Bruce Bergethon, general manager of Illinois State University’s public radio station WGLT, will retire, effective December 31, after serving in that position for 25 years.
A reception to celebrate his retirement will be from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, December 10, in the Founders Suite of the Bone Student Center. Remarks will be at 4 p.m.
Bergethon has been general manager of WGLT since 1990. The station will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016. In that time, the station has had only two general managers, including Ben Paxton, who hired Bergethon as program director in 1988.
During Bergethon’s tenure at WGLT, the station has undergone many changes, including a power increase in 1992, format changes in 1992 and 2013, the launching of the station website in 2000, and an increase in annual private support from $50,000 to $750,000. Signature community events like Radio Faces, the Recycled Music Sale, the transportation sustainability initiative Good to Go, and the GLT Summer Concert were all initiated under Bergethon’s leadership. The WGLT newsroom has won 145 awards, including in 2015, two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, and the Kaleidoscope Award for reporting on diversity issues. WGLT is part of the School of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“It’s been a great experience to watch the station, and its range of services, transform, and improve in one of the country’s best hometown communities,” said Bergethon. “My family and I have loved living in Bloomington-Normal, and will remain here for the foreseeable future. We look forward to a few more trips, and spending some quality time with our many friends and family.” Bergethon and his wife, Jo Porter, have two adult daughters, both currently living in Illinois.
Bergethon plans to continue producing Acousticity, the “flexible folk” music radio show he has hosted since 1992, and will be involved in some of the planned special activities to commemorate WGLT’s 50th year.
“Bruce has developed the most skilled, professional, award-winning, personable staff you will find in any NPR station in the country while maintaining one of the highest rated stations in the market,” said Steve Hunt, interim director of Illinois State’s School of Communication. “He has also graciously shared his knowledge and skill with our students in teaching over the years. His work has had an enormous impact at Illinois State and in the Bloomington-Normal community.”