Tri States Public Radio Staff
Tri States Public Radio serves all or parts of 20 counties in western Illinois, southeast Iowa and northeast Missouri.
WIUM at 91.3FM
WIUW at 89.5FM
WVKC at 90.7FM
WIUM - 50,000 watts
WIUW - 10,000 watts
WVKC - 1,000 watts
Tri States Public Radio is an outreach service of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at Western Illinois University. We provide information and entertainment of the highest possible caliber to enrich and engage the public, enhance quality of life, and meet the diverse needs of people in our region and beyond.
Tri States Public Radio is the region's voice for award-winning National Public Radio news and locally produced programming. Our listeners enjoy classical music, as well as the uniquely American sounds of jazz and folk music. We are the area's premier public radio service, catering to a growing group of discriminating listeners. From our humble beginnings in 1956 as a student-run laboratory in Western Illinois University's Tillman Hall, we have become the region's National Public Radio member station broadcasting quality programs that inform, enlighten and entertain.
1956 - WWKS (named for William Kimbrough Shake, who installed the equipment), signs on at 3,000 watts. The station broadcasts educational programming aimed primarily at K-12 audiences from Tillman Hall (the "new science building") at Western Illinois University.
1962- WWKS moves to "the new library" - Memorial Hall, which will remain its home for the next 40 years. The station's sole full-time employee throughout the decade is Elmer "Tug" Haddock, who acts as General Manager and provides oversight of volunteer student announcers.
1970- WWKS becomes WIUM.
1978- WIUM increases power to 7,200 watts. The 19-hour broadcast day features classical, jazz and rock music with some local news, sports and weather. The Radio Information Serivce is created to broadcast readings from local newspapers through specially tuned receivers placed with people with a print disability. The service was inspired and initiated by Helen L. Wear, the first blind woman to graduate from Western Illinois University.
1981- WIUM adds more than 200 feet to its tower and relocates its transmitter to Western Illinois University's Horn Campus south of Macomb.
1982- WIUM qualifies for Corporation for Public Broadcasting support and becomes a member station of National Public Radio. Coinciding with the addition of NPR programming is the organization of a second station to be run and programmed by WIU students (WIUS-FM, now in the Department of Broadcasting in Sallee Hall).
1983- WIUM's first on-air membership drive raises $3,550 in pledges.
1984- The station purchases its first compact disc player and begins 24-hour a day broadcasts.
1989- WIUM increases its power to 50,000 watts.
1990- Production of Rural Route 3 begins. The award-winning live performance series is distributed to public radio stations nationwide throughout the decade.
1991- WIUM's administrative reporting line is moved from Broadcast and Educational Communication Services to the School of Extended and Continuing Education.
1995- Tri States Public Radio is born as WIUW signs on at 89.5 FM. The new tower and transmitter just outside Warsaw, Illinois extend public radio service into southeast Iowa and northeast Missouri.
2002- Tri States Public Radio moves into a new, state-of-the-art broadcast facility at 320 University Drive at the front door of the Western Illinois University campus.
2004- Tri States Public Radio becomes part of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. The Southeast Iowa News Bureau in the Hotel Iowa in downtown Keokuk opens.
2005- We become the first University-licensed public radio service in the state of Illinois to begin broadcasting with HD (high definition) Radio technology.
2006- TSPR-2 (Tri States Public Radio, Too!) begins broadcasting on our HD-2 channel, providing the region with public radio programming that it distinct from WIUM and WIUW's main channel broadcasts.
2007- Through a cooperative agreement with Knox College, Tri States Public Radio extends broadcasts of NPR's Morning Edition to Knox County on WVKC, 90.7 FM.
2009- Tri States Public Radio member donations during the spring fund drive helped to purchase and plant 500 native hardwood trees at Argyle Lake State Park. The "Member Forest" stands adjacent to the Sunset Shelter and was planted to help the park recover woodlands damaged during a severe ice storm in December 2008.
2011- The offices of the Tri States Public Radio Southeast Iowa News Bureau was moved to its new location at 1016 Main St. in Keokuk.
2013- The agreement Knox College is expanded, and Tri States Public Radio is now heard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on WVKC, 90.7 FM.
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