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91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

WCMU Radio and Television off the air in northeast Lower Michigan

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, WCMU's transmitters serving the northeast Lower Peninsula were destroyed in a fire. On this page, you will find updates about restoration efforts, and information about how to continue watching and listening to WCMU while we work to restore our signals.
The ruins of the WCML transmitter building in Atlanta. The building caught fire on Feb. 28, 2024.
Mark Brown
/
WCMU
The ruins of the WCML transmitter building in Atlanta. The building caught fire on Feb. 28, 2024.

What happened?
On Feb. 28, 2024, there was a fire at the transmitter site for WCML 91.7FM and WCML-TV Channel 6 in Atlanta, MI. Our transmitter building was a total loss. The Hillman Area Fire Department has been unable to determine an exact cause or origin of the fire.

The fire knocked 91.7FM and TV Channel 6 off the air. Broadcasts on 103.9FM in Harbor Springs were also affected, but WCMU's engineers were able to restore our main program stream on that signal within 15 hours of the fire. WCMU Classical (103.9 HD-2) remains off the air in the Harbor Springs area at this time.

Who is impacted by the radio outage, and how can I keep listening?
Listeners who tune to 91.7FM, 91.7 HD-2, and 103.9 HD-2 are currently impacted by this outage.

If you normally listen to 91.7FM, you may be able to listen to WCMU's other transmitters in the region. 95.7FM broadcasts from near Lincoln, and can be heard in Alpena. And 103.9FM broadcasts from Harbor Springs, and can be heard throughout the straits region. You can also listen at WCMU.org, on the WCMU App, or by asking your smart speaker to 'Play WCMU' or 'Play WCMU Classical.' A map of WCMU's operational radio stations in the region is below.

Map of WCMU's operational transmitters in the northern Lower Peninsula.
Map of WCMU's operational transmitters in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Who is impacted by the TV outage, and how can I keep watching?
Viewers who normally watch WCML TV Channel 6 over the air (using an antenna) are impacted by this outage. This includes our main PBS signal, @CreateTV, PBS Kids, and the Michigan Learning Channel. If you watch WCMU on cable or satellite, you should not be impacted by this outage.

Impacted viewers can still watch WCMU on cable and satellite, on the WCMU App, on our website (click here), and on the PBS App on your mobile device and many Smart TVs, including Roku. Some viewers in the north central Lower Peninsula may also be able to watch on Channel 27, which broadcasts from near Kalkaska. A map of WCMU's operational stations in the region can be found below.

Viewers can watch PBS Kids on the WCMU App, or on our website (click here).

You can also watch the Michigan Learning Channel on the MLC Website (click here).

Map of WCMU's operational TV transmitters in northern Michigan.
Map of WCMU's operational TV transmitters in northern Michigan.

What are the next steps for WCMU?
WCMU is actively working to restore our broadcast signals in northeast Lower Michigan. Right now, we are continuing to assess the damage, and consulting with our licensee, Central Michigan University, our insurance companies, and organizations that can provide emergency financial support. We hope to have more information to share with the public regarding our next steps in the coming weeks.

How will the loss of these transmitters affect your coverage of northeast Michigan?
This is an easy answer: the loss of these transmitters will not impact what we do in northeast Michigan. WCMU is committed to the communities of the northeast, and we will be back on the air serving these communities as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to report on important stories from the region, as we always have. You will still see and hear these stories on our broadcast platforms, on our website, and on the WCMU App, which you can download from your app store.

How can the public help?
WCMU is still evaluating the damage, and charting a path forward to restore our broadcast operations in northeast Michigan. Once we have a better idea of our specific needs, we will communicate with our listeners and viewers to explain how they can get involved. WCMU greatly appreciates the outpouring of support since the fire, and we are committed to providing timely updates to our listeners and viewers.

I have a question that hasn't been addressed. How can I reach out?
We are happy to help in any way we can. Please email memberservices@wcmu.org and we will respond as quickly as possible. You can also call 1-800-727-9268 Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm to speak with a member of our team.