The Chicago Public Media Board of Directors announced Wednesday that Steve Edwards has been appointed as WBEZ’s interim CEO.
Current president and CEO Goli Sheikholeslami will become CEO of New York Public Radio in early October. Edwards, who currently serves as WBEZ’s vice president and chief content officer, will begin his new role upon Sheikholeslami’s departure at the end of September.
“Goli leaves remarkably big shoes to fill, but I’m honored by the opportunity to build on her legacy and to lead the team during this interim period as we continue our efforts to serve more Chicagoans with the outstanding journalism and programming our community needs,” Edwards said.
Edwards, 48, has spent nearly 20 years as a journalist, producer and program host. He worked at WBEZ for 13 years and left in 2012 to join the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
He returned to WBEZ in 2017 to help implement an ambitious strategic plan. He has since helped expand news coverage, boost investigative reporting, launch new podcasts and hire a diverse array of talent.
“Building on the strong foundation Goli has established at WBEZ, Steve was the natural choice to serve as interim CEO -- not only to ensure a smooth transition, but also given the deep commitment and passion he brings to Chicago Public Media each day,” said Board Chairman Bryan Traubert.
Also announced Wednesday was that WBEZ’s Chief Marketing Officer Kassie Stephenson was appointed interim chief operations officer. She will lead the station’s day-to-day business operations.
Stephenson has been with Chicago Public Media since 2015, first as vice president of marketing and membership until being named chief marketing officer in 2018.