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Columbus, Ohio
United States
ChannelsDigital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 17 (PSIP)
Subchannels(see below)
Affiliations(see below)
OwnerHC2 Holdings
First air dateJanuary 8, 1986; 34 years ago (1986-01-08)
Former call signsW17AI (1986–1998)
WDEM-LP (1998–2008)
WDEM-CA (2008-2009)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
17 (UHF, 1988-2009)
17 (UHF, 2009-2019)
Former affiliationsIndependent (1986–1992)
HSN (1992–1998, 2007–2009)
America's Store (1998–2007)
Universal Sports (2009–2011)
Telemundo (2010-2019)
Justice Network (2017-2019)
Transmitter power15 kW
Facility ID54414
Transmitter coordinates39°58′16.0″N 83°1′40.0″W / 39.971111°N 83.027778°W / 39.971111; -83.027778
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WDEM-CD is a Class A television station located in Columbus, Ohio, licensed to broadcast locally on digital channel 24 (virtual channel 17). It ceased broadcasting in May 2011 and resumed sometime before August 1, 2013.[1] It is owned by HC2 Station Group, a subsidiary of HC2 Holdings.


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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4] On August 1, 2013, WDEM started broadcasting Telemundo on the air, now on 17.1.

On February 2, 2017, WDEM began to carry the Justice Network on its secondary channel.

On April 3, 2019, [[HC2 Station Group]], owner of Azteca América, closed on its acquisition of WDEM from Minority Brands, Inc. for $866,000.[5]

On April 19,2019, WDEM began broadcasting on physical channel 24 with Azteca América on 17.1. It no longer a sister station of WQMC-LD and no longer simulcasts its programming. Unlike the former physical channel 17, the new channel does not have a directional antenna and is able to reach the entire city of Columbus.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short


17.1 720p 16:9 WDEM-CD Azteca América
17.2 480i 4:3 BeIN Sports Xtra
17.3 Infomercials

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. ^ a b Digital TV Market Listing for WDEM-CD
  3. ^ "Report No. 513 Media Bureau Call Sign Actions December 17, 2008". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  4. ^ "Welcome to WDEM DTV-17! WDEM Technical Difficulties". WDEM. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  5. ^ Jacobson, Adam (2019-04-03). "HC2 Closes On Columbus Class A". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved 2019-04-20.

External links[edit]