“Magnificent Obsession” on WBEZ-FM marking 20 years

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This week, host Jim Nayder is marking the 20th anniversary his show, Magnificent Obsession: True Stories of Recovery, on Chicago pubstation WBEZ-FM. Each 30-minute weekly episode presents an individual’s personal battle with addiction, in his or her own words, writes Time Out Chicago media critic Bob Feder. The program grew out of interviews Nayder conducted years ago during marketing work he did to supplement his radio income, for a suburban hospital’s new chemical dependency unit. “I thought writing notes might be distracting, and, being in radio, decided I would simply record the conversations on a little cassette,” he said. “When I went back to the tapes for the research info, I was mesmerized by the stories these folks were sharing.” He originally pitched it to the station as a 13-week documentary, and response to the first few episodes was “dramatic.”

To mark the anniversary, on Sunday (April 8) Nayder is airing the first episode. “It’s special to me for many reasons,” he said. “It’s a great program and story, and ‘Dan,’ who speaks, recently passed away. He died completely sober and lived the past 20 years happy and with a family that he was able to save and love by finding recovery. Although Dan physically is no longer with us, his voice, story and help to others live on. I thought, what better way to celebrate?”

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