WBEZ Chicago launches The Rundown podcast, a bite-sized news podcast with stories and conversations that shape the Windy City

The Rundown Host Erin Allen calls new podcast “where curiosity meets FOMO”

WBEZ Rundown podcast
WBEZ Chicago
WBEZ Rundown podcast
WBEZ Chicago

WBEZ Chicago launches The Rundown podcast, a bite-sized news podcast with stories and conversations that shape the Windy City

The Rundown Host Erin Allen calls new podcast “where curiosity meets FOMO”

CHICAGO (November 11, 2022) – Coming November 14, WBEZ Chicago will introduce The Rundown podcast, a new podcast that offers Chicago stories and conversations every weekday in quick five- to 10-minute episodes. More information and the trailer are available here.

“Every weekday we’ll keep you informed, tickled, geeked, and pondering on Chicago’s news, culture and people,” said Erin Allen, WBEZ’s digital audio anchor and new host of The Rundown podcast. “In the morning, stay in the loop with the news as you take your first sip of adulting for the day. Plus, we’ll bring you special afternoon episodes throughout the week with stories and conversations that shape the Windy City. The Rundown is where curiosity meets FOMO.”

The morning episode of The Rundown will drop in podcast feeds each weekday in the 7 a.m. hour, featuring a curated newscast with top stories from the WBEZ Chicago and Chicago Sun-Times newsrooms.

As the podcast launches, listeners can expect afternoon episodes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the 2 p.m. hour. In these bonus episodes, Allen will also tell stories about new and favorite places in the city to share with listeners, have conversations with WBEZ reporters and producers, and she will connect with local people on their work and lives in the community.

Allen joined WBEZ in September 2022 to host The Rundown podcast, and is a self-described artist and communicator who is “driven by her curiosity about the stories of people.” Allen is from Detroit, where she cultivated her deep background in audio: Producing, reporting and hosting at Michigan Radio and Detroit’s WDET and organizing the Detroit Podcast Festival.

“I’m what you might call a double transplant. I lived here about 10 years ago, moved around a bit, and now I’m back. So I’m excited to get into what’s changed since I left, return to my old stomping grounds, and get newly acquainted with Chicago’s neighborhoods, communities, people, events and ideas,” said Allen. “I’m hoping to bring The Rundown listeners with me through all of that and wherever else they want to go.”

The podcast is a companion to The Rundown daily email newsletter from WBEZ that distills the five biggest stories of the day – local, national and international – into one quick digest delivered to inboxes weekdays at 4 p.m. The Rundown newsletter is written and edited by WBEZ Digital Editor Hunter Clauss.

“We have an excellent daily newsletter curated by Hunter that’s infused with his personal style and sense of humor,” said Ariel Van Cleave, Senior Editor, Audio News and Interim Managing Editor. “The Rundown podcast is an expansion of that effort and it’s really focused on a convenient way of sharing daily news from WBEZ. Only this time we’re leaning into our audio expertise to create an excellent listening experience. And we’ll get to have Erin’s voice, warmth and curiosity at the center.”

Tracy Brown, Chicago Public Media’s chief content officer, said digital newscast-style listening experiences like The Rundown are part of a trend toward “spoken word audio” among online audio listeners. In fact, 127 Million Americans listened to spoken word audio daily in 2021, and spoken word audio rose to 28% of all digital listening.

“We talk a lot about meeting people where they are, and this is a new way for WBEZ to reach new – and current – listeners who want their local daily news in a podcast format,” said Brown. “We hope listeners come to rely on The Rundown every day. It’s brief, it’s easily accessible, it’s conversational, and it catches listeners up on what’s happening around Chicago from our newsroom.”

The Rundown is available on all major listening platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR One, Pocket Casts or wherever listeners get their podcasts; on smart speakers; on the WBEZ mobile app; and online.

About the Host

Erin Allen is an artist and communicator, driven by her curiosity about the stories of people. In addition to her work at WBEZ, she also co-curates Radio Campfire, a live, listening event series featuring stories and soundscapes on various themes. Erin has a dynamic background in audio, from producing, reporting, and hosting at Michigan Radio and WDET to organizing the Detroit Podcast Festival. Also, her personal passions for social justice and art with her professional skills in marketing and communications have led her to spaces like Stone Soup Housing Cooperative and Allied Media Projects.