Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Randy Eccles named WUIS general manager, Bill Wheelhouse to become Food Desk executive editor

University of Illinois Springfield public radio station WUIS has entered the next phase of its commitment to inform the community with the creation of the WUIS Food Desk and the assignment of a dedicated journalist to the beat. Bill Wheelhouse initiated the move from his current position as general manager to become an executive editor assigned to the WUIS Food Desk. Randy Eccles will serve as general manager.

The WUIS Food Desk is the result of a “Desk Initiative” to increase local/regional reporting capacity. This expansion is being funded through a mix of grants, business support, and major gifts. GROWMARK is one of the first business supporters to sign on as WUIS seeks additional funding to sustain the Food Desk initiative. WUIS is also seeking funding to hire a reporter for an education desk.

In addition, WUIS had become a partner and sub-grantee in the Harvest Public Media network (harvestpublicmedia.org). Harvest is a Local Journalism Center (LJC) funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s (CPB). This collaboration will extend the reach of stories throughout the Midwest and, on occasion, nationally.

With Wheelhouse’s shift back to reporting, current development director Randy Eccles will serve as WUIS’ general manager. Eccles noted, “The addition of the Food Desk to our Statehouse Bureau and local news coverage will provide listeners with more information to make choices about what we eat and to better understand one of the biggest businesses in central Illinois.”

WUIS is central Illinois’ source for NPR. WUIS content is available from Springfield at 91.9 FM, 91.9-1 HD, in west-central Illinois at 89.3 FM; and streamed worldwide at WUIS.org and on the NPR mobile app. WUIS broadcasts two additional HD Radio channels, the all-classical WUIS Classic at 91.9-2 HD and the adult alternative WUIS Xponential at 91.9-3 HD. These are also streamed at WUIS.org. The listener-supported media outlet’s mission is to enrich central Illinois through independent journalism, arts programming and community outreach. For the program schedule, events, and other information, call the station at (217) 206-WUIS (9847) or visit WUIS.org. WUIS is a community service of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest. The other Harvest Public Media partners include Iowa Public Radio; NET, which operates public TV and radio networks statewide in Nebraska; KBIA in Columbia, Missouri; WUIS in Springfield, Illinois; and KUNC in Greeley, Colorado.

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