The new podcast Serial may be everyone’s latest obsession (the spinoff from This American Life has already hit five million downloads), but Sarah Koenig’s true-crime drama is hardly the only game in town. Here are three local ’casts worth adding to your rotation.

Bad at Sports

This garrulous weekly talk show with artists Richard Holland and Duncan MacKenzie features local artists both well known (Theaster Gates, Michelle Grabner) and less so (Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson).


Public radio vets Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen interview an eclectic group of guests—Margaret Atwood and Richard Linklater among them—and revel in geeky banter: for example, celebrating the mathematician Ada Lovelace, a “great lady nerd of history.”

Outside the Loop Radio

This WGN production functions like a funky weekly magazine, with host Mike Stephen riffing on politics, culture, science, and food. Plus, there’s a regular chat with Steve Krakow, the Secret History of Chicago Music mastermind.