With final funds provided by the Legacy Foundation, Lakeshore Public Media announced today that it has completed the final phase of its critical system infrastructure upgrades.
In late 2020, the public broadcaster began work to implement the final step of its two-stage plan to install electrical systems and equipment upgrades that would provide uninterrupted power in the event of an outage.
With support from a grant from the Legacy Foundation, Lakeshore Public Media purchased three UPS systems designated to power its critical components until the station’s generators can come fully online. The grant also helped to pay for the electrical work needed to incorporate the systems safely into the station’s current operations.
With the final phase complete, Lakeshore Public Media should be able to avoid interruptions to its on-air programming due to sudden loss of electrical power. The systems and new safeguards should also prevent potential damage to its delicate infrastructure systems from a power surge or a power loss.
“We want to thank the Legacy Foundation and everyone who has supported Lakeshore to help us fund these infrastructure improvements,” said James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media. “We are confident that we can now provide reliable, uninterrupted service to people across Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland for years and years to come.”
In 2018, a violent storm damaged the Lakeshore PBS TV transmitter, knocking the station off the air. Further complications lead to ongoing outages that weren’t resolved until line repairs were completed and a new transmitter was installed in June 2019.
In total Lakeshore Public Media has committed almost $500,000 in equipment and repairs over the last two years, removing the old transmitter and accompanying equipment and purchasing a new solid-state transmitter. The new system eliminates single points of failure, operates on much less power and will be ATSC 3.0 ready, so it will be equipped for the next generation of broadcasting.
“It takes a large investment in capital to operate a community-licensed, non-profit TV and radio station, and having partners like Legacy Foundation is vital to our long-term ability to effectively provide our service to the community,” Muhammad continued. “Through Legacy’s ongoing support, we are better positioned to continue to provide engaging educational and informational programming and emergency alerts for Northwest Indiana – where we were created to serve.”
Lakeshore PBS signed on the air November 1987 as WYIN Channel 56, a community 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.
Over 30 years later, the station remains the sole televised source for local information centered on Northwest Indiana. Operating out of its Merrillville studios, Lakeshore Public Media is a member of the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, serving Indiana’s second largest urban area through their Lakeshore PBS and Lakeshore Public Radio service.
Lakeshore PBS broadcasts its main channel over the air on 56, on Comcast on 17 or 21 (HD Channel 239), on Dish Network HD Channel 6320, AT&T U-verse HD Channel 1056, Mediacom Channel 16 and DirecTV on 56 and streaming live online at lakeshorepbs.org. Lakeshore Public Radio can be heard on 89.1 FM and streaming online at lakeshorepublicradio.org.
Legacy Foundation invests in nonprofit services and capacity building efforts throughout Lake County, Ind. Through the generosity of a wide base of donors, Legacy Foundation has awarded $40 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals since its founding in 1992. Learn more at www.legacyfdn.org.