Following a long career in Chicago Public Media including a stint as interim CEO, Oak Park’s Steve Edwards has stepped down as chief content officer at WBEZ, leaving public radio to serve as managing director of executive-search firm Koya Partners. The firm also works in strategic planning.
“I will return to my first role as a listener, as a member and a fan, but I will always be connected to Chicago Public Media in profound ways,” said Edwards in the WBEZ story announcing his departure.
Edwards began working at Chicago Public Media in 1999. During his tenure at Chicago’s NPR member station, Edwards wore multiple hats. In addition to being a member of WBEZ’s leadership team, Edwards also served as a journalist and program host. His last day will be May 14.
“I have been privileged to spend the vast majority of my professional life at WBEZ, and the experience has enriched me and shaped me in every aspect,” Edwards said. “Even though I’ll not be getting a paycheck from Chicago Public Media any longer, my passion for the mission and my belief in the importance of quality journalism and the future potential for WBEZ are undiminished.”
Edwards previously left WBEZ in 2012 to work at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics with David Axelrod, himself a former Oak Parker. He spent five years with the institute, ascending to executive director, before returning to WBEZ in 2017 as chief content officer.
Managing Editor Tracy Brown will succeed Edwards in the role of chief content officer. Brown came to WBEZ in 2019, following a career in print journalism. For her skills and commitment to journalism, Edwards has given her his seal of approval.
“We’re doing much more impactful, enterprising journalism than we’ve done in WBEZ’s history, and that’s testimony to Tracy’s leadership and work.”