Quincy, Illinois/Hannibal, Missouri/Keokuk, Iowa
United States
City Quincy, Illinois
  • .1: WGEM
  • WGEM News
  • .2: Tri-States CW
  • .3: WGEM Fox
Slogan The Tri-States' News Leader
Channels Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
  • .1: 1080i 16:9 WGEM-DT
  • .2: 720p 16:9 WGEM-DT
  • .3: 720p 16:9 WGEM-DT
  • .4: 720p 16:9 WGEM-DT
Owner Quincy Media
(WGEM License, LLC)
First air date September 4, 1953 (1953-09-04)
Call letters' meaning GEM City (civic slogan of Quincy)
Sister station(s) WGEM, WGEM-FM
Former channel number(s) Analog:
10 (VHF, 1953–2009)
54 (UHF, until 2009)
Former affiliations Both secondary:
ABC (1953–1969, 1971–mid-1990's)
Fox (1990–1994)
Transmitter power 26 kW
Height 238 m (781 ft)
Facility ID 54275
Transmitter coordinates 39°57′4″N 91°19′54″W / 39.95111°N 91.33167°W / 39.95111; -91.33167
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.wgem.com

WGEM-TV is a dual NBC/Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Quincy, Illinois, United States, serving the Tri-States area of western Illinois, northeastern Missouri, and extreme southeastern Iowa. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and VHF channel 10 from a transmitter east of the city on Cannonball Road near I-172. The station is the flagship of locally based Quincy Media, and is a sister operation to the company's namesake, The Quincy Herald-Whig, and WGEM-AM-FM. WGEM-TV and the radio stations share studios in the New Tremont Apartments (formerly the Hotel Quincy) on Hampshire Street in downtown Quincy.


WGEM-TV's license was originally granted to Quincy Broadcasting Co., owned by the Quincy Herald Whig; it was allotted channel 10. The station was affiliated with NBC and ABC from the start while being represented by Walker Representation Co. Quincy Broadcasting's president at the time was T. C. Oakley; Joe Bonansinga was the station's founding general manager. The station received their DuMont transmitters on the same truck as nearby KHQA-TV (channel 7) on July 27, 1953. The crews competed to see who could get on the air first.[2] WGEM started interim broadcasting on September 4, 1953 with two hours per night.[3]

During the 1960s, WGEM shared its secondary ABC affiliation with CBS affiliate KHQA-TV. This arrangement ended in 1969, when WJJY-TV in Jacksonville went on the air as the ABC affiliate for Quincy; when WJJY went bankrupt and shut down in 1971, WGEM resumed carrying a few ABC shows until the mid-1990s. The station also had a secondary affiliation with Fox between 1990 and 1994. WGEM-TV is one of the few and longest operating television stations in the country, outside of network owned-and-operated stations, that has had the same call letters, owner, channel number, and primary network affiliation throughout its history.

WGEM-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on February 19, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 54, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 10.[1][4]

Since the mid to late-1990s, WGEM has branded solely with its call letters.


Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
10.11080i16:9WGEMNBCMain WGEM-TV programming / NBC
10.2720pWGEM CWTri-States CW

News operation

Appropriately for a station with roots in a newspaper, WGEM-TV has been the market's dominant news station for most of the time since records have been kept. The station has always devoted significant resources to its news department, resulting in an higher-quality product than conventional wisdom would suggest for what has always been a very small market. Currently, WGEM-TV airs an hour-and-a-half newscast weekday mornings at 5:30, as well as half-hour newscasts on weekdays at noon, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. The main channel does not air early evening news on weekends, but does air a weekly news roundup at 6:30 a.m. With only one live weekend newscast, WGEM-TV airs 25 hours of news per week.

WGEM once produced a weeknight 9 o'clock newscast for its then cable-only Fox sister station. Known as CGEM News at 9, it debuted in April 2006 but was canceled in March 2007. The broadcast was anchored by Jake Miller with Chief Meteorologist Rich Cain and Sports Director Ben Marth. At one point in time, WGEM-DT2 simulcasted WGEM-FM's weekday morning show, WGEM Sunrise: Radio Edition, from 7 to 9. Today it re-airs one WGEM-produced weekly public affair shows, City Desk, along with one other locally produced programs: WGEM Academic Challenge. In addition to its main studios, the station used to operate a bureau on South Randolph Street in Macomb, Illinois, but it was closed in 2008. Like all CW Plus affiliates in the Central Time Zone, WGEM-DT2 aired the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 5 to 8.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Digital TV Market Listing for WGEM". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  2. "UHFs ON AIR FORGE AHEAD OF VHFs IN POST -THAW TV STATION STARTS" (PDF). Broadcasting * Telecasting. August 31, 1953. p. 56. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  3. "MILWAUKEE, BUFFALO, QUINCY WIN TV COMMENCEMENT HONORS FOR WEEK" (PDF). Broadcasting * Telecasting. 1953-09-14. p. 66. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  4. "Quincy station off air during switch to digital". Hannibal Courier-Post. GateHouse Media, Inc. February 17, 2009. Archived from the original on March 31, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
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