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WSIL-TV Logo.png
Kpob 2010.png
WSIL: Harrisburg/Marion/Carbondale, Illinois
KPOB: Poplar Bluff, Missouri
United States
City Harrisburg, Illinois
Branding WSIL-TV 3 (WSIL general)
KPOB-TV 15 (KPOB general)
News 3 (newscasts)
Slogan Your Southern Illinois News Leader
Channels Digital:
WSIL: 34 (UHF)
KPOB: 15 (UHF)
Subchannels x.1 ABC
x.2 Weather Bug
Translators K10KM-D 10 Cape Girardeau, MO
Affiliations ABC
Owner Wheeler Broadcasting
(WSIL-TV, Inc.)
First air date WSIL: December 19, 1953; 63 years ago (1953-12-19)
KPOB: September 15, 1967; 49 years ago (1967-09-15)
Call letters' meaning WSIL: Southern ILlinois
KPOB: POplar Bluff
Former channel number(s) Analog:
22 (UHF, 1953–1959)
3 (VHF, 1959–2009)
15 (UHF, 1967–2009)
18 (UHF, until 2009)
Transmitter power WSIL: 1,000 kW
KPOB: 34.5 kW
Height WSIL: 291 m (955 ft)
KPOB: 184 m (604 ft)
Facility ID WSIL: 73999
KPOB: 73998
Transmitter coordinates WSIL: 37°36′46.3″N 88°52′20.3″W / 37.612861°N 88.872306°W / 37.612861; -88.872306
KPOB: 36°48′3.7″N 90°27′6″W / 36.801028°N 90.45167°W / 36.801028; -90.45167 (KPOB-TV)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

WSIL-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, and the Purchase area of Western Kentucky that is licensed to Harrisburg, Illinois. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 (remapped to former analog channel 3 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Creal Springs, Illinois. Owned by Wheeler Broadcasting, the station has studios on Country Aire Drive (IL 13) in Carterville. The station operates a full-time satellite, KPOB-TV in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. This station airs a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 15 from a transmitter in the city along US 60/US 67. WSIL does not maintain any offices in Poplar Bluff. WSIL can also be seen on its digital translator, K10KM-D (channel 10), in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Syndicated programming on WSIL includes Ellen, Rachael Ray, The Dr. Oz Show and Harry.


WSIL signed-on for the first time December 1, 1953. It originally broadcast an analog signal on UHF channel 22, but moved to VHF channel 3 in March 1959 as did numerous stations originally assigned to UHF allocations before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that television-set manufacturers include UHF tuning capability in their products in 1964. The original UHF transmitter had been built in Harrisburg before Paducah, Harrisburg, and Cape Girardeau had been collapsed into one large market.

However, some parts of Southeast Missouri could not receive channel 3's signal clearly, presumably because WSIL had to conform it to protect co-channel WREC-TV, Channel 3 (now WREG-TV), in Memphis, Tennessee in the next market to the south. As a result, KPOB signed-on September 15, 1967 to provide service to those counties, although Jonesboro, Arkansas' KAIT (another ABC station) may have been visible in much of the area.

For many years, WSIL did not air the weeknight broadcasts of ABC News, broadcasting instead a children's show featuring cartoons and Three Stooges shorts in the 5:30 to 6:30 time slot. It was not until sometime in the late-1970s it became the last ABC affiliate in the United States to abandon the practice of preempting the network news. However, in ABC's earlier years, quite a number of local stations did not carry the newscasts because their ratings trailed competitors CBS and NBC by a large margin. This changed when ABC initiated the World News Tonight (now ABC World News Tonight) format in 1978, finally establishing the network as a significant news operation.

WSIL had the unique distinction of being the first station in the market to broadcast a digital signal at a full 1 megawatt of power (equivalent to 5 megawatts in analog) on October 22, 2002. It will soon also be the first to air a mobile digital signal. The station was one of the ABC affiliates that refused to air NYPD Blue during its first season in 1993-1994. Station Manager Steve Wheeler appeared on Good Morning America to explain his decision. During the interview with Charlie Gibson, Wheeler announced that if the program was successful, WSIL would reconsider. During this first season, Fox affiliate KBSI aired the program during the assigned network slot Tuesdays nights at 9 Central Time.[1]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2][3]
x.1 720p 16:9 WSIL-DT
Main programming / ABC
x.2 480i 4:3 Weather Bug

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Both stations shut down their analog signals, respectively 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 channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[4]

  • WSIL-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3; 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 VHF analog channel 3.
  • KPOB-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 15; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 18 to channel 15

News operation[edit]

WSIL's newscasts focus almost exclusively on Southern Illinois, unlike the other big three stations in the area. This is despite the presence of KPOB, which is a straight simulcast of WSIL. In fact, channel 3 does not even mention the market's other two main cities (Paducah and Cape Girardeau) in its on-air identifications, choosing to identify as "Harrisburg/Marion/Carbondale". Its newscasts are known as News 3 even though program listings online and on cable and satellite services can refer to them as News 3 News. Unlike most ABC affiliates, WSIL does not air a midday newscast during the week. It is the only station in the market to air a 6:30 p.m. newscast. WSIL's newscasts were branded as NewsCenter 3 up until 1992 and was rebranded to its current branding News 3.

Former on-air talent Amy Van Patten suffered a brain aneurysm in July 1997.[5]

On January 18, 2004, the news operation underwent a major renovation, including the set, logo and on-air graphics. Some personnel changes were also made to compliment the move. The morning newscast was increased to one hour long and re-branded to News 3 This Morning.[6]

On October 6, 2010, WSIL became the first station in the market to offer news in high definition. No changes were made to the set but the first major on-air graphics overhaul since 2004. On September 10, 2012, News 3 This Morning was expanded from one and a half hours to two hours. On July 11, 2015, WSIL expanded its morning newscast to weekend mornings with Callie Caroll as anchor and Rachel Duensing as meteorologist.

Longtime veteran news anchor Edan Schultz left October 3, 2014 after 19 years as an anchor, managing editor, reporter and producer.[7] He is now working as an anchor and reporter for WCTV in Tallahassee, Florida[8]

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

Former on-air staff[edit]


External links[edit]