Public Broadcasting in San Francisco

Looking for something to watch on TV, or something on the radio to listen to while doing holiday chores? Today we have an overwhelming number of media networks to choose from. No matter how many choices there are, our local San Francisco Public Broadcasting Station, KQED, is often a great choice for both television and radio programs. KQED TV went on the air on April 5, 1954, as the sixth public television station in the United States. KQED FM radio followed in 1969 as the radio partner for the television station.

The late 1960s was an important time to see news and learn about local events. In addition to the public affairs shows, you may be surprised to know that our hometown bands, ones that are now considered iconic, made appearances on KQED. Here is a clip of Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, performing in the KQED studio:

KQED FM first aired news from National Public Radio and on-the-street interviews live from locations in the City. In 1970, “An Hour with Pink Floyd,” the English rock band known for their psychedelic sound, aired. The hour long program was recorded without an audience in the station’s studio. It was only broadcast once more in 1981.

Anyone who watches public broadcasting is familiar with the “pledge breaks,” the constant fundraising that takes place to support the stations. It costs more than $100 million a year to operate Northern California Public Broadcasting, the umbrella owner of our KQED, KQET, and KQEH television outlets and KQED FM and KQEI radio outlets. All are 501-C3 charities accepting donations. If you want a peek behind the scenes, check out:

If you enjoy watching or listening to PBS, perhaps you could include them in your holiday gift list, buying a membership for your family or as a gift for a friend.

And one more tidbit for San Francisco history buffs. The guy pitching for donations in the clip above is Greg Sherwood, son of San Francisco’s favorite radio personality in the 1950s and 1960s, Don Sherwood.

Best wishes,