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. 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 and educational content to over 24,000 educators and over 300,000 K-12 students, plus Ready To Learn Services to over 100,000 preschool children’s parents and child-care providers.
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 22,000, 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 109th largest. Cleveland is the 15th largest African American television market, the 32nd largest Asian American market and the 54th 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. children’s programming each week. We are in the process of re-inventing our production platform to be nimble and able to take full advantage of new technology and media. We also enjoy an excellent relationship with regional independent producers and serve as the premier television outlet for their work.
n 2009, the organization launched three standard definition channels: Fusion (WNEO 45.2 / WEAO 49.2), MHz Worldview (WNEO 45.3 / WEAO 49.3) and V-me (WNEO 45.4 / WEAO 49.4). 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. These digital 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.
Our Educational Services Department, funded by the Ohio Department of Education, serves K-12 students and educators in 10 Ohio counties, which includes over 100 public school districts, over 150 nonpublic schools, over 300,000 students and over 24,000 educators. Since 1973, Educational Services has been training teachers to use the latest educational technologies in their classrooms. Teachers also use the station’s instructional television programming, locally produced multimedia curriculum projects and in-school technology and consultation services. Western Reserve Public Media is part of the statewide network of educational technology agencies that provide collaborative training to all educators across the state.
Between the 2013 and 2015 school years, Educational Services developed and offered more than 250 courses (online and face-to-face) to area educators. The department’s educational technology consultants delivered over 70 technology workshops to over 1,300 educators for over 2,400 contact hours.
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 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 fiscal year 2012, our RTL staff presented 33 training sessions to over 400 care providers.
Western Reserve PBS extends our brand through strategic partnerships. We are proud to collaborate with other community entities through local events, reciprocal agreements and other types of support. Some of the organizations with whom we work include Akron Civic Theatre, the Akron and Canton symphony orchestras, Akron Museum of Art, The Butler Institute Institute of American Art, Stambaugh Auditorium The Summit FM, WKSU, the Youngstown Area Children’s Book Fair and more.
Our program guide, The Alternative, circulates to 12,500 members monthly, while our Monday morning e-blast, The Prompter, is sent to 2,700 and highlights programming for the week. In addition, our website averages 118,500 views monthly.
Western Reserve Public Media’s website at http://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 2016 fiscal year operating budget is $4.2 million. Revenue comes from these sources:
Private Support (70%) 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 (19%) 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 is made up of 15 members.
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
Thomas R. Hager
CPA, Managing Partner
Schlabig & Associates, Ltd.
Budget & Finance Committee
Interim 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
Associate Dean, College of Creative Arts & Communication
YSU Faculty Development Coordinator
Acting Chair, Department of Theater and Dance
Youngstown State University
Western Reserve Public Media is affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and Ohio Educational Television Stations (OETS).
Facilities and Operations
Western Reserve Public Media employs 14 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. Additionally, the organization operates three transmitters: the WNEO transmitter, located in Salem, serves greater Youngstown and Western Pennsylvania; the WEAO transmitter, located in Copley, serves the greater Cleveland, Akron and Canton areas; and W44CR-D is located in and serves low-lying areas of the Mahoning Valley.