Panhandle PBS goes ‘back to the vault’

panhandle pbs

By KYLER KUYKENDALL, Staff Reporter ¦

Panhandle PBS is celebrating its 30th anniversary by bringing back classic documentaries made in the Texas Panhandle. Every Thursday from Sept. 6 to Dec. 27, Panhandle PBS will air one of their classic local documentaries.

The station began broadcasting in the Amarillo area in 1988. Building off the national PBS programming, they began to air documentaries about the Panhandle.

“Everyone knows PBS and the programs they provide, but Panhandle PBS has a rich history of local content that we have made right here,” Kyle Arrant, director of operations, said. “The documentaries and conversations about things that happen in our community are what set us apart from the national PBS.”

While the 30-year milestone inspired the organization to look at the past, it also led the station to look to the future. With a growing number of households cutting cable, Panhandle PBS saw an opportunity to expand its reach.

“In this day and age, you can watch anything you want anytime you want. Families go to Netflix or Google to watch shows. We want to meet our community where they are and provide the local, relevant content we are trusted for on these new platforms,” Arrant said.

The mission of Panhandle PBS is to air quality content that educates, enlightens, entertains and empowers people in the local community. One of their target audiences is the children in the Texas Panhandle.

“We air over 10 hours of noncommercial, nonviolent children’s programming every single day. Getting programs such as ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ and ‘Sesame Street’ into kids’ lives is what makes it all worth it,” Arrant said.

Some AC students who watched Panhandle PBS as children said the station had a positive impact on them. 

“It’s important that kids have quality educational content that is made with kids in mind. It’s more relatable and easier to understand,” Dillion Talbott, a general studies major, said.

PBS also goes beyond programming by hosting events such as the Yellow City Sounds Music Festival for the community and outreach programs for children.

“We have partnered up with local organizations like the Amarillo Public Library to bring some of the kids’ favorite characters to outreach and engagement activities. Seeing a kid’s eyes light up in an educational environment is my favorite part of my job,” Arrant said.

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