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WLYH-TV is the CW-affiliated television station for South Central Pennsylvania that is licensed to Lancastermarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 23 from a transmitter on South Butler Road in Mount Gretnamarker. Owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the station is operated by Newport Television, LLC through a local marketing agreement (LMA). This makes it a sister station to CBS affiliate WHP-TVmarker and its MyNetworkTV subchannel. The two share studios on North 6th Street in Harrisburgmarker. Syndicated programming on WLYH includes: That '70s Show, King of Queens, Judge Mathis, and People's Court.


WLYH's old UPN logo used until July 2006.

On October 25, 1953, the station first signed on-the-air with the call sign WLBR-TV as an independent station. It was owned by Lebanonmarker Television Corporation, formed by the Lebanon Broadcasting Company (WLBR radio) and the Lebanon News Publishing Company (Lebanon Daily News). The 1 kW transmitter and 572-foot tower were located just north of Mount Gretna. In October 1954, after a power loss due to Hurricane Hazel passing through the area, the station went dark. In 1957, Triangle Publications bought the dormant WLBR license.

The station signed on with increased power in August 1957. Under Triangle, the station became a part-time ABC affiliate and received other programs from sister station WFIL-TV (now WPVI-TVmarker) in Philadelphiamarker. On January 1, 1959, the call letters were changed to the current WLYH-TV to indicate service to Lebanon, Yorkmarker, and Harrisburg. In 1961, WLYH became a CBS affiliate as part of the Keystone Network comprising WLYH, WHP-TV in Harrisburg, and WSBA-TV in York.

This created a strong combined signal with 55 percent overlap. WLYH and WSBA simulcast nearly the entire broadcast day. WHP programmed separately. All three stations ran prime time CBS shows, most of the daytime shows, and most of the weekend shows. All three stations preempted moderately. Any shows that WSBA–WLYH simulcast preempted were run on WHP-TV and any shows from CBS that WHP did not run would be seen on the WLYH–WSBA simulcast.

In addition to the Mount Gretna studios, WLYH had facilities in the Greist Building in downtown Lancaster during the 1960s. In the early 1970s, new full color studios and news film processing facilities were constructed in the new Park City Shopping Mall. Two sister companies shared the space including Park City Communications. Triangle was forced out of broadcasting in 1970 after then-Governor Milton J. Shapp claimed the company had used its three Pennsylvania television stations (WLYH, WFIL-TV, and WFBG-TV in Altoonamarker) in a smear campaign against him. WLYH was among the last to be sold as part of a package with WFBG-TV (now WTAJ-TVmarker) and WNBF-TV (now WBNG-TVmarker) in Binghamton, New Yorkmarker to Gateway Communications in 1971. In the 1980s, Gateway moved WLYH's city of license to Lancaster. WSBA-TV left the Keystone group in 1983 to go independent as WPMTmarker. WLYH and WHP continued as CBS affiliates with separate local and syndicated shows. Each station continued moderate preemptions of CBS shows with agreements that the two stations would pick different CBS shows to preempt. The unusual situation with two separately owned and programmed CBS affiliates in one market with most of CBS programs being duplicated on two stations would continue until 1995. These two stations by then had about 75% signal overlap. Clear Channel Communications bought WHP-TV in the early 1990s. When UPN was launched in January 1995, WLYH took on a secondary affiliation with the new netlet.

Clear Channel entered into a 20-year local marketing agreement with Gateway in Fall 1995. Under this agreement, WLYH's operations were merged with those of WHP which Clear Channel had recently purchased. On December 16, 1995, after 34 years as a CBS affiliate, WLYH became the primary UPN station for the Harrisburg–Lancaster–York market. In 2003, Gateway sold all of its stations to SJL Broadcasting. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that they would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to FOX, would be operated by FOX Television Stations and its syndication division, Twentieth Television.

MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent. It was also created to compete against The CW. Philadelphia's WB affiliate WPHL-TVmarker served the area on cable as the de facto station. It was confirmed on May 18 that WLYH would affiliate with The CW. On July 12, WHP announced that it would launch a new second digital channel that would become an affiliate of MyNetworkTV when that network launched on September 5. The CW debuted on WLYH on September 18. Nexstar purchased the licenses of WLYH and WTAJ from SJL in late-2006. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group, including WHP and the LMA with WLYH, to the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. The station's analog signal was shut down on February 17, 2009. Digital broadcasts remained on channel 23 using PSIP to display their virtual channel as 15.


Starting in 1971 as a CBS affiliate, WLYH aired local newscasts. Its news department was shut down in September 2003 with local broadcasts not returning until some point in 2009. It was as this time that the station added a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast produced by sister station WHP. The news competes with FOX affiliate WPMT.

Newscast titles

  • Action News (1971-1986)
  • Channel 15 Action News (1986-1988)
  • Action News 15 (1988-1991)
  • News 15 (1991-1995)
  • Eyewitness News at 10 (1995-1999)
  • UPN 15 News At 10 (1999-2001)
  • 15 Eyewitness News at 10 (2001-9/2003)
  • CBS 21 News at 10 on CW 15 (2009-present)

Station slogans

  • Your Number One Team (1974-1984)
  • The Team to Watch (1984-1989)
  • Keeping You Connected with Us (1989-1991)
  • Your News Station (1991-1995)
  • UPN 15, The Station For You (1995-2002)

News team

CBS 21 News at 10 on CW 15
(Weeknights 10 to 10:30)
  • Anchor:
    • Tanya Foster
  • Weather:
    • Tom Russell
  • Sports:
    • Jason Bristol

Additional news personnel from WHP are seen on WLYH. See that articlemarker for a complete listing.

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