TSPR funding may not be restored
By Steven Barnum
MACOMB - Attendees at the Thursday Board of Trustees meeting heard some unwelcome news: there may not be room in Western Illinois University’s budget to bring back the funding to Tri States Public Radio.
In the public comment portion of Thursday’s meeting, Elaine Hopkins spoke about the impact that the station has in the community.
“This is the best marketing tool Western has in the region,” Hopkins said. “This station should not be allowed to dwindle See FUNDING, A2
From Page A1
away and die.”
Hopkins said that the station is important since it provides unbiased news, local event coverage, and warnings of impending storms.
“To lose it would be tragic,” she said.
Trustee Polly Radosh recognized Hopkins for her passion in helping the station, sharing that Hopkins has spoken about the issue at every Board of Trustees meeting for the last year.
“It’s something that we’re looking at and we want to do the right thing, but we’re really hampered by our resources,” Radosh said.
During Friday’s meeting, Tri States Public Radio continued to be part of the conversation.
RadoshaskedRichEgger, the station’s news director, to explain the funding situation.
The university no longer provides appropriated funding for the station, according to Egger, who said that they now have to raise their own money. The university officially cut the funding in March of 2019.
Egger said that the cuts forced them to reduce their staff from 12 to seven.
“The goal is to keep the station on the air and continue to provide a service to this region,” Egger said.
The Board of Trustees voted to approve a contract regarding WQPT, a public television station located ontheQuadCitiescampus. Western’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Polley said that the resolution concerns the bid for master control and traffic services for the station.
WQPT’s mission is to provide educational content, according to their website.
Joe Rives, Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Initiatives, talked about the difference between Tri States Public RadioandWQPT.
“Both the radio station and the public station are self-funded units so this resolution is WQPT raising the money to make this contract,” Rives said, “so it’s not the university allocating resourcestoWQPT.”
Trustee Kisha Lang was among the board members whoshowedadesiretofund Tri States Public Radio, although it’s unclear where the money would come from at this time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for comments or questions on this story.