Outside the Loop Radio is a weekly audio magazine featuring fun segments and interviews with local newsmakers, artists, musicians, and others who are doing some cool stuff around the Chicago area. The show covers topics that don’t always get the proper attention in the media, all with a strong and independent Chicago slant. OTL provides for discussion that goes beyond just the headlines in our local papers.


Recent Articles
  • OTL #652: Windy City Historians, Lessons from an aldermanic campaign, The Secret History of Louis Myers

    Mike Stephen learns about a new Chicago history podcast called Windy City Historians, recaps what Katie Sieracki learned after her aldermanic campaign in the 33rd Ward, and discovers the Secret History of late local blues talent Louis Myers. This week’s local music is brought to you by OIO. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #651: Compassion for ex-gang members, IL environmental progress, The new mayor’s transportation platform

    Mike Stephen discusses rehabilitating ex-gang members with Fr. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, learns about the progress of the state’s environmental protection policies with the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, and explores the transportation platform of the new mayor-elect of Chicago with John Greenfield of Streetsblog Chicago.  AND Mike and Collin debut a new segment: The OTL Wrap Party.  Yay!  The local music on this week’s show comes from Pyramid Scheme. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, […]

  • OTL #650: Chicago’s New Boss, New Koreatown, The Secret History of Calvin Fuzz Jones

    Mike Stephen learns about a new independently-produced web series covering local politics called Chicago’s New Boss, gets the lowdown on variety of local Korean food options with Nick Kindelsperger of the Chicago Tribune, and discovers the Secret History of bassist Calvin “Fuzz” Jones.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Mindswimmer. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #649: Ald. John Arena talks politics, IL budget and taxes, Sunrise Movement Chicago

    Mike Stephen talks to outgoing Ald. John Arena (45th) about local political issues, discusses the proposed state progressive income tax and budget with David Merriman of the Fiscal Futures Project, and learns about the work of Sunrise Movement Chicago.  The local music this week is powered by The Tentatives. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #648: Honkers Ale gets demoted, Winter Tavern Tour visits J&M Tap, The Secret History of Georgia White

    Mike Stephen discusses Goose Island’s decision to stop distributing Honkers Ale with Chicago Tribune reporter Josh Noel, drops by the J&M Tap in the Ukrainian Village for the final stop on the OTL Winter Tavern Tour, and learns the Secret History of prewar Blues pianist and vocalist Georgia White.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Flatfoot 56. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #647: Winter Tavern Tour visits The Corner Bar, Local political roundup

    Mike Stephen slides by The Corner Bar in Bucktown as part of the OTL Winter Tavern Tour and then welcomes Pro Publica Illinois’ Mick Dumke and IL Election Data’s Scott Kennedy to the bar to give their analysis of local politics after the municipal election.  All this in a bar.  Because, why not?  The local music this week is powered by Decoy Prayer Meeting. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #646: Automatic voter registration problems, The Secret History of Freddie Roulette, Winter Tavern Tour visits The Lantern

    Mike Stephen discusses some of the issues with the implementation of the state’s automatic voter registration law, learns the Secret History of local Blues lap steel guitar player Freddie Roulette, and drops by The Lantern in Lake Forest for another stop on the OTL Winter Tavern Tour.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Boyo Talk. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #645: Winter Tavern Tour visits The Levee, The future of the Old Town School, Life outside Cook County Jail

    Mike Stephen drops by The Levee in Hermosa as part of the OTL Winter Tavern Tour, discusses the future of The Old Town School of Folk Music with CEO Jim Newcomb, and learns about the struggle of life outside the Cook County Jail with author and sociologist Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve.  The local music this week is powered by Jan James. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #644: Winter Tavern Tour visits Richmond’s, Finishing a campaign for alderman, The Secret History of Willie Big Eyes Smith

    Mike Stephen stops by Richmond’s Sports Bar in Humboldt Park to learn about that establishment’s history, checks in with 33rd ward aldermanic candidate Katie Sieracki, and learns the Secret History of local Bluesman Willie “Big Eyes” Smith.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Obeko. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #643: Winter Tavern Tour visits Cody’s, Little Village’s environmental justice, Chicago’s population decline

    Mike Stephen stops by Cody’s bar in Lakeview to kick off the Winter Tavern Tour with @ChicagoBars, learns about Little Village’s fight for environmental justice, and discusses the statistics that show Chicago’s declining population with local demographer Rob Paral.  The local music this week is powered by Minor Moon. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.