|Cedar / Traverse City /
|Branding||My TV 12|
|Slogan||Traverse City's Best
|Channels||Analog: 12 (VHF)|
|Affiliations||MyNetworkTV & Cozi TV|
|Owner||P & P Cable Holdings|
|Founded||December 12, 1996|
|Call letters' meaning||reads like "wheels" (former calls of Detroit's WDZH-FM)|
|Former callsigns||W51CS (1996–2001)
|Former channel number(s)||51 (UHF, 1996–2001)|
|Former affiliations||Urban America Television (2003–2006)
The Sportsman Channel (secondary, to 2009)
America One (1996–2003) (secondary, until 2015)
Retro TV (secondary from 2008 until 2015)
|Transmitter power||893 watts|
WLLZ-LP is the low-powered MyNetworkTV and Cozi TV-affiliated television station for the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan that is licensed to Cedar. It broadcasts an analog signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter west of downtown Traverse City near Harris and Cedar Run roads. The station is owned by P & P Cable Holdings. The station currently carries two programs in syndication; How I Met Your Mother and Simply Outdoors on Saturday morning. WLLZ can be seen on Charter channel 11 throughout the northern Lower Peninsula. Starting in 2010, the station was also carried on Charter in the eastern Upper Peninsula (including Sault Ste. Marie).
The station began broadcasting in 1996 on UHF channel 51 with the call sign W51CS. In 2001, it moved to VHF channel 12 and used the call letters W12CX. In 2003, they upgraded to low-power status and its calls became the current WLLZ-LP. In December of that year, the station became an affiliate of Urban America Television. It added America One programming to its schedule in Summer 2004. WLLZ became a full affiliate of the network in May 2006 when Urban America Television ceased operations.
It picked up MyNetworkTV at the beginning of the 2008 TV season. Until then, there was no local affiliate in the northern Michigan market. In June 2008, the station was added to Charter digital channel 202 throughout the northern Lower Peninsula. It moved to the basic tier on channel 72 in December 2008 and has now moved to channel 11 in 18 counties on Charter cable.
From 1980 to 1996, the WLLZ calls were used by an album oriented rock FM radio station broadcasting on 98.7 in the Detroit area, nicknamed "Detroit's Wheelz" (later "Smooth Jazz" WVMV "V98.7" and now top-40 "AMP Radio" WDZH). After the FM station dropped the call letters, they were used for several years on an AM station in the market, and were picked up by Channel 12 after the AM station dropped them in 2003. WLLZ's owner, P & P Cable Holdings, is known for picking up calls discarded by other Michigan radio and television stations for use on their own stations.
On May 15, 2009, this station discontinued an affiliation with The Sportsman Channel (which was phasing out its over-the-air affiliations) and added RTV, with America One programming significantly reduced (though not entirely eliminated). Previously from 2007 until 2008, NBC affiliate WPBN-TV carried RTV on a second digital subchannel. This was dropped in favor of a simulcast of ABC affiliate WGTU. Due to its low-powered status, WLLZ was exempt from switching to digital-only broadcasting on June 12, 2009. They currently have no plans to add a digital signal or switch through a "flash-cut".
The station discontinued their affiliation with America One in 2015, when it merged with Youtoo TV into Youtoo America, allowing a contractual out of that agreement. With the start of the 2015-16 season, WLLZ has wound down carrying nearly all of their syndicated programming, with Cozi TV being carried most of the day and MyNetworkTV in primetime.
Former news programming
Until May 2009, WLLZ aired INN National News, a newscast produced by Independent News Network in Davenport, Iowa from America One. It also carried a video simulcast of an hour of radio station WMKT's morning show hosted by Greg Marshall. The simulcast was discontinued in early 2011.