feature outstanding local, regional, and national musicians and vocalists.
In our new 10,000-square-foot Education Center, we offer a wide range of educational programs for learners of all ages. Education is central to WCNY’s mission. Our Enterprise America program combines classroom lessons with the opportunity for students to run a model city of 14 businesses and a City Hall. Our Media Marketing Communications Career and Technical Education (CTE) course for high school students embeds students with our WCNY professionals to provide hands-on learning while also offering academic college courses. Through experiential learning opportunities like these we aim to foster tomorrow’s entrepreneurial leaders.
As the public voice for Central New York, the mission at WCNY is ‘connecting’ with and giving back to the community that supports us. Educating, entertaining, and inspiring the public, as well as encouraging a deep appreciation for diversity and our shared humanity with content-rich programming, is what we do. The archives provide WCNY with a way to ensure that our programming history is recorded, and that productions we have created are accessible for future generations.
Television: Artic Air, The Barn, Central New York in the 40s, William Henry Seward: Lincoln’s Right Hand, The Performers: Taking Center Stage in NYS Agriculture, Dream Destinations: New York’s Contemporary Canals, Losing Ground: The Battle to Preserve War of 1812 Battlefields in New York State, and annual Bluegrass Ramble Picnics and Barn Dances are examples of significant local history, arts, and public affairs programming our staff has created.
Radio:The radio recordings of the now-defunct Syracuse Symphony, Live at Noon specials, and Bluegrass Ramble shows hosted by Bill Knowlton, the recipient of a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association for his pioneering work in the field of bluegrass music, are examples of significant radio productions created by WCNY.