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

Santa Clara University's website has a piece that looks at the ways social media is changing journalism.  The broad categories are faster, clickier, and more personal.

Rich Egger

Dr. B.S. Kesavan became a much-beloved pediatrician during his four decades in Galesburg.  A stroke sidelined him a couple years ago. It left him wondering what he should do and how he might recover.

VIP Cinemas took over The Rialto Cinemas in Macomb in mid-June.  And almost immediately, Vice President Jake McSparin started hearing a common suggestion from customers.

Rich Egger

Almost everything the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees discussed during a closed door meeting on June 28, 2018 must be made public, according to the Illinois Attorney General's office, which found [.pdf] the Board violated the state's Open Meetings Act (OMA).

Shop Talk panelists Jasmine Crighton and Will Buss said their student reporters ran into a dead end as they tried to get information from Western Illinois University and its Office of Public Safety (OPS). The journalists are seeking details regarding a report filed by a woman who said she was followed by a man hiding in some bushes on campus.

Rich Egger

More members of the public are asking the decision-makers at Western Illinois University to restore funding to its public radio station. Half-a-dozen people used the public comment period during the September 28 Board of Trustees meeting to address the administration's plan to end appropriated funding for Tri States Public Radio on March 1, 2019.

Rich Egger

Tri States Public Radio filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Western Illinois University, hoping to gain more insight about how the administration came to the decision to zero-out appropriated funding for TSPR beginning March 1, 2019.

Panoramic photo by Rich Egger

Western Illinois University began its 25th Annual Founders' Day celebration Monday afternoon with Lana Myers ringing a bell from the front steps of Sherman Hall.

Rich Egger

The McDonough County Health Department said its inspections have uncovered the same violations time and time again at El Rancherito restaurant in Macomb.  The problems include food temperature violations, cross contamination of food, and a lack of handwashing/sanitation.

Rich Egger

The state of Illinois just changed its school funding formula to what is called an "evidence-based model." Macomb School Superintendent Patrick Twomey said the new model is helping but it's not nearly enough.

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.

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