MARYLAND PUBLIC BROADCASTING COMMISSION

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


[photo, Maryland Public Television, 11767 Owings Mills Blvd., Owings Mills, Maryland] The Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission began in 1966 as the Maryland Educational-Cultural Television Commission (Chapter 202, Acts of 1966). In 1967, it was restructured as the Maryland Educational-Cultural Broadcasting Commission (Chapter 645, Acts of 1967). The Commission became the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission in 1969 (Chapter 405, Acts of 1969). Later that year, public television in Maryland first was broadcast from Owings Mills.

Maryland Public Television, 11767 Owings Mills Blvd., Owings Mills, Maryland, January 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


A system for educational and cultural television programming throughout Maryland is developed, operated, and maintained by the Commission. The Commission also is responsible for the preparation, content, and presentation of programs for the general public and, with the approval of the
State Board of Education, for use in the public schools. The Commission also is authorized to develop radio programming (Code Education Article, sec. 24-205). In addition, the Commission holds the federal license for broadcasting stations operated by Maryland Public Television (MPT).

The Commission's eleven members are appointed for five-year terms by the Governor. Two members are nominated by the State Board of Education. One member is the State Superintendent of Schools. The Governor names the chair and vice-chair (Code Education Article, secs. 24-201 through 24-206).


MARYLAND PUBLIC TELEVISION

Maryland Public Television (MPT) is the educational and cultural television system for Maryland. Affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Maryland Public Television broadcasts from Owings Mills to six digital channels:

In 2004, Maryland Public Television began to offer both analog and digital transmission. By June 12, 2009, federal law required that all full-power television stations broadcast only in digital format (Digital Television Transition & Public Safety Act of 2005, P.L. 109-171). To free up frequencies for police, fire and emergency rescue communications, MPT stopped all analog broadcasting on that date.

In 2017, MPT launched two additional channels and currently offers four distinct channels including: MPT-HD; MPT2-HD (Create® TV); MPT3 (PBS KIDS); and MPT4 (NHK World).


OFFICE OF PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

The work of the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission is overseen by the President and Chief Executive Officer aided by the Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. Commission work is conducted by four divisions: Content; Development; Education; and Technology.

EDUCATION DIVISION

The Education Division began as the Education and Telecommunications Department. In 1999, it became Education and Interactive Media, and in 2000 reorganized as Community Learning Ventures under the Division of Content. Renamed Education and Community Outreach Department in 2001, it reformed as Education Division in 2004.

Educational services to all Marylanders are provided by the Division through programs, such as community preview screenings; distribution of licensed content from other public broadcasting organizations; and expanded on-air and on-line information. For students and their families, educators, and schools, the Division develops programs with educational content. Division programs serve all ages and degrees of educational achievement, from preschool through college, as well as life-long learners.

To community organizations and schools, the Division's Video Lending Library makes available copies of quality programming and related discussion materials.

The Division directs four departments: Early Childhood Education Services; Educational Marketing and Outreach; Educational Media; and K-12 Professional Development.


TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

Functions of the Technology Division originated from the Administrative and Engineering Division from which the Technology Division was carved in 2004.

The Division oversees the technical production of broadcast programming. At six transmitters throughout the State, it also maintains transmission and communications, and ensures that equipment and infrastructure perform around the clock.

The Technology Division is responsible for Facilities; Information Technology Services; Production and Maintenance; Production Services; and Transmission and Distribution.


CONTENT DIVISION

By 2000, the Content Division originated as the Division of Content, and reformed as the Content Enterprises Division in 2002. It reorganized as the Content Division in 2004, returned to its former name of Content Enterprises Division in 2010, and was again renamed as the Content Division in 2011.

The Division administers the creation and broadcast of ongoing television series, as well as one-time documentaries or specials, for viewers in Maryland, parts of contiguous states and the District of Columbia. The Division also manages programming of MPT channels, seeks production funding and underwriting, and serves as liaison to independent producers and program distributors.

Under the Division are three departments: Corporate Support, Local Production Funding, and Programming.


DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

Functions of the Development Division originated in the Marketing and Development Division which from 2001 to 2003 was renamed the Marketing, Development, and Education Division. By 2003, it reorganized as the Development Division. In 2006, it became the Institutional Advancement Division, and returned to its former name of Development Division in 2011.

As the primary revenue producer for Maryland Public Television, the Division secures financial support from members, donors, and foundations. All fundraising activities are developed and managed by the Division, which oversees day-to-day operations of the MPT Foundation, Inc. The Division also conducts special events and other community engagement activities to link its stations to communities throughout Maryland.

Under the Division are four departments: Major and Planned Giving; Membership; On-Air Fundraising; and Special Events and Community Engagement.


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