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|City of license||Peoria, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||Central Illinois|
|Slogan||Peoria Public Radio|
|Frequency||89.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1970|
|Format||WCBU - News and Information
WCBU2 - Classical
|HAAT||197.3 meters (647 ft)|
|Class||B non-commercial educational|
|Callsign meaning||Central (Illinois), Bradley University|
|Affiliations||NPR, PRI, American Public Media|
WCBU first signed on in 1970. In 2007, WCBU became the first radio station in Central Illinois to offer a second channel of separate classical programming for listeners with HD Radio receivers.
WCBU offers a wide variety of news and music programs on both its main and HD channels. Both channels can be heard via a live web streaming.
The station's main channel airs news and information and entertainment programming, including NPR's top news programs, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air, Car Talk,Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, Here & Now, The World and Marketplace.
Along with NPR programming, WCBU also offers shows from Public Radio International and American Public Media. These programs include This American Life, A Prairie Home Companion, Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?, and Living on Earth.
Some of the station's local programming:
- Music from the Heartland, which showcases local operas, orchestras, and vocal ensembles. The program airs Wednesday and Sunday nights, and is hosted by Terry Solomonson.
- Jazz from the Hilltop showcases the best jazz musicians in the area. The program airs every Sunday night and is hosted by local jazz musician and professor at Bradley University, Ed Kaizer.
Classical WCBUHD2 airs a full schedule of classical music, including Performance Today, concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, SymphonyCast, NPR World of Opera, and many others. WCBUHD2 can be heard on HD Radio receivers on on line peoriapublicradio.org.
Some of the station's older, nostalgic, long time listeners consider the period beginning about 1979 and ending about 1986 to be the "Golden Age of WCBU." That period was marked by varying attempts at local programming and productions of varying quality and indeterminate audience appeal.
Programs from that period included "Why Did They Come?" a historical review of the original settlers of the Peoria River Valley. "Why Did They Come?" blended original insight with the radio dramatization. Other locally produced programs included "Pipes on the Prairie" produced and hosted by Terry Solomonson, which featured frecordings of historic pipe organs from throughout central and southern Illinois, and "The Duke Knight Radio Hour." "The Duke Knight Radio Hour" featured bluegrass and folk artists from around Central Illinois. It became a very popular program and attracted a large radio and live audience.Local musical favorites Applegate and Company, featuring brothers Bob and Dick Applegate, Rich Mitts and Bill Harlan were regulars on the program, which was broadcast live from the Dingeldine Auditorium on Saturday nights. The Non-Commercial Arts and Storage Company, composed of members of Bradley University's nationally recognized speech team, provided comedy sketches and satire.
In January, 2007, WCBU created a second channel, WCBU2, to listeners with HD radios or access to internet streaming. The original programming concept of WCBU2 was to counter WCBU's main channel programming. If WCBU is airing a news or talk show, WCBU2 would be airing music, and vice versa. Streaming of WCBU2 officially began on February 15, 2007. In March 2011, WCBU programming switched to all news, information, public affairs and entertainment on the main channel (WCBU HD-1), and full-time classical music on WCBU2, now known as Classical WCBU2.
The WCBU news department includes News Director Tanya Koonce, and reporters Denise Molina and Alex Rusciano. WCBU News can be heard seven times each weekday and twice on Saturday mornings. Since 1999, WCBU News has won 7 national, 6 regional, and 16 state awards for journalistic excellence.
Outside the Horseshoe, hosted by Tanya Koonce, airs Tuesday evenings before the live broadcast of the Peoria City Council meetings. Horseshoe previews the top issues on the agenda, or delves into an important topic in city politics and government.
WCBU News also features special programs throughout the year, including a "Year in Review" in December and live coverage of statewide elections.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WCBU
- Radio-Locator information on WCBU
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WCBU
- Location of WCBU Studios on Wikimapia