Unions demand Chicago Public Media head Matt Moog resign amid “no confidence” vote

The freefall continues for WBEZ while turmoil reigns supreme 

The tensions between union members of WBEZ and Sun-Times and management continue to escalate as they recently cast a vote of “no confidence” in supposedly soon-to-exit CEO Matt Moog, with 96 percent of those taking part not happy with his performance.

In a letter sent to the Chicago Public Media’s Board of Directors Tuesday, the Sun-Times Guild and SAG-AFTRA are now demanding Moog’s resignation and strip him of any strategic and programming decisions; no layoffs, buyouts, or any effort to reduce headcount during the rest of his tenure; and greater board and financial transparency.

“Under Mr. Moog’s stewardship, we have seen a loss of talented and expert staffers and continued revenue declines, stunting our efforts to achieve sustainability even as we receive generous foundation support that should fuel growth,” the unions said in a joint statement.

But the CPM board said they have no plans to replace Moog until a new CEO is found – supposedly. “Matt will remain the CEO until we have a new leader in place”, CPM head Robert Pasin told his own newspaper.

Moog also defended his performance in a statement on Tuesday: “After 15 years of service to the organization as a board member and CEO, it saddens me to be personally attacked for taking the necessary and responsible steps to reduce expenses to offset the financial impact of declining broadcast and print audiences.” 

On December 4, Moog announced his departure from Chicago Public Media, but more than six months after he announced his departure, Moog is still on the job with no word on when – or maybe if – he’ll step down. Despite what the board says, there’s still no word on how the search for a new CEO is progressing – or if one is even taking place. Since his departure was announced, CPM made layoffs, canceled shows, dumped a radio format, and became more secretive with its “public” meetings

All of this is taking place as WBEZ continues to bleed listeners with the latest PPMs showing the station tied for 21st place overall with a 1.6 rating, down considerably from its highs during the pandemic (in contrast, Hubbard’s The Drive/WDRV-FM took top honors last month with a record-high 7.1 rating.)

At this point, you wonder if there’s any funny business going on. With an ongoing lame-duck CEO, there’s been a lack of transparency in this organization from top-to-bottom. In other words, CPM is being run no differently than many for-profit media companies, echoing the mess at Paramount Global, where Shari Redstone is having second thoughts about selling her stake after a deal with Skydance collapsed last week. The current “non-profit” ownership of the Sun-Times is no different from the “for-profit” Conrad Black and Michael Ferro eras, in which I called the paper a disgrace on at least two occasions. 

I’ve written about some truly awful media executives throughout this blog’s lifetime (Marv Nyren, Jan Jefferies, Ben Silverman, Joe Ahern, etc. ) but Matt Moog certainly takes the cake.


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