It’s a blast from the past: Fifteen years after “Inside Politics” morphed into “Beyond the Beltway,” veteran political talk show host Bruce DuMont has brought back his old show’s original title and format.
Sunday night marked the return of “Inside Politics” as a weekly local political gabfest, airing on City Colleges of Chicago’s WYCC-Channel 20 (at 10:30 p.m. Sundays) and on Comcast Cable systems (at 11 p.m. Mondays). Featuring one-on-one interviews with candidates and newsmakers as well as roundtable discussions with panels of journalists and political insiders, the show will air through the Chicago mayoral election next year. It’s a smart move — and a great showcase for DuMont’s considerable skills as a political analyst and interviewer.
The original “Inside Politics” aired on radio from 1980 to 1995 — first on Chicago Public Media WBEZ-FM (91.5) and later on Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890).
When the radio show expanded to syndication, DuMont renamed it “Beyond the Beltway,” eventually landing it on 45 stations nationwide (including WLS) and on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. He also picked up local television outlets for the show on Channel 20 and Comcast Cable. “Inside Politics” replaces the two television rebroadcasts for the time being, while “Beyond the Beltway” continues to air live on radio from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays.
“This move recreates the “Ëœexperiment’ in programming that began in 1980 on WBEZ when ‘Inside Politics’ first launched, and where then political unknowns Rahm Emanuel, Luis Gutierrez, Danny Davis and Carol Moseley Braun were first introduced to local audiences,” DuMont said in a statement.
Sunday’s premiere of “Inside Politics” was marred by static camera work and annoying audio problems throughout the 20-minute opening interview with mayoral candidate Gery Chico. While DuMont identified Chico as chairman of the City Colleges of Chicago board, he did not point out that Channel 20 (the television station they were on) is owned and operated by the very same board.
Other guests on Sunday’s show included 2nd District congressional candidate Isaac Hayes and columnists Greg Hinz, Phil Kadner and Mary Mitchell.