CHARLOTTE — More changes are ahead for the public-television station WTVI.
On Monday, Central Piedmont Community College announced the station is going back to full-time PBS programming Monday and will go by the name, PBS Charlotte. It is a move the struggling channel hopes will generate more viewers and in turn funding. It is also in response to growing viewer demand for popular shows such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock.
The station will also continue to feature local programming, including a new Thursday night lineup with shows like Trail of History and Charlotte Cooks.
"We will be reaching more viewers and providing them what they say they wanted and we hope that this will certainly increase our viewership and membership drives," said Executive Vice-President at CPCC Kathy Drumm.
The switch will cost CPCC $200,000 annually. Drumm said that will be covered by grants, underwriting, and viewer support. CPCC acquired the station in July after WTVI fell into financial troubles.
There are currently two other channels in North Carolina and South Carolina that broadcast full PBS programming but officials say the new format is unique..
"In the Charlotte market, being as large as it is, deserves its own regional public television station. We think to do that best, will be with this full combination of full PBS programming plus our local shows,” said CPCC Public Information Officer Jeff Lowrance.
To date, the college has 22 full-time employees at the station. CPCC said it is working on expanding its broadcast program for its students.