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 a piece for The Atlantic, Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, wrote journalists must fight back against what he called "the campaign to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media." He said the campaign against the media has its roots in the Nixon administration and achieved great success through the likes of Roger Ailes and his cohorts at the Fox News Channel.

The Shop Talk panelists look back at the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners in the U.S. Two of the jets took down the World Trade Center towers in New York City.  One plane was flown into the Pentagon.  Passengers on the fourth flight fought the hijackers and that plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania.

Bruce Morton

Bruce Morton said he was born and raised in the Hancock County community of Bowen (2010 census: 494).  He couldn’t wait to leave and lived for 30 years near Phoenix, Arizona.  But he moved back to Bowen in 2007 and is glad he did.

Rich Egger

Many small businesses struggle to achieve profitability. The situation is no different for the Macomb Food Co-op.

A video shows Denver police officers telling Susan Greene, editor of The Colorado Independent, that HIPPA supersedes the First Amendment as she tried to photograph them responding to a call on a public sidewalk. They then told Greene to "act like a lady" as they handcuffed and detained her.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees said in June it was working to finalize a new contract with WIU President Jack Thomas. The two sides now have agreed to continue operating under the terms reached when Dr. Thomas was named president seven years ago.

Rich Egger

The Board of Education approved the purchase of an eight-acre site on the south edge of the high school campus.  The district will pay $160,000 to acquire the land from Maple Avenue Christian Church.  The board also agreed to have the district buy the adjoining Youth for Christ house on Maple Avenue for $78,000 plus the cost of demolition.

The Shop Talk panelists continue a discussion from a couple weeks ago regarding statehouse and investigative journalism.  The panelists also talk about a poll that found 43% of self-identified Republicans said that they believed "the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior." Only 36% disagreed with that statement.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University administration and Board of Trustees caught an earful Friday morning about the decision to zero out funding for Tri States Public Radio.  But the comments did not persuade them to change course.

Tri States Public Radio last week reported on Western Illinois University's decision to zero out TSPR's funding as of March 1, 2019.  At least one WIU administrator was shocked the radio station reported the story.

Rich Egger

The buildings that once housed Kmart, JCPenney, and Farm King sit vacant on the city's east side, though the mayor said it's not from a lack of trying.

After his State of the University speech, Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas told reporters, "We have made cuts and we will have to continue to make those cuts and we will do the necessary things that we have to do."

The major party candidates for Illinois governor –Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker -- are spending huge amounts of their own money on their campaigns as well as down ballot contests.  Meanwhile, fewer reporters are based at the Illinois State Capitol to keep tabs on them. 

Rich Egger

The new school year begins August 20 at Western Illinois University -- less than two weeks from now.  But there is still no contract in place for President Jack Thomas (see editor's note below for update).

KTVU-TV, which serves the San Francisco Bay Area, was criticized for its coverage of the stabbing death of 18-year old Nia Wilson. Wilson and her sister, Lahtifa, were attacked aboard a Bay Area Rapid Transit train by a man who slashed them with a knife. 

Monmouth College

Monmouth College will offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs in Data Science, Engineering, and Neuroscience beginning in fall 2019. The college called the new programs part of a "major academic innovation" that responds to demand.

Rich Egger

The Macomb School District, the city of Macomb, McDonough District Hospital, and the YMCA of McDonough County have talked for several years about building a combination middle school and community center, a project called Community First.  It now looks like the school district is ready to move ahead on construction of a middle school with or without the partners.

Tronc recently slashed in half the newsroom at the New York Daily News, and the Belleville News-Democrat also announced the layoffs of veteran journalists.  The Belleville story hit Shop Talk panelist Will Buss especially hard because he worked at the paper until just a couple years ago.

Rich Egger

A high quality reproduction of a famous photo of Abraham Lincoln was unveiled during a brief ceremony at the McDonough County Courthouse. The image was captured by highly regarded photographer Alexander Hesler in Springfield in June, 1860, which is right after Lincoln won the Republican nomination for president.

Rich Egger

The federal government will make $366 million available for bus and bus facility projects across the country.  Macomb is interested in a share of that cash.

Rich Egger

Representatives from eight proposed businesses pitched their plans during the Downtown Macomb Retail Business Competition. Only one winner was chosen, but some of the other business plans could still come to fruition.

The Poynter Institute reports Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai questioned whether Sinclair Broadcast Group's deal to purchase Tribune Media involved a "possible sham transaction."

Rich Egger

Eight aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their business proposals to a panel of five judges Thursday evening in front of an auditorium full of supporters at The Forum in downtown Macomb.  It was winner-take-all for the $28,000 in cash and prizes to help start the business.

Rich Egger

The plain white back door to the Western Illinois Museum's back room becomes a time portal twice a month, transporting visitors to a Prohibition-era speakeasy. And just like the illegal drinking establishments of the Roaring '20s, you can't get in if you don’t know the password.

Rich Egger

Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday morning for a ceremony to mark the opening of the East Main Street underpass.  It will allow emergency vehicles and other drivers to get around that part of town without being stopped by trains.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton came across a photo on social media of a TV reporter posing with a politician she had just interviewed. The reporter's comments accompanying the photo gushed about the politician's success and nice personality.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University has seen a sharp drop in student enrollment in recent years, which means less money coming in through tuition and fees.  That, combined with decreases in state financial support – especially during the two-year state budget impasse – hurt the university's finances, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and an early retirement program.

Illinois Public Radio reported a college professor who performed his own audit of how local governments in Illinois handle Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests found the results were better than expected.   

Courtesy Project Rebound

Project Rebound is a non-profit organization that looks for single family homes in Galesburg that can be bought, renovated, and then sold for $60,000 or less with no down payment.  It strives to help people who are working stable jobs and have good credit but who don't make enough money to save for a down payment. 

Rich Egger

What’s described as a "big paddling event" is scheduled for this month at the Emiquon Preserve, which is a restored wetland along the Illinois River near Lewistown.

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