Celebrating 50 years of WVIZ/PBS

On February 7, 1965—at 10:42 a.m—WVIZ signed on the air for the first time, broadcasting the word “THINK” from its first home, the Max Hayes Trade School in Cleveland. (All the studio productions had to end before classes did to avoid the sound of ringing bells being recorded on tape!)

WVIZ signs on the airFrom the beginning, through today and beyond, WVIZ creates and produces a variety of educational, cultural and public affairs programs, as well as nationally distributed shows.

Enjoy the following video postcards from WVIZ’s early days.

And...what are some of your favorite WVIZ/PBS memories? Please share them at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

The new WVIZ broadcast 50 hours a week—weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.—all in beautiful black and white. Later in the decade, WVIZ moved into its new studios in Brookpark, began the conversion to color and the Televised Auction bid hello.


Speaking of Auction... 
This Northeast Ohio shopping rite of spring first bloomed in 1968. Since that time, thanks to thousands of generous donors and enthusiastic volunteers, millions of dollars have been raised for your public TV station. And, the WVIZ/PBS Televised Auction continues, April 23-26, 2015.

Some of the firsts that debuted during this decade included the first-ever simulcast with a radio station (a live broadcast of Youngstown’s rock trio Glass Harp with WMMS) and the first-ever gavel-to-gavel TV coverage of a court trial.

Many of the programs produced by WVIZ throughout the eighties documented Cleveland-area arts and innovations—such as Cleveland Museum of Art exhibits, local concerts and theater productions and medical technology—as well as currents events and issues, including desegregation.

In 2001, the Boards of WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN consolidated all resources in ideastream, a new multiple media public service organization that applies the power of media to education and public service. The purpose of consolidation was to leverage assets to achieve greater cost effective community service using all forms of media.

In 2002, ideastream launched a model partnership with the Playhouse Square Foundation to build a regional resource for the arts, technology, and education. Following a combined capital completed in 2005, the Idea Center became the headquarters of ideastream and a home for Playhouse Square Community Engagement and Education as well as a community gathering place. In 2006, ideastream completed its physical consolidation of all staff and production facilities and moved into the Idea Center.

Today, ideastream is the consolidation of eight different programs and services that had previously been independently managed: WVIZ/PBS, with 4 channels of public TV service, and training for teachers and caregivers in the use of technology for education; 90.3 WCPN, Northeast Ohio’s NPR news and public affairs station; WCLV 104.9 ClassicalCivic Commons, a community engagement platform; management on behalf of Ohio’s public broadcasting stations of the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau and The Ohio Channel, a statewide public affairs television channel available by broadcast and on the web; Education Services management on behalf of a consortium of local K-12 school systems of NOTA (North Ohio Technology Association, a broadband interactive distance learning network for K-12 schools) and SMART (Science and Math Achievement Required for Tomorrow), a professional development program for teachers.

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