We are Chicago’s NPR news station, one of the largest and most respected public media stations in the country.
WBEZ was established as an extension service of the Chicago Board of Education in 1943. For most of those early years we broadcast educational instruction, operating during the school year on weekdays while Chicago Public Schools were in session. In 1970, we became one of the first charter member stations of National Public Radio. In 2007 we added Vocalo, our sister station celebrating Chicago urban alternative music. We adopted the name Chicago Public Media in 2010.
Throughout our history we have had a legacy of innovation as the birthplace of the most iconic shows in public media, such as This American Life, Serial and Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me. And today, we are more dynamic and forward-looking than ever before.
A magnet for the best talent.
A creative force in media, with original content across platforms.
A beloved institution that exudes the texture and unique sense of place that is Chicago and the greater Midwest.
A vital, indispensable source of enterprising news and information that drives civic conversation and engages a much larger, more diverse audience than ever before.
A part of NPR’s global newsgathering service that provides unmatched reporting from journalists across the country and around the world. NPR is the largest producer and distributor of public radio content in the U.S., and one of the most-listened-to and respected media organizations in the nation.
Our mission is at the heart of WBEZ Chicago.
We fulfill our mission at WBEZ by serving as a cornerstone of the public conversation; as a central pillar of our civic community; and by reasserting ourselves as the heart of innovation within public media.
We amplify the public conversation by telling the stories that matter; stories that provoke thought, entertain, capture emotion and inspire action.
We are a trusted source of news and information in Chicago.
People turn to WBEZ for our high-quality, fact-based journalism; engaging, entertaining programs; original podcasts; and digital content.
Our growing local newsroom delivers the news you rely on every day.
Our enterprise desks and investigative reporters explore the critical issues in our region. Government and politics. Criminal justice. Education. And issues of race, class and community.
Our midday local talk show, Reset, drives the daily conversation to keep Chicagoans connected to each other, to newsmakers, and to the top stories of the day.
We produce original, award-winning work for audiences in Chicago and beyond – in podcasts like Making Obama; 16 Shots about the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald; and an investigative podcast, Motive. Intriguing programs like Curious City, Sound Opinions and Nerdette. And arts, culture and music at Vocalo.
Our ethics guide our actions at WBEZ Chicago.
Our ability to serve the public good and earn our community’s trust ultimately rests on our credibility and our reputation. That’s why our mission and our work are rooted in the core values that form the basis of an engaged, civil society: Respect. Civility. Independence. Fairness. Accuracy. Truth. Creativity. We strive to reflect those values every day in the work we do.
Our listener-supported funding model gives WBEZ the capacity to create our news and programming, drive our growth and secure our future.
The primary funding to power our service comes from listeners: we are 60 percent listener supported, with approximately 86,000 members making mostly modest, affordable individual donations. Major philanthropic gifts from donors and foundations provide a catalyst to fund our substantial investments. And, support from community partners and organizations provide sponsorship of our programming.
Get WBEZ podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, NPR One, Spotify or wherever you listen.
In the community
Check out the WBEZ calendar for live events and community conversations.
Meet our people.
Our team at WBEZ is dedicated to fulfilling our mission. Our full-time employee population hovers around 150 people, with our content team represented by SAG-AFTRA. We know it is imperative that our workplace reflects the diversity of our community so we can, in turn, provide content that connects people. We are committed to having a workplace that thrives by creating a place of belonging where everyone can contribute their talents.
Our Board of Directors is the governing body for Chicago Public Media that meets regularly throughout the year, with all meetings open to the public.
Our Sounding Board is our community advisory council, established to review the programming and significant policy decisions of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funded public broadcasting station like WBEZ. They advise us to better serve the needs of our coverage area. Sounding Board meetings are open to the public.
WBEZ Next is a network of trusted ambassadors and supporters of Chicago Public Media. Comprised of business and civic leaders, the group brings insights from their respective field to advance the missions of the organization and provide philanthropic support.
Join us at WBEZ.
If you share our passion for public service news and information, there are many ways to join us at WBEZ.
Apply to be an intern to gain hands-on experience working in a leading NPR member station. We offer internships twice a year that last six months.
January through June (Applications open in September)
July through December (Applications open in February)
Internship applications will be posted on our Careers Page when they are available.
Give the gift of time by becoming a volunteer. Volunteer opportunities include providing staffing at WBEZ events; leading tours of the station; calling new members during our new member calling parties; and more. To learn more, sign up on our volunteer form.
Ways to get in touch.
Comments or questions?Fill out this form to submit comments about programming or for questions about membership.
WBEZ is located in the Chicago Public Media office on Navy Pier, at 848 East Grand Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60611.