Steve Edwards, Oak Park resident and WBEZ chief content officer and vice president, is temporarily filling the radio station’s top office as current CEO and President Goli Sheikholeslami leaves to head up New York Public Radio.
“It’s been exciting,” Edwards said of his new role. “Also, in many respects, it’s been as smooth a transition as one can hope for.” Edwards credits the strength and stability of WBEZ senior leadership and the Chicago Public Media Board of Directors for making the shift in responsibilities easier to navigate.
Edwards has worked at WBEZ for over a decade, as a journalist and program host. In 2012, he left the station for the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where he spent five years before returning to WBEZ in 2017.
“I’ve always been deeply committed to strengthening the civic conversation, and I fundamentally believe that the Chicago region needs robust news sources, that individuals need access to independent sources of information that can help them make important decisions and can help people connect across lines of difference,” Edwards said. “That’s the work we’re doing at WBEZ and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the organization during this transition period.”
Edwards is juggling dual roles, continuing as chief content officer while serving as interim CEO. He is not entertaining ambitions of becoming the official CEO, saying, “My heart is in content, not the corner office.”