Network Knowledge

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Network Knowledge
Macomb, Illinois
United States
BrandingNetwork Knowledge
SloganWatch. Click. Learn.
ChannelsDigital: 21 (UHF)
(to move to 36 (UHF))
Virtual: 22 (PSIP)
OwnerWest Central Illinois Educational Telecommunications Corporation
(sale to Southern Illinois University pending[1])
First air dateOctober 1, 1984 (34 years ago) (1984-10-01)
Call letters' meaningMacomb
Former callsignsAnalog: WIUM-TV (1984–1989)
Digital: WMEC-DT (2003–2009)
Former channel number(s)Analog: 22 (UHF, 1984–2009)
Transmitter power75 kW
Height131 m (430 ft)
ClassDT (NCE)
Facility ID70537
Transmitter coordinates40°23′54″N 90°43′55″W / 40.39833°N 90.73194°W / 40.39833; -90.73194 (WMEC)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile
Quincy, Illinois
United States
Brandingsee WMEC infobox
Slogansee WMEC infobox
ChannelsDigital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 27 (PSIP)
OwnerWest Central Illinois Educational Telecommunications Corporation
(sale to Southern Illinois University pending[1])
First air dateMarch 1985 (34 years ago) (1985-03)
Call letters' meaningQuincy
Former callsignsAnalog: None
Digital: WQEC-DT (2003–2009)
Former channel number(s)Analog: 27 (UHF, 1985–2009)
Transmitter power58.6 kW
Height153 m (502 ft)
ClassDT (NCE)
Facility ID71561
Transmitter coordinates39°58′41″N 91°18′32″W / 39.97806°N 91.30889°W / 39.97806; -91.30889 (WQEC)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile
Jacksonville/Springfield, Illinois
United States
CityJacksonville, Illinois
Brandingsee WMEC infobox
Slogansee WMEC infobox
ChannelsDigital: 15 (UHF)
(to move to 18 (UHF))
Virtual: 14 (PSIP)
TranslatorsW08DP 8 (VHF) Springfield
OwnerWest Central Illinois Educational Telecommunications Corporation
(sale to Southern Illinois University pending[1])
First air dateAugust 1984 (34 years ago) (1984-08)
Call letters' meaningSpringfield
Former callsignsAnalog: WJPT (1984–1989)
Digital: WSEC-DT (2003–2009)
Former channel number(s)Analog: 14 (UHF, 1984–2009)
Transmitter power75 kW
Height297 m (974 ft)
ClassDT (NCE)
Facility ID70536
Transmitter coordinates39°36′9″N 90°2′47″W / 39.60250°N 90.04639°W / 39.60250; -90.04639 (WSEC)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

Network Knowledge is a consortium of three Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member stations in West Central Illinois, United States. It is operated by the West Central Illinois Educational Telecommunications Corporation, which used the brand name Convocom from 1978 until October 13, 2004.

The three stations serve as PBS outlets for the Quincy television market (defined by Nielsen), as well as the western portion of the ChampaignSpringfieldDecatur market.[2] They serve a large and mostly rural area of western Illinois, northeastern Missouri and southeastern Iowa. A digital translator located in Springfield, W08DP, broadcasts on channel 8 for full coverage in that metropolitan area.


Educational television in Illinois[edit]

After World War II, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign hosted the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB). NAEB was created to establish broadcast allocations of AM and FM radio and TV channels for non-commercial educational programming. The Rockefeller Foundation funded two-week seminars in 1949 (Allerton I) and 1950 (Allerton II); these seminars consisted of 22 educational broadcasters from across the United States.[3] The meetings established the foundation for National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).[4] The NAEB was based in Urbana, Illinois, from 1951 until 1961, when it moved to Washington, D.C.[5]

The University of Illinois applied for a television license soon after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted its freeze on new licenses (July 1, 1952). Educational television was a new concept at the time, and most of Illinois' commercial broadcasters opposed the prospect of the University of Illinois owning a television station.[citation needed] A bill that would have forced the University to withdraw its application for the television license was narrowly defeated in the Illinois legislature. Afterward, the Illinois Broadcasters Association (ILBA) funded a suit by a restaurant owner in Evanston, Illinois, claiming that the Illinois Constitution did not allow the University of Illinois to operate a television station. The case went all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the University of Illinois' application for the television license. Because of this, educational broadcasting in downstate Illinois was delayed for fifteen years, while other states proceeded with development.

Establishing an educational consortium[edit]

In 1970, the west-central region of Illinois was one of the few areas in the United States without a PBS station. Commercial broadcast television networks and their local affiliates in the west-central Illinois region provided some educational programming for children in the 1950s and 1960s, but this content disappeared by 1970. Parts of the region were served from WILL-TV in Urbana, WTVP in Peoria in 1971, and Iowa Public Television outlet KIIN-TV in Iowa City. Cable television systems in north-central Illinois and Macomb carried Iowa Public Television or WTVP, while WILL-TV was piped in by cable systems in Springfield. When Peoria established a PBS station in 1971, Quincy, the second-largest city in west-central Illinois, was one of the few portions of the nation without access to public television.

A number of meetings were held with civic organizations, businesses, elected public representatives, and private and public educational institutions from 1970 to 1976. The outcome of these discussions was the establishment of the West Central Illinois Educational Telecommunications Corporation, incorporated on February 9, 1976. It was a consortium of Bradley University in Peoria, Western Illinois University in Macomb, Blackhawk Community College in Moline, and Sangamon State University in Springfield. Its mission was "to establish an educational television network, provide educational content, create local and public affairs programming to serve the residents and businesses of west-central Illinois". Bylaws for the corporation were approved on January 13, 1984.[6]

The brand name Convocom was adopted in 1978 for the corporation and its offices were established on West Bradley Avenue in Peoria. George Hall was appointed as the first president that same year. He had previously served as general manager for North Carolina State University's educational television station.[7]

Initial engineering design and FCC application filings were performed in 1977 and 1978 by Gary Breed and Don Markley of D.L. Markley and Associates,[8] in Peoria, a well-known broadcast engineering consulting firm. Breed was a faculty member of Bradley University's Engineering department and Markley, president and owner of the firm, grew up in Ipava, Illinois.[9]

The original television network design for Convocom would encompass five broadcast transmitters. Peoria's WTVP would be the flagship station, with WQPT-TV in Moline, WIUM-TV in Macomb, WQEC in Quincy, and WJPT in Jacksonville (serving Springfield) as satellites. The master control would be located at Convocom headquarters in Peoria, at or near the flagship station of the proposed network WTVP, with three microwave interconnections (links) in the Quad Cities, Macomb–Quincy, and Jacksonville–Springfield.

The D. L. Markley design was a balance of engineering, economics, and the service region of the education institution members in the largely rural west-central Illinois region. Larger urban areas in the region were considered crucial for ongoing community support and sufficient financial support (grants, fundraising) to cover operational costs of the non-commercial educational network.[10]

West Central Illinois Educational TV Network (Convocom) was presented to regional representatives, educational institutions, major businesses, civic and community organizations in 1977 and 1978:[11]

Station City of license NTSC Channels
First air date Call letters'
ERP HAAT Facility ID Convocom educational member Transmitter Site Coordinates
WTVP Peoria 47 (UHF) June 27, 1971 (48 years ago) (1971-06-27) Tele
190 kW 216 m (709 ft) 28311 Bradley University 40°37′44″N 89°34′12″W / 40.62889°N 89.57000°W / 40.62889; -89.57000 (WTVP)
WQPT Moline 24 (UHF) November 2, 1983 (35 years ago) (1983-11-02) Quad Cities
80 kW 269 m (883 ft) 5468 Black Hawk College 41°18′44.5″N 90°22′46.2″W / 41.312361°N 90.379500°W / 41.312361; -90.379500 (WQPT)
WSEC1 Jacksonville
14 (UHF) 1979 1
August 11, 1984 (34 years ago) (1984-08-11)
490 m (1,608 ft) Sangamon State University 39°45′31″N 90°31′8″W / 39.75861°N 90.51889°W / 39.75861; -90.51889 (WJPT)
WMEC-TV Macomb 22 (UHF) October 1, 1984 (34 years ago) (1984-10-01) Macomb
75 kW 148 m (486 ft) Western Illinois University 40°25′40″N 90°40′58″W / 40.42778°N 90.68278°W / 40.42778; -90.68278 (WIUM)
WQEC2 Quincy 27 (UHF) March 9, 1985 (34 years ago) (1985-03-09) Quincy
58.6 kW 153 m (502 ft) 39°58′39.9″N 91°18′32.6″W / 39.977750°N 91.309056°W / 39.977750; -91.309056 (WQEC)


  • 1. WJPT planned to use the 1,610-foot (491 m) WJJY-TV tower at Bluffs, Illinois. That tower collapsed on March 26, 1978, in an ice storm. A new 800-foot (244 m) tower site west of Waverly was selected and began broadcasting August 11, 1984.
  • 2. WQEC was added to the original design in 1979 since the new WJPT tower at 800 to 1,000 feet (eventually located in Waverly) would not provide coverage to the Quincy and Hannibal market.


WJPT was the first new Convocom station planned to sign on in 1979 using a 1,610-foot (491 m) tower near Bluffs, Illinois, that had previously been used by ABC affiliate WJJY-TV. However, the tower collapsed in a massive ice storm on Sunday, March 26, 1978.[12] Constructing a replacement 1,000-foot (305 m) tower at the Bluffs site by April 1979 would require $1 million, well beyond Convocom's original budget. Due to changes in the anticipated regional coverage from that location, a survey for prospective tower sites for WJPT in the Jacksonville and Springfield market and WQEC in the Quincy and Hannibal market began in the summer of 1978.

Western Illinois University (WIU) had been surveying tower sites, south of Macomb, since the late 1960s for a planned educational television station and relocation of the university's FM station, WIUM, a 250-foot (76 m) guyed radio tower erected in 1956. The tower was located next to Sallee Hall in the middle of the university's rapidly expanding campus. In 1976, after examining a number of sites south of Macomb, WIU selected a tower site on land bequeathed to the university by Jack Horn, regional Coca-Cola bottler. Then, in 1977, WIU and Convocom agreed to co-locate the television station, WIUM-TV, and supporting microwave relay network on this same tower. Construction of a new 500-foot (152 m) tower was completed in 1980 and WIUM's transmitters were relocated to the site in 1981. Two microwave relay towers were constructed in 1983 between Peoria and Quincy at Cuba, Illinois,[13] and Carthage, Illinois,[14] for master control, PBS program feeds, local program feeds, and TV studios at WIU in Macomb and at WGEM-TV in Quincy.

By 1983, a site west of Waverly was selected for construction of an 800-foot (244 m) tower. However, for reasons that remain unknown, the FCC only licensed WJPT for 34 kilowatts of broadcast power at that specific location. As a result, WJPT only had a fringe (grade B) signal in Springfield, leaving it all but incapable of being viewed in the capital except on cable. A site east of Quincy owned by Blackhawk of Quincy, Inc. was selected for a new 500-foot (152 m) tower for WQEC.[15] Convocom had to raise $5.5 million to complete construction of these planned and unplanned replacement facilities.[16]

George Hall resigned as President of Convocom in 1982 to serve as Virginia's Director of Telecommunications under Governor Charles Robb.[7] The consortium appointed Dr. Jerold Gruebel as the Executive Director of Convocom in April 1983. Dr. Grubel had previously served as the assistant director of Indiana Higher Education Telecommunications System (IHETS)—a statewide network of video, voice, and data networks connecting all 77 of Indiana's colleges and universities with headquarters in Indianapolis.[17]

WQPT in Moline signed on November 2, 1983, to serve the Quad Cities metropolitan area, east-central Iowa, and north-western Illinois through a translator (channel 48) in Sterling, Illinois. WQPT, owned and operated by Black Hawk College, elected to develop its own brand identity for the Quad Cities market and never joined the Convocom microwave network and control facilities in Peoria as originally envisioned in the 1970s design. Western Illinois University-Quad Cities assumed ownership of WQPT in 2010 and began a series of capital improvements. On June 30, 2014, the master control for WQPT was migrated and centralized at WTVP in Peoria, as envisioned in the original 1970s D.L. Markley & Associates design.[18]

WJPT in Jacksonville signed on August 11, 1984, to serve the western portion of the Champaign–Springfield–Decatur market and south-central Illinois. This gave the central Illinois region the distinction of being served by two separately programmed PBS stations since WILL-TV in Urbana continued to serve as the PBS outlet for the eastern half of the market. Springfield is assigned to the Champaign–Springfield–Decatur market by Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA) and the FCC Television Market Area (TMA) since the 1950s.[19]

WIUM-TV in Macomb signed on October 1, 1984, as the primary station serving Macomb, WIU, and west-central Illinois.

WQEC in Quincy signed on March 9, 1985, serving Hannibal and Quincy, western Illinois, northeastern Missouri, and southeastern Iowa.[20]

WTVP in Peoria, owned by the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation (IVPT), signed on June 27, 1971, serving the Galesburg, Peoria, and Bloomington television markets. IVPT elected to keep its brand identity, board ownership structure, and broadcast operations in Peoria. Like WQPT, the station never elected to join the three newly built Convocom broadcast facilities in Macomb, Quincy, and Jacksonville outlined in the Markley plan.

Smaller network and change in mission[edit]

Over the next ten years, regional, political, and consortium membership change led to revisions in financial support and a different mission statement. Convocom's service region in 1985 was smaller than the original 1970s D.L. Markley & Associates design. In 1989, Jerold Gruebel argued that Convocom offices in Springfield would permit access to Illinois legislators as well as the Illinois Board of Higher Education to further a new mission statement for Convocom: "To collaborate with people and enterprises in the communities we serve to bring quality programs, learning opportunities, and economic development to our region."

Relocation of offices from Peoria to Springfield was one of several changes during the 1990s. Western Illinois University's participation, as well as other founding higher education institutions, was reduced or eliminated. A new marketing and branding program changed the FCC call signs for two of the three Convocom broadcast facilities: WIUM-TV became WMEC and WJPT became WSEC.

On July 1, 1995, Governor Jim Edgar signed a bill which realigned the public higher educational structure in Illinois. The Board of Regents and Board of Governors were abolished. Sangamon State University was merged with the University of Illinois system as the University of Illinois at Springfield. Western Illinois University was expanded to a dual campus, single university structure with the creation of a new Western Illinois University-Quad Cities campus. John Deere, the Moline Foundation, IBM, and the Rock Island County Board provided land grants, facilities support, and resources for this new riverfront campus in Moline. Before 1995, the Quad Cities was the largest metropolitan region in the U.S. without a public four-year university.

In 1997, Convocom purchased 30 acres of land southeast of Colchester, near Fandon, for a new 430-foot (131 m) tower. The WMEC transmitter was moved to this new tower. This transmitter relocation ended WIU's co-location support for WMEC at the WIUM-FM tower location (1983–1997) on WIU's Horn Campus, south of Macomb.

In 1998, in order to address reception problems in Springfield from WSEC at Waverly, a 1,400-watt translator was built in the city, originally broadcasting on channel 65 as W65BV. Previously, Springfield viewers could only get an acceptable signal via cable and satellite. This translator was moved to VHF channel 8 in 2001 and became W08DP.[21]

On July 21, 2000, Convocom filed with the FCC a request for a Waiver of Section 73.1125. This waiver request was to relocate the master control and technical and engineering facilities from Peoria to Chatham, southwest of Springfield. This eventual approval by FCC effectively ended the original 1970s design and would have financial consequences in the next decade.[22] WILL-TV in Champaign-Urbana is the recognized primary PBS member for Springfield, with WSEC as a secondary affiliate. The FCC, Nielsen, and PBS continue to recognize Macomb's WMEC as Network Knowledge's flagship station.

Transition to digital television[edit]

In 1998, the FCC mandated that broadcast stations migrate from analog (NTSC) to digital (ATSC) television transmission in the United States.[23] This had the effect of imposing an unfunded federal mandate on public television stations. Since 1993, auctions of former television spectrum to the wireless (cellular) telephone and broadband service companies by the FCC generated $52 billion.[24] That revenue was not used to mitigate the digital transition costs for the non-commercial, educational television stations.

For comparison, Iowa Public Television, which operates a statewide television and telecommunications network with nine high-power digital transmitters and eight translators, spent $47,000,000 to complete the digital television conversion. That capital expenditure was financially supported by the State of Iowa, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. More than 1,000,000 viewers watch IPTV each week. Contributing membership to the IPTV Foundation (Friends of Iowa Public TV) consists of approximately 55,000 households.[25]

This mandate required Convocom to review its engineering design, equipment, and operations in order to continue broadcasting to the West-Central Illinois service region after the digital television transition.

In March 2002, Convocom's technical support, the engineering office, and network master control were moved from Peoria to Chatham with the completion of a new digital master control facility and interconnection system. The WSEC transmitter site was moved from Waverly to a new 976 ft (297 m) tower in Franklin.

A new interconnection system composed of digital microwave (90 Mbs) and fiber-optic cabling was designed and implemented with the relocation of the master control. It extends from Chatham through Franklin (WSEC's transmitter site) to Golden, where it splits and sends a fiber signal to Quincy for WQEC and a microwave signal to Macomb for WMEC. There are also linkages to television studios in Quincy at WGEM (NBC affiliate) and in Macomb at Western Illinois University. The television tower for WQEC in Quincy, erected in 1984 by Convocom, was sold by Network Knowledge to Clearview Tower on January 5, 2011[26] On February 14, 2014, Clearview Tower sold this tower site to K2 Tower.[27]

In 2004, after completion of system changes and migration to digital broadcasting, the corporation adopted the brand name Network Knowledge and retired the Convocom brand name after 27 years of use.

The network's geographic service region is now defined by the three broadcast facilities at Franklin (Springfield and Jacksonville), Macomb, and Quincy.

Financial challenges[edit]

The smaller geographical service region of three broadcast facilities presented financial challenges, as predicted in the 1970s, for all participants.

In May 2001, the State of Illinois granted Convocom almost $1 million for the digital conversion.[28] Despite the early success, Dr. Jerold Gruebel, president and CEO of Network Knowledge said, "the organization first ran into financial trouble in 2002, due to unfunded federal mandates to convert to digital television". Network Knowledge raised more than $15 million to fund the conversion but was forced to borrow nearly $5 million to pay the rest of the bill.[23]

In January 2008, WTVP in Peoria faced financial difficulties after their digital television upgrade and studio relocation from Bradley University, an original member of the Convocom consortium, to a new Peoria riverfront studio and offices. A special campaign, Save Our Station, generated thousands of special contributions and led to an agreement with the bank.[29]

In 2013, an experimental collaboration involving joint management and operational cooperation of WTVP with WILL-TV and the University of Illinois worked well enough that the WTVP Board of Directors voted on December 2013 to extend this cooperative agreement for an additional three years. The overall purpose of the agreement is to help both public broadcasting stations operate more cost-effectively in serving eastern and central Illinois.[30]

In July 2008, WQPT, owned by Black Hawk College, an original member of the Convocom consortium, lost financial support when the station was removed from the college's FY2009 fiscal budget.[31]

In May 2010, WQPT was sold to Western Illinois University-Quad Cities (WIU-QC), with the primary objective to return WQPT to its original mission of creating more local and public affairs programming. The station moved from its longtime home on Black Hawk's campus to new studios and offices in Riverfront Hall on the WIU-QC Campus on July 1, 2014.[32] WQPT-TV was added to cable television systems serving Macomb and McDonough County after the WQPT transmitter was relocated to Orion, Illinois, in 2002 and later in 2010 when ownership changed to WIU-QC. The Macomb and McDonough County cable television systems have carried KIIN Iowa Public TV and WTVP in Peoria since 1969.

On June 30, 2014, WQPT centralized its master control at WTVP, in Peoria, as planned by D. L. Markley and Associates in the original Convocom network plan.

The smaller, three station Network Knowledge network relied heavily on corporate and government grant funding, instead of membership support (only six percent of the viewing audience donates to the three stations). In contrast, Friends of Iowa Public Television (Iowa Public Television Foundation Board) was created in 1970 for the development, growth, and support through building a strong statewide membership base. Its 65,000 member households across Iowa and bordering states contributed nearly 90 percent of the out-of-pocket costs for acquiring and producing general audience programming. [33]

In 2009, Network Knowledge also lost its grant support. The organization received an annual average of $750,000 from three foundations in Quincy and one foundation in Decatur. Due to their own economic shortfalls, Gruebel said, none of these organizations gave grants to the network.[23] The same year, Network Knowledge applied for assistance from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)'s financial distress program. Mark Erstling, senior vice president for CPB system development and media strategy, and Vincent Curren, CPB chief operating officer, traveled to Springfield to begin talks with the organization.

On May 6, 2016, the network announced major cutbacks in over-the-air broadcasting times to save money due to the Illinois state budget stand-off, along with other cuts from donors and production contracts. The network broadcasts from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. This broadcast schedule has not been seen for most stations since the 1960s and 1970s, when low popularity independent stations and some public television stations broadcast for limited hours. The station continues to maintain 24-hour, 7-days-per-week service over local cable providers and AT&T U-verse through a direct fiber optic link to Comcast (the major satellite services take the signal over-the-air), though since programs such as Sesame Street and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood air before the daily over-the-air sign-on, this effectively makes half of the network's schedule cable only. Depending on how the June 2016 fundraising cycle and pledge drive goes, further hours could be cut from the schedule.[34]


Local programming[edit]

Network Knowledge produces a number of regularly scheduled programs each month, including:

  • Cardia (monthly; hosted by Mark McDonald and Dr. Gregory Mishkel; produced by Mark McDonald)
  • CapitolView (weekly; hosted by Bernie Schoenberg and John Patterson; produced by Scott Troehler)
  • Illinois Stories (3 times per week; produced and hosted by Mark McDonald)
  • InLife: Stories from Western Illinois (monthly; hosted by Becky Cramblit; produced by Scott Troehler and Becky Cramblit)
  • Lawmakers (monthly; hosted by Mark McDonald; produced by Scott Troehler)

Special programming has included:

  • Expedition United Kingdom (2005) (hosted by Becky Cramblit, produced by Scott Troehler)
  • Expedition Scotland (2006 )(hosted by Becky Cramblit, produced by Scott Troehler)
  • Expedition United Kingdom (2007) (hosted by Becky Cramblit, produced by Scott Troehler)
  • Building Stories (hosted by Dave Leonatti with Anthony Rubano, produced by Scott Troehler)
  • Making Conversation; Downtown Springfield Inc. Annual Awards; Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala


Network Knowledge has three full-power television stations, each of which provides the same three digital subchannels.

All numbers given are for the digital television signal. Virtual channel prefixes are the same as the analog channel was for each station before the digital transition.

Callsign Old[1] Ch.
Air date City of License ERP
Facility ID Antenna coordinates
WMEC WIUM-TV 21 (22) October 1, 1984 Macomb 75.0 153 70537 40°23′53.2″N 90°43′54.5″W / 40.398111°N 90.731806°W / 40.398111; -90.731806 (WMEC)
WQEC WQEC 34 (27) March 9, 1985[2] Quincy 58.6 153 71561 39°58′39.9″N 91°18′32.6″W / 39.977750°N 91.309056°W / 39.977750; -91.309056 (WQEC)
WSEC WJPT 15 (14)[3] August 11, 1984[4] Jacksonville 75.0 297 70536 39°36′8.8″N 90°2′47.4″W / 39.602444°N 90.046500°W / 39.602444; -90.046500 (WSEC)
  1. ^ WMEC and WSEC were given their current callsigns in 1989.
  2. ^ The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says WQEC signed on March 11, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on March 9.
  3. ^ As of 16 June 2009, the FCC still shows an analog record for WSEC on channel 14 with 34 kW ERP at 271 meters HAAT.
  4. ^ The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says WSEC signed on August 21, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on August 11.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[35][36][37]
x.1 720p[38] 16:9 WMEC-DT
Main programming / PBS
x.2 480i 4:3 WMEC-D2
World (prime time) and other programming
x.3 WMEC-D3

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur on June 12, Network Knowledge shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. The dates each analog transmitter ceased operation as well as their post-transition channel allocations are:[39]

  • WMEC shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 22, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television in the United States was to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 21. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 22.
  • WQEC shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 27, on February 17, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 27.
  • WSEC shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, 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's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 15. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 14.


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  2. ^ "Nielsen Television DMA rankings" (PDF). Nielsen. September 23, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Hudson, Robert (Spring 1951). "Radio in Education : Allerton House 1949, 1950". Hollywood Quarterly. pp. 237–250.
  4. ^ Hill, Harold (1954). "The National Association of Educational Broadcasters: a history". National Association of Educational Broadcasters. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  5. ^ "The History of WILL". Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois. July 30, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  6. ^ "FCC 323-E, Ownership Report For Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Station, Facility number 70537". June 30, 2003. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "George Hall, advocate for educational TV institutions (Obituary)". June 15, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  8. ^ "D.L. Markley & Associates". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  9. ^ "Donald L. Markley (Obituary)". Peoria Journal Star. October 24, 2009.
  10. ^ "George Hoffmann Papers, 1960-1991" (PDF). University of Illinois at Springfield, Archives/Special Collections. 1960–1991.
  11. ^ "Convocom: Bringing People Together through Telecommunication" (1979). Lee C. Frischknecht Papers, Series: 4, Box: 18, folder 3. University of Maryland Archives.
  12. ^ Hopper, Mitch. "The Rise and Fall of WJJY-TV". Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  13. ^ "Cuba tower, ASR Registration 1018310". FCC. January 1, 1983.
  14. ^ "Carthage tower, ASR Registration 1018311". FCC. January 1, 1984.
  15. ^ "Quincy public television is assigned call letters WQEC". Press-News Journal. Canton, MO. January 17, 1985. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  16. ^ Tim Blackmore (October 19, 1978). "Convocom educational TV will serve area". Press-News Journal. Canton, MO. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  17. ^ "Dr. Gruebel appointment to Convocom". Proceedings of the Board of Regents of the State of Illinois. April 1983.
  18. ^ Dru Sefton (August 11, 2014). "In Illinois, WTVP takes over TV broadcast operations for WQPT".
  19. ^ "Springfield Television". Doug Quick. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  20. ^ "CONVOCOM Granted license by FCC this week". Press-New Journal, Canton, MO. June 27, 1985.
  21. ^ "ET Docket No. 97-157" (PDF). Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  22. ^ "Request of Waiver of FCC Section 73.1125" (PDF). FCC. July 21, 2000. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  23. ^ a b c "Under a mountain of debt, WSEC-TV struggles for survival". Illinois Times. June 3, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  24. ^ "Data Innovation Initiative: Spectrum Auctions - Data, Benefits Abound". Federal Communications Commission. August 6, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  25. ^ "Iowa Public Television - Independent Auditor's Report" (PDF). State of Iowa. June 30, 2011.
  26. ^ "Quincy tower, ASR Registration 1018308". FCC. January 1, 1985.
  27. ^ "K2 Tower purchase, ASR Registration A0893301". FCC. February 14, 2014.
  28. ^ "$1.3 Million in Illinois FIRST Projects for Central Illinois". IGNN. May 15, 2001.
  29. ^ "Banks agree to lighten WTVP's debt load; $450,000 still needed". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. January 29, 2008.
  30. ^ Chet Tomczyk (January 2014). "Notes from President & CEO".
  31. ^ Bill Mayeroff (July 2, 2008). "WQPT to save money by focusing on Q-C produced shows". The Q-C Leader. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  32. ^ Burke, David (April 11, 2012). "WQPT GM to retire in June". QC Times. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  33. ^ "Friends of Iowa Public Television Foundation". IPTV. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  34. ^ Sefton, Dru (June 23, 2016). "Illinois public TV network reduces airtime to save money". Current. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  35. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMEC
  36. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WQEC
  37. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WSEC
  38. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WMEC". Rabbit Ears. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  39. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2012.

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