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WLIW, channel 21, is a noncommercial television station licensed to Garden City, New Yorkmarker which serves as a secondary PBS member station for the New York Citymarker television market. WLIW is owned by the New York City-based (formerly the Educational Broadcasting Corporation), and is a sister station to New York City's flagship PBS member station, Newark, New Jerseymarker-licensed WNETmarker (channel 13). WLIW's main studios and transmitter are located in Plainview, New Yorkmarker, while its operations are housed at WNET's studios in Midtown Manhattan.


WLIW began broadcasting on January 14, 1969, originally operated by the Long Island Educational Television Council. It is currently the third-most watched PBS station in the country, behind WNET and KCETmarker in Los Angelesmarker. In February 2003, the Long Island Educational TV Council merged with the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, thus combining WLIW's operations with those of WNET. The Long Island Educational Television Council was retained as WLIW's governing board and fundraising arm.

WLIW promotes itself as a more locally-oriented station than WNET, as evidenced by its on-air moniker of "New York Public Television." However, it is a major producer of national PBS programming in its own right. Among its more prominent shows are the innovative Visions series and many music specials featuring noted American performers like Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Neil Sedaka, Rick Nelson and international stars like Helmut Lotti and Sarah Brightman. Regular hosts of these specials produced for PBS include Laura Savini, Terrel Cass, Mark Simone, David Rubinson and Lisa Jandovitz.
WLIW 21's Former logo 2006-2009

Its former identity which debuted in 2005, its color palette and on-air graphics, was designed and conceived by Trollback + Company in 2005. It was the station's first corporate branding initiative since its launch in 1969. In 2009, WLIW unified its branding with its sister WNET, adopting a similar logo, but in a blue color scheme rather than WNET's red, but keeping the WLIW 21 name (it does however, carry over the dotted "i" from the WNET logo).

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Digital channel
Channel Name Video Aspect Programming
21.1 WLIW-DT 480i 4:3 main WLIW/PBS programming
21.2 WLIW-DT2 480i 4:3 Create
21.3 WLIW-DT3 480i 4:3 PBS World

Analog-to-Digital Conversion

WLIW ended programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 21, on June 12, 2009 , as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station had been broadcasting its pre-transition digital signal over UHF channel 22, but returned to channel 21 for its post-transition operations.

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