WHOI is the ABC-affiliated television station for West Central Illinois licensed to Peoria. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 19 from a transmitter on North Stewart Street in Creve Coeur. Owned by Barrington Broadcasting, the station is operated by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation through joint sales and shared services agreements. This makes it sister to NBC affiliate WEEK-TV.

150px-HOI 19 ABC logo.png150px-The CW Peoria-Bloomington.png
Peoria/Bloomington, Illinois
Branding HOI 19 (general)

HOI 19 News
News 25 (during simulcasted WEEK-TV shows) CW 4 (on DT2)

Slogan Accurate. Balanced. To the Point.

Your Home Team(during simulcasted WEEK-TV shows)

Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)Virtual: 19 (PSIP)
Subchannels 19.1 ABC19.2 The CW
Owner Barrington Broadcasting

(operated through JSA and SSA by Granite Broadcasting Corporation]) (Barrington Peoria License, LLC)

First air date October 20, 1953
Call letters' meaning Heart Of Illinois
Sister station(s) WEEK-TV, WAOE
Former callsigns WTVH-TV (1953–1965)WIRL-TV (1965–1973)WRAU-TV (1973–1985)
Former channel number(s) Analog:8 (VHF, 1953–1963)19 (UHF, 1963–2009)

Digital: 40 (UHF, 2003–2009)

Former affiliations CBS (1953–1957)DuMont (secondary, 1953–1955)
Transmitter power 195 kW
Height 203.1 m
Facility ID 6866
Transmitter coordinates 40°39′11.1″N 89°35′14.4″W

Both share studios on Springfield Road in East Peoria along with Four Seasons Broadcasting-owned MyNetworkTV affiliates WAOE and low-powered WBQD-LP. The latter has master control and some internal operations based at the Springfield Road facilities but technically serves the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa. Syndicated programming on WHOI includes:Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Ellen, and The Doctors.

Digital programming

It operates the area's CW affiliate on a second digital subchannel. This can also be seen onComcast channel 4 (hence the CW 4 branding). WHOI-DT2 gets all of its programming from The CW Plus.

Channel Video Aspect Programming
19.1 720p 16:9 main WHOI programming / ABC HD
19.2 480i 4:3 "CW 4" SD


It was Peoria's second television station signing-on as WTVH-TV on October 20, 1953. The station was owned-and-operated by Hilltop Broadcasting which was co-owned by the Peoria Journal Star. [1] Its first studios were on North Madison Street in Downtown Peoria. Originally broadcasting an analog signal on VHF channel 8 [2], it was a primary CBS affiliate but also carried shows from ABC and DuMont. The latter ceased operations in 1955 and WTVH lost CBS when WMBD-TV began broadcasting.

The Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation, later known as Metromedia, purchased the station in 1959. Four years later, WTVH was bumped down to UHF channel 19 so that a third commercial VHF station could sign-on in the Quad Cities using that channel (the new station,WQAD-TV, is also an ABC affiliate). In 1965, it was sold to the owners of WIRL-AM 1290 who changed the call sign to WIRL-TV. It became WRAU-TV in 1973 and adopted its present calls of WHOI in 1985. The call sign WTVH was picked up by a channel in Syracuse, New Yorkaround 1976.

In 1987, WHOI came under the ownership of Adams Communications following a merger with its previous owner, Forward Communications. The station was sold to Brissette Broadcasting in 1991 then to Benedek Broadcasting in 1996. When Benedek merged with Gray Television in 2002 following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, WHOI was spun off to Chelsey Broadcasting.

Starting in 1998, it began to run a cable-only WB affiliate. Known by the fictional call sign "WBPE", it was on channel 4 on most cable systems in the area. In April 2004, WHOI andKHQA-TV in the Hannibal, Missouri/Quincy, Illinois media market became two of the founding stations of current owner Barrington Broadcasting. On September 18, 2006, when The WB and UPN merged to create The CW, "WBPE" became part of The CW Plus which is a similar operation to The WB 100+. WHOI's digital signal added a new second digital subchannel to simulcast this programming to offer non-cable subscribers access to The CW. The channel then began to use WHOI-DT2 as its official calls. [3]

On March 2, 2009, it was announced that the operations of WHOI and its CW subchannel would be taken over by WEEK-TV through joint sales and shared services agreements. Sixteen employees were transferred to WEEK-TV but as many as thirty were laid-off immediately while WHOI moved to that channel's studios. [1] This left the five full-power commercial stations in the market operated by two entities. The WHOI and CW subchannel websites were immediately changed to redirects to WEEK-TV's web address. As part of the agreement, Granite-owned CBS affiliate WTVH (which is the oldest television station in Syracuse) was folded into Barrington's NBC affiliate WSTM-TV and low-powered CW affiliate WSTQ-LP in a similar way on the same day. [4]

On June 12, WHOI remained on channel 19 when the analog to digital conversion was completed [5] with the "WHOI" calls being transferred from the now-defunct analog channel 19 to the new digital channel 19 and the "WHOI-DT" call sign from the pre-transition digital channel 40 being permanently discontinued. However, the PSIP identifier still identifies the station's main channel on 19.1 as "WHOI-DT".

News operation

Current news logo.

During the 1980s and early-1990s, WHOI aired a nightly 5:30 o'clock newscast and showedABC World News Tonight weeknights at 6 and weekends at 5. This provided viewers with a local broadcast seven nights a week while other stations aired national news. By 2009, before being consolidated with WEEK-TV, WHOI produced local newscasts weeknights at 5, 6, and 10. Weekend broadcasts were Saturday nights at 6 and 10 and Sunday nights at 5:30 and 10. The weekday morning show, HOI 19 News Daybreak, continues to air from 5 to 7 after America This Morning and before Good Morning America.

News open weeknights at 5:30.

After the merger, four on-air staff were consolidated with WEEK-TV's news department and continue to be seen on-air. Otherwise, this station uses other staff from that station for all other content. WHOI's weeknight 5 and 6 o'clock broadcasts were replaced with one at 5:30. ABC World News was then moved to 6. That channel still airs a separate broadcast weeknights at 10. On weekends, the station simulcasts WEEK-TV although this may be pre-empted by ABC programming. The weekday local broadcasts on WHOI air from a new secondary set at WEEK-TV's studios.

On September 13, 2010, WHOI began airing a talk and lifestyle magazine show called Good Company. It airs weeknights at 5 from another secondary set. WEEK-TV does not air early evening news at 6 on Sundays but WHOI does. Both stations currently offer the area's only local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition. Although not truly high definition, the broadcasts match the ratio of HD television screens. Like all CW Plus stations in the Central Time Zone, WHOI-DT2 airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 5 to 8.

Newscast titles

  • Newsreel 19
  • Electronic Report/Nightbeat
  • TV-19 News
  • Newscene 19 (1970s–1980s)
  • 19 News (1980s)
  • 19 Eyewitness News (1980s–1995)
  • HOI News (1995–2001)
  • HOI 19 News (2001–2017)
  • Heart of Illinois ABC News (2017-present)

Station slogans

  • "We`re With You on Channel 19" (1984-85, localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • "Count on a Friend, Turn to 19" (1989–1992, used during period station used Frank Gari's "Turn To News")
  • "The Heart of Illinois" (1992–2008, general)
  • "Your News Source" (1992–1995)
  • "Where Every Second Counts" (2002–2008, news)
  • "Accurate. Balanced. To the Point." (2008–present)
  • "Your Home Team" (2009–present, during simulcasted WEEK-TV shows)

News team

+ denotes personnel not seen on WEEK-TV


  • + Mark Welp - weekday mornings and Good Company host
  • + Gretchen Wirtz - weekday mornings and Good Company host
    • weekday morning weather
  • + Jen Christensen - weeknights and "News Anchor Mom" segment producer
  • Denise Jackson - weekends and reporter

Storm Team 19 Meteorologists

  • Chuck Collins (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights at 10
  • Lee Ranson - weeknights at 5:30
  • Ashley McNamee - weekends and news reporter
    • fill-in news anchor


  • Jim Mattson - Director seen weeknights
    • Pep Rally and Sports Final host
  • Marc Strauss - weekends and news reporter
  • Josh Simon - sports reporter
  • Lee Hall - Pep Rally and Sports Final host


  • Eric Shangraw - "You Gotta Eat" segment producer
  • Joy Miller - "Ask Dr. Joy" segment producer
  • Art Ginsburg - "Mr. Food" segment producer
  • Leigh Ann - "Fresh Ideas" segment producer
  • Maggie Vespa
  • Gina Ford

Past on-air staff

These personnel were seen on-air until the consolidation with WEEK-TV.


  • Mark Welp - weekday mornings (retained)
  • Tim McGinnis - Managing Editor seen weeknights. Now at WPDE as Evening Anchor
  • Jen Christensen - weeknights (retained)
  • Laura Michels - weekends and reporter

Storm Team 19 Meteorologists

  • Ric Kearbey - Chief seen weeknights
  • Gretchen Wirtz - weekday mornings (retained)
  • Jessica Wheeler - weekends and news reporter
    • fill-in news anchor


  • Jim Mattson - Director seen weeknights at 6 and 10 (retained)
    • Rewind host
  • Donnie Tillman - weekends and sports reporter


  • Brock Spencer - Assignment Editor and special projects
  • Ian Schwartz
  • Nishi Gupta

These personnel were also seen on the station at some point in time.

  • Spencer Adkins
  • Ivra Bassett
  • Doug Bell
  • Ira Bitner
  • Staci Bivens
  • Josh Brogadir
  • Kim Carrollo
  • Brian Christie
  • Jacki Conn
  • Tom Connor
  • Brenden Conway
  • Lisa Coverdale
  • Jessica D'Onofrio
  • Dan Cummins [former sports reporter & weekend sports anchor]
  • Rusty Dunn
  • Lourdes Duarte
  • Jerry Dunphy (deceased)
  • Paul Ferrante
  • John Fougere
  • Aimee Fuller [former weeknight anchor]
  • Kay Hartzell [former weeknight anchor]
  • Alice Hout
  • Ron Howard
  • Gordon Joyner
  • Rollie Keith [former weeknight weather anchor]
  • Brenda Ladun
  • Monica Landeros
  • Becky Liscum
  • Brent Lonteen
  • Michelle Mantel
  • Craig May
  • Aaron McElherne
  • Steve Nicoles
  • Jake Miller
  • Dan Pearson
  • Susan Peters
  • Dan Phillips
  • Lee Ranson
  • Craig Roberts
  • Sheldon Ripson
  • David Scott [former weeknight anchor]
  • Clark Smith [former weeknight anchor]
  • Rebbeca Somach
  • Jennifer Speiser
  • Brock Spencer
  • Larry Sugarman [former weeknight sports anchor]
  • Nancy Thiel [former weeknight anchor]
  • Frank Vascellero [former weeknight anchor]
  • Frank Vascellaro
  • Marjorie Vincent
  • Jill Wunrow
  • Brad Watson [former reporter & weekend anchor]
  • Gene Young
  • Paul Zacovic


  1. ^ a b Tarter, Steve (March 2, 2009). "Owners of WEEK taking over WHOI operations". Peoria Journal Star. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
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External links