WCBU, the National Public Radio (NPR) member-station in Peoria operated by Illinois State University, has earned first-place honors in the Illinois News Broadcasters Association contest.

WCBU earned first place in Best Station for overall excellence (Small Market) in the INBA’s inaugural Crystal Mic Awards. WCBU also won first place for Best Digital Presence, recognizing the station’s website, social media, and podcasts.

WCBU’s statewide recognition comes two years after Bradley and Illinois State University entered into an agreement whereby WGLT (ISU’s public radio station) handles day-to-day operations at WCBU. The station remains owned by and licensed to Bradley University. WCBU continues to operate a growing newsroom in Peoria, with its reporters and studios based at Morgan Hall at Bradley.

Currently, WCBU has four full-time newsroom staff based in Peoria: News Director Tim Shelley (Bradley ’13), journalists Joe Deacon and Hannah Alani, and host Daniel Musisi, two half-time journalist/newscasters: Kristin McHugh and Jody Holtz (Bradley ‘21) and several part-time student interns and correspondents. Corporate Support Director Anna Chumbley is also based in Peoria.

“It’s gratifying to receive this kind of recognition from our peers, especially at this point in our turnaround,” said general manager R.C. McBride. “The WCBU newsroom—our full-time reporters, hosts, correspondents, and interns—served the Peoria community admirably last year through a series of crises, and we’re proud to have earned this recognition.”

WCBU, with support from individual donors and underwriters, has drastically increased local content since the 2019 change in operations. That includes the launch of the daily morning podcast On Deck, and the upcoming launch of WCBU’s newsmagazine program All Things Peoria, which will air weekdays at 5 p.m. beginning October 18.

WCBU will be recognized on September 25 at the INBA’s fall convention in Rockford.