KHQA-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Tri-State area of Western Illinois, Northeastern Missouri, and extreme Southeastern Iowa. It is licensed to Hannibal, Missouri. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 from a transmitter northeast of Quincy, Illinois on Cannonball Road near I-172. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station has studios on South 36th Street in Quincy.

History

KHQA went on-the-air September 23, 1953. Although licensed to Hannibal, its studios have long been located across the Mississippi River in Quincy. It has always been a CBS affiliate although it had a secondary affiliation with DuMont between 1953 and 1956. The station shared secondary ABC affiliation with WGEM-TV in the 1960s. KHQA also aired a number of UPN programs during late-night hours between 1995 and 2006.[3] The station was originally owned by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa along with the Hannibal Courier-Post, and sister radio stations WTAD and WQCY-FM (now WCOY). Lee sold the Courier-Post in 1969, but held onto KHQA and the radio stations until December 1986 when the company sold KHQA to A. Richard Benedek whose television holdings eventually became Benedek Broadcasting. The radio stations were sold to Eastern Broadcasting. At the time of the sale, KHQA was the smallest station in Lee's TV portfolio.

Benedek merged with Gray Television in 2002, but KHQA was not part of the merger. It was sold to Chelsey Broadcasting. KHQA and WHOI in Peoria became the first two stations owned by the newly formed Barrington Broadcasting in April 2004. In early-1998, KHQA left its longtime home in the Western Catholic Union building in Downtown Quincy. The station moved into a new state-of-the-art facility located on South 36th Street. On August 28, 2007, KHQA announced that a new second digital subchannel would begin carrying ABC for the Tri-States. This was launched on September 30.

On February 28, 2013, Barrington Broadcasting announced the sale of its entire group, including KHQA-TV, to Sinclair Broadcast Group.[4] The sale was completed on November 25.[5]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[6]
7.1720p16:9KHQA-DTMain KHQA-TV programming / CBS
7.2KHQADT2ABC
7.3480i4:3Grit

Before KHQA-DT2 started, sister station KTVO in Kirksville, Missouri had served as the default analog ABC affiliate for the area. KTVO launched a CBS-affiliated second digital subchannel on May 15, 2010 effectively marking the network's return to that station after a 36-year absence.

Analog-to-digital conversion

KHQA-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 29 to VHF channel 7.[7]