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This Year



Bill Wheelhouse named general manager of WUIS public radio

July 13, 2005

Bill Wheelhouse

SPRINGFIELD – Bill Wheelhouse, long-time statehouse bureau chief for WUIS 91.9 – WIPA 89.3 Public Radio, has been named general manager of the station effective August 16, pending approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. 

With 25 years of experience in radio news broadcasting in Illinois, Wheelhouse emerged as the top candidate in a national search to fill the position.  He has been WUIS statehouse bureau chief since 1995, leading award-winning state capitol coverage for the 12-station Illinois Public Radio network. He has also been a contributor to National Public Radio news programs.  He served as president of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association from 1998-2000.  He is a regular panelist on the weekly program State Week in Review produced by WUIS and carried statewide by IPR stations.

Wheelhouse succeeds Brad Swanson, who retired in December 2004 after 28 years of service to WUIS, and Rich Bradley, News Director, who has been serving as interim general manager since Swanson’s retirement.

WUIS is a service of the Center for State Policy and Leadership of the University of Illinois at Springfield.  In announcing his appointment, Barbara Ferrara, interim executive director of the Center, said, “Bill Wheelhouse is uniquely prepared for the challenges of the general manager’s role.  He has the knowledge and contacts developed as a journalist and the right mix of skills and experience in public broadcasting, management, and fundraising to take on the challenges of this significant position in our community.  We realize the importance of WUIS and our repeater station WIPA to the quality of life of the residents of central and western Illinois.  We are confident that Mr. Wheelhouse will succeed in building on the station’s 30-year tradition of excellence in programming and service to its listeners.”

Commenting on his goals, Wheelhouse said: “As manager of WUIS-WIPA, I plan to expand the station’s local and regional presence, to reach out to build more community support for this important news and cultural resource and to embrace new technology in order to better serve our listeners.  I also plan to increase opportunities for training UIS students by hiring more student employees. It will allow them to gain experience in a variety of aspects of public radio including news, operations, and marketing.  Several station employees, including me, worked at public radio stations during our college years.  It is probably a major reason we find ourselves committed to public radio today.” 

Before joining WUIS, Wheelhouse was news director at WIUM in Macomb, Illinois, from 1987 to 1995.  He also held news director and reporting roles at commercial stations in the region including in Springfield, Macomb, and Quincy.

Since 1996, Wheelhouse has been an adjunct faculty member of the UIS Public Affairs Reporting program, providing instruction and supervising graduate student reporters.  He holds a master’s degree in political studies from UIS and a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from Western Illinois University.

Wheelhouse has won numerous awards for his reporting, including a first-place award for beat reporting in 2004 by the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors and first-place awards by the Associated Press for best investigative reporter (1996), best feature (1994) and best reporter (1994).  His professional associations include membership in the Illinois News Broadcasters Association, Illinois Associated Press Broadcast Advisory Board, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, and the Illinois Legislative Correspondents Association.

WUIS-WIPA is listener-supported public radio celebrating its 30th year of broadcasting this year. WUIS’ mission is to satisfy a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach. WUIS’ program schedule, events, and other information can be found by visiting www.wuis.org or calling the station at 217/206-6516.



    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.