9 (43) WLEP-LD Erie, Pennsylvania
Owner: Kevin Bae/Hapa Media Properties, LLC
WLEP signed in in 2011 carrying three subchannels. The main channel carries the Retro Television Network, HD2 carries Tuff TV and the third channel carries a playlist of movies.
12 (52-12) WICU Erie, Pennsylvania
Owner: SJL Broadcasting operated through SSA by Lilly Broadcasting
WICU went on the air in 1949 as an affiliate of all four networks (including DuMont). Edward Lamb, who owned the Erie Dispatch-Herald, found the station. WICU was the only Erie station to be able to acquire an Erie-licensed VHF channel – a hot commodity in the 40s and 50s – as Erie was the “doughnut-hole” between Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Cleveland, Buffalo and London, Ontario where VHFs were plentiful. When WSEE signed on in 1954, they took the CBS affiliation and the two stations shared ABC programming until WJET signed on in 1966. Lamb later reorganized his company and sold all non-broadcast holdings as well as WICU radio but held on to Channel 12. The family retained ownership from Lamb’s death in 1987 until 1996 when they sold to SJL Communications. In 2002, WICU entered into an LMA to be operated by WSEE which operated at a separate location until 2009.
24 (58-24) WJET Erie, Pennsylvania
Owner: Nexstar Broadcasting Group
WJET signed on in 1966 and after a 24-hour movie marathon, became the area’s ABC affiliate. When Nexstar acquired the station in 1998, it began performing non-programming functions for WFXP which is a general operation for Nexstar stations. Later WFXP would consolidate into WJET’s operations.
35 (16) WSEE Erie, Pennsylvania
Owner: Lilly Broadcasting
WSEE signed on in 1954 taking CBS as its primary affiliate. From there it shared with WICU a secondary affiliation with ABC until WJET signed on much later. In 1995, WSEE began airing UPN content on the weekends and in 1998 launched a cable-only WB channel with local systems. Then when UPN and WB merged the CW continued to air on this channel. It is now carried over the air via Channel 35.2. In 2002, WSEE entered into a local marketing agreement with rival WICU and for seven years thereafter, operations continued to be at their respective facilities. In 2009, WSEE moved into the WICU facilities. Many WSEE staffers were let go as a result being offered opportunities to fill out their contracts at sister station WENY-TV in Elmira, New York. WICU is also carried over WSEE’s 35.3.
54 (50) WQLN Erie, Pennsylvania/London, Ontario
Owner: Public Broadcasting of Northwest Pennsylvania, Inc.
Although Educational Television of Erie began in 1953, initial efforts to put a station on the air were unsuccessful. Eventually the group, later named Educational Television of Northwest Pennsylvania, reserved Channel 54 to be licensed for non-commercial use. WQLN stands for We Question and LearN and the station went on the air in 1967. Struggling financially for many years, there have been times that the station could not afford to buy some well-known programs from PBS. WQLN was the first station in Erie to go all-digital, although the move was the result of transmitter and antenna damage during the remnants of Hurricane Ike in 2008. A temporary digital antenna was put in place to resume operation and because all stations were required to convert to digital in 2009, the station did not put money into rebuilding its analog transmitter. Although London, Ontario is not a formal part of the station’s legal ID, it’s there to acknowledge the major portion of financial contributions it receives from Canadian viewers. Rogers Cable of London carries WQLN in Southwestern Ontario.
66 (22) WFXP Erie, Pennsylvania
Owner: Mission Broadcasting operated through LMA by Nexstar Broadcasting Group
Channel 66 had a short first life as WEPA-TV founded by Alfred E. Anscombe. The station went dark until 1986 when it signed on and operated by Gannon University as WETG-TV. The broadcast day was 9 hours beginning at 3:00 p.m. each day. By 1987, the station added more hours and in 1988 WETG became the Fox affiliate. In 1995, the calls were changed to WFXP. In 1998, WJET’s parent company Nexstar Broadcasting entered an LMA with Mission Broadcasting to assume WFXP’s daily operation but Mission remained in control of programming.