Pearl Municipal Broadcasting (PMB) is its tenth season of producing and distributing educational, governmental, and local programming serving the City of Pearl and the surrounding areas. Pearl is the first Mississippi city to own a radio station and one of only a few to operate a television station that keeps citizens informed, broadcasts City events, and offers Pearl High and Hinds Community College students hands-on experience in its state-of-the-art studio at 2422 Old Brandon Road or in its Mobile Production Unit.
“We strive to provide positive entertainment programming, respond to community needs, address local government issues, and help bring education into the home,” said Frank Hutton, City of Pearl IT and Communications Director. “Our goal is to foster a sense of community in the City of Pearl and its neighboring communities through the use of our cable channel along with our low power FM radio station, WPBP 104.5 FM.”
In addition to keeping the City’s 300 employees’ computers up and running, Hutton along with his two-person crew, Greg Cupstid and Josh Hamby, a student at Hinds, cover regular board meetings, every ribbon cutting, parades, plays and high school athletics. Also, they manage 24/7 online streaming at www.cityofpearl.com.
PMBtv20 is carried locally on Comcast Cable channel 20 and on channel 99 on AT&T Uverse. Founded in 1998, PMBtv started as an information only channel running multiple VCR's and PowerPoints listing current events inside the City of Pearl. Since, PMBtv has evolved into a fully functioning television station broadcasting live events, Pearl High School sports, as well as professionally-produced programs. Similar to Mississippi Educational Television, the Pearl station offers underwriting instead of advertising.
Pearl is the first Mississippi city to own a radio station. WPAP radio station is broadcast on channel 104.5 on the FM dial. "The Pirate," celebrated its first year in operation in May of 2012, reaches from Jackson, Ridgeland, Castlewoods, and Brandon to Florence. Broadcasting high atop our tower located at Center City, the station broadcasts a variety of music from yesterday’s favorites to today's biggest hits. It is the home for all Pearl High School Athletic events to include football, baseball, basketball, and more.
“The Pirate,” which has the slogan “we play everything, well almost,” plays every genre of music including Top 40, classic rock, contemporary country, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and alternative rock. Weekly shows include the Frank Hutton Radio Show broadcast Wednesday at 4 p.m. for two hours; Defining Moments with Larry Nix, Thursday 11-12; Retro in the Metro Rob Vanzant plays 80s hairband music Thursday at 4 p.m.; Dirty House of Rock with Crash featuring local rock musicians; The Underground contemporary Christian rock and roll Saturday 9 p.m. to midnight; and After Dark, overnight every night.
According to Hutton, PMB has the same equipment and studio as tier one network television stations like CBS, ESPN or Fox, just on a smaller scale. Despite their size, they have been set the bar for school broadcasts, being the first station in the State of Mississippi to broadcast live on television, the internet and Facebook. Tune in to find out what’s coming next.