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Garden City/New York City, New York
United States
City of license Garden City, New York
Branding WLIW 21
Slogan New York Public Television
Channels Digital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 21 (PSIP)
Subchannels 21.1 PBS
21.2 Create
21.3 World
Affiliations PBS
Owner WNET.org
First air date January 14, 1969; 46 years ago (1969-01-14)
Call letters' meaning Long Island West
Sister station(s) WNET, NJTV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
21 (UHF, 1969–2009)
22 (UHF, 1999–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1969–1970)
Transmitter power 89.9 kW
Height 111 m
Facility ID 38336
Transmitter coordinates 40°47′20.4″N 73°27′7.1″W / 40.789000°N 73.451972°W / 40.789000; -73.451972
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website WLIW.org

WLIW, UHF digital channel 21, is the secondary PBS member television station serving New York City, New York, United States that is licensed to Garden City. The station is owned by the New York City-based WNET.org. WLIW's main studios and transmitter are located in Plainview on Long Island, with most of its operations based at WNET's studios in Midtown Manhattan.

It is one of three PBS outlets serving some portion of the New York market, alongside co-owned primary PBS member, Newark, New Jersey-licensed WNET (channel 13), and the New Jersey state member network NJTV (whose Montclair station WNJN and New Brunswick station WNJB reach portions of the market). It is currently the third-most watched PBS station in the country, behind WNET and KOCE-TV in the Los Angeles area.


WLIW's transmitter tower, adjacent to its studios in Plainview, New York, June 2010.

The station first signed on the air on January 14, 1969, and was originally operated by the Long Island Educational Television Council. In February 2003, the Long Island Educational Television Council merged with the Educational Broadcasting Corporation (the present-day WNET.org), combining WLIW's operations with those of WNET. The Long Island Educational Television Council was retained as WLIW's governing board and fundraising arm.

WLIW logo, used from 2005 to 2009.

WLIW promotes itself as a more locally-oriented station than WNET, as evidenced by its on-air moniker of "New York Public Television." However, it is a major producer of national PBS programming in its own right. Among its more prominent shows are the innovative Visions series and many music specials featuring noted American performers like Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Neil Sedaka, Ricky Nelson and international stars like Helmut Lotti and Sarah Brightman. Regular hosts of these specials produced for PBS include Laura Savini, Terrel Cass, Mark Simone, David Rubinson and Lisa Jandovitz.

Its former identity which debuted in 2005, its color palette and on-air graphics, were designed and conceived by Trollback + Company. It was the station's first corporate branding initiative since its launch in 1969. In 2009, WLIW unified its branding with its sister WNET, adopting a similar logo, but in a blue color scheme rather than WNET's red, but keeping the "WLIW 21" brand name; it did, however, carry over the dotted "i" from the WNET logo. It rolled out a new logo in 2012, removing the dotted "i."

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
21.1 1080i 16:9 WLIW-DT Main WLIW programming / PBS
21.2 480i 4:3 CREATE Create
21.3 WORLD World

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WLIW discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 21, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[2] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 22 to former UHF analog channel 21.


External links[edit]