|Cedar / Traverse City /
|City of license||Cedar|
|Branding||My TV 12|
|Slogan||Traverse City's Best
|Channels||Analog: 12 (VHF)|
Retro Television Network
America One (secondary)
|Owner||P & P Cable Holdings|
|Founded||December 12, 1996|
|Call letters' meaning||reads like "wheels" (former calls of Detroit's WDZH-FM)|
|Former callsigns||W51CS (1996-2001)
|Former channel number(s)||51 (UHF, 1996-2001)|
|Former affiliations||Urban America Television (2003-2006)
The Sportsman Channel (secondary, to 2009)
|Transmitter power||0.893 kW|
WLLZ-LP is the low-powered MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan that is licensed to Cedar. It broadcasts an analog signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter west of downtown Traverse City near Harris and Cedar Run Roads. Owned by P & P Cable Holdings, the station airs programming from MyNetworkTV, America One, and Retro Television Network. During local airtime, the show also airs reruns of network shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Cold Case, Without a Trace, How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Family Guy, and American Dad!, as well as classic movies. WLLZ can be seen on Charter channel 11 throughout the northern Lower Peninsula. Starting in 2010, the station was also carried on Charter in the eastern Upper Peninsula (including Sault Ste. Marie).
The station began broadcasting in 1996 on UHF channel 51 with the call sign W51CS. In 2001, it moved to VHF channel 12 and used the call letters W12CX. In 2003, they upgraded to low-power status and its calls became the current WLLZ-LP. In December of that year, the station became an affiliate of Urban America Television. It added America One programming to its schedule in Summer 2004. WLLZ became a full affiliate of the network in May 2006 when Urban America Television ceased operations.
It picked up MyNetworkTV at some point in 2008. Until then, there was no local affiliate in the northern Michigan market. In June 2008, the station was added to Charter digital channel 202 throughout the northern Lower Peninsula. It moved to the basic tier on channel 72 in December 2008.
From 1980 to 1996, the WLLZ calls were used by an album oriented rock FM radio station broadcasting on 98.7 in the Detroit area, nicknamed "Detroit's Wheelz" (later "Smooth Jazz" WVMV "V98.7" and now top-40 "AMP Radio" WDZH). After the FM station dropped the call letters, they were used for several years on an AM station in the market, and were picked up by Channel 12 after the AM station dropped them in 2003. WLLZ's owner, P & P Cable Holdings, is known for picking up calls discarded by other Michigan radio and television stations for use on their own stations.
On May 15, 2009, this station discontinued an affiliation with The Sportsman Channel (which was phasing out its over-the-air affiliations) and added RTV, with America One programming significantly reduced (though not entirely eliminated). Previously from 2007 until 2008, NBC affiliate WPBN-TV carried RTV on a second digital subchannel. This was dropped in favor of a simulcast of ABC affiliate WGTU. Due to its low-powered status, WLLZ was exempt from switching to digital-only broadcasting on June 12, 2009. They currently have no plans to add a digital signal or switch through a "flash-cut", though they must do so before September 1, 2015, the date in which all low-powered television stations in the United States must convert to digital or close down, as per the FCC's digital conversion plan.
Until May 2009, WLLZ aired INN National News, a newscast produced by Independent News Network in Davenport, Iowa that is contracted out by America One. The station also previously simulcasted a video and audio feed of the Greg Marshall show on WMKT radio from 7AM to 8AM; during the program, there are national news updates from Fox News, local news headlines, weather forecasts, sports scores, and call-in talk segments. The simulcast ended in early 2011.