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WLIW logo 2011.svg
Garden City, New York
United States
CityGarden City, New York
BrandingWLIW 21
ChannelsDigital: 21 (UHF)
(to move to 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)
Former affiliations
  • NET (1969–1970)
Transmitter power89.9 kW
Height111 m (364 ft)
Facility ID38336
Transmitter coordinates40°47′20.4″N 73°27′7.1″W / 40.789000°N 73.451972°W / 40.789000; -73.451972Coordinates: 40°47′20.4″N 73°27′7.1″W / 40.789000°N 73.451972°W / 40.789000; -73.451972
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WLIW, channel 21, is a is a non-commercial educational, public television station licensed to Garden City, New York, its over-the-air signal serves the Long Island area. The station, through its carriage on cable and satellite, serves as a secondary PBS station for the New York City television market. WLIW is owned by WNET.org (formerly the Educational Broadcasting Corporation), and is a sister station to the area's primary PBS member, WNET (channel 13), and New Jersey's public television network, NJTV; the latter is operated by WNET.org via an outsourcing agreement.

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 main studios, master control and offices are located in Midtown Manhattan with an auxiliary street-level studio in the Lincoln Center complex on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The station also maintains a production studio at its transmitter site in Plainview, New York.


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

The station originally operated by the Long Island Educational Television Council, 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-TV 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 channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2]
21.1 1080i 16:9 WLIW-DT 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]