Happy 30th WQPT
November 01, 2013
The Quad Cities public television station will celebrate its anniversary this weekend. Thirty years ago, on November 3rd 1983, WQPT went on the air for the first time.
Director of Marketing, Lora Adams, says that followed a ten-year effort by founder and the first general manager, Robert Fletcher, to convince Black Hawk College in Moline to host the station.
"That first night, there were only four hours of programming. And 0f course now we have 2 channels and we're on 24/7. There's a lot that's happened in the ensuing years."
And it's had an impact in a variety of areas. Adams says WQPT has devoted countless hours of programming to medical issues, to political issues and debates, and to the stories of local residents such as Holocaust survivors. It's also spent a lot of time on education.
"Since we started educational outreach, we've probably done 1,600 workshops in area schools, we've given away 120,000 books, and I can't even come up with the number of teachers that we've helped to train."
Milestones during the past 30 years include: the conversion to digital transmission in 2005, and the transfer from Black Hawk College to Western Illinois University in 2010.
In honor of its 30th anniversary, WQPT will air a history of the station Friday night at 7:30, and Saturday night at 6:30.
(photo: founder and first station manager, Robert Fletcher, at the groundbreaking for the WQPT tower in the summer of 1983)