Lakeshore PBS Transmitter Goes Down, Repairs are Underway

Jul 20, 2018

Picture of a TV transmitter. WSMV Antenna in west Nashville. (WSMV)
Credit WSMV Antenna in west Nashville. (WSMV) / WSMV Antenna in west Nashville. (WSMV)

CEDAR LAKE - Early week storms knocked out the transmitter of Northwest Indiana’s local TV station, Lakeshore PBS, and the station is still working to return to normal operation.

A violent storm passed through the area on Monday afternoon, affecting the station’s television transmitter. An engineering team was dispatched to the transmitter site located near Cedar Lake and found a power loss.  Working with NIPSCO, the power was restored.  The engineering team then discovered that there was an error in the transmitter system that blocked the system from operating on its 950-foot tower.

The station, which operates out of its Merrillville studios, broadcasts two channels: its primary Lakeshore PBS channel and a sub-channel that airs NHK World Japan on 56.2, offering an English-language global network presented from an Asian perspective.  

Vice President of TV Operations Matt Franklin points out that this incident shows how challenging it is to provide high-quality programming to the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland audience 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  Franklin added that it takes a large investment in capital and staff to bring Lakeshore PBS' viewers the best of PBS and public media programming, as well as it's original programming like Lakeshore Classic Movies and PFR Scoreboard.

The engineering team continues to work on the problem, and the station management is hoping for a quick return to broadcasting.

President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media James Muhammad says that throughout the outage, Lakeshore Public Media has heard from many viewers and members, letting station staffers know that they missed their programming and their PBS station.  Muhammad said, “I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we address the issue.”

Muhammad stated, “That is why you often hear us asking for support from our members,  viewers and our community leaders, to help us maintain and improve our technological infrastructure so we can continue to broadcast for years to come.”  The station celebrated its 30th anniversary last November.

Lakeshore PBS signed on the air November 1987 as WYIN Channel 56, a commercially licensed public television station. The non-profit organization continued to upgrade the quality of station production and broadcast equipment over the years, with revenue generated through member contributions and support from local businesses and organizations, as well as state and federal grants.

Nearly 31 years later, the station remains the sole televised source for local information centered on Northwest Indiana.