Outside the Loop RADIO is Chicago’s Almost-Above Ground Audio Magazine — a weekly radio program and podcast featuring fun segments and interviews with local newsmakers, artists, musicians, and others who are doing some cool stuff around the Chicago area. The show covers topics that don’t always get the proper attention in the mainstream media, and it’s presented with a strong and independent Chicago slant.

09-28-06 >>> LAUNCH
03-16-07 >>> WLUW 88.7-FM
10-04-14 >>> WGN 720-AM

MIKE STEPHEN (Storyteller, Urbanologist, Golden Voice) …
…was raised in Elmwood Park, just on the outskirts of Chicago proper. He graduated from Loyola University, where he hosted the very popular Stephen In the Evenin’ show on WLUW 88.7-FM. After kicking around at various internships in Chicago radio, in 2001 he landed at the legendary WGN Radio where he produced a variety of shows over the course of six years. He enjoys inspiring people of all ages. Mike enjoys the color blue, doing athletic type stuff, blowing on harmonicas, collecting Star Wars memorabilia, and drinking anything in bars.
Mike Stephen
COLLIN SEAMAN (Producer Emeritus, Digital Media, Retired Stephen Apologist) …
…was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from San Francisco State University with a broadcasting degree in Radio & Television. Prior to working on Outside the Loop, Collin lived exclusively in the land of visual media as a director and editor for brands and digital agencies in San Francisco and Chicago. Apart from keeping Mike’s head small enough to fit through the door, Collin takes lead on all things visual and social as he produces OTL. Like the grand master before him, he also enjoys blue, spending time with his family, exploring unique neighborhood bars, traveling, and pushing Mike out of his comfort zone. He is honored to be on the OTL team.
ANDY HERMANN (Producer Emeritus, Confidant, Soothsayer, Prodigal Son) …
…grew up near Columbus, Ohio, and spent his formative college years in Athens working at Ohio University‘s WOUB-AM/FM. He eventually ended up in Chicago and bored with his office job, so in 2000 he took an internship at at WGN Radio — and stayed for over 10 years. After a misstep working at a production house, he’s found his passion at a full-time gig in television. But now he’s back making radio too. Andy also enjoys the color blue, his dogs Biscuit Tripper and Brownie Roper, watching Three’s Company, listening to Greg Dulli music, and drinking bourbon at home.
Andy Hermann

Outside the Loop RADIO
WGN Radio 720-AM
303 E. Wacker Drive, Suite #1800
Chicago, IL 60611

“This WGN production functions like a funky weekly magazine, with host Mike Stephen riffing on politics, culture, science, and food.”

-Sam Worley, Chicago magazine [January 2015]

Outside the Loop RADIO “…makes for terrific and valuable listening, and is as Chicago-centric as anything you can hear here.”

-Rick Kogan, Sidewalks column, Chicago Tribune [November 08. 2013]

“Mike leads the next generation of urbanologists. ‘OTL’ is a show rich with curiosity about neighbors and neighborhoods.”

-Todd Manley, Vice President of Content, WGN 720-AM [August 25, 2014]

“Radio shows that are broadcasted live over the airwaves and podcasted later are often the subject of debate amongst critics: Is it fair to group these products of the old guard in with shows made by two dudes talking into a macbook? When the show in question is as compelling and informative as Outside The Loop Radio, any hand-wringing over classification seems irrelevant. Airing every Thursday on Loyola University’s WLUW and released for download soon after, Outside The Loop is an NPR-like show billed as ‘Chicago’s Almost Above-Ground Audio Magazine.’ The show’s high production values and focus on local issues, specifically those which don’t receive their due recognition from mainstream media outlets, make for an enjoyable and edifying listen every time.”

-Matt Byrne, A.V. Club Chicago [10/19/11]

“While there are many fine podcasts produced in Chicago, none manage to balance diversity of content with local focus as well as weekly audio magazine Outside the Loop (OTL) Radio. Since 2006, host Mike Stephen has been investigating local culture and politics through insightful and professionally conducted interviews. If you’ve ever complained that there’s not enough going on in Chicago, listening to OTL will change your tune. Visit them directly or catch the show every Thursday morning at 10am on WLUW 88.7 FM.”

Newcity‘s Best of Chicago 2010 [Dec 09, 2010]

“Ah, summer. Time to sit back, crack open an ice-cold Schlitz and crank the (vintage) stereo to OTL. Cohosts Mike Stephen and Andy Hermann toss listeners weekly tips as they cover a range of topics, from promoting local bands to discussing Chicago’s biking culture, taxicab tales and the city’s murky politics. It’s enough information to quickly increase street smarts and plenty of obscure music knowledge to up your indie cred — as if Schlitz weren’t enough.”

Time Out Chicago [07/03-09/08)

“Chicago has a meaty amount of good music podcasts, but as far as Chicentric talk shows are concerned, we mostly have to choose between stoner ramblings and political soapboxing. … So when … Mike Stephen and Andy Hermann … launched this new weekly show about the city’s nuggets, we were pretty excited. And so far, they’ve done one helluva job. …”

Time Out Chicago [11/02-08/06]