Stage show heading to WGN-AM Chicago


You could call it a return to radio’s roots. The Chicago Tribune, in partnership with The Second City comedy troupe, is going to produce a weekly event on stage called “Chicago Live!” The show will be recorded for weekend broadcast on WGN-AM Chicago. Both the Tribune and WGN are owned by Tribune Company.

“For 163 years, the Chicago Tribune has portrayed the drama, conflict and joy of life in the Chicago region through our stories,” said Tribune Editor Gerould Kern. “This show will tell these stories in new ways, capturing the experience of life in Chicago today. Just about anything on the Tribune’s pages could make it to the stage in Chicago Live!”

In the intimate Downstairs Theatre of The Chicago Theatre in the city’s Loop, the public will be able to see and hear local and national celebrities and newsmakers in hard-hitting, provocative and surprising segments featuring some of Tribune’s top personalities. There will be on-stage interviews, performances by the best of the arts and entertainment communities and topical sketch comedy by The Second City. Tickets ($25 each) go on sale September 30th, with the first live show on October 14th.

“We are very excited by this opportunity to be part of a bold and important new adventure. It is a collaboration of two great Chicago institutions, and we’re approaching this as a thoroughly original and compelling way to tell the stories of our city,” said Kelly Leonard, executive vice president of The Second City.

Hosted by veteran Chicago reporter, author and radio/TV personality Rick Kogan, each 60-minute show will be followed by a reception where guests, performers and the audience members can mingle. The series of six Thursday evening events will also have a prominent presence in print, online, radio and television.   

Each show will be recorded for broadcast on WGN-AM during the weekend.

“We’re always looking for fascinating Chicago-focused stories to share with our listeners,” said WGN Radio program director Kevin Metheny.  “Broadcasting ‘Chicago Live!’ on WGN Radio will be a great opportunity for captivating and engaging programming.”

“Chicago Live!” is one part of a new initiative of community outreach by the Chicago Tribune, which also includes “Chicago Forward: Conversations About the Future,” a series of live gatherings of policymakers exploring issues of great importance to the Chicago region; programs by columnists and personalities; literary events; and a series of classes and seminars titled “TribU: Lessons for Life.”