While viewers have many choices when it comes to television content, there is only one station specifically serving the Charlotte region with high-quality national and local content as well as impactful educational outreach, and that's WTVI PBS Charlotte.
WTVI PBS Charlotte, located on Commonwealth Avenue in Charlotte, NC and has served North and South Carolina residents for years.
WTVI signed on the air August 27, 1965, operating on UHF Channel 42 and under a license held by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Initially, the station provided only in-school instruction. Gradually, WTVI added public programs to the schedule. By 1968, the station was on the air 14 hours a day.
In December 1978, as the school system's need for in-school programming waned, the Board of Education appointed a task force to determine the best use for WTVI. The task force recommended the school board relinquish station control to an independent authority, which would hold the license and supervise the station's operation as the Carolinas' only community-owned and operated public television station.
The Authority, known as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Broadcasting Authority, was organized in July 1981 and assumed the station's license in July 1982. The station broadcasts national PBS programs and a wide array of local programs.
In April 2001, WTVI began broadcasting HD on VHF Channel 11, before moving to Channel 9 in July 2020.
The station was acquired by Central Piedmont Community College on July 1, 2012, and became an educational licensee for the second time in its history. PBS Charlotte is committed to serving the community and as outreach for Central Piedmont. For additional information about the station, visit PBScharlotte.org or access the station's Facebook page.
In addition to producing documentaries and specials, PBS Charlotte produces five regular programs:
- Carolina Impact explores the issues, people, and places that impact the region (Tuesday at 8 p.m. & 11 p.m., Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.).
- Trail of History showcases historical figures and events that have influenced the Charlotte region (Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m.).
- Off The Record talks about the latest news of the week. (Friday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 11:30 a.m.)
- Charlotte Cooks teaches viewers how to expand their culinary talents (Saturday at 12:00 p.m., Monday at 6 p.m.).
- Carolina Business Review focuses on business and industry in the Carolinas (Friday at 8:30 p.m., Sunday at Noon).
PBS Charlotte's local and national programming list is available at wtvi.org/schedule.
When WTVI opened in 1965, the original building occupied 12,000 square feet. The station completed an expansion and renovation in November 1990, which tripled the size of its facilities to 37,000 square feet. The station has a 68' x 84' studio, with a capacity of 100, plus studio audio and video control rooms, master control, and edit suites. In June 2016, the production control room was dedicated in honor and memory of Harold A. Bouton Jr., president and general manager of WTVI from 1983 to 2003. PBS Charlotte reaches more than 1.2 million households across its 13-county service area, which includes: Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, Union, Lancaster (SC), and York (SC).
While WTVI broadcasts PBS on its primary channel (42.1), the station's secondary channel broadcasts NHK WORLD in HD (42.2). NHK WORLD is the international service of NHK, Japan's largest broadcasting organization.
Charlotte Broadcast Hall of Fame & Station Tours
In 2015, the station opened the Charlotte Broadcast Hall of Fame that honors local broadcasting pioneers. Visitors can interact with electronic tablets to watch stories about Hall of Fame inductees. To schedule a station tour for your school or community group, visit wtvi.org/education/community-outreach.
A limited number of Internships are available in the spring, summer, and fall. For consideration, applicants must be enrolled in a college program and apply by the deadline. More details are available at wtvi.org/about/internships-volunteering.
In addition to offering internships for students, PBS Charlotte also has a state-of-the-art classroom where several Central Piedmont journalism, broadcasting, and production technology classes are offered. Course information is available at cpcc.edu/programs/broadcasting-and-production-technology.