WCBU General Manager R.C. McBride elected to the NPR Board of Directors
NPR member stations around the country voted to elect WCBU general manager R.C. McBride to the NPR Board of Directors. McBride will serve a three-year term beginning in November.
McBride is a 30-year radio industry veteran spending the last four years as the general manager of WCBU. Under his leadership the station expanded local news and music programming, achieved financial stability, won numerous industry awards, and increased the size of its student internship program to focus on developing the next generation of diverse broadcast and journalistic talent. In 2019, McBride partnered with Dr. Zach Gorman, chief information officer of Bradley University, to forge an agreement between Illinois State University and Bradley to manage WCBU. This fortuitous partnership and its efficiencies helped both stations survive the numerous challenges of COVID, including a steep economic downturn.
“R.C. possesses a special combination of innovation, strategy, and thoughtfulness that was instrumental in our university-station partnership, and it’s easy to see why his unique approach is of value to NPR during such a critical time for the evolution of media,” said Gorman.
As an NPR board member, McBride will be part of the leadership team during a major transition to the NPR Network along with large-scale initiatives to grow audience and donor support, including national branding campaigns, digital platform expansions, and much more.
“Journalism, including current and future journalists, are the backbone of a well-functioning democracy and critical to the future of our community, country and world,” said McBride. “The media industry continues to face numerous threats from rising disinformation to financial devastation. WCBU is investing in local news now more than ever because the nonprofit news model works, and Central Illinois deserves high-quality, local news. I’m humbled and honored to join the NPR board at such an exciting time for the organization, and I look forward to the innovation it will spur locally. My goal is to develop NPR and WCBU for future generations, passing on a network and a station better than we found it.”