Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) is the PBS member network for the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is owned by Connecticut Public Broadcasting, who also owns the state's National Public Radio member, Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). Together, the television and radio stations make up the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. CPBN 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. The broadcasting company is led by Jerry Franklin, President of CPTV. The organizational structure of CPTV also includes a Board of Trustees.
The network's first station, WEDH in Hartford, signed on in 1962, airing broadcasts in "black and white" at the Trinity College Library. It was the fourth educational television station in New England, following WGBH-TV in Boston, WENH-TV in Durham, New Hampshire (now part of New Hampshire Public Television), and WCBB in Augusta, Maine (now part of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network). Originally a member of National Educational Television, it joined PBS in 1969. Originally known as Connecticut Educational Television, it became Connecticut Public Television in 1984.
CPTV remained based on rented space at Trinity College until selling its headquarters back to the school for $10 million in 2002. In 2004, CPTV moved to a state-of-the-art facility on Asylum Avenue in downtown Hartford. The infrastructure of CPTV was eventually upgraded through a partnership with Sony Systems Integration Center (SIC), which enabled the delivery of HD quality telecommunications to subscribers.  In the 1990s, a "volunteer of the week" program was offered.
Since 1985, CPTV has received the following awards:
- 69 Regional Emmy Awards
- 6 Golden Eagle Awards
- 7 Mark Twain Awards from the Associated Press,
- 2 George Foster Peabody Awards
- 2 Gracie Allen Awards
- 2 Ohio State Awards for Broadcast Excellence
Shows produced by CPTV
CPTV is a major producer of children's programming for the PBS system. Its best-known offering was Barney & Friends. The character was actually discovered in 1991 when the daughter of CPTV executive Larry Rifkin bought a Barney and the Backyard Gang home video and was mesmerized by it. CPTV continued to distribute the show until 2006; it is now distributed by WNET in New York. Other children's shows originated by CPTV are Thomas & Friends, Bob The Builder, Angelina Ballerina, and The Saddle Club.
Throughout the 1990s, M*A*S*H star Alan Alda hosted a science show called Scientific American Frontiers, based on the popular magazine Scientific American. That show was also produced by CPTV and aired nationwide.
Since 2002, CPTV has been working with HiT Entertainment, who has helped distribute some of CPTV's children's programs. Beginning in 2008, most of CPTV's kids programming (which are all of post 2002 production with HiT Entertainment) have been presented by WNET.
Other programs produced by or for CPTV include:
- Able Lives
- All Things Connecticut
- Behind the Wheel: Parents and Teens
- Closing the Gap
- Critical Call for Oral Health
- Critical Condition: Focus on Connecticut
- Eating CT
- Facing the Mortgage Crisis
- Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop
- My First Breath
- Open Doors to Family Learning
- Opening Doors Opening Minds
- OTR: On The Record
- Positively Connecticut
- Power of Giving
- Sprawl: Driven by Denial
- The Warming of Connecticut
- Today's Children
- Work Learn Live
- Connecticut on Alert
- WNPR Health Forum
- Young American Heroes
- A Child A Family A Future: Foster Care and Adoption in Connecticut
The CPTV stations are:
|Station||City of license||Channels|
(TV / DT)
|First air date||Fourth letter|
|ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates||Facility ID||Public license|
|October 1, 1962||Hartford||490 kW||505 m||13602|
|December 17, 1967||Western Connecticut||170 kW||222 m||13594|
|March 5, 1967||Norwich||4.2 kW||192 m||13607|
|WEDY||New Haven||65 (PSIP)|
|December 1, 1974||Yale University||60 kW||94 m||13595|
CPTV is available on all cable systems in the state. On satellite, WEDH is available in nearly all of the state on the Hartford/New Haven DirecTV and Dish Network feeds, while WEDW is available on the New York City local feeds. This gives CPTV a potential audience of 21 million people in three states.
The digital signals of CPTV's stations are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|xx.1||1080i||16:9||CPTV-1||Main CPTV programming / PBS|
During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur on June 12, CPTV shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. Listed below are the dates each analog transmitter ceased operations as well as their post-transition channel allocations:
- WEDH shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 45, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 24.
- WEDW shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 49, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 52, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era UHF channel 49.
- WEDN shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 53, on June 12, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 9, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 53, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
- WEDY went off the air on July 31, 2005, as the result of an equipment failure. Connecticut Public Broadcasting was granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission to temporarily keep the station off-the-air until repairs were completed. CPBI also petitioned the FCC to allow WEDY's analog signal to remain off the air permanently, citing the need to use available funds on the construction of its digital facilities. The station's digital signal resumed on its pre-transition VHF channel 6 on June 13, 2009, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 65. However, most New Haven viewers didn't lose access to PBS programming due to the high penetration of cable and satellite in the area.
On March 16, 2011, the FCC granted WEDY its petition to move from VHF channel 6 to UHF channel 41 because of viewer reception issues and interference from both WPVI-TV in Philadelphia and WRGB in Schenectady, New York (both also operate on channel 6) after those two stations implemented recent power increases.
CPBN Learning Lab
The CPBN Learning Lab's goal is to create 21st century journalists and train instructors to pass that gift forward. Donations from The Wounded Warrior Project, The Newman’s Own Foundation, Wal-Mart Foundation, SBM Charitable Foundation, Farmington Bank Community Foundation, and others were noted as making this Learning Lab possible. In July 2013, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy also obtained an in the amount of $141,420 as a contribution to the lab for a series of fire safety videos. was selected to build Robert Roach of ' design for CPTV's learning lab, which was completed in Spring of 2013. Presently, the Hartford Public Schools receives full-time access to the facility in order to enhance media skills.
Since 2007, CPBN Media Lab instructors and mentors have provided real world technical and journalism training for over 600 Connecticut students through seminars, workshops and courses.
The Media Lab has brought journalism and technical media skills training to middle school students through its Future Producers Academy, "Media is Magic" SAND Media Enrichment Program and West Middle Media Project and for high school students through its Media 101 and Young Entrepreneur courses in its Impact Academy.
Internships are provided to undergraduate college students, often for college credit, and for recent graduates seeking to acquire technical and editorial skills, including researching, interviewing, shooting, editing, and posting.
Graduates of our college program have gone on to Journalism school in London, the masters of arts in Journalism program at Hofstra University, in online services at CPBN, as an animation and graphics producer at CPBN, as an account executive at WTNH-New Haven, and as working journalists as the editor of the Avon Patch and as a reporter for the Journal Inquirer. CPBN Media Lab graduates are also working at A&E Networks, Hasbro Studios, Nickelodeon, Sacred Heart University, the Rachael Ray Show, TracyLocke, Taft School, Mohegan Sun and CPBN Education.
The CPBN Media Lab has been a partner with the from their inception in 2010, serving as the professional mentor for five Connecticut high schools, and the in New Haven, in Waterbury, in Terryville and in Bethel.
Currently the media lab is serving as the professional mentors to the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab it established at school in Hartford, CT., where it is only one three in the nation to work with middle school students.
Projects produced by the Media lab include:
- , a look into the use of metal bats in Little League baseball
- , which documents the experiences of youth voters in 2008-2012 elections
- , a behind the scenes look into the lives of notable Connecticut celebrities
- , a look into Connecticut's state parks and scenic areas that was launched to tie in with the original release of Ken Burns' series for PBS, The National Parks: America's Best Idea.
Awards & Recognition
- The CPBN Media finished strongly in the 2010 Pepsi Refresh competition with a proposal to help Connecticut schools produce 21st century journalists
- The CPBN Media Lab won the .
- The CPBN Media Lab won two , from the Boston New England Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences in 2013.
- The CPBN Media Lab received recognition as a finalist in the , from the Boston New England Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences in 2013.
An offshoot of CPTV, this channel provides 24/7 access to Connecticut sports.