The 27-year WBEZ, Vocalo veteran will continue to host popular Barber Shop Show
CHICAGO—Chicago Public Media (CPM) announced today that award-winning host and correspondentRichard Steele will retire Oct. 10 after 27 years with the media company.
While Steele, 72, will be stepping away from his full-time position, fans can still catch him on The Barber Shop Show, the popular talk show taped at Carter's Barbershop in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood. Steele will continue to host the show, which airs Fridays and Saturdays on Vocalo and Sundays on WBEZ.
“I owe a debt of gratitude to Ken Davis who hired me, believing that I had the capacity to shed the trappings of a commercial radio music personality, and become a ‘connoisseur of content,’” Steele said. “I’m also grateful to the multitude of great colleagues I’ve worked with and learned from. Their powerful influence helped me to become a better broadcaster.”
Steele joined WBEZ as a part-time jazz host in 1987, and went on to host a number of acclaimed programs, including: The Richard Steele Show, A Richard Steele Friday, Page Two, Performance Space andEight Forty-Eight.
Most recently, Steele served as a contributor for WBEZ’s Morning Shift, Afternoon Shift, Worldview, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, wbez.org, vocalo.org and special programming, as well as hosting The Barber Shop Show.
“It has been my privilege to work with such a great Chicago talent at WBEZ,” said Sally Eisele, managing editor of public affairs for WBEZ. “On air, he has helped shape the very sound of Chicago Public Media. Behind the scenes, he has been a great mentor to his colleagues and will leave behind a large legacy that we will benefit from for years to come.”
Prior to joining WBEZ, Steele hosted many successful Chicago radio programs, including The Morning Connection on WVAZ 102.7 FM and Late Night, a talk and music forum on WGCI 1390 AM, as well as popular shows on WBMX 102.7 and WVON 1450 AM. He became “The Real Steele” on WGRT 950 AM, where he progressed to program director shortly after the station's transition to WJPC 950 AM.
Steele serves as vice president and a board member of the local American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and as a board member of the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. He was also a pledge host at WTTW for 20 years.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Steele attended Harold Washington College in Chicago. He currently resides in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago with his wife, Jera. They have two children and four grandchildren.