Philip Weinberg, “the man responsible for bringing public broadcasting to central Illinois,” according to the Peoria Journal Star, died Thursday (Feb. 2) in Peoria, Ill. He was 86.
“Not only did he start public radio on the Bradley [University] campus,” said Chet Tomczyk, g.m. of WTVP-TV, “but when he came across Sesame Street, produced by the Children’s Television Workshop, he decided that here was a show that people in this community needed to be exposed to.” So Weinberg arranged for the program to play on another local channel for six months before it could be carried on the pubTV station that Weinberg put on the air in June 1971, Tomczyk said.
Weinberg was also a former dean at Bradley University, and “a Renaissance man, one of those visionary transformational figures, not only for Bradley but the central Illinois community,” said Jeff Huberman, dean of Bradley’s Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts. “That was a college Weinberg not only created but ran for nine years,” the paper noted, “after serving as chairman of the school’s electrical engineering department for 20 years, a department he also created.”