WILL-AM to Air ‘Here & Now’ with C-U Native Hobson
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.
Hobson, who grew up in Urbana and worked at WILL-AM early in his career, is currently host of Marketplace Morning Report, heard on many NPR stations, including WILL-AM.
Here & Now, produced at Boston-based public radio station WBUR, will expand to two hours and add Hobson as a co-host as NPR redirects resources to support news coverage, rather than call-in talk programming, through the middle of the day.
Airing on WILL-AM from 12 to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 12 to 1 p.m. on Friday, the program will offer numerous opportunities for WILL to add segments of locally produced news and feature content to be incorporated in the mix of stories, said Kimberlie Kranich, director of community content and engagement at Illinois Public Media. WILL-AM’s The Afternoon Magazine will be absorbed into the new program. The type of local content previously included in that show, including agricultural and local news updates, will air in segments of Here & Now, she said.
Hobson will be a guest on WILL-AM’s Focus at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, to talk about his new role, in which he’ll be working with longtime Here & Now host Robin Young. Hobson will also be working with his former WILL-AM colleague Alex Ashlock, who is the producer of Here & Now. Hobson was an intern at NPR’s All Things Considered when he was 17, and since then has gained deep experience as a public radio producer, reporter and host.
Here & Now has been produced by WBUR since 1997, and became a national program in 2001. The show airs on more than 180 stations, including eight top-25 market news stations. The expanded edition of the program, produced in collaboration with NPR, will have a dedicated producer at NPR headquarters to help get NPR bloggers, reporters, and editors onto the program.
WILL-AM will continue to air Focus from 10-11 a.m., Fresh Air from 11 am-noon, and the Closing Market Report at 2 p.m. Science Friday with Ira Flatow will continue to air at 1 p.m. on Fridays.