In the mid-1980′s, a group of concerned citizens began looking for a way to give Northwest Indiana a televised broadcast voice. When the Lake Central School District could no longer support local station WCAE, the license was assigned to Gary, Indiana and secured by the founding directors of Lakeshore Public Television. Lakeshore Public Television signed on the air November 1987 as WYIN Channel 56. Today, nearly 25 years later, we remain the sole televised source for local news, sports, and weather, as well as information on cultural events and community issues.
Throughout the 1990′s, Lakeshore Public Television put into practice the vision of a locally active television station. The first newscast aired with a commitment to cover stories of interest to residents in Northwest Indiana. Our staff was small–at times it was a one-man show–and the anchor sat in front of a curtain to read the day’s news, but viewers tuned-in, eager to see a newscast with local flavor and focus. In addition, Indiana Now, the front-runner to our current public affairs programs, debuted with hosts Larry Evans, an area attorney, and former Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez. The show featured interviews with community leaders and state lawmakers like then governor Evan Bayh, and then lietuenant governor Frank O’Bannon. With the station’s reputation as a community resource well established, the staff and Board of Directors planned to greet the new millennium with a focused effort to strengthen the quality and power of the broadcast signal.
The 21st century and the dawning of the digital age brought many exciting changes to Lakeshore Public Television. In November 2003, a 950-foot tower with a 54-foot analog antenna was erected at our Crown Point, Indiana transmitter site. The new transmitter allows Lakeshore Public Television to harness our full power of 1.35 million watts, sending a strong, clear signal to viewers in a 65-mile radius. In February 2004, with a $2 million state grant, Lakeshore Public Television installed a digital antenna and digital tuner, adding four digital channels (17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4). 17.1 and 17.4 are currently operating.
Today we continue to upgrade the quality of station production and our broadcast equipment. Some of the revenue is generated through donations from local businesses, and state and federal grants. However, our primary resources come from viewer support, the kind of grassroots funding that truly makes us public television.