Pictures on the

prairie:

the first Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television

BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE AND IN STOCK AT SOME LOCATIONS(while they last):

 

  • Barnes & Noble,

            Champaign​

 

If they have none in stock, have them order for you!!

$19.99 + tax

BOOK EVENTS

Plans are being made for more presentations on the Early Days of Mid-Illinois Television. These events will also be opportunities to purchase books and have them signed by me.

(Below) January 7, 2020 a clip of me was shown on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. Watch the video below...

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 which 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

Betty White's First Sitcom, 1953

"Life with Elizabeth" starred 31-year old Betty White with its premiere in 1953. Here is the original episode of what would end up being an incredible career as a sitcom star. She's still active at 98-years old as of this week. Watch this complete episode as seen in syndication (stations would purchase the right to air the show on film and insert commercials).

I can't verify that any mid-Illinois TV stations aired "Life with Elizabeth."

"Hullabaloo" NBC's Rock Variety Show

"Hullabaloo" was NBC's answer to ABC's "Shindig" a contemporary music variety show airing weekly in color on videotape from either the Burbank NBC studios, from 30 Rock in New York or from a remote NBC color studio in Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, NBC copied all of the color videotape installments on black and white kinescope film, assumably to recycle the actual 2-inch videotape. It's reported that only three half-hour complete episodes on color videotape are known to exist.

 

It aired from January 1965 to April 1966 and was seen across mid-Illinois on WICS, WICD, WCHU, WEEK-TV, WGEM-TV, KSD-TV, and WTWO-TV. Even though the series was broadcast in color, a segment was inserted hosted by Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles, from London and was broadcast from film in monochrome (black and white). It featured many acts that would be categorized as "The British Invasion." One note, "Hullabaloo" was replaced on NBC by "The Monkees" in September of 1966.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

Bill Balance, from Peoria, IL

Stay with me on this one... Willis "Bill" Balance was from Peoria, Illinois. Born in 1918, he ended up at the University of Illinois before becoming a Marine. He later went into broadcasting and worked at Top 40 stations in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and San Diego.

By the early 1970s, he was an early version of a "shock jock." From the early to late 1970s he was on KGBS-Radio in Los Angeles. By 1978 he ended up in San Diego at KFMB-AM (owned by WCIA Champaign ownership Midwest Television that also owned KFMB AM/FM/TV). His shows targeted a mostly female audience.

 

In 1975, he was syndicating program segments from his KGBS(1020-AM) "Feminine Forum" radio show to WWTO(FM) 105.7 FM in Peoria. He also made appearances in sponsored remote broadcasts in Peoria as advertised on WWTO.
 

He was also allegedly involved in a situation in the late 1990s involving nude pictures of a current well known female radio personality allegedly taken when he was dating her in the 1970s. She sued him later for selling the pictures to a company that published the pictures on a website, as well as the website company. A judge ruled in favor of him and the internet company website who said the pictures could stay. 
 

Mr. Balance also made some guest appearances on network TV in 1973 in "A Touch of Grace" a short-lived sitcom in which he played himself. He also played a radio talk show personality in an episode of "Barnaby Jones." 
 

He suffered a stroke in 2002 and died two years later on September 23, 2004. His funeral service was held in Peoria. He was survived by two sons and to grandchildren.
 

Here is a segment of what he did at KFMB from sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Read more from the LA Times here.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Historical 
Television
Highlights

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

What's New?

2019-1010_richwarren_n-g_dq.jpg

October 20, 2019-Once again I made the Rich Warren column in the October 20th News-Gazette. Read the column by going to the Picture Gallery Page and scrolling to the bottom of the page or click here.

November 9, 2019- Updated TV Now pages to reflect new affiliations with sub-channels in most markets.

January 1, 2020-WAND has added another signal to increase its coverage area. The long-anticipated translator for WAND located in Effingham goes on the air. It was added to other translators located in Jacksonville and Danville along with its main signal from Decatur (Argenta-Oreana). Visit the info on Mid-Illinois TV Today.

January 1, 2020-WCCU will benefit the most from the repack of most UHF stations in mid-Illinois. The transmitter location and antenna relocation with a power increase will add a significant area of east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana to the coverage area of FOX-Illinois 27. See more by visiting WCCU, FOX-Illinois.

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

Visit their website at:

stlmediahistory.org

 

 

Updated 1.25.2020

© 2002-2019 Doug Quick.

Produced by Doug Quick

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon