Illinois Public Media is bidding a reluctant goodbye to Brian Moline, who has accepted a new job as a news editor for St. Louis Public Radio, beginning March 6.
“A big change in the offing,” said the 46-year-old Moline. “It will be a bittersweet one, to be sure.”
Moline has been with the WILL news department three months shy of eight years, as its managing editor and the local host for Morning Edition, as well as the voice of Illinois Public Media’s daily 217 Today podcast.
Moline is an Iowa native, who first broadcast on the radio as a college student at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. The new job at St. Louis Public Radio marks his second time in the St. Louis area — Moline and his wife lived there for a couple of years at the beginning of the century.
Moline’s time on the radio in Champaign-Urbana goes back to the 2000’s, when he joined the News-Gazette-owned WDWS-AM as a board operator for its Saturday morning talk programs and sports broadcasts. Moline’s work eventually expanded to include broadcasting ball games and hosting sports call-in programs himself. His move to WILL allowed him to move over to news, and take a different approach to radio.
“In public radio, we tend to have a little more time to let things breathe a little bit,” said Moline. “Not every second is taken up between programming and commercials. You’ve got a little more time to let talk show segments and stories breathe. A four-minute feature story in commercial radio is virtually non-existent these days. But it’s a regular feature in public media, and that’s certainly one of the things that attracted me to it.”
Moline used his sports knowledge at Illinois Public Media as well, during sports reports on Morning Edition, and as a participant in IPM’s Bandwagon sports podcast, which was produced from 2015 to 2018. Moline is a Chicago Cubs fan, a loyalty he vows to maintain as he and his family prepare to move to St. Louis Cardinals territory later this year.
Moline’s guests on Morning Edition over the years have included comedian Bill Maher and former Illinois governor Jim Edgar. His guest lineup has also displayed his love of music. A trombone player (and past member of the Urbana-based Community Center for the Arts Big Band), Moline’s love of music is reflected in musical guests ranging from pop singer Art Garfunkel to jazz singer (and former University of Illinois student) Dee Dee Bridgewater. He also enjoyed the chance to talk with several artists involved with the university’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the U of I School of Music’s Lyric Theatre productions of opera and musical theater.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Julie and Nathan Gunn, with their involvement in that program, and all the performers who have come through there over the years,” said Moline.
Although he’s leaving WILL, Brian Moline has one final production in the works for WILL Radio. It will incorporate an extended interview Brian recorded with jazz bassist Christian McBride, the host of NPR’s Jazz Night in America, which airs weekends on WILL-FM. McBride came to the University of Illinois Urbana campus in the spring of 2022 to hold master classes and lead a performance of his extended work, The Movement Revisited. Moline’s hour-long radio program featuring McBride’s music and words will air on WILL sometime this spring.
In the meantime, Moline is saying goodbye to two decades of work and life in the Champaign-Urbana area, as he prepares for his new job at St. Louis Public Media.
“I’ll certainly miss all my co-workers, as well as the wonderful audience members here at WILL,” said Moline.