KCTS Television Programs
KCTS 9, a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member station, provides award-winning TV programming through three free digital channels: KCTS 9, Create and Vme. KCTS 9 has significantly advanced our goal to increase relevant, local content production that is especially meaningful for our regional audiences. Key partnerships contribute to KCTS 9 specials such as the documentaries When Seattle Invented the Future: The 1962 World’s Fair; Something in the Water, exploring the Seattle music scene; Wandering, which explored the high incidence of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease going missing; and Undamming the Elwha, chronicling the historic removal of the Elwha River dams.
KCTS 9 consistently provides expanded access to our local and national on-air programming via web streaming, in addition to producing web-only content. Examples include interviews with luminaries in the arts, public affairs, science, education, and literature, and video from numerous community events. In conjunction with national PBS programs, KCTS 9 features online content highlighting local stories; recent examples include local stories relating to Ken Burn’s newest series Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies, and American Experience’s Last Days in Vietnam. KCTS 9 uses social media to create interactive engagement opportunities with and among our viewers, as well as to collect vital feedback.
Community-Based Engagement and Outreach
In order to extend the reach and impact of our local and national on-air programming, each year KCTS 9 offers media services (e.g., screenings), educational opportunities and curriculum (digital storytelling workshops, teacher trainings and classroom materials) and collaborative activities (community summits, debates, Town Halls) to engage individuals and foster community, addressing a wide range of issues. KCTS 9 annually hosts the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive in partnership with PCC Natural Markets and our communities to benefit Wellspring Family Services, Queen Anne Helpline and Northwest Center. The 2015 Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive collected more than 10,000 pounds of clothing, surpassing all previous Sweater Drives.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Early childhood learning is a fundamental need in the communities we serve. KCTS 9 and PBS KIDS provide viewers with access to America’s largest classroom and most trusted children’s programming. This award-winning content focuses on critical early learning skills in math, science and literacy. Research demonstrates that when children enter kindergarten with a strong foundation in these disciplines, educational success follows. Unfortunately, most children in our community do not have access to a high-quality preschool program; PBS KIDS serves as a critical link.
he impact of KCTS 9’s media services has been measurably increased by successfully meeting our goal to create standards-aligned classroom materials and youth engagement. Our nationally distributed documentary The 1962 World’s Fair: When Seattle Invented the Future won an Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) Heritage Education Award for its educational curriculum created in a collaborative partnership. KCTS 9 locally distributes PBS LearningMedia, a free online classroom-ready library of PreK-12 standards-aligned curriculum materials, resources and digital assets.
KCTS 9 builds social and civic engagement. We are a trusted facilitator of public dialogue through our public affairs programs such as FRONTLINE, PBS NewsHour, Ask the Governor, election coverage and specials such as Latinos: The Changing Face of Washington. We feature regional current affairs programming like our IN Close series, tackling critical issues facing our region with the kind of depth and analysis found only on public television. Our participation in EarthFix, a multi-station, multi-platform collaboration, resulted in widespread regional coverage of several Pacific Northwest issues and national coverage including a PBS NewsHour report on the demise of starfish along the Pacific coastline that has had more than 1 million views online. And we are the last bastion of high-quality arts and entertainment programming such as Live From Lincoln Center, Austin City Limits, Great Performances and our own regional independent film series Reel NW.
Our most important need is support that enables KCTS 9 to tell more of our region’s most compelling stories, including those of national appeal—in arts & culture, civic engagement & public affairs, history & heritage, and science & the environment (STEM literacy - science, technology, engineering and math). This will allow us to share the distinctive stories of what we've faced, our unique accomplishments and the innovative solutions we seek: the stories that define us, bind us together and help shape our future.