PBS12 Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Independent PBS station launched to provide alternative programming and viewpoints to Colorado; remains committed to that promise.

Denver (April 1, 2020) – PBS12, formerly Colorado Public Television, CPT12, is celebrating 40 years of offering an alternative menu of PBS, independent, and international programming.

It all began in a garage in Broomfield with an idea to "broaden the local discourse in local television," said Kim Johnson, President and General Manager. "Today, with our new name, PBS12, four decades of service, and the multitude of lessons we have learned, we remain invigorated by the principles that launched us 40 years ago and we’re more agile for today’s evolving media landscape."

Recently PBS12 invested in operations infrastructure in order to better serve our community including installing new transmitters serving viewers outside of Denver and integrating new software systems designed to respond to viewers and members in more efficient and effective ways.

"Our legacy of founders that included citizens, activists and media organizers guides us to this day," continued Johnson. "We still believe in critical thinking, alternative viewpoints, and we remain fierce champions of free speech and independence."

PBS12 continues to program four distinct channels that appeal to foodies, rebels, travelers, families, change makers and the curious. Global citizens have a 24/7 international home at PBS12.3 with DW (Deutsche Welle) along with NHK World Japan, now presented in high definition on 12.4. We've infused more international content onto its primary channel, 12.1, weekdays at 10 p.m. for those who interested in the context of international news to our local and national programming.

The early days of the station, then known as KBDI Channel 12, were humble. KBDI began its operations in a converted Quonset hut in a Broomfield industrial area in 1980. Within the small warehouse-like building, 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.

"There are really funny stories from the early days about an antenna literally made from an orange juice can," Johnson added. "The resolve of our founders and earliest employees is remarkable. It’s hard to articulate the differences from our beginnings to our modern-day operations with high definition and state-of-the-art cameras and other equipment."

From those early days, to the moving of the station to Denver, and eventually to the Five Points Media Center in the Historic Five Points Neighborhood in 1994, PBS12 has been proud to bring programming from global and local perspectives to the Colorado audience.

The station’s 40-year history includes the longest running public affairs program in Colorado history, Colorado Inside Out, which made its debut in 1992 and a long legacy of cutting-edge music programming. PBS12’s legacy in music began with Teletunes in the 1980’s which preceded MTV, and continues with Sounds on 29th, now in its 8th season.

A full history of PBS12 is available online here and a 40th anniversary celebration is available here.

PBS12 is on-air on channel 12 (over-the-air and on DirecTV and Dish) on Comcast channel 660 in Denver and throughout Northern Colorado and Mountain communities. In Colorado Springs and Pueblo, PBS12 is on channel 12 (over-the-air) and on Comcast channel 712. Online, PBS12 is available at PBS12.org, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and on-demand at video.PBS12.org.