Wyoming PBS

Wyoming PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network in the state of Wyoming. It currently consists of flagship KCWC-TV, channel 4 in Riverton (but licensed to Lander); full-power satellites KWYP-DT, channel 8 in Laramie and KPTW, channel 6 in Casper; and over 35 low-power translator stations across the state.

The network is owned by Central Wyoming College, a community college in Riverton, with studios located on the Central Wyoming College campus.

History

Wyoming had been among the first states to begin the groundwork for a non-commercial educational/public television station, doing so in 1951, three years before any television station was on the air in the state. However, due to numerous delays, it would be several years before the idea even got beyond the planning stages. In the meantime, KRMA-TV in Denver brought PBS programming to much of the state on cable. Other parts of Wyoming were served by KTNE-TV in Alliance, Nebraska, part of the Nebraska ETV Network; and KUED and KBYU-TV in Salt Lake City. KRMA (now known as Rocky Mountain PBS) and KUED still operate several translators in Wyoming, as much of the state is considered part of the Denver and Salt Lake City markets.

Wyoming PBS Logo

Central Wyoming College applied for the channel 4 license in Riverton in the late 1970s and had to fight a commercial station in nearby Casper to keep the channel designated as non-commercial. After securing the largest single federal grant for a public television station at the time, KCWC-TV finally went on the air on May 10, 1983. This made Wyoming the next-to-last state to get a public television station on the air within its borders; CWC filed just days before Montana State University filed for KUSM in Bozeman, Montana; which went on the air over a year after KCWC.

Initially, KCWC's coverage was limited to Riverton and surrounding Fremont County. Over the years, however, it built translator after translator across the state, bringing its signal to 85% of Wyoming. This wasn't as problematic as it may seem; this expansion effort was done largely in conjunction with the state's cable systems. Cable and satellite is all but essential for acceptable television in much of Wyoming. Sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s, it adopted the on-air name of Wyoming Public Television to reflect its statewide reach.

KWYP-TV, the network's second full-power station, signed on in 2004. KPTW followed in March 2007 [1].

On New Year's Day 2008, the state network rebranded as Wyoming PBS to celebrate its 25th anniversary on the air.

The switch to digital television greatly extended Wyoming PBS' reach. Since digital signals cover more territory than analog signals, Wyoming PBS now claims to reach 95 percent of the state.

The network has a very close relationship with Central Wyoming College. Broadcasting students help produce and direct many of the network's shows and pledge drives.

 

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