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

$19.99 plus tax

Book Signing/
Lecture Update:

Would you like an autographed copy of "Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television?"

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.


Doug Quick (2).png
Click on image above for more information!

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

"Days of Our Lives" (1965) First episode

McDonald Carey was listed as the star of "Days of Our Lives" has appeared in many movie westerns, musicals, and dramas of the 1940s and 50s. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for one year before graduating from the University of Iowa in 1935. He was also in a number of TV projects from the 1950s to the early 1960s. 

In 1965 he took the role of Dr. Horton on "Days of Our Lives" saying he did it because he couldn't get any movie roles. He continued until his death from lung cancer in 1994, less than a week after his 81st birthday.

A personal note, both my wife and I were big fans of the show for years. I started watching it sometime in the early 1970s. When I went to college, I actually arranged my class schedule around the broadcast time of the show so I wouldn't miss it. I remember sitting in the student union at Western Illinois University watching "Days" on WGEM-TV.

When I first dated my wife, we both had plenty to talk about, generally about the different characters on the show and the storylines. In 1997, when I attended some NBC meetings and promotional events in Los Angeles and Hollywood, I got to meet Deidra Hall and got my picture taken with her. 

This video is the first episode of the series, with the original characters from the Horton family. It would have aired on WICD, WCHU, WICD(in black in white), WEEK, WGEM-TV, WTWO and KSD-TV.

NBC Prime Time Winter 1965-66

NBC was now full color with a full slate of primetime shows in color for the first time. This video includes a complete set of program openings starting with Sunday night and going through the following Saturday. 

There are lots of classics including Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Branded, Bonanza, Hullabaloo, Andy Williams Show, Run for your Life, My Mother the Car (starring Danville's own Jerry Van Dyke), The Virginian, I Spy, Dean Martin Show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Flipper, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, and many more.

These would have been seen on WICS, WCHU, WICD(in black and white), WEEK, WGEM-TV, WTWO, and KSD-TV.

Movies on TV

"The Beginning of the End" (1957) Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, Morris Ankrum

This from "Off Beat Cinema," we bring back "The Beginning of the End" starring Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, and our disputed Danville native Morris Ankrum. What makes this movie special to us here in east-central Illinois, is that much of it took place we all know.


Champaign, Paxton, Ludlow, Rantoul, and Chanute Air Force Base are all mentioned. If you watch it for familiar locations, forget it. The mountains and hills of southern California get in the way.

Another thing, they're all about "locusts" but the "creatures" used are actually good old-fashioned grasshoppers. 

Check this east-central Illinois creature feature....and get a few laughs.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show (1949) "The Television Test"

"Do you think it's advisable to let the public see what Harris looks like?" "Oh, he doesn't look that bad... besides I don't think we'll get any complaints as we don't put the show on around dinner time." From that, it gets even better for this installment of the Phil Harris/Alice Faye Show when it's proposed by the sponsor (Rexall Drugs) to move the sitcom to television. In the early days of radio and television, most shows were actually owned by the sponsors....or advertising agencies, using the actors who were mostly employed the networks but at the same time were under contract by the agencies.


In this episode, we find the efforts of Phil to get a television show....perhaps a western. Now to find a role for Alice Faye, when she gave up her career in movies to work with Phil and start a family, but still perform on the weekly NBC radio series.

The live audience reaction to the one-liners along with the characters of Rembley, and his other band members is priceless. Remley's standard line of "La tee da" always drew a laugh.

This is my favorite radio sitcom, even with the musical drop-ins, which in my opinion they could have done without. At least you can skip through it with today's technology. 

Another technical explanation, this particular show was recorded on a shellac transcription disk, so you hear many of the imperfections of the recording, pops, occasional skips. 

Be listening to Gale Gordon, who was an often heard character actor on many, many classic radio shows, including "Our Miss Brooks," and later getting into television later in the TV version of "Our Miss Brooks," but he was probably best known as Mr. Mooney on the "Lucy Show" of the early 1960s. He also was the replacement for Mr. Wilson on "Dennis the Menace" after the death of Joseph Kearns. 

This episode was probably heard, November 6, 1949, on NBC radio stations KSD-St. Louis, WMAQ-Chicago, WMAY-Springfield. 

(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 with the downgrading of Channel 19 from a once heritage TV station to now being an empty shell of junk video and a shopping channel. The lack of viable programming could disqualify it as being a legitimate TV 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 update, 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 guidelines of broadcasting as described by the FCC. Neither station broadcasts any kind of viable programming. 

"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 02.27.2021

© 2002-2021 Doug Quick.

Produced by Doug Quick

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