Chicago Community Art Incentives

VOCALO expands into Chicago and starts airing programming

on the new WRTE 90.7 FM

Starting today, Vocalo simulcasts on 89.5 FM and 90.7 FM; combined frequencies reach culturally diverse communities throughout Chicago and Northwest Indiana

(February 11, 2013) Chicago Public Media today launches Vocalo programming simulcast on both WBEW 89.5FM and the newly acquired WRTE 90.7FM (formerly 90.5FM), greatly expanding Vocalo’s ability to serve younger, culturally diverse communities. With a new antenna atop University Hall at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and its frequency change to WRTE 90.7 FM, the joint station coverage area will double and include neighborhoods such as Little Village, Pilsen, University Village, North Lawndale, Bridgeport, Humboldt Park, and West Town. Chicago Public Media purchased the WRTE FM frequency from the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) last summer; funding for the expansion of Vocalo is made possible in part by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Programming simulcast on 89.5FM and 90.7FM will include popular Vocalo shows such as the Morning Amp, the Overdrive, and the MusicVox, along with new community programming, including Practically Speaking, a show that features frank yet thoughtful conversations about issues impacting people of color.

Additionally, Latin Alternative music has been added to Vocalo’s current music rotation of progressive hip-hop, house, R&B, and pop/dance. Vocalo will continue to expand program offerings by making all-day Sundays a destination for Spanish-language programming.

“We want to continue to serve the communities that know WRTE for its Spanish-language programming. Sundays will be dedicated to ‘Vocalo en Español,’ which will start with primarily Latin Alternative music programming, followed by news and talk programming that will debut in the Spring, ” said Silvia Rivera, Vocalo’s managing director, whose career in public media began in 1998 as a result of her participation at Radio Arte, the NMMA’s youth-media training program.

“With our new signal, we have inherited a great legacy, and so we remain committed to serving younger,

culturally diverse communities through music, stories, and events. In addition, Vocalo will continue to expand its story teller workshops, which, teaches participants to craft stories about communities and issues they care about,” added Rivera.

In addition, Chicago Public Media is targeting the opening of a community bureau in Little Village later this year, which would not only serve as a home base for WBEZ reporting, but also from where Vocalo will expand its community training programs. was established in June 2007 as an initiative of Chicago Public Media to make public radio more open to the public at large. The website and radio station – committed to fostering conversation between diverse constituents – is a next-generation public media service that connects with younger, culturally diverse audiences through music and stories.

Chicago Public Media is an institution that creates award-winning content for people seeking to learn more about the issues and ideas that affect our community, our nation and our world. Chicago Public Media produces programs such as This American Life, Sound Opinions, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (a co-production with NPR), The Morning Shift, The Afternoon Shift, Worldview and Radio M. It operates WBEZ 91.5 FM, one of the country’s premiere public radio stations, along with Vocalo 89.5 FM and 90.7 FM.


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