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Justice Network logo.jpg
Columbus, Ohio
United States
Channels Digital: 17 (UHF)
Virtual: 17 (PSIP)
Subchannels 17.1 Telemundo
17.2 Justice Network
17.3 Bounce TV
17.4 Azteca America
Affiliations Telemundo (2013–present)

Minority Brands, Inc.

Media Columbus, Inc.
First air date January 8, 1986; 31 years ago (1986-01-08)
Former callsigns W17AI (1986–1998)
WDEM-LP (1998–2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1986–1992)
HSN (1992–1998, 2007–2009)
America's Store (1998–2007)
Universal Sports (2009–2011)
Transmitter power 10.5 kW
Class A
Facility ID 54414
Transmitter coordinates 39°58′16.0″N 83°1′40.0″W / 39.971111°N 83.027778°W / 39.971111; -83.027778
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile



WDEM-CD is a Class A television station located in Columbus, Ohio, licensed to broadcast locally on digital channel 17. It ceased broadcasting in May 2011 and resumed sometime before August 1, 2013.[1] It is owned by Minority Brands, Inc., and Media Columbus, Inc.


The station was founded on January 8, 1986 as W17AI, a Columbus translator signal for owner Wendell A. Triplett's primary television holding, WWAT-TV in Chillicothe. This arrangement, intended to increase the station's reach into the larger Columbus market, was discontinued in 1992, when WWAT (rebranded as WWHO) was added to many Columbus cable lineups. Following its disassociation from the former WWAT, W17AI became a full-time affiliate of the Home Shopping Network. In 1998, the station changed its call letters to WDEM-LP and became an affiliate of the America's Store home shopping network, reverting to HSN programming following the discontinuation of America's Store.

On December 17, 2008, Channel 17 was upgraded from low-power status to Class A; accordingly, its callsign was changed to WDEM-CA to reflect this.[2]

In February 2009, WDEM, under the new management of David P. Chesnet, dropped its HSN affiliation and repositioned itself as a station focusing on arts, culture, entertainment and lifestyles of the Columbus area. This new format, unique in the market, featured a mix of locally produced programming, older films and classic TV shows.

On July 8, 2009, the station's calls changed to WDEM-CD, with the -CD designation standing for "Class A digital television station". Around this time, WDEM converted to digital, with NBC's Universal Sports on digital subchannel 17.1, local Spanish programming on 17.2 and WDEM's local content moved to 17.3.

In spring of 2010, WDEM's 17.2 became Telemundo. Also around this time WDEM started producing local programming starting with a 30-minute special covering The Arnold Sports Festival held annually in downtown Columbus; the special was seen as a local insert on Universal Sports.

In July 2010, Time Warner Cable picked up WDEM's Telemundo subchannel on channel 803; also, WOW! picked up Telemundo on channel 102 and Universal Sports on channel 103. Neither system carried 17.3, which was discontinued with Universal Sports's move to cable-only distribution as of January 1, 2012.

On May 1, 2011, WDEM's transmitter was taken off the air due to a technical fault, whose details are unknown; the transmitter was off the air until July 2011, but resumed operations thereafter.[3] On August 1, 2013, WDEM started broadcasting Telemundo on the air, now on 17.1.

In September 2016, former television news reporter and media executive Derek Myers joined the station as part-owner. Under his direction, a new company, Media Columbus, Inc., was launched. [4] With boots-on-the-ground, Myers became General Manager and started running the day-to-day operations of the station.[5]

On February 2, 2017, after 11 months of planning, WDEM started broadcasting the popular true-crime network, Justice Network, on their digital sub-channel, 17.2, in a partnership with John Walsh (television host), famous for his now-defunct show America's Most Wanted.[6] Presented by Walsh, each hour 17.2 spends 90-seconds profiling a wanted fugitive and a missing child from the Columbus-area.[7] With less than three weeks on-the-air in Columbus, a fugitive who was wanted in connection with a shooting of a Fayette County, Ohio man was profiled. [8] With his mugshot running at the top-of-every-hour, the fugitive was arrested by the United States Marshals Service in east Columbus. Law enforcement said the quick apprehension was a result of efforts by the station and Walsh. [9]

WDEM's digital sub-channels 17.3 and 17.4 broadcasts Bounce TV and Azteca Trece, respectfully.[10] WDEM's sister station, W23BZ-D, simulcasts WDEM's channels, as well.[11]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel PSIP Short Name Video Aspect Programming[12]
17.1 Telmun 480i 4:3 Telemundo
17.2 Justice Justice Network
17.3 Bounce Bounce TV
17.4 Azteca Azteca America

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WDEM shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 17, on February 17, 2009, and "flash-cut" its digital signal into operation UHF channel 17.


  1. ^ "Welcome to WDEM DTV-17! WDEM Technical Difficulties". WDEM. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  2. ^ "Report No. 513 Media Bureau Call Sign Actions December 17, 2008". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to WDEM DTV-17! WDEM Technical Difficulties". WDEM. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  4. ^ "Corporation Details". www5.sos.state.oh.us. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Derek Myers (@DerekMyers) | Twitter". www.twitter.com. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Watch Justice In Your Area". Justice Network. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  7. ^ "About". Justice Network. 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  8. ^ "Derek Myers - PLEASE SHARE: Congratulations David...". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  9. ^ "Derek Myers - CAPTURED: David DeJarnette was caught by US...". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  10. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  11. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  12. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WDEM-CD

External links[edit]