Mississippi Public Broadcasting

Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Mississippi Public Broadcasting Logo.svg
statewide Mississippi
Branding MPB
Slogan Educating, Entertaining, Enlightening
Channels Analog: see table below
Digital: see table below
Affiliations PBS (television)
NPR (radio)
Owner Mississippi Authority for Educational Television
First air date February 1, 1970 (television)
1984 (radio)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Website www.mpbonline.org

Mississippi Public Broadcasting is the public broadcasting state network in Mississippi, United States. It is owned by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, an agency of the Mississippi state government that holds the licenses for all of the PBS and NPR member stations in the state.



In January 1970, WMAA-TV, channel 29 (now WMPN-TV) signed on from Jackson as the first PBS station in the state. Mississippi was a relative latecomer to public broadcasting; channel 29's sign-on made Mississippi the last state east of the Mississippi River with a PBS station within its borders. Previously, the only areas of the state to get a clear signal from a National Educational Television (NET) or PBS station had been the northwest (from Memphis' WKNO) and the Gulf Coast (from New Orleans' WYES-TV and Mobile's Alabama Educational Television outlet, WEIQ). The initial broadcast was written by Jeanne Lucket and produced and directed by Mims Wright, then Director of Public Affairs at Jackson NBC affiliate WLBT.

Only four months after going on the air, MAET received unwanted national attention when it refused to carry Sesame Street because of its racially integrated cast. That decision was reversed 22 days later after a nationwide outcry.[1][2] Six other stations began operation over the next few years, and the state network became known as Mississippi Educational Television, or simply ETV.

Public radio came even later, arriving in the state in 1983. Eventually, Public Radio in Mississippi or PRM expanded to eight stations throughout the state.

In 2005, MAET adopted "Mississippi Public Broadcasting" as an umbrella on-air name for all television and radio operations.

Educational programming

Since its inception, MPB has produced many Educational television or instructional television programs from its Jackson studios. A partial list includes Tomes & Talismans, The Write Channel, Clyde Frog Show, About Safety, Ticktock Minutes, Zebra Wings, Posie Paints, Project Survival, and Between the Lions.

MPB Television

As of 2009, the MPB television stations are: [3]

Station City of license Channels
First air date Call letters'
ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
WMPN-TV1 Jackson 29 (PSIP)
20 (UHF)
February 1, 1970 Mississippi
400 kW 482 m 43168 32°11′29″N 90°24′22″W / 32.19139°N 90.40611°W / 32.19139; -90.40611 (WMPN-TV)
WMAH-TV Biloxi 19 (PSIP)
16 (UHF)
January 14, 1972 150 kW 477 m 43197 30°45′18″N 88°56′44″W / 30.755°N 88.94556°W / 30.755; -88.94556 (WMAH-TV)
WMAE-TV Booneville 12 (PSIP)
12 (VHF)
August 11, 1974 31 kW 223 m 43170 34°40′0.8″N 88°45′5″W / 34.666889°N 88.75139°W / 34.666889; -88.75139 (WMAE-TV)
WMAU-TV Bude 17 (PSIP)
18 (UHF)
January 14, 1972 682 kW 340 m 43184 31°22′22″N 90°45′4″W / 31.37278°N 90.75111°W / 31.37278; -90.75111 (WMAU-TV)
WMAO-TV Greenwood 23 (PSIP)
25 (UHF)
September 15, 1972 815 kW 317.3 m 43176 33°22′34″N 90°32′32″W / 33.37611°N 90.54222°W / 33.37611; -90.54222 (WMAO-TV)
WMAW-TV Meridian 14 (PSIP)
44 (UHF)
January 14, 1972 880 kW 369 m 43169 32°8′18″N 89°5′36″W / 32.13833°N 89.09333°W / 32.13833; -89.09333 (WMAW-TV)
WMAB-TV Mississippi State 2 (PSIP)
10 (VHF)
July 4, 1971 4.3 kW 349 m 43192 33°21′14″N 89°9′0″W / 33.35389°N 89.15°W / 33.35389; -89.15 (WMAB-TV)
WMAV-TV Oxford-University 18 (PSIP)
36 (UHF)
May 19, 1972 272.5 kW 426.3 m 43193 34°17′28″N 89°42′21″W / 34.29111°N 89.70583°W / 34.29111; -89.70583 (WMAV-TV)


  • 1. WMPN-TV used the callsign WMAA-TV from its 1970 sign-on until 1990.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting also operates two translator stations: W45AA in Columbia and W47BP in Hattiesburg.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting has also operated a microwave-relay station KMZ-77 for many years. This special microwave relay station has been used as a studio-to-transmitter link (STL) for WMPN-TV in Jackson. During the weekly signoff message (formerly nightly signoff message), KMZ 77 would be mentioned following the technical specifications of WMPN-TV; as of 1992, it operates with a frequency of 7012.5 MHz to serve the studio in Jackson. KMZ-77 was also mentioned in the same manner during the time prior to 1990 when WMPN-TV carried the call sign of WMAA-TV. Each station in the state network and KMZ-77 would be identified in the state network's signoff message as being owned and operated by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, with studios at 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson.[4]

Although the FCC apparently granted MPB a permit to build WMAA channel 43, a digital-only station near Columbus, MPB has stated there are currently no plans or funding to build the station.

MPB Television covers nearly all of the state, as well as parts of Alabama and Tennessee. Additionally, WMAV is carried on DirecTV and Dish Network's Memphis feeds, bringing its programming to an additional 1.4 million people in Tennessee and Arkansas. Oxford is part of the Memphis market.

Notable local programming

  • Mississippi Roads (1983-present)
  • Mississippi Outdoors (1970s-present)
  • Quorum (1976-present)
  • Job Bank (1970s-early 1990s)

MPB Radio

MPB Radio consists of nine stations covering most of the state. It airs mostly news and talk programming from NPR, along with several locally produced shows.

Recently, MPB has added a 24-hour classical music service on its second HD channel. It brands this programming as "Music Radio," while the original MPB Radio service is known as "Think Radio."

MPB Radio streams both of its services live in Windows Media and Mac formats.

Callsign MHz City of license Power
Additional Information
WMAB 89.9 Mississippi State, Mississippi 63,000 C1 FCC
WMAE 89.5 Booneville, Mississippi 85,000 C1 FCC
WMAH 90.3 Biloxi, Mississippi 100,000 C FCC
WMAO 90.9 Greenwood, Mississippi 100,000 C1 FCC
WMAU 88.9 Bude, Mississippi 100,000 C1 FCC
WMAV 90.3 Oxford, Mississippi 100,000 C1 FCC
WMAW 88.1 Meridian, Mississippi 100,000 C1 FCC
WMPN 91.3 Jackson, Mississippi 45,000 C FCC


  1. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jan/08/entertainment/et-book8?pg=2
  2. ^ http://www.newsweek.com/id/199141
  3. ^ http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20090206/BIZ/902060338/-1/frontpagetabmodule-1V

4. http://www.tv-signoffs.com/clips/MSETV-signon-1992.htm

External links

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