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Public Broadcasting Service

Public Broadcasting Service

This distinction is a frequent source of viewer confusion.[3] PBS also has a subsidiary called National Datacast (NDI), which offers datacasting services via member stations. This helps PBS and its affiliates earn extra revenue.

Type Country Availability

Broadcast television network United States United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and Jamaica Be More... Collectively owned by local stations October 5, 1970 National Educational Television (NET) (May 16, 1952 to October 4, 1970)


Slogan Owner Launch date Former names

Website www.pbs.org

PBS logo (October 4, 1971 to September 30, 1984) PBS was founded on October 5, 1970, at which time it took over many of the functions of its predecessor, National Educational Television (NET), which later merged with station WNDT Newark, New Jersey to form WNET.[4] It commenced broadcasting on Monday, October 5, 1970. In 1973, it merged with Educational Television Stations. Unlike the model of America’s commercial television networks, in which affiliates give up portions of their local advertising airtime in exchange for network programming, PBS member stations pay substantial fees for the shows acquired and distributed by the national organization. This relationship means that PBS member stations have greater latitude in local scheduling than their commercial counterparts. Scheduling of PBS-distributed series may vary greatly from market to market. This can be a source of tension as stations seek to preserve their localism and PBS strives to market a consistent national line-up. However, PBS has a policy of "common

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American non-profit public broadcasting television service with 354 member TV stations in the United States. It is owned collectively by its member stations.[1] However, its operations are largely funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Its east coast headquarters are in Arlington, Virginia, with west coast operations in Burbank, California, located adjacent to the headquarters of Disney and Warner Bros. PBS is the most prominent provider of programming to U.S. public television stations, distributing acclaimed series such as The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Masterpiece, and Frontline. Since the mid-2000s, Roper polls commissioned by PBS have consistently placed the service as America’s most trusted national institution.[2] However, PBS is not responsible for all programming carried on public TV stations; in fact, stations usually receive a large portion of their content (including most pledge drive specials) from thirdparty sources, such as American Public Television, NETA, and independent producers.


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carriage" requiring most stations to clear the national prime time programs on a common schedule, so that they can be more effectively marketed on a national basis. Unlike its radio counterpart, National Public Radio, PBS has no central program production arm or news department. All of the programming carried by PBS, whether news, documentary, or entertainment, is created by (or in most cases produced under contract with) other parties, such as individual member stations. WGBH in Boston is one of the largest producers of educational programming. News programs are produced by WETA-TV in Washington, D.C., WNET in New York and WPBT in Miami. The Charlie Rose interview show, Secrets of the Dead, NOW on PBS, Nature, Cyberchase, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer come from or through WNET in New York. Once a program is offered to and accepted by PBS for distribution, PBS (and not the member station that supplied the program) retains exclusive rights for rebroadcasts during the period for which such rights were granted; the suppliers do maintain the right to sell the program in non-broadcast media such as DVDs, books, and sometimes PBS licensed merchandise (but sometimes grant such ancillary rights as well to PBS). PBS stations are commonly operated by non-profit organizations, state agencies, local authorities (e.g., municipal boards of education), or universities in their community of license. In some states, PBS stations throughout the entire state may be organized into a single regional "subnetwork" (e.g., Alabama Public Television). PBS does not own any of the stations that broadcast its programming. This is partly due to the origins of the PBS stations themselves, and partly due to historical license issues. In the modern broadcast marketplace, this organizational structure is considered outmoded by some media critics. A common restructuring proposal is to reorganize the network so that each state would have one PBS affiliate which would broadcast state-wide. However, this proposal is controversial, as it would reduce local community input into PBS programming, especially considering how PBS stations are significantly more community-oriented, according to the argument, than their commercial counterparts.

Public Broadcasting Service

"Viewers Like You"
On programs where viewers of PBS contributed to the production costs, the phrase "Viewers Like You" is used to indicate PBS’s gratitude to the contributors. As is the case with all other underwriters, the phrase appears at the start and end of all PBS programs with viewer contributions. The phrase began to appear on underwriting credits on January 4, 1988. Prior to January 3, 1988, donations by viewers of PBS members were recognized as contributions from "this station or other public television stations" or "public television stations". At first, the underwriting announcement was: “ This program was made possible by the financial support of Viewers Like You. ”

On September 27, 1993, the announcement was slightly changed to: “ This program was made possible by the annual financial support of Viewers Like You. This program was made possible by the annual financial support from Viewers Like You. ”

or: “ ”

This would be accompanied by an on-screen slide with the words "Viewers Like You". In some cases the final portion was shortened to "...and by viewers like you." The "Viewers Like You" statement was usually, but not necessarily always, the last part of this announcement, usually preceded by a reference to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ("a private corporation funded by the American people") and to one or more other foundations or corporate sponsors. This version may still be occasionally seen today on programs originally produced prior to 1999. On November 1, 1999, the PBS underwriting guidelines have required all announcements to say: “ This program was made possible by contributions to your PBS station from Viewers Like You. Thank You! ”

Under this new policy, the "Viewers Like You" slide is now required to be followed by another slide reading "Thank You", both now coming at the very end of the underwriter credits. The specific reasons for this new


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addition are to actually thank the public viewers at home who contributed to PBS, and its programs. PBS usually produces its own versions of the "Viewers Like You" element, often reflecting the system’s most recent brand image, although producers are under no obligation to use this version. There has been an exception with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, where Fred Rogers has worded the announcement differently as in, for example: The people who give the money to make Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood are the people of this and other public television stations, and The Sears-Roebuck Foundation). This series never used the "Viewers Like You" phrase, but added "We Thank You" on episodes after 2000. Also, 1992–1998 episodes of Sesame Street used this announcement, voiced by Roscoe Orman, who plays Gordon Robinson on Sesame Street: "Funding for this program is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting... and by public television stations and their contributors." On pre-1992 episodes, "viewers like you" is not used, Sesame Workshop instead opted to use "public television stations" as they had done in the past. In pre-1992 episodes of Sesame Street, no announcer was used, rather music played over a slide displaying funding. Underwriter announcements on rebroadcasts of the Wishbone series still use the original phrase, omitting the "Thank You" that was mandated in 1999. Some programs, such as Learn to Read, do not get funding from the stations or "Viewers Like You", only receiving funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and/or other donors.

Public Broadcasting Service
• Independent films (P.O.V., and Independent Lens)

• 3-2-1 Contact • A Place of Our Own • Arthur • Barney & Friends • Between the Lions • Bill Nye the Science Guy • Caillou • Clifford the Big Red Dog • Curious George • Cyberchase • Dragon Tales • Kratts’ Creatures • The Magic School Bus • Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood • The Puzzle Place • Reading Rainbow • Sesame Street • Shining Time Station • The Electric Company (2009 TV series) • Villa Alegre • Wishbone • ZOOM PBS Kids has also imported British children’s series (for example, Tots TV, Teletubbies, Boohbah, and Thomas the Tank Engine), as well as children’s shows from Canada (i.e., The Big Comfy Couch, Theodore Tugboat, Wimzie’s House and Polka Dot Door). On June 4, 2007, their first imported Australian children’s TV series debuted on PBS – Raggs. Some of the programs subsequently moved to commercial television (for example, Ghostwriter, and The Magic School Bus). However, PBS is not the only distributor of public television programming to the member stations. Other distributors have emerged from the roots of the old companies that had loosely held regional public television stations in the 1960s. Boston-based American Public Television (former names include Eastern Educational Network and American Program Service) is second only to PBS for distributing programs to U.S. noncommercial stations. Another distributor is NETA (formerly SECA), whose properties have included The Shapies and Jerry Yarnell School of Fine Art. In addition, the member stations themselves also produce a variety of local shows, some of which subsequently receive national distribution through PBS or the other distributors.

• Fine arts (Great Performances, Live from the Met, Live from Lincoln Center, and Evening at Pops) • Drama (Mystery!, American Playhouse, and Masterpiece Theatre) • Science (Nova and Scientific American Frontiers) • History (American Experience) • Public affairs (Frontline, NOW on PBS, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Nightly Business Report)


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PBS stations are known for rebroadcasting British television costume dramas and comedies (acquired from the BBC and other sources); consequently, it has been joked that PBS means "Primarily British Series". However, a significant amount of sharing takes place. The BBC and other media outlets in the region such as Channel 4 often cooperate with PBS stations, producing material that is shown on both sides of the Atlantic. Less frequently, Canadian, Australian, and other international programming appears on PBS stations (such as The Red Green Show, currently distributed by syndicator Executive Program Services); the public broadcasting syndicators are more likely to offer this programming to the U.S. public stations. It also uses the new slogan "On" then the station name. PBS is also known for re-broadcasting British science fiction and comedy programs such as Doctor Who and Red Dwarf, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Benny Hill Show.

Public Broadcasting Service
• WSKG-TV, Binghamton, New York • WNED-TV, Buffalo, New York • WLIW, Garden City, New York • WCFE-TV Mountain Lake PBS, Plattsburgh, New York • WXXI-TV, Rochester, New York • WTVI, Charlotte, North Carolina • UNC-TV • WCET-TV, Cincinnati, Ohio • WVIZ, Cleveland, Ohio

PBS, Colorado • Connecticut Public Television • WHYY-TV, Wilmington, Delaware • WETA-TV, Washington, D.C. • WDSC-TV, Daytona Beach, Florida • WUFT, Gainesville, Florida • WPBT, Miami, Florida • WMFE-TV, Orlando, Florida Contributing stations • WEDU, Tampa, Stations and/or networks that have produced Florida or presented PBS-distributed programming • WTTW and include: WYCC, • KUAT-TV, • Maine Public • WOSU-TV, Chicago, Tucson, Broadcasting Columbus, Ohio Illinois Arizona Network • WGTE-TV, Toledo, • WTIU, • KETS, Little • Maryland Public Ohio Bloomington, Rock, Television • Oklahoma Indiana Arkansas • WGBH-TV, Boston, Educational • WYIN, Gary, • KCET, Los Massachusetts Television Indiana Angeles, • WTVS, Detroit, Authority • WFYI, California Michigan • Oregon Public Indianapolis, • KVIE, • Twin Cities Public Broadcasting Indiana Sacramento, Television, St. Paul, • WQLN, Erie, • Kentucky California Minnesota Pennsylvania Educational • KPBS, San • Mississippi Public • WITF-TV, Television Diego, Broadcasting Harrisburg, • WYES-TV, California • KETC, St. Louis, Pennsylvania New • KQED, San Missouri • WQED, Orleans, Francisco, • Nebraska Pittsburgh, Louisiana California Educational Pennsylvania • KTEH, San Jose, California • KHET, Honolulu, Hawaii, PBS Hawaii • Rocky Mountain Telecommunications • WENH, Durham, New Hampshire • WNET, Newark, New Jersey • New Jersey Network • WMHT-TV, Albany, New York • South Carolina Educational Television • WKNO, Memphis, Tennessee PBS has been • KLRU, Austin, controversy. Texas • KERA-TV, Dallas, Texas

• KUHT, Hou Texas • KTXT-TV, Lubbock, Te • Vermont Pu Television • KCTS-TV, S Washington • WMVS and WMVT-Milw Public Telev Wisconsin • Wisconsin P Television

Criticism and controversy
the subject of some


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Public Broadcasting Service
from interfering or controlling what is broadcast. This set up an obvious tension where the government that created the CPB would not be able to do anything about a perceived failure to meet its obligation for objectivity without interfering in some way. At a more basic and problematic level is how and who should determine what constitutes objectivity and balance when there are massive disagreements over what that would be. There seems to be no consensus or even attempts at forming a consensus to resolve this dilemma. In at least one instance (a 1982 broadcast of the USIA programme Let Poland be Poland about the martial law declared in Poland in 1981), Congress has expressly encouraged PBS to abandon its conventional position of non-partisan neutrality. The programme, a protest against the imposition of martial law by a Soviet-backed régime, contained commentary from many well-known celebrities. While widely-viewed in the US, it met with scepticism on the part of European broadcasters due to concerns that the show, "provocative and anticommunist," was intended as propaganda.[8][9] Although state and federal sources account for less than 50% of public television funding[5], the system remains vulnerable to political pressure. Kenneth Tomlinson, former chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting who resigned amid controversy, in November 2005 in Baltimore, told PBS officials, "They should make sure their programming better reflected the Republican mandate." Tomlinson later said that his comment was in jest and that he could not imagine how remarks at a fun occasion were taken the wrong way. A report whose results were publicized in November 2005 sharply criticized Tomlinson for the way he used CPB resources to "go after" this perceived liberal bias.[10] Individual programs have been the targets of organized campaigns by those with opposing views, including United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.[11] Kenneth Tomlinson, who took over at CPB in 2003, began his tenure by asking for

Federal and state funding
Historically, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has received 15% to 20% of its annual operating revenue from Federal sources and 25% to 29% from State and local taxes.[5] This has caused ongoing controversy and debate since the CPB was created on November 7, 1967 when U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.


Public need
PBS was founded to provide diversity in programming at a time when all television was broadcast over the public airwaves by only 3 privately-owned national networks (as opposed to today’s private cable or satellite delivery services with a multitude of programming sources). There is debate as to whether or not the PBS system has outlived its public necessity.[6] Public television proponents maintain that the original mandate to provide universal access, particularly to rural viewers and those who cannot afford to pay for the private television services, remains vital. In addition, they argue that PBS provides some types of critical programming which would not be shown at all on the commercial networks and channels, including extensive educational children’s programming, scientific exposition, in-depth documentaries and investigative journalism. •


On-the-air fundraising
Since 53% to 60% of public television’s revenues come from private membership donations and grants[5], most stations solicit individual donations by methods including pledge drives or telethons which can disrupt regularly scheduled programming. Some viewers find this a source of annoyance since normal programming is often replaced with specials aimed at a wider audience to solicit new members and donations[7]. This has been parodied many times on other television shows such as The Simpsons (see Missionary: Impossible).

Political/ideological bias
• The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 required a "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature". It also prohibited the federal government




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Network Notes PBS YOU began 1998; ended January, 2006 PBS KIDS PBS KIDS Sprout PBS World PBS-HD PBS Satellite Service began September 15, 1993 began May 9, 2005

Public Broadcasting Service

began in 2006; nationwide launch August 15, 2007 HDTV feed to member stations 24-hour alternate network that provides a mixed variety of programming selected from PBS’s regular network service, as well as for carriage on packaged satellite providers the PBS Satellite Service feeds. PBS Kids Go! was promised for October 2006, but PBS announced in July that they would not be going forward with it as an independent network feed (as opposed to the pre-existing two-hour week daily block on PBS). Further information: List of United States over-the-air television networks and List of United States cable and satellite television networks Some or all are available on many digital cable systems, on free-to-air TV via communications satellites[14], as well as via direct broadcast satellite. With the transition to terrestrial digital television broadcasts, many are also often now available as "multiplexed" channels on some local stations’ standarddefinition digital signals, while DT2 is found among the HD signals. PBS Kids announced that they will have an early-morning Miss Lori and Hooper block with four PBS Kids shows usually around 08:00 (school time, although kids this age usually do not go to school). With the absence of advertising, network identification on these PBS networks were limited to utilization at the end of the program, which includes the standard series of bumpers from the "Be More" campaign.

Karl Rove’s assistance in overturning a regulation that half the CPB board have practical experience in radio or television. Later he appointed an outside consultant to monitor the regular PBS program NOW with Bill Moyers. Told that the show had "liberal" leanings, Moyers eventually resigned in 2005 after more than three decades as a PBS regular, citing political pressure to alter the content of his program and saying Tomlinson had mounted a "vendetta" against him.[12] Moyers eventually returned to host Bill Moyers Journal, after Tomlinson resigned. Subsequently, PBS made room for conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, formerly of MSNBC and co-host of CNN’s Crossfire, and Journal Editorial Report with Paul Gigot, an editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page (this show has since moved to FOX News Channel). On November 3, 2005 CPB announced the resignation of Tomlinson amid investigations of improper financial dealings with consultants.[13]

PBS networks
PBS has also spun-off a number of TV networks, often in partnership with other media companies: PBS YOU (ended January 2006, and largely succeeded by American Public Television’s Create), PBS KIDS (ended October 1, 2005), PBS KIDS Sprout, PBS World (commenced August 15, 2007), and PBS-DT2 (a feed of HDTV and letterboxed programming for digitally equipped member stations), along with packages of PBS programs that are similar to local stations’ programming,

Regional networks
While various digital subchannels are operated on a regional or statewide basis, these are the creation of individual PBS member stations or groups of stations. While not operated or controlled by the national PBS organization, these extra channels typically rebroadcast portions of the programming from the main PBS service in addition to local


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Channel Florida Channel Florida Knowledge Network Minnesota Channel ThinkBright TV Wisconsin Channel GPB Knowledge, GPB Kids UNC-NC, UNC-KD Origin WFSU-TV Florida Department of Education Twin Cities Public TV WNED-TV WHA-TV Georgia Public Broadcasting UNC-TV

Public Broadcasting Service
Areas served Florida statewide Florida statewide Minnesota, portions of North Dakota New York statewide, except New York City Wisconsin Public Television nearly all of Georgia nearly all of North Carolina nearly all of South Carolina

South Carolina Channel, ETV SCETV World and regional public-affairs coverage and are carried as subchannels of existing PBS stations. Also carried on some PBS stations are Create (American Public Television, how-to programming), MHz Worldview (Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, international news) and V-me (WNET, Spanish language educational). None of these services form part of the main PBS network.

PBS Kids
Founded in 1993, PBS Kids is the brand for children’s programming aired by PBS in the United States. The PBS Kids network, which was established in 1998 and ran for seven years, was largely funded by DirecTV. The channel ceased operation on October 1, 2005, in favor of a new joint commercial venture, PBS KIDS Sprout.

PBS sports
The network has shown some sporting events in its history. During the 1970s and 1980s PBS was the leading American tennis broadcaster.[15][16] Bud Collins and Donald Dell were PBS announcers. PBS was the first American network to regularly broadcast tennis tournaments. PBS also broadcast "Tennis for the Future", hosted by Vic Braden.[17] In 1982, PBS and ESPN provided the first thorough American television coverage of the FIFA World Cup. PBS aired same day highlights of the top game of the day. Toby Charles was PBS’ play by play announcer.

From 1984 to 1987, PBS broadcast Ivy League football. Dick Galiette and Upton Bell called games for the first season and Marty Glickman and Bob Casciola called the games in 1985. In 1986, PBS increased its coverage and had two announcing teams, Brian Dowling and Sean McDonough, who had been the sideline reporter for the prior two seasons were the play by play announcers and Bob Casciola and Len Simonian were the color analysts. For the final season McDonough and Jack Corrigan were the game announcers and Mike Madden was the sideline reporter.[18] Another PBS Sports series was "The Sporting Life", an interview series hosted by Jim Palmer.[19] The Sporting Life premiered in 1985 and was canceled soon after. Many state public broadcasting stations, such as Georgia Public Broadcasting, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and Nebraska Educational Television, broadcast high school sports championships, and college sports games not seen on commercial TV (such as baseball, gymnastics, tennis, etc.).

See also
• • • • • • • • • American Public Media Instructional television List of PBS member stations List of United States television networks Lou Stewart, prominent labor leader and PBS board member National Public Radio Public Radio International PBS idents Television in the United States


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• Time signal

Public Broadcasting Service

distribute episode with animated ’Buster’ visiting Vt.," MSNBC, January 26, 2005. [12] Paul Farhi (April 22, 2005). PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas. The [1] "About PBS". PBS. 2008. Washington Post http://www.pbs.org/aboutpbs/. Retrieved [13] Brent Bozell III (2007-05-02). "Back to on 2008-12-30. Bias Basics at PBS". Townhall.com. [2] PBS (March 22, 2007). National Roper http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ Poll Ranks PBS #1 In Public Trust For BrentBozellIII/2007/05/02/ The Fourth Consecutive Year. Press back_to_bias_basics_at_pbs. Retrieved on release. http://www.pbs.org/aboutpbs/ 2007-05-02. news/20070322_roperpoll.html. [14] http://www.lyngsat.com/amc21.html Retrieved on 2008-12-30. [15] NewspaperARCHIVE.com - Search old [3] Michael Getler (May 15, 2008). "Caution: newspaper articles online That Program May Not Be From PBS". [16] Janson Media: Consulting: Consultants PBS. http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/ [17] OCRegister.com - Sports Stats and 2008/05/ information caution_that_program_may_not_be_from_pbs.html. [18] Penn Football Tapes 1980-1989 Retrieved on 2008-12-30. [19] Jim Palmer [4] Public Broadcasting PolicyBase (14 January 2000). "Articles of Incorporation of Public Broadcasting Service". Current Newspaper. http://www.current.org/ • B. J. Bullert, Public Television: Politics and pbpb/documents/PBSarticles69.html. the Battle over Documentary Film, Retrieved on 2008-01-12. Rutgers Univ Press 1997 [5] ^ http://www.cpb.org/stations/reports/ • Barry Dornfeld, Producing Public revenue/ Television, Producing Public Culture, 2005PublicBroadcastingRevenue.pdf Princeton University Press 1998 [6] Joel Stein • Ralph Engelman, Public Radio and [7] Getler, Michael (2006-03-24). "Pledging Television in America: A Political History, Allegiance, or March Madness?". PBS Sage Publications 1996 Ombudsman. http://www.pbs.org/ • James Ledbetter, Made Possible by: The ombudsman/2006/03/ Death of Public Broadcasting in the United pledging_allegiance_or_march_madness.html. States, Verso 1998 Retrieved on 2006-05-22. [8] Let Poland Be Poland (1982, TV) on • Official website IMDB • PBS YouTube Channel [9] US Public Diplomacy in Hungary: Past • PBS "Red Book" (presentation guidelines and Present, Edward Eichler, April 25, for PBS programming) 2008 • Video interview with PBS President Paula [10] Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on Kerger PBS, Alleging Biases • Current, the newspaper about public TV [11] Associated Press."Education chief rips and radio in the United States PBS for gay character: Network won’t


Further reading

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