Torey Malatia "Delighted" By Ineptitude
By Margaret Lyons in News on Jul 17, 2008 7:25PM
Is Vocalo bleeding WBEZ dry? That's how it looks from this week's Hot Type.
Three weeks ago [President and general manager of Chicago Public Radio Torey Malatia] held a staff meeting and announced some bad news: there wasn’t enough money. This meant that WBEZ’s top project, Right Now, a daily afternoon news show with a producer Malatia had hired away from NPR's Talk of the Nation, was being shelved. The Sunday arts program Hello Beautiful was leaving the air. And the firewall was rubble. Some Vocalo funding hadn’t come through and WBEZ would be making up the shortfall.
[Malatia] says they’d expected Vocalo to finish the year $300,000 in the red; it was more like $600,000. And instead of breaking even, WBEZ was $887,000 in the hole. A couple other Chicago Public Radio ventures with separate budgets, its Third Coast International Audio Festival and Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis's rock talk show Sound Opinions, also ran deficits. Even This American Life just broke even after making half a million dollars for Chicago Public Radio the year before. "The good news is that we have net assets that take care of this," says Malatia. "But this year we’ll have to be very careful."
Everytime we've ever listened to Vocalo, we've regretted it. But that's all part of Malatia's master plan! [Reader]