A brief (but we think interesting) history lesson: in 1961, building upon a successful experiment in the demonstration of teaching by television at the elementary-secondary levels, which had been funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation, Vincent J. Thomas and the late Hunter B. Andrews, School Board Chairs of Norfolk and Hampton respectively, established WHRO-TV – by a handshake agreement! The Federal Communications Commission awarded a license to those two public school systems to operate Channel 15, Virginia's first non-commercial, educational television station.
Fifty years ago, no one could have imagined just how far that handshake would reach, but every school system, every student, educator and citizen of Hampton Roads have benefited from it. Today, WHRO is owned by 18 public school systems in Hampton Roads, and has grown into a vibrant public media company that promotes education, culture and citizenship through a wide variety of telecommunications services:
• We provide vital core educational services that are available in every classroom in the state, enhancing the educational experience for teacher and students alike, at significant savings for the schools, and the taxpayers!
• Viewers can tune in to broadcast programming on any of WHRO’s four television stations: WHRO-TV15 (15.1HD), WHRO WORLD (15.2), WHRO Kids (15.3) and WHRO Create (cable only).
• Radio listeners have eight options: WHRV 89.5FM and its two digital stations – SpeakEasy (89.5-2) and nTenna (89.5-3); WHRO 90.3FM and its two digital stations – Connoisseur Classics (90.3-2) and The 1920s Network (90.3-3); The WHRO Voice, a radio reading service featuring Hampton Roads’ two leading newspapers; and our newest service, Defenestration, an online music and art gallery.
WHRO’s growth is due in large part to the vision of extraordinary leaders – over the years, we’ve been fortunate to have some of the best and brightest minds in Hampton Roads on our Board of Directors. And we’ve had talented and enthusiastic employees – some of whom are still on staff after many years – like Andy Maxey, pictured here receiving well-deserved recognition for 45 years of service! He’s not alone – we’ve got staffers who’ve been with WHRO for 35 years, 30, 25 and so on.
Andy Maxey, pictured here receiving
well-deserved recognition for 45 years of service!
Bert Schmidt, WHRO President and CEO on his left.
But above all, we know that none of our success would have been possible without the support of the people of Hampton Roads. It’s your trust, your dollars, your time and your energy that have made this 50th anniversary possible. You’ll have lots of opportunities to celebrate with us throughout 2011, and we want to be sure you know that at the heart of every event, every program and every initiative is our deepest gratitude and appreciation.