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I've had my say about Vocalo -- Chicago Public Radio's stealth attempt to reinvent the business it's in -- and now Vocalo can finally speak for itself. "As of today," says the station's lively Web site, "Vocalo.org's tower is at 100%. Chicagoans can finally set your alarm clock and car radios to Vocalo.org 89.5 FM."
Last July I described the unhappiness of WBEZ staffers at having to share their tent -- and budget -- with Vocalo. About a month later, one faithful WBEZ listener told me how unhappy she was to find out where some of her latest donation would be going. And here's what I wrote on the October pledge drive, where the existence of Vocalo was a subject studiously avoided.
Chicago Public Radio's president, Torey Malatia, likes to call vocalo.org a "social networking Web site with a station attached." And when Vocalo was impossible to hear over the airwaves beyond a sliver of northwest Indiana, that definition was as good as any. But now everyone can tune in and decide what's the dog and what's the tail.
And whether they want to keep listening.