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This article is about the television station in Newark, New Jersey. For the former WNET in Providence, Rhode Island, see WNAC-TV.

Newark, New Jersey / New York, New York

<tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Branding</th><td style="text-align: left;">Thirteen/WNET</td></tr>

Channels 13 (VHF) analog,
61 (UHF) digital
Affiliations PBS
Owner Educational Broadcasting Corporation
Founded January 2, 1948

<tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Call letters meaning</th><td style="text-align: left;">National Educational Television (forerunner to PBS)</td></tr><tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Former callsigns</th><td style="text-align: left;">WATV (1948-58)
WNTA-TV (1958-62)
WNDT (1962-70)</td></tr><tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Former affiliations</th><td style="text-align: left;">Independent (1948-62)
NET (1962-70)</td></tr> <tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Website</th><td style="text-align: left;">www.thirteen.org</td></tr>

WNET, channel 13, is a non-commercial television station licensed to Newark, New Jersey. With its signal covering the three-state New York metropolitan area, WNET is a flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service, along with stations such as WGBH-TV in Boston and WETA-TV in Washington, D.C. As such, WNET is a primary provider of PBS programming. Among its contributions are Nature, The Charlie Rose Show, Great Performances, Live From Lincoln Center and American Masters.

The license-holder is the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, which is also the parent of Plainview, New York-based PBS station WLIW (channel 21). The current President and Chief Executive Officer is Dr. William F. Baker. WNET is the most watched PBS station in the country; its sister station WLIW is the fourth most-watched.


[edit] History

WNET commenced broadcasting on January 2, 1948 as WATV, a commercial television station. WATV was the first of three new stations in the New York market to sign-on during 1948, and was also the city's first independent station. One of its unusual daytime programs was "Daywatch" which actually consisted of the camera focused on a teletypewriter printing wire service news stories and interspersed with cut-aways to mechanical toys while playing a Musak-like soundtrack.

In 1958 its original owner, Atlantic Television, sold the station to National Telefilm Associates, an early distributor of motion pictures and television programs. The call letters were changed to WNTA-TV to reflect the new ownership. WNTA produced schedule of programming with greater emphasis on the people and events of New Jersey, in comparison to the other commercial television stations. But channel 13 continued to lag behind New York's other independent stations -- WNEW-TV (now WNYW), WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV), and WPIX -- in terms of programming and popularity among viewers.

Image:WNET Edward R. Murrow 1962.jpg
Edward R. Murrow on the first broadcast of WNDT in 1962.

By the start of 1962, it became clear that the New York market, despite being the largest in the country, could not support four independent stations. The Educational Broadcasting Corporation, a non-profit company, bought WNTA for $6.28 million and converted channel 13 into WNDT, a non-commercial, educational station affiliated with National Educational Television. About $1 million of that amount came from CBS, NBC, and Metromedia (then-owners of WNEW-TV), which were eager to see a competitor off the dial. In addition, CBS donated a theatre facility on Ninth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan to WNDT and NET for production uses.

With legendary news reporter Edward R. Murrow at the helm on the maiden broadcast, the switch occurred on September 16, 1962. This move gave New York City its first educational station, and with a dial position on the coveted VHF band. The Federal Communications Commission had allocated to New York UHF channel 25 as its non-commercial station, but it would not come on the air for another five years (as WNYE-TV).

In the early months of 1970, barely 3 years after WNYE-TV went on the air, trouble began when both the Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting threatened to withdraw their funding grants for NET unless it merged with the station. The threat was an attempt to curb NET's production of controversial documentaries (NET, ignoring the demand of the Ford Foundation and the CPB, made the previous year, refused point-blank to stop the production of the critically-acclaimed documentaries) and replace it with a less controversial broadcaster, less hostile to the Nixon administration. At one point, President Nixon, enraged with NET's documentaries criticizing his administration and angry with the spending of auxiliary in the Vietnam War, almost managed to cut PBS's $20,000,000.00 funding grant in half. This led to repeated public clashes between NET and PBS over programming content until NET was finally, officially disbanded on Monday October 5, 1970 when NET and WNDT officially completed their merger, and NET was replaced by the Public Broadcasting Service. Channel 13's call sign was changed to the present WNET shortly thereafter.

Channel 13's studios and offices were originally located in West Orange, New Jersey, then in the Mosque Theater, and then for a short time at the Gateway Center office building, both in Newark, New Jersey. The station eventually moved its operations to New York City, New York, where most television stations and television networks were based. Since it still operates on a frequency allocated by the FCC to Newark, New Jersey, it rebroadcasts New Jersey Network's nightly NJN News to meet its local programming obligations.

Channel 13's transmitter facilities, including a newly installed digital transmission system, were destroyed on September 11, 2001, when airplanes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center towers. Gerald (Rod) Coppola, Channel 13's head transmitter engineer, was among those who perished when the north tower collaped. For the next ten months WNYE-TV, headquartered in Brooklyn, became WNET's surrogate transmitter and airwave (for those without cable, repeats of WNET prime-time schedules were screened on WNYE). After the surrogate period, WNYE branched more into independent public television, culminating July 1, 2003. The divorcement of WNYE from the network made WNET the only PBS station in New York City. In February 2003, WNET completed the merger with Long Island PBS broadcaster WLIW (licensed to Garden City and headquartered in Plainview), combining the two stations into one operation.

[edit] Digital Television

Thirteen Has 3 digital sub channels. They are:

Thirteen HD (PBS HD)(channel 13.1)

Kids 13 (PBS Kids Sprout)(channel 13.2)

Thirteen World (airs prime time shows)(channel 13.3)

[edit] Original Creations

Thirteen has also produced and created a number of PBS shows. This includes:

WNET is also the co-producing entity of The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, along with WETA and MacNeil-Lehrer. The show started in 1975 as a local news-analysis program, The Robert MacNeil Report. Jim Lehrer, a frequent guest on MacNeil's show, became co-host the following year, when the show was picked up by the other PBS outlets.

[edit] Trivia

[edit] Ident and Logo Gallery

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Preceded by:
Succeeded by:

Coordinates: 40° 42' 43" N 74° 0' 49" W


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