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GLT adds 2 reporters to award-winning newsroom

Mary Cullen and Eric Stock

New GLT reporters Mary Cullen and Eric Stock.

GLT’s award-winning newsroom will add two new reporters this summer, strengthening its local coverage and its partnership with Illinois State University.

Veteran WJBC reporter Eric Stock will join GLT on June 4. He’s been with WJBC since 2004 as a reporter, anchor, assignment editor, and sports director. Stock follows in the footsteps of News Director Charlie Schlenker and retired News Director Willis Kern in moving from Radio Bloomington’s WJBC to GLT.

Reporter Mary Cullen will join GLT on June 11. Cullen recently finished her master’s degree in public affairs reporting at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The Illinois State University alumna completed internships at NPR Illinois in Springfield and the Chicago Sun-Times.

“At a time when so many journalistic operations are understandably forced to contract their reporting staffs, we’re thrilled to be able to add to ours,” said GLT General Manager R.C. McBride. “People, whether reporters, public media donors, or residents, make communities.”

GLT also plans to hire its first-ever graduate assistant later in 2018, building on the success of the public radio station’s internship program for ISU’s undergraduate students.

The new hires come as GLT bids farewell to Laura Kennedy, who retired May 31. A one-time music announcer, Kennedy most recently served as a reporter and GLT’s “All Things Considered” host.

GLT reporter Judith Valente recently began a leave of absence to promote her new book, How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community.

“The addition of these two strong journalists will improve GLT’s coverage of the community. They’re well-suited to raise the issues on which Bloomington and Normal need to have conversations,” said News Director Charlie Schlenker. “I’m delighted with both Mary and Eric. They are both able and ready to step in and make immediate contributions.”

WGLT public radio is an NPR member station licensed to Illinois State and has been a part of the School of Communication since 1997. The station has been honored with scores of regional and national awards for excellence by The Associated Press, Kaleidoscope, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association. Over the decades, support from ISU and the community has allowed GLT to become a full service public radio station, serving a central Illinois audience approaching 30,000 listeners a week at 89.1 FM, as well as a growing digital presence with users all over the world via WGLT.org, social media channels and NPR One app.

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