KUED first signed on the air on January 20, 1958, with an episode of The Friendly Giant. Original broadcasts from improvised studios were set up in the basement of the old student union building on the University of Utah campus. The station had humble beginnings, with the use of primitive equipment, and a donated transmitter (thanks to a donation from Time-Life Inc., then-owners of KTVT Channel 4) and a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, KUED began broadcasting educational programming for the public in Utah.
Early programming was purely educational, in some cases consisting of nothing more than a teacher standing in front of a chalk board and lecturing. About half of the programs aired were locally-produced, with the rest coming from National Educational Television (NET) and other sources. When the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) succeeded NET in 1970, the focus of programming changed to educational and entertainment programming.
In 1993 KUED moved to it's current location, the Dolores Dore Eccles Broadcast Center. Moving to this new facility allowed KUED to grow and produce additional programming that previously had not been possible. These programs are vital educational and informational resources that are not available from any other station in our state, many of which have aired nationally over PBS. In addition to documentaries like, Secrets of the Lost Canyon, Utah's World War II Stories, Maynard Dixon: To the Desert Again and Wild River, KUED produces Utah Now, Utah Conversations with Ted Capener, The Governor's News Conference, Vote Utah, and a number of special features for the University of Utah. We also produce the yearly Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert that has become a favorite of Utah's viewers, as well as PBS viewers across the country.
With a commitment to lifelong learning, culture, education, children and helping the under-served, KUED has offered the finest television available. It is our vision that KUED will be the "Public Square" for our viewers - where learning is revered, diversity is welcomed, intelligence is respected, free expression is safeguarded, curiosity is prized, fairness is expected, citizens are engaged, and children are cherished and nurtured.