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Springfield stations will be off the air on 10/17/19 from 12am-6am for scheduled maintenance.


Ryan Held: Olympic Gold Medalist

Posted by on Mon, 08/08/2016 - 13:45

Last summer when we shot this story, Ryan Held was just one of thousands of good, young swimmers who dreamed of making it to the Olympics one day. Now he is an Olympic Gold Medalist! He was on the 100M freestyle relay team that won it all yesterday. What a turn of events!

In our Illinois Story he swims a timed 50m for us, he shares his thoughts about competing and shows us pictures of him as a little kid swimming in Springfield and brings his state champion medals, etc. We also interview his Mom about his career.

See this episode on air Thursday, Aug. 11 at 7:00 PM; Sunday. Aug. 14 at 4:00 PM and Monday, Aug. 15 at 6:30 PM, or watch it online here:

Copies are available for $19.95 by calling 217-483-7887 ext. 224.

In Memorial: Robert Fluent

Posted by on Fri, 08/05/2016 - 13:40

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our supporter and friend Mr. Robert Fluent.

At age 78, he died on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 7:25 p.m. at Blessing Hospital in Quincy.

He served three times as Board chair for Network Knowledge, once for four years, once for three years, and once for one year. He also served as vice chair, and he served as treasurer. He served at different times as chair of Nominating Committee, Personnel Committee and Finance Committee. He was a dear friend to our President and CEO as well.

You can read his full obituary here:

Memorial gifts can be made to Network Knowledge by calling 217-483-7887 ext. 224 or online at

Ameren Illinois Leads the Way with Grant for Local Children's Programming

Posted by on Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:08

A very big thank you to Ameren Illinois, who recently donated $2,500 as a lead gift toward our $75,000 goal to sustain support children's programming on Network Knowledge. Not surprisingly, many young families with children ages 2-11 have the least disposable income, which is why we need more businesses and organizations to follow Ameren's lead and help support PBS KIDS programming.

If you'd like more information on how you can get involved, please call us at 217-483-7887 or email Ed Strong at


Posted by on Mon, 06/27/2016 - 08:57

Network Knowledge enters the last week of June still needing to raise nearly $100,000 to overcome a financial shortfall caused by the state budget impasse and the loss of two major donors. Though substantial progress has been made in raising the needed $276,800, missing the June 30 deadline could result in further reductions in programs and on-air hours.

“The communities in our viewing area have been extremely generous and have responded to the need,” said Jerold Gruebel, President and CEO of Network Knowledge. “With their help we have raised nearly 64%, but still needing $99,993. As the June 30 deadline looms, we are hopeful our viewers will see the value of their local PBS station and contribute.”

Gruebel says direct mailings, additional pledge nights, appeals to service clubs and businesses, gatherings of donor prospects, all have played an important role in the effort. He also thanked area newspapers for responding with editorials urging citizens to keep Network Knowledge going.

“For many of our communities we are the sole source of PBS programming,” said Gruebel. “It would be a shame if this extraordinary treasure of national programs like Masterpiece, Great Performances, Antiques Roadshow, NOVA and 19 series of children’s educational programs, Ken Burns’ documentaries, and its signature locally-produced program series Illinois Stories, were no longer available to them.”

Contributions can be made by calling 800-232-3605 or online at...

Quincy Herld-Whig Shows Support for Station Fundraising Efforts in Quincy

Posted by on Fri, 06/10/2016 - 14:07

The Quincy Herald-Whig published the following article about our station fundraising efforts in Quincy:

Public broadcasting remains an important part of today's rapidly changing media environment. It provides distinctive news, public affairs, cultural, educational and children's programming that is not available elsewhere.

However, the future of public television for viewers in West-Central Illinois and parts of Northeast Missouri and Southeast Iowa is in jeopardy unless a critical fundraising campaign achieves its goal by the end of this month.

Network Knowledge, a consortium of three Public Broadcast Service (PBS) stations in Central and West-Central Illinois, including WQEC in Quincy, says it must raise $276,800 in contributions, pledges and in-kind gifts by June 30. Otherwise, the network could be forced to further reduce broadcasting hours, putting it on a path toward potentially ceasing operations.

"We have been near the edge of the cliff before, but never this near the cliff," Jerold Gruebel, president and CEO of WQEC, told The Herald-Whig. "We are dealing with the loss of significant funding."

Many individuals, businesses and foundations in the Quincy area have been strong supporters of Network Knowledge since WQEC first went on the air in 1985, and we are confident they will again answer the challenge to preserve this vital service.

WQEC, along with WSEC in Springfield and WMEC in Macomb, has the ability to reach more...

June 9th: Best of Illinois Stories LIVE

Posted by on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 16:21

On Thursday, June 9th from 6:30-10:00 p.m., Producer and Host Mark McDonald will be sharing some of his recent favorite episodes on The Best of Illinois Stories during a live pledge event. That evening, Dr. Gregory Mishkel, who you'll recognize from the Cardia series, is co-hosting with Mark.

Viewers are encourage to call in and pledge their support for this local program during the event at 217-483-7887. Gifts will be available for different levels of donations, and episodes will be available for purchase.

NOTICE: Reduced On-Air Hours

Posted by on Tue, 05/10/2016 - 12:44

Beginning May 6, 2016, Network Knowledge will sign on late in its broadcast day. This is a necessary cost-cutting measure due to the loss of state funding resulting from the budget impasse. As a result, the station currently faces a $276,800 shortage in its operational budget through June 30, 2016.

The station has signed on at 6:30 a.m., but will now sign on at 10:00 a.m., with a sign-off time of 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Viewers with service through Comcast and AT&T UVerse will not be affected by this change; only those with off-air and satellite television service will experience the change in air times.

“We must implement reduced program service to reduce our costs of operation. Hopefully, this will be temporary,” said President and CEO, Dr. Jerold Gruebel.

Network Knowledge programming is viewer supported, so viewers are urged to contribute to avoid further cuts in programming. Please call 1-800-232-3605 or pledge up to $5,000 at

See the Broadcast: Defenders of the Innocent Event

Posted by on Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:31

The Illinois Innocence Project celebrates 15 years of working for the wrongfully convicted; reforming the criminal justice system; and educating the next generation of justice advocates. The guest speaker was Kirk Bloodsworth who fought for his life and became the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA. IIP’s most recent exoneree, Teshome Campbell, freed from prison on January 29, 2016 is also speaking. Exonerees of IIP and other innocence projects will be present to share their stories.

See the broadcast from the live event on Network Knowledge:
Tune in May 5th at 8:00 p.m.,
May 7th at 12 Noon,
or May 8th at 5:00 p.m.

In Memorial: Ron Tendick

Posted by on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 10:57

Former Jacksonville Mayor and Network Knowledge Chairman Ron Tendick recently passed away at Passavant Hospital on March 27, 2016 at age 73. A devoted and active supporter of his local PBS station, Tendick served on the Network Knowledge Board of Directors for many years, as Vice Chairman and later as Chairman, when he transitioned into that role in July 2013.

As a Rotarian, Tendick lived a life of service—and service to our station was no exception. Over the years, he dedicated countless hours to furthering the efforts of quality public television in west central Illinois. He will be greatly missed. Memorial gifts are suggested to Westfair Baptist Church, Passavant Hospital Foundation, or Jacksonville Rotary Foundation.

His obituary has been published in full:

Ronald L. “Ron” Tendick, 73, of Jacksonville, IL, a dedicated, humble, and honest servant of God went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 at Passavant Hospital in Jacksonville.

He was born April 18, 1942 in Jacksonville, the son of Lee O. and Marjorie I. DeLong Tendick. He married Rosemary Dawson on June 30, 1967 in Jacksonville and she survives.

Left here to celebrate his life on earth and his patience, kindness, compassion and sense of humor are the love of his life, Rosemary; his daughter, Lana Keen (husband, Joe) of Jacksonville; his son, Lane Tendick (wife, Rachel) of Jacksonville; his grandchildren, Levi Rogers and Katie Purdue, both of...

PBS: America's Largest Classroom, the Nation's Largest Stage and a Trusted Window to the World

Posted by on Tue, 03/22/2016 - 08:46

Every day, PBS and 350 member stations fulfill our essential mission to the American public, providing trusted programming that is uniquely different from commercial broadcasting, treating its audience as citizens, not simply consumers. In fact, PBS has been rated as the most trustworthy institution among nationally known organizations for 13 consecutive years.

PBS invites everyone to explore new ideas and broaden personal horizons -- with content that expands the minds of children, programs that ensure the worlds of music, theater, dance and art remain available to all Americans, documentaries that open up new worlds, and non-commercialized news programs that provide citizens with multiple perspectives on world events and cultures.

PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, whose members are America’s public TV stations -- noncommercial, educational licensees that operate 350 PBS member stations and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. Of the 160 licensees, 85 are community organizations, 52 are colleges/universities, 19 are state authorities and four are local educational or municipal authorities.

Strong On-Air Reach Across America

Over the course of a year, 82% of all U.S. television households - and 198 million people - watch PBS. The demographic breakdown of PBS' full-day audience reflects the overall U.S. population with respect to race/ethnicity, education and income. (...


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