Quad Cities IA/IL - President & General Manager Larry Rosmilso, along with representatives from Local TV, LLC, owner of WQAD, announced the decision to WQAD's full staff Thursday, July 22nd at their studios in Moline

"This is an unprecedented investment in the station" stated Rosmilso. "In the next several months, we'll spend close to 2-million dollars to upgrade the equipment at the station, and no department will be untouched by the process."

The move to high definition news coverage will bring Quad Cities news viewers more stunning video pictures, clearer audio & enhanced live coverage from the field as everything from live trucks to cameras & edit gear, even most of the internal cables gets replaced. "Every piece of equipment in the building will be upgraded to handle high definition video and enhanced audio," reported Chief Engineer Rick Serre.

The announcement came right on the heels of WQAD's first High Definition production, Helping Haiti which aired on Wednesday night.  "We've had the HD cameras and an editor and we chose the Haiti project as our first experiment in HD news production" stated Alan Baker, WQAD News Director. "We were blown away at the quality of that first production. That's just a taste of what's to come."

The entire conversion process will take place in stages over the next several months. "We'll be keeping viewers on top of the progress as we hit each milestone," stated Baker.

WQAD is one of 20 mid-sized television stations owned by Local TV, LLC, part of Oak Hill Capital Partners and a consortium of investors who like TV and local news and believe in the future of both.


Quad Cities-IA/IL --  Helping Haiti will be the Quad Cities first locally produced hour of high definition news and will be broadcast Wednesday, July 21st at 7:00pm on ABC affiliate WQAD, News 8.

In June, News 8 anchor RaeChelle Davis and photojournalist Jon Reidy accompanied a group of Davenport teachers to the cities of Port au Prince & the mountain village of Grand-Bois, Haiti.  The teachers are volunteers for Quad Cities based ServeHAITI, a faith based organization helping Haitians get healthcare, education, clean drinking water & economic opportunities.

The trip marks the first time a Quad Cities journalist has visited the country which was ravished by a January Earthquake. "I thought I'd prepared myself for what to expect," stated News 8's RaeChelle Davis. "I didn't expect to see so little progress in the cleanup, nor the ever present smell of death.  In Kafu, the earthquake epicenter, they've just piled rubble into the middle of the street on top of the bodies that had been laid there right after the quake happened. Despite the devastation you see, the time spent by volunteers and the money sent by many of us has not been wasted. There are very good, very positive and very vital stories about what's happening in Haiti and how volunteers from the Quad Cities are helping make those successes happen. This is the story we're here to tell."

The hour long special follows a short series of reports that air on News 8 at 10:00pm beginning Sunday, July 11th and concluding Thursday, July 15th. In the High Definition Hour, airing on the 21st, you will see how much and how little progress has been made in relief efforts at Port au Prince, hear the stories of people dealing with the harshest of living conditions; even before the earthquake hit and meet the volunteers who help make life better one Haitian at a time.

"I had a lot of trouble with what I saw in Haiti the first time I went in 1996," stated nurse volunteer Deb Stockdale.   "How could I possibly make a difference? There's no way. This whole country needs an overhaul. But what it comes down to is you can't make a difference in the big picture - but what's really important is that you're able to help at least one person. If I can go help that one person, then it's worth the trip."

Helping Haiti will air at 7:00pm, Wednesday, July 21st on WQAD News 8.

Local TV LLC is a broadcast holding company created in 2007 and owns 16 television stations in mid-sized markets.  Local TV is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, management and a consortium of bankers and high yield lenders who drank the kool-aid and are as enthusiastic about our future as we are.  Stay tuned.

Quad Cities- IA/IL -- Two of the biggest names in weather in the Quad Cities announce a partnership that brings local favorite Terry Swails back to regular daily television and allows one of the most familiar people in the Quad Cities a chance to pursue his dream of running a weather website that services people in and around the Quad Cities.

In this partnership, Terry Swails will join Storm Team 8, the most experienced and accurate weather department in the Quad Cities.  Terry will anchor the weather for News 8 at 6 Monday through Friday evenings, working under the direction of Chief Meteorologist James Zahara.  James was recently appointed to the role after the retirement of Neil Kastor, another Quad Cities favorite.

"This partnership grew from a series of conversations I'd had over the last year with Terry," said WQAD-TV President and General Manager Larry Rosmilso.  "Terry made it clear that he wanted to be with his family more, and that his passion for weather was leading him to become an entrepreneur and develop a weather service on the web.  It soon became clear that joining the one station in town that has momentum and is investing in the future was the best place to use as a springboard for his business," Rosmilso added.

"The conversations with WQAD were so positive and appealing, I just knew it was a perfect fit for me," said Terry Swails, perhaps the most popular local television figure.  "Nothing would please me more than to watch viewers make the switch to News 8," said Swails, a Quad Cities television veteran of 32 years.  "I believe WQAD has positioned itself to be the leading news and weather authority in this television market and I want to be along for the ride.  This will be an exciting challenge and I am grateful to the WQAD family for the opportunity and to the people of the Quad Cities for their unwavering support." 

"This is the best of both worlds for both Terry and us," said Rosmilso.  Terry gets back in front of the camera where viewers can see him each day like they want, and we can help him grow awareness for his new business, terryswails.com.  It's the partnership you always want, a "win-win" where the biggest win is for the viewers that miss seeing him."

Swails will start his new role officially the week of July 6th with appearances on the air during coverage of the John Deere Golf Classic, in which WQAD-TV is the official host for the 28th consecutive year.  His regular studio duties will begin the following week, in which he will preview his forecast during News 8 at 5 and then be the regular weather anchor on News 8 at 6.  Swails will lend himself to an major weather coverage as James Zahara and News 8 ask of him, and the station will make a point of promoting the www.terryswails.com site and Terry's public appearances.