The History of KWQC


It was October 31, 1949. KWQC-TV (formerly WOC-TV) signed on for its first official telecast day and was first to bring the “magic lantern” into the 400 homes with television sets here in the Quad-Cities. It was then Channel 5. Just 18 months before this date, pioneers in radio, the Palmer family, had announced plans for a proposed television station and had purchased the old Ed Ryan residence at 805 Brady Street to house the studios of both WOC radio and television. At that time, the Palmer family was confident that the new medium would become a reality within two years. Remodeling of the Ryan building was started a short time later and an annex was added to the east of the building. The annex provided office space on the second floor and a garage and maintenance area for the WOC mobile unit on the ground floor.


In July of 1950, some of the NBC network programs were added. 12 microwave towers, each about 30 miles apart, made up a relay system between Chicago and Des Moines. NBC programming was pulled from one of the towers located near Princeton, Iowa and routed via the telephone exchange to the station. By September 30, 1950, a more robust NBC schedule that included the World Series was carried live on television. In 1956, NBC added color to its programming. All locally originated programming was still black and white.

1961: A new 1000 ft. transmission tower and building were constructed at Pleasant Valley. On June 7th, 1962, ground was broken on the north side of the Ryan building for a new, more luxurious studio facility. In 1963 construction of the new studio was completed, and by September 1963, operations were moved from the old Ryan building to the new building. The Ryan residence was leveled a short time later, but the exterior of the annex which remained was resurfaced in brick to match the new building. Today the annex houses station vehicles and NBC satellite gear.

1964: Film programs that were available in color were broadcast in color and two inch video tape machines were part of broadcast plant. By 1967, all locally originated programming was in full color. In 1982, a new 1400 ft tower and antenna was erected to replace the 1000 ft stick. By 1985, the studio and transmitter were revamped to add stereo audio.

1986: the Palmer family split their Quad-Cities radio and television holdings and KWQC-TV6 was born. Broad-Street Television purchased KWQC-TV6 from Palmer Communications in 1989, and in April 1996 KWQC-TV6 became part of Young Broadcasting Incorporated.

1995: domain is registered and the first web page is built and posted as a way to inform and interact with TV viewers using the Internet.

1999: First live steaming newscasts on the website.

2003: First digital signal transmission. During the test, at 25% power, it was reported that the signal could be received as far as Peoria.

2009: KWQC broadcasts fully digital at 6-1 and its companion weather 24/7 channel, 6-2, in an FCC mandate that stations no longer transmit in analog.

2009: KWQC interacts with viewers via Facebook and other social media.

In November of 2010, KWQC became the first television station in the Quad Cities to broadcast local newscasts in high-definition.

2012: KWQC-TV News App goes live featuring top stories, live traffic maps and weather on mobile devices.


2013: QCweather App delivers weather conditions, live interactive radar, forecasts and alerts to mobile devices.

2013: TV6 Text goes live as an additional KWQC digital communication platform.

2013: COZI-TV is added to the KWQC-TV digital family on channel 6-3.


2013: KWQC’s flagship building is remodeled featuring a state-of-the-art newsroom.

November, 2013 KWQC’s corporate parent, Young Broadcasting, merges with Media General reaching 16.5 million or 14 percent of U.S. television households through its 31 stations.

November, 2014 Media General merges with Lin Media. With 71 television stations, Media General now reaches 23% of U.S. TV households and more than 50% of the U.S. Internet audience.

KWQC-TV/ wishes to thank the many dedicated employees, which over the years, have garnered the respect of their broadcasting peers and demonstrated quality and excellence to its viewers.

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