WSIL-TV is the ABC Network affiliate serving southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and southeast Missouri. Allen Media Broadcasting acquired WSIL in August of 2021. WSIL became the area’s first television station in December of 1953 operating out of studios in Harrisburg.
WSIL broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 from a transmitter in Creal Springs and has studios and offices at 1416 Country Aire Drive in Carterville. The station operates a full-time satellite, KPOB-TV in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, airing high definition digital signal on UHF channel 15.
WSIL signed-on for the first time December 1, 1953. It originally broadcast an analog signal on UHF channel 22, but moved to VFH channel 3 in March of 1959. The early programming on WSIL featured a variety of locally produced programs such as, “The Hour”, “Cactus Pete”, “It’s Fun to Draw”, “Ruffles the Clown”, and “The Lucky LeRoy Show.”
In 1983, Mel Wheeler, Inc. purchased WSIL with Steve and Bonnie Wheeler taking over day-to-day operations. Steve Wheeler remains the station’s General Manager. Bonnie originally anchored the evening news and served as News Director, she currently serves as Vice President of News Operations.
In April of 1989, the Wheelers moved the studio and offices to their current location along Route 13 in Carterville in order to better serve the entire WSIL viewing area.
In October of 2002, WSIL began broadcasting high definition network programming full-time with a full megawatt of power. Eight years later, in October of 2010, WSIL became the first station in the area to broadcast local newscasts in high definition and continues to provide local news, weather and sports video and commercials in high definition.
WSIL’s commitment to local news coverage and community involvement has earned it several prestigious honors in recent years including the Illinois Broadcasters Association Medium Market Station of the Year Award and Associated Press awards for Outstanding News Operation and Best Newscasts.