Lakeshore PBS Transmitter Knocked Out by Storm, Over the Air Signal Still Down

MERRILLVILLE—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 to all phases 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 on 56.2, offering an English-language global network presented from an Asian perspective.


“This incident shows how challenging it is to provide high-quality programming to our Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland audience 24 hours a day/7 days a week,” offered Matt Franklin, Vice President of TV Operations for the station. “It takes a large investment in capital and staff to bring our viewers the best of PBS and public media programming, as well as our 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.


“Through all of this, we heard from many viewers and members during our outage, letting us know that they missed their programming and their PBS station,” said James Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media. “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 you our members, viewers and our communities, 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.


About Lakeshore Public Media


Lakeshore Public Media provides quality local and original programming that educates, enlightens, and informs. Lakeshore Public Media chooses the best of NPR and PBS and other public media providers, broadcasting to millions of homes throughout Northwest Indiana, Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.  Lakeshore PBS broadcasts its main channel over the air on 56, on Comcast on 17 or 21 (HD Channel 239), on RCN Cable on 44, on Dish Network (HD Channel 6320), AT&T U-verse (HD Channel 1056) and DirecTV on 56.  Lakeshore PBS broadcasts NHK WORLD TV over the air on 56.2 and on Chicagoland Comcast on 377. Lakeshore Public Radio can be heard on 89.1fm.