ILLINI, NEWS-GAZETTE MEDIA EXTEND LONG-STANDING BROADCAST RELATIONSHIP THROUGH 2022
Newstalk 1400 WDWS-AM, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS-FM to Carry More Than 150 Live Events Each Year
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – University of Illinois Athletics and its multimedia rightsholder, Learfield’s Fighting Illini Sports Properties, announced today the continuation of a broadcast relationship with News-Gazette Media that has spanned more than three decades.
The renewed partnership goes into effect with the start of the 2018-19 collegiate athletic season, with coverage continuing on News-Gazette Media-owned stations Newstalk 1400 WDWS-AM and Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS-FM. Between the two stations, more than 150 live events will be aired each athletic season. All home and away Illini football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and women’s volleyball will be carried, as well as the coaches’ shows and brief daily show update across all sports. In addition, a select number of softball games will be carried each year.
“We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with UI Athletics and Fighting Illini Sports Properties,” said John Reed, CEO and Publisher of News-Gazette Media. “The fast-paced world of college athletics is a part of our business where we’ve consistently invested in top-tier talent for our organization. I’m personally thrilled with the opportunity to continue working with two entities who share the same philosophy. The future looks bright for The Fighting Illini, and we very much look forward to being a part of it.”
Game action for Illini football and men’s basketball will be simulcast on Lite Rock 97.5 and Newstalk 1400, while baseball, women’s volleyball and the select softball games will be carried on Newstalk 1400.
“We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with News-Gazette Media and radio stations WDWS and WHMS,” said Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. “Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games, and this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more. We appreciate the efforts of Learfield and News-Gazette Media to put together this partnership.”
The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics sponsors 21 varsity teams and is a charter member of both the nation’s premier league, the Big Ten Conference, and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Since its inception as an athletics department in 1890, Fighting Illini teams have won 18 NCAA Championships, five football national championships and 247 Big Ten titles. Illinois has advanced to five NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Fours. University of Illinois alumni athletes have won 31 Olympic medals while competing for 17 countries in 24 Olympic Games. Notable University of Illinois athletics alumni include Pro Football Hall of Famers Harold “Red” Grange, Dick Butkus and George Halas; National Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau; and, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famers Jerry Colangelo and Mannie Jackson.
News-Gazette Media is an independent, locally-owned multimedia company serving a weekly audience in excess of 250,000 central Illinois residents through its wide array of radio, newspaper, digital and magazine products. It’s award-winning media holdings include WDWS-AM, WHMS-FM , WKIO-FM, The News-Gazette daily newspaper, twelve websites, eight community weekly newspapers and four magazines. Headquartered in downtown Champaign, News-Gazette Media proudly employs the largest and most experienced group of news and sports media talent in the market.