Randy Eccles



Randy Eccles became NPR Illinois general manager in 2013 after serving as development director since moving to Springfield in 2008.  In 2014, Randy led the team that added Illinois Issues into the NPR Illinois portfolio and transitioned its reporting into audio/digital distribution.

Randy previously worked at KTAR in Phoenix and WGN in Chicago where he worked in programming and marketing management after producing talk shows and sports coverage.  He also served in management and news stints at student-run stations WHFH, WONC, and WUEV.  Born in Hinsdale, he was raised by teachers in south suburban Glenwood and spent a lot of time at the family farm in Industry, Illinois (south of Macomb).

I noticed recently that Prairie Home Companion hasn't been showing up on Sunday afternoon. I wanted to check-in -- is that a permanent schedule change?

NPR Illinois Advisory Board Meeting
September 8, 2016, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Union League Club, 65 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago

1.  Welcome.

2.  Introductions.

3.  Management Update.

a.  Budget

b.  Strategic Plan Evolution

c.  Advocacy Initiatives

4.  Editorial

a.  Top issues? – meeting state/community needs?

b.  Education

c.  Statehouse

d.  Ideas

5.  Advisory Board 

a.  CPB Requirements

b.  Board Expectations Review


6. New Business

This is from the June 28, 2016 Daily Show:

Look for the NPR Illinois appearance at :02:36.

Here at NPR Illinois, we've been concerned we might have to drop some programs due to the ongoing budget impasse.  

A friend told me the other night that over the past year he's discovered NPR while driving for Lyft. He said he didn't find it exciting at first but there was nothing better to listen to and now he loves it. Then he began revelling in all the NPR staff names he's learned. This is a similar process I experienced over a decade ago. We're sold quick excitement in media so often over context and community. Great radio is like making a new friend. It takes time to for this new acquaintance to evolve into a good companion. Public radio has the depth to make you want to spend more time with it. I'm glad I did. For my friend, here's a fun post from 2009 to discover your own NPR name. Comment here to share yours. P.S. Commenting for NPR Illinois Mission Control, I'm Srandy Kinsale.

It feels like Illinois is lost without a map these days.  The current quiet drive is trying to navigate the fog but has been slow moving as of late.  An additional $60,000 is needed to reach goal by next Tuesday (May 31).  If we're still short of our destination then, we'll go into OVERDRIVE June 1.  


  I am so appreciative for the Calendar Club members and other donors who support NPR Illinois.  I hear this sentiment from staff, members, and listeners.  It's what makes public radio special.

CPB logo

Each year when NPR Illinois applies for its Corporation for Public Broadcasting  (CPB) Community Service Grant (CSG) certain qualifications must be met.  This grant is the federally appropriated dollars that public broadcasters can receive as dispersed by the independent CPB.  The CPB works diligently to make sure the stations are held to the highest community service standards and are operating effectively and efficiently.

Chassy’s payments stayed out of the public eye primarily through a mechanism under fire in states across the nation: The use of private university foundations to discreetly accept donations that would be public record if given directly to the university. In this case, it was the University of Illinois Foundation that administered the Monsanto payments. DISCLOSURE: The University of Illinois Foundation (UIF) administers the gift funds of NPR Illinois.

NPR Illinois Advisory Board Meeting
March 10, 2016, 3-5 PM
UIS, Public Affairs Center, Pearson Conference Room (PAC-563), Springfield

  1. Welcome.
  2. Introductions.
  3. Management Update.
    1. Budget
    2. Regional Journalism Collaborative
    3. McCormick Foundation Grant
    4. Education Advisory Convening
  4. Editorial
    1. Top issues? – meeting state/community needs?
    2. Ideas
  5. New Business
  6. Next Meeting Confirmation -  June 9, 2016, 3-5 PM, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM, Chicago

Thanks to all who took the time to participate in the NPR Illinois Advisory Convening.  K-12 funding was the main topic the group discussed.  Listen to the unedited, raw audio to hear how it progressed.  It has been posted in two parts to make file size manageable.  View the slide show of the participants above.

If you didn't listen to the latest episode Ira & company have produced, this is powerful. Not for children.

Bill Wheelhouse is retiring after over 20 years at NPR Illinois. 

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NPR | Illinois Public Radio has been fortunate to be supported by listeners over the years enabling us to develop comprehensive converage of state government and politics.  Now NPR Illinois will grow further with the launch of a collaboration with other Illinois public media to increase coverage of education,  health/environment, and government. 

NPR Illinois Advisory Board Meeting
December 10, 2015, 2:30-4:30 PM
UIS, Public Affairs Center, Conference Room E, Springfield

You've likely noticed something different on-air, recently.  Or seen it here at WUIS.ORG.  A new way of referring to WUIS... NPR Illinois.  That's the shorthand for NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.


Join NPR Illinois listeners, staff, board, and donors December 10, 4:30-7:30 PM for our Holiday Thank You Fest.

RSVP - It helps us have the right amount of refreshments!

WUIS / Illinois Issues Advisory Board Meeting
September 10, 2015, 3-5 PM
Union League Club, Chicago

  1. Welcome.
  2. Introductions.
  3. Management Update.
    1. Merger progress.
    2. Illinois state budget effect.
  4. Bylaws vote.
  5. Board Role:  What do we want to be? (Strategy counsel, advocates, funding conduit).
  6. Editorial.
    1. Top issues? – meeting state/community needs?
    2. Ideas.
  7. Committee reports
  8. New Business

Illinois Issues is going digital.  Digital only.  Well, digital and broadcast.  Which means August will be the last printed magazine version of Illinois Issues.

Last week I alluded to the responses WUIS has received since announcing program cuts and promised to share the drift of their content.  Some of the following comments stand on their own, for other thoughts, I provide an explanation.

Hobson & Young midshot with Here & Now logo
Kalman Zabarsky / Boston University Photography

Recent program cuts necessitate the movement of some programs to replace what was broadcast.  Additionally, the listener survey indicates some programs may benefit from new time slots. 

I spoke with Chris Dettro about WUIS ending its affiliation with Public Radio International (PRI) to deal with state budget uncertainty. Here's the link.

Significant budget cuts are being made at WUIS / Illinois Issues to best steward us through the uncertain state budget process.  WUIS is ending our affiliation with Public Radio International (PRI).  Unfortunately, this means the following programs will not be broadcast by WUIS come July: 

Community Advisory Board Home

MISSION:  NPR Illinois explains Illinois. 

We deliver in-depth multimedia news reports, expert analysis on statewide issues, plus informative engagement events -- all upholding the philosophy and integrity of public journalism.  

Our programs and storytelling reflect the quality of life across Illinois in context with the nation and the world.

A high school friend works in DC and worked for Hastert. Here's his reaction.

WGN broadcasting live from the WUIS/IPR Illinois State Capitol bureau for the scheduled adjournment day of the state legislature. Rick Pearson invited Amanda Vinicky to co-host .

Randy Eccles headshot
mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues


A G E N D A 

  1. Welcome
  2. Introductions
  3. Bylaws/Merger - Quorum Votes
  4. Resignations/Emeritus
    1. Valerie Denny (R --> E)
    2. Jeff Mays (R --> E)
  5. Story Ideas
  6. 40th Gala planning
  7. Committee reports
  8. Management Update
  9. New Business

Bernie Schoenberg came by the studios to discuss the combination of WUIS Public Radio and Illinois Issues magazine. Here's a link to the story.

What would our cities look like if wealth was represented by the height of buildings? Here's Chicago...