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WVIZ is a public television station in Clevelandmarker, Ohiomarker, United Statesmarker. It was the 100th public television station to sign on in America. Its founder was Betty Cope, a former producer at Cleveland's ABC affiliate, WEWSmarker, who recognized the value of non-commercial television for the schools. After a long struggle to clear all the hurdles, WVIZ signed on Sunday, February 7, 1965, just in time for the start of the Cleveland school year's second semester. Original studios were located in Cleveland's Max Hayes Trade School.


The first voice heard on WVIZ was that of Alan R. Stephenson, Ph.D. He was the first director of WVIZ's educational services department. Stephenson's duties included casting, setting budgets, and acting as executive producer for dozens of local instructional television productions.

WVIZ's first affiliation was with National Educational Television (NET), which became PBS in 1970. While some large-market PBS stations established themselves with prime-time series, WVIZ remained committed first and foremost to the schools, and chose not to engage in national productions for a number of years.

However, when PBS began feeding programs via satellite in 1979, WVIZ hired its first executive producer, Milton Hoffman. He oversaw a few WVIZ productions before resigning in 1982. The next executive producer was Dennis Goulden, formerly of NBC (owned-and-operated) affiliate WKYCmarker. Goulden was responsible for the creation of a number of programs and series, such as Kovels On Collecting, Producers Showcase, Mediscene, Dimension and CookSmart. He credits Betty Cope with their creation because, Goulden says, she let him experiment. He also gave Larry Elder (now a nationally syndicated radio host) his first show.

There were specials, too. There was a Paul Meincke-hosted special on the tenth anniversary of busing in Cleveland; an hour special on Margaret Bourke White, and others. Mediscene was a medical series hosted by an ex-nurse, now deceased, M. R. Berger. CookSmart was hosted by Susie Heller, and guests included Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. Dimension was modeled along the lines of CBS' Sunday Morning and aired monthly. Kovels On Collecting was a well-traveled showcase of the wonderfully talented Ralph and Terry Kovel. Dennis Goulden lasted approximately four years; WVIZ replaced Goulden quickly in mid-1988 with Mark Rosenberger.

On June 1, 1993, after 28 years at the helm, WVIZ president Betty Cope stepped down. Her post went to Jerrold Wareham, the former general manager at Greater Dayton Public Television (operating WPTDmarker in Dayton and WPTOmarker in Oxford, Ohiomarker). Wareham effectively rid WVIZ of its ITV schedule, filling the daytime hours with PBS Kids series such as Barney & Friends. Wareham also modified the station name to WVIZ/PBS in December 1999.

In December 2001, WVIZ/PBS merged with Cleveland NPR station 90.3 WCPN to establish a unified source for public broadcasting and lectures. The non-profit entity is known as ideastream.

In early 2006, WVIZ/PBS with WCPN 90.3FM moved to a new digital studio headquarters in Downtown Cleveland. WVIZ was originally on Brookpark Road and WCPN was based out of Cleveland State Universitymarker. WVIZ is one of few PBS affiliates to have a new updated digital studio center. WVIZ is in the heart of Cleveland's Playhouse Squaremarker or theater district. Its new facility has an auditorium to studios for dance to music.

WVIZ also operates two translators in northeastern Ohio—W63CT in Eastlakemarker, and W64AK in Conneautmarker.

Digital TV

WVIZ shares a tower owned by WKYC which is used for both WKYC's and WVIZ's full-power digital antenna. WVIZ activated their full-power digital antenna on June 10, 2009. Prior to that date, WVIZ broadcasted a weak 1 kilowatt digital signal from their previous studios on Brookpark Road as Infinity Broadcasting (who owns the tower where WVIZ's full power analog antenna was mounted), could not agree on installing the digital antenna.

The station's digital channel, RF 26 / PSIP 25, is multiplexed:
Video Aspect Programming
25.1 1080i 16:9 WVIZ/PBS HD (PBS Satellite Service until 12/17/2008)
25.2 480i 4:3 Ohio Channel
25.3 480i 4:3 PBS World
25.4 480i 4:3 PBS Create
25.9 Audio only N/A Cleveland Sight Center Network
A complete schedule of WVIZ channels and programs can be found on their website.


External links

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