Randy Eccles

General Manager/Publisher


Advisory Board, Ex-Officio Member

Randy became the NPR Illinois general manager in 2013 after serving as development director since moving to Springfield in 2008.  With the 2014 merger with Illinois Issues magazine, Randy also began serving as publisher.

Randy finds the public media mission to serve the community a great honor, "The commitment to credible information the public radio listener supports is critical and refreshing.  Especially as commercial journalism model has contracted."  Eccles confesses, "It's great to be a news junkie at Springfield's top radio news operation."

Randy moved from Arizona where he was the promotions director and assistant program director for KTAR News 92.3 and KTAR Sports 620.  He worked with the news and talk shows and with almost all the market sports teams:  Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals, and Sun Devils.  He also enjoyed working with spring training and the Fiesta Bowl.  A favorite fundraiser for charity was the annual staff stage performance of the radio play of Dickens' A Christmas Carol usually starring the tallest athlete in town as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Randy found his way to Arizona on spring training preproduction trips for Chicago Cubs broadcasts.  He enjoyed it enough to make the move in 2002 after being at WGN Radio since 1990.  At WGN, Randy was the executive producer for Cubs, Bears, and Northwestern broadcasts; produced The Kathy & Judy Show and Punnett; and served as assistant program director.  Breaking coverage of The Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Chicago River flood, and the Sosa/McGwire home run chase stand out as memories.  While at the Tribune Company, Randy also served as a Technology Leadership Development Associate and was the "Web Daddy" of wgnradio.com which Radio Ink named the Best Web Site in Radio at the time.

Randy is originally from the Chicago area where he attended Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School and North Central College in Naperville.  Randy also attended the University of Evansville.  He worked as a student manager at the stations at each of these schools, WHFH, WONC, and WUEV.

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.

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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 Public Radio | 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: 

Advisory Board Bylaws

Jun 16, 2015

MISSION:  WUIS / Illinois Issues explains Illinois.  This is done through in-depth, multimedia public journalism and analysis on statewide issues; along with public media programs and engagement activities to inform Illinoisans.  This reporting and storytelling reflects the quality of life across the state and provides context in relation to 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


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...

Governing magazine looks at advocacy and journalism with a focus on Illinois (includes a picture of Amanda Vinicky at work in the WUIS/Illinois Issues statehouse bureau).

WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief joined the Takeaway's John Hockenberry to discuss the close Illinois Gubernatorial election.

A recent story about the combination of WUIS and Illinois Issues...

John Wallenstein passed away Thursday, August 7, 2014. John made a huge impact on WUIS with his quiet leadership and by explaining to his extensive contacts in the business community how supporting WUIS' mission to inform the community also benefited their business. John was proud to be the force behind making the Education Initiative possible. He raised funds for it over the past two years and headed the search committee to find the first multmedia journalist to head the education desk. Our thoughts and gratitude are with John's wife, Gracia, and their family. Arrangements pending. WUIS staff and partners know John best from his time at the radio station over the past decade. The SJ-R's Jim Ruppert shares another aspect of John's life...

Baseball Brother

Aug 8, 2014

Late WUIS staff member John Wallenstein is remembered by his brother Roger Wallenstein in this blog post that is part of his regular beat The White Sox Report.

Chris Farrell headshot

Join WUIS in an important community conversation at the first 

May 2, 2014, 8-9:30 a.m.
Hoogland Center for the Arts - Theatre III

Special guest, Chris Farrell, is coming to Springfield to share his thoughts and take your questions about education and our local economy.