NEWS RELEASE — Glen Moberg, Wisconsin Public Radio’s (WPR) award winning Wausau-based reporter and “Route 51” host, has announced his retirement, effective Feb. 1, 2019 due to serious health issues.
Moberg, who joined WPR in 2003 after two decades as a television journalist in Chicago and Wausau, made his mark equally as a storyteller and as an interviewer on the weekly call-in show “Route 51” on The Ideas Network stations in central Wisconsin. His writing, reporting and hosting earned awards from The Associated Press Wisconsin, the Midwest Broadcast Journalism Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Milwaukee Press Club and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. Moberg earned the title of Distinguished Broadcaster in 2016, an honor conferred by the chancellor of UW-Extension.
“I have been blessed to be able to end my almost 50-year career in broadcasting on a high note, as a storyteller and talk show host for one of the world’s great news organizations,” Moberg said. “WPR has given me the freedom and the time to be creative and produce some of my best work. I am particularly proud of the light I’ve been able to shine on the problems of bigotry and racism, and threats to the environment. It’s been an honor to be part of a team of great journalists, who understand the importance of ethics, fairness and holding truth to power.”
“All of us at WPR are deeply saddened at Glen’s health condition and we’re all thinking of him and his family during this time,” said WPR Director Mike Crane. “He’s the consummate journalist. Always curious, open, and friendly, but also persistent, resilient and knowledgeable. We are grateful to Glen for his work at WPR and his friendship, he is really going to be missed.”
“Glen loves the art of radio. He is always quick to remind a young journalist or stubborn editor the importance of sound,” WPR News Director Noah Ovshinsky said. “He often talks about the need to entertain the audience while also conveying the facts. He uses music, nature, and the sounds of everyday life, to paint the audience a picture. It’s his hallmark. I miss hearing it already.”
As a WPR journalist, Moberg reported on stories of importance to the region. He helped develop “Route 51,” and in the 15 years since, he produced programs as varied as caring for injured birds, jazz music, politics, fishing and diversity. Moberg also moderated a number of debates for legislative, congressional and statewide elections throughout his time at WPR.
“In developing ‘Route 51’ we wanted to create a space where listeners and guests could engage in thoughtful conversations about the issues surrounding the region, and have some fun along the way” said the show’s executive producer, WPR Central Regional Manager Rick Reyer. “Glen has that remarkable ability of bringing people together and getting them to consider each other’s point of view. Glen has as much passion for his community as he has for his work. I believe that connection made him a better reporter, program host and citizen.”
Moberg first landed in Wausau as the news director and anchor at WSAW-TV, replacing long-time television broadcaster Mark Zelich, who lured Moberg away from the big city. Moberg worked at WSAW-TV and WAOW-TV before taking a position at WPR’s Central Bureau in 2003.
He and his wife Mary Beth and children Tom and Melody delighted in the calmer pace of Wausau, and he soon became deeply committed to the region as a citizen and as a reporter. He is a member of the Wausau Rotary Club, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, the Center for Visual Arts in Wausau, and the Marathon County Literacy Council.
WPR is currently exploring options for Moberg’s replacement. In the meantime, Reyer will host “Route 51.” WPR has created a page for listener comments at wpr.org.
Top photo: Glen Moberg is pictured in the field with a bear cub. His piece, “The Bear Facts,” earned him an Edward R. Murrow Award for best use of sound in 2011. Credit: WPR