PBS Viewing Area
Western Reserve Public Media: Ohio’s Largest PBS Station
Western Reserve Public Media serves the largest population among Ohio’s eight PBS member stations. Our broadcast channels — Western Reserve PBS, Fusion, MHz Worldview and V-me — are available to 5.13 million viewers in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, which is well over 1 million more people than the next largest station. It costs us less than $1 per person per year to provide programming and services to the people in our viewing area, making us the most cost efficient PBS station in the state.
Western Reserve Public Media Background and Services Overview
Since 1973, Western Reserve Public Media has enriched the lives of Northeast Ohioans through high-quality noncommercial television programming, educational services and community engagement activities that educate, entertain and inspire.
On Oct. 1, 2008, WNEO/Youngstown and WEAO/Akron, formerly known as PBS 45 & 49, adopted a new name: Western Reserve Public Media. This new identity better reflects our regional coverage, which unifies the major metropolitan areas of Northeast Ohio — Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown.
Western Reserve Public Media Broadcast Services Under this new umbrella identity, the channels PBS 45 & 49 are now Western Reserve PBS, which is our primary, high definition broadcast service. With the addition in 2009 of three new digital services — Fusion, MHz Worldview and V-me — Western Reserve Public Media now offers over 35,000 hours of noncommercial public television each year, watched by more than 1 million people each month.
Western Reserve Public Media Educational Services Our Educational Services department provides technology training, professional development and educational content to 21,000 K-12 educators and 256,700 K-12 students and Ready To Learn services to over 100,000 parents and childcare providers of preschool children.
Western Reserve Public Media Online Our website receives over 100,000 page views per month, and our state-of-the-art video on demand service makes hundreds of hours of programming available free of charge. Educators use our site to download lesson plans, instructional videos and other resources.
Western Reserve Public Media Publications Our staff produces five print and electronic newsletters with a combined readership of 43,000, including The Alternative, TechKnowledgy Newsletter, The History Circle, The Prompter and The President’s Report.
History and Mission
Western Reserve Public Media is made up of two separately licensed public television stations (WNEO and WEAO) and an Educational Services division operating under one 501(c)(3) corporation, Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio Inc. (NETO). WNEO was established in 1971, is licensed to the city of Alliance and serves the Youngstown designated television market. WEAO went on the air in 1975, is licensed to the city of Akron and serves the Cleveland-Akron-Canton designated television market. All programming is simulcast on the two stations.
The corporation, NETO, is owned and operated by a consortium of The University of Akron, Kent State University and Youngstown State University. The consortium provides no financial support to the organization. The board of directors consists of 15 members.
It is the mission and purpose of Western Reserve Public Media to see that the powerful medium of television is used to teach, illuminate and inspire. We do this through the presentation of consistently outstanding programs and lifelong educational services that are responsive to the varied interests and needs of Northeast Ohioans. The organization continually strives to bring to our viewers cultural and artistic enlightenment and enjoyment; exposure to local, state and national public affairs of importance; and the opportunity for lifelong learning through formal instruction and general educational programming.
Coverage Area and Viewership
Western Reserve Public Media not only embraces regionalism, it is regionalism. Western Reserve PBS is the only broadcast television service in the area that links together the entire Northeast Ohio region. The most recent household and head counts from A.C. Nielsen show that the Cleveland-Akron-Canton designated market area (DMA) is the 19th largest market in the country, and the Youngstown DMA is the 113th largest. Cleveland is the 16th largest African American television market, the 32nd largest Asian American market and the 57th largest Hispanic market. In an average month, over 1 million viewers watch Western Reserve PBS, according to A.C. Nielsen ratings and Media Audit data.
Core Programs and Services
Western Reserve Public Media airs 35,040 hours a year of commercial-free television on four broadcast services:
Western Reserve PBS is the primary, high definition broadcast service and offers a wide range of programs on subjects including science and nature; drama, art and music; how-tos, travel and adventure; history and biography; and news and public affairs. Additionally, the station airs over 60 hours of children’s programming each week. We are committed to creating regional productions including NEOtropolis and NewsNite and dozens of one-time-only programs on subjects of regional interest to our viewers (public affairs, the arts and history, for example). We also enjoy an excellent relationship with regional independent producers and serve as the premier television outlet for their work.
The organization also offers three standard definition channels, Fusion (WNEO.2/WEAO.2), MHz Worldview (WNEO.3/WEAO.3) and V-me (WNEO.4/WEAO.4). These channels are available over the air and are also carried by Time Warner Cable, Massillon Cable and Armstrong Cable. Carriage on other cable and satellite services is pending.
Fusion offers a combination of arts and culture, public affairs, regional productions and BBC Worldwide programming.
MHz Worldview is an independent, noncommercial service presenting English-language content, including news, documentaries, cultural programming, films, music and sports, from public broadcasting networks around the world.
V-me is a Spanish language public television service.
Western Reserve Educational Services, a service of Western Reserve Public Media, is funded by the State of Ohio through eTech Ohio and serves K-12 students and educators in eight Ohio counties (Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne). This includes 92 public school districts and 134 nonpublic schools, 256,700 students and over 21,000 educators. Since 1973, Western Reserve Educational Services has been training teachers to use the latest educational technologies in their classrooms. Educators also use the station’s instructional television programming; our locally produced multimedia curriculum projects to help students prepare for and pass Ohio’s proficiency tests; and our in-school technology and instructional television consultation services.
In the 2011-12 school year, Western Reserve Educational Services’ 21st-Century Learning Center staff of educational technology consultants delivered 243 professional development technology sessions to 2,093 educators.
In FY 2012, Western Reserve Educational Services began a multi-year collaboration with Connect Ohio to offer Every Citizen Online training for entry-level users. In the first six months of the project, we presented 48 training sessions to 160 students.
To Learn Service
Western Reserve Public Media’s Ready To Learn (RTL) service is a parent and child care provider outreach project that supplements PBS children’s programs. The RTL staff offers free workshops, print materials and web resources geared toward parents as well as child care providers to help extend the learning from our children’s shows into reading and hands-on activities. Our free workshops are aligned with the state of Ohio’s “Step Up to Quality” standards and present the professional training now required of all family and in-home child care providers. In FY 2012, our RTL staff presented 33 training sessions to over 400 care providers.
Western Reserve Public Media extends the value of programming beyond the television set through community events and partnerships with local organizations and agencies. Station community events touch more than 100,000 Northeast Ohioans annually, and our regularly published print and electronic newsletters are delivered to over 43,000 readers. In FY11, Western Reserve Public Media’s outreach focused on literacy and preschool readiness. Additionally, we hosted several documentary premiere screenings and our annual Doo Wop concert bus trip.
Western Reserve Public Media’s website at www.WesternReservePublicMedia.org is home to a state-of-the-art video on demand service, which allows visitors to watch PBS national programs as well as over 100 hours of our original regional programming. The site also houses thousands of pages of station-created content. Visitors will find video, daily program schedules for all of our digital broadcast services, station e-newsletters, blogs and our locally developed multimedia curriculum kits for K-12 classrooms, featuring online teacher guides, interactive lesson plans and instructional video.
Operating Budget and Funding
Western Reserve Public Media’s 2014 fiscal year operating budget is $4.7 million. Revenue comes from these sources:
Private Support (69%) Private funding includes revenue from 16,000+ members, corporate and foundation underwriting grants and entrepreneurial activities such as tower rental income.
State Funding (11%) Almost all of this funding supports Western Reserve Educational Services and its outreach to K-12 educators. Additionally, Ohio Educational Telecommunications provides partial support for nighttime and weekend operations.
Federal Funding (20%) Federal funding comes to Western Reserve Public Media through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Western Reserve Public Media is owned and operated by Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio Inc. (NETO), a consortium of The University of Akron, Kent State University and Youngstown State University. The consortium provides no financial support to the organization. The board of directors meets four times per year.
Eugenia C. Atkinson
Community Volunteer, Youngstown
Dr. Mark S. Auburn
Community Volunteer, Akron
Bonnie Deutsch Burdman
Community Relations/Government Affairs
Youngstown Area Jewish Federation
Lawrence J. Burns
Vice President for Advancement
The University of Akron
President & Chief Executive Officer
NETO, Western Reserve Public Media
Romona J. Davis
Vice President, SBA Specialist
Budget & Finance Committee
Dr. Bryan DePoy
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer
Lake Erie College
Thomas R. Hager
CPA, Managing Partner
Schlabig & Associates, Ltd.
Budget & Finance Committee
Iris E. Harvey
Vice President, University Relations
Kent State University
Renee S. Pipitone
Community Volunteer, Akron
Scott L. Scarborough
President, The University of Akron
James P. Tressel
President, Youngstown State University
Beverly J. Warren
President, Kent State University
Western Reserve Public Media is affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA).
Facilities and Operations
Western Reserve Public Media employs 15 full-time and one part-time staff members and engages the services of several freelance professionals for special projects.
The operations center, administrative offices and location of public files are housed at 1750 Campus Center Drive, Kent, Ohio, 44240. The organization’s Western Reserve Production Hub is located on the first floor of the United Building in downtown Akron.
Additionally, the organization operates three transmitters: the WNEO-DT transmitter, located in Salem, serves greater Youngstown and Western Pennsylvania; the WEAO-DT transmitter, located in Copley, serves the greater Cleveland, Akron and Canton areas; and the W44CR-D translator is located in Youngstown and serves low-lying areas of the Mahoning Valley.