WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The year: 1953. The place: Greater Lafayette. The event: Lafayette viewers getting their first glimpse of locally broadcast television on WFAM Channel 59 – later to become WLFI.
Now, it's 60 years later – and we're celebrating six decades of catering to the community and bringing you news. Not just news from Indianapolis or Chicago – news that is happening on the streets of the Hoosier cities and towns where you live.
Through the years we've been there. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower was President of the United States and Marilyn Monroe was queen of Hollywood. The average three-bedroom home sold for just under $5,000 and at 6 p.m. on June 15, Lafayette residents got their first glimpse of locally broadcast television on WFAM Channel 59.
It was a short glimpse: just four hours of programming, including "The Sportsman's Club" and "Ringside with Rasslers."
The reception wasn't great, and just one of the 20-person staff had television experience. The rest were radio personalities, challenged to double duty by WASK radio owner O.E. Richardson, who had recently received a permit to broadcast on television.
But what those early broadcast pioneers lacked in experience, they made up for in enthusiasm and courage.
WFAM later changed call letters to WLFI, and WLFI has been improving ever since, bringing news and entertainment to 205,700 households in a 13-county area of central Indiana.
Through changes in ownership, ranging from Sarkes Tarzian, Inc., to WLFI's current owners, LIN Television, one thing has remained constant: WLFI's unswerving commitment to viewers and the Greater Lafayette community.
We've kept what we do here about you. From covering local events you won't find on Indianapolis stations, to showcasing videos, photos and news you send us using Report!t – WLFI is committed to the local side of your life.
And in what's most likely to be the biggest change at WLFI in its history, we took our commitment to excellence one step further last year: the unveiling of a state-of-the-art HD studio.
PHOTOS | WLFI'S NEW SET CONSTRUCTION
The new studio features sleek steel, a brand new weather center, incorporated green technology and more precise weather forecasts.
That's another facet of WLFI we are celebrating: coverage of severe weather events that hit where you live. Weather Team 18 is proud to keep you safe and informed during severe weather events, whether they be blizzards or spring thunderstorms. It's information you can't get as quickly anywhere else – and those seconds can save lives.
In early 2012, WLFI broke its own boundaries and created a weekend meteorologist position. Now, our weather team has the viewing area covered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – because severe weather can take hold anytime, and we're committed to the community's safety.
To keep in-the-know on local goings-on, like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. And don't forget to tune into News 18 Daybreak and News 18 at Noon, 5, 6 and 11 for the sharpest news from where you live.
Thank you for helping us make it a great 60 years – and sticking with us so we can broadcast for another 60!
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