WGBHThis is a featured page

Logo descriptions by AsdfTheRevival and others
Logo captures courtesy of MSTS1 and others
Video courtesy of
Tlogos, danf62465, NantoVision2, superpooper180, JohnnyL80, DudeThatLogo, and youngleader610 (Mr.Logo)
Editions by Hoa, MrThorax281, KirbyGuy2001 and StephenCezar15

Background: WGBH is a PBS affiliate located in Boston, Massachusetts and was first aired on May 2, 1955 (though they never had a logo until 1972). The network is owned by the WGBH Educational Foundation.

1st Logo
(January 3, 1972-September 1977)

WGBH Boston - CLG WikiWGBH - CLG WikiWGBH - CLG WikiWGBH - CLG WikiWGBH - CLG Wiki

: "Zooming WGBH", "WGBH of Doom", "Zooming Letters (of Doom)"

Logo: Against a dark green background, the letters WGBH in yellow in a generic Helvetica font quickly zoom back, away from the viewer to the vanishing
point. Then the word "Boston," also in yellow, zooms forward really fast, taking up the whole screen and creating a yellow background. And finally, the word "Presents" zooms forward at a fast pace, in dark green.

  • A black & white version first appeared on March 3, 1974. In this one, "WGBH" and "Boston" are both black, and "Presents" is white. This can be seen on very early episodes of NOVA.
  • On early episodes of NOVA, sometimes "Presents" would zoom forward as always, but superimposed against the opening cinematic.
  • On The French Chef, the logo is superimposed over a slanted flag of France against a blue BG, animation and all.
  • On season 3 of NOVA, everything that is supposed to be green in the logo is blue.
  • A brown and white version exists.

: The zooming of the words.

Cheesy Factor: Simple animation. Additionally, "The 'French Chef'' variant with the transition from ''Boston'' to ''Presents'' looks awkward: the ''Boston'' moves upward to not fill the screen in this one.

Music/Sounds: The long, full version of the jingle. It consists of a choppy, futuristic synth, followed by a rising synth violin stinger. Most likely produced on a Moog synthesizer.

Music/Sounds Variant: The jingle is often sometimes played at a slower speed. Sometimes, the B&W version of this logo has a higher pitch.

Availability: Extremely rare, as programming from this era is usually no longer rerun. The French Chef variant recently showed up when WGBH-2 in Boston, MA had a marathon of old episodes of The French Chef on Christmas day, 2011. Otherwise, tape-trading is the only way to see it, or you could find this logo on older WGBH programming, assuming it isn't plastered with a later logo.

Scare Factor: High to nightmare. The high-contrast colors, extreme "V of Doom"-style zoom-ins, and that eerie synth music would have been sure to unnerve many people. Especially for those who aren't used t
o it.

2nd Logo
(September 1977-January 1982)

Nicknames: "The 2"

Logo: We see a large number "2" in a different situation. Next to the "2", is the name of the show coming up next.

Variants: There are many variants depending on the show:
  • About the House: The "2" is made of wood.
  • The Ascent of Man: The white "2" is tilting on a black background.
  • The Way It Was: The "2" is wearing a football uniform with the number "2" on it.

: None.

Music/Sounds: An announcer saying "(show's name) is coming up on WGBH-2".

Availability: Can be found on old WGBH programming from that time.

Scare Factor: None.
It's tamer than the last logo, but it gets scary again with the next logo...

3rd Logo
(September 1977- 2009)
WGBH Boston - CLG WikiWGBH Boston (1994)WGBH - CLG WikiWGBH 2 (1980s)WGBH (1978)
WGBH (1991)

Nicknames: "The Neon Sign", "Flash of Doom", "WGBH Outline", "The Flash From Hell","Flash Of Final Judgement"

Trivia: Their slogan up to 1982 was "Public Television. It's better than ever."

Logo: Here are the main variants of this logo:
  • Version I: On a black background, two orange lines of "electricity" form two, orange, 2D "shadows", one on top and one on bottom. Then the lines form an orange outline of "WGBH" in between the "shadows". The lines stop, and an orange flash starts behind the outline. The flash clears out "WGBH" as "Boston Presents" appears in an orange Helvetica font. The "Boston Presents" logo was a bumper used at the beginning of the show.
  • Version II: Similar to the other logo, but usually with the "WGBH" logo already formed as it fades in, and then the flash occurs and the word "BOSTON" appears below the logo in an orange Art Deco font.

: There are many variants in terms of the music and the announcer:
  • 1978-1986: Long music, no announcer, complete animation, has "Boston Presents".
  • 1986-1993: Short music, no announcer, abridged animation, has "Boston Presents".
  • 1993-: Short music, logo already formed, no announcer.
  • 1993-: Short music, logo already formed, with an announcer.
  • 1993?-: Short music, complete (sped-up) animation, and no announcer, but the logo itself has been digitally enhanced. The version used as a station ID has the logo zooming in a bit, and another version had the PBS logo appearing in its place and shining with an announcer saying "You're watching WGBH Boston.".
  • 1998-: On Mystery! and Masterpiece Theatre, the announcer has a British accent.
  • 1999-2002: On the revival of Zoom, a kid on the show voices-over, w/ short music. Starting in 2002, there would be no announcer and it would just have the music.
  • 2002-: Short music, complete (sped-up) animation, with announcer.
  • Sometimes, the closing theme of the show will play over this logo. This can be seen on pre-2009 episodes of Arthur and Between the Lions.
  • 1993-: A version can occasionally be spotted in which the "glowing" animation is played, but no text appears.
  • A version has been seen with abridged animation, no voice-over, and slightly lower-pitched music.
  • On later episodes of Arthur, the byline "WGBH is a trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation" in shown below written in the Arthur font.
  • An in-credit version of the logo has been spotted on Antiques Roadshow, which simply shows the orange WGBH logo at the bottom of the screen.
  • Sometimes, the WGBH logo flashes into the PBS "Black P-Head Circle" logo, which shines.
  • Another in-credit version had the WGBH logo in white, sometimes with "A presentation of" "Boston" above and below the logo, respectively. Others just show "Boston" or not at all, and it may or may not contain copyright info below.
  • Yet another in-credit variant was spotted on some early '90s episodes of Masterpiece Theatre, which shows the logo (in gold) inscribed on a book used in the end credits in gold with "Boston" and some copyright info below.
  • 2007-: On some episodes of Postcards With Buster, it features the red phrase "BOSTON" fading in and zooming in slowly until the flash dies down. Other episodes have a shortened version of the textless WGBH logo.
  • There is a still blue print version of the logo with "BOSTON" in white on Curious George (the 2006 series).
  • Another local version used in the 1980s begins with a blue flash, followed by an orange 2 written in the same style as the WGBH logo zooming up. No music or sounds play here.

: The lines of electricity, the flash.

Cheesy Factor: The flash and light effects are typical of CGI in the Scanimate era of the '70s and early '80s.

Music/Sounds: The original 1972 music, used to this day (which adds to the creepiness). There have been two versions, a long version and a short version. The entire seven-second jingle is used as the long version, and is in much better sound quality and plays at the correct speed. The short version features only the rising synth chord, and is much more common nowadays. Sometimes, an announcer will say "A production of WGBH Boston." or "(show's name) is a production of WGBH Boston". The "Kids" variant has the short version of the jingle followed by the sound of laughing children, or the ending of the show's theme.

Availability: Common. Can be seen in its various versions on many PBS shows. The 1993 version with the short music and no announcer has recently been sighted on early episodes of Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. The "Boston Presents" version can be found on video and may also show up on WGBH shows produced from 1982-1993 if your station has older prints. It also appears on new PBS shows like Martha Speaks (the 2008 series). The still version can be seen on Curious George (the 2006 series). The original unabridged version can be seen on videocassettes and DVDs of their 1979 miniseries The Scarlet Letter, all of which also preserve the 1971 PBS logo.

Scare Factor: High to nightmare for the early variant, medium to high for the 1993 & 2002 variants, none for the in-credit variants, and low to medium for the kids variant. This logo has scared many with its dark colors, eerie animation, and that dated synth music (though it may be less scary for those who are used to seeing it). None for the still variant.

4th Logo
(September 30, 1991-October 4, 1996)

: We see a small Earth globe against a starry sky quickly rotate around counterclockwise, and the words "WQED" (in yellow) with "PITTSBURGH" (in white) below slowly rotate around clockwise, followed by "WGBH" (in yellow) with "BOSTON" (in white) below.

FX/SFX: The rotating globe and letters.

  • September 30, 1991-December 25, 1992: The introduction to the theme playing repeatedly throughout coupled with Lynne Thigpen saying "Today's caper is presented by WQED Pittsburgh and WGBH Boston".
  • September 27, 1993-October 4, 1996: The end theme of the show with Lynne Thigpen saying "This program is presented by WQED Pittsburgh and WGBH Boston".

: Extinct. Only seen on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, which is hardly, if ever, re-ran.

Scare Factor: None.

5th Logo
(2001- )

Logo: A brief flash shows us uncolored pipes. Suddenly, gold beams fly through them, as the camera pans around, following it. The camera then pans and
zooms outward, revealing the now-completed WGBH logo in a neon format as it flashes bright like the 1982 logo. The logo goes dim as a neon number "2" [the channel number] lights up in a bluish-white color for about 3 seconds and goes out.

Variant: Also seen with affiliate stations in a black typeface on the bottom of the logo.

FX/SFX: Very nice CGI for the early 2000s.

Music/Sounds: The famous synth WGBH theme. When the WGBH logo flashes, Jim Birdsall, who has done work for CNBC and NBC stations KING and KGW in Seattle and Portland, says "WGBH BOSTON!!". Finally, a humming sound is heard when the "2" appears.

Availability: Only seen as a local station ID.

Scare Factor: Medium to high, considering the infamous theme and the fact that other than the neon, it's pitch black. The male's voice-over might startle a few.

6th Logo
(2008- )

WGBH (2008)
Nicknames: "The Neon Sign II", "WGBH Outline II", "Flash of Doom II"

Logo: It's an updated variant of 3rd logo. The drawing and lighting effects are smoother an more refined, with light residue coming off of the logo when it flashes. The flash is also brighter than usual, and the WGBH logo zooms in while it's drawn, and dims out when the logo is done.

FX/SFX: The drawing and lighting effects, as well as the usual flash.

Music/Sounds: The shortened variant of the 1972 music, which sounds remixed a little bit.

Availability: Seen on new episodes of WGBH programming.

Scare Factor: Medium to high, as elements from the 3rd logo are still present, despite it being redone. However, it is refreshing to see a makeover of this famous (or infamous) logo.

Latest page update: made by StephenCezar15 , Today, 5:00 PM EDT (about this update About This Update StephenCezar15 I will add a WGBH Kids page. - StephenCezar15

2 words added
1 word deleted

view changes

- complete history)
Keyword tags: pbs wgbh boston
More Info: links to this page
Started By Thread Subject Replies Last Post
AnimeTVLogos Anyone Remember This Ident? 3 Jun 18 2014, 9:12 AM EDT by AnimeTVLogos
Thread started: Jun 8 2014, 7:46 AM EDT  Watch
When WGBH was branded as 'GBH 2, there was a local ident involving a huge version of the logo on a background of downtown Boston. WGBX used the same thing, only it was, of course, 'GBH 44. I can't find either of these anywhere. If anyone could post me a link that would be great.
3  out of 3 found this valuable. Do you?    
Keyword tags: pbs wgbh boston
Show Last Reply
AnimeTVLogos Japanese Variant? 0 Feb 16 2014, 8:38 AM EST by AnimeTVLogos
Thread started: Feb 16 2014, 8:38 AM EST  Watch
I looked all over the Internet for this Japanese variant and couldn't find anything. How can it be real since PBS isn't even in Japan?
1  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    
Keyword tags: None
thegabe2140 Vartiatikn 2 Aug 13 2013, 9:05 AM EDT by iPuffle
Thread started: Jul 10 2012, 10:30 AM EDT  Watch
Therer is a 3rd Lodo Version Where The Logo Is On Fire.
1  out of 3 found this valuable. Do you?    
Keyword tags: pbs wgbh boston
Show Last Reply
Showing 3 of 19 threads for this page - view all

Related Content

  (what's this?Related ContentThanks to keyword tags, links to related pages and threads are added to the bottom of your pages. Up to 15 links are shown, determined by matching tags and by how recently the content was updated; keeping the most current at the top. Share your feedback on WikiFoundry Central.)