Feder: WBEZ cuts 12 jobs, ends production deal with 'Sound Opinions'

  • Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot

    Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot

Updated 6/16/2020 12:29 PM

Facing a 20 percent revenue decline in the wake of the pandemic shutdown, the nonprofit parent company of public radio news/talk WBEZ 91.5-FM today announced the layoffs of 12 employees and the termination of its production agreement with the weekly rock music talk show "Sound Opinions," Robert Feder writes.

Although it no longer will be produced by Chicago Public Media, "Sound Opinions" will continue as a independent production airing on WBEZ and distributed to about 150 other public radio stations nationwide. It also will continue as a weekly podcast.


Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, the longtime Chicago music critics who launched the show in 1993, have been associated with WBEZ since 2005.

"It's been an honor to work with Jim and Greg and the 'Sound Opinions' staff during these past 15 years and we're grateful for their tremendous contributions to WBEZ and to music journalism and criticism in general," said Steve Edwards, chief content officer and interim CEO of Chicago Public Media. "While our production relationship is coming to an end, we look forward to continuing to air 'Sound Opinions' on WBEZ and we wish them all the best as they start their next chapter."

The staff reductions do not include any positions in the WBEZ newsroom, in talk show programming or on the Vocalo platform, according to the company.

Get the full report, and more Chicago media news, at robertfeder.com.

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