Thursday, May 3, 2012

Changes on the horizon for WUIS

Change doesn’t have to be painful. At least that’s what WUIS general manager Bill Wheelhouse is hoping will be the case this summer, when the venerable radio station plans to shift from its longtime classical music-based programming to focus instead on news and talk.

“I like to call it ‘civilized talk,’ a public radio version of talk, as opposed to a shout-fest,” says Wheelhouse, quick to point out that Limbaugh-esque ranting will not be on WUIS’s agenda. “‘Informed talk’ would be another way to describe it,” he quips.

The de-emphasis on classical music at the station should come as no surprise, following on the heels of Karl Scroggin’s retirement at the end of March. Since 1984, Scroggin had been hosting “Classics” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. “In this day and age, it’s not possible to find a replacement for someone like Karl,” Wheelhouse explains.

A firm was hired to survey the WUIS audience and later several listener focus groups were assembled to ensure the direction was best for the future of the station. The result of all this research clearly pointed in the direction of the news and talk format, which will also allow the station to do more timely coverage in the event of breaking news at the Capitol during the daytime. These changes will begin at 9 a.m. on the first Monday in July with the WUIS debut of “On Point,” a National Public Radio production from Boston.

The changes were featured by the Illinois Times in an May 3, 2012, report.

Read the article online