WNET Launches Wavelength, a New Digital Content Sharing Platform for PBS Member Stations
The innovative new system launches with a free Veterans Content Sharing Initiative, focusing on veterans and their stories
WNET, parent company of New York’s public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, has announced the launch of Wavelength, a new digital content sharing platform for PBS member stations nationwide. In anticipation of the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Documentary, The Vietnam War (premiering in September 2017), the first strand of this new, easy-to-use platform, the Veterans Content Sharing Initiative, will focus on veterans and their stories, allowing stations to share local content about veterans, expand their programming and better serve their communities.
The new platform is modelled after the successful Arts and Culture Content Sharing Initiative and SciTech Now, both of which allow for full-show and segment content sharing among dozens of PBS stations nationwide.
“Collaboration is vital for the sustainability of the PBS system, and our Arts and Culture and SciTech Now initiatives have demonstrated that content sharing can enhance content offerings to the benefit of stations and audiences alike,” said Neal Shapiro, President & CEO of WNET. “Wavelength brings that concept to a new level and to a broader array of stations.”
The new Wavelength platform, which is available at no cost to PBS member stations nationwide, will allow stations to contribute and download local content that they can use on the air and online. Stations can customize content uploaded to the site for use in their market.
“PBS stations across the country, including WLIW21 and THIRTEEN, have been developing excellent programs and content in support of veterans and their families,” said Diane Masciale, Vice President & General Manager of WLIW21 and Executive Producer of Local Production. “This focus on veterans, coupled with the upcoming Vietnam War documentary from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, opened up a great opportunity for us to use Wavelength to help stations curate and localize meaningful, relevant content in a very cost-effective manner.”
In addition to the local content contributed by stations across the country, the initiative will include Legacies of War: Vietnam and Legacies of War: Coming Home, two fully produced half-hour documentaries produced by WLIW LLC, which will air in New York as companions to the national PBS broadcast of Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War. Stations who sign up for a free Wavelength membership will have the opportunity to download and localize these two documentaries, or air them as-is in their own markets at no cost to stations. Additionally the production team at WNET will curate playlists of to highlight different topics and trending content, including assets that are available in the public domain.
The Wavelength platform will also offer an online community forum where station representatives can collaborate, discuss their ideas and share their work.
For the Veterans Content Sharing System, Hillary Sieber, Sasha Schechter and Marisa Wong are producers; Diane Masciale is vice president and general manager of WLIW21 and executive producer of local production, including Wavelength and the content sharing initiatives. Neal Shapiro is executive in charge.
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.