WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Public Radio is affiliated with both National Public Radio as well as Public Radio International. Before 2010, the parent organization, as well as the station, was referred to as Chicago Public radio. However, since 2010, the parent organization has been referred to as Chicago Public Media.
Due to the changes in the names, the outputs of the organization either get branded as WBEZ or as Chicago Public Media. The station has guaranteed its audience of great quality by always broadcasting in HD.
History of WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Public Radio:
April 1943 marked the first time WBEZ went on air. At this point, all the station did was carry instructional programming to be used by Chicago Public Schools. Sadly, only a few classes got to tune in on the first attempts. This was simply because most of the classes had no FM receivers. The broadcast of strictly instructional programs went on for years (the early years). This situation saw that the station functioned only on weekdays when Public Schools in Chicago were in session.
In the year 1970, WBEZ became a chartered member of the National Public Radio. Hence, the station began general programming outside the walls of schools.
At first, most of the newly-introduced programming was jazz music.
The station was sold by the Board of Education to WBEZ Alliance Inc. (a non-profit organization) in 1990.
A major turning point for the station was in 2007 when the jazz program that held overnight was cut off. The only music program left on the schedule this way was the world music program on Friday nights. The management said this move was due to new fame enjoyed by other music platforms. There was a protest to no avail. Instead, the administration drew up a plan for more Chicago-focused programs for seven hours. It was a five-year plan.
Goli Sheikholeslami has been the CEO from April 2014 till date.
Chicago Public Radio has evolved over the years. At the moment, their audience can listen live for free. The live streaming and online streaming option have made this easy.
All over America, WBEZ is known as the producer of “This American Life” as well as “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” The parent organization, Chicago Public Media founded the Third Coast International Audio Festival. These are older shows.
In recent times, they are known for programs like 16 Shots, 1A, Alt. Latino, 99% Invisible, Code Switch, Embedded, and Curious City.
Another attention-grabbing show by WBEZ is Innovation Hub. It is a program focused on the forces in the various industries that are bent on making our world better. They are spread across a wide range of sectors; from education, to finance, healthcare, and the economy at large.
Making Obama is another great show. It looks into how the former President, Barack Obama, made his way to the white house from Chicago.
This is the fantastic presenter who picked off from where Tony Sarabia left things. Tony had worked with WBEZ 91.5 for almost three decades, hosting The Morning Shift.
The Morning Shift is a live morning show which has become an excellent platform for discourse. It has created a common space for Chicagoans to come to discuss their common struggles, especially in relation to the news. Jennifer has been around at WBEZ for a while. She was the host for Making Oprah, and she is the host for the podcast, Making Obama as well. She has worked with the public radio from as far back as 1999.
Kira Miller is the amazing host of Innovation Hub. She makes the eye-opening show even more exciting. Kira also doubles as the executive editor for the show. She launched the show as far back as 2011, and the quality has only improved since then. Kira also contributes to some other shows within WBEZ 91.5.
She has indeed done well for herself as she has interviewed several notable people. These people include Sherry Turkle, Deepak Chopra, David Pogue, Sal Khan, Jared Diamond, and Michael Sandel, amongst several others.
Kelly McEvers is a seasoned American Journalist. She is the host of the podcast, “Embedded” at WBEZ 91.5. He has worked in several capacities within the organization including being a co-host of All Things Considered and an international correspondent.
Kelly adds spice to the podcast (Embedded) as a story is picked from the news and then, dissected. Kelly is daring and courageous. These qualities were seen in her time as an international correspondent when she covered dangerous situations. Some of them include the Middle East Uprisings and the Syrian Civil War.
Joshua Johnson is a seasoned radio talk show host as well as a journalist. He hosts the radio show 1A, and one can typically see Joshua’s passion in the execution of his job. Joshua’s attitude has been described as a very calm one. He is also even-tempered and persistent in the most respectful manner, in the case whereby a guest tries to avoid a question. The A1 show essentially picks and discusses the most critical questions of this day and age. To listen to Joshua, tune in to WZEB 91.5 at 10 a.m & 10 p.m on Mondays to Thursdays. On Fridays, the show airs at 10 a.m.
Address: Navy Pier, at 848 East Grand Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60611
Phone: +1 312-923-9239 & 312-948-4600
Official Website: https://www.wbez.org/