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

$19.99 plus tax

Book Signing/
Lecture Update:

If you missed getting a signed copy of my book before Christmas for someone, here's your chance. 

I still have copies that you can give as a follow-up gift, or maybe one for yourself. 

Directions are below....

2020 didn't turn 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. Now as we enter 2021, I'm optimistic, but I also realize it may not be able to do any outside appearances until later in 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 the 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

"The Steve Allen Show" (1957) Don Adams

Don Adams does stand-up on "The Steve Allen Show" from 1957. Born Donald James Yarmy in New York, he was an actor, comedian, and director. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 82.

His TV career began in 1954 when he was a contestant on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts." Interestingly enough, his stand-up routine was written by comedian and friend Bill Dana. Bill Dana was one of the writing team for "The Steve Allen Show." In the early 60s, Adams was a regular on "The Perry Como Show" and had a role on "The Bill Dana Show" where he played a hotel detective named Bryon Glick. He was also the voice of "Tennessee Tuxedo" a Saturday morning cartoon from the early 1960s.

Enjoy this stand-up routine with Don Adams as broadcast on "The Steve Allen Show" in September of 1957. This would have been seen on NBC affiliates throughout mid-Illinois, WICS, WEEK, WGEM-TV and KSD-TV

"The Best of Get Smart" (1965-66) NBC

Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, this comedy took the popular secret agent genre and turned it upside down in the cone of silence. It stared former stand up comedian Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, and Edward Platt.


The supporting cast over the years included many who would end up being seen on future TV series as well as in Mel Brooks films throughout the years. Names like Dave Ketchum (originally from Quincy, IL- "I'm Dickens-He's Fenster" and "Camp Runamuck"), Stacy Keach Sr., Bernie Kopell ("That Girl," "The Doris Day Show," "When Things are Rotten," and "The Love Boat"), Dick Gautier ("Mr. Terrific," "When Things Were Rotten" and "The Liar's Club"), Victor French ("The Hero," "Little House on the Prairie," "Highway to Heaven"), among others.

"Get Smart" premiered (in black and white) on September 18, 1965, and aired on NBC through September 1969. It then moved to CBS where it aired from September 1969 to September of 1970. What we see here on this video was from the first season airing on NBC and seen throughout mid-Illinois on WICS, WCHU, WICD(in black and white), WEEK-TV, WGEM-TV, KSD-TV, and WTWO(during its first month of broadcasting). 

Movies on TV

"The Last Man on Earth" (1964)

  Vincent Price

Based on the 1954 novel, "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson, this 1964 film adaption was directed by Sidney Salkow and Ubaldo B. Ragona. It was filmed in Rome but released by American International Pictures. It stars Vincent Price as Dr. Robert Morgan who is dealing with a plague that turns people into zombies.

It includes a flashback sequence of scenes that explains that Dr. Morgan's wife and daughter were victims of the plague. He eventually figures out he is immune to the disease based on him being infected by a vampire bat when he was in Panama years earlier.

As most of the population has died, he seeks out companionship but discovers whomever he meets, ends up being one of the zombies, who have their own plan to populate the world and kill the "normal" humans.

It's been reported the movie was produced in Italy to save money and was shot with an Italian cast and crew, with the exception of Vincent Price.  It was not considered a successful film on release, but since then it's gained more of a following. 

So from 1964, "The Last Man on Earth" starring Vincent Price.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

WIRL, 1290-AM, Peoria, IL early 1960s

WIRL went on the air in 1948 and was one of the original filers for what could have been Peoria's only VHF television station on channel 8. The permit was never issued, as it moved in the late 1950s to the Quad Cities where it became WQAD.


Later WIRL was the WLS of Chicago where it remained a Top 40 station from  1960 to 1984. It was in the late 1960s WIRL took ownership of Channel 19, WTVH, where the call letters of the TV station were changed to WIRL-TV. This aircheck is from the early 1960s with the DJ known as VLJ.

(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.

January 17, 2021-Two Peoria TV stations have been delisted from the TV Today-Peoria/Bloomington/Normal, IL listings of local TV stations. The two stations have failed to operate within the guide lines of broadcasting as described by the FCC. 

"In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” Generally, this means it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license." 

from FCC: The Public and Broadcasting

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

Visit their website at:


I'd Like to Hear From You....

Updated 01.24.2021

© 2002-2021 Doug Quick.

Produced by Doug Quick

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