‘Round about Pittsburgh: WQED “The Channel that Changes Lives”

Logo courtesy of WQED Pittsburgh

Logo courtesy of WQED Pittsburgh

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‘Changes Lives,’ is the slogan of local public broadcasting channel WQED Pittsburgh.  WQED was the nation’s first, yes first community supported television station.  WQED was founded in 1954 and first aired on April 1, of that year.  The station was designed to provide free education to the Pittsburgh region.

Starting in 1959, WQED provided televised classroom instruction from many of the local Pittsburgh schools.  Since the beginning WQED has strived to “create, produce, and distribute quality programs, products and service to engage, inform, educate the public within their community and around the world.’  These words were taken from the WQED mission statement.

Though funding has caused many non-profits to close, Pittsburghers have continued to support their local public broadcasting station.  WQED has been a Pittsburgh staple for many years.  The station has received numerous local and national awards for program excellence.  With all the programs aired, without a doubt the most popular is Mister Roger’ Neighborhood.  Initially it took awhile for the Rogers to plan the show, but finally on February 19, 1968 the show began its historic run.  The show became a success and quickly became a nation wide hit.  After many successful years, the last new episode was aired on February 20, 2001.  In honor of Fred Rogers, the studio where the show was filmed was renamed ‘The Fred Rogers Studio.’  To this day, Mr. Rogers has remained everyone’s favorite neighbor.

When Rick Sebak came to WQED in the late 1980’s, he developed a documentary concept called ‘The Pittsburgh History Series.’  The idea was an instance success and many documentaries have been created highlighting the Pittsburgh region, people, buildings, and history.  Sebak’s documentaries are slightly ‘wacky’ but the unusual topics and charm have captured many Pittsburghers attention.  Sebak has also released documentaries nationally through PBS.  It seems that every documentary has received excellent ratings and has captured the heart and interest of many people.

WQED also offers programs titled Experience, Horizons, Pittsburgh 360, 4802, Filmmakers Corner, OnQ, QED Cooks, and reruns of the popular Dave and Dave show.  Today WQED has three different television channels and as well as FM Radio station playing classical music.

WQED has a fabulous history and continues to entertain and offer education and programs for the Pittsburgh region.  Please consider making the pledge and donate to support your local public broadcasting station.  Without viewer donations, the station would not exist.  By donating you not only change your life but someone else’s.

For more information visit:  wqed.org

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