‘This Old House’ moves from presenter WGBH to WETA

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Kevin O'Connor

A crew with "This Old House" works on a home in Jamestown, R.I., in 2018.

Longtime PBS home remodeling programs This Old House and Ask This Old House will shift from being presented by WGBH in Boston to WETA in Washington, D.C., starting Monday, the producers and WETA announced Tuesday.

WETA will handle station relations, carriage and distribution for both programs, said station spokesperson Mary Stewart. The station also handles other lifestyle programs including America’s Test Kitchen, Samantha Brown’s Places to Love and Martha Stewart’s Cooking School.

“We had a great partnership with WGBH — it’s where the show began,” Dan Suratt, CEO of This Old House Ventures, told Current in an email. “We couldn’t be more proud and appreciative of our 40-year relationship and since we aren’t leaving New England, we look forward to continuing to partner with them in the future.” This Old House’s studios are in Boston.

Surratt said future work with WGBH would include “creating custom promos, participating in live events for station members and appearing on their local radio and TV programs.”

This Old House premiered on WGBH in 1979 and debuted nationally on PBS in 1980. In 1995, Time Warner created This Old House Ventures and began publishing This Old House Magazine, developed by Time Warner executive Eric Thorkilsen, through a licensing agreement with WGBH. Six years later, WGBH sold the entire brand to Time Warner.

The advice-oriented spinoff Ask This Old House began airing on PBS in 2002.

In 2014 Time Warner broke off Time Inc. as a separately traded company, and This Old House Ventures became part of Time. Two years later Time sold This Old House Ventures to a group of investors that included Thorkilsen. He still serves as executive chair.

A 40th-anniversary This Old House pledge special will air on PBS in August, Suratt said in the announcement.

9 thoughts on “‘This Old House’ moves from presenter WGBH to WETA

  1. Toh/atoh, y’all have put together the greatest team. Very knowledgable and I love watching people that work together. I try to watch every show

  2. As much as I respect WETA, I respect WGBH more. I sadly note the transfer of carriage and management to WETA. I have followed TOH since 1979.

  3. Sadly, This Old House is a shadow of its former self. I have been a (nearly) life-long viewer but the past few seasons have taken a sharp decline in quality. The meaningful content is no longer there. This Old House used to show the step-by-step, natural progression of a home remodel; it no longer does that. They show brief snippets of tangential projects along the way, surrounded by filler and fluff, then, all-of-a-sudden, the final project is revealed. It is painfully obvious that they have broken from the mold that they created. As a fan, I wanted to know why. And if you do any research looking for that answer, you’ll be saddened as much as I have. Their goal is no longer to inform via this format. They’re after the millennial market and their penchant for “click-bait” and short-format YouTube DIY solutions. In essence, new ownership has killed the team and brand that I have trusted most over the past 40 years. In the past, I used to go to great lengths never to miss a show, now it seems after all these years, I couldn’t care less. They went from the pinnacle of their game, showcasing top-notch craftsmanship and design, to just another forgettable DIY show. And personally, I’m heartbroken.

    • Dan
      I just read your thoughts and couldn’t agree more. When I started watching back in the mid 80’s I couldn’t get enough of the show. Watched Thursday night @8:00, and Saturday afternoon @5:30 to soak up as much of the tips/techniques I could. A curiosity for learning more about carpentry turned into a passion…and then a pursuit. Ended up working in construction then switched to public education as a teacher for 33 years until my recent retirement.
      This Old House was the catalyst for my career.
      I pretty much stopped watching about 10 yrs ago when it became a glorified infomercial for companies clamoring for brand recognition. Dan sums it up as well as I could ever articulate. O’well, everything good must end at something point!

  4. This Old House has always been a favorite source of information as to how houses will be built in the future. I have personally watched building methods and products introduced on this old house that later (20 years later) became standard practice. And that brings me to the other side of the page… unless you’re a near billionaire, you won’t be rebuilding your old house as they do on the show. But it’s still great to see what is possible… even if not affordable.

  5. TOHs exit is showing a trend of shows exiting GBH. America’sTest Kitchen, Cooks Country, and the screwing over of Tommy Mac and Rough Cut. It’s obvious GBH is on the decline and WETA is taking its place as the premier provider of premium content.

  6. I GUESS we all have to be both, flexible and grateful. The program, TOH, and its “cousin”, Ask This Old House” are very informative and enlightening programs. With the advent of the “big box” home centers (you can, I’m sure, guess who “Big Orange” and “Big Blue” are), and other realities that have come about DUE TO THE INFLUENCE OF “ASK…” and “THIS OLD HOUSE”., like a well-intentioned individual who gets inspired to do some work on his/her own property. It ,is not just an informative and entertaining program, but, it is responsible for a MOVEMENT! Like a giant mechanism, everything has fallen into place — a more informed citizenry who will attempt to tackle a home improvement project. If there is a radical departure from the style and substance of the program then failure will be an option!


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