PEORIA — Changes are now in place at Peoria's public radio station, including to the station's staffing.
Among those out are longtime news director Tanya Koonce and radio information service director Lee Wenger, who, a Facebook post stated, worked their final shifts on Friday, the last day before the Illinois State University-based WGLT assumed operations of WCBU.
R.C. McBride, the joint general manager of both stations, released a letter Monday morning detailing other personnel changes at WCBU and reiterating it will retain a Peoria newsroom and air its own local newscasts. In the letter he also promised to increase a news staffing operation that had dwindled to the point Koonce was the only full-time news reporter. As recently as December 2015 the station had three full-time reporters.
Tim Shelley will be digital content director and newsroom assignment editor, moving over from a web-related role at WEEK/WHOI television. Dana Volmer will serve as a reporter. She's wrapping up a stint for NPR Illinois based in the Statehouse while getting a master's degree.
McBride said WCBU also plans "to hire another full-time journalist this fall." Kristin McHugh and H. Wayne Wilson also will continue their part-time reporting work with the station. Daniel Musisi will serve as "Morning Edition" host and Cindy Dermody will remain in a fundraising position with the station.
Several WGLT employees are also adding on responsibility for work at WCBU to their portfolios, including two fundraising employees, a program director, operations director and a business manager.
On the programming front, the stations will soon run uniform national programming, which "saves us money in both rights fees and operational expenses," McBride stated. That's expected to come into full alignment after WCBU operations move into Morgan Hall on Bradley's campus later this summer.
Effective Monday, the station is ceasing to run "The Takeaway" and "The World," and will instead run "Here and Now" from noon to 3 p.m., "All Things Considered" from 3 to 6 p.m., and "World Cafe" from 7 to 9 p.m., McBride said.
Within weeks, WCBU-HD2's classical music service also will be broadcast on 103.5 FM, as well as on WCBU-HD2.