WCVE, also known as Community Idea Stations is a network of four PBS stations.
The community-owned public broadcasting company was established in 1961 by Thomas Boushall (Chairman of the Richmond School Board and an officer of the Bank of Virginia) and a group of concerned citizens to employ television for educational purposes. The patron saints of public broadcasting in central Virginia were Boushall, E. Claiborne Robins, Sr., Mary Ann Franklin, and Bill W. Spiller. Mrs. Franklin first approached Boushall and Henry I. Willett, then Superintendent of Richmond City Schools, with the idea of establishing an educational television station. Boushall and Franklin then recruited Spiller, who was hired in December 1963 and began working for them in January 1964.
WCVE's sister station, WCVW-TV (channel 57) signed on in 1967. Richmond became the first community in Virginia to have dual stations, and only the eighth in the nation to do so, doubling the amount of instructional programming provided to schools in central Virginia. Over 40 years later, both WCVE and WCVW are still in operation.
In 1974, Commonwealth Public Broadcasting took over WNVT-TV, a Fairfax public TV station on the verge of financial insolvency, in order to protect instructional television and educational services for schools in northern Virginia. In 1981, a second Northern Virginia station, WNVC-TV, was established. Today, these two stations provide international programming in English and several other languages tailored to the needs of the Washington, D.C. area's culturally diverse population.
In 1988, Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education announced plans to give up its public radio license for WRFK, which had assumed a fine music format from WFMV. To ensure public radio would remain in Richmond, WCVE-FM radio went on the air as a National Public Radio (NPR) member station. The following year, the company established WHTJ in Charlottesville. Before WHTJ's sign-on, Charlottesville had no full-powered PBS station; only a repeater of Harrisonburg's WVPT served the area.
A 25,000-square-foot (2,323 m2) TV and radio studio-office complex was added in 1991.
After signing off at midnight almost daily for over 40 years, WCVE and WCVW became 24-hour stations most days of the week in the fall of 2006. Starting in early 2008, the stylized "i" logo became the station's secondary logo, and the stations adopted a family of similar primary logos displaying their call letters.
Full Power Stations
|Call signs||Location||CH||First Air Date|
|WCVE||Richmond, VA||23||September 10, 1964|
|WCVW||Richmond, VA||57||December 24, 1966|
|WVPT||Harrisonburg, VA||51||September 9, 1968|
|WHTJ||Charlottesville, VA||41||May 19, 1989|
|TV stations in Commonwealth of Virginia|
|WHRO, Hampton Roads/Norfolk|
|TV stations in Central Virginia, including Richmond and Petersburg|
|WTVR 6 (CBS) |
WRIC 8 (ABC)
WWBT 12 (NBC)
WXOB-LP 17 (Ind)
WCVE 23 (PBS)
WRLH 35 (Fox)
WZTD-LD 45 (TLM)
WRID-LD 48 (Daystar)
WCVW 57 (PBS)
WUPV 65 (CW)
|TV stations in Charlottesville area|
|WVAW-LD 16 (ABC) |
WCAV 19 (CBS)
WAHU-CD 27 (Silent)
WVIR 29 (NBC)
WHTJ 41 (PBS)
WVPY 51 (PBS)
|TV stations in Harrisonburg area|
|WHSV 3 (ABC) |
W22EX-D/W30CT-D 29 (NBC)
WSVF-CD 43 (Fox)
WVPT 51 (PBS)