Video and audio online bonus material
- Watch online to see any of the Illinois Pioneers interviews you missed.
- Watch a WILL-TV cooking segment in which bacaro chef Thad Morrow and his young son, Gus, make braised chicken thighs with balsamic vinegar.
- Watch coverage of a weather balloon’s flight in a grade school experiment inspired by Illinois Edition of PBS LearningMedia.
- Watch a newscast that Illinois Public Media staff helped students produce at Stratton Leadership & MicroSociety Magnet School in Champaign.
- Listen to radio stories and a documentary produced by Urbana University Laboratory High School students about The Changing Military.
Helping you make sense of your world is a primary mission for Illinois Public Media.
That world is evolving at a breathtaking pace. Users of our public media service have access to more information than ever. With a click, touch or swipe, they can get answers to questions and connect to people across the globe. Our viewers and listeners tap new technology and devices that enable them to take news and entertainment with them wherever they go and access it when their schedule permits.
Yet as media and information become more pervasive in our lives, fewer traditional media organizations are surviving to help orient people to what is happening around them. Newspapers are folding, radio stations rarely have ties to the community and national news organizations have cut their number of reporting bureaus.
In this world of change, Illinois Public Media has kept right on producing strong, creative content to keep you informed, inspired and entertained. But we’re changing too, embracing the evolution in technology to give you more ways to connect with us. We added streaming of our FM signal in the past year with the launch of our redesigned website, and began offering a free mobile radio app for our AM and FM listeners.
We’re also trying new ways to make the most of our budget by sharing administrative and technical resources. In September, I assumed interim general management duties at Illinois Public Media while continuing my CEO responsibilities at WTVP in Peoria. We’re looking for ways that the two operations can cooperate and collaborate for efficiency and cost effectiveness, and for creation of meaningful local programming.
In another cooperative venture, Illinois Edition of PBS LearningMedia, we are working with other PBS stations in Illinois to provide lesson plans and online resources for the more than 19,500 Illinois teachers who have signed up for the service to engage their students. We’ve also joined with an alliance of other public television stations around the country to share technical resources.
Enjoy this look back at the past year. Our WILL-TV production staff brought viewers an outstanding line-up of Illinois trailblazers on our re-launched Illinois Pioneers series, with one of the best interviewers we know, David Inge, posing the questions. We created and aired TV specials about Medicare 7, 8 or 9 founder Dan Perrino, the late film critic Roger Ebert, cooking with local foods, and a farm-to-table dinner at Prairie Fruits Farm. We helped residents of Monticello create a video story about their town, We Are … Monticello for WILL-TV.
WILL-AM’s Focus and our news team addressed issues such as immigration and health care reform, home births, and the resurgence of meth in central Illinois.
We opened our doors for a children’s open house with PBS Kids entertainer Mr. Steve, invited the public to a preview party for Season 4 of Downton Abbey, and brought you screenings and discussions of great independent films with our Community Cinema series. WILL-FM’s Live & Local with Kevin Kelly hosted performing artists from around Illinois for conversation and live music.
You helped make all of this possible with your generous financial contributions. Thanks to you, we raised funds for next year’s budget with fewer on-air pledge hours. We appreciate your support as we expand and improve our programs and services, in part by taking advantage of changes in the world of media and information.
We think change is a good thing—it challenges us to try new ways of doing things as we maintain the excellent public media service we’ve provided for 91 years. One thing that will never change is our commitment to quality content and service.
Interim General Manager