Little Rock Look Back: AETN goes on the air

Happy 50th Birthday to AETN!

On December 4, 1966, AETN officially went on the air and launched what has been 50 years of arts, history, and educational programming.

KETS, the flagship station, broadcast only in black and white from 1966 until 1972. The focus was only in Central Arkansas until other stations started going on the air in 1976. Today there are a total of six PBS affiliate stations in Arkansas covering not only the entire state, but also portions of the surrounding states.

In the early days, the programming was focused in instructional supplements to teachers.  From 1966 to 1970, AETN was affiliated with the National Educational Television network.  With the advent of PBS, AETN’s programming expanded as many other public television offerings were available.

AETN has brought the best of Broadway, opera houses, ballet, and symphonic halls into houses in Arkansas.  It has broadcast sweeping historical programs which have educated, enlightened and entertained audiences.  The educational programming has nurtured creativity in budding artists.

Quite simply, without AETN, the cultural landscape of Arkansas would be vastly different.