About WGEMThe license for WGEM-TV was initially issued to Quincy Broadcasting Co., which was controlled by the Quincy Herald-Whig; it was assigned channel 10. From the beginning, the station was connected with NBC and ABC and was represented by Walker Representation Co. T. C. Oakley was Quincy Broadcasting's president at the time, and Joe Bonansinga was the station's first general manager. On July 27, 1953, the station acquired their DuMont transmitters on the same truck as neighbouring KHQA-TV (channel 7). The crews fought to see who could fly first. On September 4, 1953, WGEM began an interim transmission of two hours every night.
WGEM shared its secondary ABC affiliation with CBS affiliate KHQA-TV in the 1960s. This arrangement ended in 1969, when WJJY-TV in Jacksonville, Illinois, became Quincy's ABC affiliate; when WJJY went bankrupt and shut down in 1971, WGEM resumed running a few ABC programming until the mid-1990s. Between 1990 until 1994, the station held a secondary affiliation with Fox, after which it shifted its Fox affiliation to a separate cable-only channel. WGEM-TV is one of the few and longest-running television stations in the US that has maintained the same call letters, owner, channel number, and principal network affiliation throughout its existence.
Since the mid-to-late 1990s, WGEM has only used its call letters to identify itself.