For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


Rochester, New York (September 17, 2008) – WXXI invites the community to celebrate the founding of public broadcasting in Rochester on Saturday, September 27, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when it opens its doors at 280 State Street in downtown Rochester for a special 50th Anniversary Open House. The event is free and open to the public (with free parking in Kodak’s lot directly across from the station).

WXXI/PBS characters like Super WHY!’s Whyatt Beanstalk, Curious George, Martha from Martha Speaks, the Big Red Dog and the Big Yellow Bird will welcome kids of all ages to a day of fun. Guests will also have a chance to meet WXXI radio and TV hosts, learn more about the DTV transition, talk with the program director about PBS’s upcoming fall season, walk the sets of Homework Hotline and Assignment: The World (also celebrating its 50th season) and listen to one of WXXI’s OnStage artists perform.

In 1958 a group of educators, community leaders and concerned citizens came together to form the Rochester Area Educational Television Association (RAETA), which would later become WXXI. The station is proud to celebrate, on Saturday, September 27, those members of RAETA who devoted countless hours to the regulatory hearings, court battles and fundraising necessary to create the institution that would become WXXI.

The station's first few years were dedicated to producing instructional television programs for elementary school students. The studios were located in the old East High School and programs were produced in the gym, with airtime borrowed from commercial stations. In 1958, Assignment: The World became the first educational series WXXI produced.~ Fifty years later, the program is the longest-running instructional program on television and is broadcast nationwide.

Today, WXXI provides the community with not one television channel, but five. With its digital signal WXXI brings viewers WXXI-HD, WXXI-Create (with great travel, cooking and lifestyle programs), WXXI-ThinkBright (providing New York State history and culture, along with educational programming for the general public) and WXXI-World (news, information, dialogue and documentaries.) Those channels are in addition to WXXI-TV 21, which continues to provide a primetime schedule rich in public affairs, science programs, history and the arts (plus a daytime children’s schedule of programming that is considered the safest and most trusted on television today). WXXI also hosts a handful of radio services that include NPR news, music stations that range from classical to eclectic, as well as a radio reading service for people with visual impairments.

For more about the open house, visit <>.

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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