Twin Cities PBS

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Twin Cities PBS is a PBS affiliate located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The primary station, KTCA, went on the air on September 16, 1955, while KTCI, the secondary station, went on the air on May 4, 1965. Prior to September 30, 2015, the station carried the on-air branding Twin Cities Public Television (TPT).

1st Logo (1970s-1979?)

Logo: On a black background, we see a white light spin around and zoom away from the screen, towards the left. "KTCA flashes in, one letter at a time, then below that, "St. Paul", then "Minneapolis" flashes in. Finally, a white flash makes the logo disappear.

FX/SFX: Lighting effects with cel animation.

Music/Sounds: None, or the opening theme.

Availability: A 1979 demo reel from the station has this logo.

2nd Logo (1978-1983)

Logo: On a black background, "F R O M" appears in a Courier-like font with a blue glow, followed by "MINNESOTA" in a thick font with a green glow. Rows of growing raindrops then fade in row-by-row, wiping away the text and then bringing in rows of growing snowflakes. The snowflakes then fade away and rows of blue waves wipe in. They then turn orange and descend to make room for "K T C A" in white and "MINNEAPOLIS ST PAUL" in sky blue, in the same font as the text in the beginning, with "K T C A" glowing orange before it dies down when the waves disappear.

Variant: A 1978 prototype variant exists. It's the same as the normal variant, except the "MINNESOTA" text at the beginning is green and in a different font, the water transition is rougher, and the "K T C A MINNEAPOLIS ST PAUL" text is also in a different yellow font, and doesn't glow.

FX/SFX: The text fading in, the rows of objects wiping in.

Music/Sounds: A theme made of 5 horn notes and 3 guitar notes, which is followed by a reversed arrangement of the theme (3 horn notes, 5 guitar notes), which is repeated a couple of times and sounds like a mariachi band playing, each time going down in pitch with sort of a flourish at the end.

Availability: Very rare. It was seen on Ping Chong & Meredith Monk: Paris, Encounters With Minnesota Artists and possibly the very first episodes of Newton's Apple. The prototype variant is even rarer and was only seen on From China To Us.

3rd Logo (1983-1990?)

Logo: On a light gray background, we see "KTCA", in a tubular font very similar to KQED's logo from around that time, constantly shining throughout the logo, along with "MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL", both colored pinkish-orange, flying away from the viewer from the bottom. About the same time, a rectangle containing water inside (possibly to represent the image of a lake) also flies in, but towards the viewer. They both rotate into a tilted position (plus the rectangle appears to flip for a bit), and when they join together, we fade out, though the water in the rectangle still creates little waves.


  • A prototype version exists with a few differences, with "KTCA" having different shine effects and the rectangle featuring live-action footage of a lake. The music is also high-pitched.
  • A filmed variant of the prototype exists.
  • A slower version exists where the music is pitched and sped down 25%, and the logo hangs at the end so that it matches up with the music.

FX/SFX: The KTCA logo flying into view, and the water rectangle sliding in. Nice effects for 1983.

Music/Sounds: A downward synthesized glockenspiel tune, then 5 synth-glockenspiel notes, then one last note held at the end. As a station ID, an announcer says "You are watching KTCA, Saint Paul · Minneapolis, Channel 2."

Availability: Rare. Seen on Grant Wood's America, and more notably seen on '80s episodes of Newton's Apple.

4th Logo (1988-2000)


  • Opening:
    • 1988-1989: On a black background with a blue spotlight, the "KTCA" logo from the previous logo moves to the left, along with a "2" in the same font, and "MINNEAPOLIS/SAINT PAUL", in Times New Roman, underneath the logo, against a 2D forest. While doing that, a sun moves to the upper-right corner. Then, some blocks featuring the letters of the words "A" and "MINNESOTA" drop down, while "Original" is written out in a cursive font, tilted at an angle, and "water ripples" occur.
    • 1989-1990: On the same background from the previous variant, the new logo, which is "KTCA" in a beige Aero Extended font, and a square "2" in that same color, with "SAINT PAUL - MINNEAPOLIS" on the bottom, also in Aero Extended. The animation is identical, except the "2" rotates around in the opposite direction, and the letters "A MINNESOTA" are not inside blocks at the end, and are also in Aero Extended.
    • 1990-2000: Same as the previous variant, but after all the previous text is off the screen, the word "PRESENTS" in a thin, white Elephant font flashes in with a line of flashing orange dots. The "water ripples" still occur in the background.
  • Closing:
    • 1988-1989: The logo is still (even though it has the "water rippling" effect), and the text underneath the logo says "PRODUCTION". The fonts are the same as the opening counterpart of the time.
    • 1989-2000: Again, the logo is still (with the water rippling) with "PRODUCTION" intact and in the same font as the opening variants of the time.

FX/SFX: Decent 1980s computer effects.


  • Opening:
    • 1988-1990: A synth-orchestra jingle, with the sound of birds calling, as well as a female announcer saying "The following is a production of KTCA – a Minnesota original."
    • 1990-2000: The same orchestral tune mixed with a piano jingle and rock drums as we hear a male conductor say "One, two." and a female singing "Na-na-na-na-na!" A chord is synchronized into the last note.
  • Closing: The same synth-orchestra jingle, but the announcer says "This program was produced by KTCA - A Minnesota original." It also has the beginning cut off.

Availability: Rare. Some local shows and specials might carry this logo, such as My Mary, a special of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

5th Logo (1989)

KTCA 1989.png

Logo: On a black background, the red letters "kA" in Peignot slide apart to leave room for the light blue letters "TC", also in Peignot, which slide down into place from the top of the screen. "A" appears above the text, followed by a yellow circle with footage of a loon chirping on a lake. "PRODUCTION" appears below as the loon continues chirping and turns its head.

FX/SFX: The word forming, the loon. Obviously a parody of the MTM logo, which already parodied MGM.

Music/Sounds: Silence, followed by the loon chirping with sounds of water rushing.

Availability: Rare. Only seen on My Mary, a special of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Considering this is a parody, it would be seen only once.

6th Logo (1989-2000)


  • Opening: On a blue background, we see the trees from the 4th logo pasted multiple times, along with part of the skyline of each city (Minneapolis and Saint Paul). Waves start to come in from the top left, revealing "KTCA" in Aero Extended, over "SAINT PAUL" and "MINNEAPOLIS", both stacked under "KTCA", and in a smaller white print.
  • Closing: The logo simply fades in, plus "PRODUCTION" appears on the bottom.

Variant: For the opening, on NewsNight Minnesota, after the logo ripples, it stays for a few seconds, only to fade out to make space for "MPTV" in a tall font, and "MINNESOTA PUBLIC TELEVISION" below it.

Trivia: This logo was based on its bumpers of the time when the new KTCA 2 logo was debuted in late 1989, in which its background appeared on everyday funding bumpers, the funding bumper before a show started and the bumper for KTCA's address at the end of every pledge breaks. However, the sign-off and credits with the background from this logo would not debut sometime around 1990. The 2 bumpers (the everyday funding bumpers and the funding bumper before the show started) were retired in fall of 1995 and were replaced by new bumpers (In the everyday funding bumpers, the background with trees and the silhouettes of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul skylines were replaced by realistic images of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul skylines with a water dripping effect over it and new age music playing in background, while the other bumper before the show started had the background from the 1989 logo replaced by footage of CGI/live-action objects that was used in the 1995 WNET ident and other bumpers from other PBS stations (except for the comedy shows in which it has footage from comedy shows such as "Mr. Bean", "The Red Green Show" and "Fawlty Towers" instead), as part of the "If PBS Doesn't Do It, Who Will?" campaign, and a picture frame, with the logo of each show on it, scrolls to the left on the bottom of the screen and stops in the center as background footage switches to a moving fabric background with every variant of the background for every genre of the shows aired on KTCA (for example, news shows such as "Nightly Business Report", "Frontline" and "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" has a American flag moving in background, in which the stars are shown), while the background from the 1989 logo was still used for the address bumper at the end of every pledge breaks until 1997, when it was replaced by the same background from the everyday funding bumpers, but with no animation and it was static.

FX/SFX: The waves rippling.


  • Opening: A fantasy-oriented synth/piano theme with water sound effects. A longer version is heard at sign-off and the everyday funding bumpers (in which it was used until fall of 1995).
  • Closing: A synth-bass note being held, as well as a "BONG!" sound. The music was done on the Roland D-50 synthesizer.

Availability: Rare. Can be seen on '90s episodes of Newton's Apple, as well as Once Upon a Tree when rerun on select PBS stations.

7th Logo (1994)

Logo: After the Kartemquin Films logo (an abstract K with "Kartemquin Films" in a red beam resembling the light coming out a projector) fades out, "and" is seen in the bottom right corner. Then, a red light emerges from the center of the screen and the text fades out. "K T C A" in black with a blue outline appears. Under it is "PUBLIC TELEVISION" and "SAINT PAUL - MINNEAPOLIS" in 2 sets of lines below the text. The light stays on the screen.

FX/SFX: The lighting.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on Hoop Dreams (not the original Turner VHS release however, as it goes straight to the movie after the Fine Line Features logo).

8th Logo (1999-2001)

Nicknames: "Rotating Sunburst"

Logo: On a white background, a blue cloud zooms and rotates in, which then contracts to reveal a yellow and white sunburst with the logo for Twin Cities Public Television, which is a deformed light blue check mark over "tpt". Below it fades in "A LOCAL PRODUCTION OF TWIN CITIES PUBLIC TELEVISION", stacked on each other and the name smaller than the rest. The sunburst rotates.

Variant: On Almanac, the Twin Cities Public Television logo is smaller, and "PRESENTATION" is below. This fades out and "MPTV" and "Minnesota Public Television" fade in. This whole time, the whole thing is surrounded by a repeating circle reading "twin cities public television · saint paul · minneapolis · ktca".

FX/SFX: The sunbursts.

Music/Sounds: A 4-note guitar theme with some xylophone notes after it.

Music/Sounds Variant: The Almanac variant has four airy tubular bell notes and an announcer saying "Almanac is a production of Twin Cities Public Television, for the stations of Minnesota Public Television."

Availability: Rare. May have been seen on Almanac.

9th Logo (2000-2010)

Logo: On a white background, we see the logo of Twin Cities Public Television, to the left of the screen. "TWIN CITIES PUBLIC TELEVISION" is under it, and the words "st. paul · minneapolis", with a dot dividing them, are under the word "TELEVISION". The logo bends down, like it's bowing down, and returns to its normal position. A later version has the logo shown first until everything moves into place with a PBS logo the the right of it.


  • For the earlier version, there is a variant with "a production of" to the right.
  • On Almanac, right after the Twin Cities Public Television logo bends down, the whole thing fades to a white screen with text reading "MPTV". Below is "Minnesota Public Television".
  • For the later version, on Rudy Maxa's World, "A presentation of" is on top of the Twin Cities Public Television logo and to the right of "st. paul · minneapolis" is "·".

FX/SFX: The logo bowing down and/or moving.

Music/Sounds: A three note theme with an applause. The theme may be either a low tune harp for its public productions or a violin theme for productions made for The Minnesota Channel. The PBS variant has no applause.

Music/Sounds Variant: The Almanac variant of this logo has the same audio from mentioned show's variant from before.

Availability: Rare. Seen on Almanac in the Twin Cities area and on programs like DragonflyTV.

10th Logo (2010-September 30, 2015)

Logo: We see a black background. A light passes through the screen, thus making the background brighten up to reveal a blue background with translucent bars and squares. A line of squares on the bottom form "saint paul · minneapolis" and disappear as the bars bring forward the Twin Cities Public Television logo from above in white and the text "NATIONAL PRODUCTIONS" under it. The background ripples and there are now lights in the background.


  • On Almanac, the Twin Cities Public Television logo is larger, "NATIONAL PRODUCTIONS" is missing, and the logo gets wiped out to make room for "mpta", and "minnesota public television association".
  • On The Lowertown Line, the Twin Cities Public Television logo is to the left and to the right is the PBS Circle P-Head. Below is "SAINT PAUL | MINNEAPOLIS".

FX/SFX: The flash.

Music/Sounds: A sparkly three note theme.

Music/Sounds Variant: The Almanac variant has a reverse cymbal crash, followed by a quiet synth, plus a female saying "Almanac is a production of Twin Cities Public Television, for the stations of Minnesota Public Television Association."

Availability: Uncommon. Seen on SciGirls and Suze Orman's Financial Solutions for You.

11th Logo (September 30, 2015- )

Logo: On a space background with the Northern Lights, the logo is revealed by some lights, in which the logo is now modified. The logo now has a different font and check mark design for the "tpt" part, has the PBS logo included, and now the name is "TWIN CITIES PBS" stacked on the right. It zooms in slightly as the background changes colors. Then the following fades in below:

Text Variants:

  • For co-productions, "A CO-PRODUCTION OF" fades in above, while below fades in "SAINT PAUL | MINNEAPOLIS © Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved".
  • © Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • SAINT PAUL | MINNEAPOLIS © (YEAR) Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • None.


  • On Seized: Inside the Mystery of Epilepsy, "A PRESENTATION OF" fades in and the PBS logo is missing with "tpt" and the stacked words "NATIONAL PRODUCTIONS" in its place. "SAINT PAUL | MINNEAPOLIS" fades in below.
  • On Almanac, the logo gets wiped out for "mpta" and "minnesota public television association".

FX/SFX: The lights.

Music/Sounds: A peaceful synth chord.

Music/Sounds Variant: One variant has a different chord followed by two guitar notes.

Availability: Current. Seen at the end on episodes of Hero Elementary on PBS Kids, other shows and documentaries from the company such as Seized and Almanac, etc.

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