On February 13, 1954, WPBN-TV began transmitting an analog signal on VHF channel 7. The Biederman family and their firm, Midwest Broadcasting, owned it, along with WTCM-AM 1400. (now 580). Les Biederman, the company's president, had signed on with WTCM, Northern Michigan's oldest radio station, in 1940. Over the next decade, he purchased or signed on to many more AM stations in the region. The network was dubbed the "Paul Bunyan Network," with WTCM serving as the flagship station. Because channel 7 covers much of the region served by radio stations, Biederman opted to call his new station WPBN-TV rather than WTCM-TV (for Traverse City, Michigan) (for Paul Bunyan Network).