By Steve Robinson | June 24, 2018 - 10:02 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

When he worked at radio station WJBC AM 1230, Eric Stock was the voice who brought listeners morning news. He did that until recently, the end of May, in fact, when he switched from AM to FM, joining the news staff of WGLT FM 89.1, the National Public Radio affiliate licensed to Illinois State University.

I seemed to see more of Eric, though, when he went from A. M. to P. M., as in Friday nights at local high school football games in the fall, part of his being among the crew at WJBC who covered the station’s “High School Football Extravaganza,” the wall-to-wall coverage of the games heard during the regular season in late summer and fall. That’s the show where play-by-play guys join photographers and writers fanning out to all the games catching the night’s action to see which teams finished in the win column.

A western Pennsylvania native, Stock, who spent 14 years at WJBC, got interested in radio while growing up and “wanted to be a broadcaster from as young as I can remember. I would attend Pittsburgh Pirates games, listen to the broadcasts and thought that’s what I wanted to do.”

“I was just sort of drawn to that,” Stock said of his interest in broadcasting. “It just seemed like something I’d want to do.”

Having graduated from Duquesne University in 1995, that was where he first did play-by-play “and gave me the where-with-all to get the equipment we needed to be able to broadcast” using the first generation of mobile phones.

Stock’s first job out of college was at a small radio station in Arizona where he took the job sight unseen and stayed for four months before finding another radio job in Illinois. Once in the Land of Lincoln, he started in Sparta, and moved on to Taylorville, where he met his wife, Catherine. From there, he crossed state lines to work at a station in Cape Girardeau, Mo., before coming back to Illinois to take a job at WJBC in 2004.

Coming to WGLT, Stock said, the style would be different but the concept of putting information together to get it out to the public would be the same. Joining WGLT “was an opportunity to stretch my legs a little bit, to try some new things.” He added he’s grateful to WJBC for his years there and commended the station for its dedication to coverage of local news. At WGLT, Stock admits he’ll be “trying some new things and different things.”

He may have a new radio home for reporting, but Stock might not be done with covering sports. He explained WGLT management “has given me clearance” to continue with sports when and if needed,” but Stock said he hasn’t had any discussions with WJBC concerning future opportunities. In addition to high school games, Stock’s resume included covering Illinois Wesleyan University football and men’s basketball.

As far as advice for those young people wanting to pursue a broadcasting career, Stock said, “I think it helps to have a natural curiosity about things because you have to have that to do news and a passion to want to learn more.” He encouraged students to “be a news consumer – read the paper and stories online, listen to the radio, watch TV, even cable news – watch all of it and learn to develop a story in your own voice.”

It sounds like Stock has been doing just that himself to achieve what he has thus far in his career. And although his spot on the dial has changed, his dedication to informing others hasn’t.

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