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Regional topics and issues
on WQPT PBS.

Hosted by Jim Mertens this program focuses on the issues facing the communities of Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa. The series also explores topics of national importance. Guests discuss a variety of topics with a unique and local focus along with a community calendar (Out and About) featuring  events, exhibits and other activities happening throughout the region.

Airing Thursdays at 7:00PM.
*Encore airing on Sundays at 4:00PM.

Episodes of The Cities are also available for streaming.
WQPT Video           YouTube

Find out what's happening in the region

Visit Quad Cities

Recent Episodes

May 5

After a leaked Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, America's highest court faces the biggest backlash in a generation. How did we get to this point? Jim talks with Richard J. (Rick) Hardy, Western Illinois University Professor of Political Science. Plus, Kirby Winn of ImpactLife discusses how blood from our region may be the greatest gift to the people of Ukraine.

May 5

Guests: Erica Lee, Safer Foundation; and Beck Castaneda, Clock, Inc.

April 28

Guests: Jon Gainer, Kontaktmission; and Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development Director.

April 21

Guests: Illinois State Senator Win Stoller (R); Stewart Carter, Twin Torch Foundation; and filmmaker Brooke Bierhaus.

March 14

Guests: Janet Hill, MPH. Chief Operating Officer and Public Information Officer, Rock Island County Health Department; and Captain Ron Pettigrew, Director of Western Illinois University Veterans Resource Center.

April 7

Guests: Dr. Trent Ford Illinois State Climatologist; and Maria Ramos Aguilar WIU Small Business Development Advisor.

March 31

Guests: Mike Naig, Iowa Agriculture Secretary; and Matthew Hughes Bison Bridge Foundation.

March 24

Guests: Kelly Rundle, Fourth Wall Films; and Professor Richard Filipink, Ph.D., Western Illinois University

March 17

Guests: Bishop Louis Tylka, Roman Catholic Church Bishop; and William Polley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics, Western Illinois University

March 10

Guests: Dr. Kurt Anderson, Senior Vice President, Physician Operations and Chief Medical Officer, Genesis Health System; and Dr. Keith Boeckelman, Western Illinois University Political Science Professor and Chair.

March 3

Guests: Dr. Andre Audette, Professor of Political Science at Monmouth College; and Stephanie Hintermeister, National Association of Women in Construction.

Episodes of The Cities are also available for streaming.
WQPT Video           YouTube

Recent Archives

February 24

Guests: Christine McDonough, Food Rescue Partnership; and Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State..

February 17

Guests: Colonel Jesse T. Curry, Commander and District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District; and Christine Haley, State Homelessness Chief for the Illinois Department of Human Services.

February 3

Guests: Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health; and Matt Trimble, Scott County Democratic Party Chair.

January 27

Guests: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R); and Dr. Andrew Baker, Director of the Western Illinois University Agriculture Department.

Jim Mertens

About Jim Mertens

Along with his duties on The Cities, Jim is a WQAD (ABC) news anchor. Before relocating to the Quad Cities, he was employed by 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. He began his professional career in radio in 1978 at WFON-FM in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Jim has received numerous awards for his journalistic reporting. His Long-form journalism has earned him first place awards with the Iowa Associated Press, the Iowa Broadcast News Association, and the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. He was former president of the Iowa Broadcast News Association, as well as the Northwest Broadcast News Association.