New Hampshire PBS Article

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New Hampshire PBS
statewide New Hampshire
United States
SloganEngaging minds. Connecting Communities. Celebrating New Hampshire.
Channels Digital: see table below
Affiliations PBS (1970–present)
OwnerNew Hampshire Public Broadcasting
First air dateJuly 6, 1959; 59 years ago (1959-07-06)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1959–1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Hampshire PBS Profile
Hampshire PBS CDBS

New Hampshire PBS (NHPBS), known as New Hampshire Public Television (NHPTV) prior to October 1, 2017, is a television company and public broadcasting state network in New Hampshire, licensed to New Hampshire Public Broadcasting (NHPB), an organization which holds the licenses to all of the PBS member stations licensed in the state, and is part of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).


Established in 1959, its broadcast center is located just outside the University of New Hampshire (UNH) campus in Durham, New Hampshire. Until 2011, the network was owned and operated by the University; it is now a community licensee run by a Board of Directors as New Hampshire Public Broadcasting.

Originally, NHPBS consisted of only WENH-TV (channel 11) in Durham; in the late 1960s, several UHF satellite stations and translators signed-on in northern and western New Hampshire (see below). The operation was named the New Hampshire Network (NHN), adopting the New Hampshire Public Television name in 1976. In later years, NHPTV occasionally used its flagship station's channel number as its branding.

Initially broadcasting in black-and-white, NHPTV converted its Durham studio to color in 1972, with an increase in the number of locally produced programs taking effect at that time. Among local shows launched in the early 1970s were The State We're In, a nightly newscast focusing on state issues; A Time for Music, live performances by New England-based musicians; live coverage of most University of New Hampshire home men's hockey games; and Your Time, where representatives of nonprofit organizations were given a half-hour of airtime to showcase their organizations.

A Time for Music and Your Time (the latter later eventually renamed Public Access 11) stayed on the air for several years. The State We're In, later renamed Channel 11 News, went off the air in July 1981, while UNH men's hockey continued on NHPTV until 2008.

In 1981, steep budget cuts forced NHPTV to eliminate its nightly news show and to shut down its satellite transmitters in Hanover and Berlin.

After Channel 11 News went off the air in 1981, New Hampshire Journal, a lower-budget weekly news review was launched; that same year, a feature magazine series titled New Hampshire Crossroads premiered; its original host was Tom Bergeron. The latter series was allowed to go ahead despite the 1981 budget cuts because it had received funding from outside sources. Since the hockey games were also funded by outside underwriters, they too were allowed to continue. The winter of 1984 saw the premiere of NHPTV's long-running academic quiz show Granite State Challenge. Originally hosted by Bergeron, it is now hosted by Jim Jeanotte, who also did many years of play-by-play for NHPTV's UNH hockey coverage.

On October 1, 2017, NHPTV changed its name to New Hampshire PBS. The change also affected the network's five channel names, which were updated to reflect the new NHPBS brand. [1]

NHPBS is available over the air in nearly 98 percent of New Hampshire. Additionally, flagship station WENH is available on a limited set of cable television providers in parts of Maine (including Portland) and Vermont (including the Barre/ Montpelier area). WENH is available on DirecTV and Dish Network's Boston feeds as well; Durham is part of the Boston market. It had been available on most cable systems in eastern Massachusetts (including Boston) for decades until October 2012. [2]

Digital television

Digital channels

NHPBS's four signals are multiplexed.

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming [3] [4] [5]
11.1 720p 16:9 NHPBS Main NHPBS programming / PBS
11.2 NHPBE NHPBS HD/SD Explore
11.3 480i World World
11.4 Create Create
11.5 NHPBK PBS Kids

Analog-to-digital conversion

NHPTV's stations shut down their analog signals 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). [6]

Each station's post-transition digital allocations are as follows:

  • WENH-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 11; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 57, 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 VHF channel 11.
  • WEKW-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 52; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 49. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 52.
  • WLED-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 49; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 48. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 49.


Because New Hampshire is split between the Boston, Portland, and Burlington/ Plattsburgh markets, nearly all NHPBS viewers also receive another PBS station on cable or satellite (in some cases more than one). For much of its history, NHPBS elected to differentiate its program schedule for the other PBS stations in the market. Generally, NHPBS's broadcast of PBS programs and series did not air on the same day and time as they do on Boston's WGBH-TV, MPBN, Vermont PBS or WCFE-TV in Plattsburgh.

NHPTV produced a number of local series, including:

Production of most local programs, except for Wildlife Journal, was discontinued in June 2011 because NHPTV lost all of its funding from the State of New Hampshire, which accounted for 30% of the station's total fiscal 2011 budget.

NHPTV produced live coverage of most University of New Hampshire men's hockey home games from the 1972/1973 season through the 2007/2008 season. However, in June 2008 NHPTV announced that it was unable to continue to broadcast the games due to budgetary considerations.

The cooking show Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito was formerly distributed by NHPTV and produced at the NHPTV studios in Durham.

In September 2011 NHPTV was said to be in preliminary discussions with WGBH-TV and public broadcasters in Maine and Vermont about sharing infrastructure and content. [7] The station became an independent nonprofit organization, New Hampshire Public Broadcasting (NHPB), on July 1, 2012. It had operated as an entity of UNH from 1959 until 2008, when NHPB was established as a nonprofit subsidiary of the University System of New Hampshire [USNH] to take over day-to-day operations, though the USNH Board of Trustees retained the broadcast licenses at that time. This followed the 2011 loss of state funding, which resulted in NHPTV no longer receiving any money from USNH. Certain business services were then outsourced to WGBH, but the station itself still operates independently. [8] [9]

As part of the arrangement, NHPTV began to follow PBS's national schedule in tandem with WGBH-TV on September 30, 2012 (with NHPTV Explore's lineup changing from a mix of educational, New England and local programming to a schedule nearly identical to that of WGBX-TV), [10] and master control operations were relocated to the WGBH studios in Boston. [11] Following the changes, Comcast dropped WGBH and WGBX from its New Hampshire systems and NHPTV from its Massachusetts systems. [12]


As of the DTV transition on February 17, 2009, the NHPBS stations were:

Station City of license Channels
First air date Call letters'
ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates
WENH-TV Durham 11 ( PSIP)
11 ( VHF)
July 6, 1959 Educational New Hampshire 30 kW 304.1 m 69237 43°10′33″N 71°12′29″W / 43.17583°N 71.20806°W / 43.17583; -71.20806 (WENH-TV)
WEKW-TV Keene 52 (PSIP)
49 ( UHF)
May 21, 1968 Educational Keene
Western New Hampshire
43 kW 330 m 69271 43°2′0″N 72°22′4″W / 43.03333°N 72.36778°W / 43.03333; -72.36778 (WEKW-TV)
WLED-TV Littleton 49 (PSIP)
48 (UHF)
February 8, 1968 Littleton EDucational 45 kW 388 m 69328 44°21′10″N 71°44′15″W / 44.35278°N 71.73750°W / 44.35278; -71.73750 (WLED-TV)

Low-power stations

Station Channel City
W26CQ1 26 (analog) Colebrook
W34DQ-D2 26 (digital) Pittsburg
W50DP-D3 50 (digital) Hanover


  • 1. Successor to W18BO, which operated on analog channel 18 in Pittsburg. From 2005 until November 4, 2009, W26CQ was owned by Hearst Television and served as a translator for ABC affiliate WMTW. [13] The license for W26CQ was cancelled by the Federal Communications Commission on October 5, 2016.
  • 2. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers W34DQ-D to be the same station as the former W18BO. It went on the air on September 27, 2010 and is currently operated in addition to W26CQ. [14]
  • 3. Formerly W15BK, which operated on analog channel 15 (it flash-cut to digital on September 4, 2007).

Both translators directly repeat WENH. Colebrook and Pittsburg are part of the Portland market, while Hanover is part of the Burlington/Plattsburgh market.

Although NHPBS has been available for decades on cable systems in southern Maine, it has yet to be added to the Portland DBS feeds because of W26CQ and W34DQ-D's low-power status. However, NHBS is working to change the satellite regulations so it can be carried in the Portland market as well. It also has a long-term goal of building a full-power transmitter atop Mount Washington, which would improve reception in northern New Hampshire and the Upper Connecticut Valley, as well as presumably offer city-grade coverage of Portland.

In addition, NHPBS acquired W27CP in White River Junction, Vermont, from WMTW along with W26CQ; [15] that station went dark on July 15, 2009 (while still owned by WMTW), due to having lost the lease on its tower site, [16] and never returned to the air, leading the FCC to delete W27CP on September 14, 2011. [17]

Former stations

In the summer of 1981, New Hampshire Public Television was suffering a significant financial crisis. These stations were turned off for good as a result.

Station City of license Channel Call letters'
Facility ID Transmitter coordinates
WHED-TV Hanover 15 ( UHF)1 Hanover EDucational 69303 43°42′32.1″N 72°9′14.7″W / 43.708917°N 72.154083°W / 43.708917; -72.154083 (WHED-TV)
WEDB-TV Berlin 40 ( UHF) EDucational Berlin 69056 44°22′15.8″N 71°12′47.1″W / 44.371056°N 71.213083°W / 44.371056; -71.213083 (WEDB-TV)
W59AB (low power) North Woodstock 59 ( UHF)

WHED-TV was eventually replaced, in 1994, by a translator (originally W15BK, operating on WHED's former analog channel 15, and then, starting in 2007, low-power digital station W50DP-D). Otherwise, the defunct stations were generally superseded by cable carriage of WENH/NHPTV.


  1. ^ "New Identity for New Hampshire's PBS Station". New Hampshire PBS. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  2. ^ Robidoux, Carol. "NHPTV Merger Forces Comcast Lineup Changes". Nashua Patch. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WENH
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WEKW
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WLED
  6. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  7. ^ New Hampshire Public Television discussing collaboration with WGBH,, September 14, 2011
  8. ^ Heyden, Rhys (July 9, 2012). "R.I., N.H. go indie as state funding ends". Current. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Macalaster, Gretyl (July 15, 2012). "NHPTV partners with WGBH, breaks with UNH". New Hampshire Union-Leader. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Sefton, Dru (August 9, 2012). "New Hampshire PTV, WGBH announce collaboration". Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  11. ^ Jessell, Harry A. (August 9, 2012). "WGBH Wants To Be Your Master Control". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  12. ^ Lessard, Ryan (September 21, 2012). "A Seachange for Public Television". New Hampshire Public Radio. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "Broadcasting of NHPTV Signal Expected to Switch From Channel 18 to Channel 26 on Nov. 4" (Press release). New Hampshire Public Television. October 29, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
  14. ^ "NHPTV Translator at Coleman State Park Now Provides NHPTV on Three Digital Channels" (Press release). New Hampshire Public Television. September 27, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  15. ^ "Application for Transfer of Control of a Corporate Licensee or Permittee, or for Assignment of License or Permit of TV or FM Translator Station or Low Power Television Station". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. June 18, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
  16. ^ "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. August 10, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
  17. ^ "Re: W27CP, White River Junction, VT". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved October 23, 2011.

External links