|Branding||WSIL-TV 3 (WSIL general)
News 3 (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your Southern Illinois News Leader|
|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
3.2 Heroes & Icons
|Translators||K10KM-D 10 Cape Girardeau, MO|
|First air date||December 19, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||Southern ILlinois|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
22 (UHF, 1953–1959)
3 (VHF, 1959–2009)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Height||291 m (955 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
|Poplar Bluff, Missouri
|Branding||KPOB-TV 15 (general)
News 3 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 15 (UHF)
Virtual: 15 (PSIP)
15.2 Heroes & Icons
|First air date||September 15, 1967|
|Call letters' meaning||POplar Bluff|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
15 (UHF, 1967–2009)
18 (UHF, until 2009)
|Transmitter power||34.5 kW|
|Height||184 m (604 ft)|
|Public license information:||
(satellite of WSIL-TV) Profile
(satellite of WSIL-TV) CDBS
WSIL-TV is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Harrisburg, Illinois, United States, serving Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, and the Purchase area of Western Kentucky. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 (or virtual channel 3 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Creal Springs, Illinois. Owned by Wheeler Broadcasting, the station has studios on Country Aire Drive (IL 13) in Carterville.
WSIL operates a full-time satellite, KPOB-TV in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. This station airs a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 15 from a transmitter in the city along US 60/US 67. WSIL does not maintain any offices in Poplar Bluff. WSIL can also be seen on a digital translator, K10KM-D (channel 10), in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
WSIL signed-on for the first time December 1, 1953. It originally broadcast an analog signal on UHF channel 22, but moved to VHF channel 3 in March 1959 as did numerous stations originally assigned to UHF allocations before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that television-set manufacturers include UHF tuning capability in their products in 1964. The original UHF transmitter had been built in Harrisburg before Paducah, Harrisburg, and Cape Girardeau had been collapsed into one large market.
However, some parts of Southeast Missouri could not receive channel 3's signal clearly, presumably because WSIL had to conform it to protect co-channel WREC-TV (now WREG-TV) in Memphis, Tennessee in the next market to the south. As a result, KPOB signed-on September 15, 1967 to provide service to those counties, although Jonesboro, Arkansas' KAIT (another ABC station) may have been visible in much of the area.
For many years, WSIL did not air the weeknight broadcasts of ABC News, broadcasting instead a children's show featuring cartoons and Three Stooges shorts in the 5:30 to 6:30 time slot. It was not until sometime in the late-1970s it became the last ABC affiliate in the United States to abandon the practice of preempting the network news. However, in ABC's earlier years, quite a number of local stations did not carry the newscasts because their ratings trailed competitors CBS and NBC by a large margin. This changed when ABC initiated the World News Tonight format in 1978, finally establishing the network as a significant news operation.
The station was one of the ABC affiliates that refused to air NYPD Blue during its first season in 1993–1994. Station Manager Steve Wheeler appeared on Good Morning America to explain his decision. During the interview with Charlie Gibson, Wheeler announced that if the program was successful, WSIL would reconsider. During this first season, Fox affiliate KBSI aired the program during the assigned network slot Tuesdays nights at 9 Central Time.
WSIL had the unique distinction of being the first station in the market to broadcast a digital signal at a full 1 megawatt of power (equivalent to 5 megawatts in analog) on October 22, 2002. It was also the first to air a mobile digital signal.
On January 3, 2018, WSIL and KPOB began airing Heroes & Icons on their .2 subchannels.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|3.1 / 15.1||720p||16:9||WSIL-DT
|Main programming / ABC|
|3.2 / 15.2||480i||4:3||Heroes & Icons (as of Jan. 3, 2018)|
|3.3 / 15.3||Weather (moved to x.3 when Heroes & Icons debuted on x.2)|
Both stations shut down their analog signals, respectively on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital channel allocations post-transition are as follows:
WSIL's newscasts focus almost exclusively on Southern Illinois, unlike the other big three stations in the area. This is despite the presence of KPOB, which is a straight simulcast of WSIL. In fact, channel 3 does not even mention the market's other two main cities (Paducah and Cape Girardeau) in its on-air identifications, choosing to identify as "Harrisburg/Marion/Carbondale". Its newscasts are known as News 3 even though program listings online and on cable and satellite services can refer to them as News 3 News. Unlike most ABC affiliates, WSIL does not air a midday newscast during the week.
On January 18, 2004, the news operation underwent a major renovation, including the set, logo and on-air graphics. Some personnel changes were also made to compliment the move. The morning newscast was increased to one hour long and re-branded to News 3 This Morning.
On October 6, 2010, WSIL became the first station in the market to offer news in high definition. No changes were made to the set but the first major on-air graphics overhaul since 2004. On September 10, 2012, News 3 This Morning was expanded from one and a half hours to two hours. On July 11, 2015, WSIL launched a weekend morning newscast.
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