WBEZ 91.5FM Reimagines Midday Programming with New Local Talk Show Debuting This Fall, Hosted by Jenn White
The Morning Shift and Worldview to end production this fall; BBC Newshour to return to WBEZ weekdays
CHICAGO (May 23, 2019) – Coming this fall, Chicago’s NPR news station WBEZ 91.5FM will be launching a new two-hour midday show, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. hosted by Jenn White. With this new program, WBEZ will create a new midday conversation that keeps Chicagoans connected to each other and to the most fascinating stories and people of the day.
“Midday listening is becoming increasingly important as people check-in on what’s happening in the world, particularly with the rise in streaming audio,” said Goli Sheikholeslami, CEO of WBEZ. “We’re meeting this need by investing in new, indispensable programming that will drive the daily Chicago conversation during the key midday listening hours.”
WBEZ’s new show will be live and local, and will build on Jenn White’s ability to include newsmakers, innovators and cultural leaders in discussions on important topics and issues relevant to Chicago, the region and beyond. In addition to covering local news and voices, WBEZ’s new midday show also will explore Chicago’s diverse cultures, and its role as a place of tremendous dynamism, diversity, challenge and change in an ever-changing world.
“Chicago is the third largest metro area in America and truly a global city,” said Steve Edwards, vice president, chief content officer for WBEZ. “What happens in Chicago influences people around the globe – and vice versa. At a time in which we’re more connected than ever before, WBEZ’s new midday show will make those connections.”
Throughout this summer, WBEZ will be working on developing the new show – including determining a new name and new theme music. Jenn White and the production team will bring distinctive new voices and features to the show, while also carrying forward the best of The Morning Shift – including conversations about Chicago’s complex future; daily news briefings from the WBEZ newsroom; See, Hear, Eat, a weekend guide to happenings around the region, and more.
“Being live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. means we can follow the day’s news cycle as it’s happening and unfolding, while bringing the essential context, analysis and conversation WBEZ is known for,” said White.
White joined WBEZ in 2016 and became the host of The Morning Shift this past January following veteran host Tony Sarabia’s departure from the station. WBEZ’s current two hours of local weekday programming – The Morning Shift from 9 to 10 a.m. and Worldview from noon to 1 p.m. – will continue to air this summer but will end production this fall to make way for this new initiative. WBEZ will celebrate Worldview’s 25-year history and longtime host Jerome McDonnell in a series of special shows and events throughout the summer.
McDonnell will transition from Worldview to reporting on energy and the environment across WBEZ’s dayparts and programs, bringing his expertise, insight and curiosity to these critical issues.
In addition to those new developments, the BBC Newshour will return to the weekday programming lineup this fall weekdays at 9 am to provide additional international news coverage and global perspectives. This addition, the new midday program, and other programming updates are slated to launch in mid-October.
About WBEZ Chicago
WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information. WBEZ’s award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. In addition to its local and national news programming, WBEZ Chicago is home to a growing portfolio of popular podcasts, including the “Making” series of Making Obama and Making Oprah; 16 Shots: A podcast about the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald; Nerdette; and Sound Opinions. WBEZ Chicago has a legacy of innovation as the birthplace of nationally acclaimed programs such as This American Life, and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! and the ground-breaking podcast, Serial.
Download the WBEZ app, available in the App Store and Google Play. Learn more about WBEZ Chicago and its award-winning programming and on-demand digital content at wbez.org or on Facebook or Twitter.