WGBH Educational Foundation

Public broadcasting organization in Boston
$187 millionExpenses (2016)$176 millionWebsitewww.wgbh.org[1][2]

The WGBH Educational Foundation (also known as GBH since August 2020) is an American public broadcasting group based in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1951, it holds the licenses to all of the PBS member stations in Massachusetts, and operates its flagship station WGBH-TV, sister station WGBX-TV, and a group of NPR member stations in the state. It also owns WGBY-TV in Springfield, which is operated by New England Public Media under a program service agreement.

Nationally, WGBH is known as the distributor of a number of major PBS programs, including American Experience, Arthur, Frontline, Masterpiece, and Nova, among others; as the owner of Public Radio International until 2018,[3][4] a syndicate of public radio programming; and for its role in the development of closed captioning and audio description technologies for broadcast television.


WGBH logo used from 1974 to 2020

In the 1990s, the WGBH Educational Foundation published books and other educational materials such as Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery.[5]

In 2003, WGBH and the City of Boston formed a joint venture for Boston Kids & Family TV channel that replaces one of the city's cable access channels. Boston Kids was launched on October 31, 2003.[6]

By December 2005, Boston’s WGBH and New York City's WNET were already broadcasting a local version of World on a subchannel.[7] and added by April 2006, Washington’s WETA. Then, WGBH and WNET teamed up with PBS, APT and NETA to roll out a national version of the local channels as PBS World. The network was launched nationally on August 15, 2007.[8]

In July 2012, WGBH acquired Public Radio International (PRI). PRI would continue with its own board while WGBH would be able to distribute more of its programs through PRI.[9]

In November 2015, WGBH purchased GlobalPost, with editorial operation and reporting resources being merged with PRI's The World news staff.[10]

On August 27, 2020, it was announced that WGBH would shorten its name to "GBH" as part of a larger corporate reimaging (which saw the adoption of purple as a new corporate color, and a font originally commissioned for Red Hat as its new corporate typeface) The foundation stated that due to its present-day multi-platform operations, the full WGBH call sign was too synonymous with broadcast media; "WGBH" will still be used as part of the organization's formal name. All other WGBH-owned and operated stations similarly dropped the W from their respective brandings, such as WCRB rebranding as "CRB Classical 99.5".[11][12]

Board of trustees

Richard M. Burnes Jr. of Charles River Ventures is the chair of the board as of 2014, replacing Amos Hostetter Jr., who left the board. Henry P. Becton Jr., former WGBH President, and Maureen L. Ruettgers, the wife of former EMC Corporation CEO Michael Ruettgers, are vice chairs. Jonathan C. Abbott, as WGBH president, is also on the board. William N. Thorndike Jr., managing partner of the Housatonic Partners private equity firm, is on the board of trustees as the chair of the WGBH board of overseers.

The presidents of four regional universities are institutional trustees: Joseph E. Aoun of Northeastern University, Jackie Jenkins-Scott of Wheelock College, Frederick M. Lawrence of Brandeis University, and L. Rafael Reif of MIT.

The remaining board members are:


  • First 8 Studios, learning mobile app design group for kids ages 8 and younger
  • Forum Network, a Lowell Institute funded online lecture
  • GlobalPost
  • PBS Distribution, a joint venture with PBS to distribute PBS and WGBH programs to various markets, home video, foreign, and commercial
  • PBS LearningMedia, a joint venture with PBS to distribute teacher material related to PBS programs
  • WGBH Education


WCAI, WNAN, and WZAI are the Cape, Coast, and Islands (CCI) NPR stations, serving part of southeastern Massachusetts.[14]

Former Radio Properties


Public Media Management

Public Media Management is a joint venture of WGBH and Sony Electronics for remote TV master control services over the internet.[16]

Public Media Management was tested for a year.[17] The services were available starting April 1, 2015, just before the two Las Vegas shows, PBS's April 8–10 TechCon and NAB Show April 11–16, to be able to showcase the service during the shows.[16] WGBH's two Boston stations went live with PMM first followed by its Springfield, Massachusetts station WGBY in early May 2015. New Hampshire Public Television launched the system next.[17] In August 2015, Maryland Public Television switched to using their system.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "Ownership Report For Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Station". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "WGBH Educational Foundation on the Forbes The 100 Largest U.S. Charities List". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Falk, Tyler (August 15, 2018). "PRI, PRX merge to form new organization". current.org. Current. Retrieved January 16, 2020. Public Radio International and PRX will merge under an unusual arrangement that allows both to maintain separate identities and program portfolios.
  4. ^ a b Beard, David (August 20, 2018). "Merger of 2 public radio outsiders has something for both". poynter.org. Poynter Institute. Retrieved January 16, 2020. Last week, the two public radio experimenters announced they would merge.
  5. ^ Johnson, Charles R.; Smith, Patricia; Blight, David; Else, Jon H.; Fields, Barbara; Frey, Sylvia; Gates Jr., Henry Louis; Gill, Gerald; Harding, Vincent; et al. (Authors) (1998). Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery (1st ed.). United States: Harcourt Brace. p. iv. ISBN 978-0-15-100339-6.
  6. ^ Ryan, Suzanne C. (October 31, 2003). "City revives kids' PBS channel". Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  7. ^ "Knight Foundation backs launch planning for PBS's Public Square". Current. December 19, 2005. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  8. ^ Egner, Jeremy (April 3, 2006). "World and Go! streams flow into PBS plans". Current. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  9. ^ Everhart, Karen (July 26, 2012). "WGBH, the top producer of PBS programs, now owns Public Radio International". Current. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Yu, Roger (September 24, 2015). "Boston-based WGBH buys world news site GlobalPost". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  11. ^ Wyllie, Julian (August 31, 2020). "To change with the times, WGBH drops its 'W' and pivots to purple". Current. Retrieved August 31, 2020. WGBH in Boston is removing the 'W' from its branding to become 'GBH.' [...] The legal name for the organization will remain the WGBH Education Foundation. The 'W' will also remain in its FCC registration.
  12. ^ "WGBH is dropping the 'W' from its name. Here's why". Boston.com. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  13. ^ WGBH Spring 2009
  14. ^ "About Us". WCAI. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  15. ^ a b June-Friesen, Katy (March 2, 2009). "Packaged channels for multicasting, 2009". Current.org. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Halonen, Doug (April 16, 2015). "Sony, WGBH roll out cloud-based alternative to master-control systems". Current. American University School of Communication. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Soltz, Ned (May 7, 2015). "WGBH and Sony Partner on Cloud Workflow". TV Technology. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  18. ^ Zurawik, David (July 28, 2015). "More downsizing at MPT as master control function shifts to Boston". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  19. ^ "Ralph Lowell Award". USA: Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 2017-01-05.

External links

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