WGVU-TV, virtual channel 35 (VHFdigital channel 11), is a PBS member television station located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States. WGVU operates a full-time satellite station, WGVK (virtual channel 52, VHF digital channel 5) in Kalamazoo. The two stations are owned by Grand Valley State University. WGVU's studios are located in the Meijer Public Broadcast Center, located in the Eberhard Center on the GVSU Pew Campus; WGVU's transmitter is located near the GVSU Campus in Allendale Charter Township, WGVK's transmitter is located in Kalamazoo's Westwood neighborhood.

History

The station signed on the air on December 17, 1972 as WGVC-TV, owned by what was then Grand Valley State College. Channel 35 originally operated from the basement of Manitou Hall on GVSC's Allendale campus.

WGVC-TV's signal was somewhat marginal in the southern portion of the vast West Michigan market (Kalamazoo and Battle Creek). It must conform its signal to protect fellow PBS member WNIT in South Bend, on adjacent channel 34. In much of this area, WGVC-TV could only be seen on cable. This was very similar to what the area's main ABC affiliate, WZZM-TV (channel 13), faced due to the presence of WTVG in Toledo, Ohio. To make up for this shortfall in coverage, Grand Valley State signed on WGVK as a satellite station in 1984. In 1986, the station relocated to its current studio facility at the Meijer Public Broadcast Center. The station's callsign was changed to WGVU in 1987, when Grand Valley State was elevated to university status.

Programming

Weekly

  • Ask The... – a live call-in show about a specific topic, hosted by Shelley Irwin; it airs Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.
  • Grand Valley State Sports Report (formerly GV Sports) – hosted by WZZM-TV sports anchor Brent Ashcroft, this program covers Grand Valley State University athletics. During the athletic season, it airs Mondays at 6 and 11 p.m., and does not air during the summer months.
  • West Michigan Week – a program discussing the week's news headlines, hosted by Patrick Center; it airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m.
  • WGVU Newsmakers – a program profiling people and issues, hosted by Patrick Center; it airs Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m.

Specials

  • WGVU Community Connection – a monthly program hosted by Shelley Irwin. It spotlights non-profit agencies in West Michigan.
  • WGVU Family Health Matters – a program covering health issues.

Documentaries

WGVU produces documentaries. Notable documentaries are LZ Michigan,Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment with History,Surviving Auschwitz: Children of the Shoah and Defying Hitler.

Digital television

Digital channels

WGVU and WGVK's digital channels are multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[2][3]
35.1/52.11080i16:9WGVU-11
WGVKDT1
Main WGVU/WGVK programming / PBS
35.2/52.2480i4:3WGVU-11
WGVKDT2
Create
35.3/52.3WGVU-11
WGVKDT3
MHz Worldview
35.4/52.4WGVU-11
WGVKDT4
Schedule & radio

WGVU/WGVK's main channel offers programming in 1080i high definition; standard definition programs are shown with pillarboxing. WGVU/WGVK's fourth digital subchannel offers a scrolling still screen featuring schedule information for the station's three other subchannels, along with background audio from oldies radio sister station WGVU/WGVS (AM). WGVU-FM is available through the SAP channel.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WGVU and WGVK shut down their analog signals, over UHF channel 35 and 52 respectively, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[4] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 11, and WGVK's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 5, using PSIP to display their respective virtual channels as 35 and 52 on digital television receivers.