New year, new job at WBEZ (I'm a boss)

December 21, 2011

I wanted to break a little news on the ole' blog today: I was just named Executive Producer of Midday here at WBEZ. It's true.  What's that, you ask? Well, it's a new position charged with overseeing and developing all of our midday programming, including Eight Forty-Eight, Worldview and, yes, a new afternoon vehicle hosted by Steve Edwards.  It's a great opportunity to shape and grow our locally produced shows, to further integrate our radio and digital platforms, and to work with the many talented hosts and producing WBEZ talk programming.

So what does "Midday" mean? Well, it really means the time between 9am and 4pm. Right now we run a series of national programs and our goal is to add more Chicago-originated shows to that mix over the next few years.

What does that mean for my role on the web? Right now, I write a daily blog and I edit the blog network which includes stars like Achy Obejas, Lee Bey and Claire Zulkey. Might I take them with me to air? You know it.  And I will find a way to continue to have this space to punch up Chicago's news.

I'd like to give a quote for other media to use:

"I'm excited about taking over programming for a place as legendary as WBEZ. We have two goals: 1) To provide the audience with the best possible talk programming in the Chicago area, and 2) To beat the Packers."

So what will I be programming? Good question. We're in the midst of our planning process, but I do have a few ideas for what could occupy the middays in the meantime.

Here's my suggested line-up for what WBEZ could sound like in the immediate future:

9am: Bob Edwards Drum & Bass

We all love Morning Edition's former host Bob Edwards. Wouldn't you love to have him spin the latest drum & bass tracks? And if we can't get rights to the music, then we would just have Edwards hum along in his deep, dulcit tones.

10am: This American Takeout

Ira's first spinoff - in which he reads unabridged and untranslated Thai food menus. Sarah Vowell is a part-time contributor.

11am: The Dramatic Pause Hour

Everyone loves public radio for the use of dead air dramatic pause. It used to be a lot worse than it is now, but still we are one of the only networks that lets content breathe. In this show, the hosts pride themselves on saying only 20 words an hour. No music, just a lot of pause. Dramatic pause.

1pm: Thistle and Shamrock.

Boom. I brought it back. How you like me now?

2pm: STAMBERGED!

Susan Stamberg hosts a Crossfire/Bill O'Reilly talk show. The main topics are international affairs, politics and cranberry sauce. It's a game show so loser gets Stamberg's latest knitting project.

3pm: Wait! Wait! Use the Potty!

NPR's Peter Sagal hosts a childrens show about potty training.

So that's my line-up. Do you have any suggestions?