Radio director’s legacy lives on in visitors center

By Rachel Scaman

A ceremony was held to commemorate the life of Tim Emmons, who was the director and general manager of Northern Public Radio.

Emmons, who had been director and general manager since 1997, died at the age of 53 from colon cancer in February 2012. During the ceremony, locals, family and friends of Emmons as well as NIU President Doug Baker gathered to visit the Tim Emmons Memorial Visitors Center, which was made in Emmons honor.

The ceremony was held 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the NIU Broadcast Center, 801 N. First St.

Staci Hoste, general manager of Northern Public Radio, said the visitors center was completed at 3 p.m. Thursday when the last piece of work was hung.

“[The visitors center] will be used for hosting events, inviting our community and listeners in to see what goes on in a radio station, to meet our staff and interact with them … ,” among other things, Hoste said.

Hoste said her staff was involved in the ceremony and people really cared about making contributions, whether it was audio, or equipment.

“I felt like [the ceremony] was a good exclamation point on a project that the station had worked hard on to honor Tim,” Hoste said.

Mike Moen, a reporter for Northern Public Radio, who knew Tim, said it’s nice to know the people who didn’t get a chance to meet him will recognize the history he created.

“He built a good brand [at Northern Public Radio] in terms of making us look good in DeKalb … ,” Moen said.

Bert Grey, development director of Northern Public Radio, said he didn’t know Emmons and he, like Baker, was a newcomer.

“I know him only through stories, pictures and the fact that we still hear his voice on the air doing announcements,” Grey said.

Grey said the memory of Emmons stays in the visitors center with all the historic pieces.

“It wouldn’t be all that out-of-line to think that when we’re in there conducting important radio business, he might be watching out for us, too,” Grey said.