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Video: Richard Heffner recalls the launch of THIRTEEN 47 years ago

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
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On September 16, 1962, THIRTEEN first signed on the air, marking the birth of a unique source of outstanding television for the New York metropolitan area and viewers all across America. Nearly half a century later, the adventure continues. On the occasion of this 47th anniversary, Rafael Pi Roman interviews the station’s Founding General Manager, Richard D. Heffner.


  • Laura Sampson

    Congratulations, WNET — Love this video.
    I volunteer for Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver and we are approaching our 54th year (1956). Seeing the “origins” of your station is fantastic.
    At Rocky Mountain PBS, we have created an entirely volunteer-run archive group of about 40 volunteers who are archiving our history through video, stills, memorabilia, research, and oral history interviews. Should you ever want to know more about our project, you can reach us at SAM@rmpbs.org (Station’s Archived Memories). Again, my congratulations to you. You send us absolutely wonderful PBS programming that makes a difference in my life and that of so many many others EVERY single day.

  • Marilyn Goodman

    I’ve been a viewer from the outset and a member since I returned from graduate school to my first job in the New York region. But let us not forget the early (c. 1960), independent Channel 13 that became WNET. I don’t remember its call letters, but I believe watching “The Play of the Week” turned an adolescent who already loved Broadway musicals into one who loved serious theatre as well.

    We New Yorkers were so fortunate to have quality public television so early, long before there was PBS.