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
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
Students Find Their Place at 'Refugee High'
Sullivan High School in Rogers Park is home to hundreds of refugee students who speak more than 40 different languages.
14 min
School Questions, Essential Workers, and a Hot ...
City Cast Chicago producer Simone Alicea is in the host chair with Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd and City Bureau Deputy Editor Arionne Nettles.
15 min
ICYMI: Stephen Colbert’s Chicago Roots
The Late Show host found his comedic voice in Chicago, and recommends all performers start in this 'cultural capital.'
14 min
Shifting Demographics Means Shifting Political ...
13 min
A Chicago Teacher Feels COVID Deja Vu
A teacher tells us she’s feeling just as anxious as she did when the pandemic began.
13 min
Can Reasonable Doubt Get This Man Out of Prison?
James Allen has spent decades in prison based on suspicious evidence
9 min
Delta Spread, ShotSpotter Qs, and The Bud is Back
Chicago's top stories, under-hyped stories, and moments of joy of the week.
17 min
Want to Impact the City Budget? Fill Out This Form
Chicagoans tell city officials what they want in the annual budget, but whether those recommendations go into action remains to be seen.
12 min
Comedian Abby McEnany Says Chicago Improv Saved...
Abby McEnany has been on Chicago’s improv scene for more than 20 years but is new to the TV world.
12 min
Should Chicago End Its Contract with ShotSpotter?
ShotSpotter is a technology that’s meant to detect the sound of gunfire and deploy police to that location.
17 min
A Community Fridge in Englewood Was Just the Be...
Last year, Dion Dawson’s friend asked him what he wanted to do to help his Englewood community. Now, Dion’s Chicago Dream is running a community fridge that the organization keeps full of fresh produce and delivers groceries to families from Maywood to Evanston.
18 min
Mask Mandate(ish) Is Back, Bulls Could Be Good ...
Journalists Justin Kaufmann and Monica Eng break down the week’s news with Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd.
18 min
How to Move a 1000-Ton Historic Building
When historic preservationists heard the building could be demolished, they fought it. The compromise was to move the building 30 feet.
12 min
Teens Take Back the Block’s Story
Too many young people in Chicago see stories about their neighborhoods on the news that don’t reflect the neighborhood THEY know.
14 min
A Therapist’s Take on This Mental Health Moment
16 min
Cubs Fans Are Mad As Hell After Huge Trade
Cubs fans had a rough weekend.
16 min
Baseball Champs, Botched Raids, and Bring Back ...
The CDC had advised that masks be worn indoors again, especially in states that are seeing COVID cases surge again.
21 min
Sailing, Judo and 3-on-3: Chi Olympics Update
It has been a week since the 2021 Summer Olympics kicked off in Tokyo, Japan.
13 min
How Weird Will Pandemic Lollapalooza Be?
Chicago is bracing for nearly a half a million people to flood Grant Park for Lollapalooza.
18 min
A New Generation’s Chinatown Reboot
This weekend, the Chinatown Summer Fair is back after taking a year off because of the pandemic.
13 min
How to Get Help As Eviction Protections End
After several extensions of the state’s eviction moratorium, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued an executive order last Friday that allows eviction filings to begin this week.
10 min
Cop Oversight, Love for the Bucks, and Wait, Lo...
City Council passed a civilian police oversight ordinance that assuages some activists’ calls for more accountability, but ultimately, Mayor Lori Lightfoot still retains a lot of power.
18 min
How To Cover A Cursed Olympics
This summer’s Olympics are the fourth for Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair.
14 min
Former Lifeguards Say Beaches Were A Culture of...
Back in April, WBEZ reporter Dan Mihalopoulos reported that that the Chicago Park District was looking into allegations by former lifeguards who say they experienced “criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse” while working at city beaches and pools.
12 min
Bringing Life Back to the Loop
For most Chicagoans, the Loop is just where the office is (or used to be) or a place to take your family when they’re in town.
12 min
The Real Estate Market Has Been in Overdrive. B...
11 min
Scottie Pippen, Candace Parker, and Some Non-Ba...
A former Chicago Public Schools principal has been accused of stealing of $200,000 from the school to pay her mortgage, which garnered a little bit of, “Yeah, what else is new in Chicago?”
16 min
Discovering Chicago One Restaurant at a Time
14 min
Chicago's Complicated Path Out of COVID
With the return of festivals, the reopening of restaurants, and a pause on travel restrictions, the last couple months have felt more like normal in Chicago.
15 min
It’s Not Just the Coasts. The Climate Crisis is...
10 min
What Happens When a Kid Jacks a Car?
There were about 1,430 carjackings in Chicago in 2020, more than double the previous year’s total.
14 min
Biden's Visit (Yawn), Lake Michigan Woes, and T...
14 min
Let's Talk About the 4-Day Work Week
Achieving a “work-life balance” has always been hard, but the pandemic blurred those worlds even more.
13 min
What the Heck is Happening in the 45th Ward?
9 min
Actually, Chicago Is Not The ‘Murder Capital’
People outside of Chicago often view the city as dangerous.
10 min
Pod Swap: Block Club Chicago's 'It's All Good'
21 min
City Council Fights, Fireworks Fatigue, and Ida...
We’re breaking down the week’s news with Jon Hansen, host of Block Club Chicago’s “It’s All Good” podcast.
17 min
Black Cowboys at a South Side Rodeo
Every year, The Broken Arrow Riding Club hosts a rodeo at the South Shore Cultural Center Park.
13 min
Chicago Made Me: Stephen Colbert
Before he became the host of The Late Show, or The Colbert Report, and before The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert honed his craft in Chicago.
19 min
A Time Capsule for the COVID Generation
After seeing how impactful the pandemic was for their young kids, two Chicago moms decided that a great way for their kids to look back at this historical moment was to start a time capsule
12 min
Chicago Has Had a Mermaid, and We Got to Meet Her
11 min
Lions, Steppin’ Music, and Lake Shore Drive
19 min
One Chicago Theater's Pandemic Survival Story
When Collaboraction opened its doors 25 years ago, they had no idea just how much their theater would change throughout the years.
11 min
Chicago’s ‘Korean Vegan’ Gets Personal on TikTok
When Chicago attorney Joanne Molinaro went vegan in 2016, she worried that she wouldn’t be able to eat her favorite Korean dishes that she grew up with.
13 min
CPD Knows Foot Chases Lead to Shootings. So Wha...
CPD enacted an interim foot-pursuit policy earlier this month that’s undergoing public comment. But critics say it doesn’t go far enough.
12 min
Meet the Broadcaster Crossing Chicago’s Basebal...
In Chicago, the crosstown rivalry between the White Sox and the Cubs is about more than baseball.
14 min
High Pot Prices, An Angry Mayor, and Moments o...
Host Jacoby Cochran and Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd break down some “news you can use,” something they each learned from City Cast Chicago this week, and a “moment of joy” that made them happy.
21 min
Two Pilsen Murals Were Tagged. Now What?
12 min
After Turbulent Year, United Airlines is Back
16 min
A Look At 40 Years of Gay Media
14 min
After Tension, Black and Brown Unity in Chicago
Chicago has a long history of Black and brown communities coming together.
14 min
TikTok, Selfie Mirrors and Other Restaurant Gim...
Restaurants, cafes and stores across Chicago have tapped into the influence of TikTok to stand out.
15 min
The Historic Effort to Count Chicago’s Trans Po...
12 min
The Fight to Replace the Irreplaceable Jesse White
Why is Secretary of State Jesse White, who runs the much reviled DMV office, so popular?
13 min
Conflict Can Be Healthy. ‘High Conflict’ Can Be...
Journalist and author Amanda Ripley discusses her latest book "High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out."
15 min
Frida Kahlo's 'Most Personal Work' Comes to Town
It’s the first time in more than 40 years that works by Mexico’s most well-known artist are on display in the Chicago area.
15 min
Chicago’s Famous Comedy Scene Can Also be Toxic
Chicago’s comedy scene is legendary. But it’s not always welcoming.
15 min
An End to ‘Quiet Rooms’ in Illinois?
New regulations come 18 months after a joint investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois showed that school staff were secluding and restraining students at astonishingly high rates.
10 min
Nerding Out at the ‘Marvel’ Exhibit
Since City Cast Chicago started, host Jacoby Cochran has wanted to go to the "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes" exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.
11 min
The Maps That Will Change Illinois Politics
This week, we got a peek at proposed legislative district maps. Plus, a look at other issues being debated in Springfield.
14 min