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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!


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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

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Videos of the Week

Kraft Suspense Theater
"The Machine That Played God" (1963) Anne Francis

This production of Roncom Films, Inc. was produced at Universal Studios in 1963. One of several dramatic anthology series of the 1950s and 60s with a major sponsor. It was one of several that was sponsored by Kraft Foods starting during the golden age of television.

This particular installment was called "Kraft Suspense Theatre" premiering October 10, 1963, on NBC. The series ran through September 9, 1965. 

In this installment, Anne Francis was suspected of being a part of her husband's death in a car accident. The situation causes her to lose custody of her stepson, while it appears she's guilty but is she?

It stared:

Anne Francis ("Honey West" 1965-66; "My Three Sons" 1971-72; "Dallas" 1981; "Riptide" 1984)

Gary Merill ("The Reporter" 1964; "Young Dr. Kildare" 1972)

Malachi Throne ("It Takes a Thief" 1968-69)

also Josephine Hutchinson, Mary Wickes, William Boyett, and Dan Frazer.

The "Kraft Suspense Theater" was seen throughout mid-Illinois on WICS, WCHU, WICD, WEEK, WGEM-TV, and KSD-TV.

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Click on either picture here to go directly to YouTube to watch the episode.

Alcoa Premiere Presents:
"Million Dollar Hospital" (1963) ABC William Shatner

This was an installment of "Alcoa Premiere" airring on ABC Thursday night at 9 (CT). The anthology series was hosted by Fred Astaire, but this one episode starred a vast number of future TV stars who would find themselves on all three networks and even some movies in the 60s and 70s. There's even one actor with a central Illinois connection.


The story begins in Chicago, when Dr. William Grant (played by William Shatner) working at Cook County Hospital in Chicago decides to make a change in his career. He sees an ad for a "million dollar hospital" that's for sale in Indiana, he investigates. 

He is surprised to find not a huge hospital, but a small rural hospital run by a Dr. Logan (played by Charles Bickford-later in "The Virginian").

The supporting cast and what they be best knows for, includes: 

Reta Shaw (from "The Betty White Show" in 1958; "The Ann Southern Show" in 1958-59; and later in "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" in 1968-70)

Nancy Rennick (from "Kentucky Jones" in 1964-65)

Arthur Batanides (from "Star Trek" 1966)

John Banner (later in "Hogan's Heroes" 1965-71)

Brooke Bundy (later "Days of Our Lives" 70s)

Arte Johnson (the University of Illinois Alum, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In) 1968-71)

Ken Berry ("F-Troop," "Mayberry R.F.D" and "Mama's Family")

The episode was directed by Hershel Daugherty, who was born in 1910 in Laramie, Indiana which is now a suburb of Lafayette, Indiana. He also directed at least one episode of "Star Trek" in 1966 and an episode of "Mission: Impossible" also in 1966.

This hour-long TV episode aired April 18, 1963, and would have been seen throughout mid-Illinois on WTVP, WTVH, and KTVI.

Rafe Hollister's Vaccine (1961)
Andy Griffith Show

Some things never change.... in this case local Mayberry farmer Rafe Hollister refuses a tetanus vaccination from the county nurse and the local health department. 

His ignorant logic for not having a vaccination is similar to what we're hearing today from those who refuse a Covid-19 vaccination. This episode was considered comedy in 1961, and dumb old Rafe and his idiotic logic were laughed at. Most of the public in 1961 had gotten a tetanus shot or other vaccinations at some time(s) in their life for their own health and safety. It wasn't politicized and people weren't exposed to misinformation campaigns that today have brought fear and suspicion of the vaccine to gullible people.

I'm saddened by the number of people who have recently contracted the Covid-19 virus and for those more serious infected people who have been hospitalized or have died. In most cases, if they were vaccinated earlier this year they would probably either have had mild cases or not been infected at all. This vaccination saves lives....yours, and others you may infect unknowingly!

I personally encourage you to be vaccinated if you haven't already. It's free, just go to a local drug store, the health department, or call the CDC for a local location near you at 1-800-232-0233. As I always say....BE safe....and be well.

This has been a public service announcement of the Central Illinois On-Line Broadcast Museum.

Be Smart, Be safe.....get vaccinated TODAY!

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

WIL Radio-St. Louis (1963) Ron Lundy

Here is Ron Lundy, jocking at WIL before his big move to WABC in New York soon after. 

WIL didn't reach much of the central Illinois area, but it did have ties to central Illinois. In 1957 WIL was purchased by the Balaban Brothers, Harry and Elmer, who also were part owners of Springfield's WICS, Champaign's WCHU and Danville's WICD television stations.

WIL was one of the original popular music stations in the country (pre Top 40). Under the ownership of the Balaban's, the station would lose it's leading position in the ratings when Storz Broadcasting's KXOK would take the popular music crown for St. Louis for at least 15 years. The Balaban's would sell the station in 1967 to Lin Broadcasting. Lin was the owner of WTVP(later WAND), Channel 17 Decatur from 1964 to around 2000.

WIL would flip formats to a news format in the early 60s, before flipping once again to country. The FM station in 1974 changed formats and call letters from KFMS to WIL-FM to broadcast the automated format "Great American Country" from Drake-Chenault. (see automated formats on this site). The AM would continue to be a live formated country station. After having success as a country station through the mid 1980s, Lin would sell the stations to Heritage Media. 

Heritage in the early 90s would change the call letters to WRTH, previous call letters held by 590-AM located in Wood River, Illinois. It would broadcast a satillite delivered format from Unistar that featured music from the 40s through the 60s.

Sinclair Broadcast Group would purchase the Hertage Meda stations including, 1430-AM (the former WIL), WIL-FM,  along with KDNL, Channel 30, paying $630-million in 1997. Emmis Communications would purchase Sinclairs six St. Louis radio stations during the Summer of 1999 for $220-million, but Sinclair would hold onto KDNL, Channel 30, that it still owns today. Sinclair is the owners/operators of mid-Illinois stations WICS, WRSP, WICD, WCCU, WBUI, WHOI(Ch 19), and KHQA.

After a disasterous string of other owners the original WIL went through several call letter changes eventually getting KZQZ and was playing oldies. On March 20, 2020 the FCC revoked the station's licence because it was found that the station was controlled by a convicted fellon. The owners continued to operate illegally until the St. Louis Post-Dispatch continued to investigate the station's operation and published their findings that the station was indeed illegal. 

Here's the punch line to the whole story, this week, July 27, 2021 a group of AM allocations in the St. Louis market including the original frequency of WIL(AM-1430) is going up for auction.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

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

Visit their website at:



Here are former Videos of the Weeks.

WLS-Chicago (1989)

John Landecker

Link to YouTube Video

WLS-Chicago (1971)

Larry Lujack

Link to YouTube Video

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1968) Complete

Link to YouTube Video

WLS-Chicago (1996)

Filmed documentary with John Landecker 

Link to YouTube Video

American Bandstand (1964)

Dick Clark

This complete installment of "American Bandstand" goes back to December 12, 1964.  It's difficult to explain the popularity and influence of "Bandstand" to today's young people. First of all, how teens acted, how they dressed, how they socialized, how they danced and the music they listen to were all on national display each week. 

Link to YouTube Video


American Bandstand (1969)
Dick Clark

This is nearly a complete episode of "American Bandstand" the teenage dance show that had its beginnings in Philadelphia back in the early 1950s, 

This one installment from August 2, 1969 comes from what I consider to be the golden era of television, music, fashion, hair styles, and being a high school sophomore.


Link to YouTube Video

WKRP in Cincinnati (1980)

Frank Bonner

In remembrance of Frank Bonner who passed away recently, we present an episode of "WKRP in Cincinnati" from 1980.

Link to YouTube Video


Marcus Welby M.D. (1970
Robert Young


Link to YouTube Video

Saturday Morning Kid Shows Intros 
from the 1970s

Link to YouTube Video

ABC Shows from the Fall of 1961

Link to YouTube Video

Screen Actors Guild (1951) 
Jimmy Stewart in "Jackpot"

Link to YouTube Video

Charlie's Angels Documentary-

The "Charlie's Angels" pilot premiered on ABC in March of 1976 in the form of a TV Movie. The huge rating of the pilot showed the executives at ABC that they had a winning series. So, during the fall of 1976 "Charlie's Angels" was added to the ABC primetime lineup. Produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, it was an immediate hit for the network and began the TV trend called "jiggle TV." 

This documentary starts at the beginning when the original concept was called "The Alley Cats," then "Harry's Angels." This documentary tells the story of the hit series and how it added the original cast of Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith.

Link to YouTube Video

Yvonne Daniels on WLS from 1977

Link to YouTube Video





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