WILL

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This article is about the radio and television stations. For other uses of the word "will", see Will (disambiguation).
WILL-TV
WILL-TV logo
Urbana/Champaign, Illinois
United States
Branding WILL-TV
Slogan Illinois Public Media
Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels 12.1 PBS
12.2 World
12.3 Create
Affiliations PBS (since 1970)
Owner University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois)
First air date August 1, 1955 (1955-08-01)
Call letters' meaning ILLinois
Sister station(s) WILL (AM), WILL-FM
Former callsigns Digital:
WILL-DT (2003–2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
12 (VHF, 1955–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1955-1970)
Transmitter power 30 kW ERP
Height 302 m
Facility ID 68939
Transmitter coordinates 40°2′18″N 88°40′10″W / 40.03833°N 88.66944°W / 40.03833; -88.66944 (WILL-TV)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.will.illinois.edu/
Campbell Hall, the home of the WILL stations

WILL is the callsign of the three public broadcasting stations owned by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and run out of the College of Media. It consists of PBS member station WILL-TV (digital channel 9, virtual channel 12) and National Public Radio member stations WILL (580 kHz) and WILL-FM (90.9 mHz). The three stations are known collectively as Illinois Public Media, and are operated out of Campbell Hall for Public Telecommunication on the U of I campus.

WILL-TV received its largest bequest, $1 million (USD), from Lois Dickson, who had been a contributor to the station for the thirty years before her death at the age of 95 in 2004.[1]

In April 2011, WILL eliminated its weather department due to budget cuts.

History[edit]

After World War II, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted the National Association of Educational Broadcasters for the establishment of broadcast allocations (AM/FM radio and TV channels) for non-commercial education programming. The outcomes from these meetings established the foundation for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System.[2]

Radio[edit]

Both WILL (AM) and WILL-FM are members of NPR and affiliates of Public Radio International and American Public Media. WILL (AM) airs NPR news and talk, along with agricultural news information for central Illinois farmers. WILL-FM airs classical music most of the day, but simulcasts some of NPR's more popular shows with its AM sister.

WILL (AM) signed on in 1922 as WRM. It was one of several AM stations signed on by Midwestern land-grant schools in the early days of radio. It became WILL in 1928. It operates at 5,000 watts during the day. Due to its location near the bottom of the AM dial, as well as its transmitter power, this is enough to provide grade B coverage as far north as Chicago and as far east as Indianapolis. It also serves as the default NPR member station for Terre Haute, Indiana; that city doesn't have a full-power NPR station of its own. However, at sunset it must power down to 500 watts and gradually power down to 100 watts. At 6 am, it increases its power to 335 watts and ramps up to full power at sunrise.

WILL-FM, first licensed in 1941 as WIUC and changed to WILL-FM in 1954, was the first FM station in the United States licensed to a university. WILL-FM has a translator on 106.5 in Danville. WILL-FM's all-classical HD2 channel is also simulcast on analog translator 101.1 in Urbana. WILL-FM broadcasts with an ERP of 105,000 watts, and an antenna HAAT of 259 meters.

The two stations helped to create NPR, and were among the 90 stations that carried the inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered in 1971

WILL-FM began an HD Radio multicast in July 2008. 90.9 HD 1 is a simulcast of WILL-FM's analog signal. 90.9 HD2 is a 24-hour classical music service, and 90.9 HD3 simulcasts WILL-AM's programming to make up for the reduced coverage of the AM station's nighttime signal.

Television[edit]

The U of I applied for a television license soon after the FCC lifted its freeze on new licenses. However, educational television was a new concept at the time, and most of Illinois' commercial broadcasters violently opposed the prospect of the U of I owning a television station. After a bill that would have forced the university to withdraw its application was narrowly defeated in the legislature, the Illinois Broadcasters Association funded a suit by a restaurant owner in Evanston claiming that the Illinois Constitution did not allow U of I to operate a television station. The case went all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of U of I.

WILL-TV first hit the airwaves on August 1, 1955 from makeshift studios underneath Memorial Stadium. Originally airing for only a few hours at night, it began airing during the day in 1958 and added Saturday programming in 1974, four years after joining PBS.

Illinois Public Media's CEO and General Manager is Maurice "Moss" Bresnahan. The Station Manager is Bob Culkeen.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
12.1 1080i 16:9 WILL-HD Main WILL-TV programming / PBS
12.2 480i 4:3 WORLD World
12.3 CREATE Create

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WILL-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 9.[4] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 12. The "WILL-TV" callsign was transferred over from the former analog channel 12 to digital channel 9 and the pre-transition call sign "WILL-DT" was officially retired.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (Summer 2006). "WILL-TV Viewer Leaves $1 Million to Station". UIF Newsletter, issue 47 (University of Illinois Foundation). pp. Illinois Gardner Web Site through WILL. 
  2. ^ Hill, Harold (1954). "The National Association of Educational Broadcasters: a history.". National Association of Educational Broadcasters. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WILL
  4. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

External links[edit]