Channel 43(later 25) Peoria, Illinois
Peoria's first television station having gone on the
air on February 1, 1953. It was owned and operated at the
West Central Broadcasting Company, based out of Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma. The Company also operated radio station WEEK, 1350
new Peoria TV station went on the air as an NBC affiliate on channel
WEEK-TV came on the air, it was notably the first UHF station to go on
the air in the Midwest. Newspaper accounts in the Bloomington
Daily Pantagraph reported the station had many technical problems after
going on the air, but it's signal was reaching many in the Peoria and
Bloomington area with it's broadcast of 12,000 watts. Compare
that with WICS in Springfield on channel 20 which broadcast at 1,000
watts of power.
Peoria station upon entering the elite group of local
television broadcast pioneers would become an NBC and DuMont affiliate,
as CBS would hold out for the potential of being the affiliate for
Peoria's first VHF television station on channel 8. WEEK-TV would
to settle with broadcasting NBC and DuMont programming via kinescope,
as microwave service to deliver a live network signal would not be
possible until the fall of 1953.
It was soon determined that the signal of WEEK had problems in the
northern most region of the viewing area, and as many UHF stations of
the era determined, that in order to "fill in" their designated signal
areas, the use of lower powered translator stations were
necessary. In the case of WEEK, a translator on channel 35 was
set up in La Salle, Illinois on channel 35 by November of 1957.
It was given the call letters of WEEQ-TV, which was an indication that
it was more than the typical low wattage signal, in the fact that
it was given a call letter designation of a full powered TV
station. The timing of the translator assignment was just a few
months before a new TV signal would be on the air in Peoria,
The next big change for WEEK occurred Friday, October 16, 1964, when
the station moved
from broadcasting on channel 43 to channel 25. For the viewer, it
placed the NBC affiliate in the middle of the dial between WTVH at
channel 19 and WMBD at channel 31. Remember, that this was
well before digital UHF tuners, and viewers had to spin the slide rule
indicator along the UHF spectrum on their TV to their desired
channel. Even though WEEK could rebroadcast color programming
from NBC early on, it wasn't until September 10, 1967 that any local
production was broadcast in color. WEEK continues success in
local news coverage in the
Peoria-Bloomington-Normal, Illinois market. In early March of
2009, WEEK and Granite Broadcasting took control of WHOI and is
controlling the station under a
local management agreement.
Here's a link to today's WEEK-TV.
new tower pictured with its old tower in 1958. The increase in
height would increase the coverage area of Channel 43 in central
(picture from the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph)
"Coffee Time" was a mid
day locally produced talk variety show
originating from the WEEK studios hosted by Dick and Bev
Vance. This 1950's ad, along with the others pictured here
appeared in central Illinois editions of TV Guide tm. It was a
sign of the times, appealing to the housewives who were home doing the
cleaning, cooking and laundry.
It was the early days of
rock and roll, and local TV stations jumped on
the bandwagon with their own locally produced TV teen dance party
programs. It only stands to reason, as local TV had shows for the
housewives(left), the kids(cartoons and locally produced kid panel
shows) and for adult men(sportscasts, along with network TV sports
coverage). While ABC had "American Bandstand" WEEK had the "Rock
n-Roll Party" which aired on Saturday afternoons. The WEEK
version was hosted by station "work horse" Dick Vance.
"Mackenzie's Raiders" was
a syndicated TV western starring Richard
Carlson as the real life character of the old west. It was
produced from 1958-59 and was shown during those years on
WEEK-TV. Many times local TV stations were given blocks of prime
time, as the network didn't bother to program against successful shows
on the other networks. Sunday nights at 9:30PM CT was dominated
by "What's My Line" on CBS. Neither NBC or ABC programmed that
half hour of prime time, leaving the local stations to fill the time.
Here's the Sunday night
news team, which probably looked a lot like the
weekday news team. Producing local news at the time, was much
simpler and required less resources as today. Many local
newscasts were simply "rip and read" sessions, because the act of
getting any local film footage wasn't done at the time. Bill
Houlihan was a fixture on Peoria TV over the next 50 years.
In 1962 the after school late afternoon lineup
included the locally produced Captain Jinks followed by the Hanna
Barbara cartoons in rotation Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw and
Yogi Bear. This ad also ranks it's full power Peru, Illinois
translator, WEEQ, Channel 35 as being equal to WEEK.
TV Guide ad, courtesy of J.R.
Sometimes when you review
these seemingly well thought out
news logo mission
statements they seem so silly today....
this rather sexist news
logo mission statement "Men Who Know"
is from WEEK and 1965.
The ads above ran in TV Guide in August of 1965.
(above): "Portrait" was a
syndicated bio series
with this one pre-empting
the usual NBC series
at the time on
WEEK. The ad above ran in
TV Guide in November of 1968.
(below): Syndicated "The
Mike Douglas Show" was
a musical variety/talk
show which ran from 1961-1982.
It was syndicated by
to local stations.
The ad below ran in TV Guide
in December of 1968.
"Cornbelt Country Style"
a locally produced country
music program which has
TV roots back to WBLN
in Bloomington, where
"Uncle" Johnny Barton
production. He is pictured in the
cowboy hat third from the
left. This show was also
airing on WAND in
Decatur. It's unknown where
the show was produced.
The ad above ran in TV Guide in February 1967.
(below): WEEK would air via Cardinal TV Network a number of baseball
games. This one is
from May of 1969 and advertised in TV Guide
This ad appeared for
WEEK, TV-25 News from April of
1969...showing the river
front of Peoria. "Known for
Quality Coverage in
Peoria and Central Illinois."
from TV Guide
(below): News 25 "Dedicated news people, working together."
Sandy Singer(weather) and Frank Bussone(sports).
This TV Guide ad is from May of 1976.
WIRL-TV, WRAU-TV, WHOI-TV,
Channel 19, Peoria, Illinois
November of 1953 WTVH(Channel 19) signed on the air
from Peoria...or Creve Coeur, Illinois with this newspaper announcement
from the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph...
Operates 1 kilowatt Transmitter
Channel 19 Outlet One of Two in Peoria
station WTVH of Peoria,
operated by the Hilltop Broadcasting Station, is one of two ultra
high frequency stations now broadcasting in Peoria.
station is owned and operated by Hugh R. Norman. A former newspaper
man, Mr. Norman bought radio station KSTT in Davenport, Iowa in 1946.
Continuing to own that station, he opened WTVH-AM in Peoria in
September of 1952. He operated the radio station as a 24 hour music,
news, and sports station in Peoria.
Mr. Norman is the son of
Mrs. G.H. Brinegar, 303 W. Willow Street, Normal. The Normans were
married in Bloomington in 1929. Mrs. Norman's father taught at ISNU
several years before his death in 1933.
Tower at Creve
Operating on a much lower power than its TV companion in
Peoria, WEEK, WTVH-TV put a test pattern on the air August 20 and
began commercial operation October 12 at the studio and transmitter
site in Creve Coeur on the
bluff overlooking Peoria.
WTVH, directed by Don Roper,
production manager, is equipped with a 1 kilowatt RCA transmitter
with an effective radiated power of 25,000 watts. Bloomington-Normal
reception as been poor, but communities nearer Peoria in the
Bloomington trade area have reported improving reception.
WTVH-TV goes on the air
Monday through Friday at 5:30pm and runs until 11pm or midnight.
Saturday the hours are from 4:45pm to midnight and Sunday from 12:45
network affiliation, at present, is
ABC under a station contract and working agreement for certain shows
with CBS and DuMont.
Peoria's second TV station having signed on nine months later,
in November of 1953. The station was a project of Hilltop
Broadcasting, in which part owner was the Peoria Journal Star
newspaper. WTVH's studios were located in downtown Peoria at 234
North Madison Street. It's transmitter was located on the east
side of the Illinois river at Creve Coeur. WTVH was one of
the original twenty ABC affiliates but by the mid 1950's, the station
became a rather prominent a CBS affiliate while ABC was relegated to
secondary statis. It's
also indicated the station also aired
programming from DuMont until that networks shutdown in 1955.
mid 1954 a new managment team was announced by Hilltop Broadcasting
President Henry P. Slane. The lineup included Edward G. Smith,
general manager; Robert L. Jawer, assistant general manager and sales
manager of WTVH AM-TV; John Leslie, local sales manager; Robert G.
Holben, production manager and Donald G. Roper, program manager.
It was also announced that by October of 1954, WTVH-TV was expected to
raise output power to 225,000 on a new tower, transmitter building and
a new 12.5kw RCA transmitter.
the mid 1950's, CBS needing a temporary affiliate in Peoria contracted
with WTVH, at least until channel 8 could go on the air and become
Peoria's first VHF station. That would give CBS absolute
dominance in central Illinois having the only two VHF affiliates in the
region (along with WCIA). In 1957, the FCC moved the
allocation for channel 8 to Moline in the Quad-Cities, which gave
Channel 19 at least a chance of continuing with CBS. At that time
ABC was made a secondary affiliate with CBS being the primary network
of WTVH. Behind the scenes though, it appears that one of the
major groups of investors vying for the channel 8 allocation would
re-apply for the last remaining UHF allocation on channel 31.
They already had ties with CBS, as WMBD radio was a long time CBS
affiliate. The FCC granted WMBD the license for Channel 31 and
signed a long term affiliation contract with the station to become a
CBS station. WMBD went on the air on January 1st, 1958 as
Peoria's full time CBS station. Interestingly enough, though,
many CBS shows would still show up on WTVH for months until individual
contracts ran out on those CBS programs.
Even though Midwest Television
would not purchase WMBD(AM, TV) until 1960, it seems possible, in my
opinion, that the
strings of the radio broadcasting company which put WMBD-TV on the air,
were possibly being pulled by August Meyer from Champaign, with the
anticipation of future ownership of WMBD. This would hinge on the
FCC allowing the signal overlap of like owned stations, which obviously
it allowed by 1960.
Based on TV Guide programming and local news items during late 1957
into 1958, it seems that WTVH went through a very trying
Local newscasts were eliminated, with the probable lay-offs of many
staffers. The broadcast hours of operation were also cut
considerably on the weekends. The downturn of the stations
economic health probably had a lot to do with the loss of the CBS
network revenue stream which it would lose in 1958. ABC
stations didn't have the reach of those early stations which snatched
up affiliations with CBS and NBC. The amount of network revenue
from ABC was most certainly not the level of what was being brought in
In 1959 WTVH became a part of the company which it was previously
associated as an affiliate. When DuMont went out of business in
the mid 1950's, the former pieces of the original company became
Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation(see WTVP
With the ownership change to Metropolitan, WTVH picked up a central
Illinois sister station in Decatur, WTVP. It's seems to be a
coincidence that the call letters were very similar, but many stations
tried to work in the call letters "TV" into their names. There's
no indication that it was any plan of the owners, since they went on
the air with different owners. In fact WTVH stood for TV Hilltop
which was the first owner of Channel 19. WTVP stood for TV
Prairie, which was the first word on the name of the company which put
Channel 17 on the air in 1953.
early 1960's, Metropolitan Broadcasting went through
name change becoming Metromedia. By 1965, Metromedia sold
WTVH to WIRL(AM) radio bringing about a TV station name change.
WTVH became WIRL-TV, where it was co-owned by the 5,000 watt AM Top 40
station through 1973. Back in 1958, WIRL-TV and it's part owner
the Peoria Journal-Star failed in trying to obtain the license for VHF,
Channel 8. Eight years later, the group finally achieved
its goal of TV station ownership, but on a UHF frequency. WIRL-TV
operated under that ownership until 1973 when it changed hands again.
Channel 19 was sold to Forward Communications
when the call
letters were changed to WRAU-TV in 1973. In 1985 the call letters
changed to WHOI, which went with the theme of "Heart of
years later in 1987, Forward Communications was merged with Adams
Communications which operated the ABC affiliate to 1991, when it was
sold to Brisette Broadcasting. That ownership was short as in
changed hands again to Benedek Broadcasting which eventually filed
Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That company merged with Grey Broadcasting
which sold the station in 2002 to Chelsey Broadcasting and later to
Barrington Broadcasting Group. On March 2, 2009 it was announced
that WHIO would be operated by Granite Broadcastings WEEK-TV.
WHOI now operates under the control of WEEK, Channel 25.
Here's the link to today's WHOI-TV
Visit my former co-anchor at WICD, Jen Christensen's blog site, News Anchor Mom.
"Stretch" Miller was
broadcasting sports on WTVH in 1958.
It was "Weather According
to Hoyle" in 1958 on WTVH, Channel 19 in
"The Les Crane Show" was a late night talker syndicated to go up
against "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. Needless to say,
Les didn't do all that great and only lasted a short time. This
was during the Metropolitan Broadcasting area, later Metromedia.
Notice the font style was the same for WTVP, Channel 17 during the era
they were co-owned.
ABC's corporate headquarters was nicknamed "Hard Rock" because of it's
ownership of several major market Top 40 stations during the
1960's. Here Channel 19 was owned by the local Top 40 station,
In 1965 WTVH was running
a late movie at 10:30pm Monday
This was from the Metromedia ownership
years of Channel 19.
This ad is from May of 1965 and TV Guide.
In 1967, "Country Music
Time" was broadcast on WIRL
(in color) at Noon
weekdays. It is unknown the source of this
program. I assume
it was syndicated.
The ad is from TV Guide from July 1967.
"Peoria's Only TV Women's
This hold back from the
1950's and early 60's was a local
production with Ann
Lane. The copy on the TV Guide ad read:
"Coffee Break with Ann
Lane...it's local, its live, Monday
through Friday, with a
format covering a range of subjects as
varied as the interests
of todays homemaker: cooking to finance,
jewels to judo, bridge to
the Bible, hair styling to household hints,
make up to
marketing. If it's of interest to a woman, such as
politics, stocks or remodeling, it's on
Coffee Break with Ann
Lane, a show designed to interest
a woman every morning!"
This TV Guide is from 1969.
In spite of being called
the "Good News Team" I'm sure
each newscast had its
share of bad news, but with
newscasters, weathercasters and sportscasters
viewers would find
Clark Smith, Rollie
Keith, Lynne Morgan, Lorne Brown
and Mark Edwards brought
the Peoria area
news at Noon, 5:30 and 10
weekdays and Sunday at 10pm.
This TV Guide ad is from
During the 1970's,
Channel 19 was using
the call letters WRAU
under the ownership of
Communications. This TV Guide ad is
Channel 19 was
never without great graphics from what appeared
to be a pretty good
promotions department. The Channel 19
logo with WRAU was very
stylish and contemporary. Even
during the days of
becoming WHIO the great "look" of
the graphics and logos
(All ads above were from
TV Guides of the eras.)
Channel 31, Peoria, Illinois
On New Years Day, 1958, WMBD signed on the air as the CBS
affiliate. It's arrangement with CBS nearly put Peoria station
WTVH-TV out of business(see above). Channel 19 did retain it's
with ABC, making it a full time affiliate with the young network, but
not without severely affecting the operation.
set up shop in what was the former Majestic Theatre, being built in
1906 but closed in 1946, on South West Jefferson in downtown
Peoria. The facility was put back into use during the 1950's by
WMBD Radio Station owner John Fetzer and Charles Caley. Before
the FCC Freeze, it was reported that Fetzer had applied for and
received a construction permit to broadcast a television station at VHF
Channel 6. The permit was rescinded during the Freeze when the
FCC determined that Peoria would become an all UHF market. It's
not known why Fetzer and Caley did not immediately reapply for a UHF
license. WMBD AM-FM would not have a TV
counterpart until January 1st, 1958.
On the first day of broadcasting for WMBD-TV, WTVH broadcast CBS News
parade coverage as well as football and Channel 31 didn't sign-on until
6pm that evening. There were several CBS shows which would be
broadcast for at least a few weeks on WTVH into the life of WMBD-TV.
The new CBS affiliate at Channel 31
was developed and owned
by Charles Caley and John Fetzer of WMBD, Inc., the licensee of WMBD,
1470 AM radio. WMBD was a longtime radio affiliate of CBS, which
would make me assume that that relationship was what shifted the TV
network to the newer station. John Fetzer was a long time radio
executive and was a part owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball team from
1956 to 1961, becoming the sole owner in 1961. He also was rather
ingenious in the development of radio and TV stations in Nebraska, Iowa
(right): The WMBD studios
in the former Majestic
Theater on South
West Jefferson in
This photo was taken for
the 20th anniversary
of WMBD Radio in 1957,
the sign-on of WMBD-TV on
Years Day of 1958.
from the Ron Moses Collection)
Here's what the former
WMBD studios look like
today on Southwest
in downtown Peoria.
If you look closely you can still
see the support hooks from the
cables which supported the
marquis pictured above on
the decorative sections of
The doorway has been replaced by
a drive through to a garage.
In 1960, WMBD, Inc. was sold to Midwest Television, the license holder
of WCIA(TV) in Champaign, Illinois for the sum of $1.85-million.
WMBD and WCIA were both CBS
affiliates and shared a number of programming elements over the
years. Farm news, weather, even reporters and anchors were
shared over the years, even into the 80's. A microwave relay
system between Champaign, Springfield and Peoria gave the stations a
way to broadcast news from the state capitol in Springfield, operating
a bureau out of the capitol building. The microwave relay also allowed
simulcasts of farm news, weather and local news reports which would
have appeal to both markets. It's also been recorded that the
stations shared broadcasts of "The Hop"(see WCIA History), Nightmare Theater(the
late night 'creature feature') and other local programs. Local
color broadcasts of local news came on Sunday, January 22, 1967.
WMBD was the first Peoria TV station to broadcast local news in color.
In 1977, WMBD moved the studios from the run down,
crowded home at the then deserted theater in downtown Peoria to the
of a former grocery story at 3131 N. University. The TV
stations of Midwest TV were sold to Nextar in 1999, while the radio
stations WMBD and WKZW(FM) were sold to JMP Media. JMP was
purchased by Triad Broadcasting which now also own former competition
WIRL, WDQX, WXCL and WSWT.
Here's a link to today's WMBD-TV.
Here's a link to today's WMBD-AM
In researching TV History as documented in the Bloomington Daily
Pantagraph, I came across this in an edition from late 1957, announcing
the appointment of the WMBD Program Director:
(Win) Baker has been appointed
program director of WMBD-TV in Peoria. He is presently occupied with
pre-planning and organization of the WMBD program staff and schedule.
The station is scheduled to commence operations early in January as
an affiliate of CBS."
Larry King was a former member of the studio crew at WMBD-TV and
eventually a director. He also spent time at the other Peoria
stations during his tenure in Peoria. He contacted me with his
recollections of the original studio at the former Majestic Theatre:
"Let me describe...how I remember the radio set up at the time I was
there. I you walked up the grand staircase from the front hall
and you turned to your right there would ahve been the fledging FM
automation in the first room. Going a little further you would
walk into the main AM control room. On the left side was a larger
room that was a studio for extra guests. In the mornings Milton
Bud and Bob Carlton were in there. Bob ran the board and Milton
was in the studio. Behind the control room was another little
studio that was also the record library. John Lyon would practice
his guitar in there during Cubs or Cardinal baseball games."
"If you turned to your left coming up the stairs was the door to the
production control room. And outside of the production control
room was a very old wire service that ran sports scores. We would
come out of the TV studio during the 10pm news and check the wire to
keep the sports guys up to date. That (was) long before we had
video from every sports game."
"When I first started as a floor director about January 1965, they were
doing the TV version of street scene at Noon and later they would do
the 6pm weather from on the street under that great marquee.
Charlie Tate was the camera man on the Noon block and a variety of the
other engineers(Neil Burke who would later become the Chief, Yogi and
Dale Bargeman) would dot he weather."
"My job was to get the weather board out on the street and have it
cleaned off. The weather board consisted of two Plexiglas maps
that slid in and out. The weather man stood behind the board and
had to write backwards for the camera. The guys that did the
weather also were the afternoon talent on WMBD radio. They would
get off the radio and then do the weather. A couple of the names
I worked with were John Lyons, Bob Gregory. Who could forget John
Day reporter and weatherman?"
"Besides having to get the weather board on the street, another job of
the floor director at that time, the weather had a live read for a beer
company and a floor director had to do a live pour of beer to end the
commercial. Well, pouring beer wasn't my greatest job, but at
least we got to drink the leftovers."
"I got to the station a little late because I missed working with Jim
Jenson who went to Boston and New York. I did a little time with
Bob Jamison who ended up at ABC and it was great enjoying a sportscast
(from) the late Bob Starr. Don Heim took his place and then I
think he went to Indy."
"Great real NEWS reporting was done from the WMBD News Room (along
with) Joe Rex and Farmer Bill. One weekend I was trying to break
into the news business, so I was hanging around the news room when
there was supposed to be a protest in one of the project areas.
This was in the 60's. So I begged John Day if I could ride along
in one of the great white station wagons with big letters creaming
"WMBD NEWS." (After arriving at the scene) nothing
happened. I think I am glad. I think I really decided at
the time that studio production was more in my line than sitting in a
well marked car and waiting."
Larry King is now with Zmax Media Productions. For details visit:
Above is a collection of
TV Guide ads featuring some of the talent of
WMBD in news, weather and being a master of ceremonies for the "Family
Theater" presentation. Notice the local newscast was just 15
minutes in 1958 airing at 6PM. Joe Rex's weather window was
simulcast weekends on central Illinois sister station WCIA in
Champaign. Names like Chuck Henson, Lloyd Ummel, Joe Rex, John
Fisher, Jim Jenson were all a part of the talent package of WMBD-TV.
Above left is one of the early ads from 1958, promoting "Weekend
World" with Jess Kennedy. It was a 30-minute world, national and
local news roundup of the events of the weekend which ran on
At the right is a TV
Guide ad with the movie lineup of the week.
Both ads above from TV Guide
WMBD's "big difference in
news" was the use of a microwave relay
"network" which linked WCIA with WMBD and enabled the stations to
exchange audio/video to further the coverage of central Illinois news.
The station vehicles were parked at the front of the hotel on Southwest
Jefferson in downtown Peoria, which was the site of the WMBD radio and
Ad above from TV Guide
"First with local Color
in the Heart of Illinois" In 1964 WMBD installed
equipment to broadcast
video tape and a color film chain
to broadcast 16mm prints
of movies and TV shows. It would
be another 3 years before
local newscasts and productions
would be in color.
From TV Guide
were broadcast from the new
color film chain
installed by WMBD in 1964. The
ABC off network
syndicated program aired on
many stations during the
1960's and 70's.
Ron Moses was a director at WMBD-TV from 1965 to 1970, before moving
east to direct at WPRI-TV in Providence, Rhode Island.
After finding this website, he related to me that "those five years
were my happiest and most rewarding of my entire career and life."
He stated that the pictures and stories on this site "have brought back
some wonderful memories...." "I remember directing "The Hop," and
loved seeing the original ABC net logo as being the "American
Eagle." He went on to say, "Bob Jamieson was my 6pm anchor until
leaving for St. Louis, then to NBC. In his later years, he was
with ABC and I ran into him once when he was at our station covering
the Rhode Island banking crisis in the early nineties....we were an ABC
affiliate but returned to CBS when the network bought us at some point
after that. My station was bought and sold nine times during my
35 years there and I probably managed to survive as I never moved up
"I did not know that Win Baker apparently started in Illinois TV
production and programming(see above-Win Baker was the stations first
Program Director). "I know of him upon moving back east when he
was a top executive at the Westinghouse owned WBZ-TV in Boston."
"You may be familiar with the name Barbara Novak who performed weather
on WCIA-TV and then moved to Peoria where I actually taped a daily
weather with her feed to WCIA on our reversible microwave. By the
time I got to Providence, Rhode Island she was Barbara Novak Marshall
doing weather and/or news on WLVI-TV, Channel 56 in Boston...."
"Roger O'Neil was a news anchor and reporter at WMBD during my time
there. For many years he was with NBC as a correspondent...."
"He was also a producer at WMBD-TV for a time following the
Jerry Bidle days when Dave Nicols was hired to be the 10pm news
anchor. I never crossed with Jim Jenson but ran into him in the
early 70's when visiting WCBS-TV in New York...." "I also ran
into Paul Moyer who was anchoring weekend news at WCBS-TV before going
to KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. Paul was an anchor at WMBD-TV for part
of the time I was there and I recall him anchoring "Weekend World"
sponsored entirely by Caterpillar."
"You may recall Don Hein who did sports at WMBD and Bob Gregory who did
weather on WMBD-TV and a lot of radio on that station....both wound up
at WLWI(now WTHR), Channel 13 in Indianapolis..."
Ron retired in 2005 and I wish him the best and thank him for his
contribution to this web site....and thank him for his contribution of
the WMBD studio picture from 1957!
Supplemental Information: I also heard
Tom McDonald who worked at WMBD-TV during the early 1970's. He
stated he was, "filling in for Bob Buck who replaced Don Hein."
He went on to describe his on-going 40-year career in New York City,
now with NY1(a cable local news channel). He is a sports
anchor/reporter. I look forward to hearing more about his time at
"Everybody's Doing It, We Do it Better" was the slogan used by WMBD-TV
Pictured is Jerry
Bidle(news anchor), Bob Gregory(weathercaster) and Bob Starr(sports).
(upper left): Weekend
World newscasts at 10pm on
Sunday. This is
from TV Guide in 1964.
Doing It...We Do it Better"
this rather suggestive
news slogan was used
in TV Guides in 1965. WMBD news
main anchors consisted of Jerry
Bob Gregory(center) and Bob Starr(right).
(left): This rather
generic news ad for WMBD is from
1967, just after the
station installed color broadcast
to broadcast in color.
From TV Guide
Remember who ran for
President in 1968...?? Richard Nixon, Hubert
Humphrey and George
Wallace. The winner? Need I ask?
(far left): Perry
Mason, a CBS off network
series was in
syndication(still is) in 1969 and was airing in the late afternoons on
(center left): the
10:31 Movie ad from
TV Guide as
advertised in 1971.
(near right): "Move
to Your World" used
by CBS and
WMBD-TV for local
Click on the two
far right ads for
a larger view.
All ads from TV
(Above): The news talent lineup of WMBD and WCIA from 1976.
identities of the WCIA-WMBD news employees pictured go to History of
|Evolution of TV Guide
listings 1957-1980 for Peoria and Central Illinois
Listings in the Bloomington
Daily Pantagraph TV sections
showing TV stations from Chicago, Peoria,
Springfield, Champaign and Decatur.
This is from June of 1958.
(Above right): The TV Guide
Channel listings from 1957 showing
Peoria stations WTVH and WEEK.
Notice the early dial position of WEEK
at Channel 43...and the network
affiliation of each. WTVH with primary
CBS and secondary ABC, while WEEK
was primarily NBC.
(Right): Peoria ads WMBD-TV as the
markets exclusive CBS affiliate. WTVH
goes to primary ABC affiliation. Also, note that WEEK was using a
reach a signal into the LaSalle area.
(Right): TV Guide listings from
of 1962, before the listing for
added to the schedule.
This listings included the use
translators by WEEK with
WEEQ-TV, LaSalle, IL
WTVP was using W-70-AF, Channel
70 in Champaign and WTVH was using W-78-AC in LaSalle-Peru. WEEQ
was actually a full powered
translator-station, while the
at extremely low power with a
less than 12 miles.
(Right): TV Guide listings the
week in 1962 included that of
in Danville, on Channel 24.
It was a full powered station
which served as
mainly a translator for WCHU,
turn was a translator of WICS
WCHU/WICD only originated a few
local programs and local news
(Right): Here are the listings
for central Illinois
which omitted the Quincy market
its local edition.
This is from 1964.
(Right): This listing from 1966
the extensive use of
re-broadcast the home station
beyond the reach of the
WEEK: WEEQ, Channel 35,
WTVP: W-70-AF, (70),
WMBD: W-71-AE, (71),
WICS: W-75-AD, (75), Mattoon, IL
By 1980, higher powered transmitters used
by WRAU-TV(formerly WTVH)
the discontinuation of its
Translator use was added by
WCIA: W-49-AA, (49), Springfield
The use of the translator for
Champaign was actually
temporary as it was moved from Danville and installed in Champaign,
because of the tower failure of WAND in 1978
(All listings are from TV Guide)
TV Guide(the Doug Quick collection)
KTVI-You Tube Posts
Bloomington Daily Pantagraph(through the Abraham Lincoln Library and
the Danville Public Library)
Larry King for his contribution on details of
working at WMBD-AM/FM-TV
Ron Moses for his memories of WMBD-TV and WCIA and his picture of the
WMBD studios from 1957.