|Moline-Rock Island, Illinois/
|City of license||Moline|
WQAD News 8 (newscasts)
My TV 8.3 (on DT3)
|Slogan||The Quad Cities
News Leader (primary)
Live. Local. Latebreaking. (secondary)
|Channels||Digital: 38 (UHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
8.2 Antenna TV
(sale to Tribune Broadcasting pending)
(Local TV Illinois License, LLC)
|First air date||August 1, 1963|
|Call letters' meaning||QuAD Cities|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
8 (VHF, 1963–2009)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
WQAD-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Quad Cities area of West-Central Illinois and Eastern Iowa that is licensed to Moline, Illinois. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 38 from a transmitter in Orion, Illinois. Owned by Local TV, WQAD has studios on Park 16th Street in Moline. Syndicated programming on WQAD includes: Dr. Phil, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Live! with Kelly and Michael.
WQAD-TV signed-on for the first time on August 1, 1963. It was owned by the Moline Television Corporation, a group of 24 local investors. They had actually won the license in 1961; however, concerns about interference with WIRL-TV in Peoria (now WHOI on channel 19) delayed sign-on for two years. Before WQAD signed-on, ABC programming had been split between WOC-TV (now KWQC-TV) and WHBF-TV. From day one, WQAD aired ABC programming in color. Cowles Communications of Des Moines, Iowa purchased WQAD in 1978.
In 1985, the Cowles family sold off their various media interests, with WQAD going to The New York Times Company. On May 7, 2007, Local TV (a subsidiary of Oak Hill Capital) officially took over the Times' nine television stations including WQAD. On July 1, 2013, Local TV announced that its stations would be acquired by the Tribune Company.
At 3:59 in the morning on June 12, 2009, WQAD shut off its analog signal on channel 8 continuing digital broadcasts on its pre-transition channel number 38 using PSIP to display on digital televisions as virtual channel 8. Also at the same time, the "WQAD-TV" call sign was transferred from the now-defunct analog channel 8 to digital channel 38 and the "WQAD-DT" calls were discontinued.
WQAD was branded in the early-1980s as "Active 8, Your 24 hour News Source" or "The Best News Around" and did hourly news cut-ins even during the overnight hours. WQAD was the first television station in the Quad Cities to be on the air 24 hours a day in the late-1980s until 1991.
WQAD's early years are closely linked to the station's prominent anchor/reporter, Jim King. He was the station's main anchorman from the day the station first signed-on until 1998 and doubling as News Director for most of that time. His sign-off at the end of his newscasts was always "Thank you for inviting us into your home." King took cameras 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 and for his longtime role as the emcee of the station's annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons from 1971 to 1998. He died of a heart attack while shoveling his sidewalk on January 2, 1999.
WQAD 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. Quad-Cities baby boomers fondly remember WQAD's weekly midnight Chuck Acri Creature Feature showing early Creature Features films including science fiction and monster movies. WQAD's early days are also remembered for being the local outlet for Romper Room and its host Miss Peggy. For much of the time since 1988, this station has carried the syndicated program Live with Regis and Kelly weekday mornings at 9 which is produced by WABC-TV in New York City and distributed nationally by that channel's corporate sibling Disney-ABC Domestic Television formerly known as Buena Vista Television.
The "Quad Cities Weather Channel" was a 24-hour weather service provided by WQAD and had been available to television viewers on digital channel 8.2 and on Mediacom channel 14. This was created in 2001 and featured its "Exclusive Live Triple Doppler" and weather updates every fifteen minutes. On March 5, 2011, WQAD discontinued the "Quad Cities Weather Channel" and digital channel 8.2 became affiliated with Antenna TV.
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|8.1||WQAD-DT||720p||16:9||Main WQAD-TV Programming / ABC HD|
|8.3||MYTV 8.3||WQAD-DT3 Programming / MyNetworkTV SD|
The station began news operations from the first day it signed on-the-air in 1963. At times, it shares news stories with sister station WHO-TV in Des Moines. WQAD also uses WHO's chopper usually during severe weather or flooding. WQAD is also affiliated with CNN. On September 4, 2007, its weeknight 6 o'clock newscast started re-airing on WBQD at 9. Its hour long midday newscast, News 8 at 11, debuted on September 22, 2008 and anchored by the weekday morning team. The station had dropped its midday newscast called Newsday in 1996.
On August 6, 2010, it was announced that this station would enter into a news share agreement with Fox affiliate KLJB. This resulted in a nightly prime time broadcast at 9 for a half-hour on that channel on September 6. Previously, KLJB had its prime time broadcasts produced by the Independent News Network which is based in Davenport.
On September 12, 2011, WQAD's news operation upgraded its newscasts to high definition.
- News Scope 8 (1966–1975)
- Eyewitness News (1975–1978)
- Active 8 News (1978–1994)
- NewsChannel 8 (1994–2009)
- News 8 (2009–2011; 2012–present)
- HD News 8 (2011–2012)
- "The Most Complete Coverage of the Two-State Area" (1984–1985)
- "The Best News of All" (1985–1992)
- "Your 24-Hour News Source" (1992–1997)
- "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (1997–2008, primary; 2009, secondary)
- "The Quad Cities' News Leader" (2009–2012)
- "WQAD News 8" (2012–present)
Current on-air talent
- Jason Fechner - weeknights at 5, 6, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
- Denise Hnytka - weeknights at 5, 6, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
- Jim Mertens - weekday mornings Good Morning Quad Cities and weekdays at 11 a.m.; also WQPT public affairs host
- Julie Sisk - weekday mornings Good Morning Quad Cities and weekdays at 11 a.m.; also School Zone reporter
- Angie Sharp - weekend evenings at 6 and 10 p.m. (Saturday) and 5 and 10 p.m. (Sunday)
Storm Team 8
- James Zahara (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekday mornings Good Morning Quad Cities and weekdays at 11 a.m.
- Cassie Heiter - meteorologist; weekends
- Terry Swails (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Matt Randazzo - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Kory Kuffler - sports anchor; weekend evenings, also sports reporter
- Brittany Lewis
- Chris Minor
- Jenna Morton
- John David
- Jonathan Ketz
- Megan Noe
- Shane Simmons
- Malissa Wright
- NY Times CO. Sell TV Group to Equity Firm for $530M; Second equity group to buy a media business in two weeks., NewsInc. (via HighBeam Research), January 8, 2007.
- Channick, Robert (July 1, 2013). "Acquisition to make Tribune Co. largest U.S. TV station operator". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
- Meet the News 8 Team