Bruce Theriault writes an excellent commentary today (Feb.18, 2009) about how public radio needs, more than ever, to "fix the problem" of its audience being overwhelming white (82%).
Unfortunately, the first solution he cites is Vocalo, the experimental radio project run by WBEZ in Chicago. The same Vocalo that ChicagoBusiness.com wrote an article about on Feb.16th regarding how a lot of WBEZ donors are furious at how WBEZ routed their donations to fund Vocalo despite major cuts at WBEZ, overall low ratings at Vocalo, and analysis that Vocalo is failing badly at appealing to a non-white audience. (only 29% of its listeners are non-white according to ChicagoBusiness)
Bad timing there, Bruce. Doesn't mean you're not right, and I know that Vocalo has been badly hampered by delays in its long-planned signal upgrade that will let it cover more of the target market...but I'd still hustle up a quick re-write to downplay Vocalo as a shining example of how public radio needs to break out of it's "lily white" reputation.