Where technology brought us 

Walcott Trust & Savings Bank
101 W Bryant St
PO Box 108
Walcott, IA 52773

Mississippi Laser
7700 47 St
Milan, IL 61264

Longs Carpet
4200 11 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Roth Pump
Box 4330
Rock Island, IL 61201

Hughes Telephone
1117 Blackhawk Rd
Rock Island, IL 61201

ASAP Equipment
4730 44 St

Taylor Garages
Airport Rd
Milan, IL 61264

Michael Warner, Attorney
1600 4th Ave, Suite 410
Rock Island, IL 61201

Kansas City Life
5019 34 Ave B
Moline, IL 61265

Dr. Romeo
1705 2nd Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

Morton Building
Highway 6
Atkinson, IL

Pathway Hospice
500 42
Rock Island, IL 61201

QC Carbide
1510 17 St
East Moline, IL 61244

Lyss Chiropractic
5500 30 Ave
Moline, IL 61201

Metro MRI
550 15 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Litton Life Support
2734 Hickory Grove Rd
PO Box 4508
Davenport, IA 52808

Spencer Bros. Disposal
New Windsor, IL

Mane Designs
Viola, IL

Quad-Cities Graduate Studies Center
639 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Taylor Freezers 1885 Earhart Dr
Sandwich IL 60548

Local programing key for public broadcasters

By Leon Lagerstam, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

In 1984, the first night of an auction to help fund WQPT-TV was deemed a `smashing success' by volunteers for the public television station at Black Hawk College.

Volunteerism is in effect at Augustana Colleges WVIK public radio station also, where Bill Seaver of Milan and Patty Caldwell of Moline are two of several who helped read the news for the vision-impaired during 1989.

Quad-Citians' loyalty to their public radio and television stations is almost legendary.

Although commercial television networks have lost a substantial percentage of viewers, public TV station WQPT in Moline has maintained a steady audience share, general manager Rick Best said.

Public radio station WVIK in Rock Island boasts equal success.

``It is now the dominant public radio station in the region, both in terms of listener loyalty (length of tune in) and audience numbers,'' according to grant applications submitted by general manager Don Wooten. ``Seventeen percent of radio listeners in this Illinois-Iowa region tune to public broadcasting frequencies and over half of them are WVIK listeners.''

Before WQPT went on the air in 1983, the Quad-Cities was the largest market in the United States without a public TV station, Mr. Best said.

About three years before WQPT began broadcasting, WVIK switched from being a small 10-watt Augustana College student radio station to a professionally operated 50,000-watt FM station. WVIK later doubled its power in 1990, Mr. Wooten said.

A couple years ago, both stations made major improvements.

WVIK moved into a new building, designed specifically to serve as a radio station. Previously, WVIK was housed in the college's former student union (later the biology building), where rooms had been converted into station offices and recording studios.

WQPT, meanwhile, purchased a new transmitter in November 1997. The taller tower near Orion gave the television station a signal six times stronger than before. It nearly tripled WQPT's geographic coverage area and more than doubled potential viewers, according to earlier reports.

Local loyalty to public broadcasting may be tied to the stations' attention to local programming, according to both general managers.

``|`Localism' is fast disappearing from all of radio, and we work hard to keep ourselves rooted in the community,'' Mr. Wooten said.

WVIK's ``Rock Island Lines,'' a series of colorful vignettes of Quad-Cities' history and river lore featuring storytelling talents of college professor Roald Tweet, was cited as the state's best radio feature in 1997 by the Illinois State Historical Society.

Other locally generated programs on WVIK's 90.3 FM band include ``Midwest Week in Review,'' which is a conversation with local newspaper reporters, literature discussion ``About Books,'' the ``Art Talks'' presentation and ``Saturday Morning Live,'' informal discussions intercut with BBC comedy shows.

Local programming on WQPT includes a ``Perspective'' news program by Susan McPeters, ``Quad City Life and Times'' and other specials and documentaries throughout the year, Mr. Best said.

``In addition to what we air on WQPT, we also provide a number of educational outreach programs,'' he said.

Workshops offered by the station reach children, parents, educators and day care providers.

``Oddly enough, I don't consider ourselves being a television business,'' Mr. Best said. ``I think in broader terms. We are in the education business. Television may be our primary medium, but it's not the only medium we use.''

WVIK also frequently sponsors free public events such as opera films, concerts, lectures, art auctions and observatory sessions to stimulate interest in under-appreciated art venues or disciplines.

WVIK's mission statement talks about practicing the art of radio, rather than the business of radio.

Mr. Best also downplays the business role of a public television station.

Although he watches commercial television and loves it like everyone else, he knows WQPT is providing a valuable service other networks can't.

``They don't serve an educational purpose,'' he said. ``Their bottom line is sales and making profits for their investors. Our goal is to provide top notch education programs for all ages of people.''

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.