City Cast Chicago

Chicago’s daily news podcast, fresh every weekday at 6 a.m. Host Jacoby Cochran brings you timely conversations with news and culture makers; activists and artists; bus drivers and students; those who love and hate this place—all in 15 minutes a day. It’s a smart and delightful new way to connect with the city we share. Learn more and subscribe to our morning newsletter at 

Daily News
News Commentary
Is Enforcing the Restaurant Vaccine Mandate Lik...
17 min
CPS is Back After Standoff, Bears Keep Disappoi...
We look back at a long news week.
24 min
New Documentary Takes Us Inside Juice WRLD
The documentary and a posthumous album show the artist's struggle with addiction and mental illness.
15 min
The Black Arts Movement is Still Speaking to Ch...
Ayana Contreras discusses her new book, Energy Never Dies: Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago
20 min
Lightfoot and CTU, a Conflict Years in the Making
This recent battle is not the first time the mayor and the teachers union have been at odds.
13 min
How Bobby Rush went from Black Panther to Congr...
The 15-term incumbent announced last week he's not seeking reelection this year.
17 min
School Chaos, A Political Legend Retires, and B...
The first week of CPS was really an extended winter break as CTU and the district could not agree on safety measures.
19 min
Dr. Arwady Prepared for a Public Health Crisis,...
Chicago's top doc has had a long two years.
22 min
New Chicago YMCA Leader Says It's More than 'Sw...
What's in store for the Y's future?
14 min
Feeling Ashamed of Getting COVID? You're Not Alone
The stigma around contracting the disease can exacerbate the public health crisis.
14 min
Here We Go Again — Should CPS Students Return t...
The district says it's safe but the teachers' union wants more safety measures in places as COVID cases continue to surge.
14 min
ICYMI: Chicago’s Former Watchdog Looks Back on ...
Former Inspector General Joe Ferguson's perspective really stuck with lead producer Carrie Shepherd.
16 min
ICYMI: 'Black People Outside' Want to Get Peopl...
This hike with the popular TikTok couple was a 2021 favorite of newsletter writer Sidney Madden.
9 min
ICYMI: We're Going to the Rodeo...In the City!
One of producer Simone Alicea's favorite stories this year was meeting Chicago's Black cowboys.
11 min
ICYMI: Big Weed Has a Problem. It's Big White.
The confusion surrounding the state's cannabis social equity program was one of Jacoby's top stories of 2021.
12 min
Eat, Shop, and Give in Our Neighborhoods
The City Cast team takes you through our neighborhoods.
29 min
Here are Lightfoot's End-of-Year Promises on Bi...
The mayor outlined her plans for addressing the Omicron surge, and violence in the city.
17 min
Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Let’s Enjoy It
As we enter our second pandemic winter, let's talk with someone who actually likes the cold.
13 min
The Enduring Appeal of Bozo the Clown
The kids' show that ran for more than 40 years on WGN could be back
14 min
Cook Co. Dem Picks, Nightlife at Neo, and Your ...
A round-up of the week's news with Injustice Watch's Maya Dukmasova and Chicago Reader's Salem Collo-Julin
19 min
Meet Transgender Icon Mama Gloria
Gloria Allen shares wisdom and joy from her 76 years of life.
13 min
Finding Therapy at Your Local Karaoke Bar
Karaoke Storytellers is an event that combines storytelling and song.
12 min
Finding Community at C2E2 in a Covid World
The pop culture convention in Chicago was a chance for cosp[ayers and other fans to gather and be part of community.
14 min
What’s In A (Chicago) Nickname? Historian Dilla...
Shermann "Dilla" Thomas stops by to drop some Chicago nickname history.
14 min
Guess We Should Talk About Jussie Smollett
City Cast's Carrie Shepherd, Jacoby Cochran, and Simone Alicea discuss the impact of the soap operatic trial.
17 min
How Catholics Showed Up During AIDS Crisis
A new book shares stories of Catholics caring for people with AIDS in cities like Chicago.
15 min
City Cast and 77 Flavors Reunite at Mikkey's Gr...
The podcast '77 Flavors of Chicago' aims to eat at a restaurant in every one of the city's 77 community areas.
14 min
Austin Residents Say Cops Don't Come When They ...
Residents on the West Side sued the city in 2011, saying police often ignored their emergency calls.
12 min
Who Gets In and Who Gets Left Out of Selective ...
Breaking down the process of getting into one of Chicago Public Schools' highest-ranked high schools, many of which are listed with best in the country.
17 min
Holiday Cheer, Red Stars Scandal, and Who’s Wat...
City Cast's Carrie Shepherd and Chicago Tribune's Stephanie Casanova look back on the big stories, and the news that needs more attention.
21 min
So...How About That Transparency Promised in Wa...
Wednesday was the deadline for alderpersons to agree on a new ward map.
14 min
Does Today's Sex Ed Serve All Young People?
On World AIDS Day, we talk with a clinical psychologist about what kids need when it comes to HIV education.
12 min
David Plotz Asks His Burning Chicago Questions
The co-host of the Slate "Political Gabfest" (and our boss) gets answers to all he's wondered about Chicago
16 min
Why Are Black Chicagoans Leaving?
Chicago's Black population is the lowest it's been since the 1950s.
15 min
ICYMI: Dion's Chicago Dream
Listen back to our story about Dion Dawson, who's working to feed Englewood and the rest of Chicago.
17 min
Yes, Chicago Has a Thanksgiving Parade
It's been through several iterations, and took last year off because of the pandemic, but the Thanksgiving Parade is back.
11 min
Mural Celebrating Women’s Suffrage Blocked for ...
The mural "Speak Up" was supposed to accompany "On the Wings of Change" in the South Loop.
12 min
Help Your Neighbors, The Ward Remap is Coming, ...
We've got top news, under-hyped stories, and some good news to get you through.
18 min
‘Passing’ Story Has Deep Chicago Roots
The new film on Netflix is based on the 1929 Nella Larsen novel. Larsen grew up near Kenwood on the South Side.
14 min
Restaurant Workers Demand End of Subminimum Wage
Advocates say the practice of using tips to make up for lower hourly wages is driving workers away.
12 min
Parents and Kids Are Ready for a Vaxxed Holiday
It's been a little more than two weeks since the Pfizer vaccine was approved for 5-11 year olds.
15 min
It’s Not Just the Blackhawks. Hockey Has a Toxi...
A new book looks into the NHL's problems with hazing, racist taunts and gatekeeping
11 min
Bonus Episode: Why LGBTQ Events Spaces Are Needed
9 min
McDonald's CEO Under Fire, CPS' Last Minute Vax...
As we dread the city's possible first snow of the season, let's take a look at the week's news.
18 min
Why Veterans Need More Than Veterans Day
When veterans struggle to transition to civilian life, it can severely impact their mental health.
10 min
Here's What We Know A Week into the Rittenhouse...
Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 when he shot and killed two men and injured another last year during demonstrations following a police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
14 min
Why Does Chicago Suddenly Feel Like Vegas?
The city has five proposals for a new casino, and city council is considering an ordinance that would allow people to place sports bets at stadiums.
12 min
What Time Is It? Daylight Saving time Explained
What if you didn't have to switch the clocks twice a year?
9 min
Kim Foxx Gets Real, Toxic Radio Industry and Bu...
A look back at the week's news, which included the Bulls' on a streak and an expose of sexism in radio
17 min
Why Did A Meatless Meal at CPS Taste Like Meat?
A reporter tells us about her quest to taste CPS's "lentil Joe" and to make school meals healthier.
13 min
Are These Bulls For Real?
The team is 6-1 with their best season start in years. Can they stay in the lead?
13 min
What is CPS Doing About its Bus Shortage?
Nearly 4,000 students are without reliable transportation but the district is trying to find alternatives.
14 min
The Fight to Save Mercy Hospital
The safety net hospital on the South Side declared bankruptcy, and the community fought hard to keep it open.
12 min
Blackhawks’ Failure, Springfield Roundup, and G...
We look back at the week's news in Chicago (and Springfield)
20 min
Will Chicago Get Its First Asian American–Major...
Community groups in Chinatown say it's time.
10 min
Do Chicagoans Want to be Police Officers?
CPD says it needs to fill 1,000 vacancies.
14 min
Is Chicago More Corrupt Than Other Cities?
The Inspector General’s office has a broad mandate.
16 min
Where Are Chicago’s Public Restrooms?
A new investigation by the Chicago Tribune set out to document all the public restrooms, and talked to people who face barriers to access safe restrooms
12 min
City v. FOP, Parole Reform, and Sky Parade!
Let's take a look back at the week's news.
19 min
Why the Max Headroom Hack is Still So Creepy
A disturbing hack into two Chicago TV stations in the 80s is the inspiration for a new thriller.
11 min
Does Chicago Have Enough Ambulances?
A long wait for an ambulance could mean life or death, so why doesn’t the department add more to its fleet?
14 min
A 100-Year-Old Theater Needs a Makeover. Meet t...
The Avalon Regal Theater in South Shore pays homage to two old venues that served as entertainment hubs for Black Chicagoans.
13 min
New Bears Stadium a Likely ‘Loser’ No Matter Wh...
Whether it's in Chicago or Arlington Heights, a new stadium doesn't mean a big payout for the city
13 min
Gun Violence in Schools, Scooters Return to Chi...
Block Club Chicago's Jamie Nesbitt Golden and WCIU's Brandon Pope return to talk the week's news.
17 min
Let's Take a Moment to Remember Timuel Black
The Chicago historian, activist, and icon died Wednesday at age 102.
11 min
WhatsApp is Essential for Many, Including in Ch...
We hear from locals who lost contact with their loved ones during the Facebook outage last week.
13 min
Why Mister Kelly's was Home to the Stars
A new documentary looks at the iconic jazz and comedy club.
13 min
Playoff Buzz, El Milagro Walkout, and 'No Goofi...
It’s Friday, and while the week has been mostly rain and clouds, there were some important stories we want to look back on.
17 min
What TV Gets Right and Wrong About Chi
Some shows are set in Chicago, but not the REAL Chicago, and others go for easy stereotypes. But, we talk about a couple that get it right.
16 min
Inside the Mike Madigan Machine
Michael J. Madigan served as Speaker of the Illinois House for nearly 40 years.
14 min
The Chicago of 1871 Was Built to Burn
It’s been 150 years, and many people still think Catherine O’Leary’s cow set the city ablaze.
13 min
Discount Mall is Heart of Little Village But It...
Ever since the Little Village Discount Mall property was sold last year, vendors and neighbors have been demanding answers about its future.
13 min
Obama Center Breaks Ground, City Budget Details...
We look at the week's news with Injustice Watch's Charles Preston and WTTW's Heather Cherone.
19 min
Film About Southeast Side Asks ‘How Did We Get ...
A new documentary looks at the effect of closing the steel mills on a community.
13 min
Talking and Tasting Chi Foods That Aren’t Hot D...
Chicago's culinary contributions go beyond the basics.
14 min
'Boystown' Became 'Northalsted' Last Year. Is i...
The name was changed in effort to make the "gayborhood" more inclusive.
12 min
Business is Booming for Chicago’s Secondhand Ma...
Supply chain problems have customers turning to the antique market.
9 min
Chi Fall, Some Love for Navy Pier, and Two Youn...
We look at the biggest stories this week, including changes coming to Little Village and to Navy Pier.
20 min
Sky In Playoffs Third Year in a Row. Where is E...
The Chicago Sky make their third consecutive appearance tonight in the WNBA playoffs against the Dallas Wings at Wintrust Arena.
12 min
45th Ward Residents Are Asking 'Now What?'
After weeks of bad headlines about their alderman, some residents in the Northwest Side ward have been more politically engaged.
10 min
Here’s Why You Should Care About Ward Remapping
The maps are redrawn every decade, and alders are going through the process now.
11 min
From Soul Food to Storytellers: The Best of the...
South Side Weekly's annual "best of" issue highlights some of the best food, activities, and people on the South Side.
12 min
Gardiner's in the News (Still) and Stories Abou...
We look back at the week's top stories, including a celebration of Chicago queer life, with the hosts of a new podcast.
15 min
There Is No Muhammad Ali Without Chicago
We talked to biographer Jonathan Eig about Ken Burns' new documentary about Muhammad Ali
15 min
Bears Can Only Get Better, Right?
Season home opener is this Sunday, but we got a preview last week when they lost to the Rams. What can we expect?
15 min
How Illinois Abortion Rights Advocates Prepared...
An evolution of reproductive rights laws in Illinios.
11 min
Meet Chicago's First Food Equity Chief
It's about more than plopping a Whole Foods on the block.
13 min
Gardiner's Leaked Texts, More Weed Shops, and '...
We break down the week's news, including a lot of action from City Council
17 min
Trying to Make Cannabis Business Fair in Illinois
Equity issues continue to plague Illinois’ nascent cannabis industry.
13 min
Officials Blame Violence on Gangs but CPD Numbe...
An analysis found less than 30% of shootings in the last decade were labeled "gang-related."
11 min
Pullman Is Story of Labor Strikes, Urban Planni...
The Pullman neighborhood is named after George Pullman, a giant in the railroad industry who built a company town where his employees could live, work, and shop.
12 min
Blaming Gangs, Still Talkin' About Donda and So...
We look back at the week's news, and Shermann "Dilla" Thomas lays down some Chicago history
16 min
Chicago Children's Choir Back on Stage
The choir that unites kids from across the city can be seen in Chance the Rapper's latest concert film.
12 min
ICYMI: Jacoby's Mom and A Favorite Teacher
Host Jacoby Cochran’s mom lives in the same house his grandparents bought in in 1966.
11 min
How Was the First Day of School?
Monday was the first day of school for Chicago Public Schools, marking the third school year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
16 min
Why Bike Lessons Might Make You a Better Chicagoan
Chicago has been gaining a reputation for being a fairly good place for cyclists as the city adds new bike lanes, expands the Divvy bike share program, and offers free bike lessons.
12 min
Yeezy's in Town, Amazon Lowballs City, and Brow...
The Chicago stories that made us go, "huh," and the ones that brought us joy.
18 min
Watch the Black Women Leading a Movement
Filmmaker Ashley O’Shay spent more than four years following Janae Bonsu and Bella BAHHS.
13 min
Meet the Chicago Scientist Studying UFOs
In June, the U.S. military issued a report saying that out of 144 sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena, they were only able to explain one of them.
14 min
At ‘Refugee High’ Students and Teachers are Lik...
A teacher and student at Sullivan High School talk about the unique challenges of being a refugee student.
15 min