|Moline-Rock Island, Illinois/
|City of license||Davenport|
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
(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.
Digital channels 
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. Since then, the station has added the five and fourteen day outlook with the latest weather around the region with an "L Bar". As of May 2009, the "Quad Cities Weather Channel" had been powered by The Local AccuWeather Channel. As of August 13, 2007, its main competitor was the "KWQC 24-7 Weather Channel" which is offered by rival NBC affiliate KWQC-TV.
On March 5, 2011, WQAD discontinued the "Quad Cities Weather Channel" and digital channel 8.2 became affiliated with Antenna TV. WQAD's subchannel affiliation with Antenna TV is the second classic TV service available in the Quad Cities with the subchannel affiliation of WHBF-TV with Retro Television Network being the first. Hence, "WQADATV" and "RTV 4" were competitors against each other up until January 16, 2012, when WHBF discontinued its affiliation with Retro Television Network and became affiliated with Live Well Network; however, WHBF broadcasts that network's programming in a 16:9 letterbox format while keeping its secondary digital subchannel in its native 4:3 480i SDTV format to preserve bandwidth.
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|8.1||WQAD-HD||720p||16:9||Main WQAD-TV Programming / ABC HD|
|8.3||MYTV 8.3||WQAD-DT3 Programming / MyNetworkTV SD|
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. 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 and early-1990s. For awhile, it was the only 24-hour station in the Quad Cities as local competitors KWQC and KLJB continued with their nightly sign-off and daily sign-on rituals either part of the time or all the time until the fall of 1997 when both channels finally followed suit and launched 24-hour schedules as well. Local PBS member station WQPT-TV became a 24-hour station in mid-August 2010. Competitor WHBF finally became a 24 hour station in the fall of 2011 and now broadcasts its network's overnight newscast as well.
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.
During the 1980s and 1990s, WQAD pre-empted some of ABC's lower-rated daytime programing. It did not air low-rated soap operas including Loving, The City, and the first few months of Port Charles. It also frequently pre-empted ABC's morning talk shows such as Mike and Maty, which had previously occupied the same time slot on ABC that is now occupied by The View, in favor of higher rated syndicated programming. Also from August 1997 until September 1999, WQAD even pre-empted the first two seasons of The View choosing instead to air The People's Court during the 10 o'clock time slot. WQAD finally added The View to its weekday morning lineup in September 1999.
Today, WQAD rarely ever pre-empts any programming from ABC or any of its local or syndicated programming. The only notable exception to this is the traditional Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon which begins the Sunday night before Labor Day at 10:35 after the 10 o'clock newscast and ends at 6 p.m. on Labor Day. In the process, all regularly scheduled programming from its Sunday late-night and overnight lineup of syndicated programming to the Labor-Day Monday editions of World News Now, America This Morning, and Good Morning America and all regularly scheduled daytime network and syndicated programming all the way up to 6 p.m. including ABC World News are pre-empted by WQAD in favor of the telethon.
However, the Labor Day editions of the soap operas on ABC are aired during the late-night and overnight hours of Monday night with All My Children airing at 12:35 followed by One Life to Live at 1:35 and General Hospital at 2:35 with the World News Now being joined in progress at 3:35. Also, local newscasts Good Morning Quad Cities, News 8 at 11, and News 8 at 5 are pre-empted on Labor Day as the station's news anchors are instead emceeing the local portions of the MDA telethon.
News operation 
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 an affiliate with CNN and uses footage from the network on WQAD News 8 at 6:30. 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. WQAD is not the only station to have a midday broadcast as KWQC has a half hour newscast at noon.
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. WQAD has since dropped the re-airing of the 6 o'clock show at 9 on WBQD.
On September 12, 2011, WQAD became the last major news operation in the Quad Cities market to upgrade its newscasts to high definition. The KLJB newscasts were included in the upgrade.
News/station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- 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)
Station slogans 
- "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–present, secondary)
- "The Quad Cities' News Leader" (2009–present)
News team 
- 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
- Rebecca Smith - weekend evenings; also weeknight reporter
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; weeknights at 6:30 and 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
- Angie Sharp
- Chris Minor
- Jenna Morton
- John David
- Jonathan Ketz
- Megan Noe
- Pauli Mayfield
- 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.
- Meet the News 8 Team