The Cities

Volunteers Needed

We are looking for volunteers to assist us with The Wall That Heals exhibit, coming in July. Learn more


Programming Schedule Monthly Highlights WQPT KIDS Shows Whitney Reynolds Support WQPT About WQPT Contact Us

Out and About
Get WQPT in your inbox
Find us online

Local. Relevant. Informative.

Thursdays at 7:00pm.
(Encore presentation on Sundays at 4:00pm.)

Hosted by Jim Mertens, The Cities has aired more than 300 episodes. Each installment brings viewers both regional and national guest who discuss a variety of topics—all of which provide a unique, and often regional, perspective. Each episode features upcoming regional events and activities during the Out and About segment.

Recently on The Cities

Jim talks with Regional Development Authority president Matt Mendenhall and Scott County Regional Authority president Barry Anderson. Plus, River Action program director Laura Morris. discusses the 13th annual "Explore the River" series


Program Archives

Looking for a specific guest or topic? Simply use the search tool (located at the top right of this page), enter your search criteria and click the appropriate link.
View the 2016 archives or our 2014–15 archives.


The Cities is sponsored by:

Singh Group

The Cities 2017

Looking for a specific guest or topic? Simply use the search tool (located at the top right of this page), enter your search criteria and click the appropriate link. View our 2016 archives or 2014–15 archives.

June 2017





Jim talks with Regional Development Authority president Matt Mendenhall and Scott County Regional Authority president Barry Anderson. Plus, River Action program director Laura Morris discusses the 13th annual "Explore the River" series.


^ Back to Top

May 2017





Jim talks with Bishop Martin John Amos of the Davenport Catholic Diocese on his retirement. Plus KwikStar Criterium organizer John Harrington of the Quad City Bicycle Club and Robin Rollins, organizer of the Koehler Electric Kids' Race talk about this year’s races.






Regional law enforcement officials discuss the recent increase of car thefts. Plus, explore the current trend of consumers buying directly from food growers.






East Moline and Rock Island-Milan school superintendents discuss balancing school budgets during the state of Illinois budget standoff. Plus Georgia Stear of the Putnam Museum and Ray Wolf who will be a Pollinator Presenter talk about pollinators and their value to our ecosystem.






Jim talks with Illinois State Representatives Tony McCombie, Savanna, and Mike Halpin, Rock Island about budget talks in Springfield. Plus Cheri Stanton and Rick Schomer, discuss an event to help veterans dealing with depression.


^ Back to Top

April 2017





Jim talks with Scott Crane, United Way President and Denise Beenk of Vera French Mental Health Center about the Independent Health Assessment report for the Quad Cities. Plus Jason Gilliland, Downtown Davenport Partnership.






Jim talks with Mary Pruess, WQPT General Manager and Jay Pearce, WVIK General Manager about funding for PBS/NPR stations and the potential impact on local stations. Plus Lavetta Morgan of the Blong Technology Center.






Jim talks about Child Abuse Prevention Month with Mark Mathews, Executive Director and Michael Terry, Director of Programs of the Child Abuse Council. Daniel Sheridan, Executive Director of the Davenport Junior Theatre talks about summer classes and workshops along with funding to modernize the theatre.






Jim talks with Rock Island Mayor-elect Mike Thoms and Moline Mayor-elect Stephani Acri. Plus, it's time to play ball at Modern Woodman Park when Jim is joined by Andrew Chesser of the Quad Cities River Bandits.

^ Back to Top

March 2017





Jim talks with the candidates running for Mayor of Rock Island, Steve Tollenaer, Mike Thoms, Terry Brooks and Andy Rowe.






Meet Moline, Illinois mayoral candidates Stephanie Acri and Scott Raes. Plus Gary Rowe talks about the Autism Society of the Quad Cities.






Iowa Govenor Terry Branstad discusses the state's financial situation, and his nomination as US Ambassador to China. Also, Kurt Liske of Waste Commission of Scott County discusses a new kind of Xstream Cleanup and how viewers can get involved.






Jim sits down to talk with Reggie Freeman, East Moline Mayor-Elect Reggie Freeman talks with Jim about his vision for East Moline. Reverend P. Wonder Harris (The Village of a Thousand Elders) and Detective Scott Williams (Moline Police Department) talk about the ongoing mission to improve race relations and limit racial bias by police in the Quad Cities.






Jim talks with former Iowa State Senator Maggie Tinsman about getting more women involved in government. Plus Ben Crabb and Johnnie Cluney of Daytrotters kick of a weekend of music.

^ Back to Top

February 2017





Jim talks with Dr. Art Tate, Superintendent of Davenport Schools to talk about his fight with the State to get more money for Davenport students. Tar Macias, Vibrant Neighborhoods Coordinator for WQPT discusses the new initiative.






Jim sits down with DeAnne Bloomberg, Rock Island County Farm Bureau Manager and Jeff Kirwan, Illinois Farm Bureau Board Member to talk about new trade deals and how that might impact the American farmer. Kirk Marske of Career Cruising Quad Cities discusses the grant and scholarship opportunities.






Jim talks with Imam Saad Baig of the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities about the Muslim faith, the current political climate and how we can all work together for better understanding.






Jim talks with "Suspect Convictions" journalist Scott Reeder and producer Lacy Scarmana about their podcast dealing with the murder case of Jennifer Lewis. Ryan Collins of the Midwest Writing Center discusses Iowa's budget cut plan will affect the arts in Iowa.

^ Back to Top

January 2017





Jim talks with the two candidates for Jim Lykams seat in the Iowa House of Representatives: Mike Gonzales (R) and Monica Kurth (D,) for the Iowa 89th House Seat discuss the issues. Alan Campbell of CommUniversity encourages you take advantage of the courses offered during the month of February as they kick off their 37th year.






Jim sits down with Sean Moeller about the upcoming GAS Feed and Seed Festival, a three day music fest coming to the Village of East Davenport. Plus, Lora Adams, co-founder of the new Black Box Theatre in downtown Moline talks about the upcoming season.






Jim discusses the Illinois budget crisis with Dr. Jack Thomas of Western Illinois University President and how it affects educational institution. Raschel Biagioli from Two Rivers YMCA provides insight into how you can keep those New Year’s resolutions for better health.






Jim talks with Bettendorf Police Department Chief Phil Redington about human trafficking here in the Quad Cities. Illinois Representative Elect Tony McCombie (R) Savanna, and Illinois Representative Elect Mike Halpin (D) Moline, talk about their plans as they prepare to represent the QCA in Springfield.

^ Back to Top


About the host

Jim MertensAlong with his duties on The Cities Jim Mertens is a news anchor on WQAD (ABC affiliate) in the Quad Cities.

Before coming to the Quad Cities, Jim worked at WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo, Michigan as an anchor and reporter for six years. Prior to that, Jim was an anchor and reporter for seven years at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Jim started his career in radio in 1978 at WFON-FM in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He later joined WAXX/WAYY Radio Stations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he would worked as an overnight Country music announcer before joining the station’s radio news department as a reporter and anchor.

Jim has received numerous reporting awards from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. His long-form reporting earned him first place awards with the Iowa Associated Press, the Iowa Broadcast News Association, and the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. Jim has been president of the Iowa Broadcast News Association, as well as the Northwest Broadcast News Association.