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WDCQ 2013.png
Bad Axe/Bay City/Saginaw/Flint, Michigan
United States
CityBad Axe, Michigan
SloganStraight from the Hub of the Thumb
ChannelsDigital: 15 (UHF)
Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
Subchannels19.1 PBS
19.2 MHz Worldview
19.3 Create
19.4 PBS Kids
AffiliationsPBS (1970–present)
OwnerDelta College
First air dateOctober 12, 1964 (intellectual unit)
December 31, 1986 (32 years ago) (1986-12-31) (Bad Axe transmitter)
Call letters' meaningDelta
Quality Television
Sister station(s)WUCX-FM
Former callsignsWUCX-TV (1986–1997)
WDCP-TV (1997–2003)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
35 (UHF, 1986–2009)
Former affiliationsNET (1964–1970)
Transmitter power200 kW
Height309 m (1,014 ft)
Facility ID16530
Transmitter coordinates43°32′33″N 83°39′37″W / 43.54250°N 83.66028°W / 43.54250; -83.66028 (WDCQ-TV)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WDCQ-TV, virtual channel 19 (UHF digital channel 15), branded as Q-TV, is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Bad Axe, Michigan, United States and serving the Flint/Tri-Cities television market. The station is owned by Delta College in University Center, an unincorporated community in Frankenlust Township in southwestern Bay County. WDCQ-TV's transmitter is located in Quanicassee, in northwestern Tuscola County.


The station first signed on the air on October 12, 1964 as WUCM-TV channel 19, licensed to University Center; the "UCM" stood for University Center Michigan. The station was initially affiliated with National Educational Television (NET) until 1970, when the present-day PBS replaced NET. In 1986, WUCM established a satellite, WUCX-TV channel 35 in Bad Axe, to better cover Michigan's Thumb area. In 1997, when the station first adopted the "Q-TV" branding, both stations changed their calls, with WUCM becoming WDCQ-TV, and WUCX becoming WDCP-TV.

The analog channel 19 transmitter was located on a 496-foot (151 m) tower on the campus of Delta College, near the corner of 4-Mile and Delta Roads in Bay County. The analog channel 35 tower was located just south of Ubly.

The WUCX calls are still used today for Delta College's NPR member station, WUCX-FM 90.1, Q90.1. That station is owned by Central Michigan University, and jointly run by Delta College and CMU.

WDCQ is currently the third most-watched PBS station in Michigan, behind WTVS in Detroit and WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids.[citation needed] As of 2017, Thomas Bennett is the general manager of WDCQ and WUCX-FM.


Programming on WDCQ is the general primary PBS fare, with some locally produced shows, such as Currently Speaking, a weekly, live current events discussion program hosted by Andy Rapp, who's been a personality at WDCQ since the early 1970s, when he hosted a daily discussion program, Day by Day, which ran on the old WUCM into the 1980s.

Starting in 2005, Q-TV began to produce local documentaries which looked at aspects of local history in the Great Lakes Bay Region and surrounding areas. These documentaries received many state and national awards including four Michigan Association of Broadcasters "Excellence in Broadcasting" Awards, numerous "Telly" awards among others. Documentaries produced include:

Vanishing Voices of World War Two

Sawdust & Shanty Boys - Logging the Saginaw Valley White Pine

Margin of Victory - Saginaw Valley's Role in Winning World War II

Tracks Through Time - Michigan Railroads - History & Impact

Breaking New Ground - Women of the Saginaw Valley

Restored to Glory - Classic Automobiles, Collectors & Their Stories

The Korean War - Voices from the 38th Parallel

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
19.1 720p 16:9 WDCQ-DT Main WDCQ-TV programming / PBS
19.2 480i 4:3 MHz Worldview
19.3 Create
19.4 PBS Kids

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

With the impending end of analog broadcasting in the United States, Delta College decided to use one digital station to cover its entire coverage area. Since it was widely believed that digital signals would travel further than analog signals, Delta College anticipated this would make up for the main WDCQ signal's shortfall on the Thumb. When each analog station was assigned a digital channel, WDCQ University Center was assigned channel 18 while WDCP Bad Axe was assigned channel 15 for digital. For practicality and monetary reasons, school officials opted to activate only channel 15, from a location that was close enough to the Tri-Cities to provide city-grade coverage to the area. Accordingly, on November 28, 2003; the two stations switched callsigns, with channel 19 becoming WDCP, and channel 35 now WDCQ.

WDCQ-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 35, 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 15,[2] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as channel 19—reflecting the analog channel position of WDCP. Even though FCC regulations regarding PSIP would usually mandate that WDCQ use "35" as its virtual channel, Delta College sought and received permission to use "19" instead. This is because most of its viewers live in the Flint/Tri-Cities area and had watched the station on channel 19 for almost half a century. However, WDCQ-TV is on channel 35 for DirecTV customers in its market.


  1. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WDCQ
  2. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.

External links[edit]