EXPANDING
OUR WORLD

Examining the issues of our time. Opening new doors. Sharing stories. Trying on fresh ideas. Exploring the world, alongside those with whom we share it. Appreciating the vastness of knowledge all around us.

MESSAGE FROM WGBH’S PRESIDENT AND CHAIR

One of the remarkable things we experience in public media is an extraordinary relationship with our audiences. Through our compelling programs—thoughtfully conceived, responsibly executed, creatively expressed—we create a bond. That bond is one of trust. 
     As a leader in public media, WGBH has created a one-of-a-kind fabric that connects individuals, families and communities, here and across the country, with exceptional content. Whether it’s in science, drama and the arts, history, journalism or children’s and educational media, we are at the forefront of innovation and experimentation with new ways of helping our audiences engage with knowledge, connect with each other, and experience the world we share.
     This was realized in vivid fashion last year when we had the privilege of opening the new WGBH studio at the Boston Public Library. From our location in the center of the city, we have the opportunity to be present and engage with our audiences in fresh, new ways. We share this vibrant space with people from all walks and stages of life and from all communities and neighborhoods, and we learn every moment we’re there. We gain insights on the impact of our work now, and where our work should go in the future. This makes us more attentive and responsive to the needs of our community—and better at what we do. 
     Our presence in the Library is symbolic of our shared belief that free access to knowledge and insight and experience, and new voices and points of view, make for a more fulfilling life. It’s a physical manifestation of our work enriching and inspiring the lives of the individuals, families and communities we serve—a demonstration that WGBH is mission driven and purpose built.
     At a time of extraordinary change, dynamism and opportunity, WGBH is affecting the way in which Americans are using media and accessing quality content. Whether it’s smartphone or tablet, television or radio, the opportunity to provide thoughtful, well researched, purposeful storytelling, journalism and cultural experience is more robust than ever. And in the end, our reputation with our audience for the quality of the work we do will help us forge an ever more creative and valuable service to our communities in greater Boston, throughout New England and across the nation.
Jonathan C. Abbott
PRESIDENT AND CEO
Richard M. Burnes, Jr.
CHAIR

COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE

Sixty-five years ago, public media pioneer WGBH began a powerful relationship with the community when it delivered its first broadcast into homes across Greater Boston and the region. 
     Last fall, WGBH brought that relationship to a new level, and redefined what it means to be public media, with the opening of a broadcast studio in the heart of the city, at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. There we can engage with our community as we create content, and the public gains direct access to the newsmakers and civic leaders drawn to Boston Public Radio, 89.7/WGBH News, and our TV and digital platforms.
     In this vibrant new space, the first of its kind in the world, visited by people from throughout the city, across the country, and around the globe, WGBH is drawing together an expanded community, engaging with them and listening to what they have to say about their lives and the interests and issues we share together. 
     The resulting diversity of perspective informs and enriches WGBH programs and content, and opens us up to thinking about our community in meaningful new ways.
“A diversity of perspective informs and enriches...and opens us up to thinking about our community in meaningful new ways.”

BALANCED INSIGHT

When world-changing issues are at stake, and the facts are up for grabs, WGBH’s trusted journalism provides a lens to help us understand, evaluate and make sense of the times in which we live.
     In The Choice 2016, Frontline’s peerless investigative team examined the forces that shaped the two most polarizing presidential candidates in modern history, distilling their dramatic public lives into clear-eyed portraits of two vastly different individuals. As the nation neared decision day, this singular election-year film offered viewers deep, balanced insight into who the candidates were, and a critical understanding of the viewpoints held by members of our diverse citizenry.
     Whether reporting from across the nation, around the world, or the neighborhoods of Boston, WGBH is turning down the heat and sorting through the noise to let the real stories emerge in a way that is compelling and informative. By delivering timely, truthful coverage, WGBH expands our sights and offers us a connection with the wider world around us.
“WGBH is turning down the heat and sorting through the noise to let the real stories emerge."

LIMITLESS LEARNING

Education in 2017 is a multifaceted endeavor, inspiring learners in more ways than ever before. WGBH is at the forefront of creating new multimedia, cross-platform experiences to support students, teachers and parents with integrated content that promotes opportunities for educational success.
     Recognizing WGBH’s proven leadership in advancing learning, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded WGBH a $10 million, five-year grant to develop new instructional models and digital media tools for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching and learning. The result will be a WGBH-designed collection of K-12 digital resources that integrate multimedia content from NASA with WGBH’s popular productions NOVA, Design Squad, FETCH!, PEEP and the Big Wide World, and Plum Landing.
     PBS Learning Media, the free, online digital media service that WGBH originated for Massachusetts teachers, will bring these resources to the nearly 2 million registered teachers, students and parents across the country who access the site’s extensive library of digital tools, which includes videos, images, articles and interactives.
     By continually expanding the boundaries of education through media, WGBH is opening knowledge to all, with accessible, purpose-built content, available any time, for unlimited learning.
“By continually expanding the boundaries of education through media, we are opening knowledge to all.”

THE UNTOLD STORY

Throughout time, people have shared meaningful events through stories and tales crafted to be remembered, as a way to connect with one another and understand the world around them.
     With an expertise honed over the course of making hundreds of films, WGBH has become a true master of the complex art of meaningful storytelling, delivering compelling dramas and revealing documentaries with intelligence, creativity and an unparalleled sense of purpose.
     American Experience’s Command and Control tells the harrowing story of a near disastrous nuclear accident in 1980 at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas, when a worker dropped a socket and punctured the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead in the US arsenal. The riveting account of this long-hidden incident brings the story vividly to life, connecting us with an event from the past in a way that grounds our understanding of the present.
     By sharing the stories that others don’t tell, WGBH opens us to new ideas, deepens our knowledge of the world, and kindles our interest in events and lives unlike our own.
“...delivering compelling dramas and revealing documentaries with intelligence, creativity and an unparalleled sense of purpose.”

YEAR IN REVIEW

Arthur, television’s longest-running children’s animated series, began its 20th season in October.  Last year, the program reached 9.4 million kids ages 2 to 11.

When WGBH signed on with the social media platform Sprinklr, it became the first public media entity to use a single platform to manage its social media operation.

Early math and science apps for two First 8 Labs digital-first properties, Gracie & Friends and Nico & Nor, have been downloaded more than 1.47 million times since they were launched.

In the fall of 2016, WCRB enjoyed the highest share of audience of any classical station in the top 25 markets in the country.

NOVA made international headlines with the discovery of an escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners during WWII. Detailed in Holocaust Escape Tunnel, the story was one of the The New York Times top science stories of 2016.

WGBH brought civil debate to national TV with Point Taken, the first PBS series to stream episodes live on Facebook and to bring comments from the Twitter audience into the broadcast.

Antiques Roadshow 20th Anniversary Best Moment’s Collection included one of the show’s most viewed webpages ever at 140,000 views. Antiques Roadshow remains the most watched series in PBS history.

Through its diverse lineup of news, documentary and original series, the WORLD Channel produced and delivered global nonfiction programs to more than 33 million viewers nationwide.

With 69 Emmy nominations and 13 wins, 3 Golden Globes and 4 SAG Awards to its credit, Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey is the most award-winning show in Masterpiece’s 46-year history.

Viewership for Greater Boston, WGBH’s nightly local public affairs show hosted by Jim Braude, has increased by 118 percent since 2014.

A total of 655 students from 131 Massachusetts high schools competed on High School Quiz Show, fielding questions in all disciplines, including some from celebrities such as Colin Powell, Yo-Yo Ma and Katie Couric.

The Global Nation team at PRI’s The World brought awareness to the pressing issue of immigration through 370 original stories, reported on both broadcast and digital, and carried on 337 public radio outlets across the country.

WGBH OVERVIEW