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Quad Cities

WQAD Reporter Celebrates 25 Years with Station


WQAD reporter John David celebrated his 25th year with the Quad Cities area ABC affiliate.

The station put up a webpage celebrating the milestone telling David, “Congratulations on 25 years!”

Before coming to WQAD in 1989 as a reporter and weather anchor, he worked at KWQC in Davenport, IA.

In 2006, he won numerous awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his documentary “Where Did The Jobs Go?”

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Viewers Express Anger After WQAD Reports Anchor Jason Fechner’s DUI

jason fechnerWQAD, the ABC affiliate in serving the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa, is facing some negative Facebook comments after reporting the DUI arrest of its main anchor, Jason Fechner.

Fechner’s co-anchor, Denise Hnytka, told viewers of Fechner’s DUI arrest on Monday’s 5 p.m. newscast, saying he had been arrested for driving under the influence overnight and was subsequently taken to the Rock Island County Jail, where he later posted bond.

After the report aired, WQAD got some negative feedback about the report on its Facebook page, ranging from “I thought it was kind of tacky how you announced the news about Jason Fechner” to “I think it was really crappy of you to publicly humiliate a fellow colleague like you did. We will not be watching your news cast anymore!! Very disrespectful.”

“Was a loyal WQAD watcher until tonight. Way to stay classy channel 8. KWQC will be number 1 in our house from today forward,” one commenter wrote. “Very sad that any producer thought what was done on tonight’s news was necessary.” Read more

KWQC Meteorologist Fights Off Laughing Fit After Depends Joke

KWQC meteorologist Greg Dutra fought off a fit of laughter on the air after he made a “Depends” joke during his forecast, which aired immediately after a commercial for the adult diapers (video above).

“Well, your weather forecast today ‘depends…’” Dutra said at the top of his forecast, trailing off as his colleagues at the anchor desk started chiding him for making the joke. “As soon as I saw it, I was like, it’s stacked right in front of me. I got to. It might be my only chance!” [h/t Los Angeles Daily News]

Dish Network Pulls Plug on Grant Stations Over Retrans Deal

Dish Network subscribers won’t be able watch their favorite shows on stations owned by Grant Communications until the two settle their dispute over retransmission fees.

On Saturday February 16, Grant’s four FOX affiliates, WZDX in Huntsville, AL, WFXR, Roanoke,VA, KLJB in Quad Cities and WLAX-WEUX in La Crosse, WI, as well as two CW stations and one MyNetworkTV station went dark as part of the dispute.

WZDX, the FOX affiliate in Huntsville posted a statement about the dispute on its website saying,

Contrary to what you may have been told or read, FOX 54 has asked Dish to pay rates comparable to those being paid by your local cable systems now. That is fair and equitable, as already determined by the marketplace. We understand the public’s frustration with this situation, and we remain committed to reaching a solution with Dish without disrupting FOX 54′s programming. Read more

Meteorologist Anthony Peoples Joins WHBF

After seven years at WQAD in the Quad Cities, meteorologist Anthony Peoples is joining rival WHBF.

Peoples signed off from ABC affiliate WQAD in November. Beginning February 25, Peoples will serve as the morning meteorologist for CBS affiliate WHBF. He will join anchor Meredith Dennis on the newscast.

“We’re excited about Anthony joining our team, particularly in the mornings,” news director Heather Stevenson said in a statement. “He shares our commitment to being the most local newscast in the Quad Cities and his knowledge and experience, together with his positive personality, should be a perfect fit and just what morning news viewers are looking for.”

Matt Hammill Signs Off From WQAD

After more than 30 years at WQAD, Matt Hammill has said goodbye to the ABC affiliate in the Quad Cities area of western Illinois and eastern Iowa.

Hammill, who joined the station in 1980 and moved to the anchor desk in 1998, anchored his last newscast on Thursday. In a statement, he said it was time for him to “explore some new career adventures.”

“Whether my future plans keep me here in the area or lure me away, the Quad Cities will always hold a very special place in my heart,” Hammill said.

“Matt has always been a dependable and rock solid anchor for us, no matter the situation. We wish him the best as he turns the page to his next chapter,” WQAD news director Alan Baker said.

Jim Kizer Named GM of WQAD

Jim Kizer has been named president and general manager of WQAD, the ABC affiliate for the Quad Cities.

“Jim has a wide lens on our industry,” said Local TV chief executive officer, Bobby Lawrence. “He has it all — sales, interactive, operations and product backgrounds. We’re thrilled he’s joining the team.”

Kizer brings a background in business development and sales and station management to the position at the Local TV owned station.  He’s worked at NRS Media, Tribune Interactive, Insight Media/Comcast Spotlight, The WB and WorldNow.  He’s also been a general manager at two Federal Broadcasting stations before working as the Chief Operating Officer of the station group from 1994 to 1997.

[Broadcasting & Cable]

KWQC Expands Reach in the Quad Cities

KWQC, the NBC affiliate for the Quad Cities, will begin producing the nine p.m. news for KLJB, the local FOX affiliate, starting December 31.

In a statement posted to the KWQC websiteKathy DeBoeuf, assistant general manager of KLJB, said, “We’re thrilled to enter into this partnership with KWQC, the Quad Cities news leader.  With their outstanding reputation of news story-telling and quality production, this partnership with KWQC is a perfect fit for our station.  We are confident that FOX 18 will continue to provide our viewers and advertisers the distinctive news programming they have come to know and expect.

KWQC’s vice president and general manager, Ken Freedman, added, “KWQC is committed to producing a high quality newscast for FOX 18 and as such will be hiring a dedicated team to ensure not just the quality of their Nine O’clock News, but to make sure we continue to maintain the quality of our own news and entertainment programs.”

KWQC also announced it began producing news and weather reports for Clear Channel radio stations in the Quad Cities area on Monday and in return, the Clear Channel stations have been providing entertainment and music updates to the TV station.

[qctimes.com]

WHBF Set to Expand News Programming With Morning, Evening Newscasts in September

WHBF, the CBS affiliate serving the Quad Cities market of Illinois and Iowa, will debut new morning and evening newscasts in September, expanding their news programming by two hours daily.

Beginning next Monday, the station will debut a 90-minute morning newscast, anchored by Meredith Dennis, who most recently worked at rival station KWQC under her maiden name, Meredith Haley. She will be joined by meteorologist Travis Michels, who was hired from WMDT in Salisbury, MD. Dennis and Michels are two of five staffers added for the expansion.

WHBF currently has two daily newscasts — 30 minutes each at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., according to The Quad-City Times. “Our company has made significant investments both technically and operationally,” general manager Marshall Porter said in a statement. “That, combined with the continued growth of our existing newscasts, has put us in an ideal position to make the move now.” Read more