You Loved Us Then / You’ll Love Us Now

You Loved Us Then / You’ll Love Us Now

CET and ThinkTV have been serving our communities for more than 60 years, bringing educational and public television content to homes (and, more recently, mobile devices) across Southwest Ohio. Our little family of stations has been through a lot – changes in names, programming, technology, buildings, formats and many other aspects of our operations – and, through it all, we’ve remained committed to bringing much-needed programming to our community.

Public television is one of those things that has remained a constant in the US for decades… so much so that it’s easy to take it for granted. Public television hasn’t always been there and the future is always unknown. Did you know that most of our budget comes from donations from our members – truly Viewers Like You? It’s true! While public media organizations do receive tax dollars, it amounts to about $1.40 per year, per American.

As we continue to grow and evolve, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at where we started, where we are now, and how we got here!


CET (Cincinnati Educational Television) first hit the air on July 26, 1954 as the nation’s first educational television station with a special reading program called Tel-A-Story from the Cincinnati Library. That’s right, CET holds the first ever educational television license – it’s literally license #1.

At the time, CET was based out of Cincinnati’s Music Hall. But instead of a full studio space, they were operating out of a converted closet on the third floor. In fact, they remained in their borrowed space at Music Hall until 1959, at which point they took over the studios that once belonged to WLWT, until eventually moving to the Crosley Telecommunications Center, where it operates to this day.

As CET continued to grow, so did the world of public television and broadcasting, as PBS began introducing new shows and ideas to an ever evolving landscape of information. In 1968, Ellis Haizlip’s SOUL! premiered on public television as America’s first Black variety show. And in 1973, PBS aired the first reality show – An American Family – when camera crews set out to chronicle the lives of Bill and Pat Loud and their children. CET was also the first station to premiere a 24/7 arts channel – CET Arts.

CET has been on the air ever since that day in 1954 (except for that time when our transmitter went down!) but the broadcast itself hasn’t always been the same. As technology has evolved, so has broadcasting. On May 1 2009, as the world moved deeper into the digital age, CET ended its analog broadcast service and switched over to serving the community with digital broadcasting, cable and online services.

Coming Together

CET and ThinkTVjoined together in 2009 as one big happy public broadcasting family known as Public Media Connect. Both stations continued to operate almost independently until 2010, when the Master Control operations for both stations moved to Dayton, where their team oversees the operations of both markets.


CET has grown into so much more than just a single station of educational television and not a day goes by when we aren’t challenging ourselves to serve our communities and our audiences. Whether it’s on-the-air or online, we always want to be that constant source of entertainment, information and community that we’ve strived to be since we first hit the airwaves.

We’re so glad you’ve been with us on this adventure so far and we’re excited for you to join us as we keep moving down the road to the next one, because every day is a new adventure at CET!