WIUM Tristates Public Radio

TSPR Funding Updates

Nov 5, 2018

People have been asking questions and wondering what, if any decisions have been made and we would like to share the latest information with you. To let you know how things stand as of November 2, 2018:

The hand we were dealt:
In August of this year, Western Illinois University announced the decision to cease providing appropriated financial support to Tri States Public Radio. This change to the funding model meant we were charged with raising approximately $660,000 beyond our regularly scheduled fund raising goal of $300,000. So in all reality to provide our customary level of service to the region we would actually need to raise nearly $1,000,000.

Where are we with fund raising: How much money did we raise so far and how much do we still need?
Since July 1st, we have received a record-breaking $295,000 in contributions- which is just $5000 short of our full-year fundraising goal before the withdrawal of WIU’s appropriated funding.

We are very thankful to all of our donors and we are very encouraged! Having achieved this level of annual funding so early in our fiscal year means we are in a good position to continue to serve our region and we are in a good position to continue to receive a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Grant (CPB requires that we show funding for five (5) full-time employees). Continuing to receive the CPB grant is a critical piece to our future funding puzzle.

We are now looking at raising the funds that will allow us to maintain strong levels of local programming in the future. Every dollar we earn from now on means we are chipping away at the WIU-induced deficit of $660,000.

We have 8 months to work at this, but time is of the essence. The sooner we raise funds to reduce the $660,000 funding gap, the better job we can do in our planning for the short- and long-term future of the station. Every dollar we raise will help us preserve more of the station’s services and personnel. Every dollar lets us ask the question, “What more can we provide?”

What is going to happen to the station and the people who work at TSPR?
Right now, we are certain public radio will be here! How it will look and how it will function, is still being discussed. As the financial picture comes into focus, we will be able to more clearly define the structure, but at this point, no change in the formal structure or service has been determined.

As you may know, some people have taken positions with other employers, and that is to be expected with as much uncertainty as there is right now. With each departure, our goal is to continue to provide services to the best of our ability and our hope is that no one outside of the station will be able to tell anything much changed. This means current staff members will be asked to do more and to-date we’ve been able to adjust to the changes in personnel.

Is there a time-table for knowing how the formal structure might be changing?
We are hopeful there will be additional information to share by the end of the calendar year.