|Slogan||Illinois Public Media|
Digital: 9 (VHF)|
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||PBS (since 1970)|
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
(The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois)
|First air date||1955|
|Call letters' meaning||ILLinois or the word "Will"|
|Sister station(s)||WILL (AM), WILL-FM|
|Former channel number(s)||
12 (VHF, 1955-2009)
|Former affiliations||NET (1955-1970)|
|Transmitter power||30 kW|
|Height||302 m (991 ft)|
|Public license information:||
|Frequency||90.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1939 1941 (full license)(experimental);|
FM/HD1: Classical music, NPR news|
HD2: Classical music
HD3: News/Talk (WILL (AM) simulcast)
|HAAT||259 m (850 ft)|
|Former callsigns||WIUC (1941-1954)|
|Former frequencies||? (before 1954)|
|Sister stations||WILL (AM), WILL-TV|
|Branding||WILL AM 580|
|First air date||1922|
|HAAT||103.6 m (340 ft)|
|Former callsigns||WRM (1922-1928)|
|Former frequencies||890 kHz (1929-1935)|
|Sister stations||WILL-FM, WILL-TV|
WILL is the call sign of the three public broadcasting stations owned by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and licensed to Urbana, Illinois, United States. It consists of PBS member station WILL-TV (VHF digital channel 9, virtual channel 12) and NPR member stations WILL (AM) (580 kHz) and WILL-FM (90.9 MHz). The three stations are known collectively as Illinois Public Media, and are operated out of Campbell Hall for Public Telecommunication on the U of I campus.
After World War II, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted the National Association of Educational Broadcasters for the establishment of broadcast allocations (AM/FM radio and TV channels) for non-commercial education programming. The Rockefeller Foundation funded two-week seminars in 1949 (Allerton I) and 1950 (Allerton II) of 22 educational broadcasters from across the United States. The outcomes from these meetings established the foundation for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service. The NAEB was based at WILL from 1951 to 1961.
In April 2010, WILL announced a series of cost-reducing measures, including the elimination of its weather department.
Both WILL (AM) and WILL-FM are members of National Public Radio and affiliates of Public Radio International and American Public Media. AM airs NPR news and talk, along with agricultural news information for central Illinois farmers. FM airs classical music most of the day, but simulcasts some of NPR's more popular shows with its AM sister.
The two stations helped to create NPR, and were among the 90 stations that carried the inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered in 1971.
WILL (AM) signed on in 1922 as WRM. It became WILL in 1928. The station is directional mostly to protect WIBW (AM) in Topeka, Kansas. WILL (AM) operates at 5,000 watts during the day. Due to its location near the bottom of the AM dial, as well as its transmitter power and directional antenna, this is enough to provide grade B coverage as far north as Chicago and as far east as Indianapolis. However, at sunset it must power down to 500 watts and gradually power down to 100 watts. At 6 a.m., it increases its power to 335 watts and ramps up to full power at sunrise.
Until 2014, it also served as the default NPR member station for Terre Haute, Indiana. That city lacked a full-power NPR member station until WISU began carrying NPR programming in 2014 as a satellite of WFYI-FM in Indianapolis.
WILL-FM, first licensed in 1941 as WIUC and changed to WILL-FM in 1954, was the first FM station in the United States licensed to a university. It also moved its frequency to 90.9 MHz in 1954. WILL-FM broadcasts with a grandfathered ERP of 105,000 watts at an antenna HAAT of 259 meters (850 ft).
WILL-FM began an HD Radio multicast in July 2008. 90.9 HD1 is a simulcast of WILL-FM's analog signal. 90.9 HD2 is a 24-hour classical music service, and 90.9 HD3 simulcasts WILL-AM's programming to make up for the reduced coverage of the AM station's nighttime signal.
The U of I applied for a television license soon after the FCC lifted its freeze on new licenses. However, educational television was a new concept at the time, and most of Illinois' commercial broadcasters vehemently opposed the prospect of the U of I owning a television station. After a bill that would have forced the university to withdraw its application was narrowly defeated in the legislature, the Illinois Broadcasters Association funded a suit by a restaurant owner in Evanston claiming that the Illinois Constitution did not allow U of I to operate a television station. The case went all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of U of I.
WILL-TV first hit the airwaves on August 1, 1955 from makeshift studios underneath Memorial Stadium. Originally airing for only a few hours at night, it began airing during the day in 1958 and added Saturday programming in 1974, four years after joining PBS.
Illinois Public Media's CEO and General Manager is Maurice "Moss" Bresnahan.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||WILL-HD||Main WILL-TV programming / PBS|
|12.3||CREATE-WORLD||Create (5:00am - 5:00pm) / World (5:00pm - 5:00am)|
WILL-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 9. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 12. The "WILL-TV" callsign was transferred over from the former analog channel 12 to digital channel 9 and the pre-transition call sign "WILL-DT" was officially retired.