For over 50 years, the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) has dedicated itself to adding value to people’s lives through high-quality educational programming and services that inform, educate, entertain, and inspire audiences in Connecticut and beyond. CPBN’s parent company, Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a $18 million operating budget.
CPBN – whose unique media properties are comprised mainly of CPTV (Connecticut Public Television), CPTV Spirit, as well as WNPR (Connecticut Public Radio) – is the state’s only locally owned media organization producing television, radio, print, and web/digital content over a variety of media channels for distribution to Connecticut’s wide-ranging and diverse communities. Production studios and corporate offices are headquartered in Hartford, with an additional radio studio based in New Haven.
CPBN is licensed to operate four digital television channels, two cable television networks, and five radio stations. CPTV and WNPR serve the entire state of Connecticut, as well as areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York – reaching an estimated 450,000 television viewers and 276,000* radio listeners each week. In addition, WNPR is broadcast on radio stations in Fairfield and Willimantic, Connecticut, on WVOF-FM and WECS-FM, respectively, as well as in Springfield, Massachusetts, via WAIC-FM.
As the exclusive statewide, community-supported public broadcasting network, CPBN serves its audiences with an array of news, public affairs, children’s, educational, and entertainment programming. This programming ranges from the landmark national children’s series Barney & Friends, which CPTV brought to PBS in 1992, to WNPR’s original award-winning radio series The Faith Middleton Show.
The organization also has a joint publishing venture with Connecticut Magazine. In addition, CPBN has a robust online presence and reaches deeper into the community through educational programs and initiatives, live concerts, family events, in-studio “town hall” meetings, and documentary screenings.
* WNPR audience figures are provided by Arbitron Fall 2012 National Regional Database (Persons 12+; M-Su 6a-12m).
Since its founding in 1962, CPTV has matured into a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming. CPTV’s programming department has produced many original local and national documentaries, concert specials, and informational and lifestyle programs. A member of PBS, CPTV has earned the distinction of being a leading producer and presenter of national public television shows. A number of CPTV programs originally produced for the local Connecticut market have reached far wider audiences. This has been accomplished through program distribution to other public television stations, as well as to institutions and organizations that find CPTV productions invaluable as educational tools. Recent examples of such programs include the Emmy Award-winning documentaries Empowering Connecticut, Education vs. Incarceration, and Infinity Hall Live.
CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™, Angelina Ballerina and The Saddle Club to public television. CPTV Kids continues that tradition by providing a unique safe haven for kids with non-commercial, educational television entertainment. The station offers 11.5 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. These television programs engage children and fulfill their natural curiosity, imagination and love of learning. CPTV Kids is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children, building knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity through curriculum-based entertainment.
CPTV National Programming
CPTV also continues to bring intriguing new series and specials to PBS stations across the nation. In 2008, CPTV co-produced the Emmy Award-winning PBS instructional painting and art history series Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop. Since that time, the show earned two national Daytime Emmy Awards. CPTV has also continued to produce national programs that cover a wide range of subjects, from public affairs (Scully: The World Show) to song and dance (Infinity Hall Live, Matthew Morrison: Where It All Began Live from the Bushnell) to self-help and health (Living With Parkinson’s). View current CPTV programs »
CPTV Local Programming
CPTV’s original, local documentaries have garnered numerous awards over the years and are well known for capturing fascinating views of the state’s history, culture, and legendary characters. The Flood of ‘55, Remember When, The Circus Fire, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, Heroes: Connecticut During World War II and The ‘60s in Connecticut, just to name a few, have provided viewers with a unique perspective on the hallmark events that have shaped the state – and the nation. In addition, CPTV often acquires local shows with significant importance to its audiences, such as The Hartford Hospital Fire: Inferno on the 9th Floor, a documentary on the 1961 event that was one of the worst hospital fires in American history and changed fire codes and building regulations for hospitals nationwide. CPTV also explores Connecticut’s heritage through compelling documentaries in The Connecticut Experience series, produced in collaboration with the Connecticut Humanities Council. The series includes such films as Colt: Legend and Legacy and African Americans in Connecticut. In recent years, CPTV has built upon its reputation for producing award-winning local content with new documentaries about Connecticut people, places, and events. These new additions include Prohibition: Connecticut Goes Dry, which chronicles the state’s role during America’s greatest social experiment, and All Things Connecticut, the sixth season of which began airing in 2014 and Made in Connecticut — celebrating Connecticut’s manufacturing future from high-tech to handmade. View current CPTV programs »
Launched in August 2017, CPTV Spirit was created to help people explore their passions. CPTV Spirit is for the “doers,” “makers.” and “adventurers” who crave more action, edgier journalism and documentaries, and more active ways to feed their curiosity. CPTV Spirit maintains CPTV’s trademark PBS values of curiosity, community, and the celebration of all aspects of individuality. CPTV Spirit follows the mantra that “Life’s an Adventure,” while embracing the weirder, wilder, edgier, sometimes nerdier, action-oriented programming available today.
Sprout, a cable service of PBS Kids, is home to trusted television programming favorites like Sesame Street and Barney & Friends, plus innovative Sprout originals such as Ruff-Ruff Tweet and Dave. From morning to night, CPTV Sprout provides parents and kids with educational entertainment, from singing and dancing to birthday wishes and bedtime stories.
WNPR offers news, information and entertainment programming available to listeners on the FM dial, as well as online streaming and podcasting. WNPR has earned a reputation for award-winning journalism, having received eight Mark Twain Awards for Overall Station Excellence. A member of National Public Radio (NPR), American Public Media (APM), and Public Radio International (PRI), WNPR is one of the leading news stations in the public radio system. The WNPR news department originates in-depth news reports on issues and events of importance to Connecticut – such as technology and the environment – that frequently are broadcast nationally on NPR. Plus, WNPR news reporters are a major presence at the State Capitol, taking listeners inside the inner workings of state politics. WNPR’s longest-running original program, The Faith Middleton Show, has been on the air for over 30 years. Peabody Award-winner Faith Middleton has interviewed thousands of people from all walks of life, on subjects ranging from social issues to the culinary arts with her popular Food Schmooze – enriching the lives of listeners through thought-provoking conversations. WNPR’s popular daily news- talk program Where We Live focuses on important issues and ideas in Connecticut and from around the world, bringing community leaders into the studio and engaging listeners in the discussion. Hosted by WNPR News Director John Dankosky, it has been voted the best call-in show in public radio by PRNDI (Public Radio News Directors Incorporated). WNPR’s most recently established original program is The Colin McEnroe Show. Hosted by humorist, author and columnist Colin McEnroe, the program provides discussion of news, arts, culture, and life that draws on national and local voices for a variety of perspectives from across the state, region, and nation.
CPBN’s web and mobile offerings feature CPTV.org and WNPR.org among an expanding portfolio of websites, blogs, newsletters and social media sites delivering compelling web-only content, and providing interactive channels for our audience to connect with us. Visitors can follow WNPR’s unique local news coverage, access on-demand video and audio content; search program information; enter contests and register for events, listen to streaming audio of WNPR; pledge online; and join special e-mail subscription groups.
WHAT’S ON! More than 85,000 subscribers to Connecticut Magazine, the state’s premiere consumer lifestyle magazine, receive the “What’s On! Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network” program guide each month. The publication, which CPTV members receive as a benefit of membership for contributing each year, extends CPBN’s ability to inform its viewers about special presentations and other programming highlights from across the organization.
The art of storytelling is at the core of all of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network’s education initiatives.
Those initiatives have exploded in the last several years, as it has pursued a bold new direction within the turbulent news industry: transforming a significant portion of its corporate headquarters into a journalism educational facility, the CPBN Learning Lab, that would make newsrooms around the country jealous. Over the last decade, CPBN has delivered over 10,000 hours of instruction to middle, high school, college and adult students.
Classes are geared toward students of all ages and skill levels. As part of a partnership with Hartford Public Schools, CPBN offers a satellite campus and afterschool internships – focused on video production, editing and digital arts – for high school students from Hartford’s Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School.
For adults interested in pursuing a media career or simply interested in gaining technical skills to advance in their already established fields, CPBN’s Institute for Advanced Media provides classes in the basics of video production, from pre-production to post-production, as well as equipment and technical skills. Veterans can obtain scholarships to take these classes– the goal being to more effectively transition to civilian life after military service.
CPBN also offers a range of opportunities to college students through the CPBN Media Lab, with classes focusing on storyboarding, video production, web content creation and social media. College students have opportunities to become fellows, teaching the next generation of journalism students.
All in all, CPBN’s education programs create a “virtuous circle,” cultivating skills among people who have an interest and ability to report by training them and then giving them the option to teach the next generation of students.
Throughout the year, CPBN produces several events that connect us to our community through learning and laughter. In “town hall-style” forums we invite the audience to converse with experts to surface all sides of an issue. We offer live screenings of documentaries like “The Last Days of Vietnam” or “180 Days: Hartsville” to spur local conversation about topics like our shared history and education. We bring favorite PBS Kids characters like Daniel Tiger and SuperWhy! to fairs and events — treating our youngest audience members to the fun of learning. CPTV celebrates our love of drama with festive live screenings of programs like Downton Abbey. CPBN’s Red Carpet Events offer our members very special tickets to exciting live performances. And Faith Middleton’s annual Food Schmooze Martini Competition and Heart to Heart events are the parties you don’t want to miss!