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 #634: Dometi does great work, Local holiday ugly sweater dance, The Secret History of Dwain Story

    Mike Stephen learns about the new newsy side gig of WGN Radio’s very own Dometi Pongo, previews a local holiday ugly sweater dance party, and discovers the Secret History of the late Chicago folk artist Dwain Story with local music historian Steve Krakow (aka: Plastic Crimewave).  The local music this week is brought to you by Stutter. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #633: How pigs helped shape Chicago, A new Fooditor 99 edition, Food deserts in Chicagoland

    Mike Stephen takes a bite out of the local food scene and learns how pigs had a role in making Chicago an economic success with Cynthia Clampitt, author of Pigs, Pork, and Heartland Hogs, gets the scoop on a list of the most interesting restaurants in Chicago featured in the newest edition of The Fooditor 99, and discusses the impact of food deserts in Chicagoland.  The delicious local music this week is brought to you by October Bird of Death. To subscribe […]

  • OTL #632: SpotAngels app helps find street parking, Update on aldermen impact on fair housing, The Secret History of Daniel Scanlan

    Mike Stephen learns how the new SpotAngels app can help us find street parking, gets an update on the influence of aldermen on discriminatory housing practices, and discovers the Secret History of the late Chicago jazz artist Daniel Scanlan with local music historian Steve Krakow (aka: Plastic Crimewave).  The local music this week is brought to you by Holly. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #631: The Hip-Hop hustle with Epik1, IL is the Mecca of black politics, Mars updates from local solar system ambassador

    Mike Stephen welcomes local Hip-Hop artist and DJ Epik1 into the studio to perform live, discusses why Illinois has a good track record of electing African-American politicians with Edward McCelland of Chicago Magazine, and gets an update on our efforts to learn more about Mars from Mark Benson, our local solar system ambassador.  AND producer emeritus Andy Hermann makes a surprise visit to the show! To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #630: Jack Zimmerman’s storytelling, First run for political office, The Secret History of The Service

    Mike Stephen welcomes local raconteur Jack Zimmerman into the studio to preview a great local storytelling event, checks in with 33rd Ward aldermanic candidate Katie Sieracki on how her campaign is shaping up, and discovers the Secret History of Chicago 80s pop-rockers The Service with local music historian Steve Krakow (aka: Plastic Crimewave).  The local music this week is brought to you by Dramaglider. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #629: The Relevance of Religion in 2018

    Mike Stephen hosts a panel discussion about the relevance of religion in 2018.  Joining him in the studio this week are Omer Mozaffar, Muslim Chaplain at Loyola University Chicago, Rev. Bonnie Perry, Rector at All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago, and Fr. James Halstead, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University.  The local music this week comes from Red the Color. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #625: Violence Interruption, Chicago Home Movie Day, Mayoral transportation platform

    Mike Stephen learns about the incredible story of violence interrupter Angalia Bianca and her new book called In Deep: How I Survived Gangs, Heroin, and Prison to Become a Chicago Violence Interrupter, previews the upcoming Chicago Home Movie Day 2018, and discusses a 2019 mayoral transportation platform with local transportation guru Steven Vance.  The local music this week is brought to you by Motel Breakfast. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #628: Chicago is the worst at recycling,The Reader gets a new editor, The Secret History of the Wildwood Pickers

    Mike Stephen discusses some of the problems with Chicago’s recycling program with Madison Hopkins of the Better Government Association, talks to the new editor-in-chief of the Chicago Reader Anne Elizabeth Moore about what’s in store for the future of the paper, and discovers the Secret History of the local 1970s Bluegrass band Wildwood Pickers with local music historian Steve Krakow (aka: Plastic Crimewave).  The local music this week is brought to you by The Bombats. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please […]

  • OTL #627: The legacy of fair housing, Shifting household wealth in Chicago, The Walls of Harrow House

    Mike Stephen visits the Oak Park River Forest Museum to learn about the legacy of the Fair Housing Ordinance in Oak Park, discusses the impact of shifting wealth in Chicago households with Geoff Smith of the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University, and gets a peek into the Halloween-themed theater show called The Walls of Harrow House.  The local music this week comes from the Alpine Subs. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL#626: Combatting climate change in IL, The City podcast, The Secret History of Otis Rush

    Mike Stephen learns about Illinois’ efforts to combat climate change with the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, gets the lowdown on a story about Chicago with the creator of a new podcast called The City, and discovers the Secret History of legendary Chicago Bluesman Otis Rush with local music historian Steve Krakow (aka: Plastic Crimewave).  The local music this week is brought to you by Scamlines. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.