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WQED was the nation’s first community-supported television station and went on the air on April 1, 1954. In 1973, Classical WQED-FM 89.3 was founded as the region’s only 24-hour classical radio station.
Today, WQED is educational public media with four television programming streams: WQED-TV; WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; and WQED Showcase; three radio streams: WQED-FM 89.3; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; The Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-FM HD-2 and www.wqed.org/fm online provide WQED content to all residents in the viewing and listening area, and online around the world; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive, and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative.
Throughout its history, WQED has partnered with hundreds of local community organizations toward improvements in education; arts and culture; community health; economics; and important local issues through its form of civic journalism. As the only community-owned multimedia resource in the region, WQED is a convener, a central gathering place, and a conduit for other local non-profit organizations.
WQED has exported the region nationally with projects like The War That Made America, a four part historical documentary on the French and Indian War that aired nationwide on PBS; national cooking shows with Chris Fennimore; the Doo Wop music franchise; weekly national radio broadcasts of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a continuing series of local and national documentaries by Emmy Award-winning producer Rick Sebak.
WQED recenlty produced August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand, which aired nationally on PBS American Masters in February 2015. The documentary focsues on the life and work of Pittsburgh-native and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson and includes an extensive educational initiative in key cities across the country.
WQED is one of the busiest producers of local programming in the PBS system. In addition to the local and national documentaries, WQED produces and airs local programs that capture the stories of advancement, arts and diversity in our region.
Classical WQED-FM is “the voice of the arts in western Pennsylvania” by highlighting all that the station has meant for the region with retrospectives, tributes, community events, and celebrations. WQED-FM has offered classical and fine arts and cultural programs since its inception in 1973, allowing listeners to hear live and recorded classical performances and learn the latest arts and culture news from Pittsburgh and around the world. Listeners can hear WQED-FM at 89.3 and on its repeater stations, WQED-FM89.7 /Johnstown.
WQED Interactive, a media portal to the world, makes the aforementioned WQED programs all the more accessible to viewers and listeners, any time, and any place. WQED reaches more than 37,000 people through social media.
iQ: smartmedia is our strategy for education to capitalize on what kids have inside of them and to capture that potential. Around it revolves all of WQED's educational goals and objectives: to provide new tools and models, thought leadership, research, and training on the intersection of media and learning to prepare our children for a competitive world. We provide content for science and technology; literacy; global cultures and connections; expression; social and community responsibility; numeracy; and behavioral wellness.