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WGCB Family 49 Logo.JPG
Red Lion/York/Harrisburg/
Lancaster/Lebanon, Pennsylvania
United States
City Red Lion, Pennsylvania
Branding WGCB
Channels Digital: 10 (VHF)
(shared with WHTM-TV[1])
Virtual: 49 (PSIP)
Affiliations Independent
Owner Winemiller Television, LLC
(Red Lion 49 Media, LLC)
First air date April 28, 1979 (39 years ago) (1979-04-28)
Call letters' meaning World for
Christ and the
Sister station(s) WSCG
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 49 (UHF, 1979–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 30 (UHF, until 2017)
Transmitter power 16.2 kW
Height 311.1 m (1,021 ft)
Facility ID 55350
Transmitter coordinates 40°18′58″N 76°57′0″W / 40.31611°N 76.95000°W / 40.31611; -76.95000
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.family49.com

WGCB-TV, virtual channel 49 (VHF digital channel 10), is an independent television station licensed to Red Lion, Pennsylvania, United States and serving the Susquehanna Valley region, including Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York. Owned by Winemiller Television, LLC, WGCB maintains studio facilities on Windsor Road in Red Lion,[2] and it shares transmitting facilities with Harrisburg-licensed ABC affiliate WHTM-TV (channel 27) on the ridge north of I-81 along the Cumberland and Perry county line. On cable, WGCB is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 9.

The station features a family-oriented programming format with religious programs and off-network classic television series both supplied by Cozi TV and acquired through various distributors.


The channel 49 allocation in the Susquehanna Valley region was previously occupied by WNOW-TV, which was based in York and was originally affiliated with the DuMont Television Network (and later the NTA Film Network).[3] It could not compete with WGAL-TV (channel 8) and eventually went off the air. [1]

WGCB-TV's former logo.

WGCB-TV first signed on the air on April 28, 1979. It was the first completely new station to sign on in South Central Pennsylvania in 26 years. It was founded by John Harden Norris, an engineer for Sinclair Oil and Refining Company, who left his position and joined his father to establish Red Lion Broadcasting in 1950, which also owned WGCB radio (1440 AM, now WGLD, and 96.1 FM, now WSOX; both now owned by Cumulus Media). The Norrises signed on WGCB (AM) (standing for "the World for God, Christ and the Bible") in 1950, followed by WGCB-FM in 1958, one of the first FM radio stations in the United States. In 1962, Norris launched short-wave radio station WINB (originally standing for "World In Need of the Bible", now for "World Inter National Broadcasters"), now the oldest commercial shortwave station in the United States (although the original transmitter failed in 1995, and it took until 1997 to resume full-power broadcasts).[2] At the time, Norris was the only individual in the U.S. to operate AM, FM, short-wave radio and television stations in one location, and under one ownership.

On November 27, 1964, the WGCB radio stations carried a 15-minute religious broadcast that would spawn a monumental case that ended with Supreme Court's approval of the Fairness Doctrine. The Court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could enforce the Fairness Doctrine, which prohibits broadcasters from using their monopoly on a broadcast frequency to monopolize discussion on controversial issues. Norris died on September 28, 2008 at the age of 82. The FCC granted a change in control for WGCB-TV on November 5, 2008 to the estate of John H. Norris. DirecTV ceased carriage of WGCB on January 1, 2009.

For much of WGCB-TV's history, it operated as a religious independent station, carrying programs from various televangelists. It was the only over-the-air source of non-network programming in the area until WPMT (channel 43) relaunched as an independent in 1983. On August 17, 2009, WGCB-TV began carrying classic television series daily from 3 to 10 p.m. (such as The Cosby Show, My Three Sons, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Little House on the Prairie, McHale's Navy, Hogan's Heroes and Matlock). In 2012, WGCB-TV began carrying select programs from the classic television network MeTV, which also began to be carried on digital subchannel 49.2.

On September 19, 2012, NRJ TV (a company unrelated to European broadcaster NRJ Radio) announced its intent to purchase WGCB-TV from Red Lion Television for $9 million;[4] the sale was completed on December 3.

On December 29, 2014, WGCB-TV stopped carrying MeTV programming (as WGAL-DT2 picked up that affiliation) and began carrying select programs from the classic television network Cozi TV, which also began to be carried on digital subchannel 49.2.

NRJ TV agreed to sell WGCB-TV to Red Lion 49 Media, LLC for $2.5 million on August 29, 2017. Red Lion 49 Media's principals are also in the process of acquiring WGSA in Savannah, Georgia. The sale was approved by the FCC on December 8, 2017.[5]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
49.1 720p 16:9 WGCB-HD Main WGCB-TV programming

As part of a channel sharing agreement with WHTM, the three subchannels (49.2 Cozi TV, 49.3 Charge!, 49.4 Escape) were dropped.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WGCB-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 49, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[7] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 30, using PSIP to display WGCB-TV's virtual channel as 49 on digital television receivers.

WGCB sold its spectrum for $84 million in the 2016–2017 FCC incentive auction and the station will have to cease broadcasting on its current digital channel 90 days after it receives payment from the FCC.[8] The station has a channel-sharing agreement with ABC affiliate WHTM-TV.[9]


External links[edit]