John Howell

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John Howell has been a daily presence on Chicago radio for 30 years. Arriving in 1988 to host mornings at WCKG, he spent the next 17 years at WUSN, followed by an 8 year run at WIND, and for the last 4 years at WLS AM890. In addition, John hosted a nationally syndicated weekend show for Westwood On…


    • Oct 30, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 2,343 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from John Howell

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/29) - Kinzinger on the Outs & Rita Crundwell is Out of Prison

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2021 48:26

    *Chicago Tribune Chief Political Analyst Rick Pearson details how the new legislative maps led to Adam Kinzinger announcing he won't run for reelection. *Tucker Martin, a Republican consultant tries to figure out what the endgame is for Donald Trump in Virginia. *Mitchell Armentrout of the Chicago Sun-Times shares how the new sports betting bill will allow you to bet on colleges in Illinois. *WLS Sports guru Rob Martier shares why Joel Quenneville is out the door with the Florida Panthers while Kevin Cheveldayoff is safe in Winnipeg. *Plus, WGN's Ben Bradley and DePaul University Professor Kelly Richmond Pope recap the scandal surrounding former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell and try to discern why she was released early from prison.

    Fourth Draft Congressional Map Waits For Pritzker's Approval

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 7:01

    Illinois Democrats approved the 4th draft of the congressional maps and sent it off to be reviewed and signed by Governor Pritzker. Chicago Tribune Chief Political Analyst Rick Pearson breaks down the new maps with John Howell.

    College Sports Betting Comes To Illinois

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 7:00

    Lawmakers passed a measure Thursday that would allow Illinoisans to bet on their Illinois college sports teams. The bill is awaiting Pritzker's approval. Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporter Mitchell Armentrout discusses with John Howell.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/28) - Mag Mile Robberies & Can Biden Recover?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 48:26

    *Robb Karr, President & CEO of the Illinois Retail Association shares how the string of robberies on the Mag Mile is scaring off potential tenants. *ABC News Legal Analyst Royal Oakes details the legal challenges that lay ahead for the producers and crew of "Rust." *Ariel Parrella-Aureli of Block Club Chicago recaps how Ald. Jim Gardner's Ward Superintendent was caught with an illegal machine gun. *Sara Shepard, the star of "BEAUTIFUL - THE CAROL KING MUSICAL" jumps on with John to preview the show. *Charles Lipson, Political Science Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago tells John that Joe Biden's approval numbers may never recover. *Plus, Kane and Toews speak up, and someone seems to be targeting The Hideout.

    Joe Biden Can't Recover

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 7:47

    We are only 9 months into Joe Biden's Presidency and many critics are beginning to wonder how America got to this point in such short time. Charles Lipson, Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Chicago, joins John Howell to share his thoughts on Joe Biden's Presidency so far.

    Robberies Turning Magnificent Mile Into Miserable Mile

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 6:46

    Robberies are becoming more common on and around the Magnificent Mile. What was once a crown jewel of retail is now becoming a hotspot for crime. Illinois Retail Merchants Association President and CEO Rob Karr joins John to discuss the situation.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/27) - Lightfoot's Budget Passes & Getting the Bears to Stay

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 57:52

    On this episode of Essential Cuts, John and Kim dig into the details of Lori Lightfoot's budget so that you don't have too: *Professor Justin Marlowe at the University of Chicago details why the city's revenue and spending will never be the same. *Greg Bishop of The Center Square shares how some lawmakers are moving to bar moral exemptions for refusing the COVID vaccine. *Mike Emanuel stops by for his weekly hit to talk about the latest news out of Washington. *Alex Stone of ABC News discusses how In-N-Out Burger has become the center of the vaccine mandate fight. *Plus, Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation claims that Lightfoot should pull out all the stops to keep the Bears in Chicago.

    Chicago's Budget Will Never Be The Same

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 8:25

    City Council just passed the Chicago budget for 2022. University of Chicago Research Professor Justin Marlowe joins John Howell to break it all down.

    Lawmakers Moving To Bar Moral Exemptions For Vaccine

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 8:21

    Some politicians are moving to ban moral exemptions for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. The Center Square Staff Reporter Greg Bishop joins John Howell with the scoop.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/26) - Bowman Steps Down & No JFK Record Release

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 61:57

    *Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune shares the latest on the terminology that will be allowed in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. *Senior Politico Writer Marc Caputo tries to discern why the JFK assassination records were not released today. *Mark Konkol of Patch shares how the FOP may be getting help from the Madigan Machine. *Matt Rosenberg discusses his new book, "What's Next Chicago?: Notes of a Pissed-Off Native Son." *The Chicago Tribune's Blackhawks writer Phil Thompson details the fallout from the organization's independent sexual assault investigation. *Plus, Doug Bandow tells John why no one can afford a fight over Taiwan.

    What's Next, Chicago?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 8:46

    Author Matt Rosenberg moved back to the city in 2020. He wanted to get a deeper look at what was going on in the city. Matt interviewed several Chicago natives and compiled their answers into his new book "What's Next, Chicago? Notes of a Pissed-Off Native Son" Link to book:

    Blackhawks' GM covered up sexual assault allegations

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 9:41

    An investigation into the Blackhawks organization uncovered General Manager Stan Bowman and other top officials helped cover up sexual assault allegations about coach Brad Aldrich during the 2010 Stanley Cup run. Chicago Tribune's Blackhawks Beat Writer Phil Thompson joins John Howell to discuss the fallout.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/25) - New Dem-Proposed Map & New Details from Set of "Rust"

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 61:44

    *Political Analyst Andrew Ellison takes a deep dive into the new Democrat-proposed Congressional map. *A.B. Stoddard, associate editor for RealClearPolitics takes a look at the big bet that the GOP is making with swing voters. *ABC News Entertainment Correspondent Jason Nathanson shares the latest details emerging from the deadly on-set shooting involving Alec Baldwin. *Professor Kevin Mattson of Ohio University asks if Joe Biden is becoming the next Jimmy Carter. *Thom Serafin, Founder and CEO of Serafin & Associates details their latest poll on whether a Bears move would have their reputation. *Plus, Rob Martier eats crow and Salena Zito of the Washington Examiner shares how the Virginia delegate races could reflect a national anti-Democratic mood

    Poll Shows Bears Move Won't Damage Team's Reputation

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 7:53

    A poll done by Serafin & Associates Inc. found 60% of people said a Chicago Bears move to Arlington Heights would not damage the reputation of the team but don't want any tax dollars going towards the move. Founder and CEO of Serafin Thom Serafin discusses the results with John Howell.

    Analyzing Democrats New Proposed Congressional Map

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 7:21

    Illinois Democrats revealed their first congressional redistricting draft this week. Political Analyst Andrew Ellison breaks it all down and shares his thoughts with John Howell.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/22) - Alec Baldwin & Coping with Memes

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2021 56:58

    John Howell presents another edition of Essential Cuts to lead you into the weekend: *Jason Nathanson of ABC News breaks down the details surrounding the Alec Baldwin on-set shooting. *Technology Reporter Drew Harwell shares how a group of hackers defaced Donald Trump's new social media website. *James Golden aka Bo Snerdley talks about his 30+ years with Rush Limbaugh as he previews his upcoming book "Rush on the Radio." *Alderman Gilbert Villegas details the newly unveiled Aldermanic map proposed by the Chicago Latino Caucus. *Plus, Dr. Jessica Myrick discusses coping with memes and Stephanie Esposito is welcomed as the winner of the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Challenge.

    Trump's New Social Media Site Already Hacked

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 8:00

    Former President Trump annouced his new social media network, TRUTH, is set to launch in 2022. Hackers caught wind of a beta test of the site and took the account names of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Drew Harwell, Washington Post Technology Reporter, shares the full story with John Howell.

    Alec Baldwin Shoots Cinematographer On Set Of New Movie

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 8:09

    A terrible accident occurred this week on the set of Alec Baldwin's upcoming movie Rust. Alec Baldwin mistakenly fired a bullet into Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who later died from injuries. Jason Nathanson, ABC News Entertainment Correspondent, breaks down the accident with John Howell.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/21) - Good Samaritan Law & New Book on Biden Family

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 50:10

    Illinois lawmakers cancelled their Thursday session, but the John Howell Show takes no days off: *John Keilman of the Chicago Tribune details how the expanded good Samaritan law is being tested in a drug-induced homicide. *Ben Schreckinger of Politico's new book, "The Biden's" asks whether the First Family is corrupt, or merely crazy? *Patch's Mark Konkol shows that Rahm Emanuel was no ambassador of truth at his Senate confirmation hearing. *Jerry Nowicki at Capitol News-Illinois breaks down the busy docket for Illinois lawmakers after cancelling their Thursday session. *Plus, Ted McClelland at Chicago Mag describes how Illinois came to be a one-party state.

    Main Street Smiles on WLS

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 5:08

    Dr. Amar Pattani of Main Street Smiles in Barrington joins John Howell to share how they are keeping their clients safe with their aerosol extraction system. For more information and to see their new patient special, go to

    How Did Illinois Turn Blue?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 8:21

    Over the years Illinois has become known as a Democrat state. But how did it get there? 312 Editor for Chicago Mag Ted McClelland dives deep into the history of Illinois politics to explain.

    "The Bidens" asks if the first family is corrupt, or merely crazy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 11:33

    Author Ben Schreckinger joins John to discuss Hunter Biden's laptop, the family's rise to power, and all the controversy surrounding the first family. Get your copy here:

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/20) - County Sheriffs Say No

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 48:21

    On another Wednesday edition of Essential Cuts: *Dupage County sheriff James Mendrick shares why he is not sending his deputies into the city. *Lorrane Hariton, President and CEO of Catalyst, details why 50% of Americans want to leave their jobs. *Austin Berg of the Illinois Policy Institute tells John what comes next for the Illinois redistricting map. *Marcco della Cava of USA Today talks about the continued backlash from the dave chappelle special. *Plus, Mike Emanuel and John Howell discuss the big news out of Washington.

    Why Does Half Of America Want A New Job?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 5:30

    Recent surveys suggest about 50% of Americans want new jobs. Lorraine Hariton, President & CEO of Catalyst, explains why 50% of Americans want to change jobs.

    County Sheriffs Decline To Send Officers To Chicago

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 8:18

    Governor Pritzker recently asked suburban police departments if they are willing to send officers to the city in order to help with the officer shortage. Many departments have declined the request. DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick joins John Howell to explain.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/19) - Ukrainian Oligarch Scams & Joe Ferguson Packs it In

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 55:37

    John battled his way through the Chicago Sky parade to bring you another episode of Essential Cuts - *Eric Boehm from Reason details how the new congressional map proposed by IL Democrats is a perfect example America's political dysfunction. *Writer Caleb Michel shares how a Ukrainian Oligarch managed to scam the city of Harvard. *John plays Joe Ferguson's comments blasting the Lightfoot Administration on his way out as Inspector General. *Attorney Dan Herbert previews the "Bank the Blue" gala designed to raise funds for mental health assistance for Chicago area police officers. *Plus, questions still remain ahead of Rahm Emanuel's confirmation hearing, and it may be time to start senility testing for politicians.

    Bank The Blue Hosts First Gala To Raise Funds

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 6:06

    Bank the Blue is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting law enforcement officers in Chicago and Cook County. They will host their first gala on Oct. 21st at 6pm. Founder Dan Herbert joins John. Get your tickets here:

    Illinois' New Congressional Maps Expose Problem In Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 8:00

    Gerrymandering has taken over the new proposed Illinois congressional maps. But it shows a deeper issue effecting American politics as a whole. Reason Reporter Eric Bame joins John to discuss.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/18) - Remembering Colin Powell & Tackling Chicago's Violence

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 43:49

    John was a big fan of Colin Powell and made sure to honor the former Secretary of State today: *Jim Kenney, former Ambassador to Ireland shares some of his fondest memories of Powell. *Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times can't deny that Aaron Rodgers does in fact own the Bears. *Alderman Chris Taliaferro shares the steps he and his fellow city council members are taking to curb Chicago's violence. *Chicago Tribune Theater Critic Chris Jones reviews "As You Like It," a cross between Shakespeare and The Beatles. *Plus, the wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they do in fact turn.

    "I still own you!" - Aaron Rodgers

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 9:08

    The Bears came up short this weekend against the Packers, losing the game 24-14. During a touchdown celebration, QB Aaron Rodgers started yelling "I own you!" towards Chicago fans. Chicago Sun-Times Sports Columnist Rick Morrissey discusses with John Howell.

    Remembering Colin Powell, Former Secretary Of State

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 8:47

    Colin Powell was America's first black Secretary of State and served under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. Jim Kenney, former Ambassador to Ireland, worked closely under Powell and the two became close friends over the years. Jim joins John to remember the life Colin Powell.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/15) - New Congressional Maps & The Ultimate Chicago Pizza Guide

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 16, 2021 45:24

    John Howell is here to recap a busy day in Chicago where Lori Lightfoot and John Catanzara are taking each other to court: *Stephanie Murray of Politico shares the numbers that show suburban democrats are fleeing from the 'defund the police' idea. *The Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson looks at the Democrat-proposed Congressional maps (hint: they're not good). *An alderman is proposing a noise ordinance that takes aim at the boats in the Chicago River. *NBC 5 Chicago's Food Guy Steve Dolinsky gives John advice on the best pizza places in Chicago from his new book "The Ultimate Chicago Pizza Guide." *Plus, WLS Golf Commissioner Emeritus John Dempsey jumps on the show to discuss the enigma that is John Daly.

    Democrats Propose New Congressional Maps

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 10:32

    Rick Pearson of the Chicago Tribune reviews the Democrat proposed congressional maps and it could spell bad news for Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

    The Ultimate Chicago Pizza Guide By Steve Dolinsky

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 10:23

    Chicago's Legendary Food Reporter Steve Dolinsky just released his "Ultimate Chicago Pizza Guide" A full length guide to the best pizza in the city. Get it here:

    E-Scooters May Scoot Their Way Into Chicago Next Year

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 7:26

    The City Council is looking at bringing e-scooters to the city by next summer. Chicago Tribune Humor Columnist Rex Huppke joins Rob Johnson with the details.

    A Rise In Vaccinations Leads To A Rise in Side Effects

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 8:31

    With mandates being put in place, vaccination rates are on the rise but reports of side effects are also increasing. Attorney Jon Groth joins Rob Johnson to discuss the rise in side effects and also provides solutions for anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation. Contact the Groth Law Firm at

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/13) - Potential CPD Blue Flu & Continued Supply Chain Issues

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 47:40

    *Former CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy reacts to John Catanzara urging officers to not report their vaccination status. *Mike Emanuel of Fox News ponders how badly Joe Biden's approval numbers could be hit by supply chain issue affecting Christmas. *Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics tackles the limited history of the Supreme Court rulings on vaccine mandates. *Author William Hazelgrove shares the basis of his new book "One Hundred and Sixty Minutes: The Race to Save the RMS Titanic." *Director Rebecca Halpern talks about her new documentary on legendary Chicago chef Charlie Trotter. *Plus, the real estate market is obviously booming, but even more so for those living in golf course communities.

    FOP President Supports Officers Ignoring Mandate To Report Vaccination Status

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 9:01

    "God forbid an officer go to the scene of a crime and bring COVID home to their family." says Former CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy on the FOP President urging police to ignore the city mandate to report vaccination status. Garry McCarthy weighs in on the topic with John Howell.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/12) - Trump or DeSantis & A Vaccine Mandate Loophole

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 46:25

    John Howell is here to lift your spirits if you're down about the White Sox postseason elimination: *Joe Concha of the Hill ponders whether Donald Trump should move out of the way for Ron DeSantis. *The Al Capone auction shatters records with a gun sale topping $1 million. *ABC 7 Political Reporter Craig Wall details a vaccine mandate loophole that Governor Pritzker is trying to close. *Former Governor Pat Quinn joins John while exiting the White Sox loss to the Astros. *Plus, a Wisconsin brewery has formed a SuperPAC and is planning on suing every school board in the state that doesn't follow CDC guidelines.

    Gov. Pritzker Determined To Close Vaccine Mandate Loophole

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 7:37

    The Health Care Right of Conscience Act bans discrimination by all institutions "because of such persons conscientious refusal to receive...or participate in any way in any particular form of healthcare services contrary to his or her conscience." ABC 7 Political Reporter Craig Wall breaks down the situation with John Howell.

    Sharing a COVID Serenity Prayer

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 7:15

    John Howell chats with Dr Lucy McBride, a practicing internist in Washington, D.C. who shares the COVID serenity prayer she wrote for The Atlantic. Read Lucy's piece here:

    Will We Ever Loosen Up On COVID Restrictions?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 7:09

    It's been well over a year with COVID-19 restrictions of some kind in place. During the beginning of the pandemic, there were usually plans in place tied to metrics with a clear plan of when the restrictions will go away. Now, many are wondering why there are no more properly defined metrics. Journalist and author Ross Barkan joins John Howell to discuss.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/11) - John is Back in the Saddle

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 59:08

    John is finally back in studio for the first time in 577 days and kicked things off with a big show: *Josh Nelson of Sox Machine details a big White Sox win. *Ron Onesti breaks the news that a Christopher Columbus statue could be on its way back. *Alex Stone of ABC News deciphers 100's of more Southwest flights being cancelled. *Dr. Lucy McBride shares a COVID serenity prayer. *Plus Salena Zito on how a Pennsylvania High School Booster Club beat the mob.

    The Logan Center Blues Fest is back!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 9:06

    The Logan Center Blues Fest is taking place October 15th - 17th. World Renowned Chicago Photographer Paul Natkin will be featured at the Festival and has photographed John Howell throughout the years. He joins John to discuss how his work will be included into the festival.

    Columbus Statue May Come Back To Chicago

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 8:42

    Last year, Mayor Lightfoot ordered the removal of several Christopher Columbus statues, due to public outcry. Now almost a year later, the city is in discussion to possibly bring one of the statues back. Onesti Entertainment Founder and President Ron Onesti joins John Howell to discuss Columbus day and the possibility of a Columbus statue returning.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/8) - House Redistricting & Cancel Culture on College Campuses

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 9, 2021 51:04

    John Howell has a fresh episode of Essential Cuts to add to your weekend programming: *Julius L. Jones describes the new City on Fire: Chicago 1871 exhibit opening at the Chicago History Museum. *Ryan Tolley, Policy Director at CHANGE Illinois talks about his lone testimony at the Illinois House Redistricting meeting. *Daniella Pereira with Openlands shares why Chicago's ash trees are worth saving despite the high cost. *The Chicago Tribune's Josh Noel details the circumstances that led to a failed unionization of the employees at Goose Island. *Professor Dorian Abbot at the University of Chicago recounts how the college cancel culture hit him personally. *Plus, the carjacking problem in Chicago is somehow even worse than you thought.

    Goose Island Unionization Plans Come To An End

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 9:01

    The idea to unionize Goose Island goes back to 2019. By 2020 they had almost 75% of employees expressing support of the union. But then the pandemic hit and management caught wind of the plan. They had to lay off employees due to covid laid off several employees vocal about unionization. Chicago Tribune Reporter Josh Noel discusses with John Howell.

    City On Fire: Chicago 1871

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 6:37

    The Chicago History Museum is opening a new exhibit about The Great Chicago Fire. City on Fire: Chicago 1871 brings a new way to experience this time in Chicago history. Lead Curator Julius Jones joins John Howell to explain the new exhibit and discuss The Great Chicago Fire.

    John Howell: Essential Cuts (10/7) - How the Culture Wars Will End & The Lifeguard Scandal Worsens

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 58:23

    If you're a fan of the history of Chicago politics, this is the episode John Howell: Essential Cuts for you: *Chicago Radio Veteran Justin Kaufmann previews his new podcast "The Madigan Rule." *Professor Jason D. Hill at DePaul discusses the harm being caused by the cancel culture wars. *Former Alderman and State Senator Jeremiah Joyce reminisces about his time in politics while talking about his new memoir, "STILL BURNING." *Dan Mihalopoulous of WBEZ shares how the Chicago Parks Department is hiring high-priced consultants to tackle their lifeguard abuse scandal. *Plus, Dr. Kiril Avramov from the University of Texas shares how ransomware attacks have become another tool in political warfare.

    Will The Cancel Culture Wars Ever End?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2021 9:28

    Jason Hill, Professor of philosophy at DePaul University, joins John Howell to discuss the cancel culture wars and if they will ever end.

    "The Madigan Rule" New Podcast From The BGA

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2021 12:40

    “The Madigan Rule” is a Better Government Association podcast that takes listeners inside the story of how Speaker Mike Madigan ran Illinois. Chicago Radio Veteran and host of the new podcast Justin Kaufmann joins John Howell. Listen to the new podcast at

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