History Project

WQLN PBS NPR has been a staple in the Lake Erie region for more than 50 years. We would like to thank our members for helping us achieve our community service mission year after year.

Because of you and your support for our core programming, we've educated, inspired, and entertained—with series like Masterpiece, All Things Considered, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Classics with Brian Hannah, and so many more! We've also taken that passionate commitment to keeping you informed, entertained, and safe to a new level in the wake of a global pandemic.

Over this past year, WQLN spearheaded exceptional community-centered programming in an effort to serve our community, by redirecting our limited resources for the most powerful impact. As such, WQLN helped connect our community with daily and then weekly news briefings from the Erie County Executive regarding COVID19, provided televised lessons from local teachers as part of WQLN Homeroom, presented Erie Philharmonic concerts to the public for free on television, broadcasted the Annual Erie's Blues and Jazz Festival on television and radio, held a televised graduation ceremony for all 2020 high school seniors, recognized healthcare workers in our community, and held numerous televised and virtual discussions in place of previously scheduled in-person events.

Please join us in celebrating these noteworthy accomplishments by making a legacy donation today. Make a contribution of $60 or more, and we’ll thank you with our new member gift package which includes our monthly program guide and WQLN PBS Passport streaming service.
  • Educational Television

    Local PTAs establish Educational Television of Northwest Pennsylvania.

  • Robert Chitester

    General Manager

  • FCC approval

    March 31 — Public Broadcasting of Northwest Pennsylvania receives final approval from the FCC. Construction of WQLN Studio and Offices begins.

  • WQLN TV signs on the air

    August 13 — WQLN TV signs on the air. Mondays to Thursdays 6:00pm to 11:00pm. Sundays 7:00pm to 11:00pm

  • Mister Rogers

    June — Debut of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

  • Sesame Street

    November — Sesame Street Premieres

  • WQLN Radio signs on the air

    January 7 — WQLN Radio signs on the air. First program is Towards the Less Known Music hosted by John Fleming.

  • Jazz

    Rob Hoff begins hosting Jazz programs from WQLN Radio’s remote studio located at Mercyhurst College.

  • Jazz with Joe DiGiorgio

    Joe DiGiorgio begins hosting Jazz with Joe DiGiorgio.

  • Guppies to Groupers

    October — Premiere of Guppies to Groupers hosted by Paul Speice.

  • Five Mornings

    September 8— Jim VanDongen begins hosting the radio news program Five Mornings.

  • Great TV Auction

    May — WQLN Great TV Auction airs for first time.

  • Free to Choose

    WQLN TV’s Free to Choose with Milton Freeman airs on PBS.

  • Two Cents Worth

    Two Cents Worth with Paul Brown premieres.

  • Robert Clark

    General Manager

  • Holiday Craft Show

    First annual WQLN Holiday Craft Show.

  • 6:00am to Midnight

    WQLN-TV begins broadcasting 6:00am to Midnight seven days a week.

  • Chris Zimmerman


  • This Old House

    Norman Abrams from This Old House visits Erie, speaks at WQLN annual luncheon.

  • Linda Wertheimer

    August — Linda Wertheimer from NPR visits Erie, speaks at WQLN annual luncheon.

  • Paul Stankevich

    President/General Manager

  • F Brady Louis

    President/General Manager

  • New building

    September — New WQLN building completed

  • Patricia Combine

    President and General Manager

  • 24 Hours

    WQLN TV begins broadcasting 24 hours a day.

  • Whad'Ya Know

    January — Michael Feldman’s Whad'Ya Know broadcasts live from Erie’s Warner Theatre.

  • Dwight Miller

    President/General Manager

  • A Prairie Home Companion

    January — A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts live from Erie’s Warner Theatre.

  • State Funding Eliminated

    June — Pennsylvania eliminates all funding for public broadcasting and eliminates the Pennsylvania Public Television Network.

  • Create

    WQLN adds the Create Channel WQLN-TV 54.2

  • World

    WQLN adds the World Channel WQLN-TV 54.3

  • Tom New


  • Radio Studio Dedication

    July — WQLN Radio renames its studios after Tom McLaren.

  • Our Town

    May — WQLN TV premieres Our Town with Our Town Meadville.

  • TV Studio Dedication

    July — WQLN-TV renames its studios after Phil Fatica.

  • 24/7 Kids

    WQLN adds 24/7 PBS Kids Channel TV 54.4