[photo, Maryland Public Television, 11767 Owings Mills Blvd., Owings Mills, Maryland] The Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission began in 1966, when the General Assembly established the Maryland Educational-Cultural Television Commission (Chapter 202, Acts of 1966). In 1967, the Commission 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 of State, regional and local facilities 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 24-207).


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 transmission stations:

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.

MPT offers four distinct channels including: MPT-HD (PBS & MPT-produced programs & specials); MPT2-HD (Create® TV, including lifestyle programs, independent documentaries & series, & encore presentations of PBS & MPT programs); MPT3 (PBS KIDS, children's programming); and MPT4 (NHK World - Japan, Asia-centered programming in English).


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.


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 three departments: Early Childhood Education Services, Educational Media, and Pre-K-12 Professional Development.


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

The Technology 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.

Under the Division are five departments: Facilities, Information Technology Services, Production and Maintenance, Production Services, and Transmission and Distribution.


Under Operations are the Content Division and the Development Division.

Since October 1, 2017, the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission has had a program for the continual, economical and efficient management of its records. The Commission's Records Officer develops and oversees the program, and serves as liaison to the Records Management Division of the Department of General Services, and to the State Archives (Chapter 539, Acts of 2017; Code State Government Article, secs. 10-608 through 10-611).


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.

Two departments fall under the Division: Local Production Funding, and Programming and Acquisitions.


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.

For Maryland Public Television, the Development Division secures financial support from members, donors, and foundations; develops and manages all fundraising; and 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 six departments: Audience Engagement, Corporate Support, Digital Fundraising, Fundraising and Development Productions, Major and Planned Giving, and Membership.

Under the Development Division, Audience Engagement originated as Special Events and Community Engagement, and adopted its present name in September 2019.

Audience Engagement is responsible for member and viewer communications by phone, email, and web; fundraising events, grant-funded activities, station tours, outreach functions, and overall engagement with Maryland Public Television viewers.

Under Audience Engagement are two units: Special Events and Community Engagement, and Member and Viewer Services.

Formerly under the Content Division, Corporate Support transferred to the Development Division in July 2019.

Through corporate sponsorships or underwriting, Corporate Support enables corporations and nonprofit groups to deliver messages to Maryland Public Television audiences.

In August 2019, Digital Fundraising formed as a department under the Development Division.

Digital fundraising uses digital assets to reach and increase the number of people watching Maryland Public Television, and to provide more opportunities for donors to support Maryland stations.

The Major and Planned Giving department solicits and stewards charitable donations to Maryland Public Television. These include gifts of $1,200 or more; grants to the MPT Foundation, Inc.; and planned gifts, which are made through a donor's estate.

The Membership department raises funds from individual donors, and processes and acknowledges all charitable donations received.

Under the Development Division, On-Air Fundraising and Development Productions started as On- Air Fundraising. It reformed as Fundraising and Development Productions in May 2015, and later acquired its current name.

On-Air Fundraising and Development Productions schedules and produces on-air fundraising pledge drives, and promotional spots for other Division departments. It also produces full-length programs used as fundraising specials, and virtual pledge breaks used by public television stations nationwide.

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