Storm knocks down Lakeshore PBS transmitter, taking station off air

Lakeshore Public Media's satellite dishes are shown in Merrillville. The PBS station is off air after a storm.

Storms knocked out Lakeshore PBS's transmitter near Cedar Lake and the local station is still working to get it back up and running.

The storm earlier this week knocked out the power to the 950-foot tower and, when it was restored by NIPSCO, the engineering team found a systems operation error that's prevented the broadcasting of Lakeshore PBS and NHK World Japan on 56.2.

“This incident shows how challenging it is to provide high-quality programming to our Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland audience 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Matt Franklin, vice president of TV operations for the station. “It takes a large investment in capital and staff to bring our viewers the best of PBS and public media programming, as well as our original programming like Lakeshore Classic Movies and PFR Scoreboard.”

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Lakeshore has been on the air as WYIN Channel 56 in Northwest Indiana since 1987 and is working to come back soon.

“Through all of this, we have heard from many viewers and members during our outage, letting us know that they missed their programming and their PBS station,” Lakeshore Public Media President and Chief Executive Officer James Muhammad said. “I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we address the issue. That is why you often hear us asking for support from our members, viewers and our community leaders, to help us maintain and improve our technological infrastructure so we can continue to broadcast for years to come.”


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.