Shop Talk - March 9
Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss Quincy University's decision to fire three people at its public radio station in order to make the operation "more community-supported." One of the people let go is the news and public affairs director.
The university says it is working on an agreement with WGEM to provide operational and technical support for the station.
The changes will take place around June 1.
The panelists question whether the station can serve the community with a staff of student reporters who have no guidance or direction from a news director. QU says an average of 12 students are trained in the station's internship program each semester.
The panelists also wonder what the station will do to provide local programming.
Here is the entire news release from Quincy University:
QU TO MAKE PUBLIC STATION MORE COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED
In an effort to reallocate resources to support the teaching and learning mission of the institution, Quincy University announced today its intent to negotiate an agreement with local media broadcast company WGEM, to provide operational and technical support for its public radio station, WQUB-FM.
The agreement aligns with Quincy University's focus of moving WQUB toward a more community-supported model through underwriting and listener support. WQUB-FM continues to seek additional relationships in which other institutions can assist in defraying the costs of operating the station.
Quincy University will remain as the owner and licensee of the station and retain responsibility for programming decisions. The University also will continue to train its communication students in radio broadcast.
WQUB's programming format and National Public Radio affiliation will remain mostly unchanged for the 28,000 watts public station that transmits its signal through a University-owned tower located at North Campus.
"WQUB's primary mission is unchanged. We remain committed to educating our students while providing quality public radio programming to the surrounding community. With WGEM's wide expertise in media broadcast, we can redirect our operational focus to the academic mission of WQUB which is to provide our students with real-world training," said Robert Weirather, station manager of WQUB.
By providing engineering support from the WGEM studios located in downtown Quincy, this allows the area currently occupied by WQUB on the second-floor of Francis Hall to be converted into much needed classroom space as a result of increased student enrollment and record retention rates. With the change, Quincy University will retain three positions for WQUB responsible for overall station management, technical support and funding support.
Learning opportunities for students in the communication department remains a top priority for Quincy University. On average, 12 Quincy University students are trained in WQUB's internship program each semester. A smaller studio area will be kept on campus while the Department of Fine Arts and Communication will assume a larger role in the educating of communication students.
"We are making a sincere effort to make WQUB a more viable public radio station that will continue to inform and entertain our community listeners," said Weirather.
The move will take place beginning on or about Tuesday, June 1.
WQUB began in 1948 as a carrier-current station called WWQC-FM. In April 1974, the station began broadcasting over the air with 10 watts of power using the 90.3 FM channel. Today, WQUB broadcasts high-definition digital signals to nine counties in the western Illinois and northeastern Missouri region. The station is streamed online and available on three HD channels.
Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University's intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women.
For more information, please contact the Quincy University office of communications by calling (217) 228-5275.