Listeners and readers will hear and see several familiar voices and names popping up in new places on WGLT and WCBU.
The changes stem in part from the retirement of Program Director Mike McCurdy after 29 years of service to WGLT in Bloomington-Normal and, more recently, WCBU in Peoria. They reflect WGLT and WCBU’s ongoing commitment to public media as an essential public service—available to all only because of community support.
Moving into new roles:
- Ryan Denham, who has led WGLT’s digital efforts, will serve as Content Director for both stations.
- Jon Norton is the new Audio Director for both stations. Jon continues as Morning Edition
- Ariele Jones, a longtime part-time host of Highway 309 and Center Stage, will join the staff full-time. Ariele will host All Things Considered.
- Joe Deacon, a veteran reporter in central Illinois, recently joined the WCBU Newsroom.
- Dana Vollmer, who trained as a Statehouse reporter, recently shifted from the WCBU to WGLT Newsroom. Dana also delivers the news every day during Morning Edition.
Now, both stations are looking to the future, including plans to address several unfilled Reporter positions in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal newsrooms.
But that’s contingent on community support. The pandemic has created financial challenges for central Illinois businesses and organizations – an important source of revenue for WGLT and WCBU through corporate support. Our stations’ development team is redoubling its efforts to stabilize and grow corporate support and individual-giving revenue, plus find alternate revenue streams.
“I’m very excited about the team we’ve put together at both WCBU and WGLT,” said general manager R.C. McBride. “Professional local news has never been more important, and our user data over the last six months show us as much. But for us to continue – and grow – this essential public service, community financial support is critical."
WGLT is an NPR member public radio station licensed to Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, and is part of ISU's School of Communication. Featuring a news format during the week and a mix of news, entertainment, and music on the weekends, WGLT's local news team has been honored with scores of regional and national honors for excellence by The Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards. WGLT's website has been recognized two years running as Illinois' best local news site, and the station also produces Bloomington-Normal's only daily news podcast, The Leadoff.
WCBU is Peoria's NPR member public radio station, licensed to Bradley University and managed by Illinois State University's WGLT. WCBU offers news programming from NPR and BBC during the week and a mix of entertainment, music, and news on the weekends. The station also features an award-winning website with a heavy emphasis on news in the Tri-County area and produces Peoria’s first and only daily news podcast, On Deck.