More Pledges for WFMT | Letters | Chicago Reader

More Pledges for WFMT 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

To the editors:

Your article on the listeners' forum held by the Friends of WFMT at Roosevelt University (Hot Type, February 15) paints Al Antlitz as the main force behind the station's dangerous liaisons with canned commercials and a classical Muzak mentality. In reality, Antlitz is one of the station's longtime staffers, but he seems to have been willing to take on a realpolitik management style at the urging of the CETA directors. To my knowledge, they were turned against the WFMT staff as a result of some maneuvering by the then editor of Chicago magazine. As a result, the magazine was sold, and CETA pocketed most of the profits.

I grew up with WFMT, and returned to Chicago in 1967, partly because I could listen to the station. I'm hopeful about what you call the "uneasy truce" between the station and CETA. It's already resulted in the departure of Peter Dominowski, what I hear will be the departure of Jay Andres, and what I hope will be the permanent reinstatement of Norm Pellegrini as program director.

Two good suggestions came out of the forum. A former advertiser said he'd return to the station if WFMT returned to its original format, and Studs Terkel proposed that both the radio board and the WTTW board should have more representation from Chicago's arts community. In addition, many of us who value the station as a cultural resource would be happy to make annual contributions. Antlitz and Tom Voegeli, who comes from Minnesota Public Radio and says he hates commercials, seemed willing to listen, and I think both they and the Friends deserve lots of encouragement for a constructive beginning.

Norman Leer

Professor of English

Roosevelt University

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 30
Performing Arts
September 24

Popular Stories

  • What happened to YOUmedia?

    The Chicago Public Library's flagship teen program was a refuge for Black and Brown youth. Recent layoffs put that in jeopardy.
  • Queer folks of color want to cancel today’s Buttigieg-Lightfoot book event 13

    Activists say the pair's public conversation about “trust and distrust” shows the problems with assuming marginalized people have progressive values.
  • Surfing Sandy

    Lake Michigan's turbulent waters offer die-hard surfers a prime opportunity to shred some waves
  • Chicago's budget crisis, explained 2

    Budget season is here but it’s more dogged than usual. How will the city recover from a nearly billion-dollar budget gap?
  • How I Made It in Comedy: Bob Odenkirk

    "I had a meeting about writing a movie script for Francis the Talking Mule, which was a really dumb idea. I thought, What did the executives see in my past work that made them think I’m the perfect guy to write this?"