In a year-end surprise to staffers of Chicago Public Media, Sally Eisele has resigned after 10 years as managing editor of public affairs at WBEZ FM 91.5.
Eisele, 56, announced Monday that she has accepted a position as general manager of Interlochen Public Radio, overseeing two listener-supported stations licensed to the Interlochen Center for the Arts serving northwest lower Michigan. Her appointment is effective February 15.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye, but I’m really excited about the opportunity,” said Eisele, whose last day at Chicago Public Media will be December 31. “It’s a part of the world that I know very well, I love, [and] I eventually expected to be there.”
At WBEZ Eisele headed a staff of more than 40 editors, reporters, producers and interns who create news and feature content for broadcast and digital platforms. Last May she was named to the 2014 list of The Most Powerful Women in Chicago Journalism by this blog.
“I am happy for Sally and for the exciting opportunity to join the team at Interlochen,” said Goli Sheikholeslami, president and CEO of Chicago Public Media. “I know she loves Michigan and I can see the draw of working at a world class institution.”
Eisele’s successor will be chosen by Ben Calhoun, newly hired director of content and programming at Chicago Public Media. “Ben has now been with us for three weeks and his first order of business is to assess how we work and what we do and decide what, if any, changes need to take place,” Sheikholeslami said. “We will evaluate Sally’s replacement in the context of our future plans for the station.”
Eisele, who studied journalism at Michigan State University, began her career at WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan, and also worked as managing editor of the Michigan Public Radio Network. She joined WBEZ in 2005 from KQED in San Francisco, where she was senior producer of “The California Report.”
Here is the text of Eisele’s memo to colleagues:
I am taking a new job. I’ve been offered the position of general manager at Interlochen Public Media in northern Michigan. The two stations are part of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, a world class arts and cultural center, including a boarding school, a summer arts camp, an adult program for people like me who need to wet the reed again on the clarinet if I’m ever going to master that damn Mozart clarinet concerto I’ve been working on for 30 years.
Working and being part of CPM has been one of the best professional paths I have taken. It’s been such a privilege and honor to work with all of you.