PBS12 is celebrating 40 years of alternative PBS, independent, and international programming

It all began in a garage in Broomfield with an idea to “broaden the local discourse in local television.” Today, PBS12 remains invigorated by the bold principles that launched the station 40 years ago. While platforms and technology continue to evolve, PBS12’s commitment to serving the Colorado community does not.

The legacy of our founders that included citizens, activists and media organizers, has guided us to this point. We still believe in critical thinking, alternative viewpoints, and we remain fierce champions of free speech and independence.

The early days of the station – then known as KBDI Channel 12 – were humble. Nostalgic stories abound, including an antenna literally made from an orange juice can! KBDI began its operations in a converted Quonset hut in a Broomfield industrial area in 1980. Master control and the production studio were jammed into adjoining garage stalls, while the station’s single edit suite was a little room framed out with a blanket hung as the door. You can read the full story on our station history page.

take a look at some station highlights

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In the Beginning
February 10, 1980. No one knew it back then, but a small group of television pioneers would change the face of Colorado television forever.
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First Broadcast
Flying hamburgers, duct tape, and hikes up Squaw Mountain. Join us as we reminisce about the very first broadcast over 40 years ago.
Home Movies & Teletunes
Celebrate two of the most beloved, innovative and offbeat shows that helped launch KBDI's popularity in the early years.
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Technical Difficulties
A brief history of the “BDI” and a host of technical difficulties that could never stop our passion or persistence!
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Pledge Llama
Fundraising, pledge, auction… cue the llama! Take a behind-the-scenes look at some early support drives full of fun and creativity.
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Channel 12 was started with undisciplined enthusiasm and indulgent idealism. The station's pioneers reflect on what made KBDI tick.
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Taking a Stand
KBDI pushed the door wide open for important social issues, including domestic violence, racism, environmental concerns and LGBTQ rights.
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Colorado Inside Out
A look back at our long-running series, Colorado Inside Out – an in-depth weekly analysis of Colorado current affairs.