Skip to content

The A.V. Club just got less Chicago

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


The A.V. Club is losing staffers after owner G/O Media said Chicago employees could either relocate to LA or take a severance package.

The pop-culture site was created in 1993 as a non-satirical supplement to The Onion, also based in Chicago. 

Talks of staffers voluntarily moving to the West Coast office began after G/O took over in 2019, longtime film editor Alex Dowd told City Cast. But the push to move became an ultimatum last month.

When G/O didn’t meet workers’ requests — cost-of-living salary bumps, higher moving stipends, flexible moving dates — seven Chicago staffers decided to leave the company, including Dowd. The group had some of the longest tenures at the site.

G/O told City Cast that the move would bring writers closer to the entertainment industry and their offer complied with the union contract. 

So as this chapter of The A.V. Club closes, what was Chicago’s legacy on the offbeat pop-culture site? 

“I’ve always felt that Chicago critics have more of a down-to-earth perspective on things,” Dowd said. “And I hope those are qualities that can exist at The A.V. Club after this.”

Listen to film editor Alex Dowd share more.


▪️ Dozens of civil rights attorneys asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot to abandon her plan to fine gang members and seize their property. This comes after Cook County’s top judge denied Lightfoot’s request to keep certain pretrial defendants in jail. [Chicago Tribune; WBEZ]

▪️ Chicago reported its highest single day of COVID-19 deaths yet: 99. But the positivity rate is down. [Block Club Chicago’s Kelly Bauer]

▪️ Rush University Hospital nurses are leaning on combat veterans’ tactics to help their COVID-19 trauma. [Wall Street Journal]

▪️ What’re the Brookfield Zoo lions munching on? Recycled Christmas trees, duh. Get yours to a recycling site by Saturday. [WTTW]


+ FRIDAY: Project Onward clearance sale
Buy the Bridgeport group’s one-of-a-kind art for up to 75% off this weekend.

+ THIS MONTH: Chi International Puppet Theater Fest
Catch puppet adaptations of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” the Neo-Futurists’ signature show, and more across the city until Jan. 30.

+ NEXT WEEK: Cabrini-Green convo with City Cast, BGA, CatchLight
Revisit one of Chicago’s biggest land grabs and learn how Black residents were forced out of their homes amid unkept promises from the city during a live discussion Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. Register now.


Our friends at the “77 Flavors of Chicago” podcast said to check out Joong Boo Market in Avondale for the dumplings and the amazing housewares. 

And I GLADLY co-sign. 

My family goes to the Asian grocery store for banchan (Korean side dishes), marinated meats, and other goodies 🤤 And like Joanne Molinaro, the Korean Vegan, told City Cast, my mom goes in with a long list and leaves with a full shopping cart.

Credit: daily.chicago Instagram

👉 Shop at Joong Boo — you’ll thank us. 

💌 Share those hidden gems! Could be a restaurant, park, street, or something else entirely. 

🎧 Listen to “77 Flavors” for must-try neighborhood restaurants!

A bee does a happy dancing jig

Reader Cassidy Williams-Song is the bee’s knees — wanna know why? Cassidy referred friends to the City Cast newsletter!

Tell your peeps to subscribe, and get a sweet little shoutout 📣

Like City Cast? Be a peach, and vote us the Chicago Reader’s best newsletter and podcast 💙

Not subscribed yet? Fix that 👇

Group 12 Copy 2