On November 29, 1956 our mutual dream came true through the beautiful voice of the host Nara Shlepchyan: Public, that is, our and your, Television started broadcasting; the event eagerly anticipated by all of us had taken place. The first regular broadcasts were aired four times a week – on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, – 2 hours a day.
The first employees at Public TV imagined that television was an area where they would occupy themselves with arts and culture. This was the reason of that the first broadcasting schedules abounded in feature broadcasts and teleplays. Children’s shows were on the way as well. On February 17, 1957 started the first children’s broadcast – “Giulnaz Tati Hekiatnere” (Giulnaz Granny’s Fairy Tales) directed by Oleg Melik-Vrtanesyan. And already on August 6 of the same year, Public Television’s broadcasting schedule was supplemented with “Shabatva Norutiunner” (Weekly News) newscast, though it was not regular. Only in February of 1958 the newscast titled “Norutiunner” (News) at Armenian television became regular. At that time the TV news editorial board was created. Among the first political commentators were John Kirakosyan and Hakob Hakobyan. The preparations for the first TV program for the New Year celebration were particularly fascinating. The area of studio (60 m2) was not sufficient for festive performances. Besides the piano, TV cameras, monitors, and illuminators, a New Year Tree had to be placed in the hall. Thanks to the smart employees, the natural tree had been substituted for a picture, and the cameraman Vahagn Gharibyan together with his assistants putting bulbs of different power and colors into bright cans had invented the first self-made light effects.
In 10 years after its foundation our beloved channel managed to hold leading positions in the USSR, registering nearly 500 screen-versions, including “Sayat-Nova”, “Srtnerk Hamar 4” (Lipstick # 4).
In 1970s the broadcasting area of Public TV spread beyond Yerevan. The first TV broadcasts outside the capital were aired in Armenian towns Ghapan, Kajaran, Sisian, later in Ghukasian and Amasia. People in these and other regions had had an opportunity to watch as Armenian public TV as Moscow TV.
In 1973 “Eterum e Yerevane” (Yerevan on air) Weekly in its 40th issue announced the start of the second Armenian TV channel in the article titled “Miatsrek Herustatsuitsi 11rd Alike” (Turn to 11th Channel). Already in 1978 half of the broadcasts of those two channels were aired in color. Speaking about color broadcasting, it is impossible not to mention the name of Hovhaness Adamyan who is the inventor of the three-color TV set – the discovery that was put into practice by Columbia Pictures in 1950s.
In 1977 the average duration of Armenian daily broadcasting reached 12 hours. In those times there were approximately 500 000 TV sets in our country, of which 100 000 were color.
In the early 1970s the musical part of broadcasting scope was enriched ever more – the Symphonic Orchestra of Public Television and Radio conducted by Ohan Duryan was created. On November 25, 1977 started the TV series “Yerazhshtakan Postarkh” (Musical Post) that played great role in the popularization of Armenian folk and pop songs.
In 1983 Armenian television once again surprised its viewers airing “Anush” film-opera made at “Yerevan” studio. In the midst 1980s live broadcasting was restored. The TV series “Aracharkum e Herustaditoghe” (Viewer Offers) that discussed viewers’ opinions on different programs was launched. The newscast “Lraber” (herald) was changed qualitatively. Trust in TV broadcasting had increased. The year of 1988 was marked by disturbances, self-determination, and revaluation of values for our nation. The question of Nagorno Karabakh was raised. The small screen had become more public, especially after Genirkh Borovik’s broadcast “Position” aired by Moscow television and dedicated to the events in Karabakh. However, the climax of those events’ coverage was live broadcasting of Armenian Supreme Council meeting on June 15. In the same time period Nagorno Karabakh’s television was also airing live.
In the end of 1988, Armenian television covered sorrowful events. On the very first day of the December’s earthquake the reporters of TV Chief Journalistic Editorial Board were in the disaster area. The “Lraber”s special issues began and ended with the reports sent from there. Thousands of people were looking for their relatives and friends after the earthquake. The editorial board of “Yerevan and Erevanians” together with the Ministry of Home Affairs created the service “Voronum” (Search) as well as the TV program of the same title which helped many people.