WGBH Educational Foundation

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WGBH Educational Foundation
WGBH logo.svg
"Produced in Boston, shared with the world"
Named after1st radio station call sign
FormationApril 5, 1951; 67 years ago (1951-04-05)[1]
Founded atBoston, Massachusetts
  • Boston, Massachusetts
FieldsPublic broadcasting
LeaderJonathan Abbott
SubsidiariesPBS Distribution
Public Radio International
American Public Media
American Public Television
National Educational Telecommunications Association
Revenue (2016[2])
$187 Million
Expenses (2016[2])$176 M

The WGBH Educational Foundation was established in 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts as an American nonprofit organization that oversees all of the PBS member stations licensed to the state of Massachusetts: the WGBH stations in Boston (WGBH-TV, the foundation's flagship property, and WGBX-TV) and WGBY-TV in Springfield. The foundation also oversees a group of NPR member stations, including WGBH-FM in Boston, and other productions.[3] Other significant activities include production of prime-time and children’s content for PBS and accessible media services for people with disabilities. The foundation won a Peabody Award in 2007 for Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial[4] and Design Squad.[5]


In 2003, WGBH and the City of Boston formed a joint venture for Boston Kids & Family TV channel that replace one of the city's cable access channels. Boston Kids was launched on October 31, 2003.[6]

By December 2005, Boston’s WGBH and WNET were already broadcasting a local version of World on a subchannel.[7] and added by April 2006, Washington’s WETA. Then, WGBH and WNET team up with PBS, APT and NETA to roll out a national version of the local channels as PBS World. The network was launched nationally on August 15, 2007.[8]

In July 2012, WGBH acquired Public Radio International (PRI). PRI would continue with its own board while WGBH would be able to distribute more of its programs through PRI.[9]

In November 2015, WGBH purchased GlobalPost with editorial operation and reporting resources being merged with PRI's The World news staff.[10]


Financial information
Calendar yearTotal revenue

WGBH reported a total revenue of $190,500,789 for the tax year ending June 30, 2015, in their last IRS Form 990 Income Tax Statement filing.[11]

Board of Trustees

Richard M. Burnes, Jr. of Charles River Ventures is the chair of the board as of 2014, replacing Amos Hostetter, Jr, who left the board. Henry P. Becton, Jr., former WGBH President, and Maureen L. Ruettgers, the wife of former EMC Corporation CEO Michael Ruettgers, are vice chairs. Jonathan C. Abbott, as WGBH president, is also on the board. William N. Thorndike, Jr., managing partner of the Housatonic Partners private equity firm, is on the board of trustees as the chair of the WGBH board of overseers.

The presidents of four regional universities are institutional trustees: Joseph E. Aoun of Northeastern University, Jackie Jenkins-Scott of Wheelock College, Frederick M. Lawrence of Brandeis University, and L. Rafael Reif of MIT.

The remaining board members are:


  • First 8 Studios, learning mobile app design group for kids ages 8 and younger
  • Forum Network, a Lowell Institute funded online lecture
  • GlobalPost
  • PBS Distribution, a joint venture with PBS to distribute PBS and WGBH programs to various markets, home video, foreign, and commercial
  • PBS LearningMedia, a joint venture with PBS to distribute teacher material related to PBS programs
  • WGBH Education


  • WGBH-TV, the foundation's flagship station
  • WGBX-TV, its secondary Boston station
  • WGBY-TV, Springfield, Massachusetts station
  • Boston Kids & Family TV, a cable channel joint venture with the City of Boston; it carries from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. children's programming and the rest with repeats of educational show from WGBH.[6]
  • Create (TV network), a joint venture network with American Public Television, WGBH, WNET and NETA.[17]
  • World (TV channel), a joint venture network with WNET, NETA and APT[17]


Public Media Management

Public Media Management is a joint venture of WGBH and Sony Electronics for remote TV master control services over the internet.[18]

Public Media Management was tested for a year.[19] The services were available starting April 1, 2015 just before the two Las Vegas shows, PBS’s April 8–10 TechCon and NAB Show April 11–16, to be able to showcase the service during the shows.[18] WGBH's two Boston stations went live with PMM first followed by its Springfield, Massachusetts station WGBY in early May 2015. New Hampshire Public Television launched the system next.[19] In August 2015, Maryland Public Television switched to using their system.[20]

See also

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