The Rundown Podcast - PM Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. WBEZ Chicago
The Rundown Podcast - PM Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. WBEZ Chicago

This afternoon, WBEZ Chicago’s The Rundown newsletter meets The Rundown podcast. Hunter Clauss writes the newsletter every afternoon, and he welcomes podcast host Erin Allen into the mix with an interview about where she’s coming from and where she hopes to go – with listeners – in Chicago.

The Rundown Podcast - PM Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. WBEZ Chicago
The Rundown Podcast - PM Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. WBEZ Chicago

This afternoon, WBEZ Chicago’s The Rundown newsletter meets The Rundown podcast. Hunter Clauss writes the newsletter every afternoon, and he welcomes podcast host Erin Allen into the mix with an interview about where she’s coming from and where she hopes to go – with listeners – in Chicago.

Erin Allen: Happy afternoon, I'm Erin Allen, and this is The Rundown. So most of these slightly longer afternoon episodes are going to be about actual events, people and communities in Chicago. But today, I figured it might be a good idea to spend some time introducing myself. Here to help me with that is Hunter Clauss. And that name may sound familiar because Hunter has been writing The Rundown newsletter for the past four years for WBEZ Chicago. We thought it would only be right if he was the one to welcome me into The Rundown universe with a few questions about what exactly I'm hoping to bring to your ears with this podcast. Here's our chat.

Hunter Clauss: So Erin, you're doing a morning podcast? 

Erin Allen: Yes. 

Hunter Clauss: Are you a morning person?

Erin Allen: Oh my god. That's such a great question. I am a night owl, all day and all night. 

Hunter Clauss: Seems like that's gonna be a problem.

Erin Allen: You know, I've been practicing. I've been getting up at five every morning.

Hunter Clauss: 5am? 

Erin Allen: Yep. 5am every morning for the last week. So you know, I'm gonna, we're gonna make this thing... We're gonna make it work because people want their news in the morning. And I'm here to provide that. And if that means I gotta get up at 5am, you know, I'm here for you.

Hunter Clauss: You know, what are you most excited about doing on The Rundown Podcast?

Erin Allen: Um, yeah. So I'm what you might call like a double Chicago transplant. So I used to live here about 10 years ago, for about four years. I lived here from 2010 to 2014. And I went, did some traveling, moved back to Detroit, basically. And I just moved back here a few weeks ago. And so I'm excited to really go to my old stomping grounds. And take, take people with me, as I'm, as I'm going to rediscover the things that I used to do - if they still exist, because I know at least one place George's ice cream shop, if anybody knew about that on the North Side, I heard is closed, unfortunately. But um, yeah...

Hunter Clauss: So what were some of your other stomping grounds? You got George's. 

Erin Allen: George's! 

Hunter Clauss: What were other places that you loved about Chicago? Because it seems like you just keep getting drawn back to the city. 

Erin Allen: Yes. Yes, Garfield Park Conservatory, even when I would visit in the interim. In the last 10 years, I would always try to make a point to stop there. 

Hunter Clauss: That's great. 

Erin Allen: Yeah, one of my favorite places. I used to go to the Green Mill for their slam poetry nights on Sunday, because I used to live in uptown. So I'm excited to see what's happening over there.

Hunter Clauss: Do you do slam poetry yourself? Are you are you observer?

Erin Allen: I did their open mic one time because I used to write poetry, was not that slam. But I just appreciate people using words to make us come, to compel us you know, which is I guess why I work in media. But yeah, um, other places: Beauty Bar, I used to go and dance I was wanting to get my nails done at beauty bars and maybe actually do that this time. I was on the thrifting circuit. Also the Brown Elephant unique. 

Hunter Clauss: Oh, yeah. 

Erin Allen: I used to live in Pilsen. I used to go to someone's a lot. And a few of the taquerias over there. So yeah, I'm excited to like get back, get around the city and also hear from people especially like on social. People just reacting and letting me know what they want to see and what they want to hear and places that they want to go to. I think a lot of folks are like me in that they're in this reentry period, whether it's from, you know, during the pandemic not being out and about, or maybe they are from Chicago, and they just moved back here maybe because of the pandemic. I know a lot of people were moving back home, or moving back closer to family during that time. Empty Nesters right, getting right back out here, and also other transplants like me, so I'm excited to kind of explore my curiosities, which hopefully will coincide with the curiosities of those folks too.

Hunter Clauss: Yeah, I mean, you totally nailed it. This is definitely an interesting time. Especially in Chicago, there's a lot of stuff going on. 

Erin Allen: Always. 

Hunter Clauss: When you talk to people, what are some of the like, the big stories that they say that they're watching? And are those stories that you'll be watching on the podcast?

Erin Allen: Well, I've asked some people like some of my homies from you know, from back back then, you know, where they get their information and what are some of the things they think about. I got homies in theater, people who our social workers, nurses and everybody uses transit, you know, basically, you know, so I those are those are the things I'm excited to get into. And things that I think about a lot again that I hope, you know what will be interesting to people and what we can kind of draw off of are like my degrees in psychology, not journalism.

Hunter Clauss: Well, you know, psychology is pretty important when it comes to journalism.

Erin Allen: Yes. Correct. Yeah. So I think about human behavior a lot. I think about language. I think about sci-fi, I think about electronic music. Yeah, and a lot of like, social justice things I was I was very much living a social justice and, and kind of nonprofit life a few years ago, when I was here. And I also do yoga, I teach yoga. Yeah, get into the wellness and food conversations a lot. And I think about queer issues, right? Like, I'm a member of the LGBTQ community, so also things that will come up.

Hunter Clauss: Is there anything about yourself that you'd like people to know about specifically? You mentioned that you're part of the LGBTQ community. You like sci-fi. You do yoga? You know, is there anything else that you'd like people to know about you?

Erin Allen: You know, I like to put on for the Aquarians the fellow Aquarians in the house, you know, you identify with that, if you're an air sign in general, you know, but no. Yeah, I mean, I think I pretty much put everything out there. I'm from Detroit, in case anyone was wondering. Yeah, coming from Michigan stand in the Midwest, but being in a very different type of Midwestern town. Yeah, I'm excited to be here.

Hunter Clauss: Yeah, I'm Scorpio. I don't know if Aquarius and Scorpios are good.

Erin Allen: Scorpio is my moon sign. 

Hunter Clauss: Oh, okay. So good that's good, right? 

Erin Allen: I actually have a lot of Scorpios in my life. So you will be added into that.

Hunter Clauss: I don't know what my moon sign is if sun sign or sunset sign. I don't know. I don't know any of that stuff... 

Erin Allen: Sunset sign! I love it. 

Hunter Clauss: My husband takes care of all that stuff. 

Erin Allen: Okay. 

Hunter Clauss: Along with all of our banking info and taxes. So it's part of his... He's the administrator of the relationship.

Erin Allen: Are you, are you, are you like chefin'? Are you? Are you like what? 

Hunter Clauss: You know, I do some cooking. I do some cooking. I make good frozen pizza. 

Erin Allen: Oh, nice. Skills. 

Hunter Clauss: Yeah. That's one of my top skills that and being just mentally ill enough to write a newsletter every afternoon.

Erin Allen: Well, we appreciate it.

Hunter Clauss: Yeah, I appreciate you doing the podcast. This is your first episode. So Erin, what do you got in the works on the podcast? What's coming up?

Erin Allen: Well, so far, we are going to go through the Garfield Park Conservatory. Oh, wow. Yeah. We're going to talk about water and Dixmoor. 

Hunter Clauss: Oh, yeah. Big Issue going on there. 

Erin Allen: Yeah. Yeah. And then we're gonna get into with what's coming up this weekend. So that's gonna be a running thing where we talk about was coming up. And you know, that's one thing I'm really excited to engage folks listening about, because I really want to hear. I want to hear what you all want to know. And I want to hear what y'all do know about you know what there is to do on these Saturdays and on these Sundays.

Hunter Clauss: Yeah, if you want to know what I'm doing on Saturday, I'll be playing some Dungeons and Dragons. 

Erin Allen: Ooh, okay.

Hunter Clauss: My fellow nerds. Yeah, competitive.

Erin Allen: Bring the nerds. Bring the nerds. Yeah, that sounds great.

Hunter Clauss: Well, Erin, it's been a pleasure talking to you on your podcast. I'll be listening every morning and afternoon, and I'm really excited to see all the great work you're gonna do.

Erin Allen: Thank you, Hunter. It's been a pleasure reading The Rundown.

Hunter Clauss: Yeah, well, it's great. I'm glad you're on the team.

Erin Allen: Me too. 


Erin Allen: That was me with Hunter Clauss, writer of The Rundown newsletter. If you're into newsletters, but you'd like to keep it simple, subscribe to The Rundown newsletter at And that's it for The Rundown Podcast. I'll be back bright and early tomorrow morning. I'm Erin Allen. Talk to you then.

WBEZ transcripts are generated by an automatic speech recognition service. We do our best to edit for misspellings and typos, but mistakes do come through.