Niala Boodhoo, host and executive producer of WILL's 'The 21st,' is stepping down at the end of July after being named as one of 17 journalists that were awarded the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan during the 2019-20 academic year.

Listen to this article

After three years as host and executive producer on WILL’s “The 21st,” Niala Boodhoo is stepping down at the end of July.

WILL recently announced that Boodhoo was named one of 17 journalists for the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan during the 2019-20 academic year.

The show airs on five stations in Illinois. A national search for Boodhoo’s replacement is underway.

Boodhoo played an important part in the launching of “The 21st.”

“We knew we had a great idea, and I was very excited to execute it with Illinois Public Media,” Boodhoo said. “The opportunity to create something new from the ground up was an absolute privilege. I feel like we’ve created a new statewide audience, prompted important conversation and helped elevate discourse throughout Illinois.”

Senior producer Alan Montecillo remains with the show and will be joined by former newsroom reporter Anna Casey.

“I know that I’m leaving the show in good hands, and I fully expect Alan and the rest of the team will surpass the goals that we have already achieved through the show,” Boodhoo said.

On to my weekend recommendations:


“Conan,” 10 p.m., TBS

It’s one of the few talk shows not in reruns. Even Jimmy Fallon, who rarely takes vacation, is airing a repeat. Not O’Brien, who has been on the air since 1993. Tonight’s guests include Kristen Bell, star of “The Good Place.”


“The Interview,” 6:30 p.m., Comedy Central

James Franco and Seth Rogen star as a TV news team that lands an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It’s a comedy. Really.


Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, 12:30 p.m., MLB Network

All three area teams will be represented in Cooperstown, N.Y. Former Cardinals and Cubs reliever Lee Smith and ex-White Sox outfielder/DH Harold Baines were selected by the Today’s Game Era Committee. The class includes Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez.

College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).