WSIU and Network Knowledge Partnership Will Boost Local Programming

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WSIU to Enter Media Partnership

October 26, 2018

WSIU and Network Knowledge Announce New Public Media Partnership as Dr. Jerold Gruebel Set to Retire

Stations To Unite to Expand Public Media Across Western, Central, and Southern Illinois

Carbondale/Springfield, Ill. – With the retirement of its long-time President and CEO,
Dr. Jerold Gruebel, Network Knowledge in Springfield, Ill. has announced plans to join
forces with WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale, Ill. to expand public media
options across western, central, and southern Illinois.


Based at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, WSIU operates the PBS and NPR
stations WSIU-TV/FM Carbondale, WUSI-TV/FM Olney, and WVSI-FM Mt. Vernon.
Network Knowledge is a network of three PBS member stations in western and central
Illinois that includes WSEC Springfield/Jacksonville, WMEC Macomb, and WQEC
Quincy.


“We’re excited about the opportunities for growth this unique partnership will provide,”
said Dr. Gruebel, who is retiring in November. “Uniting our stations will open the door to
greater long-term sustainability, boost local programming and educational services, and
enhance the positive impact of public media for years to come.”


“This new partnership creates a unique public media enterprise for Illinois, reaching five million residents across 67 counties,” said Greg Petrowich, Executive Director of WSIU Public Broadcasting who will direct the unified organization. “Combining resources will bring the full range of top-tier PBS programming, delivered across a wide range of digital platforms, to almost two-thirds of the state. With support from Southern Illinois University, we’ll be able to provide an even greater variety of original content to our
audiences, including expanded coverage of state government and politics.” 


"We're pleased to see such a robust partnership opportunity develop for the citizens of
Illinois who will benefit greatly from the collaboration,” said Paula Kerger, President and
CEO of PBS. “PBS is a stronger network because of its member stations and the
incredibly rich service they provide to all 50 states."


“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is dedicated to providing universal access to
public media to all Americans,” said CPB President and CEO Pat Harrison. “Our support
of this station partnership will help preserve service to all the communities of Illinois,
including its state capital and the many rural communities across western, central, and
southern Illinois.”


Both entities also look forward to growing partnership opportunities with public and
private businesses and organizations to address the educational needs of the region
and to facilitate greater community engagement around key issues.


“Network Knowledge and WSIU have each maintained a tradition of excellence in
providing public media-based educational services to families, schools, and
communities,” said Dr. Gruebel. “Now we can be even more responsive to community
needs, but on a much larger scale. We will add a full-time dedicated PBS KIDS
Channel, via TV and live streaming on digital platforms, offering kids and families the
best in educational children’s programming around the clock. We will continue access to
Illinois PBS LearningMedia, a free online service for preK-12 educators with
thousands of curriculum-aligned digital resources for the classroom; PBS Ready to
Learn, research-based programs, mobile apps, and online games; local community
engagement featuring film screenings and discussions of PBS films; and PBS
Passport, a member benefit offering extended access to an on-demand library of PBS
and PBS KIDS programming. The potential for improved, measurable outcomes and
greater community impact is huge.”


“Our goal is to offer more programming and service options, while also creating new
opportunities for public media fans to access and engage with content they love,” said
Petrowich. “Working together as one organization, we will be better positioned not only
to accomplish this goal, but to ensure future generations will enjoy the same benefits.”
Additional details about the partnership, organizational upgrades, and governance will
be announced as they are finalized. Tune in to the WSIU and WSEC/WMEC/WQEC
stations for updates on the air or online at wsiu.org and networkknowledge.tv.
Additional information, photos, and FAQs can be accessed online via WSIU’s
pressroom.

About Network Knowledge
Network Knowledge began broadcasting in 1984 as the community licensee for a
small network of viewer-supported public television stations – three of 346 viewersupported
public television stations in the United States. Dr. Jerold Gruebel founded
Network Knowledge with a small regional board of directors comprised of educators,
industrialists, and other community leaders.
The mission of Network Knowledge is to collaborate with people and organizations in
the communities they serve to bring quality programming, learning opportunities, and
economic development to the region. Network Knowledge seeks to deliver excellence
in programming, to provide educational resources integral to the needs of the region, to
increase community involvement, to broaden and enhance visibility and recognition of
public media, and to ensure public media’s continued financial viability.


About WSIU Public Broadcasting
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois
University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media
Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million
people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels,
three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and
community outreach department.
WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU
stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to
support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University
Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on
WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.
WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts
Council, a state agency, and by the Coporation for Public Broadcasting.