Guest Columnist

Iowa Public Television: New name, same mission

IPTV becomes Iowa PBS on Jan. 1, 2020.

35th anniversary of Iowa Public Television

the mid-late-70s during a field production
35th anniversary of Iowa Public Television the mid-late-70s during a field production

As Iowa Public Television wraps up our 50th anniversary celebrations, we are preparing for inevitable change the next 50 years will bring. On Jan. 1, IPTV will change its name to Iowa PBS. Friends of IPTV Foundation will become Friends of Iowa PBS Foundation. Our new names and logo will better represent how we deliver our mission to educate, inform, enrich and inspire in today’s digital age. We believe “Iowa PBS” clearly conveys that we take our identity first from the state we are proud to serve and then from the network we are proud to deliver.

While this will be the fourth time we have officially changed our name, it will be the first time in 37 years. Why? Our future relies on our ability to be where you, our viewers, are watching and to be easily recognizable to all. We expect TV broadcasting to remain the preferred way to watch us for many in our viewing audience, but many more are also watching through services like Apple TV, Roku or YouTube TV. We believe this name change, which coincides with PBS’s recent brand update, will provide an exciting, fresh look that spans broadcast, mobile and digital.

We are joining many public television stations across the country in this move. More than 40 PBS network affiliates already include PBS in their names today, and according to PBS at least 70 percent of member stations will adopt their refreshed brand in 2020.

We know the investment, the good will and the trust Iowans have given this network over the years. We know we can count on your continued support, but we don’t take that support for granted. We want to assure you we are committed to remaining your locally owned and operated statewide network; and to bringing you the best in local arts, music, sports, entertainment and public policy programming. You may rest confidently in the knowledge that our mission, our vision and our service to Iowans will remain steadfast.

Our fast-paced and competitively driven industry demands we stay ahead of the technological curve. It is our great honor to lead our respective boards and work alongside remarkable public media professionals in our shared service to you. The future offers great opportunities for Iowa PBS. Together, we will meet the future ready for success.

Gary Steinke is president of the Iowa Public Broadcasting Board. Cathie Whiteside chairs the Iowa Public Television Foundation Board.

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