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WSIL-TV Logo.png
Harrisburg/Marion/Carbondale, Illinois
United States
CityHarrisburg, Illinois
BrandingWSIL-TV 3 (general)
News 3 (newscasts)
SloganYour Southern Illinois News Leader
ChannelsDigital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels3.1 ABC
3.2 Heroes & Icons
3.3 Weather
TranslatorsK10KM-D 10 Cape Girardeau, MO
OwnerMel Wheeler, Inc.
(sale to Quincy Media pending[1])
(WSIL-TV, Inc.)
First air dateDecember 19, 1953 (64 years ago) (1953-12-19)
Call letters' meaningSouthern ILlinois
Former channel number(s)Analog:
22 (UHF, 1953–1959)
3 (VHF, 1959–2009)
Transmitter power1,000 kW
Height291 m (955 ft)
Facility ID73999
Transmitter coordinates37°36′50″N 88°52′20″W / 37.61389°N 88.87222°W / 37.61389; -88.87222
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:Profile
(satellite of WSIL-TV)
Kpob 2010.png
Poplar Bluff, Missouri
United States
BrandingKPOB-TV 15 (general)
News 3 (newscasts)
ChannelsDigital: 15 (UHF)
Virtual: 15 (PSIP)
Subchannels15.1 ABC
15.2 Heroes & Icons
15.3 Weather
OwnerMel Wheeler, Inc.
(sale to Quincy Media pending[1])
(WSIL-TV, Inc.)
First air dateSeptember 15, 1967 (51 years ago) (1967-09-15)
Call letters' meaningPOplar Bluff
Former channel number(s)Analog:
15 (UHF, 1967–2009)
18 (UHF, until 2009)
Transmitter power34.5 kW
Height184 m (604 ft)
Facility ID73998
Transmitter coordinates36°48′4″N 90°27′6″W / 36.80111°N 90.45167°W / 36.80111; -90.45167 (KPOB-TV)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:
satellite of WSIL-TV) Profile

satellite of WSIL-TV) CDBS

WSIL-TV is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Harrisburg, Illinois, United States, serving Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, and the Purchase area of Western Kentucky. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 (or virtual channel 3 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Creal Springs, Illinois. Owned by Mel Wheeler, Inc., the station has studios on Country Aire Drive (IL 13) in Carterville.

WSIL operates a full-time satellite, KPOB-TV (channel 15) in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. This station airs a high definition digital signal on virtual and 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 a digital translator, K10KM-D (channel 10), in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.


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. The station moved its facilities from Harrisburg to Carterville in 1989.[2]

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 (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.

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 was also the first to air a mobile digital signal.

On January 3, 2018, WSIL and KPOB began airing Heroes & Icons on their .2 subchannels.

On October 31, 2018, it was announced that Quincy Media would acquire WSIL and KPOB for $24.5 million, pending FCC approval.[3] WSIL would be Quincy's fourth station in its home state of Illinois.[1]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4][5]
720p 16:9 WSIL-DT
Main programming / ABC
480i Heroes & Icons
4:3 Weather

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:[6]

  • 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


Syndicated programming on WSIL includes The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Rachael Ray, and The Dr. Oz Show, among others.

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 format in 1978, finally establishing the network as a significant news operation.

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.[7]

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.

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.[8]

In October 2010, WSIL became the first station in the market to offer news in high definition.[9]

Former on-air staff[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Quincy Buys Second Station This Week". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia LLC. October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "Southern Illinois' First Television Station » South of 64". Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  3. ^ Application For Consent to Assigment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 1 November, 2018.
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WSIL
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KPOB
  6. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  7. ^ Vanderbilt Television News Archive
  8. ^ 2004], JOHN D. HOMAN THE SOUTHERN [Sat Jan 17. "WSIL-TV MAKEOVER EXPECTED TO SURPRISE VIEWERS". The Southern. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  9. ^ Kiesling, Mark. "Learn More About WSIL-TV". Retrieved 2018-10-16.

External links[edit]