Skip to main content

GV Now

WGVU Public Media celebrates 40th anniversary

  • President Thomas J. Haas, President Emeritus Don Lubbers, General Manager Michael Walenta and longtime supporter Fred Meijer gather to shut down WGVU�s analog television signal, which was replaced by digital technology on June 12, 2009.
  • Broadcasting technology has come a long way since this 1988 setup in the WGVU studio on the Allendale Campus.
  • Michael Walenta, WGVU general manager since 1988, updates the Dream Machine at an auction.

Posted on December 17, 2012

On Monday, December 17, WGVU Public Media will celebrate its 40th anniversary of serving the community. WGVU became a service of Grand Valley State University in 1972.

WGVC-TV 35 was the first station and started with one channel for four hours each day. In 1984, WGVK-TV Channel 52 began operating in Kalamazoo. In 1987, the call letters of 35 were converted to WGVU –TV, reflecting Grand Valley State College’s transformation to Grand Valley State University.

“On December 17, 1972, Grand Valley State College’s President Arend D. Lubbers signed on channel 35, WGVC-TV. Now, 40 years later we embark on the next leg of our journey,” said Michael Walenta, WGVU public media general manager. “Throughout the years, thousands upon thousands of West Michigan viewers, donors, members, supporters and stakeholders have helped mold and shape WGVU into what it is today. Thanks to all who have made the past 40 years so wonderful for all of our viewers.”

WGVU Public Media will kick off the celebration with events on December 17:

- WGVU Public Media and Celebration Cinema will host a free preview screening of the first hour of Downton Abbey season three at 7 p.m. at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids and Celebration Crossroads in Kalamazoo. Seating is limited; reserve seats at
- WGVU Public Media will host a fundraiser at On The Border Mexican Grill restaurant at Rivertown Mall in Grandville and Woodland Mall in Kentwood. Fifteen percent from all orders will be donated to WGVU.  

About WGVU
Today, WGVU Public Media offers two television stations with four program streams on each station to west and southwest Michigan.
- WGVU-HD 35.1/52.1 television signal serves more than 2.4 million viewers in 28 counties, 24 hours a day. WGVU is the exclusive PBS Television Station that serves people from the Indiana border to Ludington and from the Lakeshore to Ionia.  
- WGVU-Create TV 35.2/52.2, more often called “do-it-yourself”, includes viewers’ favorite public television series and specials on cooking, travel, arts and crafts, gardening, home improvement and other lifestyle interests.  
- WGVU-MHz Worldview 35.3/52.3 is a national, independent, non-commercial channel presenting fresh, relevant English-language international content including news, documentaries, cultural programming, dramas, films and mysteries, music and sports.
WGVU-FM 88.5 and 95.3 reach more than 1.3 million listeners from Grand Rapids to the Lakeshore.  WGVU-FM is the local NPR station and source for local news, traffic and weather.  You can listen to WGVU-FM 88.5 and 95.3 online at and with the free WGVU FM mobile app available for the iPhone, iPad and Android operating system.
With a playlist of over 7,000 titles, WGVU Real Oldies 1480/850 AM has a playlist of more than 7,000 titles and is meant for anyone who enjoys listening to early rock and roll, doo-wop, Motown, soul, the British Invasion, the surfer sound or even bubblegum music. Listen online at and on the free WGVU Real Oldies 1480/850 mobile app for the iPad, iPhone and Android operating system.
WGVU’s continued mission is to provide educational, informative, and entertaining programs and events to the West Michigan community as a service of Grand Valley State University. The majority of the operating funds come from individual members.  

Learn more about WGVU Public Media at

Recent Articles

more articles