WILL Press Room
Illinois Public Media News reports, including breaking news coverage of the Gifford tornado, won regional Edward R. Murrow awards in two categories, and CU-CitizenAccess won for a story produced in cooperation with WILL on the resurgence of meth in central Illinois.
The Radio Television Digital News Association honored the WILL newsroom's coverage of the Nov. 17, 2013, Gifford tornado, including news reports by Sean Powers; a Focus program produced by Lindsey Moon and hosted by Jim Meadows; and Morning Edition hosted by Jeff Bossert.
Powers won in the hard news feature category for his story on how the Affordable Care Act may lower incarceration and recidivism rates. CU-CitizenAccess won in the best investigative feature category for Cheryl Silver's story on how meth use is on the rise. The feature grew from WILL's collaboration with CU-CitizenAccess and led to a Focus program and local WILL-TV segments seen locally as part of PBS NewsHour Weekend.
Each of the three entries will go on to compete for national Murrow Awards.
WILL-AM has been named the Outstanding News Operation in the downstate radio division of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Journalism Excellence Contest.
News and public affairs director Scott Cameron said the award recognized the work of every member of the news team. "Our listeners will always be the most important judges of our reporting and programming, but it's an honor to be recognized by our peers on a statewide level," he said.
The College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and WTVP, Public Media for Central Illinois, have announced that Chet Tomczyk will join the team at Illinois Public Media. He will serve as interim general manager starting September 3, 2013. He brings with him over 40 years of media experience, the last 19 at WTVP in Peoria.
Tomczyk will not be leaving his current position of president and CEO at WTVP, but will instead be splitting his time between the two properties as a shared administrator. “This collaboration offers an unprecedented opportunity for two neighboring public broadcasting entities to jointly increase their relevance and value to the many communities they serve. I am excited by the possibilities and honored to be associated with the WILL stations,” Tomczyk said.
Scott Cameron, formerly senior producer of NPR’s Talk of the Nation, has joined the Illinois Public Media staff as director of news and public affairs. Scott began working at NPR in 2006 as editor of Talk of the Nation, a national news-talk call-in show that reached more than 3 million listeners a week. He became senior producer of the program in 2012.
Mark Leonard, Illinois Public Media’s general manager, will be leaving the organization by August 1, 2013, to become the general manager and CEO for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), a statewide network of Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations.
On July 1, WILL-AM 580 will begin airing a midday news program, Here & Now, co-hosted by Champaign-Urbana native Jeremy Hobson, as it becomes NPR’s replacement for Talk of the Nation, which is ending production.
Illinois Public Media's educational outreach director, Molly Delaney, will be honored by the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI), along with four other women, as "Women of Distinction." Molly will be recognized in the STEM education category.
WILL reporters and contributors won four awards in the downstate radio division of the 2012 Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Journalism Excellence Contest, including best sports report and best hard news feature. Students at Urbana's Urbana University High School won 2nd place in the Best Series or Documentary category for their WILL-AM reports on the counter-culture era in Champaign-Urbana.
Illinois Public Media General Manager Mark Leonard was recognized Feb. 25 for his exceptional efforts in furthering public television’s legislative goals, but he credited WILL listeners and viewers with most of the hard work.
Craig Cohen, Illinois Public Media’s director of news and public affairs, will be leaving the station Feb. 22 to take a job as host of a new talk show at Houston Public Media.
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