CHICAGO

Do You Know Where Your Public Radio Pledge Is Going?

11/22/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Wondering whether any of the money you want to give WBEZ this week will wind up with Vocalo? Don't expect the folks running the fall pledge drive to tell you. The subject's being avoided by design--and when general manager Torey Malatia announced the strategy last month at a staff meeting, he made a some people angry. As I explained in an earlier story, WBEZ staffers are less than happy to be sharing their budget with the wayward kid brother they're forbidden to speak of by name. As are some contributors.

"We're not cross-marketing at the moment," Malatia told me when the current pledge drive began. "But it's nothing we're hiding." When WBEZ asks for your money and Vocalo doesn't come up, that's a "marketing strategy," not secrecy. "When we do talk about spending the money," Malatia says, "we say if you want a complete list of our investments it's on the Chicago Public Radio Web site." Malatia's president of WBEZ and Vocalo's common parent, Chicago Public Radio.

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