TAMPA, Fla. (September 6, 2016) – WUSF Public Media is celebrating WUSF TV’s 50th year on the air, delivering high-quality television programming to viewers in west central Florida.
The station originally signed on the air on September 12, 1966 to provide University of South Florida students with distance learning and educational programming.
“The way people consume news and information has changed dramatically in the last 50 years, and WUSF TV has changed as well,” said WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky. “Since the very beginning, WUSF TV has focused on making a difference in the daily lives of our viewers. We want to thank our devoted viewers and staff for their continuing support over the decades.”
When WUSF TV first went on the air in 1966, University telecourses were broadcast from Monday through Friday, then the station expanded its programming to weekends in the 1970s. Once a new tower and transmitter went up in Riverview in the mid-70s, the station’s coverage area extended into seven counties and viewership soared to more than 300,000 viewers each week.
Today, WUSF TV delivers four distinct digital channels:
- WUSF TV 16.1 which provides PBS favorites and locally-produced programs in HD
- WUSF Kids 16.2 dedicated to fun yet educational children’s programming
- WUSF Create 16.3 offering expert advice on cooking, crafts, gardening, home improvement and travel
- WUSF Knowledge 16.4 featuring documentaries, news and public affairs series and encore presentations
WUSF TV broadcasts PBS favorites like Rick Steves’ Europe, NATURE and Antiques Roadshow. The station also produces programs of local and national interest, such as Tampa Bay’s Top Ten and Power Yoga: Mind & Body. In addition, both USF students and the community continue to benefit from popular college telecourses broadcast on WUSF.
Federal and state funding along with other grants have helped WUSF bring PBS educational programs directly to children in local Title 1 schools, as well as day care and after care programs. These programs offer preschoolers and elementary students reading basics and behavior skills.
In 2001, new studios were built to provide state-of-the-art facilities for USF television production classes where WUSF reporters and production staff work directly with students to produce a half-hour program called Talk of the Town. The classes allow students to gain invaluable experience as they prepare for their careers.
The station also highlights USF’s pioneering advances in medicine, science and technology, as well as student life, education and the arts through University Beat, WUSF’s newest locally-produced series.
For more information on WUSF TV programming, please visit www.wusf.usf.edu/tv_home.
About WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services. Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media serves the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.wusf.org.