Two Illinois PBS outlets say they’re merging. The new public television group would cover almost two-thirds of the state.
The group of PBS stations based in Springfield — known as Network Knowledge — will become part of WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale.
The merger will expand WSIU’s television presence throughout west-central Illinois, including the cities of Springfield, Quincy and Macomb.
Executive director Greg Petrowich says viewers in those areas can expect more local shows and state government news when they tune to PBS.
“Ya know, we want people to feel like it’s the same public television service we’ve always had, just that we will have more resources available to deliver on programming,” he explained.
Petrowich says the partnership has been in the works for a while.
“I think for both partners, it was looking at how can we deliver on more programming and more service. One of those ways was by bringing the organizations together so we can reduce duplication of expenses anywhere possible, take that money, and put that back into mission and programming.”
Network Knowledge has had financial problems over the years.
The announcement also said the group’s founder and director, Jerold Gruebel, would retire in November.
According to WSIU, the merger is expected to be official within the next two weeks.