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To the editors:

Thank you to Cate Plys for September 15th's cover story, "WBEZ's Big Gamble." Although many of the real estate and financial issues involved in the station's move to Navy Pier are complex, Ms. Plys's story helped to give a belated public airing to issues that WBEZ's listeners, members, and donors need to be aware of.

One quotation from me is open to misinterpretation by its placement in the story, however. At the time that I first spoke to Ms. Plys in July, I was attempting to explain the problematic nature of the staffing of our program department and the difficulty in getting the board of directors to understand the need to compensate the staff appropriately and to actually put producers, hosts, and other key personnel on staff--with salaries, benefits, and the like. Last year's salary and hiring freeze were components of this situation. A reliance on interns and poorly compensated recent interns was another.

I meant in no way to demean any members of the WBEZ programming team by my comments. A number of us have been pressing for some time for these extremely talented, overworked, and underpaid people to be treated with greater respect and to have their professionalism matched with a fiscal commitment on the part of the station. As program director, Torey Malatia has taken several steps to move the station in this direction, including bringing additional experienced producers to the station and elevating a number of producers to staff positions.

Working with my colleagues is one of the greatest privileges of working with WBEZ. With their varied range of skills, interests, and experiences, they have the ability to make local programming extremely strong. I was trying to indicate that they need to be supported in those efforts with compensation and air time. I apologize to them for anything that I said that did not make this clear.

Andrew Patner

S. Hyde Park Blvd.

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