KWQC-TV

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KWQC-TV
KWQCDT6.png
KWQCTV6General2013.jpg
Davenport-Bettendorf, Iowa/
Moline-Rock Island, Illinois
City of license Davenport
Branding KWQC-TV 6 (general)
KWQC-TV 6 News (newscasts)
Slogan The Quad Cities' News Leader (general)
When news breaks, KWQC-TV6 is There, Everyday (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels 6.1 NBC
6.2 Weather
6.3 Cozi TV
Affiliations NBC
Owner Media General
(Young Broadcasting of Davenport, Inc.)
First air date October 31, 1949; 65 years ago (1949-10-31)
Call letters' meaning Welcome to the
Quad
Cities (calls modified to resemble former WOC-TV call letters and tie-in to regional nickname)
Former callsigns WOC-TV (1949–1986)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
5 (VHF, 1949–1952)
6 (VHF, 1952–2009)
Digital:
56 (UHF, 2003–2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
CBS (1949-1950)
DuMont (1949-1955)
ABC (1949-1963)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 329 m
Facility ID 6885
Transmitter coordinates 41°18′44″N 90°22′46″W / 41.31222°N 90.37944°W / 41.31222; -90.37944
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.kwqc.com

KWQC-TV, virtual channel 6, is a television station licensed to Davenport, Iowa, USA, which serves as the NBC affiliate for the Quad Cities television market (comprising Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island and Moline, Illinois). KWQC-TV is owned by Media General, with studios in downtown Davenport and transmitter located in Orion, Illinois.

History[edit]

KWQC originally signed on the air on October 31, 1949, as WOC-TV. The station was founded by B. J. Palmer, founder of the Palmer College of Chiropractic (located directly across the street from the station's studios) along with WOC radio (1420 AM and 103.7 FM, now WLLR-FM). The WOC stations were also sister stations to WHO-AM-FM-TV in Des Moines. According to local legend, the WOC calls stood for "Wonders of Chiropractic", though the Palmer family never acknowledged the phase in print or otherwise. WOC-TV has the distinction of being both Iowa's and the Quad Cities' first television station, carrying programming from all four networks at the time (NBC, CBS, ABC and DuMont). However, it has always been a primary NBC affiliate owing to WOC radio's long affiliation with NBC. Originally on channel 5, WOC-TV moved to channel 6 in 1952 due to interference with Iowa State University's WOI-TV in Ames. During it early years, original programming on WOC-TV included the daily Show Boat children's show hosted by Cap'n Ernie from 1964 to 1974.[1][2]

WOC-TV lost CBS when Rock Island-based WHBF-TV (channel 4) was launched in 1950, and the two stations shared ABC until WQAD-TV (channel 8) signed on from Moline in 1963. The station was also affiliated with the short-lived Paramount Television Network; in fact, it was one of that network's strongest affiliates, carrying programs such as Dixie Showboat,[3] Hollywood Reel,[4] and Hollywood Wrestling.[5]

Channel 6 remained with the Palmer family's broadcasting division after Dr. Palmer's death in 1961. In 1986, Palmer Communications sold its Quad Cities radio properties to Vickie Anne Palmer and her then husband J. Douglas Miller. Due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules of the time, channel 6 changed its calls to the current KWQC-TV on December 8th so as not to confuse the two properties. KWQC was sold to Broad Street Television in 1989 and to Young Broadcasting in 1995.

On June 6, 2013, Media General announced that they would acquire Young Broadcasting in an all-stock deal.[6] The merger was completed on November 12.[7] The addition of KWQC to Media General's portfolio marked a return to Iowa for Media General, who had owned KIMT in Mason City, Iowa from 2000 to 2006; however, it is reacquiring that station via its deal to buy LIN Media, its current owner.

Transmitter[edit]

KWQC Broadcast Center

The KWQC-TV Tower is a 1,381-foot (421 m) high guy-wired aerial mast for the transmission of FM radio and television programs in Bettendorf, west of the Scott Community College campus. (Geographical coordinates: 41°32′49″N 90°28′35″W / 41.54694°N 90.47639°W / 41.54694; -90.47639). It was built in 1982. In addition to the former KWQC analog signal, WHBF-TV and radio stations WOC, and WLLR-FM, both former sister stations of KWQC-TV (as WOC-TV), as well as religious WDLM-FM, and NPR member station WVIK, transmit their signals from this site.

KWQC's digital transmission tower is located in Orion, Illinois. The transmitter for KWQC-DT 56 had been operating at half of its assigned effective radiated power (ERP) since 12:45 PM on December 16, 2008, due to the need to convert one of the Power Amplifier Cabinets from channel 56 to channel 36.[8] At 12:02 AM on Friday June 12, 2009, the digital over-the-air signal on channel 56 was turned off and this lasted for about an hour or so in order to change the transmitter-to-antenna connections from the remaining DT 56 cabinet to the newly converted DT 36 cabinet. KWQC returned to the air an hour later on KWQC-DT 36, and continued to operate at half-power on channel 36 for about a week or so while the other cabinet was converted from channel 56 to channel 36. KWQC estimated that the other power cabinet would be fully converted and that its new digital signal on channel 36 would be operating at its fully licensed ERP of 1 million watts around June 19, 2009, one week after the DTV transition was complete.[9] It is not known when exactly the station returned to full power on digital channel 36. Cable viewers, particularly Mediacom subscribers in the Quad Cities, did not notice any interruption to the KWQC analog or digital/HDTV signals on the cable systems as KWQC's signals have been sent to the cable companies via a direct fiber optic link instead of the older and more traditional method of being picked up by the cable companies' over-the-air antennas[10] ever since well before the 2009 digital TV transition.

Also, KWQC no longer transmits a signal from Bettendorf, as Orion is now its new permanent home for transmission facilities, as of June 12. KWQC's analog transmitter in Bettendorf was broadcasting the Quad City Market's "Nightlight" service around the clock until June 26, 2009, and during the two week 'nightlight period, none of the station's regular programming was broadcast on the analog signal. As of June 26, 2009, the analog signal is now permanently gone. The aforementioned radio stations in the top paragraph of this section, as well as WHBF-TV, are continuing to transmit from Bettendorf. WHBF is the only Quad Cities television station to transmit from Bettendorf, while KWQC and everybody else are transmitting from Orion,[11] with the exception of KGCW. This means many viewers in and around the Quad Cities market need either a rotor or two separate antennas to receive all their local TV stations.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[12]
6.1 1080i 16:9 KWQC-DT Main KWQC-TV programming / NBC
6.2 480i KWQC-Wx KWQC 24-7 Weather Channel
6.3 COZI-TV Cozi TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

After the shutdown of the KWQC-TV analog nightlight signal on June 26, 2009, the "KWQC-TV" callsign was legally transferred from the now-defunct analog channel 6 to the new digital channel 36 and the "KWQC-DT" callsign was officially discontinued. However, up until mid-November 2009, the PSIP identifier continued to identify the main channel 6.1 as "KWQC-DT." This finally changed right before Thanksgiving Day in late November and the PSIP now identifies the main channel on 6.1 as the station's legal callsign, "KWQC-TV."

KWQC-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 6, at 11:59 p.m. on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station shut off its pre-transition digital signal on channel 56 just after midnight on June 11–12. the station returned to the air on channel 36 around 1 a.m. on Friday June 12.[13] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 6. Most of the station's programming on the broadcast day of June 12, 2009 was actually broadcast both on analog channel 6 and the new digital channel 36, up until 11:59 p.m. when KWQC used analog channel 6 to provide a Nightlight service to those remaining analog-only television viewers without a digital TV set or digital converter box for the two weeks following the digital transition.

KWQC's audio signal transmitted on a frequency of 87.76 MHz (+10 kHz shift) and was picked up on the lower end of the dial on most FM radios in most of the Quad Cities until 11:59 PM on June 12, 2009. As of 11:59 p.m. on June 12, 2009, the station's main programming is no longer heard on 87.75 MHz on FM radios.

KWQC and local radio sister stations[edit]

KWQC has news and weather updates broadcast on local radio sister stations such as KMXG and WLLR-FM. The news updates are mostly heard in the morning, from Quad Cities Today anchor, David Nelson and Morgan Ottier, but the weather updates can be heard all day. KWQC, though, is still not broadcast on 87.7. Also, when the The Voice (U.S. TV series) is on NBC, Sharon DeRycke interviews Jillene from WLLR, on who she thinks is going to go through to the next round. McFadden and Evans of KMXG have a broadcast every day on KWQC, called "Showbiz Buzz". These two broadcasts are both aired on KWQC-TV6 News at 4.

Analog nightlight service[edit]

After June 12, KWQC continued using its analog channel 6 for the next two weeks strictly for the purpose of informing the public about the need to switch over to digital. This included the purchasing and installation of DTV converter boxes and television sets, as well as how digital TV works, and the need for those consumers who are still unprepared to switch over to digital. This service is known as "Nightlighting."[14] The national PSAs, produced by the National Association of Broadcasters, as well as a locally produced version by the station itself, was a joint effort between KWQC and the other broadcasters in the Quad Cities, including WHBF, WQAD, WQPT, and KLJB, to inform the remaining unprepared TV viewers about the need to take action in order to continue receiving over the air television broadcasting. The transmitter for KWQC analog channel 6 was shut down permanently at 11:59 pm on Friday June 26, 2009. Being broadcast as it was in analog on VHF channel 6, the KWQC "Nightlight Service" was being heard on FM 87.76 MHz on FM radios during the two week nightlight period instead of the KWQC main programming. Today, there is nothing but static on 87.7 FM on radios as well as snow on VHF channel 6 on analog TV sets.

KWQC 24-7 Weather Channel[edit]

On August 13, 2007, KWQC launched a local digital weather service called the KWQC 24/7 Weather Channel on over-the-air digital subchannel 6.2 and on Mediacom digital channel 247 in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas. The subchannel is similar in format to Young Broadcasting's other digital weather subchannel offerings on sister stations WBAY and WTEN. The weather conditions and radar displayed on the channel are fed direct from the station's computers; KWQC never affiliated with the defunct NBC Weather Plus service or used Weather Plus branding on the subchannel or for its weather branding on-air during its newscasts.

The channel features local weather conditions on the right side of the screen, with a seven-day forecast below the video window, and a news ticker on the bottom of the screen. Forecasts and weather maps are played on a 10-minute loop, with public service announcements and some local advertising a part of the station. The E/I programs air Monday-Saturday at 5 p.m. to satisfy FCC guidelines requiring stations and any digital subchannels they carry to run three hours of educational and informational programming per week.

As of Fall 2011, the KWQC 24-7 Weather Channel transitioned from the 4:3 aspect ratio to the 16:9 widescreen format that matches the aspect ratio of widescreen television receivers rather than the 4:3 screen size of traditional television receivers, though it continues to be broadcast at a standard definition resolution of 480i. The station airs a rebroadcast of Paula Sands Live at 7 p.m. weeknights on the KWQC 24-7 Weather Channel, which is downconverted to widescreen standard definition on the subchannel.

COZI TV 6.3[edit]

In June 2013, KWQC began testing a third digital subchannel with an ID still. The station launched NBC's COZI TV subchannel network just after Labor Day that year on 6.3, which is also available over Mediacom channel 106.[15]

Programming[edit]

Since January 2008, KWQC began broadcasting syndicated programs in high definition, in addition to airing NBC network programs in the format. The two initial programs that were aired in the format, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, are recorded and broadcast in high-definition every weekday and the Saturday evening reruns of Wheel of Fortune are also broadcast in high-definition as well. KWQC's local programs soon followed, converting their broadcasts to HD on October 27, 2010.

The station also produces a half-hour daytime talk/discussion program called Paula Sands Live at 3 p.m. weekdays. Hosted by weeknight 6 p.m. news anchor Paula Sands, the program focuses on current events in the Quad Cities area, along with a variety of other segments.

News operation[edit]

News open.

KWQC is well known by Quad Cities residents for the Highlight Zone, an Emmy award-winning Friday night sports segment (which airs during the station's 10 p.m. newscast from roughly late August through early March, with a break in December), showcasing highlights from area high school football and basketball games. The segment debuted in 1989, and its format has since been copied by many stations around the United States. Each member of the news anchor staff, along with the meteorologist that does weather forecasts on that particular evening, take turns recapping a featured game. The camera crews invite fans from each of the games they cover to participate in a skit related to the night's theme. The theme usually centers on a holiday (e.g., Valentine's Day) or local promotion (e.g., The Student Food Drive, an initiative by area high schools to collect food for the needy).

On July 31, 2007, KWQC debuted drastic changes to its graphics and newscast music, dumping Frank Gari's Hello News package that had been in use since 1990. KWQC added a "cube" ID graphic (similar to the on-screen logo bug used by Fox News Channel), which stirred up some controversy among viewers. Eventually, KWQC slowed the cube down as a result of a vote by nearly 2,000 people on its website. KWQC began using U-Phonix, a syndicated music package composed by Stephen Arnold Music. Just eight weeks later on September 24, KWQC switched back to the Hello News package, making KWQC the first station to use a syndicated music package for the least amount of time. KWQC was the only station that continued to use the original Hello News package, but on January 16, 2012, it was dropped once again and was replaced by Breakthrough by 360 Music as the music package for its newscasts.

On September 25, 2008, KWQC introduced a new graphics package during its 5 p.m. broadcast, which also brought significant changes to its weather forecast presentation. The station introduced a new graphics system that allows the First Alert Weather team to provide more interactive weather forecasts and severe weather coverage, through animation, touch-movement and wireless transition of graphics. KWQC also introduced a revised station logo, the first change to its on-air logo since 1990. While it was similar to the one previously used, the "TV" suffix was replaced with a "DT" suffix (for "digital television"), though KWQC-TV remained as the station's official callsign.

On October 27, 2010 beginning with the 5 p.m. newscast, KWQC became the first television station in the Quad Cities market and the first station owned by Young Broadcasting to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. A high definition-ready news set was constructed for the newscasts (a compact newsdesk was temporarily placed in the newsroom during the construction phase that only three on-air staffers could be seen at a given time). Logos, callsigns and on-air graphics were changed as well to refer to its newscasts as KWQC-HD News. The station returned to their original KWQC-TV 6 News branding in 2012 after all the market's stations converted to high definition news operations.

On November 4, 2013, KWQC introduced brand new weather graphics. The whole Young Broadcasting Association had been working on the new graphics for over 6 months. The change brought a new banner to the top of the screen, entitled "KWQC Weather", not First Alert, though First Alert is still the official name of the weather on KWQC. The radar, 7 Day Forecast, Current Temperatures, and Watches/Warnings were all gave a new look. Some new features include being able to out pictures from Facebook right on the screen and being able to put LIVE video of the meteorologists right over the radar or other image. On December 12, 2013, KWQC took away the "KWQC Weather" logo and replaced it again with the "First Alert" logo.

Starting September 6, 2014, KWQC will be introducing "Quad Cities Today- Weekend Edition", anchored by Brain Boesen and weather specialist Theresa Bryant. "Quad Cities Today- Weekend Edition" will run before NBC's "Today Show" at 6 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. A half-hour newscast will follow at 8:30 a.m. Saturdays, and a 60-minute newscast will air at 8 a.m. Sundays. "Meet the Press" will move to 9 a.m. Sundays; and "This Week in Agribusiness" and "U.S. Farm Report" will air at 5 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

KWQC's morning news, Quad Cities Today logo

KWQC/KLJB Partnership[edit]

On September 29, 2012, KWQC announced they would be partnering with Fox affiliate KLJB to produce a 9 p.m. newscast starting New Year's Eve and plans to expand the news staff to accommodate the move.[16] The fate of this partnership is unknown with the November 2013 announcement that KLJB would be purchased by Mission Broadcasting; competitor station WHBF from Citadel Communications is in the process of being acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, which are universally operated by Nexstar through LMA and JSA agreements.

Ratings[edit]

KWQC has been the ratings leader in the Quad Cities for most of its history. It briefly lost the lead to WHBF in the mid-1970s, but regained it in 1980 and its newscasts have been the highest-rated in the market ever since. According to the Des Moines Register in the November 2007 books, KWQC had the third highest-rated newscast among all stations in the top 100 media markets. In 2012, KWQC's newscasts remained #1 in total viewers in every time slot. As of 2013/2014, Nielson's DMA rating for the Quad Cities was 100.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hollis, Tim (2001). Hi There, Boys and Girls! America's Local Children's TV Shows. Univ. Press of Mississippi, ISBN 978-1-57806-396-3
  2. ^ Stein, Jeff (2004). Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting. WDG Communications, ISBN 978-0-9718323-1-2
  3. ^ "Television Log". Burlington Hawk-Eye Gazette (Burlington, IA). 1951-09-08. p. 8. 
  4. ^ The Cedar Rapids Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA). 1951-11-29. p. 33. 
  5. ^ "Television Programs". The Waterloo Daily Courier (Waterloo, IA). 1951-06-15. p. 23. 
  6. ^ "TV Companies Media General and New Young Broadcasting to Merge". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Media General, Young Now Officially One". TVNewsCheck. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=9515435&nav=menu83_5
  9. ^ http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=9707920&nav=menu83_5
  10. ^ http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=9202887&nav=menu83_5_9
  11. ^ http://www.whbf.com/Global/story.asp?S=10446353
  12. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KWQC
  13. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  14. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-291375A1.pdf
  15. ^ Lense, Marcia (5 September 2013). "KWQC-TV Announces COZI-TV On Channel 6.3". KWQC. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  16. ^ http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/david-burke/kwqc-excited-about-expanding-their-reach/article_9a2a6ffa-09a2-11e2-af41-0019bb2963f4.html

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]