WQAD’S 50th: A Family Affair

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MOLINE, Illinois - Back in 1963, it was a rush to get WQAD on the air.

To get the station operating within six months in 1963, it required all new equipment, much of it from RCA.

And all new wiring.

That meant state of the art equipment was needed... and new engineers to help put the station together.

Engineer Don Molander started at WQAD in 1970.

"Before I came I knew what a television station looked like.  But I had absolutely no idea what went on inside it," said Molander in a 2003 interview.

What went on inside were a lot of live programs:  public affairs, children's, news shows...

They were all being broadcast, almost constantly, from two different studios.

The news department has changed a great deal since the 1960's, too.

The news started with anchor Dick Richmond and Sports with "Jimmy King".  But soon, Jim King was at the helm of the WQAD news department.  He would stay with us for 36 years until his death in 1999

The groundwork of excellence laid by Jim King is something we all try to continue today.  And we continue to accomplish that goal with yet another generation of Jim King's family.

Jim's son Kris worked in the news department, anchoring newscasts in the 1980s.  And today, Kris' son Jonathan is the morning news reporter on News 8's "Good Morning Quad Cities".

Technology has changed the broadcast business.  We certainly get a little more help than Jim ever did.

"It's really gone to an entire world of video and audio compared to now, everybody can do television compared to what it was back then," said Don Molander.

"You had to be in the 'in crowd' to really be part of the group to really be able to do any television.  There was a lot more mystique than there is today."

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