WYIN, virtual channel 56 (UHF digital channel 17), is a secondary Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station serving Chicago, Illinois, United States that is licensed to Gary, Indiana. Owned by Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting, Inc., it is a sister station to National Public Radio (NPR) member WLPR-FM (89.1 MHz). The two stations share studios on Indiana Place (Mississippi Street) in Merrillville; WYIN's transmitter is located near Lake Dalecarlia (due south of Cedar Lake). WYIN is one of two PBS member stations serving the Chicago television market, alongside Chicago-licensed WTTW (channel 11).

History[edit | edit source]

WYIN evolved from WCAE, a non-commercial educational station that was originally licensed by public broadcasting pioneer Louis Iaconetti to the Lake Central School Corporation in St. John, which broadcast on UHF channel 50 from 1967 becoming Indiana's first educational TV station. The school board voted to cease broadcast operations and the station went dark in 1984.

Metrowest Corporation (owned by Fred Eychaner) purchased the station's license for $1.5 million, in exchange for the construction permit for WGMI, a proposed commercial independent station licensed to Gary on channel 56 that had been held by a group of Indiana businessmen since 1976, but was never built. Metrowest eventually took the channel 50 license to air as commercial station WPWR-TV (now a combined CW affiliate and MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station). The non-commercial license that was now reassigned to channel 56 was secured by the founding group of WYIN, who signed the station on the air on November 15, 1987.

For many years, WYIN fought to try to replace its aging transmitter and build a new tower atop either the Sears Tower or the John Hancock Center in downtown Chicago. These plans were opposed by the parents of WTTW (Window to the World Communications), which was very critical of the move as it would make WYIN the second PBS station to fully serve the Chicago market. Currently, WYIN pays a lower license fee for its carriage of PBS programs. WTTW station management claimed that if WYIN was allowed to move its transmitter to Chicago, it would pay far less money for the rights to PBS programs while covering much of the same area, leaving WTTW at a disadvantage as well as taking valuable pledge donations from the station.

In the face of objections from WTTW, WYIN opted instead to build a new transmitter tower in Cedar Lake, Indiana. In November 2003, the station erected a 950-foot (290 m) transmission tower at its existing transmitter site, near Crown Point, which increased the station's power to 1.35 million watts.

TV stations in Indiana
WFYI, Indianapolis

WTIU, Bloomington
WIPB, Muncie
WYIN, Gary/Chicago
WVUT, Vincennes
WFWA, Fort Wayne
WNIT, South Bend
WNIN, Evansville

TV stations in Illinois
WTTW, Chicago

WYIN, Gary/Chicago
WSIU, Carbondale/Olney
WILL, Urbana
WTVP, Peoria
WSEC, Jacksonville/Macomb/Quincy
WQPT, Moline
WEIU, Charleston

TV stations in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana
WGN 9 (Ind)
WOCK-CD 13 (Ind)
WYCC 20 (MHz)
WRJK-LP 22 (Diya TV)
W25DW-D 25 (HSN)
WCIU 26 (CW)
WLPD-CD 30 (Hillsong)
WFLD 32 (Fox)
WEDE-CD 34 (Ind)
WCPX 38 (Ion)
WMEU-CD 48 (Ind)
WDCI-LD 57 (Daystar)
WXFT 60 (UMas)
WJYS 62 (Ind)
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