Plains ownership of WICS would come to a close in 1986 when the NBC affilaite in the Illinois state capitol city was sold to Guy Gannett Publications of Portland, Maine.

It's unknown why the Balabans held onto the Champaign property.

The owners of Plains Television Partners were Harry and Elmer Balaban, the two younger brothers of Barney Balaban, who was the head of Paramount Pictures during the 1940's and 50's.

Besides ownership of the two central Illinois TV stations, the Balaban brothers' company, H and E Balaban Corporation entered into a partnership in 1959 with Transcontinental Properties to purchase WNBC-TV, Channel 30 from NBC.

Along with television, Elmer Balaban also owned a number of local radio stations in medium size markets around the country.

By 1978, WHNB-TV was sold to Viacom, while the Balabans retained their Plains Television Partners stations WICS and WICD.

Hickman went on to become a sportscaster with CNN for a number of years.

Pictured is the weekend sportscaster Dave Miller with weekend news anchor Bob Sullinger.“Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom” would follow at 5pm, then the NBC national newscast before prime time and “Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.” After the 10pm local newscast, both WICS/WICD would follow, more than likely, with the broadcast of yet another TV movie before sign-off.Weekday programming in 1979 on WICS included the typical NBC daytime schedule of game and daytime dramas and locally originated off network television series from the 60's and 70's.The call letters of WNBC-TV were transferred soon after to NBC's network o-and-o in New York in 1960.At that time the stations call letters were changed to WHNB-TV.Most were from the former ABC “Movie of the Week” TV movie catalog of films.