PBS Hawaii Celebrates 40 Years

Ed McNulty
Ed McNulty

(KHNL) - It entertains and educates.

PBS Hawaii has provided local viewers with everything from Sesame Street to the Antiques Roadshow.

And now it's celebrating a big milestone.

The station is marking its 40th year on air.

Broadcasting began in 1966 when the station was called Hawaii ETV and was located in the cafeteria of the UH Lab School.

Program Director Ed McNulty says for four decades, PBS Hawaii has brought viewers quality shows. It's a tradition he's proud of, but it hasn't been easy.

"I remember doing programs in here where they were rolling a big drum, to bring credits," said McNulty.

Technology isn't the only change that PBS Hawaii has survived. Funding has been another hurdle.

PBS Hawaii was funded by the state until about 5 years ago. It takes $6 million to run the station and now, that comes from the federal government, a variety of businesses and from the viewers.

"In the heyday of public television which was in the 80's, we had 180 people on staff and now we're running the organization with 28," said Becky Dunning, vice president of development.

Although the station has downsized to stay on air, officials don't see any more cutbacks in the near future. Instead, they see steady growth and the same educational and entertaining programs that viewers have enjoyed.

And there's another change PBS Hawaii is getting ready for.

Officials say they're close to hiring a new president for the station.