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

Rich Egger

Mayor Mike Inman said businesswoman Kay Ruggles brought the idea for Flags of Love to Macomb after seeing a similar display in southeast Iowa.  Inman said the original goal was to fly 100 American flags in Chandler Park.

When reporters and editors at DNAinfo-Gothamist voted to join a union, owner Joe Ricketts shut down the operation, which had newsrooms in New York City and Chicago.  All of the organization's content was removed from the web initially, though it was later restored.

A group called the Coalition to Save Local Media formed specifically to oppose the Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed purchase of Tribune Media for $3.9 billion.  The Coalition contends the merger would hurt consumers by increasing prices while at the same time decreasing choices for local content.

The enrollment period is now open for getting coverage from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The signup up period is just six weeks rather than twelve like previous years and ends December 15, 2017.

Courtesy of the artist

The current exhibit at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth features the works of surrealist painter James Walker Henry of Burlington, Iowa.  He's especially pleased to be showing some of his larger works.

Rich Egger

State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) gathered supporters outside the McDonough County Courthouse on a gray and chilly November morning.  Macomb Mayor Mike Inman stood alongside local Republican leaders including County Board Chair Scott Schwerer and Sheriff Rick VanBrooker. The crowd applauded as Hammond delivered the news they came to hear.

Fake News is No Treat

Oct 31, 2017

On this Halloween edition of Shop Talk, the panelists say the concept of "fake news" is one of the scariest things happening to journalism today.

Rich Egger

The concept of the Community First project in Macomb became public a couple years ago. The partners believe they’re now close to deciding whether that concept will become a reality.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton feels product placement during newscasts has gotten out of hand.  She said the wall between news and sales has gotten so thin that you can see through it.

Who is a Journalist?

Oct 18, 2017

A list of journalists arrested in the U.S. this year shows some are from well-known outlets such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Getty Images. Others are independent and freelance journalists, which got the Shop Talk crew wondering how to determine who qualifies to be called a journalist.

Rich Egger

The West Prairie District 103 Board of Education is working to address challenges and create a vision for the coming years, and it is asking for help from the public.

Rich Egger

Construction is complete on the greenhouse at Macomb High School, while construction is just getting started on the renovation project at Lincoln School.

Mark Twain deserves credit for the quote used in the headline, while journalists who report on someone's demise before it's confirmed discredit their industry.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University's strategic plan, Higher Values in Higher Education, states, "Western Illinois University's highest priority is to increase faculty and staff salaries to meet and exceed the mean of peer institutions."  Faculty members reminded the school's Board of Trustees of that goal during the Board's most recent meeting.

The Associated Press reported that government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities, and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests.

Communities around the globe hold Critical Mass bicycle rides.  Some of the events draw thousands of riders in large cities, while smaller communities such as Macomb sometimes attract just a handful.

The Poynter Institute reported on a project called Report for America that aims to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms in the next five years. According to Poynter, this is how RFA will work: 

Rich Egger

The Interfaith Alliance of Macomb hosted what it called a Community United Celebration in Chandler Park.  The idea was to promote peace, unity, and understanding.

Frontline, the outstanding public television documentary program, will do some audio-only documentaries as podcasts. The magazine Current reported on the story. Program producers told the magazine certain stories are meant to be told in the audio format rather than video. 

Rich Egger

A feasibility study commissioned by the Macomb Food Cooperative found that moving the group's store into a larger space in the near future would be too much, too soon.

The problems caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been well-covered in the media.  Meanwhile, wildfires have also caused destruction in parts of the U.S. but have not received as much coverage.

WIU

The WIU administration blames the uncertainty caused by the two year state budget impasse for this year's drop in enrollment.

Courtesy photo

Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation said new locomotives will be put into use on a number of routes, including the Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg service between Quincy and Chicago.

The Shop Talk panelists this week discuss news coverage of Hurricane Harvey and what it's like to report on a disaster.

Rich Egger

The superintendent of the Macomb School District told Tri States Public Radio that a new middle school will be built with or without the Community First project.

RTDNA recently ran a column from a contributor who recommends every reporter have a blog.  The author of the piece wrote that it's a chance for reporters to keep their creative writing skills sharp, given that a lot of news writing is churned out to ensure there is content for newscasts.

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.

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