CityAllentown, Pennsylvania
BrandingPBS 39
  • Lehigh Valley Public Media
  • (Lehigh Valley Public Telecommunications Corp.)
First air date
September 7, 1965 (58 years ago) (1965-09-07)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 39 (UHF, 1965–2009)
  • Digital: 62 (UHF, 2003–2009), 39 (UHF, 2009–2018)[2]
NET (1965–1970)
Call sign meaning
Lehigh Valley Television
Technical information[3]
Licensing authority
Facility ID36989
ERP80.6 kW
HAAT332.5 m (1,091 ft)
Transmitter coordinates40°33′52″N 75°26′24″W / 40.56444°N 75.44000°W / 40.56444; -75.44000
Public license information

WLVT-TV (channel 39) is a PBS member television station in Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States. Owned by Lehigh Valley Public Media, it is a sister station to Philadelphia-licensed PBS member WPPT (channel 35). WLVT-TV's studios are located in the south side of Bethlehem, and its transmitter is located south of nearby Allentown atop South Mountain.


20th century

The station first signed on the air on September 7, 1965,[4] as a member station of National Educational Television (NET), and eventually joined PBS upon its 1970 founding. WLVT-TV is commonly known as "PBS39", a reference to the main virtual channel, 39.1.

The Lehigh Valley is part of the Philadelphia market, the fourth-largest television market in the United States. WLVT has expanded its programming focus to the entire Philadelphia television market. It is carried by many cable providers in the area, including Comcast, Service Electric, RCN, Blue Ridge Cable, and others. WLVT-TV is also available throughout the region on Philadelphia's DirecTV and Dish Network feeds.

WLVT's market is one of the largest potential audiences in the country with 6.7 million people in eastern Pennsylvania, western and southern New Jersey, and northern and central Delaware. The station's frequently competes with Philadelphia's main PBS member station, WHYY-TV (channel 12), one of the most-watched PBS stations in the country. To a lesser extent, WLVT-TV also competes with NJ PBS's two outlets in the market, WNJT-TV and WNJS-TV.

21st century

In 2011, WLVT-TV moved from its longtime studio on Mountain Drive North to a new studio facility, PPL Public Media Center, on the south side of Bethlehem. The new facility is adjacent to the ArtsQuest complex on the SteelStacks Campus, previously home to Bethlehem Steel.[5] The new station is equipped with two large studios, where local productions, including Focus (a local magazine show), You Bet Your Garden (formerly on WHYY-FM), Scholastic Scrimmage, Faces of Jazz, and Behind the Guitar, are filmed.

WLVT also broadcasts PBS and American Public Television distributed programming.

Technical information


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WLVT-TV on the WBPH-TV multiplex[6]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
39.1 720p 16:9 WLVT-DT Main WLVT programming / PBS
39.2 480i CREATE Create
39.3 FRAN24 France 24

Analog-to-digital conversion

WLVT shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 39, on January 31, 2009. The station's digital signal relocated on its pre-transition UHF channel 62, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its former analog-era UHF channel 39 for post-transition operations.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  2. ^ Paul, Carpenter (February 13, 2009). "Jumping elephants provide proof that TV switch was unnecessary". MCall.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009.
  3. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WLVT-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  4. ^ FCC History Cards for WLVT-TV. Federal Communications Commission.
  5. ^ "WLVT PBS39 now more public in new location at Bethlehem SteelStacks". July 18, 2011.
  6. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WLVT". RabbitEars.info. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.