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Springfield / Decatur, Illinois
Branding ABC 20 (general)

ABC NewsChannel 20

Slogan Coverage You

Can Count On

Channels Digital: 42 (UHF)

Virtual: 20 (PSIP)

Subchannels 20.1 ABC
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group

(WICS Licensee, LLC)

First air date September 17, 1953
Call letters' meaning We're Illinois' Capitol, Springfield
Sister station(s) WICD
Former channel number(s) 20 (UHF analog, 1953–2009)
Former affiliations NBC (primary, 1953-2005)

DuMont (secondary, 1953-1955) [1] CBS (secondary, 1953-1958) ABC (secondary, 1953-1958)

Transmitter power 950 kW
Height 402.2 m
Facility ID 25686
Transmitter coordinates 39°48′15″N 89°27′40″W / 39.80417°N 89.46111°W / 39.80417; -89.46111

WICD in Champaign operates as a semi-satellite. That station simulcasts WICS except during local newscasts, commercials, and station identifications. Master control and some internal operations of WICD are based at WICS' facilities. Outside newscasts, commercials on WICD are not controlled by the Springfield studios. WICS serves the western portion of the market (Springfield and Decatur) while WICD serves the eastern portion (Champaign/Urbana/Danville).


[hide]*1 History

  • 2 News operation
    • 2.1 Newscast titles
    • 2.2 Station slogans
  • 3 News team
    • 3.1 Notable former personnel
    • 3.2 References
  • 4 External links


Logo used from 1994 until September 4, 2005 while an NBC affiliate.WICS began operations on September 17, 1953 and was owned by Plains Television Partners of Springfield. It carried programming from all four networks of the era: NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont [2] However, it was a primary NBC affiliate. Although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had collapsed most of Central Illinois into one giant television market, WICS took on a secondary CBS affiliation because its primary affiliate, Champaign's WCIA, only provided a marginal signal to Springfield. It also aired whatever ABC programs that WTVP in Decatur (now WAND) had to turn down in order to air CBS shows not cleared by WCIA. By 1958, WICS was an exclusive NBC affiliate.

The station originally aired from the Leland Hotel on Capitol Street in Downtown Springfield. In 1964, it moved to its current studios on Cook Street in East Springfield.

The FCC considered making Central Illinois an all-UHF market but dropped these plans under heavy lobbying from WCIA. However, WICS' signal was not nearly strong enough to reach the eastern portion of the area. At the time, UHF signals were not strong enough to cover large amounts of territory. Accordingly in 1959, Plains Television signed-on WCHU in Champaign as a low-powered satellite of WICS. In 1960, it bought WDAN-TV (a low-powered station on channel 24 in Danville) changed the calls to WICD and made it another full satellite of WICS. Starting in the 1960s, WCHU broke off from the WICS signal to provide some local programming which was simulcast on WICD. In 1967, Plains Television merged WCHU and WICD into a new full-power station on UHF analog channel 15 under the WICD calls but operating under the WCHU license.

Plains Television sold WICS to Guy Gannett Communications (no relation to the larger Gannett company) in 1986 but held onto WICD until 1994. The two stations operated as a "regional network" sharing most network and syndicated programming. This arrangement nearly brought down WICD, and for a time. it appeared that it would become a full satellite of WICS. Guy Gannett finally bought WICD in 1994.

Sinclair bought most of Guy Gannett's stations, including WICS and WICD, in 1999. Sinclair almost immediately turned around and announced it was selling WICS and WICD (which count as one station for regulatory purposes) plus KGAN in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Sunrise Television. However, the FCC did not allow Sunrise to buy WICS / WICD due to Sunrise's ownership structure. Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst (HMTF), an investment firm controlled by Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks, owned a large block of Sunrise stock. HMTF is majority stockholder of the LIN TV Corporation, then-owner of WAND. The FCC ruled that HMTF held enough stock in Sunrise that an acquisition of WICS/WICD would have resulted in a duopoly between two of the four highest-rated stations in the market, something which is forbidden by FCC rules. As a result, Sinclair remains the owner of WICS, WICD, and KGAN.

In 2005, WICS/WICD swapped affiliations with WAND and became ABC affiliates.

News operation

Its news open with the ABC logo.WICS and WICD have been very competitive in the news race lately after years of being a distant second behind long-dominant WCIA. In fact, since the November and December 2006 Nielsen ratings, the two stations have led the Central Illinois news ratings. This is as a result of combining the two stations' ratings. Nielsen Media Research considers WICS and WICD to be a single station and identifies WICD as "WICS+" in ratings books. On September 11, 2006, a news share agreement was established with the area's Fox affiliates, WRSP-TV/WCCU. As a result, a nightly prime time broadcast at 9 began to air on those stations co-produced by WICS and WICD. Known as NewsChannel at 9 on Fox Illinois, it airs from the studios of WICS but focuses on area-wide local news using the resources of WICS and WICD. There is also a separate weather forecast using both station's meteorologists.

Newscast titles

  • Standard Oil News (1960s)
  • WICS 20 News (1979–1991)
  • 20 News (1991–1994)
  • WICS NewsChannel 20 (1994–2005)
  • ABC NewsChannel 20 (2005–present)

Station slogans

  • WICS and You (1979–1987)
  • Come On Home to WICS-20 (1987–1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only On WICS-20 (1988–1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WICS-20, The Place to Be (1990–1991; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • It's Just WICS-20 (1991–1992; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Here on WICS-20 (1992–1993; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Stars Are Back on WICS-20 (1993–1994; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Turn to 20 (1994–1997; used during period station used "Frank Gari's "Turn To News")
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1997–2002 and 2007–present)
  • Your Hometown News Source (2002–2004)
  • Central Illinois' #1 News Source (2004–2007)
  • More Local Coverage (2007-Current)

News team


  • Zach Kerker - nightly sports and sports reporter
  • Jerry Lambert - weeknights at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. and reporter
  • Jessica McGee - weekday mornings and 11 a.m.
  • Marianne Manko - weeknights at 9 and 10 p.m. and reporter
  • Elizabeth Wooley - weeknights at 5 and 6 p.m. and reporter
  • Sara Vincent - weekends and reporter

Storm Team 20 Meteorologists

  • Gus Gordon (NWA and AMS Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6, 9 and 10 p.m.
  • Joe Crain - weekday mornings and 11 a.m.
  • Danny Russell - weekends
  • Kelly Curran - fill-in and news reporter


  • Mike Brooks - Farm Reporter
  • Andrew Hansen - General Assignment and fill-in sports
  • Katie Heinz - Springfield city reporter
  • Heather Hubbs - Education reporter
  • Kelly Larson - General Assignment
  • Catie Sheehan - State Capitol Bureau Chief
  • Andrew Tanielian - General Assignment

Notable former personnel

  • Template:Nick Alexander
  • John Begue
  • Mike Berman
  • Bryan Boes
  • Natalie Bomke
  • Nick Charles
  • Wayne Cox
  • Alan Crane
  • Kevilee Douglas
  • Paris Ervin
  • Wally Gair
  • Ashley Glass
  • G.B. Gordon
  • Scott Hanson
  • TJ Hart
  • Don Hickman
  • Fred Hickman
  • Doug Kimball
  • Victoria Langley
  • Lauren Lindvig
  • Tony Libri
  • Carl Madonna
  • Dave Malkoff
  • Sean McLaughlin
  • Chris McCloud
  • Don Murphy
  • Rebecca Paul
  • Derek Schnapp
  • Julie Staley
  • Mark Thoma
  • Jack Thome
  • Joe Thompson
  • Libby White
  • Paul Wappel
  • Bob Warren
  • Brian Williamson
  • Kim Wilson
  • Sara Wojcicki
  • Yvette Yeon


  1. ^
  2. ^

External links

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