It was sixty years ago this month that WQED went on the air as one of the nation’s first public television stations. The idea that a station did not run commercials, but instead relied on public donations, was revolutionary. Today, it’s hard to imagine life without public television. WQED gave viewers programs such as Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Previn and the Pittsburgh, and The War That Made America.
WQED President and CEO Deborah Acklin said the start of WQED was made possible by non-commercial educational licenses, also known as NCE’s, being offered for the first time for television.
“For the first time, it was going to be a license that was owned by the community as opposed to owned by a school board or owned by a University or the other kind of models that were out there. There were only four, WQED was the fourth, there were only four stations on air when WQED went on the air. So everything was an experiment.”