Heart of Illinois ABC News brand begins merger with 25 News; adding broadcasts, bringing together talent

25 News
25 News(25 News Now)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 4:59 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - For more than 60 years, Heart of Illinois ABC has brought crucial, local news, to the Heart of Illinois.

Though there have been different names and faces throughout those years, the mission has been the same.

Starting in September, changes are taking place to bring even more local coverage to the area.

Heart of Illinois ABC left the studios in Creve Coeur in 2009, moving to East Peoria to join News 25, operating under the same roof, albeit as separate stations. A format followed for the last 13 years that changes in 2022.

“So we’re taking those elements of HOI, those people that we had on HOI, we’re combining them with WEEK and were making one news entity - 25 news - that is going to service all the different products that we have,” said WEEK-TV General Manager Pete Russell. “So we’re not losing anybody - in fact, we’ve also hired additional people.”

The merger of the teams is already underway - starting with the First Alert Weather Team - five meteorologists coming together to present the most comprehensive weather coverage in Central Illinois.

Just a few weeks ago, the station launched an 11 a.m. broadcast on NBC.

The next step includes combining the faces seen on Heart of Illinois ABC and 25 News in the evenings - Jenise and Tyler, Amber and Kyle.

Those new combinations come with new broadcasts in September, with an additional 23 hours of local news a week.

“That’s exactly what they’re going to get with this 2.0., more local news,” said WEEK-TV News Director Leon Hendricks. “They’re going to get everything from lifestyle to day-to-day news, to First Alert Weather to again, the best sports coverage that we have.”

“You will have the people that you are used to seeing, they’re just maybe in a couple of different places,” he said. “So that is one of the benefits that we have with this, is that we’re able to expand and keep everyone that you’re used to seeing, you’re still going to see them.”

With the new broadcasts come an upgraded set, with more lighting and set pieces - and better cameras and more.

Programming schedule for WEEK-NBC and WEEK-ABC
Programming schedule for WEEK-NBC and WEEK-ABC(WEEK-TV)

A full rundown of all the shows are as follows:

  • 25 News Today
    • Jessica Cook, Erin Brown, Donnie Tillman and Meteorologist Joe Strus
    • 4:30 a.m. - 7 a.m.
    • WEEK-NBC and WEEK-ABC
    • Starting August 1
  • 25 News Good Morning
    • Donnie Tillman & Meteorologist Joe Strus
    • WEEK-ABC
    • 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
    • Starting September 6
  • 25 News Midday
    • Erin Brown and Meteorologist Balint Szalavari
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 11 a.m. - noon
  • 25 News at Noon
    • Jessica Cook and Meteorologist Brian Walder
    • WEEK-NBC
    • Noon - 1 p.m.
  • 25 News at 4
    • Jenise Rebholz, Kyle Beachy and Meteorologist Brian Walder
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Starting September 12
  • 25 News at 5
    • Amber Krycka, Tyler Lopez and Meteorologist Chuck Collins
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • 25 News at 5:30
    • Kyle Beachy, Amber Krycka and Meteorologist Brian Walder
    • WEEK-ABC
    • 5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
    • Starting September 12
  • 25 News at 6
    • Amber Krycka, Tyler Lopez, and Meteorologist Chuck Collins
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • 25 News at 6:30
    • Jenise Rebholz, Tyler Lopez and Meteorlogist Brian Walder
    • WEEK-ABC
    • 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    • Starting September 12
  • 25 News at 10
    • Amber Krycka, Tyler Lopez, Meteorologist Chuck Collins and Jim Mattson
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 10 p.m. - 10:35 p.m.
  • 25 News Saturday Today
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 6 a.m. - 8 a.m.
    • Starting October 1
  • 25 News at 6 (Saturday)
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • 25 News at 6:30 (Saturday)
    • WEEK-ABC
    • 6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    • Starting December
  • 25 News at 10 (Saturday)
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 10 p.m. - 10:35 p.m.
  • 25 News Sunday Today
    • WEEK-NBC
    • 6 a.m. - 8 a.m.
    • Starting October 2
  • 25 News at 6:30 (Sunday)
    • WEEK-ABC
    • 5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • 25 News at 10 (Sunday)
    • WEEK-NBC
    • WEEK-ABC during Sunday Night Football nights
    • 10 p.m. - 10:35 p.m.

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