In Illinois, WTVP takes over TV broadcast operations for WQPT

The broadcast signal for WQPT-TV in Moline, Ill., is now originating from WTVP-TV in Peoria, about 90 miles to the southeast. WQPT previously outsourced its master control operations to Westar Master Control Services in Cedar Hill, Texas. The station’s signal now travels across fiber from WTVP to WQPT’s transmitter in Orion, Ill. The change “provides financial savings for WQPT, a new source of revenue for WTVP, valuable technological advances for both stations and an invaluable chance for the sister stations to work together,” said WTVP President Chet Tomczyk in an Aug. 8 announcement.

Bresnahan to lead two Central Illinois TV stations as dual president

Moss Bresnahan will become the public television system’s first dual president when he takes over in September at WTVP-TV in Peoria, Ill., and WILL-TV, 90 miles to the east in Urbana-Champaign. He succeeds interim dual General Manager Chet Tomczyk, who delayed his retirement from WTVP to temporarily lead the two stations. Tomczyk has been in charge of WTVP, a community licensee, and WILL, part of the College of Media at the University of Illinois, since September 2013. The unique agreement was designed to foster more collaboration on content between the stations and to save on salary costs. “We have two great stations here, and the staff at each is so dedicated and has such a great legacy,” Bresnahan said in an announcement Friday.

Philip Weinberg dies at 86; brought pubcasting to central Illinois

Philip Weinberg, “the man responsible for bringing public broadcasting to central Illinois,” according to the Peoria Journal Star, died Thursday (Feb. 2) in Peoria, Ill. He was 86. “Not only did he start public radio on the Bradley [University] campus,” said Chet Tomczyk, g.m. of WTVP-TV, “but when he came across Sesame Street, produced by the Children’s Television Workshop, he decided that here was a show that people in this community needed to be exposed to.” So Weinberg arranged for the program to play on another local channel for six months before it could be carried on the pubTV station that Weinberg put on the air in June 1971, Tomczyk said.