Georgia Public Broadcasting
Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) is a state network of PBS member television stations and NPR member radio stations serving the U.S. state of Georgia. It is operated by the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission, which holds the licenses for most of the PBS and NPR member stations licensed in the state (with the exception of PBS station WPBA [channel 30] and radio stations WABE and WCLK in Atlanta, and radio stations WFSL-FM in Thomasville (which relays WFSQ-FM from FSU radio in Tallahassee, Florida) and WTJB-FM in Columbus (which relays Troy University Public Radio from WTSU-FM in Troy, Alabama)). The broadcast signals of the nine television stations and 19 radio stations cover almost all of the state, as well as parts of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Television Worth Sharing
|Channels||Digital: See below|
Virtual: See below
|Owner||Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission|
|First air date||Television: May 23, 1960|
|Call letters' meaning||See below|
|Former affiliations||Television: NET (1960–1970)|
|Transmitter power||See below|
|Facility ID||See below|
|Transmitter coordinates||See below|
On May 23, 1960, the University of Georgia signed on WGTV, the second public television station in Georgia (after WETV, now WPBA). From 1960 to 1964, in a separate initiative, the Georgia Board of Education launched four educational television stations across the state, aimed at providing in-school instruction. In 1965, UGA and the Board of Education merged their efforts as Georgia Educational Television (GETV). The state network was renamed Georgia Public Television (GPTV) in 1970, one year after the state legislature transferred authority for the stations to the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission, the board that oversees GPB. The commission held the licenses for all of the network's stations except flagship WGTV, which remained licensed to UGA. However, in 1982, UGA sold WGTV's license to the GPTC.
In 1984, the GPTC entered into public radio, launching stations in Macon and Columbus. These formed the nuclei of Peach State Public Radio, which was eventually renamed Georgia Public Radio in 2001. During the 1980s and 1990s, stations that had been operated by other educational institutions and community groups became affiliated with the network.
In 1995, the GPTC began using "Georgia Public Broadcasting" as its corporate name. This would eventually become the umbrella title for all GPB operations in early 2004, when GPTV and Georgia Public Radio simultaneously rebranded under the Georgia Public Broadcasting name.
GPB's 14th Street office/production facility in Midtown Atlanta (located north of the Georgia Institute of Technology and south of the city's Atlantic Station neighborhood) caused some controversy when, because of its inherently educational nature, GPB was allowed to use Georgia Lottery funds for construction of the mid-rise building. The studio facilities were used for the production of the first season of the CBS Television Distribution-syndicated program Swift Justice With Nancy Grace, via a subsidy by the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, and received an on-screen credit at the end of each episode (production of that series was moved to Los Angeles for its second and final season). As of the summer of 2014, another syndicated court program, Lauren Lake's Paternity Court, now uses the GPB facilities under the same arrangement.
GPB has experienced significant controversy within the past 20 years or so, including extravagant expenses in constructing the Midtown Atlanta studios mentioned above, accusations of political manipulation by the governor's office in the administration and affairs of the operation, cronyism in hiring a former state senator, Chip Rogers, to host a radio program (he later was terminated for devoting his work time to his private business affairs), and most recently, the network's arrangement to program most of the broadcast day of WRAS, the student-run radio station of Georgia State University in Atlanta (see below). These have been documented by the public broadcasting trade website Current.org.
GPB Television broadcasts PBS programming and statewide programs produced specifically for the GPB network 24 hours a day on a network of nine full-power stations as well as numerous low-power translator stations (especially in the state's mountainous northeastern counties). Certain programs broadcast by GPB Television (mainly those provided by PBS) feature a Descriptive Video Service track that is audible over the second audio program (SAP) channel of each station; GPB Radio feeds could previously be heard during times when DVS-transcribed programs were not airing, prior to the 2009 digital television transition. All stations within the GPB Television network act as rebroadcasters, simulcasting the network's programming at all times. GPB-produced programs include Gardening in Georgia, Georgia Backroads, Georgia's Business, Georgia Outdoors and Georgia Traveler, as well as annual coverage of the Georgia General Assembly when it is in legislative session early in the year. Live coverage of the football and basketball championship games from the Georgia High School Association is broadcast at the end of their respective seasons.
GPB Television also operates four digital subchannels that are carried on most of its stations: GPB Knowledge debuted in September 2008, but officially launched on October 1 of that year. GPB Knowledge carries programming from the World network during prime time hours, and GPB documentary and news programming (including BBC World News) at other times. It replaced GPB Education, which is still available to schools statewide on demand over the Internet. GPB Kids, launched in January 2009 as the second digital subchannel of the GPBTV stations, replacing the standard-definition feed (which mirrored each station's analog feed) of GPB's main channel. GPB Kids aired 24/7 with content from PBS Kids. During December 2008, the subchannel carried only a static station identification for all nine stations (including the GPB/PBS Kids logo), and the electronic program guide for the channel continued to show main channel information for the GPBTV stations. In March 2015, GPB Kids was replaced with Create. In January 2017, PBS Kids 24/7 was launched, being the fourth digital subchannel of the GPB TV stations.
Each of GPB's television stations identify themselves with two locations—usually, the smaller community where the station is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (almost always the station's transmitter location) and the larger city that it serves. The exceptions are WVAN-TV and WJSP-TV, which are actually licensed in major Georgia cities: WVAN-TV is licensed to Savannah, while WJSP-TV is licensed to Columbus. However, in order to conform to the pattern, GPB lists the locations for the stations' transmitters as the second city.
This rule only applies to the television stations, not to those on radio, which, except for two, bear only the location of the transmitter.
The GPB television stations are:
|Station||City of license
(other cities served)
VC / RF
|Founded||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter coordinates||Facility ID||Public license information||Call letters' meaning|
|May 23, 1960||21 kW||326 m (1,070 ft)||23948||Profile
|W Georgia Television|
|December 4, 1961||20 kW||286 m (938 ft)||23929||Profile
|Waycross, Georgia (the X referring to "cross")|
(Pembroke/Hilton Head, SC)
|September 16, 1963||20 kW||293 m (961 ft)||23947||Profile
|Ernest Vandiver (former governor of Georgia)|
|January 2, 1967||3.8 kW||474 m (1,555 ft)||23917||Profile
|W Albany and West Georgia|
|January 30, 1967||426 kW||537 m (1,762 ft)||23942||Profile
|North Georgia Highlands|
|September 12, 1966||30 kW||436 m (1,430 ft)||23937||Profile
|West Central-East Georgia and South Carolina|
|March 6, 1967||6 kW||313 m (1,027 ft)||23930||Profile
(Warm Springs/Phenix City, AL)
|August 10, 1964||250 kW||462 m (1,516 ft)||23918||Profile
|James S. Peters|
|January 1, 1968||22 kW||369 m (1,211 ft)||23935||Profile
|Mercer University Macon|
1 WACS-TV was off-air from March 1, 2007 to April or May 2008, due to a radio tower collapse caused by a tornado.
2 At the time of its sign-on in 1968, WMUM-TV was known as WDCO-TV and broadcast on UHF channel 15. WDCO-TV moved to channel 29 in 1990, and adopted its current call letters in 2006.
3 At the time of its sign-on in 1967, WNGH-TV was known as WCLP, which changed from WCLP-TV (1979) to its current call letters in 2008 to match the new GPB FM station.
On December 23, 2010, the University of Georgia announced that it would enter into a programming partnership with GPB, which would provide all programming for the university-owned WNEG-TV (channel 32) in Toccoa, with most of the content coming from its GPB Knowledge subchannel. The station filed with the FCC to convert WNEG's station license to non-commercial status. The new partnership between UGA and GPB is due to a reduction of advertising dollars, resulting from the economic downturn and the loss of WNEG's CBS affiliation (the station had been with CBS since August 1995, receiving affiliation as a by-product of the CBS programming moving in the adjacent Atlanta market from WAGA-TV [channel 5] to WGCL-TV [channel 46] in December 1994). At 5:30 am on May 1, 2011, the station began carrying GPB Knowledge programming; the following day, its call letters were changed to WUGA-TV. UGA sold WUGA-TV to Marquee Broadcasting in 2015; at 12:01 am on July 1, 2015, the new owners dropped all GPB Knowledge programming, changed the station's call letters to WGTA, and returned the station to commercial operation with programming from the Heroes & Icons, Decades, and Movies! networks.
WGTV, WXGA-TV, and WVAN-TV were the first GPB stations to begin operating their own digital television signals. The other six stations signed on their digital signals in July 2008. The ERP/HAAT figures listed within the table for those stations are based on those listed in the stations' individual Wikipedia articles, though some of the stations were operating at low power, and only upgraded to full-power when the digital transition occurred.
Georgia Public Broadcasting broadcasts the following digital subchannels:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|x.1||1080i||16:9||GPB-HD||Main GPB programming / PBS|
All nine stations carry the same programming from each of the four channels, but channel labels differ somewhat between the stations.
The GPB Television stations shut down their analog signals on February 17, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television (which Congress had moved the previous month to June 12).
Each stations' post-transition digital allocations are as follows:
- WGTV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 12 to channel 8.
- WXGA-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 9 to channel 8.
- WVAN-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 13 to channel 9.
- WABW-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14; the station's digital signal moved from its pre-transition VHF channel 5 to channel 6, using PSIP to display WABW-TV's virtual channel as 14 on digital television receivers.
- WNGH-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 18; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 33, using PSIP to display WNGH-TV's virtual channel as 18 on digital television receivers.
- WCES-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 20; the station's digital signal moved from its pre-transition VHF channel 2 to channel 6, using PSIP to display WCES-TV's virtual channel as 20 on digital television receivers.
- WACS-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 25; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 8, using PSIP to display WACS-TV's virtual channel as 25 on digital television receivers.
- WJSP-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 28; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 23, using PSIP to display WJSP-TV's virtual channel as 28 on digital television receivers. The station was licensed to move its digital signal to VHF channel 5 effective April 5, 2019.
- WMUM-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 29; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 7, using PSIP to display WMUM-TV's virtual channel as 29 on digital television receivers.
GPB has placed most of its stations on VHF due to the lower effective radiated power requirements (20 or 32 kW instead of 1000 kW), which in turn reduces the cost of purchasing the transmitter and using the electrical power for it. For WABW and WCES, this makes them one of the few television stations in the country to operate on low-band VHF channels (2 to 6), which require larger receiving antennas, are prone to tropospheric ducting (weather) and impulse noise, make mobile TV (ATSC-M/H) difficult, and for 5 and 6 are also an obstacle to expanding the FM broadcast band. The high-band VHF channels also have these problems, but not to a major extent.
Cable and satellite availabilityEdit
GPB Television's various stations are carried on all cable providers in Georgia (the station that is available on a given provider varies on the jurisdiction). Additionally, Savannah's WVAN is carried on cable systems on Hilton Head Island, located in southeastern South Carolina; Columbus' WJSP is carried on cable systems in Phenix City and Auburn, Alabama; and Augusta's WCES is carried on most cable systems in Aiken and Edgefield, South Carolina. WABW is carried on Comcast's system in Tallahassee, Florida.
On satellite, WGTV, WVAN, WCES, WJSP, WNUM, WABW, WNGH, WXGA and WACS are carried on the Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Albany, Chattanooga, Jacksonville and Tallahassee DirecTV and Dish Network feeds, respectively.
GPB Television operates several low-power translator stations located in the hilly terrain of the north Georgia mountains. These include:
|Station||City of license||Notes|
|Carrollton||Digital signal reaches parts of Carroll County in northern west-central Georgia, replaced W49AD in late summer 2009|
|Toccoa||Signal reaches parts of Stephens and Habersham counties in northeastern Georgia, and replaced W68AF|
|Hartwell/Royston||Signal reaches Hart and neighboring counties in northeastern Georgia, replaced analog W22AC|
|Young Harris||Located on Brasstown Bald (highest point in state) with future GPB station WBTB FM;|
was formerly W04BJ, whose signal from a different site reached parts of Towns and Union counties in far north-northeastern Georgia,
off-air since May 2008 due to an equipment failure
|Hiawassee||Signal reached parts of Towns and Rabun counties in northeastern Georgia, digital coverage provided by W04BJ's replacement|
The first two translators are assigned to WGTV, the third to WCES, and the latter two to WNGH. W49AD in downtown Carrollton was assigned to WJSP, while W13DJ-D is located outside of town.
The following translators were abandoned by GPB, which had their licenses (and in some cases, digital applications and permits) cancelled by the FCC, apparently at GPB's request, possibly due to the expense of running and upgrading them.
|City of license||Channel #||Notes|
|Carnesville||52||Signal reached parts of Franklin County in northeastern Georgia|
|Cedartown||65||Signal reached parts of Polk and Floyd counties in northwestern Georgia|
|Draketown||27||Signal reached parts of Haralson and Paulding counties in northwestern Georgia|
|Elberton||60||Signal reached parts of Elbert County in northeastern Georgia|
|Flintstone||51||Signal reached parts of Walker, Dade, and Catoosa counties in Northwestern Georgia, as well as parts of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee|
|LaFayette||35||Signal reached parts of Walker and Dade counties in northwestern Georgia|
- Gardening in Georgia
- Georgia's Backroads and More Georgia Backroads
- Georgia's Business
- Georgia Outdoors
- Georgia Traveler
- On the Story
- Georgia Aquarium: Keepers of the Deep
- Georgia Gazette
- Georgia Graduation Stories
- Georgia High School Sports
- Georgia On My Mind
- Georgia Quilts: Stitches And Stories
- Georgia Read More
- Georgia Serenade
- Georgia Valor
- Georgia Weekly
- Georgia's Civil War
- Georgia's Historic Inns
- Historic Houses of Georgia: The Antebellum Years
- Main Street Georgia
- Quarterly Pledge Drives
- Secret Seashore: Georgia's Barrier Islands (see The Golden Isles of Georgia)
- Sites to Behold: The History of Georgia's State Parks
- Sustainable Georgia
- The Georgia Meth Invasion
- The South Takes Flight: 100 Years of Aviation in Georgia
- The Thomas B. Murphy Story (see Tom Murphy)
- Vanishing Georgia
- Lost Atlanta: The Way We Were
- The Day Atlanta Stood Still
- On the Story
GPB Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day on several FM radio stations across the state, except in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The network had previously operated a translator station in Atlanta, W264AE (100.7 FM), which broadcast from a transmission tower located in the city's downtown district. However, it (and WGHR) was forced to go silent when full-power station WWWQ (100.5 FM, now WNNX) moved from Anniston, Alabama (where it operated under the WHMA-FM call letters) into the Atlanta market on an adjacent channel. Despite having almost no presence in metropolitan Atlanta prior to 2014, the network reaches nearly all the rest of Georgia, plus parts of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. Atlanta-area listeners heard NPR programming on locally licensed stations WABE and WCLK instead.
On May 6, 2014, Georgia State University announced an arrangement allowing Georgia Public Broadcasting to program the University's station WRAS ("Album 88") from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, leaving 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. as the only remaining student airtime. This took effect on June 29. In exchange, GPB promises to provide internships at GPB for GSU students and other media collaborations between the two institutions., with WRAS broadcasting a separate feed from the main statewide network. The announcement immediately prompted intense opposition and denunciations from WRAS listeners, staffers, and GSU alumni, going so far as evoking a protest at GSU's commencement ceremony, a social media campaign with the tag #savewras, and a petition with more than 10,000 signatories on Change.org. Some of them have made accusations of secrecy and even illegality surrounding the transaction, as they protested that the alternative rock format was unique to the Atlanta market (despite the presence of another college station in the area, WREK, licensed to the Georgia Institute of Technology) and that it was being displaced by programming that largely duplicated offerings on WABE. This has led to a public effort to boycott GPB  and its underwriters.
Despite these threats, though, the network has announced plans to increase news and talk programming later in 2014 to cater to WRAS listeners, who would presumably be turning away from WABE, which, despite criticisms from devotees of NPR news, talk, and feature programs, resisted pressure to reduce daytime classical music for years. Indeed, many NPR staples weren't heard at all in Atlanta until WABE launched an all-news station on one of its HD Radio channels. WABE has since dropped the daytime music in favor of news and feature programming, a clear response to the WRAS move.
Most of the stations presently air a mix of classical music, and news and talk programming sourced from NPR; however, some stations carry select locally produced programming. WRAS airs NPR news and talk programming during the hours that GPB programs it.
Previously, GPB Radio was transmitter over the second audio program feed of GPB's television stations at most times prior to the 2009 digital television transition. GPB Radio is still audible through this function on DirecTV, but not GPB's digital television stations or on cable for unknown reasons.
GPB Radio stations in southern and southeastern Georgia also relay hurricane evacuation information for listeners approaching or leaving Georgia's Atlantic Coast or the Florida Panhandle. Signs along interstate and other major highways in the region direct the evacuee to the nearest GPB Radio station carrying the emergency information.
|Atlanta||88.5 FM||WRAS||separate feed from other GPB stations; GPB portion of station schedule from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday|
|Brunswick||88.9 FM||WWIO-FM||relays WSVH|
|Carrollton||90.7 FM||WUWG||Simulcasts WRAS (FM) from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Carries regular Network feed 7 p.m. – 5 a.m.|
|Cochran/Macon||89.7 FM||WMUM-FM||Airs some local programming from Mercer University|
|Fort Gaines||90.9 FM||WJWV|
|Savannah||91.1 FM||WSVH||Feeds WWIO-FM|
|Warm Springs/Columbus||88.1 FM||WJSP-FM|
Except for W250AC in Athens and the former W264AE in Atlanta, none of the translator stations are owned by GPB/GPTC, but rather by Radio Assist Ministry and Edgewater Broadcasting, two related companies that speculatively apply for such stations during FCC filing windows, assign them to non-commercial educational "parent" stations to avoid broadcast license fees, then rent or sell them to other stations for a profit. While many more RAM/EB stations are assigned to rebroadcast GPB stations in the FCC database, only these five are listed by GPB.
GPB Education (formerly known as Peachstar) serves state agencies and the Georgia learning community through the use of telecommunications technology. GPB delivers high-quality educational programming that reflects state standards to Georgia classrooms using the GPB satellite network, open-air television, and the GPB video streaming portal. GPB provides professional development to Georgia educators through face-to-face trainings, satellite-delivered programs, and interactive webcasts. GPB also meets the training needs of state agencies through its video production, satellite broadcast, and interactive webcasting services, as well as through its extensive digital library.
GPB News is the news department of Georgia Public Broadcasting. It is responsible for providing news updates to both GPB Radio and GPB Television, and collaborates with the Atlanta Business Chronicle to produce the program Georgia Business News. The legislative discussion program Prime Time Lawmakers (formerly known as Lawmakers) provided coverage and commentary on the Georgia General Assembly throughout each session; it aired from 1971 to 2014, when it was replaced by "On the Story".
GPB Sports produces news coverage and commentary on sports throughout the state, with an emphasis on high school football. It produces the programs GPB SportsCentral, PrepSports and Road to the Dome.
- APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE
- Gainesville Times: "WNEG to join Georgia public broadcasting", December 24, 2010.
- "UGA TV station to join GA.'s state network", Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via the Associated Press), December 25, 2010.
- Station officially changes hands Archived 2011-05-28 at the Wayback Machine, The Red & Black, May 2, 2011.
- Shearer, Lee (July 6, 2015). "WGTA-TV is now broadcasting and WUGA-TV is no more". Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WGTV
- RabbitEars TV Query for WXGA
- RabbitEars TV Query for WVAN
- RabbitEars TV Query for WABW
- RabbitEars TV Query for WNGH
- RabbitEars TV Query for WCES
- RabbitEars TV Query for WACS
- RabbitEars TV Query for WJSP
- RabbitEars TV Query for WMUM
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- Public TV to end analog era, Kristi E. Swartz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 14, 2009.
- "STATIONS TERMINATING ANALOG SERVICE ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY 17, 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-05-04.
- DTV Satellite Transition