Connecticut Public Television

Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network for the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is owned by Connecticut Public Broadcasting, a community-based non-profit organization that holds the licenses for all PBS member stations licensed in the state, and also owns the state's National Public Radio (NPR) member, Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). Together, the television and radio stations make up the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). CPBN is the state's only locally owned media organization producing TV, radio, print and Internet content for distribution across the state. As of 2019, Mark Contreras was announced as the new President / CEO. The organizational structure of CPTV also includes a Board of Trustees.[1] The network co-produced the long-running children's television series, Barney & Friends until the show (alongside other HIT Entertainment programs) were transferred to WNET.

Connecticut Public Television
Affiliations.1: PBS (1970–present)
.2: PBS Kids
.3: CPTV Spirit
OwnerConnecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc.
Connecticut Public Radio
First air date
WEDH: October 1, 1962 (1962-10-01)
Network: 1967 (1967)
  • Analog/DT1:
  • NET (1962-1970)
  • DT2:
  • Create/World (2018-2020 (Create), 2020 (World))
  • DT3:
  • CPTV Sports (2013(?)–2017)
Call sign meaning
See below
Technical information
Facility IDSee below
ERPSee below
HAATSee below
Transmitter coordinatesSee below
The studio of CPTV and WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut


The network's first station, WEDH in Hartford, signed on with a black and white signal in 1962, operating from a Trinity College library basement.[2][3] 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 (NET), it joined PBS upon its launch on October 4, 1970. Originally known as Connecticut Educational Television, it became Connecticut Public Television in 1967.

CPTV remained based in rented space at Trinity College until selling its headquarters back to the school for $10 million in 2002.[4] In 2004, CPTV moved to a facility in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of 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.[5]

In late 2019, CPTV requested to have WEDW's city of license changed from Bridgeport to Stamford.[6]


Since 1985, CPTV has received the following awards:[7]



Shows produced by CPTV

CPTV was the broadcast and web streaming home of UConn women's basketball from 1994 to 2012.[8] The game broadcasts were the highest-rated locally produced programs in the PBS network.

CPTV is a major producer of children's programming for the PBS network. Its best-known offering was Barney & Friends. The character was discovered in 1991 when CPTV executive Larry Rifkin bought a Barney and the Backyard Gang home video for his daughter and was mesmerized by it. CPTV continued to distribute the show until 2007; it is now distributed by WNET in New York. Other children's shows originated and/or distributed by CPTV are Thomas & Friends, Bob The Builder, Make Way for Noddy, Angelina Ballerina, and The Saddle Club as well as the first season of SeeMore's Playhouse (the second season was distributed by Oregon Public Broadcasting).

From 1993 to 2005, M*A*S*H star Alan Alda hosted the science series Scientific American Frontiers, based on the popular magazine Scientific American.[9] That show was also produced by CPTV and aired nationwide.

Since 2002, CPTV has been working with HIT Entertainment, which has helped distribute some of CPTV's children's programs. Beginning in 2008, most of CPTV's children's programming (which since 2002 have been produced with HIT Entertainment) has been presented by WNET.

Other programs produced by or for CPTV include:[10]

  • Able Lives
  • All Things Connecticut
  • Behind the Wheel: Parents and Teens
  • A Child, A Family, A Future: Foster Care and Adoption in Connecticut
  • Closing the Gap
  • The Cobblestone Corridor
  • Common Ground (formerly known as Conversations on the Green)
  • Connecticut on Alert
  • Critical Call for Oral Health
  • Critical Condition: Focus on Connecticut
  • Cutline
  • Eating CT
  • Facing the Mortgage Crisis
  • Fake
  • Impact
  • Infinity Hall Live
  • Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop
  • Mundo Real
  • My First Breath
  • Off the Menu
  • Open Doors to Family Learning
  • Opening Doors Opening Minds
  • OTR: On The Record
  • Positively Connecticut
  • Power of Giving
  • Scully: The World Show
  • Sharing CT
  • Sprawl: Driven by Denial
  • Today's Children
  • The Warming of Connecticut
  • Where Art Thou
  • WNPR Health Forum
  • Work Learn Live
  • Young American Heroes


CPTV's four stations cover almost all of Connecticut, as well as portions of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.

Station City of license Channels
(VC / RF)
First air date Fourth letter's meaning ERP HAAT Transmitter coordinates Facility ID Public license information
WEDH Hartford 24
30 (UHF)
(shared with WEDY)
October 1, 1962 (1962-10-01) Hartford 497 kW 506 m (1,660 ft) 41°42′13″N 72°49′55″W 13602 Profile
WEDN Norwich 53
9 (VHF)
March 5, 1967 (1967-03-05) Norwich 4.2 kW 192 m (630 ft) 41°31′14″N 72°10′1″W 13607 Profile
WEDW Stamford 49
21 (UHF)
(shared with WZME)
December 17, 1967 (1967-12-17)
(in Bridgeport; license moved to Stamford in 2019[6])
Western Connecticut 200 kW (STA)
210 kW (DTS1 CP)
200 kW (DTS2 CP)
173.6 m (569.6 ft) (STA)
428 m (1,404 ft) (DTS1 CP)
219 m (719 ft) (DTS2 CP)
41°16′44.3″N 73°11′6.4″W
41°3′10.2″N 73°33′47″W (DTS1 CP)
40°44′54.44″N 73°59′7.16″W (DTS2 CP)
13594 Profile
WEDY New Haven 65
30 (UHF)
(shared with WEDH[11])
December 1, 1974 (1974-12-01)
was W71AG from 1967 until 1974 [12]
Yale University 497 kW 506 m (1,660 ft) 41°42′13″N 72°49′55″W 13595 Profile

The network previously operated a translator in Waterbury, W12BH (channel 12), which directly repeated WEDY. That station was taken off the air to allow WTXX (now WCCT-TV) to begin digital television operations. Prior to that it was on Channel 61 as W61AC from 1967 until 1979 due to launch of WXTV translator.

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 carried on the New York City DirecTV and Dish Network feeds; Stamford is part of the New York market. WEDW is also available both over-the-air and on several cable systems in portions of Greater New York, including the non-bordering states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Additionally, WEDH is carried by most cable systems in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, providing a second choice for PBS programming alongside WGBY-TV in Springfield. Finally, WEDN has wide over-the-air and cable availability in Rhode Island, including Providence (sharing the market with WSBE-TV and Boston's WGBH-TV/WGBX-TV). This gives CPTV a potential audience of 21 million people in six states, including much of Southern New England.

Technical information


The digital signals of CPTV's stations are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[13][14]
Main CPTV programming / PBS
PBS Kids
CPTV Spirit

WEDW is currently broadcasting 480i video on RF channel 21 with CPTV programming (49.1 virtual, 25% of packets). It shares its 6 MHz bandwidth with WZME (43.1 virtual, 720p video, 32% of packets) and MeTV+ programming (43.2 virtual, 480i video, 22% of packets). 21% of transport stream packets are null packets.[15] Subchannels 49.2 and 49.3 are not currently broadcast by WEDW.

Analog-to-digital conversion

in 2009, leading up to the analog-to-digital television transition 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:[16]

  • 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.
  • WEDY went off the air on July 31, 2005, as the result of 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,[17] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 65. However, most New Haven viewers kept access to PBS programming due to the high penetration of cable and satellite in the area.

On March 16, 2011, the FCC granted WEDY's 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.[18]

CPBN Learning Lab

The CPBN Learning Lab's goal is to train journalists and journalism instructors. Presently, the Hartford Public Schools Journalism & Media Academy (JMA) 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.

Graduates of the CPTV college program have gone on to work in diverse media companies.

The CPBN Media Lab has been a partner with the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs from their inception in 2010, serving as the professional mentor for five Connecticut high schools: Hill Regional Career High School and the Metropolitan Business Academy[19] in New Haven, Crosby High School in Waterbury, Terryville High School in Terryville and Bethel High School in Bethel. It is also the professional mentors to the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab it established at America's Choice at SAND school in Hartford, one of three in the nation to work with middle school students.

Projects produced by the Media lab include:

  • Foul Play, a look into the use of metal bats in Little League baseball
  • Youth Vote, which documents the experiences of youth voters in the 2008–2012 elections
  • (I)NTERVIEW, a behind the scenes look into the lives of notable Connecticut celebrities
  • Outdoor Enthusiast, a look into Connecticut's state parks and scenic areas, launched alongside the original release of Ken Burns' series for PBS, The National Parks: America's Best Idea.

Awards and 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 CT Secretary of State's youth vote video competition in 2012.
  • The CPBN Media Lab won two Student Emmy Awards, 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 Student Emmy Awards from the Boston New England Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences in 2013.

See also

  • Public, educational, and government access (PEG)


  1. "Board of Trustees". Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  2. Grandjean, Pat (March 31, 2013). "CPTV Celebrates 50 Years: Present at the Creation". Connecticut Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  3. "Our History". Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. n.d. Archived from the original on 2017-12-04.
  4. "Trinity College - Press Release". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  5. "Upgrading Connecticut Public Broadcasting | Infrastructure content from Broadcast Engineering". Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  6. "Amendment of Section 73.622(i) Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments (Bridgeport and Stamford, Connecticut)". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. April 8, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  7. "UCONNHUSKIES.COM :: University of Connecticut Huskies Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  8. Amarante, Joe (11 May 2012). "SNY steals, CPTV reels from UConn decision on Lady Huskies". New Haven Register. Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  9. "Alan Alda, on season 4". Scientific American Frontiers. Chedd-Angier Production Company. 1993–1994. PBS. Archived from the original on 2006.
  10. "Program Listing | Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network". Archived from the original on 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  11. "Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  12. "Defunct translators above channel 69". D. Smith W9WI. 2009. Archived from the original on November 5, 2005. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  13. "Stations for Owner - LocusPoint Networks". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  14. "Stations for Owner - Connecticut Public Broadcasting". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  15. Rf capture of transport stream, May 2, 2022.
  16. "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  19. "Metropolitan Business Academy". Metropolitan Business Academy. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
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