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.”

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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.

Visionary or Pariah?

May 23, 2017

Roger Ailes, the former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, died May 18.  Depending on who you talk to, he's either praised for turning Fox News into a powerhouse that gave conservatives a major presence on cable television news or blamed for damaging journalism and civil discourse.

Plant a Seed Media

The psychologist and author spent a couple days in the Macomb School District talking to teachers, staff, and students about strategies for achieving success.  He also gave a public presentation geared to parents.

The Shop Talk panelists touch on several issues this week: Sinclair Broadcast Group's acquisition of more TV stations, layoffs at an Illinois newspaper, and the layoff notice given to a broadcast news educator.

Police departments can quickly disseminate information to the public through various social media sites.  That has the Shop Talk panel wondering whether journalists should de-emphasize their coverage of police blotter items.  The issue was also recently raised on the website for CJ&N, which is a media market research company.

Rich Egger

Researchers are trying to gain greater insights into why people experience different health outcomes.  A healthcare expert from Illinois believes those differences could be reduced through community coalitions.

The Metrics of News

May 2, 2017

Digital platforms provide media organizations with details about their online audiences.  The Shop Talk panelists this week talk about the pros and cons of having that information.

Emily Boyer/Tri States Public Radio

The Macomb Park District Board of Commissioners voted during a special meeting to withdraw from management of Glenwood Pool.  The pool is owned by the city and managed by the park district but the management pact ends on September 1.

A piece in the Huffington Post bemoans the state of journalism today.  Writer Lorraine Branham, Dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York, said journalism has faltered since the time when the Watergate investigation inspired her and many others to pursue a career in the field. 

Tim Rains/National Park Service/Wikimedia Commons

The coats of around 20 animal species go from brown in the summer to white in the winter.  Researchers are studying whether climate change is causing those animals to adapt.

For this week's program, News Director Rich Egger spoke with Alex Rodriguez, who's a member of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.  Rodriguez has also worked as a foreign correspondent for the Tribune and he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper.

Rich Egger

The city will hold a couple veterans-related events in the coming weeks.  They come on the heels of a gathering late last month that honored those who served in the Vietnam War.

The Washington Post reported that a group of reporters and editors from a high school newspaper in Kansas started looking into the background of the school's new head principal.  They found some discrepancies in her education credentials, did some more digging, found more problems with her resume, and published their findings.  A few days later, she resigned.

Emily Boyer

Suzan Nash's name is synonymous with the Western Illinois Regional Council. She came to the Macomb-based organization as an intern in 1977.  She was named its executive director in 1981 and led the organization until March 1, when she retired. 

Rich Egger

A Western Illinois University administrator said the school has enough money to make it through the Spring semester. But he's not saying much about the contingency plan WIU is developing in case the ongoing shortfall of state funding continues.

Public radio reporter Jacqui Helbert of WUTC said the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga fired her after being pressured by lawmakers who were upset that she did not identify herself while covering their meeting with a high school group.

The mayors of Galesburg and Monmouth turned back challenges to hold onto their offices.  Incumbents were re-elected to the Macomb Board of Education.  The mental health services referendum was approved in Knox County, but voters in Hancock County rejected a sales tax to pay for school facility needs.

McDonough County Sheriff's Department

Police said they took Kevin Corridon, 26, of 116 North Side Square in Macomb into custody without incident Wednesday morning.  He is charged with Felony Disorderly Conduct.

The public media magazine Current and other news outlets report President Donald Trump's proposed budget seeks to zero out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund public media outlets such as Tri States Public Radio.

Jane Carlson

Jeanie Plate, known to many commuters as the Good Hope crossing guard, passed away on the final day of February.  She was 73.  She became popular because of a simple gesture – she waved to each and every person driving by.

Some local television station newscasts are being anchored by journalists from outside the local market – in some cases, they're not even in the same state. The outsourcing saves money for corporate owners but the Shop Talk panelists feel the audience ends up paying the price.

Rich Egger

Three big box retail spaces will be empty along East Jackson Street in Macomb once the JC Penney store closes this spring. The head of the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO) views the vacancies as opportunities.

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