Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Channels
BrandingMPB
Programming
Affiliations
  • Television: PBS (1970–present)
  • Radio: NPR
Ownership
OwnerMississippi Authority for Educational Television
History
First air date
  • Television: February 1, 1970 (1970-02-01)
  • Radio: 1983 (1983)
NET (February–October 1970)
Links
WebcastMPB Radio
Websitewww.mpbonline.org

Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) is the public broadcasting network serving the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is owned by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television (MAET), an agency of the state government that holds the licenses for all of the PBS and NPR member stations in the state. MPB's headquarters is located on Ridgewood Road in northeast Jackson. The public broadcaster was established as Mississippi Educational Television.

History

Mississippi was a relative latecomer to public broadcasting. By the late 1960s, it was the only state east of the Mississippi River without an educational television station licensed within its borders. The only areas of the state to get a clear signal from a National Educational Television (NET) or PBS station were the northwestern counties (from Memphis' WKNO) and the counties along the Gulf Coast (from New Orleans' WYES-TV and Mobile's Alabama Educational Television outlet, WEIQ).

in 1969, the Mississippi Legislature created the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television to create a locally focused educational television service for Mississippi. After almost a year of planning, WMAA (channel 29, now WMPN-TV) in Jackson debuted on February 1, 1970, as the state's first educational television station. It immediately joined PBS. The initial broadcast was written by Jeanne Lucket and produced and co-directed by Mims Wright, then Director of Public Affairs at Jackson NBC affiliate WLBT, and Joe Root, WLBT Production Manager.

Only four months after beginning operations, WMAA received unwanted national attention when it refused to carry Sesame Street because of its racially integrated cast. That decision was reversed 22 days later after a nationwide outcry.[1][2] Six other stations began operation over the next few years, and the state network became known as Mississippi Educational Television, or simply ETV.

Public radio came even later, arriving in the state in 1983. Eventually, Public Radio in Mississippi (PRM) expanded to eight stations throughout the state.

In 2005, MAET adopted "Mississippi Public Broadcasting" as an umbrella on-air brand for all television and radio operations.

Programming

Since its inception, MPB has produced many educational or instructional television programs from its Jackson studios. A partial list includes Tomes & Talismans, The Write Channel, The Clyde Frog Show, About Safety, Ticktock Minutes, Zebra Wings, Posie Paints, Project Survival, The Metric System, Media Mania, and Between the Lions.

Series include:

MPB Television

As of 2009, the MPB television stations are:[8]

Station City of license
(Other cities of service)
Channels
VC / RF
First air date Callsign meaning ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Public license information
WMAB-TV1 Mississippi State
(Starkville/West Point/
Columbus)
2
8 (VHF)
July 4, 1971
(53 years ago)
 (1971-07-04)
7.6 kW 350.5 m (1,149.9 ft) 43192 33°21′14″N 89°9′0″W / 33.35389°N 89.15000°W / 33.35389; -89.15000 (WMAB-TV) Public file
LMS
WMAE-TV1 Booneville (Tupelo) 12
9 (VHF)
August 11, 1974
(49 years ago)
 (1974-08-11)
35 kW 224.4 m (736.2 ft) 43170 34°40′0.3″N 88°45′5.2″W / 34.666750°N 88.751444°W / 34.666750; -88.751444 (WMAE-TV) Public file
LMS
WMAH-TV1 Biloxi
(Gulfport/Pascagoula/
Hattiesburg)
19
16 (UHF)
January 14, 1972
(52 years ago)
 (1972-01-14)
540 kW 474.4 m (1,556.4 ft) 43197 30°45′19″N 88°56′44″W / 30.75528°N 88.94556°W / 30.75528; -88.94556 (WMAH-TV) Public file
LMS
WMAO-TV1 Greenwood (Greenville) 23
25 (UHF)
September 15, 1972
(51 years ago)
 (1972-09-15)
815 kW 317.3 m (1,041.0 ft) 43176 33°22′34″N 90°32′32″W / 33.37611°N 90.54222°W / 33.37611; -90.54222 (WMAO-TV) Public file
LMS
WMAU-TV1 Bude
(Meadville)
17
18 (UHF)
January 14, 1972
(52 years ago)
 (1972-01-14)
682 kW 340 m (1,115.5 ft) 43184 31°22′23″N 90°45′4″W / 31.37306°N 90.75111°W / 31.37306; -90.75111 (WMAU-TV) Public file
LMS
WMAV-TV1 OxfordUniversity (Southaven/Batesville) 18
36 (UHF)
May 19, 1972
(52 years ago)
 (1972-05-19)
272.5 kW 426.3 m (1,398.6 ft) 43193 34°17′28″N 89°42′21″W / 34.29111°N 89.70583°W / 34.29111; -89.70583 (WMAV-TV) Public file
LMS
WMAW-TV1 Meridian
(Laurel)
14
28 (UHF)
January 14, 1972
(52 years ago)
 (1972-01-14)
640 kW 377.9 m (1,239.8 ft) 43169 32°8′19″N 89°5′36″W / 32.13861°N 89.09333°W / 32.13861; -89.09333 (WMAW-TV) Public file
LMS
WMPN-TV1 2 Jackson 29
20 (UHF)
February 1, 1970
(54 years ago)
 (1970-02-01)
Mississippi Public Network 400 kW 482 m (1,581 ft) 43168 32°11′30″N 90°24′22″W / 32.19167°N 90.40611°W / 32.19167; -90.40611 (WMPN-TV) Public file
LMS

Notes:

Coverage areas

Station Signal reach
WMAB-TV Southern portion of the Tupelo–Columbus market and Northern portion of Meridian market.
WMAE-TV Northeast Mississippi (Northern portion of the Tupelo–Columbus market)
WMAH-TV South Mississippi (Hattiesburg–Laurel and Biloxi–Gulfport markets, as well as parts of Mobile–Pensacola and New Orleans markets)
WMAO-TV Mississippi Delta (Greenwood–Greenville)
WMAU-TV Southwest Mississippi (Natchez, McComb, Brookhaven), as well as parts of the Baton Rouge market
WMAV-TV Northwest Mississippi, as well as parts of Tennessee and Arkansas (Memphis, TN market)
WMAW-TV Meridian market and Northern portion of the Hattiesburg–Laurel market
WMPN-TV Jackson and West Central Mississippi

Translator

City of license Callsign Translating Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates
Columbia W29EY-D WMAU-TV 17 29 15 kW 52.1 m (170.9 ft) 43205 31°16′01.2″N 89°49′57.3″W / 31.267000°N 89.832583°W / 31.267000; -89.832583 (W29EY-D)

MPB received a construction permit for station WMAA, channel 43 in Columbus, in 1998. This permit was modified to specify digital-only operation and granted again in 2001. The permit expired June 27, 2003, without any construction having taken place.[9] MPB has stated there are currently no plans or funding to build the station.[citation needed]

MPB Television covers nearly all of the state, as well as parts of Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana. Additionally, WMAV is carried on DirecTV and Dish Network's Memphis feeds, bringing its programming to an additional 1.4 million people in Tennessee and Arkansas. Oxford is part of the Memphis market.

Digital television

Subchannels

The signals of MPB's TV stations are multiplexed:

Mississippi Public Broadcasting multiplex[10]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
xx.1 1080i 16:9 WMXX[notes 1] HD PBS
xx.2 480i 4:3 WMXX KD MPB Kids
xx.3 WMXX CR MPB Create
xx.4 Audio WMXX FM (MTS) MPB Think Radio
MPB Music Radio
xx.5 1080i 16:9 WMXX WD MPB Classroom TV (7 a.m.–7 p.m.)
MPB World (7 p.m.–7 a.m.)

Analog-to-digital conversion

During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur on June 12, MPB shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. Listed below are the dates each analog transmitter ceased operations as well as their post-transition channel allocations:[11]

MPB Radio

MPB Radio consists of eight stations covering most of the state. It airs mostly news and talk programming from NPR and other distributors of public radio programming, along with several locally produced shows.

Recently, MPB has added a 24-hour classical music service on its second HD channel, which now also airs on DT4 on all MPB television stations. It brands this programming as "Music Radio," while the original MPB Radio service is known as "Think Radio." Shows produced by MPB Music include the nationally distributed program Sounds Jewish. All of MPB's radio stations also air the Radio Reading Service of Mississippi[12] on their FM subcarriers, which is also simulcast on the DT4 subchannel on the "Spanish/Audio Description" audio channel.

MPB Radio streams both of its services live in Windows Media and Mac formats.

Call sign Frequency ERP (W) HAAT Class City of license Broadcast Area Facility ID Transmitter coordinates
WMAB-FM 89.9 MHz 64,300 323.5 m (1,061.4 ft) C1 Mississippi State (Starkville) [1] 43212 33°21′14.4″N 89°9′0.2″W / 33.354000°N 89.150056°W / 33.354000; -89.150056 (WMAB-FM)
WMAE-FM 89.5 MHz 85,000 200 m (656 ft) C1 Booneville [2] 43190 34°40′0.3″N 88°45′5.2″W / 34.666750°N 88.751444°W / 34.666750; -88.751444 (WMAE-FM)
WMAH-FM 90.3 MHz 100,000 431 m (1,414 ft) C Biloxi [3] 43198 30°45′18.7″N 88°56′44.1″W / 30.755194°N 88.945583°W / 30.755194; -88.945583 (WMAH-FM)
WMAO-FM 90.9 MHz 100,000 268 m (879 ft) C1 Greenwood [4] 43177 33°22′34.4″N 90°32′32.3″W / 33.376222°N 90.542306°W / 33.376222; -90.542306 (WMAO-FM)
WMAU-FM 88.9 MHz 100,000 293 m (961 ft) C1 Bude [5] 43185 31°22′22.6″N 90°45′4.4″W / 31.372944°N 90.751222°W / 31.372944; -90.751222 (WMAU-FM)
WMAV-FM 90.3 MHz 100,000 378 m (1,240 ft) C Oxford [6] 43213 34°17′28.4″N 89°42′21.3″W / 34.291222°N 89.705917°W / 34.291222; -89.705917 (WMAV-FM)
WMAW-FM 88.1 MHz 100,000 320 m (1,050 ft) C Meridian [7] 43188 32°8′18.5″N 89°5′36.2″W / 32.138472°N 89.093389°W / 32.138472; -89.093389 (WMAW-FM)
WMPN-FM 91.3 MHz 45,000 423 m (1,388 ft) C Jackson [8] 46682 32°11′29.5″N 90°24′22.3″W / 32.191528°N 90.406194°W / 32.191528; -90.406194 (WMPN-FM)

Notes

  1. ^ The callsign of the station.

References

  1. ^ "A history of sunny days". Los Angeles Times. January 8, 2009.
  2. ^ "How Sesame Street Changed the World". Newsweek. May 23, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Black, Patti Carr (1998). Art in Mississippi, 1720-1980. ISBN 9781578060849.
  4. ^ a b "Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Own 'Fit to Eat' Aires Nationally on Create TV | JFP Mobile | Jackson, Mississippi".
  5. ^ "Fit to Eat | Cooking Shows". PBS.
  6. ^ "Mississippi Roads | MPB".
  7. ^ "Mississippi Outdoors".
  8. ^ "The Clarion-Ledger".
  9. ^ "DWMAA Facility Data". FCCData.
  10. ^ *RabbitEars TV Query for WMAB
  11. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  12. ^ "Radio Reading Services". MPB — Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 6, 2022.