Pictures on the Prairie:
The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television

$19.99 plus tax

Book Signing/
Lecture Update:

Looking for a unique special Christmas gift for someone in your family? A signed copy of my book would be perfect!  Just follow the instructions below, and make plans to order one now!  I'll continue to fulfill orders while supplies last!

2020 hasn’t turned out at all as I expected. I was hoping to do about a dozen book signings/lectures at various venues across central and east-central Illinois during the year.

I’ve had several requests recently for signed copies of “Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television.” Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do that for book signings in the near future, so I’ve come up with this plan to fulfill the wishes of those wanting signed books.

I’d love to be able to offer to send them each to you without charge but the USPS mailing charges are a bit pricy.  USPS mailing charges for the book/container via priority mail would get the book to you within a couple of days at a cost of around $8.50.

So I’ve created a plan to make it work for those of you who already have a book and would like it signed for you(or someone else), and for those who would like to purchase a book from me directly, plus have it signed to you(or someone else).

If you already have a book:

E-mail me (at dougquick @ with the fact that you have a book and would like it signed. Include the exact name of the person(s) to be named with the signing. Make sure the name(s) is spelled correctly. Make sure you include your mailing address where your book is to be sent with your initial e-mail.

I’ll return an e-mail to you with the mailing address of where you should mail the book. When you mail it make sure you use a USPS envelope for priority mail. It will cost you around $8.50. When you send me your book include either cash of $8.50 or a personal check for $8.50 to cover the postage so I can get the book back to you.

If you would like to purchase a book and have it signed:

E-mail me (at dougquick @ with your request for a book and to have it signed. Include the exact name of the person(s) to be named with the signing. Make sure the names(s) are spelled correctly. Make sure you include your mailing address where the book is be sent with your initial e-mail.

I’ll return an e-mail to you with the mailing address of where you should send either cash or a personal check of $28.50 to cover the cost of the book and postage back to you.

I have a limited number of books, and this offer will end when I run out, so don’t delay!

If you miss this opportunity, I hope to resume book signings later in 2021. Keep checking back to this website for updates.


Classic TV, Illinois, TV History, Central Illinois, Doug Quick, WCIA, WICD, WICS, WAND, WTVP, WCCU, WRSP, WEEK, WTVH, WRAU, WIRL, WHOI, WMBD, WCIX, KSD-TV, KSD, KTVI, WTVI, KPLR, KMOX, KMOV, WBLN, WTWO, WTHI, KHQA, WGEM, WDBR, WLRW, WTIM, WDNL, WDAN, Jerry Slabe, Paul Davis, Judy Fraser, Mr. Roberts, 

Local Television Today


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

  • Infomercials

  • TV commercials

  • Public Service announcements

  • Radio commercials

  • Powerpoint presentations

  • Telephone on-hold messages

  • In-store announcements for music services

  • TV Station news/promo image voice

  • Website Audio narration/training

Videos of the Week

"WKRP in Cincinatti" CBS 1978
"The Turkey Drop" segment

Happy Thanksgiving! What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to drop live turkeys from helicopters! It’s alleged that this stunt actually played in Decatur, Illinois as a promotion of WDZ, 1050AM. Well, according to a former WDZ operations manager, Dan Jensen, it did not happen in Decatur but involved a former Decatur radio station owner/manager. He detailed the incident in his blog from January 9, 2006.

The idea came from the former owner/manager of WDZ who coincidently enough hired me in 1979 as a jock/salesperson at the station during 1979. My tenure was short there as the operation was unorthodox, to say the least, and I didn’t feel comfortable working in that environment.

I’m leaving his name out of this, but he at one of his co-owned stations (not in Decatur) came up with the idea. He was already a licensed pilot and probably should’ve known that dropping anything from an airplane or a helicopter without a parachute would have been against FAA regulations. In this case, though, he designed the promotion and followed through.  Dan Jensen said the event took place in the early 1960s. Just like the manager of the fictitious radio station WKRP, the future Decatur owner/general manager didn’t know that turkeys couldn’t fly either.

They even brought about lawsuits from people whose cars suffered damage from falling live turkeys, building owners who experienced roof damage that took direct hits. There were no mentions of personal injuries to people on the ground looking up to see the falling gobblers. The ASPCA even got into the controversy and filed a complaint against the radio station owner for cruelty to animals. Plus the FAA also filed against the radio station.

Mr. Jensen, said after the WKRP episode aired, the owner/manager was “furious and wanted to sue the produces of the show. However, it was just at that point that he was finally done with the litigation from the actual event, and his lawyers convinced him that it was best to let sleeping dogs (or in this case turkeys) lie.”  

I also found this article about said owner/manager and his obsession with tying aircraft to promotional events. This from Jeff Rankin. Click Here.

"Miracle on 34th Street" 1973 CBS

This TV Movie was one of several remakes of the classic theatrical version of “Miracle  on 34th Street.”


This was a 1973 version starring Jane Alexander, David Hartman(“Men from Shiloh,” “Good Morning America”), Jim Backus(“I Married Joan,” “Gilligan’s Island”), Tom Bosley(“Happy Days”), David Doyle(“Charlies Angels”), James Gregory(“Barney Miller”), Conrad Janis(“Mork and Mindy”), Roddy McDowell(“Planet of the Apes”), and Sabastian Cabot(“Checkmate,” “Family Affair”).

This aired on CBS on December 14, 1973, and would have been seen on WCIA, WMBD-TV, KMOX-TV, WTHI-TV, and KHQA.

Movies on TV

"Miracle on 34th Street" 1947 Trailer

I can’t present the original film, but I can show you the trailer for the original movie. Trust me when I say there’s nothing like the real thing. I recommend hitting the stores and purchasing your copy DVD copy. If you wish, there’s also a colorized version as well. I don’t usually recommend the colorized version, but it may be the only way to get the younger set in your household to watch it. It’s a classic and should be viewed every year in every home.

It stars Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood, William Frawley, Jeff Corey, and many more. It’s fun to look for future TV stars in this film, including an important character at the post office who later starred in NBC TV’s “Chico and the Man.”

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

"Lux Radio Theatre" CBS Radio 1947
"Miracle on 34th Street"

This was presented on “Lux Radio Theatre” on December 22, 1947. The “Lux Radio Theatre” was a long-running radio series that recreated movies for the radio listeners at home. Many of the productions included at least some of the original starts from the original film production. Even though the productions were based on the original movie, the stories were usually edited leaving out side stories and other characters.

This version starred the original main characters, Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood, John Payne, and Edmund Gwenn. It probably aired on mid-Illinois CBS Radio affiliates WBBM-Chicago, WTAX-Springfield, WSOY-Decatur, WDWS-Champaign and WDAN-Danville.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Frisina Drive In Theater_front_shot.jpg


Click on each Graphic/Title Below to go directly to an in depth story of each with pictures/videos of Television's Past

CBS TV City.jpg

What's New?

May 24, 2020-"Star Trek" has been added to the Historical Television Highlights page.

June, 14, 2020-Added a video block featuring Taylorville's Frisina Drive-In Theater. To see the video and a short narration of its history go to Videos here.

July 19, 2020-Added the story of the first live broadcast from the "new" Disneyland Theme Park in Anaheim, California from July of 1955. It was an epic live TV broadcast on the ABC Television Network and was seen in mid-Illinois.  It's on the Historical Television Highlights page.

September 12, 2020-Saved the Video of the Week from September 7th, to the Historical Television Highlights page. The feature spotlights the ABC Season Premiere that took the last place TV network to prominence. Click here to go directly to the ABC Season Premiere from September of 1963.

November 21, 2020-The Peoria TV Market continues to disintegrate originally with Channel 19 becoming an empty shell with the elimination of Comet. Comet was removed for TBD, which doesn't qualify in my listings in TV Today-Peoria as being a legitimate source of programming. Two other subchannel networks were proposed some time ago, but at last report have not been added to Channel 19. The operators have also added a shopping channel to the lineup, that further downgrades the station.

Meanwhile, WAOE has also become a shopping channel. That will disqualify it as being a legitimate TV station as well. Both Channel 19 and the WAOE channels will be delisted soon. 

November 22, 2020-TV Today has been completely updated. Since the repack of many of the area TV stations is now complete and the "dust has settled" it was time to complete my pages. 

Some changes include those above in the previous addition, but also I've added some stations to the listings including WEIU-TV, Channel 50, Charleston, IL. It has been added to the Mid-Illinois listings, but I also added it to the Terre Haute, IN listings as well.

I added two St. Louis stations, low-powered stations, but reach enough population to make them significant. Plus more importantly, the stations list entertainment networks as part of their lineup, despite having religious or shopping channels. Note: Those exclusive religious or shopping channels are excluded in these listings.

Central Illinois On-Line Broadcast Museum and supports the work of the St. Louis Media History. 

Visit their website at:



Be a 


be humble,

be kind,

spread joy,

peace and love.


Updated 11.22.2020

© 2002-2020 Doug Quick.

Produced by Doug Quick

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