Steve Edwards

Former Chief Content Officer
Steve Edwards is chief content officer and interim CEO at WBEZ Chicago Public Media, Chicago’s NPR News station and the birthplace of such celebrated programs as This American Life, Serial and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.  Previously, he spent nearly 20 years as an award-winning journalist, producer and program host. His work has appeared on the BBC, Bloomberg News, PBS and numerous public radio stations around the United States. 

During his tenure at WBEZ, Edwards has led an ambitious increase in the organization’s commitment to original reporting, doubling the size of the newsroom, bolstering investigative reporting, and developing a new desk focused on race, class and community. Under his leadership, WBEZ has created new programs and podcasts that have expanded audience and deepened community engagement.  

As a journalist, Edwards served as the host of two acclaimed daily news and culture programs, “The Afternoon Shift” and “Eight Forty-Eight.” He also led the station’s digital and multimedia content efforts, hosted a weekly political show, and was the correspondent for a BBC World Service documentary on the culture of political corruption in Chicago.  Under his tenure, “Eight Forty-Eight” was named Best Weekly Program by the Public Media Journalists Association and the Best Public Affairs Program by Chicago Magazine.

Edwards is also the recipient of numerous journalism honors for his reporting and documentary work, including the Grand Award in Radio from the National Headliner Club, the RTNDA’s Edward R. Murrow Award, as well as awards from The Associated Press, Chicago Headline Club, NABJ, the Society of Professional Journalists, and UPI, among others.   He got his start in journalism covering the 1988 presidential campaign as a high school student and later interned for NPR’s All Things Considered.

From 2012 to 2017, Edwards served as Executive Director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where he oversaw all programming and operational duties, including its acclaimed public event series, career and civic engagement programs, as well as the “The Axe Files” podcast in partnership with former presidential advisor David Axelrod and CNN.

Edwards earned his B.A. in political science from Amherst College and was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Stories by Steve Edwards