The university licensed Peoria public radio station, WCBU-FM, will partner with Bloomington’s WGLT-FM. There has been a lot of community confusion and frustration, and we believe the administration could have done more to combat this.
The Scout has received several letters to the editor laying concerns about the station either being dissolved or fear that local coverage would disappear.
While the university clarified in The Scout’s article that the tower, the campus presence, the name WCBU-FM and the programs would remain, the public clearly wasn’t informed.
We could look to the public and blame them for jumping to conclusions, but we believe it was the responsibility of the administration to communicate this process throughout the discussion.
Recently, the administration has been making efforts to be more transparent. For example, they posted a frequently asked questions page on the WCBU-FM website. Chief Information Officer Zach Gorman also recorded updates that are now regularly airing on the station.
These are efficient ways to combat the confusion, but if the university had started communicating from the beginning, these might not have been as necessary and the public’s outcry could have been avoided.
Also, university spokesperson, Renee Charles mentioned that the cost to move the station would greatly exceed the yearly budget. However, the university’s plans to demolish Jobst Hall have been in motion for years, and the university should have better prepared for WCBU-FM’s future transition.
Moving forward, we hope this merger cuts down on overhead costs just like Bradley hopes it does. If this were the case, it would help preserve local news in the Peoria area. The lower costs would allow WCBU-FM to save money and to hire a bigger newsroom staff to better serve the community.