Pictures on the
the first Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television
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This Spring, I was starting to make arrangments to do early TV history lectures and book signings throughout mid-Illinois. The general plan was to be in Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Bloomington and possibly Peoria.
Obviously, these plans will be delayed for the time being until this emergency is over and when it is deemed safe for all of us to do so at the various venues where these events were to be held.
I'll hopefully get to announce a schedule soon!
Looking to "cut the cable?"
Find out what's available to you "off the air" with the use of an antenna. Some times an indoor antenna is all you need, but most of the time an attic, rooftop or tower mounted antenna will be necessary. Find out what is available absolutely free once your investment in an antenna is made.
No matter where you are in mid-Illinois, Peoria, Terre Haute, St. Louis or Chicago areas you'll see what available to you with no monthly subscription fees.
CHECK OUT THE NEW "CUTTING THE CABLE" PAGE by clicking on the link here or from the drop-down menu above under TV Today.
You can also click on the Yahoo link for a program grid of the current "over-the-air" channels in your area.
Examine the history of each of the mid-Illinois TV stations along with stations in Peoria and St. Louis
Each station has a unique history, with ownership diversity and a different path to success. Some achieved success and are now some of the oldest businesses in their respective cities of license. Others fell by the wayside.
Follow their paths from the very beginning in "Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television" then catch up with the histories of each station from the early 1960s to the present on Central Illinois On-Line Broadcast Museum.
I spotlight stations that became very special in my radio career. WTIM/WTIM-FM in my hometown and WDAN/WDNL at which I spent most of 25 years.
The select area radio stations all have something in common, in that they were all automated and I worked at two of the stations highlighted.
Legendary radio stations include in my opinion the greatest radio stations heard in mid-Illinois during the era
Automated Radio formats include those program syndicators as well as the equipment used by stations to establish many FM stations during the AM radio era.
There's audio from the companies represented of demos of many of the formats. You'll also see which local stations subscribed to each format.
See photos of many automation systems used by many radio stations from around the country as well as local stations.
Industrial audio/video training
Industrial video narration
Public Service announcements
Telephone on-hold messages
In-store announcements for music services
TV Station news/promo image voice
Website Audio narration/training
Videos of the Week
"The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson NBC, 1975 with Steve Martin
This week, we need a laugh or two. Who better to laugh at than Steve Martin? The first Video of the Week is from a 1975 appearance on "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson." This was broadcast on NBC and was seen across mid-Illinois on WICS, WICD, WEEK, WGEM-TV, WTWO-TV, and KSD-TV.
"The Dating Game" ABC 1968 with Steve Martin
Let's go back further....how about 1968 and ABC's "The Dating Game." Steve Martin was one of the bachelors competing for a date with Dean Martin's daughter. I forgot how grueling this show was! See if you agree....and don't forget about the "Dating Game chaperone."
Stay for the end to see who the other winner was! This would have been seen across mid-Illinois on WAND, WIRL, and KTVI.
(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.
They may be removed without notice
The video quality may be less than desirable, but even a poor video is better than none at all)
"The Great Gildersleeve" 1941, NBC Radio
"The Great Gildersleeve" was one of radio's first spin-off series. Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve was played by Harold Peary on "The Fibber McGee and Molly Show." He played a neighbor of Fibber and Molly (former Peoria, Illinois vaudevillian performers) on the show. He was always battling with Fibber and would end a spat with Fibber with Gildersleeve's line "You're a hard man, McGee...."
This episode was the first in the series broadcast on NBC radio on August 31, 1941. He would arrive in the city where the character would meet a variety of townsfolk in Summerfield where he would oversee his late brother-in-law's estate and would adopt his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie and Leroy Forrester.
The series would continue with Hal Peary, when in a contract dispute with the network and the ad agency for Kraft he was replaced by sound-a-like Willard Waterman in 1950. The show lasted until 1958.
So here the original episode as it was broadcast on NBC radio and heard in mid-Illinois on WMAQ, KSD-TV and locally, at least in Springfield probably on WMAY.
(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.
They may be removed without notice)
February 2, 2020-A number of pictures from 1956 taken of a WICS remote crew doing a live broadcast at the Armoury in Springfield were added. They were taken by Ben Kiningham who headed the Capitol Information Bureau started by Sangamon Broadcasting Company of Springfield owners of WTAX/WDBR. Check out the pictures on the History of WICS 1953-1965 page here.
February 2, 2020- January 2020, the broadcast tower of the former WHBF AM/FM was demolished to finally bring an end to this one-time heritage community broadcast station combo. The act of toppling the station tower was captured on video and posted to Facebook to which I reposted the video. It was one of the local stations I listened to when I was a student at Western Illinois University and included a 1975 aircheck of the station on the Select Area Radio Stations page on this website. Jay Pearce of WVIK (the Quad Cities public radio station) sent me some follow up information on the station's demise. It's now been updated and available here at Select Area Radio Stations.
February 9, 2020-Added a list of Radio Automation Program Suppliers on the Automation Radio Format page. The list was from "Billboard Magazine" published in February of 1975.
February 14, 2020- The latest on the Repack plight of WAND. Visit Mid-Illinois Television here.
February 27, 2020-Added the WAND history video produced by Sean Streaty at WAND and broadcast on February 25, 2020. Watch the video by clicking here.
March 14, 2020-Thanks to former WCIA personality from the early to late 1950s, Scott Craig. He sent me an update on his life since his early days hosting "Cartoon Time" for Channel 3. See what Scott Craig has done over the years and check out a more recent picture of him. Go to WCIA 1953-1965 and Scott Craig here.
Central Illinois On-Line Broadcast Museum and dougquick.com supports the work of the St. Louis Media History.
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