WBEZ | WBEZ http://www.wbez.org/tags/wbez Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CPM staff meets their new CEO http://www.wbez.org/news/cpm-staff-meets-their-new-ceo-109969 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/goli_1.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Goli Sheikholeslami met with Chicago Public Media staff for the first time since being named the new CEO this week.</p><p>She&rsquo;s held a number of leadership positions at other media organizations, including the Washington Post where she helped integrate the print and digital operations. But she moved on from the Post, in part, because she couldn&rsquo;t set the strategy for the organization.</p><p>&ldquo;That was something I could contribute to, but as CEO I think your role is really in taking a leadership position and really defining that strategy,&rdquo; Sheikholeslami said.</p><p>The CPM leadership position will be one in a number of firsts for Sheikholeslami: First time being a CEO, first time living in Chicago, first time working in public media and her first time fundraising.</p><p>&ldquo;My experience has been in traditional commercial news organizations where the primary business models have been advertising and subscription revenues,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>But she said public media&rsquo;s multiple funding streams, like membership and philanthropy, is one of the things that attracted her to CPM.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Our role is to convince more and more people that there is true value and a resource that we can become to them in their daily lives and that they should have a relationship with the station,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>CPM&rsquo;s Board of Directors is looking to the future ambitiously. While Sheikholeslami doesn&rsquo;t want to set goals for the organization yet, she supports the idea of expansion and looking to listeners for guidance.</p><p>&ldquo;I think the first task is really defining what we want to do that is different from what we do today. Where are those opportunities for us to expand? Whether it&rsquo;s the coverage, the types of shows we produce. That&rsquo;s the first step,&rdquo; she explained.</p><p>Sheikholeslami has a deep background in digital media and product development, and that&rsquo;s something that will likely play a part in CPM&rsquo;s future.</p><p>&ldquo;Whether it&rsquo;s applications or digital products that can live on mobile devices is going to be key in attracting that next generation of loyal listeners,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Chicago produced shows like Wait Wait Don&rsquo;t Tell Me and This American Life are her radio favorites; programs that longtime CPM CEO Torey Malatia was instrumental in developing before he resigned last year.</p><p>Sheikholeslami said she has her own unique leadership style coming into this role. But she recognizes the creative work of her predecessor.</p><p>&ldquo;Because his sort of deep programming expertise and he&rsquo;s a great sort of creator of programming, that is the legacy. I think that I&rsquo;m hoping to support that kind of creativity going forward,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>That&rsquo;s something she&rsquo;ll keep in mind as she seeks to fill open leadership positions at CPM.</p><p>Sheikholeslami begins her new role on May 5.</p></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cpm-staff-meets-their-new-ceo-109969 Can you hear us now? No? Well, here's why http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/can-you-hear-us-now-no-well-heres-why-109727 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/135672786&amp;color=00aabb&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Doug1.JPG" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Doug Schenkelberg: Astute radio listener (Courtesy of Schenkelberg)" />Doug Schenkelberg listens to radio all the time, but he recently noticed that he gets static at a particular intersection in downtown Chicago. This prompted him to ask Curious City:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em style="text-align: center;">&ldquo;Why does radio reception always go bad at the intersection of Canal and Van Buren Street?&rdquo;</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Embarrassingly, the signal Doug has been having trouble with at that corner is none other than WBEZ&rsquo;s and, it turns out, he&rsquo;s not the only <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/1641">listener experiencing trouble near that area</a>. &nbsp;</div><p>For the record, we didn&rsquo;t know the signal in question was ours until we started finding an answer for Doug, but it turns out that the physics that keep FM radio humming &mdash; and create problems &mdash; are shared by public, commercial, and educational broadcasters alike. And, the exercise of tracking down a cause is a reminder that the technology we care about is not always associated with the Internet.</p><p><strong>Some likely suspects</strong></p><p>WBEZ engineer Peter Femal points out that if radio broadcasting technology never existed today and people heard it was possible to &ldquo;build a signal that covers millions of people 50 to 100 miles from one single point,&rdquo; the response would likely be exuberant.</p><p>But maybe radio&rsquo;s overall reliability is partly responsible for its mystery. To straighten things out for Doug, we spoke with broadcast engineers about the obstacles radio signals encounter in cities. Here, we showcase a few common culprits.</p><p><strong>Distance</strong></p><p>Because radio is usually so reliable, the causes of bad reception can seem mysterious. The only exception, maybe, is distance, which is the most common cause.</p><p>Unlike the Internet, which is connected world-wide, radio broadcasts are limited to the signal coverage of their local transmitters and antennas. You probably know this from road trips, which add miles between your car&rsquo;s receiver and your favorite hometown radio station; the farther you travel, the weaker the signal gets and the more static you hear<a name="distance"></a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="383" scrolling="no" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/distanceSmall/index.html" width="600"></iframe></p><p><em>Turn up your volume and drag in the graphic above (or <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/distance/index.html" target="_blank">open a full-size window</a>) to experience the effect of distance on radio reception. As you get further from a station&rsquo;s broadcast location, the signal will weaken, and you will hear static. If another station is broadcasting on the same frequency in another city, you might begin to pick up their signal as you get close to that city. Note: Interactive graphic works best with <a href="http://https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/" target="_blank">Google Chrome</a> or <a href="http://http://www.apple.com/safari/">Safari</a>.</em></p><p>However Doug&rsquo;s problem area at Van Buren and Canal Street is less than two miles away from WBEZ&rsquo;s broadcast tower at the John Hancock Center. In Doug&rsquo;s case, there are more complex issues than distance at work.</p><p><strong>Shadowing</strong></p><p>The simplest, city-based radio problem is called shadowing, which is basically a fancy term for a big building getting in the way.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re in the right shadow of a certain building, our signal might have a hard time coming down into that valley,&rdquo; WBEZ engineer Peter Femal says.</p><p>In Doug&rsquo;s case, there&rsquo;s a mass of skyscrapers between his particular downtown corner and the transmitter at the John Hancock Center. With so many buildings between the Hancock Center and Van Buren &amp; Canal, the shadowing phenomenon means that WBEZ&rsquo;s signal is off to a rough start, and that&rsquo;s before we factor in multipath interference.</p><p><strong>Multipath</strong></p><p>Multipath interference is a bizarre phenomenon, in that it occurs when a radio signal interferes with itself. When a radio station broadcasts a signal, that signal propagates throughout the city, reflecting off of many of the buildings. Even if a signal has a direct path from your radio to the broadcast tower, that signal is also bouncing off the buildings around you. Sometimes a bounced signal and the direct signal hit your antenna together, but the reflected signal travels farther and is a bit delayed.</p><p>John Boehm, a broadcast engineer for Clear Channel, says that sometimes, the delayed signal will be stronger than the direct one. The delay between signal paths results in interference.</p><p>Doug&rsquo;s trouble spot lies in what you might consider an urban canyon; the corner&rsquo;s next to the Chicago River, which is lined with skyscrapers on either side. Radio signals can bounce back and forth from building to building in this canyon, creating prime conditions for multipath interference.<a name="multipath"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="383" scrolling="no" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/shadowSmall/index.html" width="600"></iframe></p><p><em>Turn up your volume and d</em><em>rag around the graphic above (or <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/shadow/index.html" target="_blank">open a full-size window</a>) to experience the effect of shadowing and multipath on radio reception. Shadowing occurs when a building or other obstruction gets between your radio and the signal source. Multipath results when signals reflected off of buildings interfere with the direct signal. Note: Interactive graphic works best with <a href="https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/" target="_blank">Google Chrome</a> or <a href="http://www.apple.com/safari/" target="_blank">Safari</a>.</em></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WBEZCuriousCityRadio-14.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="We listen carefully at the problematic corner. (WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" /><strong>Other radio stations</strong></div><p>The last radio problem that&rsquo;s relevant for Doug and other urban radio fans</p><p>comes from all the other high-powered radio stations in the city. Peter Femal says that radio stations on other frequencies can make things difficult for listeners if &ldquo;they&rsquo;re near another very high power RF [radio frequency] installation. &hellip; Swamping their radio full of other stuff.&rdquo;</p><p>Under these circumstances, Femal says, car radios can get confused. If the radio station that you&rsquo;re trying to listen to has weak reception, some radios will look for the next most powerful signal, even if it is from a completely different radio station on another frequency. The resulting effect can sound like the ghost of another radio station haunting the one you are tuned to.</p><p>Many high-powered radio stations broadcast from the Willis Tower&rsquo;s antennas, which is right next to Doug&rsquo;s corner. The tower&rsquo;s radio signals give a confused car radio lots of other options. During a test conducted in a car parked at Doug&rsquo;s corner, a WBEZ engineer and I could hear Queen&rsquo;s &ldquo;Crazy Little Thing Called Love&rdquo; coming in from a music station &mdash; even when the radio was clearly tuned for WBEZ&rsquo;s signal.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/path%20alternate%20%281%29.jpg" title="The WBEZ signal travels a treacherous path to get to Doug’s corner. Shadowing from downtown’s skyscrapers, multipath from the Chicago river, and other radio stations from the Willis tower, all contribute to bad reception at Van Buren &amp; Canal. (Google Earth)" /></div></div><p>So unfortunately, at the corner of Van Buren and Canal street, it seems like static is coming from all of the above: shadowing from downtown skyscrapers, multipath interference occurring within an urban canyon along the Chicago River, and other radio stations from the Willis Tower&rsquo;s broadcast antennas. With all those issues, unfortunately, there&rsquo;s not much that can be done to improve reception at that corner.&nbsp;</p><p>But, in this day and age, many of us have the option of enjoying our favorite radio programs delivered static free, via podcast. Curious City, ahem, is just one of many available in <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161" target="_blank">iTunes </a>and <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CuriousCityPodcast">Feedburner</a>. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Mickey Capper is a Curious City Intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/fmcapper">@fmcapper</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/can-you-hear-us-now-no-well-heres-why-109727 Final phase of Ventra rollout suspended, developer apologizes http://www.wbez.org/news/final-phase-ventra-rollout-suspended-developer-apologizes-109094 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Ventra.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Chicago commuters will be able to hold on to those old Chicago Cards and magnetic strip cards for a little while longer. Chicago Transit Authority officials announced the the final phase of the new <a href="http://ventrachicago.com/">Ventra </a>system&rsquo;s rollout will be suspended until a few of its problems are fixed. Chicago Cards and Chicago Card Plus were supposed to be phased out by November 15.</p><p dir="ltr">CTA President Forrest Claypool also said the agency won&rsquo;t pay the developer, Cubic Transportation Systems, any of the $454 million, 12-year contract, until the company meets three criterion: customer service wait times must be five minutes or less, processing times for the tap-and-go function of a Ventra card must be under two and a half seconds--99 percent of the time--and all readers and vending machines must be operational 99 percent of the time.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The bottom line is that too many of our customers are confused and frustrated and that&rsquo;s our fault,&rdquo; Claypool told members of the City Club at a luncheon Tuesday.</p><p dir="ltr">Cubic&rsquo;s head of North American operations, Richard Wunderle, was on hand to answer some questions as well.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This transition period wasn&rsquo;t our shining light, and for that I want to apologize to the riders of CTA,&rdquo; said Wunderle. &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t our best effort but it will get better, so I apologize for that.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Cubic isn&rsquo;t new to the public transit game: They&rsquo;ve got 400 fare-collection projects in operation across the world, including systems in Sydney, London and Washington, D.C. But the Ventra system marks the first time the company&rsquo;s tackled an open-fare, contactless card system; and officials say it&rsquo;s the first of its kind in North America.</p><p dir="ltr">Wunderle said Cubic engineers are already at work on a number of fixes to get things up to speed.</p><p dir="ltr">One issue that&rsquo;s drawn many complaints from CTA riders is being charged for multiple taps of their Ventra card at the turnstile. Officials say customers would tap their card, and after not immediately seeing a green &ldquo;Go&rdquo; signal, they&rsquo;d tap multiple times or move to a different lane. As of Tuesday, Cubic said they added a new &ldquo;processing&rdquo; screen to show riders the system is working before it lets them through. Engineers will also be upgrading the Ventra software over the weekend to try and bring processing times down on card readers to two-and-a-half seconds or less. CTA officials said that&rsquo;s happening 95 percent of the time--but the other 5 percent of the time, processing times varied from three to 10 seconds, sometimes more.</p><p dir="ltr">Claypool said the issue that&rsquo;s upset him the most is the long wait times for callers trying to reach a customer service agent, calling it a &ldquo;self-inflicted wound.&rdquo; The CTA chief said on one day last month, the center was overwhelmed with 20,000 calls. Some customers couldn&rsquo;t get through to an agent at all, while others waited, and waited - in some cases, for more than 30 minutes. Cubic has hired more customer service agents since then, and plans to expand further.</p><p dir="ltr">No timeline has been set for when the Ventra rollout will continue. Wunderle said he can&rsquo;t really give a &ldquo;best guess&rdquo; how long it will take the company to address the CTA&rsquo;s three benchmarks, only estimating &ldquo;weeks&rdquo; when pressed by a reporter.</p><p dir="ltr">Other interesting Ventra facts:</p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">The entire Ventra contract lasts 12 years: The two years allotted for engineering the system are almost up. The next 10 years of the contract will be for the service.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Cubic paid $92 million up front toward the transition: installing card readers, vending machines, call center operations, etc.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">CTA lawyers will be looking into how many fares they&rsquo;ve missed because of bus drivers waving people through when there seemed to be problems with the Ventra card</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">50 percent of CTA riders are now using Ventra cards</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Card readers will now display a &ldquo;low balance&rdquo; screen that lets customers know their Ventra card balance is under $10</p></li></ul><p dir="ltr"><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/final-phase-ventra-rollout-suspended-developer-apologizes-109094 Morning Shift: Ina Pinkney shuts her doors and retires http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-03/morning-shift-ina-pinkney-shuts-her-doors-and-retires <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Ina - courtesy of www.omega-9oils.com_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&#39;s &quot;Breakfast Queen&quot; serves her last plate this year and we celebrate her legacy built on pancakes and good ole fashioned hospitality. And, Congressman Mike Quigley his meeting with the President to discuss next moves in Syria.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-56/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-56.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-56" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Ina Pinkney shuts her doors and retires" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 08:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-03/morning-shift-ina-pinkney-shuts-her-doors-and-retires Morning Shift: Teens struggle to find jobs in tough economy http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-30/morning-shift-teens-struggle-find-jobs-tough-economy <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Teen Jobs - Flickr-iwearyourshirt.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Sky have made made it to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. What does Cheryl Raye-Stout think about their chances? And we talk about how many teen jobs have been hijacked by unemployed adults.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-55/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-55.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-55" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Teens struggle to find jobs in tough economy " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 08:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-30/morning-shift-teens-struggle-find-jobs-tough-economy Morning Shift: Are we living Dr. King's dream? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-28/morning-shift-are-we-living-dr-kings-dream-108547 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/King Speaking - Flickr - VU Connected.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by looking at the effect of that call to action on Chicagoans today. From education to housing, how is the city still struggling to find equality?</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-53/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-53.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-53" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Are we living Dr. King's dream?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 28 Aug 2013 08:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-28/morning-shift-are-we-living-dr-kings-dream-108547 Morning Shift: Avoid getting checked out at the checkout line http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-27/morning-shift-avoid-getting-checked-out-checkout-line <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Basket - Flickr- bcostin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ producer Monica Eng shares the details of a study exploring what items people buy to disguise another embarrassing item in their shopping basket. Also, Chicago public schools are getting ready to teach comprehensive sex education courses. What&#39;s in the curriculum?</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-52/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-52.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-52" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Avoid getting checked out at the checkout line" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-27/morning-shift-avoid-getting-checked-out-checkout-line Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Parent-child - Flickr-stephanski.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Monday marks the first day of school for CPS students, some of whom will be at new schools for the first time. We check in from various schools around the city. And, we discuss strategies for dealing with the anxiety of the first day of school.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 Morning Shift: Running against the odds http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-23/morning-shift-running-against-odds-108504 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Finish Line - Flickr- jayneandd.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The 31st annual Chicago Triathlon takes place this Sunday. We talk to two para-athletes who are participating in the race about what&#39;s involved in their training. And, we take the temperature on cellphone policies in suburban school districts.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-50/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-50.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-50" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Running against the odds" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 23 Aug 2013 08:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-23/morning-shift-running-against-odds-108504 Morning Shift: Gov. Quinn organizes transit task force to take on scandals at agencies http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-22/morning-shift-gov-quinn-organizes-transit-task-force <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Red Line - Flickr- Buddahbless.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With an eye on improving service and eliminating corruption, Gov. Quinn has organized a transit task force. We discuss what&#39;s ahead for the panel. Also, the history and future of The Purple Hotel.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Gov. Quinn organizes transit task force to take on scandals at agencies" on Storify</a>]</div></noscript></div></p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-22/morning-shift-gov-quinn-organizes-transit-task-force