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Feder Lays Smack Down On Chicago Now's Radio Show

By Marcus Gilmer in Miscellaneous on Nov 12, 2009 5:20PM

2009_11_12_CN.jpg Almost three months since its official launch, we're still reserving judgment on the Tribune's Chicago Now blog network. There's no denying there are quality reads on the site: the Parking Ticket Geek has become particularly notable in the wake of the parking meter privatization, the CTA Tattler is still a go-to for us, our pals at Gapers Block have a page, and there's some good sports coverage. But at 126 blogs and counting, the site still feels unwieldy, making it more difficult to find other potential quality reads. So we were a bit puzzled at the recent announcement that Chicago Now would be starting up it's own radio show on WGN. As it turns out, we're not the only ones.

2009_11_12_feder.jpg Robert Feder - back on the scene at Vocalo - tackles the new radio program and the old school columnist isn't holding anything back as he starts of his most recent column with: "Oh, great. Just what we needed: Four hours of radio consisting of bloggers no one knows about yapping about blogs no one cares about." Feder immediately backs down with a, "OK, maybe that’s too harsh," but too late! The tone has been set. Feder explains the set-up, expresses optimism at the inclusion of Bill Leff in the show, and expresses pessimism at the inclusion of Kevin Metheny (aka "Pig Virus" to all you Howard Stern fans). Ultimately, though, Feder circles back to his original feelings, concluding with, "But turning over four hours of peak radio time on a 50,000-watt powerhouse to this menagerie of free-lancers and hobbyists strikes me as a colossal waste of time." Oh, snap.

Again, we'll reserve judgment until the show starts and finds its rhythm, but as the occasional Chicago Now piece finds its way to the main Trib website and the CN network grows to encompass every possible niche you could imagine - not to mention the whole "mulling a break-up with the AP" affair - we're beginning to wonder if Chicago Now reflects the future of the Trib rather than an alternative and this radio show seems to be another step in that direction. Maybe the decision isn't so puzzling after all.