|Channels||Digital: 49 (UHF)|
17.2 Church Channel
17.5 Smile of a Child
|Owner||Trinity Broadcasting Network, Inc.|
|First air date||January 1967|
|Call letters' meaning||David
(previous owner, 1982-1986)
|Former callsigns||WJAN (1967-1983)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Transmitter power||200 kW|
WDLI-TV is a religious television station licensed to Canton, Ohio, serving the Cleveland market on channel 17 (using PSIP to relocate from digital channel 49). WDLI-TV is an owned-and-operated station of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
Early History 
WDLI signed on in 1967 as WJAN, a local independent owned by Janson Industries, offering a typical slate of local and syndicated programming. In its early years, they broadcasted in black and white only, as they couldn't afford color equipment, though most of the shows were not color anyway.
In 1971, the station began color broadcasts. At that time, the availability of religious programming was increasing. They began broadcasting such programming a few hours a day. The station was broadcasting from 1:00 p.m. to Midnight daily by 1973. The station continued to struggle.
When WKBF-TV channel 61 went dark and its owners combined assets onto newly acquired 43 WUAB, WJAN was unable to acquire any of the shows not airing on WUAB except for some religious shows. Beginning in 1974, WJAN added The PTL Club and The 700 Club to its daily schedule and began broadcasting religious shows nearly full-time.
In August 1977, Janson sold WJAN to televangelist Jim Bakker, founder of the PTL Club. Under Bakker, WJAN officially became a full-time 24 hour Christian station. The station dropped the 700 Club and added more PTL produced programming.
Bakker sold WJAN to the David Livingstone Missionary Foundation in December 1982; shortly afterward, its calls were changed to its current call letters, WDLI-TV. The station continued broadcasting the satellite PTL Network full-time.
Four years later, in March 1986, Livingstone sold WDLI to its present owners, the Trinity Broadcasting Network. At that point, PTL programming was dropped in favor of TBN programming full-time.
Digital Era 
This station's digital signal, like most other full-service TBN owned-and-operated stations, carries five different TBN-run networks.
|17.1||480i||TBN||Main TBN programming|
|17.2||TCC||The Church Channel|
|17.5||SOAC||Smile of a Child TV|
TBN-owned full-power stations permanently ceased analog transmissions on April 16, 2009.
The WDLI-DT offices and digital transmitter are actually located in the western part of the Akron area, in order to better serve the entire Cleveland TV market. TBN constructed a new tower in the Akron suburb of Norton, near other television and radio transmission towers in the area near Akron's Rolling Acres Mall. The digital signal is able to be seen throughout the Cleveland market, unlike its analog signal (originating from a transmitter in the Canton suburb of Louisville), which had poor reception away from Canton.
On January 1, 2009, WDLI became included on most Cleveland area cable systems.
Like its full-power TBN-owned sister stations, WDLI ceased analog broadcasting on April 16, 2009, shutting down the former analog channel 17 transmitter.
Though the station's operations are now all located near Akron, WDLI maintains a city of license of Canton, and promotes itself as serving Canton-Akron/Cleveland.
Affiliated translator stations 
WDLI's signal was once retransmitted on W52DS in Youngstown, as well as W51BI serving Geauga, Lake, and eastern Cuyahoga counties from a site in Kirtland. Both translators have been closed by TBN due to declining support, which has been attributed to the digital transition; W51BI ceased operations on July 13, 2009, while W52DS left the air March 26, 2010. Their licenses, along with 42 other silent TBN repeaters, were canceled on December 1, 2011 for remaining silent over a year.
- TBN website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WDLI
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WDLI-TV
- The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says January 3, while the Television and Cable Factbook says January 1.
- "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA (W51BI)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 23, 2009. Retrieved April, 2010.
- "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA (W52DS)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. April 16, 2010. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
- "Re: Applications for Assignment of License…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 30, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2011.