WHBF-TV has been serving the Quad Cities community for more than 63 years. The station has a rich and colorful history. It all began on Saturday July 1st, 1950 when WHBF-TV began transmitting from a 482 ft. tower in downtown Rock Island, the tallest structure in the Quad Cities at that time. With that sign-on, WHBF-TV became the first television station in the state of Illinois outside of Chicago. During the first few years WHBF-TV was affiliated, not only with CBS, but with ABC as well. Kinescopes and films sent by the networks were aired until coast-to-coast relay stations were completed in October of 1950.
Through the years WHBF-TV has continued to improve and innovate, keeping pace with the ever-changing technology and growing Quad City community. In the early days of the medium, WHBF-TV was the first station in the area to broadcast in color, and the first to receive satellite transmissions. In 1995, the station continued to innovate when it took one of the first steps into the digital age, airing commercial and promotional material digitally off of sequenced computer hard drives. According to Nielsen Media Research, the typical American home received 104 television channels in 2006. To better identify our station and product to the Quad Cities, in January of 2007, station WHBF became CBS4, CBS for the Quad Cities.
Bringing the Quad Cities the best in local news coverage has been a priority of CBS4 News for over 62 years. Since its humble beginnings in the early 50's, the news department has seen film replaced by videotape, and the teletype replaced by computers. Over the years, CBS4 News has seen many firsts. In 1978, CBS4 became the first area station to have a "live truck", that allowed us to report live via microwave from outside our studios. And in 2011, CBS4 was the first station in the market to use portable, wireless technology in a back pack to broadcast ‘in-the-field' where traditional live trucks can't go.
In 1981, CBS4 News pioneered the co-anchor concept, adding Wendy Ellis as the first female news anchor in the Quad Cities market. CBS4 also led the way in weather coverage, being the first station to add a TV Meteorologist and television radar. And in January 2012, CBS4 Weather added the Fusion Weather Studio weather system, a state-of-the-art weather display system and live radar network and high definition graphics.
CBS4 is also proud to continue its commitment to viewers in the Quad Cities. Through our association with the CBS Television Network and other program providers, CBS4 offers a wide range of quality news, entertainment and sports programming.
Thank you Quad Cities, for more than 63 great years allowing us to serve you. All of us here at CBS4 look forward to the next 63.
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