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The History of WICS, Springfield
  Page 1
The First 10 Years, 1953-1964
  Page 2
Moving to Cook Street and Becoming Full Color 1965-1978
  Page 3
Plains Television to Guy Gannett, 1978-1994
  Page 4
NBC and from Guy Gannett to Sinclair, 1995-2004
  Page 5
The ABC Years/HD, 2005-present

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WICS, Channel 20, Springfield, Illinois

Page 2: Moving to Cook Street and Becoming Full Color (1965-1978)

(photo from WICS video)

WICS Made Many Improvements during the 1960's

WICS like other stations in the market made the complete change to color during the late 1960's.  Plains Television Partners made major investments in the physical plants at WICS as well as at WCHU/WICD in Champaign-Danville. 

The Champaign-Danville signals which served as a satellite repeater for NBC programming would be combined with a new frequency at Channel 15, with the call letters of WICD.  After a rough start, when the broadcast tower at Fithian fell during an ice storm, it was going to be several more months before the new station would be broadcasting NBC in full color.  The WICS translator at Mattoon, on Channel 75 was shut down with the completing of the WICD facilities.

When WICS moved from the former Leland Hotel studios, the station moved into a large facility at 2680 East Cook Street which would house the station for many years to come and is being used today.  It was spacious and allowed for cars to be driven into the studio, as well as for the many children's shows to include a studio audience as well as a panel of local kids.  Unfortunately, those local children's shows would end with the abundance of syndicated sitcoms which filled the bill for younger well as the syndication of more adult fare in the form of "The Mike Douglas Show" and "The John Gary Show" and "The Merv Griffin Show."
News anchors like Douglas Kimball would be replaced by Wayne Cox who would anchor throughout much of the 1970's.  Other weathercasters, sportscasters included Dale Coleman, Nick Alexander, Kyle Hill, Dave Lange, Tony Trent and others. 

Most of the syndicated shows were of the video taped syndicated talk shows like "The Mike Douglas Show," "The John Gary Show," "The Merv Griffin Show."  One of the more interesting syndicated shows would fall into the sports category, with the broadcast of "Roller Derby" on Saturday afternoons outside of baseball season, then at 5pm during baseball season.  "Superman" would also show up to fill 30-minute holes in the schedule.  After WICS would not show "Star Trek" during the first season, it apologized to central Illinois viewers by bringing it back in syndication by 1971.  The NBC off network adventure show "Daniel Boone" would also end up in late afternoon syndication for a time in the 1970's.

The new WICS studios constructed in the early 1960's
and utilized by the station from the mid 1960's to the
present day. 

The main studio includes a couple of large
overhead garage doors which opened the studio
for vehicles and it's use for live TV commercials
for local auto dealers. It's visible in the aerial photo above.
It was more generally used by Railsplitter Lincoln-Mercury
which sponsored the Sunday morning movie and
featured live commercials which featured new
and used vehicles.

The studio was also home to several local productions
including the children's programming such as "Kim and Popeye"
as well as "Pegwill's Circus."

(photo from WICS and Randy Miller, Springfield Rewind)

A shot of the large studio of WICS right after moving
to the 3680 East Cook Street location.

Things to look for:  the teleprompter set up on camera one with
the zoom lens and what appears to be a "shotgun" microphone
mounted on the front of the camera.

Camera two was less equipped with it's older style studio mount.

The tall ceilings had fiberglass insulation attached to the sidewalls
for sound absorption and insulation from the concrete and brick side walls.

That same insulation is visible in some later studio shots from the
late 1970's and early 1980's.

(photo courtesy of Randy Miller)

The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC!


(from Decatur Herald newspaper)

(from Decatur Herald newspaper)

(from Decatur Herald newspaper)

(from Decatur Herald newspaper)

(from Decatur Herald newspaper)

(from Decatur Herald newspaper)

(TV Guide® ads from the Doug Quick Collection)

WICS Programming Schedule from September 18-24, 1965
Saturday, Sept 18, 1965
7:00 am Bible Course 2
8:00 am Top Cat
8:30 am Hector Heathcoat C
9:00 am Underdog C
9:30 am Fireball XL-5
10:00 am Dennis the Menace
10:30 am Fury *
11:00 am Little Rascals 2
11:30 am Funny Company 1,2
12:00 pm Rocky and Friends 2
12:30 pm Insight(Religion) 2
1:00 pm College Football
4:00 pm Pepis Dance Party 1
5:00 pm Lloyd Thaxton 2
6:00 pm Barn Dance 2
6:30 pm Flipper C
7:00 pm I Dream of Jeannie C
7:30 pm Get Smart  5
8:00 pm Movie "Gunfight at the OK Corral" (1957) C*
10:30 pm News, Weather, Sports 1
10:30 pm Movie "Flamingo Road" (1949) 2

Sunday, Sept 19, 1965
10:00 am Little Rascals 2
10:30 am Movie "Public Enemy"
                (1931) 2
12:30 am Frontiers of Faith(religion) 2
1:00 pm New York's Worlds Fair -3
1:30 pm G.E. College Bowl C
2:00 pm Sunday-News C
2:30 pm Public Affairs 1
3:00 pm Fall Fashion 1
3:30 pm Pro Football C
6:30 pm Disney's World C
7:30 pm Branded C
8:00 pm Bonanza C
9:00 pm Wackiest Ship in the Army C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports 1
10:30 pm Movie "Naked City" (1948)

Monday-Friday, Sept 20-24, 1965
7:00am Today C
9:00 am Jack LaLanne 2
9:30 am What's This Song? C
10:00 am Concentration
10:30 am Jeopardy C
11:00 am Call My Bluff C
11:30 am I'll Bet C
12:00 pm News, Talk, Weather 1
12:15 pm King and Odie 2
12:30 pm Let's Make a Deal C
1:00 pm Moment of Truth
1:30 pm The Doctors
2:00 pm Another World
2:30 pm You Don't Say C
3:00 pm Match Game C
3:30 pm Popeye & Co 1,2
4:45 pm Rocky and Friends 1,2
5:00 pm Bilko 2
5:30 pm NBC News(Huntley-Brinkley)
6:00 pm News, Weather, Sports1

Monday, Sept 20, 1965
6:30 pm Hullabaloo C
7:00 pm John Forsythe C
7:30 pm Dr. Kildare C
8:00 pm Andy Williams C
9:00 pm Run for Your Life C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Tuesday, Sept 21, 1965

6:30 pm My Mother The Car C
7:00 pm Please Don't Eat the Daisies C
7:30 pm Dr. Kildare C
8:00 pm Tuesday Night at the Movies:
               "It Started with a Kiss"(1959)

10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Wednesday, Sept 22, 1965
6:30 pm The Virginian C
8:00 pm Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater C
9:00 pm I Spy C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Thursday, Sept 23, 1965
6:30 pm Daniel Boone C
7:30 pm Laredo C
8:30 pm Mona McCluskey C
9:00 pm Dean Martin C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Friday, Sept 24, 1965
6:30 pm Camp Runamuck C
7:00 pm Hank C
7:30 pm Gallant Men 2, 4
8:30 pm Mr. Roberts C
9:00 pm The Man from U.N.C.L.E. C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

NBC Programs are in bold and underlined
1=local origination
2=syndicated first run, live sports and off network
3=NBC Network Special
4=replaced "Convoy" on NBC  with local syndicated, recorded for playback on the following Sunday at 10:30pm
5=pilot show filmed in b/w but all other episodes were in color

"Say When" was a daytime game show hosted by Art James from 1961 to 1965.  This video is a black and whilte kinescope of the original color live presentation and features the original color peacock black and white.

NBC's rock and roll prime time show was called "Hullabaloo" and recorded on video tape.  Unfortunately many of the shows have been lost to time as the video tapes were either destroyed or used to record other programming.  (The Tonight Show was also a victim to NBC's austerity)   This intro/outro featured Jerry and Gary Lewis and allegedly is one of very few of the show segments which still exist.

Here is the full length NBC Network Preview show from the 1965-66 Season hosted by Don Adams as Maxwell Smart on "Get Smart."

In November of 1965 the northeast section of the U.S. suffered a major power blackout which affected millions....including network operations.  Here is a segment of the NBC Nightly News which told of the blackout.

NBC News would air occasional documentary shows, usually on Sunday afternoons, but once in while they would also show up in prime time.  Here is the "NBC White Paper: The Age of Kennedy" from 1965.

NBC offered three different sit-coms in 1965 which was called "96 Bristol Court."  It featured shows which revolved around three different sets of people living in the same apartment complex.  One of those sit-comes was called "Karen."  Here is the opening credits.

NBC Shows Seen on WICS
"Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color"
"Bill Dana Show"
"The Rogues"
"90 Bristol Court: Karen"
"The Andy Williams Show"
"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"
"Mr. Novak"
"The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
"That Was the Week That Was"
"The Bell Telephone Hour"
"The Virginian"
"Daniel Boone"
"Dr. Kildare"
"Kraft Suspense Theater"
"International Showtime"
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater"
"The Jack Benny Show"
"The Jack Paar Show"
"Saturday Night at the Movies"
"The Tonight Show"

"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" began it's run in 1962 where it would stay through the
rest of the 1960's and well beyond.  One of the most celebrated broadcasts occurred on December 17, 1969
when Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki.  Tiny Tim is shown above right with Johnny.

Early in the 1960's, "The Tonight Show" actually began at 10:15pm CT but by 1965, Johnny refused to do the first 15 minutes leaving that to Ed McMahon and orchestra leader Skitch Henderson.  Many stations pre-empted the first 15 minutes, like WICS did for local news from 10 to 10:30pm.  Johnny would begin at 10:30pm with his monolog.  By 1967, the first 15 minutes were dropped.  Keep in mind at that time, the show lasted until Midnight central time.

An NBC daytime promo from 1967

"NBC Week" promo from 1967

"You Don't Say" was a daytime game show hosted by Tom Kennedy.  Here he is joined by Pat Carroll and Mel Torme.  This is from 1967 and features the original network commercials.

"The Monkees" was television's answer to "The Beatles."  It was produced with the same style of "Hard Days Night" but with a laugh track.  Here's a complete episode with sponsor billboards.

Promo for NBC Week premier shows for Sunday night of 1968-1969
NBC Fall Television Preview of the 1969-1970 Season


more to come

more to come
This video includes of a number of network commercials airing on NBC from the Fall of 1967.  I include this because of the advertisement of of a product made by A.E. Staley in Decatur, Illinois....Sta-Flo starch.  A central Illinois product advertised nationally on NBC in 1967.

This is taken from one of the last daytime game shows which still broadcast in black and white on October 2, 1967..."Concentration."  It includes the closing second and the black and white "snake" NBC logo as seen on WICS, Channel 20.

Here's a complete episode of "The Jerry Lewis Show" as broadcast on NBC.  This video is from the master and includes no sponsorship billboards.  It's what would have been submitted to NBC for broadcast.  This is from the first season, 1967, episode 11.

Here's a complete Bob Hope Show from November 8th, 1967, as seen on WICS. Sponsorship billboards are included, but no commercials.

(You Tube Videos may be withdrawn at any time)

(Above left and right):  Color-casting was becoming more and more important to satisfy the public.  Even though WICS, WCHU and even the newly acquired translator station, W-75-AD in Mattoon were able to pass color programming to viewers of WICD, Channel 24 in Danville was not.  Plains Television didn't make the equipment investment to the transmitter of the Danville property to broadcast a color signal.   Local programming, such as local news and public affairs, kids panel shows, etc. were still broadcast in black and white.

(Left): The news anchor team for WICS are pictured in this TV Guide ad.   At the left is Douglas Kimball along with Dale Coleman and  Nick Alexander.  The stations represented included it's satellite stations at WCHU, Channel 33 in Champaign; WICD, Channel 24 in Danville and W-75-AD, Channel 75 in Mattoon.

(from the Decatur Herald newspaper)

NBC Daytime Shows Seen on WICS
"Let's Make a Deal"
"The Doctors"
"Another World"
"You Don't Say"
"The Match Game"
"Merv Griffin"
"The Hollywood Squares"

NBC Shows Seen on WICS
"Mother's In Law"
"I Dream of Jeannie"
"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"
"The Outsider"
"The High Chaparral"
"The Name of the Game"
"Get Smart"
"The Ghost & Mrs. Muir"
"The Big Cosby Show"
"The Bold Ones"
"My World and Welcome To It"
"Then Came Bronson"
"Bracken's World"

WICS Newspaper Ads from February of 1966    placed in the Decatur Herald

(all WICS ads in this table are from Decatur Herald newspaper)

Syndicated Shows Seen on WICS
"The Funny Company"
"Rocky and Friends"
"The Lloyd Thaxton Show"
"The Jack LaLanne Show"
"Popeye and Company"
"Flash Gordon"
"The Mike Douglas Show"
"Huckleberry Hound"
"Dobie Gillis"
"The Gallant Men"

"Truth or Consequences"
"The Three Stooges"
"Roller Derby"

Plains Television Develops a Full Powered NBC Affiliate in East Central Illinois

WICD, Channel 15 was the result of the merge between the relatively low powered sister stations of WICS.  WCHU, Channel 33 in Champaign only broadcast a radius of 15 miles from downtown Champaign.  WICD, Channel 24 broadcast a signal to a radius of about 30 miles from Danville and the low powered translator on channel 75 probably didn't broadcast much more than 5 miles from  Mattoon.  That left much of the rural areas of east central Illinois without NBC service, while those in the Danville area didn't receive any color programming from NBC and Channel 24. 

It was an incredibly short sighted decision made in the late 1950s and early 1960s of Plains Television to try to achieve the maximum number of households in central Illinois to compete with WCIA in gaining advertising dollars for its UHF properties with a major VHS competitor.

In 1966, Plains Television obtained the lower frequency channel assignment with the shifting of the channel 15 allocation from Bloomington, Illinois to Champaign, Illinois.  With the completion of the transmitter/tower, even after the collapse of the initial tower in January of 1967, Plains would use the call letters established for the former Danville station, WICD for its new Channel 15.

See more on the pages dedicated to the History of WICD.

WICS/WICD Sister Stations Broadcast to Central Illinois

With the establishment of WICD in east central Illinois, WICS would obtain a coverage area comparable if not larger than its VHF competitor WCIA.  The transmitters for channel 24, 33 and 75 were shut down when the RCA water cooled transmitter for Channel 15 was fired up for the first time.  At the beginning of WICD on channel 15, it was never meant to be much more than a high powered translator for WICS.  By 1967, WICD had developed enough local programming to essentially become a "full service" television station just in time for the new frequency at channel 15.  Most local newscasts were mixes of Champaign and Springfield origination.  By the mid 1970s, WICD would support its own local news department, but Plains would still grant a more generous operation budget to WICS.

(photo from Randy Miller Collection and
the Springfield Journal-Register)

(TV Guide ads from the Doug Quick Collection)

WICS Programming Schedule from September 13-19, 1969
Saturday, Sept 13, 1969
7:00 am Heckle and Jeckle C
7:30 am Bugs Bunny/Road Runner C
8:00 am Here Comes the Grump C
8:30 am Pink Panther C
9:00 am H.R. Pufenstuff C
9:30 am Banana Splits C
10:30 am Jambo C
11:00 am Flintstones C
11:30 am Underdog C
12:00 pm Public Affairs
1:00 pm Roller Derby C-2
2:00 pm Upbeat C-2
3:00 pm Baseball: Cincinnati vs. San Francisco C
6:00 pm NBC News: Huntley/Brinkley
6:30 pm Adam-12 C
7:00 pm Get Smart C
7:30 pm Movie: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
10:15pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:50 pm Movie: The Big Shot" 1

Sunday, Sept 14, 1969
8:00 am Religious Block of Programs
9:30 am Movie: The 4D Man" (1959)
11:15 am Davey and Goliath C-2
11:30 am Spotlight C-2
12:30 pm AFL Football: Jets at Buffalo
3:00 pm AFL Football: Houston at   
6:00 pm Wild Kingdom C
6:30 pm World of Disney C
7:30 pm Bill Cosby Show C
8:00 pm Bonanza C
9:00 pm The Bold Ones C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson C

Monday-Friday, Sept 15-19, 1969
7:00 am Today
9:00 am Jack La Lanne C-2
9:30 am Concentration C *
10:00 am Personality C*
10:30 am Hollywood Squares C*
11:00 am Jeopardy! C*
11:30 am Eye Guess C*
12:00 pm Galloping Gourmet C-2
12:30 pm You're Putting Me On C*
1:00 pm Days of Our Lives C*
1:30 pm The Doctors C*
2:00 pm Another World C*
2:30pm You Don't Say C*
3:00 pm Match Game C*
3:30 pm Mike Douglas C-2
5:00 pm Five O'Clock Report C-1
5:30 pm NBC News:
               Huntley/Brinkley C*
6:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1

Monday, Sept 15, 1969
6:30 pm My World and Welcome
               to It C
7:00 pm Rowan and Martin's
              Laugh-In C
8:00 pm Movie: "Love Has Many Faces" C-2,4
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Tonight Show C

Tuesday, Sept 16, 1969

6:30 pm I Dream of Jeannie C
7:00 pm Debbie Reynolds C
7:30 pm Julia C*
8:00 pm NBC Movie: "The Ballad of Josie" (1968) C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Tonight Show C

Wednesday, Sept 16, 1969
6:30 pm The Virginian C
8:00 pm Kraft Music Hall C
9:00 pm Then Came Bronson C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Tonight Show C

Thursday, Sept 17, 1969
6:30 pm Daniel Boone C
7:30 pm Ironside C
8:30 pm Dragnet 1970 C
9:00 pm Dean Martin C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Tonight Show C

Friday, Sept 18, 1969
6:30 pm High Chaparral C
7:30 pm The Name of the Game C
9:00 pm Bracken's World C

10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Tonight Show C

NBC Programs are in bold and underlined
1=local origination
2=syndicated first run, live sports and off network
3=NBC Network Special
4=WICS covering the NBC broadcast with a local syndicated movie presentation


(Left):  Pictured at the left is WICS News Director Dale Coleman along with  Kyle Hill and Nick Alexander.  This ad from TV Guide is from 1968.

(Near right): The news anchor team at WICS included in 1969 the following pictured from top to bottom: Dale Coleman, Kyle Hill(capitol reporter), Wayne Cox, Nick Alexander(weather) and Dave Lang(sports). 

(Lower left): A news ad from 1968 listed the WICS/WICD news team with the NBC network anchor team of Huntley-Brinkley.

It appeared that newscasts for both WICS and WICD were originating from WICS.

WICS' NBC Pre-emptions Frustrate Central Illinois viewers

WICS took extraordinary means for the broadcast of more local commercials to meet income goals.  Since there are a limited amount of local availabilities in network programming, WICS would sometimes pre-empt NBC programming, often times less popular programs to air syndicated programming.  This would  allow for more local commercials in prime time and getting additional ad dollars since the audience potential is much greater during that time.

(right): In probably the worst programming blunder ever by WICS was the pre-emption of "Star Trek" during its first season with reruns of "Laramie."  Later WICS would air "Star Trek" in its regular prime time time slot.  After this, WICS actually aired "Star Trek" for awhile in syndication during the 1970s.

"Gallant Men" was an off network WWII series originally seen on ABC and syndicated in the mid 1960s.  WICS replaced NBC's "Convoy" with "The Gallant Men."  "Cisco Kid" was a series produced in color in the early 1950s and WICS would air it on Friday nights covering NBC's "Tarzan" among others.  WICS would air "Jack LaLanne" and his exercise program over various NBC daytime game shows which aired at 9am weekdays.  The thought of an NBC affiliate not airing "Saturday Night Live" would be unbelievable even with some of the lack luster seasons in recent years.  But WICS pre-empted the show during its legendary early years with cast members Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Dan Aykroyd and Laraine Newman!  "Saturday Night," as it was called in the early years was replaced with some stale "B" movie or a TV movie ran through the neglected film chain of WICS.  One note, WICD, WICS' sister station ran "Saturday Night" as it came down from the network.  "The John Gary Show" aired on Sunday night replacing a number of NBC series including "The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show."

WICS/WICD also was the local affiliate most likely to pre-empt other NBC programming for paid prime time programming.  Subjects ranged from the religious "Billy Graham Crusade" fund raisers to those paid programs from various charitable organizations.

This was taken at WICS sometime during the late 1960's or early 1970's.  The purpose for the appearance of David Hartman is unknown, although he was starring in "The Men from Shiloh" which was airing on NBC and WICS through the 1968-69 season and the contemporary "Lucas Tanner" which aired on NBC from 1974-75.

Pictured are WICS staff members Robert Wilson and John McKinney.

(picture courtesy of Teresa Wilson Ericson, daughter of
Robert Wilson)

Note: Find Robert Wilson in WICS History Part 1
in which we was a cast member of "Pegwill's Circus."

Even though the first season of "Star Trek" wasn't seen on WICS

by the second sesason, after NBC moved it to Friday nights at 9pm CT it
was finally seen by central Illinois sci-fi fans.  "Star Trek" in syndication came to WICS in 1971.

Bob Hope specials were always good for great ratings during sweeps months.  This one was from November of 1968.  The show was sponsored by Chrysler, and supported by a Chrysler ad in most editions of TV Guide.  It is shown above right.

(TV Guide Close-Ups from the Doug Quick collection)

(1969 TV Season promos from NBC and seen on WICS, from TV Guide, and the Doug Quick Collection)

Bob Hope continued his many specials throughout the 60's and 70's including his Christmas specials in which he would visit U.S. military bases around the world, including ones in Viet Nam.

His TV specials always obtained great ratings, with each one following the same format he mastered on his radio shows in the 1940s and early 1950s. His TV specials continued for over 50 years on NBC.

During the 1960s and early 70s, his specials were sponsored by Chrysler Corporation

The Faces of NBC News during much of the 1960's included the anchor team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

NBC Shows Seen on WICS
"The Wild Kingdom"
"Red Skelton Show"
"Flip Wilson Show"
"McMillan and Wife"
"Amy Prentiss"
"Police Story"
"Little House on the Prairie"
"Lucas Tanner"
"Movin' On"
"Sanford and Son"
"Chico and the Man"
"The Rockford Files"
"Police Woman"

WICS Programming Schedule from February 13-19, 1971
Saturday, Feb 13, 1971
7:00 am Tom Foolery C
7:30 am Heckle and Jeckle C
8:00 am Woody Woodpecker C
8:30 am Bugaloos C
9:00 am Dr. Dolittle C
9:30 am Pink Panther C
10:00 am H.R.Pufnstuf C
10:30 am Grump C
11:00 am Hot Dog C
11:30 am Jambo C
12:00 pm College Basketball C-2
                Drake and St. Louis
2:00 pm Movie "Each Dawn I Die"         
              (1939) 1
3:30 pm Roller Derby C-2
4:30 pm Outdoor Newsreel C-2
5:00 pm Golf Tournament C
6:00 pm NBC News C
6:30 pm Andy Williams C
7:30 pm NBC Movie "A Patch of Blue"
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Movie "Love Has Many Faces" (1964) 2
12:30 am Naked City 2

Sunday, Feb 14, 1971
7:00 am Agriculture USA C-2
7:30-9:30 am Religious Block
9:30 am Movie "The Bank Dick" (1940)
11:15 am Davey and Goliath 2
11:30 am Conversations of 71  C-1
12:00 pm Meet the Press C
12:30 pm Public Affairs C-2
1:00 pm World Cup Soccer C-2
3:30 pm Golf Tournament C
5:00 pm Ian Tyson Show C-2
5:30 pm NBC News C
6:00 pm Wild Kingdom C
6:30 pm Disney C
7:30 pm Bill Cosby C
8:00 pm Bonanza C
9:00 pm The Bold Ones C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Movie "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957)

Monday-Friday, Feb 15-19, 1971
6:30 am Jack LaLanne C-2
7:00 am Today C*
9:00 am Dinah Shore C-2
9:30 am Concentration C
10:00 am Sale of the Century C
10:30 am Hollywood Squares C
11:00 am Jeopardy C
11:30 am Who,What, Where C
12:00 pm Galloping Gourmet C-2
12:30 pm Midday Report C-1
1:00 pm Days of Our Lives C
1:30 pm The Doctors C
2:00 pm Another World/Bay City C
2:30 pm Bright Promise C
3:00 pm Another World/Somerset C
3:30 pm Hazel C-2
4:00 pm David Frost C-2
5:00 pm Dragnet C-2
5:30 pm NBC News C
6:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1

Monday, Feb 15, 1971
6:30 pm Red Skelton C
7:00 pm Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
8:00 pm Bob Hope Show C-3
9:00 pm Pure Goldie (Hawn) C-3
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Tuesday, Feb 16, 1971

6:30 pm Julia C
7:00 pm NBC News Special C-3
8:00 pm Movie "Madigan" (1968)
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Wednesday, Feb 17, 1971
6:30 pm Shiloh C
8:00 pm Kraft Music Hall C
9:00 pm Four in One C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Thursday, Feb 18, 1971
6:30 pm Flip Wilson C
7:30 pm Ironside C
8:30 pm Adam-12 C
9:00 pm Dean Martin Show C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

Friday, Feb 19, 1971
6:30 pm High Chaparral C
8:30 pm The Name of the Game C
10:00 pm News, Weather, Sports C-1
10:30 pm Johnny Carson (The Tonight
                 Show) C

NBC programming in bold and underlined
1=local origination
2=syndicated first run, live sports and off network
3=NBC Network Special

Here is the sign-off of Chet Huntley from the Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC.  This is from July 31, 1970.

Here's a daytime NBC promo from 1974.

The 1975-1976 Fall Preview for NBC

1976 Commercials and NBC Promos, News Update (recorded from WNBC-New York, but network segments were also seen on WICS)

1976 Presentation of "Saturday Night at the Movies" featuring "Billy Jack."

"The Captains and the Kings" was a 1976 NBC mini-series which starred Perry King, Richard Jordan, Jane Seymour, Patty Duke, Robert Vaughn and Charles Durning.  Here is a promo for its presentation on NBC.

Acri Creature Feature

Many might remember the "Acri Creature Feature" which ran late Saturday nights.  It was hosted by Chuck Acri, a businessman who also ran a home improvement company from the Quad Cities.  This popular horror movie feature was actually produced at WQAD-TV in Moline, Illinois and was syndicated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and KCRG-TV, to Peoria, Illinois and WEEK-TV and across central Illinois on WICS and WICD.  It's questionable if this weekly production sold any siding for Mr. Acri, but it sure made him a legendary star in the Midwest!

Chuck Acri starred as himself with a cast of characters including Vincent Hedges(a vampire), Emmit(the hunchback), Beauregard(the werewolf), The Missing Link(the caveman) along with Bertie and Bernie(the skull).  The dog was played by Fang, the wonderdog.  A website has all the details about the Acri Creature Feature.

On Sunday mornings when other stations were offering religious programming WICS was giving us the "Sunday Morning Movie."  During most of it's run in the late 1960's and 70's it was sponsored by local Lincoln-Mercury dealer, Railsplitter Motors."  Most commercials were recorded live on tape or done live during the movie as cars would be driving into the new WICS studio where as up to 4 cars could be featured at one time! Railsplitters would go on to sponsor the Sunday Night Movie as well.

NBC Promo for Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" first time on television from 1977.

Here a 1977 promo for "Dean Martin's Christmas in California" special

The 70s was the decade of the mini-series and NBC had its share.  This is a promo from 1977 featuring "Harold Robbin's: 79 Park Avenue." 

David Janssen was the featured star of "Police Story" during one episode of 1977.  Here is the promo which aired on NBC.

NBC Promos for "Black Sheep Squadron" and "Police Woman" which aired in 1977.

Thanksgiving Day on NBC, with promos for the Macy's Parade, NBC Football and a partial promo for "Today."

The NBC "snake" logo was replaced by the twin trapezoid "N" in 1976.  Unfortunately, a very similar logo was used by Nebraska Educational Television...and NETV sued.  A settlement was reached , while NBC updated the "N" with the most recognizable logo for NBC in 1979....the peacock, with 12 feathers....shown right.  More "proud as a Peacock logos in the next part of the History of WICS.

My Search for WICS Material from the years of 1972-1978

This era was a part of my life, in which I lost some contact to the local TV scene.  I have virtually no TV Guides from the era, having lost them somewhere along the line.  If you have copies of TV Guides from that era of the central Illinois editions, please will you loan them to me?  I would love to scan them and I will send them back to you!  Plus, any pictures, recordings, recollections of that era would be appreciated and of course you would be listed as a contributor.  Drop me an e-mail at dougquick @

Cindy Larson and others at WICS for help in getting WICS photos
Les Vann for details on the two WICS anchor pictures from the mid 1980's..
TV Guide® ads are from The Doug Quick Collection, copyright Triangle Publications
Randy Miller for his picture contributions.
You Tube videos are property of the individual copyright holders and only posted for their historical significance. 
    They are subject to removal by the contributors and You Tube.

If you have any additional material or can identify any people not ID'd in pictures, please e-mail me at dougquick @

Page 3 is next...

The History of WICS, Springfield
  Page 1
The First 10 Years, 1953-1964
  Page 2
Moving to Cook Street and Becoming Full Color 1965-1978
  Page 3
Plains Television to Guy Gannett, 1978-1994
  Page 4
NBC and from Guy Gannett to Sinclair, 1995-2004
  Page 5
The ABC Years/HD, 2005-present

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updated  12/23/2016
web master:  Doug Quick
copyright © 2001-2016  Doug Quick