CHICAGO (September 30, 2019) – A new live, local talk show will debut in Chicago on October 14, as WBEZ 91.5FM introduces Reset with Jenn White. The station’s new two-hour show will air weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to provide a daily conversation that keeps Chicagoans connected to each other, to newsmakers, and to the top stories of the day during midday listening hours.
“Reset with Jenn White will be a new addition to the public conversation on WBEZ, providing a fresh opportunity during midday for listeners to check in on the news – to understand what’s happened since you left home in the morning and find out where the news and big conversations are going next,” said Israel Smith, WBEZ’s managing director, programming and audience development. “Each weekday it will be a place for listeners to discuss and unpack the biggest stories and issues in Chicago and beyond, right in the heart of the day.”
Reset with Jenn White comes at a time when midday listening is becoming increasingly important, especially with the rise in streaming audio, as people check in on what’s happening in the world.
“We’ve significantly expanded the size and scope of our newsroom in recent years to better serve Chicagoans across dayparts and platforms,” said Steve Edwards, WBEZ’s chief content officer and interim CEO. “Reset with Jenn White reflects our continued commitment to providing outstanding programming that connects Chicagoans to each other and to the broader world with depth, context and perspective.”
Reset with Jenn White will capture the momentum and energy of Chicagoland and its diverse communities, with an upbeat pace that brings the sound of the city into the show. As the show’s host, White will lead conversations on newsmakers, innovators and cultural leaders in discussions on important topics and issues relevant to Chicago, the region and beyond.
“I am thrilled to be part of this exciting new venture at WBEZ,” said White. “We want Reset to reflect the complexity of the city, and we’re all looking forward to connecting deeply with the many diverse communities we serve through this new show.”
The new show will feature new signature series including Closing the Gap, ongoing conversations about the critical gaps that exist in Chicago and the region such as life expectancy, income inequality, health care and more. Also, in the next year, Reset with Jenn White has plans to take the show live to different corners of the WBEZ listening area for live remote broadcasts, as well as community listening sessions, on the Chicago’s North, South and West sides and suburbs.
In its first week on air, Reset with Jenn White will feature interviews with notable political and cultural thought leaders including Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power; historian and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch; poet Saeed Jones; and fantasy author best known for A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin.
Experienced Producers and Diverse Contributors to Power New Show
Joining White on the production team are a deep bench of experienced producers. The show’s production staff will be led by Daniel Tucker, current senior producer of The Morning Shift. Producers Meha Ahmad, Jason Marck and Nereida Moreno will move from The Morning Shift to Reset with Jenn White. Steve Bynum will join Reset from Worldview, where he’s been the senior producer for nearly two decades.
Additionally, two new producers recently joined WBEZ to round out the show team: Bianca Martin comes to WBEZ from Washington where she worked on building and launching NPR’s 1A with Joshua Johnson, and Stephanie Kim also joins as a producer, having started as a WBEZ intern on The Morning Shift at the beginning of 2019.
WBEZ first announced plans for the new midday show in May 2019, as well as news that The Morning Shift and Worldview would be ending production this fall. The Morning Shift and Worldview will have their final shows this Friday, October 4, at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. respectively.
As Reset with Jenn White launches, it will feature a number of contributors including Worldview host Jerome McDonnell, who will take on a new role for WBEZ covering energy, environment and climate change across programs and platforms starting later this fall. As a regular contributor to Reset, his reports, interviews and conversations will help Chicagoans understand the natural world in our region and the local-global impact of climate change.
Additional contributors on Reset with Jenn White will cover a broad range of topics: Transportation with Mary Wisniewski, Chicago Tribune’s transportation reporter; sustainability with Karen Wiegert, vice president for Slipstream, a clean energy innovation non-profit and former Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago; food with WBEZ’s Monica Eng; and “What’s That Building?” with Dennis Rodkin of Crain’s Chicago Business.
Other segments planned for Reset with Jenn White include See, Hear, Eat, a guide to the best things to do in Chicagoland each week; the Friday News Roundup panel discussion to break down the biggest local news stories of the week; and new musician profiles and culture conversations.
In addition to airing weekdays on WBEZ, equally important to Reset with Jenn White is to create listening and engagement opportunities on multiple platforms beyond the radio, through social media, live events and remote broadcasts. It will also be available as a podcast to meet the needs of timeshifting listeners who want to catch the show on demand
New WBEZ Weekday Program Schedule Debuts This Fall
With the launch of Reset with Jenn White in the midday timeslot, WBEZ is adjusting its weekday program schedule, notably adding BBC Newshour at 9 a.m. to continue coverage of international news and perspectives. Fresh Air will shift to 1 p.m. Monday-Thursday and repeat at 8 p.m. The new weekday schedule on WBEZ is as follows:
5-9 a.m. Morning Edition from NPR
9 a.m. BBC Newshour (starting October 7)
10 a.m. 1A with Joshua Johnson
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Reset with Jenn White
1 p.m. – Fresh Air with Terry Gross (Monday-Thursday. Science Friday will air Fridays at 1 p.m.)
2 p.m. – Here and Now
3-7 p.m. – All Things Considered from NPR, including Marketplace at 4:30 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.)
About WBEZ Chicago
WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information. WBEZ’s award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. In addition to its local and national news programming, WBEZ Chicago is home to a growing portfolio of popular podcasts, including the “Making” series of Making Obama and Making Oprah; 16 Shots: A podcast about the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald; Nerdette; and Sound Opinions. WBEZ Chicago has a legacy of innovation as the birthplace of nationally acclaimed programs such as This American Life, and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! and the ground-breaking podcast, Serial.
Download the WBEZ app, available in the App Store and Google Play or ask your smart speaker to “Play WBEZ.” Learn more about WBEZ Chicago and its award-winning programming and on-demand digital content at wbez.org or on Facebook or Twitter.