WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Rich Egger

News Director

Rich is the News Director at Tri States Public Radio. Rich grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago but now calls Macomb home. Rich has a B.A in Communication Studies with an Emphasis on Radio, TV, and Film from Northern Illinois University. Rich came to love radio in high school where he developed his “news nerdiness” as he calls it. Rich’s high school had a radio station called WFVH, which he worked at for a couple years. In college, Rich worked at campus station WKDI for three years, spinning tunes and serving at various times as General Manager, Music Director and Operations Manager. Before being hired as Tri States Public Radio’s news director in 1998, Rich worked professionally in news at WRMN-AM/WJKL-FM in Elgin and WJBC-AM in Bloomington. In Rich’s leisure time he loves music, books, cross-country skiing, rooting for the Cubs and Blackhawks, and baking sugar frosted chocolate bombs. His future plans include “getting some tacos.”

Ways to Connect

In the Washington Post, media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote about what she called the false equivalency presidency of Donald Trump.  She wrote, "During the 2016 presidential campaign, the national news media's misguided sense of fairness helped equate the serious flaws of Hillary Clinton with the disqualifying evils of Donald Trump."

The Solar Eclipse in the Tri States

Aug 21, 2017
Rich Egger

More than 90% of the sun was covered by the moon at the height of Monday's solar eclipse in the tri states.  Overcast skies generally obscured the eclipse, though occasional breaks in the clouds gave people glimpses of the phenomenon. 

The State of Western Illinois University

Aug 17, 2017
Rich Egger

The President of Western Illinois University said it's time to put apprehension behind and move forward with enthusiasm and optimism. Dr. Jack Thomas made the remark during Thursday morning's State of the University speech, held just a few days before the new school year begins.

Rich Egger

The Buchanan Center for the Arts is in a building that dates back to 1870. The first floor was a commercial space when the building debuted; the second floor was the first "people’s library" in the state of Illinois.

Al Tompkins and Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute say they've both covered hate groups and they're offering some advice for journalists.  They shared their thoughts in an article that's the subject of this week's Shop Talk.

Curtis Bisbee

Fitness centers are devoted to physical health. But your mind needs to be kept healthy too. That's the premise behind a series of training programs to be held in Macomb. 

MarketWatch reported that a survey by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri found The Economist is the most trusted news source in the U.S.  Other news organizations that fared well in the survey include NPR, Reuters, the BBC, and The Wall Street Journal.

Image taken from NASA.gov

The upcoming phenomenon in the tri states region won’t quite be a total solar eclipse but it will come close. It will begin late in the morning on Monday, August 21.  At 1:15 p.m. in Macomb, the eclipse will reach its peak when 95.2% of the sun’s surface will appear to be covered by the moon.

Wikimedia Commons

The McDonough County Health Department said West Nile virus season has arrived.  The agency said there is no need for alarm but it wants people to be aware of the presence of mosquitoes carrying the virus.

Keeping It Civil

Aug 1, 2017

A recent case of animal cruelty in western Illinois sparked an onslaught of angry social media comments on the websites for some news organizations.  People called for all manner of retribution against the person accused of the crime. A television station felt compelled to post a piece urging people to show some restraint and not become an online lynch mob.

Rich Egger

The city of Macomb recently acquired the rundown building at the corner of Jackson and McArthur Streets. The city is just starting the process of turning around the building but a local group is already considering whether it's a suitable site for its store.

The Peoria Journal Star recently ran an article about changes in local TV newsrooms.  The piece quoted a member of management at one station who took young journalists to task.

Rich Egger

The Macomb and Western Illinois University communities gathered to celebrate the life of Gil Belles.  Belles, 76, was killed in late May when his car was hit by an Amtrak train.

The Poynter Institute reported on an appeals court ruling that found it is lawful for journalists and members of the public to video record police in public places. Journalism groups considered it a First Amendment issue.

Rich Egger

The city spent $2,500 to buy the west building of the Modern Home complex at 133 West Jackson Street. The city considers it a highly visible location – it's just a block west of the Courthouse Square – and it wants to prevent the building from falling into further disrepair.

Rich Egger

Aldermen are reviewing recommendations to close a projected $540,000 shortfall in the city's General Fund for the current fiscal year, which began May 1. 

Courtesy WIU

The budget approved by Illinois lawmakers provides Western Illinois University with funding for last fiscal year and the current fiscal year. Now university leaders will decide how to proceed.

A couple high profile defamation cases were back in the news during the latter half of June. One involved a lawsuit against ABC News. The other suit concerned Rolling Stone magazine.

Rich Egger (file photo)

The Illinois House passed a spending plan along with a tax hike and revenue plan as politicians try to end the two year budget stalemate.  Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) is one of the Republicans who broke ranks with their party and joined Democrats in supporting the measures.

The White House recently adopted what's described as a "screw the media" strategy to make it more difficult for journalists to do their jobs.  And the U.S. Senate took action to reduce media access to its members.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois Museum staged a historic documentary theater production about Josie Westfall.  She was the founder and matron of the McDonough County Orphanage.

Rich Egger

Members of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees said President Jack Thomas has done "an admirable job" of steering the university through difficult times brought on by the unprecedented state budget impasse. 

A recent commentary in the Columbia Journalism Review calls non-compete contracts "a silent scourge creeping around newsrooms."  The author argues such contracts might help corporate executives but do absolutely nothing for the reporters who are required to sign them.

Rich Egger

State spending on public higher education in Illinois has dropped precipitously during the past two years as the state has operated without a budget.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the school will not allow itself to be bogged down by the budget stalemate.

Rich Egger

Illinois' financial support for community colleges has declined in recent years, just as it has for four-year institutions. That's forcing many community colleges to raise the price of tuition, which Spoon River College President Curt Oldfield said makes it more difficult for the schools to serve their wide-ranging constituencies.

The FCC has proposed eliminating the main studio rule, which requires AM, FM, and TV stations to have a studio in or near the community they serve and to have a locally staffed office.

Rich Egger

Sheriff Rick VanBrooker said he will not run for re-election. VanBrooker was first elected in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and 2014. His current term expires November 30, 2018.

A recent TV News Check column suggests it's time to get rid of the "sweeps" ratings periods held in television four times a year.  The writer believes local newscasts should strive to deliver great reporting throughout the year instead of holding the best pieces for sweeps periods, which are used to set ad rates.

The National Press Club, the RTDNA, the Society of Professional Journalists, and nine other journalism groups say it's time to tone down the anti-news media rhetoric.  In particular they're calling out those in public office.

Emily Boyer

Gil Belles, age 76, professor emeritus of Western Illinois University's Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration (RPTA) department, was killed when his car collided with an Amtrak train.

Pages