WEIU-TV channel 51 is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member public television station in Charleston, Illinois. Its headquarters are at Eastern Illinois University, which is the origin of the call sign's letters. WEIU also airs EIU sporting events, such as football and basketball.

Technical Information

WEIU's digital transmission facilities are located near Humboldt, Illinois. The station is licensed to broadcast a digital signal of 255 kW covering roughly an area between Effingham and Champaign, and between Decatur and Terre Haute.

WEIU covers Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Jasper, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Shelby, and Vermilion counties in Illinois and Vigo County in Indiana.

History

WEIU-TV began operation on July 1, 1986 offering local news, public affairs, and instructional programming. On January 30, 1992 WEIU officially joined PBS. In 2006 it launched its digital broadcast signal on Channel 50 (tuned as channel 51).

WEIU also operates a non-commercial WEIU-FM 88.9 ("Hit Mix 88.9"), and a college radio internet radio station, The Odysssey.

The station does not air the regular PBS network schedule, as other stations in the market carry it.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[2]
51.11080i16:9WEIU-HDMain WEIU-TV programming / PBS
51.2480i4:3MHz WorldMHz Worldview
51.6HitMixWEIU-FM

Analog-to-digital conversion

WEIU-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 51, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 50.[3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 51.

Related Channels

In addition to its main station, WEIU also operates Your 13, a cable TV station offered to Consolidated Communications subscribers that presents educational, sports, informational and local Public-access television programming, plus Hit Mix 88.9 overnight. Unlike WEIU itself, some of the programs on Your 13 are funded by commercials.

WEIU also broadcasts a variety of international programming on its second digital sub-channel 50.2/51.2.

News Scan / News Watch

When WEIU signed on in 1986 it launched its first student-run news program called News Scan. When the program began a group of about 50 students produced two newscasts airing at 5:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. daily.

The news took a brief departure from WEIU in 1990 when the amount of students involved in the program began to drop. The news returned to the air later that year in February.

In January 2002, the program changed its name from News Scan to News Watch. A half-hour newscast currently airs at 5:30 p.m. and a five-minute headline and weather broadcast airs at 9:57 p.m.

The theme that was used for a while, is a production theme called This Just In by 615 Music, a theme sounding fairly similar to Al Ham's Move Closer to Your World. It also used the piece Computer Incantations For World Peace by Jean-Luc Ponty during its first years of News Scan.

WEIU News Watch won its first EMMY in 2009 and its second EMMY in 2010.

High Definition

WEIU-TV and News Watch began broadcasting in HD for the first time on March 22, 2010. WEIU made history on this date by offering the first local newscast in HD for viewers in central Illinois. Up until June 2010, no commercial television stations in the market were producing news in HD, until WAND-TV became the first commercial television station to switch to HD.