Deanna Isaacs reports:
Chicago Public Radio has announced its plans for its fiscal year beginning July 1, and they involve some cuts. Hello Beautiful, the Sunday morning arts program launched by former staffer Edward Lifson, is to be "suspended," and Right Now, a new afternoon talk show hosted by Richard Steele, has been shelved. Daniel Ash, executive vice president of strategic communications, said today that personnel associated with those programs will be reassigned and in addition that programming vice president Ron Jones announced this week that he's leaving the station "to look for a new adventure." Jones will be replaced by former Eight Forty-Eight host Steve Edwards, returning from a ten-month leave of absence. Edwards will have the lesser title of acting program director. Ash added that an essentially flat budget will be presented for the approval of the board of directors when it meets tomorrow; this year's budget was just over $20 million. He maintains that fundraising, including the current pledge drive, is coming along "as expected," but the station is looking to "manage risk" and has to "be conservative moving forward." He says Chicago Public Radio remains committed to vocalo.org, its experimental service now broadcasting to Northern Indiana. Vocalo has a new tower under construction and is expected to extend its broadcast reach to Chicago around Labor Day.