WQED in Pittsburgh is launching what looks to be the first pubTV multicast channel in the nation dedicated to all pledge programming, all the time.
WQED Showcase "will include local pledge programming that has previously aired on the main channel, as well as national pledge programming that we were not able to schedule on the main channel due to space limitations," George Hazimanolis, spokesperson for the Pittsburgh station, told Current.
And, yes, "viewers will be asked to make a contribution to WQED just like on any other pledge program," Hazimanolis said.
The new channel "will be another way for WQED to maximize revenue so that we can continue to fulfill our core educational mission to this community," said Deborah Acklin, station president, in a statement.
In addition, WQED Showcase will be a testing ground for national pledge shows from American Public Television, Acklin said.
Local content will include popular shows such as QED Cooks with Chris Fennimore and Rick Seback's documentaries. The channel goes on the air later this fall.