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Moline, Illinois

<tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Branding</th><td style="text-align: left;">NewsChannel 8</td></tr><tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Slogan</th><td style="text-align: left;">"Live, Local, Latebreaking"</td></tr>

Channels 8 (VHF) analog,
38 (UHF) digital
Affiliations ABC
Owner The New York Times Company (sale pending [1])
Founded August 1, 1963

<tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Call letters meaning</th><td style="text-align: left;">W QuAD Cities</td></tr><tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Former callsigns</th><td style="text-align: left;">none</td></tr><tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Former affiliations</th><td style="text-align: left;">none</td></tr> <tr><th style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;">Website</th><td style="text-align: left;">www.wqad.com</td></tr>

WQAD-TV, known as "NewsChannel 8," is the ABC affiliate for the Quad Cities, Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa. The station is owned by The New York Times Company and is licensed to Moline, Illinois.


[edit] History

On November 12, 1958, a group of 24 Moline area investors sent to the Federal Communications Commission its plan for a new television station for the Quad City area. The Moline Television Corporation was founded by attorney Francis J. Coyle (chairman), former WGN Radio general manager Frank Schreiber (president/general manager) and leading citizens Charles Agnew, Victor Day, L.S. Helfrich, Richard Stengel, and Samuel Gilman.

On June 29, 1961, the FCC awarded the channel 8 license to the Moline Television Corporation. In its FCC application, Moline Television Corporation promised to give a "free expression of divergent views" to the public "within bounds imposed by decency and legal responsibility". In May 1962, the FCC gave formal approval to the Moline Television Corporation, but challenges to the decision were immediately filed by the groups that lost out on the license. That delayed any further development until the Moline Television Corporation got its final license approval from the FCC on April 18, 1963.

Groundbreaking on a new $250,000 transmitter near Orion, Illinois, including a 1,058 foot tower, started March 1, 1963. Construction on a broadcast facility began March 8, and the building was ready in time for the station's first broadcast on August 1, 1963. From day one, WQAD-TV broadcast ABC network programming in color.

The Des Moines Register newspaper purchased WQAD-TV in 1978. In 1985, the New York Times Company bought the television station and continues to operate the facilities today. It also at times share some of their resources with their sister station in Des Moines, Iowa, NBC affiliate WHO-TV.

It was announced on September 12th,2006 that WQAD is being sold, along with the other 9 New York Times television stations.

The station began news operations from the first day it signed on the air in 1963.

Station Identifications

  • News Scope 8-late 60s-1975
  • Eyewitness News- 1975-1978
  • Active 8- 1978-1994
  • News Channel 8- 1994-present

In 1984, WQAD was the first station in the Quad Cities to add a Live RADAR.

In 2005, WQAD was the first station in the Quad Cities to get a one-of-a-kind news vehicle called The Satellite Mobile News Room, which gives the station the ability to go anywhere for a news story. The vehicle has been to such cities as St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

WQAD is ranked 2nd in the Quad Cities, behind KWQC, ranked first.

[edit] Programming

WQAD-TV's early years are closely linked to the station's prominent anchor/reporter: Jim King. He began six months after the station signed on the air. He took camera and gear to Vietnam for two tours of reporting on local troops. He was long the staple on the anchor desk and was known for his "On The Road" series of reports as well as his longtime role as the emcee of the station's annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons from 1971 to 1998. He died on January 2, 1999, of a heart attack.

WQAD-TV was one of the organizations which founded the Quad City Open golf tournament in 1971. The PGA tournament is now called the John Deere Classic and has been the topic of special broadcasts on the television station for more than 35 years.

WQAD-TV also takes part in an annual fundraiser called Toys For Tots, where NewsChannel 8 welcomes viewers to drop off a new, unwrapped toy to the studios, and WQAD puts all of the toys on their set, and then Marines storm the studio and get all of the toys within a half hour.

Also, every summer, NewsChannel 8 holds a fan drive, where they collect new fans for the elderly, and families that cannot afford air conditioning, or even fans.

WQAD's early days are also remembered for being the local outlet for Romper Room and its host Miss Peggy. Quad-Cities baby boomers also fondly remember WQAD's weekly midnight Chuck Acri Creature Features - showing early science fiction and monster movies.

WQAD also has its own 24-hour weather channel on local Mediacom cable systems, which shows the Storm Track 8000 "Live Triple Doppler" radar (which incorporates radars from Moline, Cedar Rapids, and Burlington), the five-day forecast, and the 14-day forecast, as well as local news on the bottom scroll and the latest weather conditions around the region.

[edit] Current Newscasts

[edit] Weekdays

  • Good Morning Quad Cities- 5 to 7 AM
  • News To Go- a weekday podcast
  • News Channel 8 at 5
  • News Channel 8 at 6
  • News Channel 8 at 6:30
  • News Channel 8 at 10
  • Hoops Central (coming basketball season)

[edit] Weekends

  • News Channel 8 at 6- Saturday
  • News Channel 8 at 5:30- Sunday
  • News Channel 8 at 10
  • Wild World Of Sports- Sunday at 10:35

[edit] Anchors

  • Michelle Aguayo(NewsToGo, 5, 6:30 M-F)
  • Matt Hammill (5,6,10;S-Th 8 On The Road)
  • Barbara Dawson( 6,10; S-Th; 8 On Your Side)
  • Julie Sisk (Good Morning Quad Cities)
  • Jim Mertens (Good Morning Quad Cities)
  • Vanessa Van Hyfte (Friday & Saturday Anchor)& Weekday Reporter
  • Jason Fechner (6,10- Saturdays) & General Reporter

[edit] Reporters

  • Courtney Brennan
  • John David
  • Chris Minor
  • Amy Barrilleaux (8 On Your Side reports)
  • Diana Carag (reporter for GMQC)
  • Kristy Mergenthal
  • Courtney Gousman
  • Thom White (On-Film)
  • Pam Cunningham

[edit] Storm Track 8000

  • Neil Kastor (Chief Meteorologist, Sun-Thu)
  • Anthony Peoples (Friday and Saturday, Good Morning America updates Sat-Sun)
  • James Zahara (Good Morning Quad Cities)
  • Andy Dorn (Fill-In Meteorologist)

[edit] Sports

  • Dale Ryman (Sports Director) The Blitz
  • Matt Randazzo (Fill-in sports reporter/general reporter) The Blitz

[edit] Syndicated programs

Syndicated programs on WQAD-TV's schedule include Extra, Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

[edit] Trivia

  • WQAD's news currently uses First News by composer Frank Gari as a theme.
  • Illinois 17th District Republican candidate, Andrea Zinga, was a former reporter for WQAD.
  • Neil Kastor also worked as Chief Meteorologist at WHBF-TV in Rock Island for two years before he came to WQAD in 1983
  • Matt Hammill and Neil Kastor have been at WQAD since 1983
  • Since 1997, WQAD has used the the Live Local Latebreaking slogan

[edit] References

[edit] External links


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