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BrandingWCNY Connected
Affiliations24.1: PBS (1970–present)
24.2: Create
24.3: World
24.4: PBS Kids
OwnerThe Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York, Inc.
FoundedMarch 15, 1965 (58 years ago) (1965-03-15)
First air date
December 20, 1965 (58 years ago) (1965-12-20)
Former call signs
WHTV (CP, 1952–1965)[1]
Former channel number(s)
24 (UHF, 1965–2009)
25 (UHF, 2002–July 2019)
NET (1965–1970)
Call sign meaning
Central New York
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID53734
ERP62 kW
HAAT409.7 m (1,344.2 ft)
Transmitter coordinates42°56′41.8″N 76°7′6.2″W / 42.944944°N 76.118389°W / 42.944944; -76.118389
Translator(s)W22DO-D Utica
Public license information

WCNY-TV (channel 24) is a PBS member television station in Syracuse, New York, United States. Owned by The Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York, Inc. it is sister to classical music radio station WCNY-FM (91.3). The two stations share studios on West Fayette Street in Syracuse's Near Westside neighborhood and transmitter facilities in Pompey, New York.

WCNY is also seen on translator W22DO-D (channel 22), covering the Mohawk Valley (including Utica and Rome) from a transmitter on Smith Hill Road in Deerfield.


WCNY-TV used a logo patterned after the sugar maple tree, the state tree of New York, from 1965 to 2001; the autumnal color version seen here debuted after the station began broadcasting to color in 1971.

WCNY was established in March 1965 by the Onondaga County School Board Association under a charter by the New York State Education Department.[3] A non-profit organization, initially known as The Educational Television Council of Central New York, Inc.,[1] was set up to manage the station. The station was originally assigned the call letters WHTV, but switched to WCNY-TV on September 23, 1965,[1] after the station now known as WWNY-TV in Watertown gave up the call letters.[4] It went on the air December 20, 1965.[1]

The new station's equipment was donated by General Electric, whose plant in the nearby town of Salina manufactured broadcast equipment. General Electric also provided WCNY with its studios, located on Old Liverpool Road in the eastern end of Salina. (WCNY's entire TV and radio operations would be based there until 2013, when it moved to its current location.) WCNY initially broadcast in monochrome, using cameras used to tape The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, but switched to color in 1971.[4]

WCNY was initially a member station of National Educational Television (NET). When NET was replaced by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1970, WCNY became a member station of PBS. Over the years, WCNY has been responsible for producing programs and specials of local interest, some of which were distributed nationally by PBS and/or other outlets. Among the programs produced by WCNY and seen nationally include Old Enough To Care, a six-part drama that was picked up by PBS and distributed to their member stations in 1982, and Pappyland, a children's television program co-produced with Craftsmen and Scribes' Creative Workshop and telecast for three years on TLC's Ready Set Learn block, in addition to various PBS member stations.[4]

In 2007, the station discontinued its pledge drive, making it the only PBS member station to do so.[5] According to WCNY's president and CEO, the station is "focused on truly eliminating our dependence on any state and federal funding".[6]

Television programs produced by WCNY

Title Frequency Description
Connect: NY Monthly In-depth analysis of government, social, economic, and environmental issues affecting New York State.[7]
Cycle of Health Weekly Reports on community health and wellness issues.[8]
Insight Weekly Public affairs concerning Central New York and interviews with local newsmakers.[9]
Ivory Tower Weekly Round table discussion of local, national, and international news featuring academic commentators from Syracuse and Colgate Universities and area colleges.[10][11] The program started airing in 2002 and was hosted by David Rubin who retired from the job in 2016.[12][13]
SciTech Now Weekly Science, technology, and startup stories from the region and segments contributed by other PBS member stations.[14]

Technical information


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[15]
24.1 1080i 16:9 WCNY-1 Main WCNY-TV programming / PBS
24.2 480i WCNY-2 Create
24.3 WCNY-3 World
24.4 WCNY-4 PBS Kids
(branded on-air as "WiCkNeY Kids")

WCNY-TV became the first television station in the Syracuse market to produce and broadcast their own programs in high definition in 2006.[16]

WCNY-TV operates four digital programming subchannels, which also simulcast on W22DO-D.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WCNY-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, on June 12, 2009, the official date on which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 25.[17] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 24.

Prior to March 2013, WCNY-TV's main programming was broadcast in SD-only (480i) on subchannel 24.1, while continuous HD (1080i) programming was offered on subchannel 24.4. Create had also been cable-only until that month's channel map reorganization.

A repeater on UHF analog channel 62 had transmitted from Nedrow to reach over-the-air viewers south of Syracuse in higher elevations until the 2009 digital conversion.


City of license Callsign Channel ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates
Utica W22DO-D 22 1.55 kW 227 m (745 ft) 167539 43°08′38″N 75°10′39″W / 43.14389°N 75.17750°W / 43.14389; -75.17750 (W22DO-D)


  1. ^ a b c d "FCC History Cards for WCNY-TV" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WCNY-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ "About WCNY - Member Supported Public Television, Radio - WCNY". Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Casciano Burns, Christine, Fox, Tim, and Gulino, Lou (2013). Images of America: Syracuse Television. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 95, 96, 104, 108, 110, 118.
  5. ^ "WCNY-TV is 'stronger and moving in a better direction'". Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  6. ^ "WCNY-TV would lose $1 million under Trump plan to defund public broadcasting". Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Connect NY - Member Supported Public Television, Radio - WCNY". Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  8. ^ "Cycle of Health | Member Supported Public Television, Radio". WCNY. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  9. ^ "'Insight' features most beautiful places in upstate New York - Member Supported Public Television, Radio -WCNY". Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  10. ^ "Ivory Tower | Member Supported Public Television, Radio". WCNY. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  11. ^ Loughlin, Wendy S. (September 16, 2022). "WCNY-TV's 'Ivory Tower' celebrates 20 years". Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  12. ^ "Newhouse Dean to host TV current events show". The Daily Orange. September 5, 2002. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  13. ^ "WCNY 'Ivory Tower' moderator David Rubin to retire in December". WCNY. December 1, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  14. ^ "SciTech Now | Member Supported Public Television, Radio". WCNY. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  15. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "WCNY Converts to HD With Pro-Bel". TvTechnology. October 20, 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  17. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
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