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98.7WFMT names DAVID POLK Program Director
Current Program Director Peter van de Graaff will assume the post of Chief Announcer
Chicago – December 5, 2013 – 98.7WFMT, Chicago’s classical radio station, today announced the appointment of DAVID POLK, 30, to the post of Program Director, replacing PETER VAN DE GRAAFF, who will assume the position of Chief Announcer. This change will take effect on Monday, January 6, 2014. The announcement was made by Steve Robinson, Executive VP and General Manager for Radio.
“For more than 60 years, WFMT has been at the forefront of fine arts radio programming and production, and these changes will strengthen the station in immeasurable ways,” said Robinson. “Peter’s new function as Chief Announcer enables us to use his many years of experience at WFMT and vast knowledge of classical music to help us continuously improve our on-air sound. David’s promotion is very exciting -- his reverence for WFMT’s history and accomplishments, combined with his passion for all things radio, will ensure that we continue to remain vital and relevant in an ever-changing media environment. WFMT must embrace new techniques for enlarging our audience, both in Chicago and, via the Web and social media, around the world. Bringing David’s and Peter’s unique skills to these new roles will ensure that we continue to innovate and thrive for many years to come,” he added.
David Polk arrived at WFMT in 2006. He is the founding producer and host of WFMT's award-winning weekly local series Introductions, which began in 2008 and features the region’s finest young classical musicians. He also produces other programming for WFMT and has reported on the arts in Chicago and around the world. He has produced and/or co-hosted coverage from the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, the Salzburg Festival in Austria, Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition, and more. Back at home in 2011, he produced Arts After School, a month-long exploration of local arts education programs, made possible by the Chicago Community Trust. He is also the winner of a 2010 Fulbright journalism fellowship from the German Fulbright Commission (Berlin). Before joining WFMT, Polk worked for Car Talk from National Public Radio (Cambridge, MA) and WBUR (Boston), the Ravinia Festival, the Africa Bureau of the US State Department (Embassy in Paris), the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the Paris Orchestra. He graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 2005.
In his new role, Polk will work in conjunction with Robinson, developing new programming, overseeing and curating music selection in line with WFMT’s mission, and supervising all announcers, program hosts and producers, as well as freelance announcers and interns. He will act as managing editor on local productions and select and program content from outside providers. Polk will also oversee WFMT’s extensive physical and digital archives, supervise WFMT’s social media presence, and serve as liaison with the organization’s web team on all content for wfmt.com.
"I feel so fortunate to work at this station, and lucky to have arrived at a time that allowed me to meet and even work with some WFMT’s greats, including our incredible former Program Director Norm Pellegrini, the legendary Studs Terkel, and longtime host Andy Karzas,” said Polk. “I'm proud to be a part of this great radio tradition and honored to help carry it on into the future,” he added.
Longtime announcer and current Program Director Peter van de Graaff is excited to assume the reinstated position of Chief Announcer, and will be responsible for coaching the on-air staff, maintaining WFMT’s announcing standards, and stepping in as a substitute announcer in case of announcer illness or other contingency. van de Graaff will continue as the host of the Beethoven Satellite Network (as he has for the last 25 years) and as the host of the Lyric Opera broadcasts. He will also continue to develop thematic programming for WFMT.
“Having missed being behind the microphone full-time this past year, I am looking forward to returning to what brought me to radio in the first place – announcing, and also to devoting more time to my singing career,” said van de Graaff. “I have the highest regard for and confidence in David Polk, who will bring an exciting new energy, innovative ideas, and a broad knowledge of radio to his new assignments,” he added.
98.7WFMT, Chicago’s classical radio station, provides the best and broadest selection of classical music and fine arts programming in the country. A broadcasting force for more than 60 years, the station’s appeal continues to widen. Via the WFMT Radio Network and WFMT’s enhanced streaming service at wfmt.com/streaming, the station is currently serving the largest audience in the station’s history, with its programming available to a global audience. More information about 98.7WFMT is available at wfmt.com.
Julia Maish, 98.7WFMT