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WLIW logo 2011.svg
Garden City/New York, New York
United States
CityGarden City, New York
BrandingWLIW 21
ChannelsDigital: 32 (UHF)
Virtual: 21 (PSIP)
First air dateJanuary 14, 1969 (50 years ago) (1969-01-14)
Call letters' meaningLong Island West
Sister station(s)WNET, NJTV, WNDT-CD, WMBQ-CD
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 21 (UHF, 1969–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 22 (UHF, 1999–2009)
  • 21 (UHF, 2009–2019)
Former affiliations
  • NET (1969–1970)
Transmitter power56.5 kW (STA)
72 kW (CP)
Height495.6 m (1,626 ft)
Facility ID38336
Transmitter coordinates40°42′46.8″N 74°0′47.3″W / 40.713000°N 74.013139°W / 40.713000; -74.013139Coordinates: 40°42′46.8″N 74°0′47.3″W / 40.713000°N 74.013139°W / 40.713000; -74.013139
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WLIW, virtual channel 21 (UHF digital channel 32), is a secondary Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Garden City, New York, United States and serving the New York City television market. Owned by WNET.org (formerly known as the Educational Broadcasting Corporation), it is sister to the area's primary PBS member, Newark, New Jersey-licensed WNET (channel 13), and two Class A stations which share spectrum with WNET: WNDT-CD (channel 14) and WMBQ-CD (channel 46); through an outsourcing agreement, WNET.org also operates New Jersey's PBS state network NJTV and the website NJ Spotlight. WLIW and WNET share studios at One Worldwide Plaza in Midtown Manhattan with an auxiliary street-level studio in the Lincoln Center complex on Manhattan's Upper West Side; the two stations also share transmitter facilities atop One World Trade Center. WLIW also maintains a production studio at its former transmitter site in Plainview, New York.

In terms of potential audience reach, WLIW is the third-most watched public television station in the United States.[1][better source needed]


WLIW's former transmitter tower, adjacent to its studios in Plainview, New York, June 2010.

Originally operated by the Long Island Educational Television Council, the station first signed on the air on January 14, 1969 serving Nassau County and western Suffolk County. By the early 1980s the station was being carried on nearly all cable systems in the New York metropolitan area, and began identifying as "Garden City/New York."

The station fed news coverage from WNBC during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

In February 2003, the Long Island Educational Television Council merged with the Educational Broadcasting Corporation (the present-day WNET.org), combining WLIW's operations with those of WNET. The Long Island Educational Television Council was retained as WLIW's governing board and fundraising arm.

WLIW logo, used from 2005 to 2009.

WLIW promotes itself as a more locally oriented station than WNET. For most of the late 1990s and early 2000s, it branded itself as "New York Public Television." However, it is a major producer of national PBS and American Public Television programming in its own right, much like WNET. Among its more prominent shows are the innovative Visions series and many music specials featuring noted American performers like Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Neil Sedaka, Ricky Nelson and international stars like Helmut Lotti and Sarah Brightman. Regular hosts of these specials produced for PBS include Laura Savini, Terrel Cass, Mark Simone, David Rubinson and Lisa Jandovitz.

Its former identity which debuted in 2005, its color palette and on-air graphics, were designed and conceived by Trollback + Company. It was the station's first corporate branding initiative since its launch in 1969. In 2009, WLIW unified its branding with its sister WNET, adopting a similar logo, but in a blue color scheme rather than WNET's red, but keeping the "WLIW 21" brand name; it did, however, carry over the dotted "i" from the WNET logo. It rolled out a new logo in 2012, removing the dotted "i."


Public television programming presented by WLIW include Front and Center, Priscilla's Yoga Stretches, and Consuelo Mack WealthTrack.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2]
21.1 1080i 16:9 WLIW HD Main WLIW programming / PBS
21.2 480i Create Create
21.3 World World
21.4 1080i AllArts All Arts

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WLIW discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 21, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[3] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 22 to channel 21.


External links[edit]