Steve Edwards leaving WBEZ for Institute of Politics

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Steve Edwards is leaving WBEZ-FM in Chicago after 14 years to become deputy director, programming, at the University of Chicago’s new nonpartisan Institute of Politics, an organization for students interested in public-service careers that is led by Democratic political consultant David Axelrod. Edwards’s last day is Sept. 21, reports Time Out Chicago media critic Robert Feder, noting that with Edwards’s resignation, “Chicago radio lost one of its most brilliant and talented stars.”

Last February Edwards premiered The Afternoon Shift, a live, two-hour weekday call-in program. Previously he had anchored the Eight Forty-Eight weekday news show, as well as served as director of content development and program director.

In a memo to staff, Chicago Public Media President Torey Malatia said: “Steve has devoted most of his broadcasting career in painting the public mural of what WBEZ is in the daily lives of our listeners. It is a priceless part of his skill and insight that will always remain with our institution as he moves forward with his life and career.”

Edwards told Feder that he sees his move more as an evolution than a departure. “I’m actually working in a space that’s consistent with material I’ve reported on for years,” Edwards said. “It doesn’t at all preclude me moving back more squarely into the media or journalism down the road if there’s the right opportunity.”