A Seachange For Public Television
State budget cuts to New Hampshire Public Television, through the university system, have led to several changes. And some town selectmen on the seacoast are worried about what it means for their programming.
Last month, New Hampshire Public Television partnered with WGBH Boston. Now, their new program schedule takes effect on September 30th, aligning it with the national PBS broadcast times. In addition to that, Comcast subscribers will see a change to the channel lineup, consolidating NHPTV and WGBH on October 8th. Most Massachusetts viewers will begin to see New Hampshire-produced shows and New Hampshire viewers will begin to see some Boston-produced shows, all on the same channel.
This follows about $2.7 million in state-level funding cuts, last year. Production for two local shows was put on hiatus. Much of the full time staff was either laid off or received pay cuts. And, last July, NHPTV also became independent of the university system for the first time in more than 50 years.
Now, Comcast has been reaching out to individual towns with news of the coming changes, but some selectmen are reacting with confusion and fear. New Hampshire Public Television President Peter Frid wants to set the record straight.
“I think it’s safe to say that the viewers are not going to be losing the programs that they’ve come to enjoy and watch on channel 2 and channel 11.”
Thanks to a recent underwriter donation, NHPTV will begin taping in January for their 29th season of Granite State Challenge, the high school quiz show that was on hiatus this year.
The following information is provided by NHPTV:
IF YOU ARE A COMCAST CUSTOMER, PLEASE NOTE:
Beginning the week of October 8th, 2012, Comcast customers in New Hampshire will experience these channel changes:
WGBH no longer will be carried on 2 or HD 802/702 and WGBX no longer will be carried on 16/17/26 or HD 818/718.
Beginning the week of October 8th, 2012, Comcast customers in Massachusetts will experience these channel changes:
NHPTV PRIME no longer will be available on 11 and HD 801/711 and NH EXPLORE no longer will be available on 296/312.