To educate, inform and engage our two-nation region with exceptional and trusted content across multiple platforms.
The premier provider of extraordinary public media that instills wonder and curiosity across generations and borders.
Leveraging unbiased, multi-platform media engagement, WPBS brings awareness and understanding of local, regional and international issues to people of all ages.
WPBS uniquely promotes communication, cooperation, diversity, and cultural understanding in the many communities we serve on both sides of the border.
Center for Life-Long Learning
WPBS provides state-of-the-art media content and technologies for interactive, creative and effective teaching tools in today’s physical and virtual learning environments for educators, students and families.
Conduit of Economic Prosperity
WPBS develops and distributes content, creates resources and nurtures partnerships to promote economic growth, workforce development, and tourism throughout our international region.
WPBS is licensed as St. Lawrence Valley Educational Television Council, Inc. and was founded in 1958 as a non-profit educational corporation established under an absolute Charter from the NYS Board of Regents. For the first 13 years, the Council produced educational programs that were broadcast by WWNY-TV, a local commercial station. In August 1971, WNPE/WNPI-TV began operation as a public television station. Two transmitters were installed which serve a broadcast area throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario. In 1978, the staff and equipment outgrew their facilities on Champion Hill and moved to the existing location on Arsenal Street in Watertown, New York. In September 1998, the FCC granted permission for WNPE to change its call letters to WPBS. WPBS serves as the primary public educational television station and PBS affiliate for Northern New York and Eastern Ontario, reaching hundreds of thousands of loyal viewers across the region. WPBS provides world-class preschool programming; documentaries on history, science, and public affairs; unbiased national and international news; performing arts and music concerts; dramatic adaptations of literary classics; and documentaries and discussion programs on local issues. In a sea of media content, PBS programming – commercial-free and available to all at no cost, without subscription or paywall – is an island of excellence, quality and integrity, and more indispensable than ever before. As an educational media provider, our primary focus is to support learning and personal growth for people of all ages. WPBS receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and New York State Department of Education to serve our educational mandate. The content aired on WPBS and also on our “subchannels” (PBS Kids, Create and World) is specifically and carefully designed to support learning and personal growth. Video content plays a key role in effective delivery of educational experiences and learning, whether in the classroom, on television or online. WPBS delivers thousands of hours of educational content using resources developed in house and also through PBS Learning Media to support teacher curriculum delivery and distance/at-home learning. WPBS also conducts workshops, distributes free resources to childcare providers and parental groups, and reaches thousands of children through participation in community events including major literacy based events such as Ready Set Fun! Commensurate with its important position in the community, WPBS has attracted many outstanding leaders to serve as members of staff and Board over the years. A team of 23 (full and part-time) employees and a large group of committed volunteers operate the station and its digital platforms and community events. WPBS is the producer of award-winning local content including More to the Story and Whiz Quiz, and nationally syndicated programs including Fishing Behind the Lines and Painting with Wilson Bickford. PBS is recognized worldwide for the quality and integrity of its programming, which has received countless accolades including Emmys, Oscars, and Peabody Awards. PBS provides trusted programming that is uniquely different from commercial broadcasting, treating audiences as citizens, not simply consumers. For 17 consecutive years, a national study has rated PBS as the most-trusted institution in America. When residents of Eastern Ontario and Northern New York seek educational, entertaining and informational content they can trust – they choose WPBS.