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WVIZ logo.jpg
Cleveland, Ohio
United States
Branding WVIZ/PBS Ideastream
Slogan Where You Belong
Channels Digital: 26 (UHF)
Virtual: 25 (PSIP)
Subchannels 25.1 WVIZ/PBS HD
25.2 Ohio Channel
25.3 World
25.4 PBS Create
Translators W38ET-D 38 Eastlake
Affiliations PBS
Owner Ideastream
First air date February 7, 1965; 50 years ago (1965-02-07)
Call letters' meaning viz. is abbreviation for videlicet, the Latin word meaning "namely"
Sister station(s) WCLV, WCPN
Former channel number(s) Analog:
25 (UHF, 1965–2009)
Former affiliations NET (1965–1970)
Transmitter power 150 kW
Height 336.9 m
Facility ID 18753
Transmitter coordinates 41°23′10″N 81°41′21″W / 41.38611°N 81.68917°W / 41.38611; -81.68917
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.wviz.org

WVIZ, virtual channel 25 (UHF digital channel 26), is the primary PBS member television station located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The station is owned by Ideastream. WVIZ shares studio facilities with sister NPR member radio station WCPN (90.3 FM) at the Idea Center on Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, and its transmitter is located in suburban Parma.

WVIZ also operates a translator in northeastern Ohio: W38ET-D (UHF channel 38), licensed to Eastlake, with its transmitter in Thompson.


WVIZ was founded by Betty Cope, a former producer at Cleveland's ABC affiliate, WEWS (channel 5), who recognized the value of non-commercial educational television for the schools. After a long struggle to clear all the hurdles, the station signed on the air on February 7, 1965, just in time for the start of the Cleveland school year's second semester. It was the 100th public television station to sign on in the United States. The station's original studios were located in Cleveland's Max Hayes Trade School.

The first voice heard on WVIZ was that of Alan R. Stephenson, Ph.D. As the first director of WVIZ's educational television services department, Stephenson's duties included casting, setting budgets, and acting as executive producer for dozens of local non-commercial educational television productions.

WVIZ was originally a member station of National Educational Television (NET), which was reorganized into PBS in 1970. While some large-market PBS stations established themselves with prime time series, WVIZ remained committed first and foremost to Northeast Ohio's schools, and chose not to engage in national productions for a number of years. However, when PBS began transmitting its programs via satellite in 1978, WVIZ hired its first executive producer, Milton Hoffman. He oversaw a few WVIZ productions before resigning in 1982. The next executive producer was Dennis Goulden, formerly of NBC station WKYC-TV (channel 3). Goulden was responsible for the creation of a number of programs and series, such as Kovels On Collecting, Producers Showcase, Mediscene, Dimension and CookSmart. He credits Betty Cope with their creation because, as Goulden stated, she let him experiment.[1] He also gave Larry Elder (now a nationally syndicated radio host) his first show.

The station also aired specials such as a Paul Meincke-hosted special on the tenth anniversary of busing in Cleveland, and an hour-long special on Margaret Bourke-White. Mediscene was a medical series hosted by former nurse M. R. Berger (now deceased). CookSmart was hosted by Susie Heller, and featured guests including Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. Dimension was a monthly series modeled along the lines of CBS' Sunday Morning. Kovels On Collecting was a well-traveled showcase of the wonderfully talented Ralph and Terry Kovel. Goulden worked with the station for approximately four years; WVIZ replaced Goulden quickly in mid-1988 with Mark Rosenberger.

On June 1, 1993, after 28 years at the helm, Betty Cope stepped down as president of WVIZ. Her post went to Jerrold Wareham, the former general manager at Greater Dayton Public Television (operating WPTD in Dayton and WPTO in Oxford). In 1996, WVIZ debuted the program Cleveland Memories. Wareham effectively rid WVIZ of its instructional television programming, filling the daytime hours with PBS Kids series such as Barney & Friends. The station's branding was also modified to "WVIZ/PBS" in December 1999.

In December 2001, WVIZ merged with radio station WCPN to form Ideastream. The new grouping was formed to establish a unified source for public broadcasting and lectures.[2] In early 2006, WVIZ and WCPN moved to a new fully digital studio facility at the Playhouse Square in the Cleveland Theater District; the new facility has an auditorium to studios for dance to music. WVIZ was originally based from studios on Brookpark Road, while WCPN was headquartered out of rented space at Cleveland State University. WVIZ is one of the few PBS member stations to have a new updated digital studio center.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:[3]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
25.1 1080i 16:9 WVIZ-HD Main WVIZ programming / PBS
25.2 480i 4:3 WVIZ Oh Ohio Channel
25.3 WVIZ Wo World
25.4 WVIZ cr Create

Digital subchannel 25.1 formerly carried the PBS Satellite Service until December 17, 2008.

WVIZ shares a tower owned by WKYC, which is used for both that station and WVIZ's full-power digital antenna. WVIZ activated its full-power digital transmitter on June 10, 2009. Prior to that date, WVIZ broadcast a weak 1 kilowatt digital signal from its previous studios on Brookpark Road as Infinity Broadcasting (who owns the tower where WVIZ's full power analog antenna was mounted), could not agree on installing the digital antenna.[5]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WVIZ shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 25, 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 UHF channel 26.[6] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 25.


External links[edit]