Torey Malatia

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Torey Malatia
Born (1951-08-08) August 8, 1951 (age 68)
Oak Park, Illinois, United States
OccupationRadio producer and manager
Known for WBEZ general manager
This American Life
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Carson Manley

Torey Malatia (born August 1951) is an American journalist, radio producer, and public media manager. In 2016 he was named President, CEO and General Manager of Rhode Island Public Radio. [1] Until he resigned on July 26, 2013, [2] he served as Chief Executive Officer and president of the board of directors of Chicago Public Media and general manager of radio station WBEZ. [3] He is also a member of the board of the Public Radio Exchange, a program distributor, [4] and the Station Resource Group, a public radio program development and fundraising group. [5]


Malatia began work as program director of WBEZ radio in Chicago, Illinois, in 1993 [6] and in 1996 was promoted to station manager. [7]

In 1995 journalist Ira Glass and Malatia created the radio program This American Life (originally titled Your Radio Playhouse). [7]

Prior to work in radio, Malatia was a columnist for Phoenix New Times , an alternative weekly newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona. [7]


Torey Malatia was born in Oak Park, Illinois, a village in the Chicago area. He attended Brophy College Preparatory, Arizona State University, where he received B.A. and M.A. degrees in English literature. He carried out additional post-graduate study at the University of Toronto. [7]

Malatia is married to artist Elizabeth Carson Manley. Malatia and Manley live in Rhode Island.[ citation needed ]

Public radio

Julie Snyder, Jack Hitt, Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass and Malatia accept the Peabody Award, June 2007 Julie Snyder, Jack Hitt, Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass and Torey Malatia, June 2007 (3).jpg
Julie Snyder, Jack Hitt, Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass and Malatia accept the Peabody Award, June 2007

Torey Malatia has spent much of his career in public radio, primarily with Chicago Public Media and its flagship station WBEZ. He began work with WFMT, a public radio station in Chicago, in 1986. [8] In 1990 he became program director of KUOW, a public station in Seattle, Washington. [9] After leaving KUOW Malatia worked as a talk show producer at WLS, a non-public (for-profit) radio station in Chicago. He was hired as WBEZ vice president in charge of programing in 1993. [6] In 1996 Malatia became WBEZ's general manager and assumed the leadership of Chicago Public Media as chief executive officer and president of the board of directors.[ citation needed ]

In November 1995 journalist Ira Glass and Malatia began Your Radio Playhouse, a documentary and entertainment series on WBEZ. After sixteen weekly episodes were aired, the program was renamed This American Life and syndicated to public stations across the country via Public Radio International. [10]

Malatia serves[ when? ] as a member of the board of directors of two public media organizations. WBEZ is one of several founding member stations of the Public Radio Exchange (PRX), a non-profit organization that distributes programing to public radio stations; Malatia serves[ when? ] on the PRX board. [4] He is[ when? ] also a member of the board of directors of Station Resource Group (SRG), an organization established to provide analysis to public media organizations to help them with fundraising and programing. [5]

In 2007 Chicago Public Media launched Vocalo and, a radio station and web site designed to appeal to a younger audience than is typical for public radio. Financial contributors to WBEZ criticized Chicago Public Media and Malatia for funding the project without publicizing the fact on WBEZ. [11]

Controversy erupted in 2012 when WBEZ cancelled the program Smiley & West, an interview program hosted by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. Smiley criticized comments from Malatia suggesting that the program focused unduly on advocacy for African American social and political issues and that the program's guests were "far less inclusive" than the station wished. [12] In response, Malatia published an editorial at criticizing "advocacy journalism" and defending the program's cancellation. [13] [14]

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  3. Feder, Robert (March 19, 2003). "War coverage derails pledge drive at WBEZ". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 75.
  4. 1 2 "PRX Organization and Staff". 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  5. 1 2 "Station Resource Group Board of Directors" . Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  6. 1 2 "WBEZ finds program director". Chicago Tribune. June 25, 1993. p. 28.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Torey Malatia". Chicago Public Media. 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  8. Kogan, Rick (June 8, 1989). "WFMT shuffles leaders amid money marathon". Chicago Tribune. p. 5.
  9. Feder, Robert (September 27, 1990). "Ch. 44 owners vow new fight for license". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 67.
  10. Carlozo, Lou (June 28, 1996). "Radio Verite 'This American Life'—a Slacker Version of 'A Prairie Home Companion'—Puts WBEZ-FM on the National Syndication Map". Chicago Tribune. p. 1.
  11. Bertagnoli, Lisa (February 16, 2009). "Loud silence on Vocalo". Crain's. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  12. "Tavis Smiley Blasts Chicago Public Media CEO Over Show's Cancellation". Huffington Post. October 16, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  13. Malatia, Torey (November 9, 2012). "Op-ed: WBEZ's Malatia says public media must revitalize open, civic discourse in our communities". Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  14. Feder, Robert (November 13, 2012). "Malatia decries advocacy journalism in public media". Time Out Chicago blog. Retrieved April 4, 2013.