WTLJ, virtual channel 54 (UHF digital channel 24), is a Tri-State Christian Television owned-and-operated television station licensed to Muskegon, Michigan, United States and serving the Grand Rapids–Kalamazoo–Battle Creek television market. The station's transmitter is located in Allendale Charter Township in Ottawa County, just southwest of Grand Valley State University. Its signal is relayed on translator station WJGP-LD (channel 26; originally W24BO channel 24) in Kalamazoo.

Until June 2018, the station aired its own locally produced programs, Ask the Pastor and Down Home, from a studio adjacent to its transmitter. This ended with the elimination of the FCC's Main Studio Rule earlier in the year and a decision by TCT's operators to consolidate all programming operations at its headquarters in Marion, Illinois.

History[edit | edit source]

The UHF channel 54 allocation in Michigan was originally assigned to Lansing. It was occupied by DuMont affiliate WILS, which later became WTOM-TV (call letters now used on channel 4 in Cheboygan), and was on the air from 1953 to 1956. The channel 54 allocation was then reassigned to Muskegon. Full-power station WMKG-TV broadcast in the late 1960s from the Occidental Hotel in downtown Muskegon. That station, which operated as an independent station and relied heavily on live, local programming, had left the air by the mid-1970s.

In the early-1980s, WTLJ was originally assigned the call letters WMKT with the intention of focusing on the Muskegon and Holland areas. That station was never built (Muskegon has its own station, WMKG-CD, which fulfills this purpose).

In November 1986, Springfield, Ohio-based Miami Valley Christian Television launched WTLJ, as a Christian-oriented independent station. The station would eventually be sold to its present owners, Tri-State Christian Television. The history of its Kalamazoo repeater, WJGP-LD, is unknown, other than the fact that its application to move its signal from UHF channel 24 to channel 26 was approved in December 1998; the channel switch occurred in January 2002 to facilitate WTLJ's eventual digital channel 24.

The station was receivable in analog on the western shore of Lake Michigan in the Wisconsin cities of Sheboygan and Milwaukee because of channel 54's transmitter being close to the Lake Michigan shore, although TCT does not explicitly market to those cities or have any cable coverage. With the termination on March 4, 2009 of the analog channel 24 signal of Milwaukee's WCGV, the station's digital signal is also easily picked up in Wisconsin.

WTLJ is carried on AcenTek systems serving Buckley, Copemish, Hoxeyville, Mesick, Old Mission, South Boardman, and Thompsonville (all located in the Traverse City market).

WTLJ formerly collaborated with the Ottawa County Department of Corrections to allow probationers to operate the station to receive community service credits and complete their sentences.

TV stations in Michigan
Detroit: Grand Rapids–Kalamazoo–Battle Creek: Mid-Michigan: Berrien Springs:
WHNE-LD, Detroit WUHQ-LD, Grand Rapids W24DL-D, Saginaw WYGN-LD, Berrien Springs
WDWO-CD, Detroit WMKG-CD, Muskegon WAQP, Saginaw
WUDL-LD, Detroit WTLJ, Muskegon WUWB-LD, West Branch
WUDT-LD, Detroit WLLA, Kalamazoo
WHPS-CD, Detroit
WADL, Mount Clemens
WLPC-CD, Detroit
TV stations in West Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, and Battle Creek
WWMT 3 (CBS)
WOOD 8 (NBC)
WZZM 13 (ABC)
WXSP-CD 15 (MNTV)
WXMI 17 (Fox)
WUHQ-LD 29 (Daystar)
WGVU 35 (PBS)
WMKG-CD 38 (TFC)
WOTV 41 (ABC)
WZPX 43 (Ion)
W48CL 48 (3ABN)
WTLJ 54 (TCT)
WLLA 64 (Rel)
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