60 Years of NHPBS

At 6 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 1959, WENH-TV, Channel 11 educational public television began broadcasting.

Founded by a University of New Hampshire professor, the  first program was a half-hour dedicated to the founding of the station. It was following by “Louis Lyons and the News,” “The Friendly Giant,” “Highway Holiday,” “Sew Easy,” “Japanese Brush Painting” and “The Boston Symphony.” At 10 p.m. we signed off, giving way to the test pattern until the next day.

New Hampshire PBS has come a long way in 60 years, from black and white to color TV pictures, to our current HD digital broadcast of five channels, NHPBS, NHPBS EXPLORE, NHPBS WORLD, NHPBS CREATE AND NHPBS KIDS.

NHPBS programming has evolved and expanded over the decades, with an extensive array of popular award-winning PBS and local programs focusing on New Hampshire’s stories.

Together we are celebrating 60 years of memories and looking ahead to the next 60 years of innovation with you!


MONDAY, JULY 6 1959, WENH-TV, Channel 11 educational public television signs on the air.

Early Program Highlights:

  • Fourth Grade History of New Hampshire
  • Parlons Francis
  • Sixth Grade Science
  • Third Grade Science

Channel 11 produces first public affairs program covering the state and regional issues, Column 8.


Birth of the New Hampshire Network (NHN), 5 towers deliver station's signal reaching 98% of New Hampshire residents.

New Hampshire Network (NHN) joins Public Broadcasting System.

1960s Local Program Highlights:

  • Auto Mechanics
  • Homemakers World
  • Mr. Thoreau Takes a Trip
  • Rad Pike Garden Show
  • The World of American Craftsmen
  • UNH Symphony

First Color Broadcast, New Hampshire Network becomes New Hampshire Public Television.

First UNH Wildcat Hockey Game premieres.

The State We’re In debuts as a nightly news program devoted to NH news. The show was renamed New Hampshire News in the mid-70s, then Channel 11 News in 1979.


First Channel 11 Auction debuts.

1970s Local Program Highlights:

  • Franco File
  • The Garden Show
  • Made in New Hampshire
  • UNH Wildcat Hockey

May 1987 - Channel 11 moves from the Memorial Union Building on the UNH campus to its new home at 268 Mast Road, Durham, NH.


NH Agenda debuts as a new weekly public affairs program.

October, 1989 - host Mary Ann Esposito launches Ciao Italia on Channel 11

1980s Local Program Highlights:


In March 1990, Channel 11 airs the Shaw Brothers in Concert.

On May 2, 1990 the first stereo broadcast is launched on Channel 11.


In November, 1991 the Channel 11 Winter Expo airs and this new seasonal auction is a hit!


January 1993, Warren Rudman: Rebel with a Cause debuts on Channel 11.


We branded our educational services as The Knowledge Network.

New Hampshire Remembered with Fritz Wetherbee premieres.

September 14, 1994 New Hampshire Tonight debuts with Richard Ager, Barbara Coles and Laura Keirnan.


In August 1995, John Iriving: In His Own Words airs

The first Kids Writers Contest is offered.

In September, 1995 the the hour-long series Hitting Home premieres with producer, Richard Ager.


In January, 1996 NH Roundtable debuts with local journalists.


In January, 1997 the NHPTV Auction wins the PBS Auction best-in-the-nation award.


After the tragic shooting in the North Country, NHPTV airs Colebrook: A Time to Heal.

NHPTV premiers a new program, Just One Night about driving under the influence.


Franco Americans: We Remember, produced by Barbara Coles debuts in June, 1999.

NHPTV debuts its new logo.

1990s Local Program Highlights:

  • It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Symphony
  • Mary Baker Eddy: Soul of a Woman
  • Mysteries of NH
  • NH Roundtable
  • NH Tonight
  • NH Writers: Grace Metalious
  • Shaw Brothers in Concert
  • Wildlife Journal

In January 2000, NHPTV produced the Presidential Primary Debates with Tim Russert and Peter Jennings.

In March 2000, Natureworks a locally produced nature program and online education companion piece debuts.

NH Outlook with host Ally McNair premieres in September 2000.

In August, 2000 NHPTV goes Digital.

September 11, 2000 NHPTV goes 24/7.


Wildlife Journal kicks off with hosts Willem Lange and Lisa Densmore.


Wildlife Journal Jr., an exciting new educational resource for grades 4-8, launches on nhptv.org.


The first Windows to the Wild program is produced.


February 21, 2008 NHPTV becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of USNH.


Making $ense: The Economy and Northern New England, a collaboration with Maine PBS and Vermont PBS premieres April, 2009.

Journey of the Broad-Winged Hawk airs on NHPTV.

Passport: Premiere Craft Beer and Food Pairing event kicked off at Strawbery Banke Museum.

On February 17, 2009 the Digital TV Transition occurs.

NHPTV celebrates its fiftieth anniversary on July 6, 2009.


In May, 2010 NHPTV launched a new digital channel, NHPTV Explore.


Emmy award-winning documentary Saving Songbirds airs in Sept 2011.

Changing Aging in the Granite State premiers in October, 2011.

Tuck’s Gift, a collaboration with the NH Historical Society airs in November, 2011.

NHPTV loses all state funding in June, 2011 ($2.7 million). After massive layoffs, many long running shows like Granite State Challenge are placed on hiatus.


Bird Tales, a Windows to the Wild special premieres in October, 2012.

April, 2012 NHPTV becomes an independent, community-licensed broadcasting company.

NHPTV announces new collaboration with WGBH Boston


In February, 2013 Granite State Challenge comes back on the air with full funding.

Counting on Birds airs in November 2013.


The series, Changing Aging in the Granite State airs

Our Hometown series debuts in March 2015 and Peterborough is the first town highlighted.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway: Climbing to the Clouds debuts in May, 2015

Plight of the Grassland Birds airs October 2015.

Raising New Hampshire premieres November 2015. This program focuses on creating a better future for all NH Children.

Our Hometown Colebrook airs November 2015.


Saving New England Fisheries airs May 2016.

Our Hometown Stratham premieres in September 2016.


Stem from the Start, a animated online educational series launches January 2017.

In the Footsteps of Atticus, a Windows to the Wild special airs March 2017.

Our Hometown Wolfeboro premieres April 2017.

Roads to Recovery airs in May 2017.

Call to Care NH, a program about how to meet the demand for paid caregivers in the rapidly aging Granite State. Airs on October 2017.

October, 2017 New Hampshire Public Television becomes New Hampshire PBS (NHPBS).


New Hampshire PBS launches new PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel, it is also available online.

Our Hometown Milford airs on April 2018.

The 45th Spring Auction kicks off April 2018.

Jim Jeannotte retires from hosting Granite State Challenge for 34 years.

Our Hometown Littleton premieres on October 2018.

LightHawk: Destination Conservation airs October 2018.


Jon Cannon is named new host of Granite State Challenge (February).

New Hampshire in Space airs July 2019.

Station Management

Peter A. Frid
President & CEO

Dawn DeAngelis
Vice President & Chief Content Officer