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

$19.99 plus tax


TV Today

It's been announced that central Illinois is just a few months away from making the first step to NextGen TV, or ATSC 3.0 Digital Television Broadcast System. 

Read my report on what you can expect with the change-over to ATSC 3.0.  Click Here to go to the Central Illinois TV page.

NextGenTV Market Projections

A complete listing of area television signals across mid-Illinois, along with Chicago, St. Louis, Peoria, Terre Haute, and Quincy markets.


The pages include current TV listings for each market, and all of the television transmitters/towers, who owns each one, the owner's address, operator's address, phone number, websites, and other contact information.

It also includes all of the sub-channels (minus shopping and religious signals). Ownership is listed along with address, phone numbers, and contact information along with websites.

The pages also include ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) information for each market offering the new local television standard! There are also links for an explanation of what to expect in the years ahead!

Pull down your selection from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Mid-Illinois Television Station History

Examine the history of each of the mid-Illinois TV stations along with stations in Peoria and St. Louis

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.

Pull down your selection from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Area Radio Station History

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.

Pull down your selection from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Automated Radio History

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.

Pull down your selection from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

  • 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

  • Click HERE to go the web page

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Videos of the Week

Benson (1979) Pilot

The summertime "parade of pilots" continues this week with a spin-off of the successful and rather controversial episodic sitcom "Soap."  "Benson" would air from 1979 through 1986. This episode aired on September 13, 1979.

Benson DuBois, played by Robert Guillaume, was a butler of the Tate household in the series "Soap." He was recommended to serve as the butler for the newly elected governor, James Gatling played by James Noble, by Jessica Tate to help her newly elected cousin, the governor.

In this episode, the various characters were introduced including the governor's daughter Katie, played by Missy Gold; Gretchen Kraus, played by Inga Swenson. The governor's secretary, Marcy Hill, played by Caroline McWilliams would later in the series marry the governor.

There were many shifts in the cast during the show's seven-season run on ABC. By the 1981 year, Benson would be appointed state budget director. Across mid-Illinois it was seen on WAND, WRAU, WBAK, and KTVI.

Laverne and Shirley (1976) ABC

We're keeping it light this week with episode 13 of "Laverne and Shirley" from Season six. "Laverne and Shirley" was one of ABC's top shows throughout its run, making it number one for the entire 1977-78 season!

Penny Marshall co-starred as Laverne DeFazio, with Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney. The supporting cast included Eddie Meeka as Carmine, Phil Foster as Frank (Laverne's Dad), Michael McKean and David L. Lander as Lenny and "Squiggy".

The setting of the show changed during its run beginning in the 1950s, but by the 1978 season, it finally moved to the 1960s. It originally began with the girls working at a brewery in Milwaukee, but by the 1980 season, the entire show setting moved to Burbank. Then, by 1982 the rivalry between the show's stars and conflict among its writers along with the pregnancy of Cindy Williams caused Williams to leave the show.

This particular episode brings us into the 1960s with guest stars Peter Noone (of "Hermit's Hermits") and Eric Idle (of "Monty Python"). The story involves a comedic view of drug use in Hollywood during the 1960s. I would not be surprised to see if this episode was eliminated from the syndication package of the series.  

The network and producers tried to keep "Laverne and Shirley" going, but increased competition among the other networks (with "The A-Team" on NBC), brought about a severe rating slide for the former number one show. 

"Laverne and Shirley" was seen on mid-Illinois ABC stations WAND, WRAU, WBAK, and KTVI.  It was also seen in syndication on WICS and WICD during the 1980s. 


(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

WDNL (1984) Doug Quick

This aircheck features Doug Quick subbing for regular morning disk jockey Bob Taylor.  It is from June 19, 1984.

Hear more airchecks, videos and more at my YouTube Channel!  Go here:     

Be sure and support my page by subscribing!

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Image


A new feature is included with the Videos of the Week and Classic Radio Video.

I've always felt that Bloomington should have remained part of the Springfield-Decatur-Champaign/Urbana-Danville market. The ownership at WCIA felt likewise as late as the 1980s. Local ads placed by Midwest Television in the Pantagraph for CBS programming included the logo for WCIA and not the Peoria affiliate and Midwest sister station WMBD-TV.


Through at least the 1980s the mid-Illinois market had influence in Bloomington/Normal. WCIA had always been viewable for those with a VHF antenna in and around Bloomington/Normal, with WAND having significant signal strength in the market, plus the signal of WICD (not WICS) was included. That gave cable viewers 2 affiliates of each major network, plus 2 independents from Chicago, and the Peoria PBS affiliate.

By the 1980s, though, August Meyer, owner of WCIA would give up as the cable system would eventually pull all outside signals that were considered out of the market to only include the Peoria stations, channels 19, 25, 31, and 47. By then there was an explosion of exclusive cable signals that would be added to the lineup.

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Historical Television

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

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View a number of Television History links to trace the history of the industry and more!

A number of television print ads from the late 1940s through the 80s showing various brands of television, styles, and both color/monochrome sets are featured.

All of the TV Today Television Markets have been updated with additional channels, including those LD and CD low-power channels. The only exclusions are religious and shopping channels. Check out the updates at TV Today above along with the menu choices.

Added videos and links with information about next-gen TV, ATSC 3.0 for Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis markets.

The 70th Anniversary of my first broadcast station was celebrated in May with a video produced for the occasion. I participated and told my story of how I got started in radio in 1974.  Watch the video on the WTIM/WEEE page here.

June 15, 2022-The local TV markets of Chicago, Mid-Illinois, Peoria, Quincy, and St. Louis have been updated with the latest video/audio technical information for those with home theater, and receiving their local stations from an antenna.


To order an autographed copy of "Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television" use the "Contact Us" form at the bottom of this page. Send me your email address and I will send you complete instructions. The cost of the book is $30 cash and covers the postage (Priority Mail) of sending you the book directly from me.

I have a limited number of copies of the book, so order soon!

If you want an unsigned copy of the book from one of the retailers, click on one of the links above. Some are offering free postage!


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

Visit their website at:


Contact Me to order an autographed copy of "Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television" Here

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