WBEZ Chicago Public Radio (CPR) is a noncommercial, public radio station broadcasting from Chicago, Illinois. Financed primarily by listener contributions, Chicago Public Radio is affiliated with both National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio International (PRI). As of 2006, the station draws an estimated 600,000 listeners each week.
Programming on Chicago Public Radio includes the usual world music, quiz shows, and international and local news on a regular basis. It offers such staples as All Things Considered, Car Talk, Marketplace, Morning Edition, A Prairie Home Companion, and Whad'ya know. Currently, Chicago Public Radio is best known nationally as the producers of This American Life through Public Radio International, and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! through NPR. Generally, news and talk programming is heard during the day, with arts and culture programming on the weekends. Legendary jazz disc jockey Dick Buckley has a time slot Sunday afternoons.
Chicago Public Radio was at one time the flagship station of Steve Cushing's nationally distributed Saturday night blues music program Blues Before Sunrise, which started in 1979 and has been independently produced and distributed by Cushing since 1995; the program now airs locally on station WDCB. The station is also the flagship station of The Annoying Music Show!, a 3-5 minute program (which airs during a station break) that showcases generally annoying songs. The program is produced by Nayder Communications, headed by former WBEZ program director Jim Nayder. (Nayder Communications also produces the somewhat more serious Magnificent Obsession, a program of interviews with persons who have overcome various addictions, for which CPR is the flagship station.)
Its morning magazine program Eight Forty-Eight was named after the postal address of the station, 848 East Grand Avenue, though the name is sometimes misinterpreted as referring to its air time (originally 9:30am, currently 9:00am).
The other local program heard Monday-through-Friday is Worldview, an international news and analysis program that began in 1985 as Midday with Sondra Gair. After Gair's death in 1995, her producer Jerome McDonnell took over the program and has hosted since. It was heard nationally on Sirius Satellite Radio's now-defunct PRI channel from Sirius' inception until 2006. Starting March 2007, Worldview is aired on the satellite XMPR channel nightly.
The local arts program, Hello, Beautiful!, airs Sunday morning, and the rock music talk show Sound Opinions, which moved from WXRT in 2005, is distributed nationally by American Public Media. The "radio comic strip" 11 Central Avenue airs on Friday mornings during Morning Edition and is distributed nationally through the Public Radio Exchange.
In addition, Chicago Public Radio sponsors and administers the Third Coast International Audio Festival, a showcase for independent radio producers. It produces the weekly program Re:sound. Also, CPR is a founding member of the Public Radio Exchange, a programming cooperative for public radio stations and independent producers.
Official website: www.chicagopublicradio.org
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