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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Slogan The Leader in Local Programming
Channel Digital: 41 (UHF)
Subchannels 44.1 PBS
44.2 local
44.3 Create
Translators see table below
Affiliations PBS
Owner Northeast Pennsylvania Educational Television Association
First air date September 26, 1966
Callsign meaning The World Via Television
Sister station(s) WVIA-FM
Former channels Analog: 44 (UHF) (1966-2009)
Former affiliations NET (1966-1970)
Effective power 171 kW
Height 510 m
Facility ID 47929
Antenna coordinates 41°10′55.5″N 75°52′15.2″W / 41.182083°N 75.870889°W / 41.182083; -75.870889

WVIA-TV is the PBS member station broadcasting on channel 41 to most of northeastern and central Pennsylvania. It is licensed to Scranton, with studios in Jenkins Township (which shares a post office with Pittston) and transmitter at the northeast Pennsylvania tower farm on Penobscot Knob.



In 1963, several men first met at Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre to discuss bringing an educational station to northeastern Pennsylvania. Twelve of the men formed the Northeast Pennsylvania Educational Television Association, chaired by Wilkes-Barre superintendent of schools Walter Wood. They received a license for channel 44 a year later.

The station's first employee, general manager George Strimel, Jr., was hired in 1965 and given two years to get the station on the air. He was able to do so within nine months, and WVIA-TV signed on for the first time on September 26, 1966. The fledgling station received a considerable assist from the area's commercial stations. WNEP-TV donated the old transmitter and tower facility from WARM-TV (one of the two stations that merged to form WNEP 10 years earlier), while WBRE-TV and WDAU-TV (now WYOU) made their studios available for local productions. All production work was done from the transmitter site.

The station grew rapidly, and within a year moved its offices from First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre to office space donated by King's College, and later to a school in Scranton. In 1969, WVIA moved to a specially-built studio at Marywood College in Scranton. In 1971, WVIA moved to its current studio in Jenkins Township.

The station didn't take long to become a part of the community; it won the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's award for community involvement for two straight years in the 1970s. It was the only public television station in Pennsylvania to stay on the air during a 1970 budget crisis. When Hurricane Agnes struck the area in 1972, WVIA preempted its programming to air weather reports around the clock, and lent its equipment to WBRE so it could stay on the air.

In 1978, WVIA activated its current tower on Penobscot Knob. It increased the station's coverage by 20%, enabling it to reach 20 counties and giving it a coverage area comparable with most of the area's commercial stations. The station also operates the largest translator network in Pennsylvania. For many years, through cable coverage WVIA was available through Cablevision in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

WVIA was carried on cable systems beyond the Scranton-WB TV market (including Fairfield County, CT), due to its unorthodox programming - in the '80s it carried sitcom reruns on Saturday and Sunday mornings of programs like "Leave it to Beaver", and even carried reruns of shows like "Dick Van Dyke" and "The Honeymooners" on weekday afternoons in such times as between the 5-7pm hour. It even carried reruns of "All in the Family" at 6:00pm from 1989-1991. "The Waltons" aired from 4:30-5:30pm from 1989-1991 as well, to be replaced by reruns of "Little House on the Prairie" in September 1991 which still airs on the channel today (from 5-6pm).

Digital Television

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:



WVIA-DT broadcasts on digital channel 41.

Digital channels

Channel Name Programming
44.1 WVIA-DT WVIA Public Media Studios - WVIA's flagship digital service. Airs PBS programming and locally produced shows.
44.2 WVIA-DT2 PBS West/WVIA Original Programming - This channel offers the west coast national feed of PBS and mixes in some locally produced shows such as "Call The Doctor", "Homegrown Concerts", and shows focusing on Pennsylvania and Northeast Pennsylvania politics and issues.
44.3 WVIA-DT3 WVIA Create - This channel offers a special separate program stream focusing mainly on creative programming such as cooking, gardening, home fix-it, and travel shows.


WVIA serves one of the largest coverage areas east of the Mississippi River. This area is very mountainous meaning that some areas cannot get a clear signal from channel 41.

Call letters Channel City of license
W20CP-D 20 Mansfield
W25AQ-D 25 Towanda
WVIA-LD 44 Waymart
W47DH-D 47 Clarks Summit
WVIA-LD 51 1 Williamsport
W55AG 55 Williamsport
  1. The channel will be a digital flash cut of W55AG. Construction permit has yet to be issued by FCC.

Partial Collapse of WVIA Broadcast Tower

On December 16, 2007, the top section of WVIA's tower collapsed due to severe ice, wind, and snow[1]. The felled top section of the tower supported the antennas for the analog TV signal on channel 44 and the digital TV signal on channel 41. WVIA-FM's antenna survived since it was located on the portion of the tower which did not collapse. After the incident, WVIA quickly put the analog TV signal back on the air through the use of a shorter back-up tower and antenna also located on Penobscot Knob. However, due to the shorter height, the service area has been limited.

Earlier that same day, the neighboring tower supporting the antennas for analog WNEP-TV (channel 16) and WCLH-FM 90.7 MHz collapsed completely due to the ice and winds[2]. The tower collapse also destroyed the transmitter building but no one was hurt in either incidents[2].

External links


  1. ^ WVIA-TV (December 17, 2007). "Ice Storm affects WVIA-TV Signal - FM and TV 44 still on the air". WVIA. Retrieved December 17, 2007.  
  2. ^ a b Steve Mocarsky and Mark Sowers (December 17, 2007). "Storm tips TV towers". The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania). Retrieved December 17, 2007.  


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