The Cities

Local. Relevant. Keeping You Informed.

Recently on The Cities with Jim Mertens

The Cities host Jim Mertens interviews Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Then JIm discusses the Genesius Guild, an adult community theatre organization specializing in free classical drama, with Doug Tschoop and Don Wooten.(Original Air Date: 7/7/16)


About The Cities

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

Hosted by Jim Mertens, The Cities has aired more than 270 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.

In addition, each episode features upcoming regional events and activities during the Out and About segment. Featured guests are announced shortly before the program airs. Sign up for our e-News for program information.

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 2014–15 archives.


The Cities is sponsored by:

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Singh Group



This season on The Cities

Below are episodes from our current season.

June 2016





Project Now Executive Director Maureen Hart talks about challenges due to the Illinois Budget impasse. Dougal Nelson of Habitat for Humanity discusses breaking ground on the 100th home. Plus Tim Schiffer Executive Director of the Figge Art Museum talks with Jim about their “Wizard of Oz” exhibit.






Jim has a full table with Brian Ritter of Nahant Marsh and Kraig McPeek of the US Fish and Wildlife Service about the Pollinators Conference. Plus Lori Hopper talks about the Quad City Air Show and its future. Karen McFarland from the Mississippi Valley Blues Society who discusses the upcoming concerts in LeClaire Park.






Jim sits down to talk with Reverend Troy Winder of Churches United about the recent attack in Orlando. Illinois State Representative Mike Smiddy brings us up-to-date on the Illinois budget impasse. And Neil West discusses automobiles.


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May 2016





Jim talks with Rock Island Alderwoman Katie Hotle and Rock Island Urban Planner Brandy Howe about designs to upgrade the Great River Plaza.






Rock Island County Administrator Dave Ross talks about his plan to raise taxes, cut staff, and dig the County out of a fiscal hole.

Becoming a better Senior. Iowa's AAPR Director Kent Sovern says older Americans need to get more involved, not less, as they get older.






Iowa Representative Dave Loebsack talks with Jim about politics. Roger Ruthhart, co-author of Citadel of Sin discusses the jazz age and prohibition.


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April 2016





We look deeper into the tragedy of child abuse and why perpetrators are so good at being so bad. Plus, fighting the Emerald Ash Borer while helping out Emeis Park.






Rock Island Community Caring Conference members Phillip Dennis and Mattie Seward talk with Jim about re-invigorating the CCC and "block clubs," and trying to get people to have a greater stake in their neighborhoods. Dan Breidenstein of Living Lands and Waters discusses their emphasis on removing invasive species and volunteers needed for the upcoming Acorn Planting.






Latrice Lacey of the Davenport Civil Rights Commission sits down with Jim to talk about housing discrimination. Lisa Powell Williams of the Moline Public Library discusses the libraries “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” exhibit and special events in April.

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March 2016





Pastor Daniel Teague, Jr., Founder of “Boots on the Street” talks about his new program geared at creating relationships with area youth. What is happening as the grassroots group reaches the 6 month mark? Plus, Kim Findlay from the Putnam Museum discusses the King Tut exhibit and kids programming for the summer.






Jennifer Streets from the Vera French Community Mental Health Center and Christine Schmidt from the "It's All Love, Only Love" talk about teen suicide and depression. Charlotte Doehler-Morrison talks about "Quad City Live" month-long celebration.






Jim talks with Gena McCullough, Bi-State Regional Planning Commission about our transportation needs in the future. Benjamin Loeb, Executive Director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra brings us up-to-date on all of the music coming in April.






Jim talks Doug House, Rock Island County Democratic Chairman and Bill Bloom, Rock Island County Republican Chairman about the Illinois primary results. Tony Knobbe of the "Gathering of the Green" brings us up-to-date about this weekends event for John Deere enthusiasts. Kim Riley-Quinn, Quad Cities United Program Director discusses the upcoming concert at the Adler Theatre.






Jim chats with Dr. Al Goldfarb, Western Illinois University President Emeritus about his upcoming lecture "The Greatest Influences on My Academic and Administrative Career." Plus Blair Brown of Alcohol and Drug Dependency Service Gambling Treatment talks about "Problem Gambling Awareness Month."

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February 2016





Jim talks with Rock Island County Board Members Drue Mielke and Kai Swanson about the proposed new courthouse addition. Steve Heston, Mississippi Valley Blues Society President announces that the Blues Fest is back and better than ever.






Jim talks with Davenport School Board Vice President Rich Clewell about students recent visit to Des Moines and Governor Branstad and their “We aren’t Worth Less” initiative. Adam Cerny and Thomas Alan Taylor, stars of “Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story” discuss the musical and their research into the real Leopold and Loeb and the “Crime of the Century.”






Jim is joined by Moline Mayor Scott Raes to talk about Amtrak, road construction and how the state budget impasse is effecting Moline. DeAnne Bloomberg of the Rock Island County Farm Bureau discusses the state of farming. Sean Moeller of Daytroller talks about the new studio, and Daytrotter Downs.






Jim talks with Rock Island County Republican Party Chairman Bill Bloom and Porter McNeil about the early caucus states and upcoming Illinois primary. Plus, Melissa Mohr, Figge Museum Director of Education talks about Grant Wood's 125th birthday.

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January 2016





Jim is visited by Dr. Jack Thomas Western Illinois University President to talk about how Illinois’ failure to pass a budget is impacting the University. Sharon Patten from Intouch Adult Day Care discusses how the program was set to close due to the Illinois budget crisis but has now been purchased.






Jim sits down with Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to talk about the Governor's "Condition of the State" address, STEM education and more. Jamie Lange and Michael Carton of WQPT discuss Champagne on the Rock and the upcoming Kids Writers Contest.






Jim talks about the approaching deadline to sign up for health insurance with Thea Hansen from "The Project of the Quad Cities", an organization coordinating counseling for Marketplace health insurance enrollment for Illinois residents. Also, Kurt Liske of the Iowa Firearms Coalition discusses why existing gun laws are enough.






Jim sits down to talk with Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson and Illinois State Representative Mike Smiddy about the upcoming legislative session and whether or not a budget can be passed. Also, Niabi Zoo Education Director, Jill Rodderick talks about Bald Eagle Days.

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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.