No Republicans to be found at WBEZ public radio
WBEZ, Chicago’s public radio station, lists 118 employees on its website, but Chicago City Wire could not confirm that any of them vote Republican.
An examination of voting records conducted by this publication revealed that 100 percent of WBEZ staff with verifiable voting records voted for Democrats in the most recent primary election.
Of the 118 staff whose voting record could be identified, 38 percent voted Democrat in the most recent primary election and 0 percent voted Republican. There was no public data available for 42 percent of the employees, and 21 percent had multiple entries for the same names and or their political affiliation could not be confirmed.
The radio station is Chicago’s local National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate; it is owned and operated by Chicago Public Media (CPM). It also produces syndicated programs such as “Sound Opinions” and “Vocalo,” which are sold to other public radio stations across the country.
CPM’s most recent publicly available financial report reveals that, in the fiscal year 2014, WBEZ received $4,087,552 from “public broadcasting entities” to sustain its operations. Such entities are funded directly and indirectly by taxpayer money.
In addition to funding by public entities such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WBEZ collected more than $1.2 million from educational institutions. Revenues in this category include $805,429 from private colleges and universities, $192,958 from state colleges and universities, $248,400 from state boards and departments of education or other state government agency sources, and $16,494 from local education agencies.
In total, WBEZ receives more than $5 million in public funds per year to fulfill its mission, which its website describes, in part, as “creating and delivering diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires, enriches and entertains.”
The partisan make-up of WBEZ’s staff calls its ability to create diverse content into question. At least six of its news program producers are Democratic voters.
CPM’s mission includes a commitment to “make a difference in our communities, our region and our world.” While Illinois is increasingly voting Democratic, more than 30 percent of voters in the region -- including Cook and the collar counties -- voted Republican in the most recent presidential election.