WIU eliminating funding for WIUM/WIUW (our local public radio station)

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ST_Lawson
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:13 pm

Those of you who know me personally or have been reading my random babblings around here over the last handful of years or so know that I rarely get mad, but I am absolutely furious about this.
The university (BOT) has decided to eliminate funding for our local public radio station, WIUM/WIUW. This will essentially kill WIUM because Macomb and the surrounding area is not populous enough to sustain a public radio station without external funding.

WIUM gave me my first radio job as a student worker at Western. It employed many friends of mine, both in college (I was a broadcasting major, so I was in classes with many of the student staff there), and in the years since. I spend every morning listening to Tri-States Public Radio while making breakfast and lunch for my kids, catching up on what's happened in local, national, and international news. I spend a LOT of time on the internet...probably more than most people should (I am a web developer though, so it's kinda my job)...and there are still countless important news stories that I would have completely missed, especially ones that are either very local or are international, without TSPR.

I'm not a person who is going to tell you what to do, but I will be fighting this every way that I know how until the decision is changed. I will be posting information for those of you who choose to help as well. If you do not agree with this, feel free to ignore anything else that I post in this thread.

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wiu712
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:13 pm

WIU Eliminates Funding for Tri States Public Radio.

From Tri-States Public Radio, WIUM-FM:
http://www.tspr.org/post/wiu-eliminates ... blic-radio
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ST_Lawson
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:50 pm

I will be the first to admit that I have been negligent in renewing my support for TSPR. That changes today.

Step 1 for anyone else who wants to help...there's a nice little red "Donate" button in the top right of this page: http://www.tspr.org/
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wiu712
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:17 pm

WIU cuts funding for public radio station.

From the Peoria Journal-Star:
http://www.pjstar.com/news/20180817/wiu ... io-station
wiu712
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:33 pm

Long time Western fans will remember that WIUM (91.3 FM) was originally WWKS -- named for William Kimbrough Shake, who installed the equipment.

The station's first home in 1956 was in Tillman Hall. The station moved to Memorial Hall in 1962.

WWKS became WIUM in 1970.

The history of Tri-States Public Radio:
http://www.tspr.org/about-us
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ST_Lawson
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:11 pm

wiu712 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:33 pm
The history of Tri-States Public Radio:
http://www.tspr.org/about-us
"1990- Production of Rural Route 3 begins. The award-winning live performance series is distributed to public radio stations nationwide throughout the decade."

One of my jobs when I was working there was as a stage manager for RR3. Met some amazing musicians, both local and more "national" including a guy named Martin Sexton who was just starting to hit it big in the folk/blues circuit. A few years later I heard a couple of his songs on TV shows that I was watching (I know one was in the show Scrubs). https://www.npr.org/artists/14956393/martin-sexton

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Tere North
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Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:24 pm

Scott,
I'm going to guess that part of the reasoning has to do with TriStates WIUM FM91.3 being a NPR affiliate staffed with full-time professionals compared to the student-run 88.3FM WIUS-TheDog where broadcasting and other interested students can gain experience?

No, I'm not saying TriStates is a bad thing, just looking at the educational mission of WIU.

However, this should have been explained, not just an announced budget elimination.

~tere
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ST_Lawson
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Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:18 am

Tere North wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:24 pm
Scott,
I'm going to guess that part of the reasoning has to do with TriStates WIUM FM91.3 being a NPR affiliate staffed with full-time professionals compared to the student-run 88.3FM WIUS-TheDog where broadcasting and other interested students can gain experience?

No, I'm not saying TriStates is a bad thing, just looking at the educational mission of WIU.

However, this should have been explained, not just an announced budget elimination.

~tere
Yes, there are full-time staff members at TSPR, but they do also have multiple student positions (currently 3 students in the BC&J department work there). I was a student worker there and I know a decent number of successful alumni who gained experience in the broadcasting/journalism fields as students working at WIUM.
Scott Lawson - Board Admin
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wiu712
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Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:39 am

Headline story in today's McDonough County Voice:

WIU cutting funding to Tri States Public Radio.
http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/2018 ... blic-radio
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sealhall74
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Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:21 am

NPR gets a small amount of funding from CPB which gets a miniscule amount of funding from the federal govt. Let me define miniscule. CPB gets about $450M per year out of a budget of $4T. If I did the math right, it is 0.0001125%, more or less a rounding error. With the spread of misinformation amongst social media sites and even a few traditional news sources, we need to put way more money into our trusted sources. NPR can proudly boast as being the most trusted source in the land. Political campaigns should be getting some but not a lot of free air time on NPR and Public TV to spread there messages as elections approach. Lord help us if we base our decisions on the troll-driven social media sites.
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