WILL Pressroom

Illinois Public Media hosts Jeremy Hobson for launch of new national political call-in special, ‘The Middle’

A long bridge over water with text The Middle with Jeremy Hobson

Illinois Public Media is honored to host the launch of as well as serve as the distribution partner for the new national call-in series, The Middle. Award-winning journalist and Champaign-Urbana native Jeremy Hobson presents a special four-part series focused on the midterm elections, aiming to listen to everyday Americans and elevate the voices of those who live between the coasts.

The Middle airs Wednesday nights beginning October 19 on WILL-AM 580 and WILL-FM 90.9, along with stations across the country.

For Hobson, a decades-long career in journalism has shown media often overlook the stories and perspectives of people living in the middle of the country. But it is those Americans who determine the balance of power in Washington and the direction of our country each election season, at least for the last generation.

“This is a really exciting project for me personally, mostly because after more than 20 years in journalism, I think more than ever we have to listen to each other in this country and we need to have media organizations that are trusted across the political spectrum,” Hobson said. “I want this show to be a trusted, non-judgmental place for civil dialogue and debate, and I want it to be really fun to listen to, as well.”

The Middle will air in four live parts over four weeks leading up to and through the midterm election, with each special broadcasting from a different location. Illinois Public Media is excited to host the kick-off, as Hobson returns to Campbell Hall and the WILL radio studios for the first episode on October 19. Hobson got his broadcasting start at the age 9 contributing to WILL’s Treehouse Radio and later worked on WILL radio documentaries with University of Illinois Laboratory High School (Uni High) through Illinois Public Media’s Illinois Youth Media project.

"I couldn't be more excited to launch The Middle from Urbana and to partner with the great team at Illinois Public Media on the distribution of all four live specials this fall. This is where I got my start in radio; it's where I learned how powerful this medium can be. It's the perfect place to start a show aimed at raising up the voices of everyday Americans.” Hobson said.

Following The Middle’s launch in Urbana, Hobson will be doing live shows from Fort Myers, Florida and Kansas City, Missouri, before wrapping up the series with a show in Phoenix, Arizona on Nov. 9.

Illinois Public Media will serve as the distribution partner, providing the technical support to deliver the program to the growing list of stations airing the four specials. The Middle will be heard on 350 public radio stations across the US, including media markets both large and small from coast to coast. This marks WILL’s first national distribution effort in modern history.

“Stations in the middle and on the coasts are responding positively to the prospect of this program because there is a need for a show that gives a platform to these Americans—who are so important in our politics—to be heard and a space for them to join the conversation,” Hobson said.

For more information on The Middle, including call-in information, visit listentothemiddle.com, and join us Wednesday nights at 8pm on WILL-AM 580 and WILL-FM 90.9 starting October 19.