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WCBU, Peoria Public Radio
Peoria Public Radio Logo.jpg
City 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
ERP 26,500 watts
HAAT 197.3 meters (647 ft)
Class B non-commercial educational
Facility ID 6610
Transmitter coordinates 40°37′44.1″N 89°34′12.4″W / 40.628917°N 89.570111°W / 40.628917; -89.570111Coordinates: 40°37′44.1″N 89°34′12.4″W / 40.628917°N 89.570111°W / 40.628917; -89.570111
Callsign meaning Central (Illinois), Bradley University
Affiliations NPR, PRI, American Public Media
Owner Bradley University
Webcast Listen Live
Website peoriapublicradio.org

WCBU is a listener-supported, non-commercial public radio station owned by Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. The station is a National Public Radio affiliate and is located on Bradley's campus.

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, Peoria Public Radio 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, and PRI's The World.

Along with NPR programming, WCBU also offers shows from Public Radio International, WNYC, PRX, and American Public Media. These programs include This American Life, Moth Radio Hour and Radiolab.

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.

Classical WCBUHD2 airs a full schedule of classical music. WCBUHD2 can be heard on HD Radio receivers or on line.[1]

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 recordings 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, WCBU HD2 would be airing music, and vice versa. Streaming of WCBU HD2 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 HD1), and full-time classical music on WCBU HD2, now known as Classical WCBU HD2.[2]

WCBU News[edit]

The WCBU news department includes News Director Tanya Koonce, and reporter Cassidy Herrington. WCBU News can be heard seven times each weekday and twice on Saturday mornings. Since 1999, WCBU News has won several national, regional, and state awards for journalistic excellence.[3]


  1. ^ http://peoriapublicradio.org/#stream/0 Peoria Public Radio Website
  2. ^ http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=18 HD Radio Guide for Peoria, Illinois
  3. ^ "About WCBU News". Bradley University. 2007-06-27. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 

External links[edit]