South Side Stores is a new podcast from Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (90.1) and Comedy Central. The show describes itself as a “celebration of the real-life people and places” that inspired Comedy Central’s new hit comedy series “South Side.” It’s believed to be the first collaboration between a public media organization and a cable television partner on a podcast production.
Steve Raizes, senior vice president, podcasts for Viacom Media Networks, calls it a “groundbreaking partnership” for his company. “It's also emblematic of Comedy Central's increasing audio footprint, as we continue to add original podcasts and exciting new partnerships to enhance our growing slate,” he said in a statement. “South Side Stories is an innovative approach to podcasting and a true companion to the show, shining a light on important issues and real-life stories that inspire the fictional comedy series," added Raizes.
The podcast is hosted by “South Side” actors Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, who are also the executive producers and writers of the show. They’re working with Kevin Dawson, managing director of content development for WBEZ Chicago and executive producer of the podcast, and WBEZ’s James Edwards, who was raised on the South Side, is the podcast’s producer.
“This is an exciting collaboration for us,” said Dawson. “South Side Stories will give podcast listeners an authentic portrayal of what life on our city's South Side is all about and worth celebrating, with the funny and sharp humor that only Comedy Central can deliver.” The podcast launches with the TV ratings wind at its back. Nielsen says “South Side” is Comedy Central's highest-rated new series among African American viewers 18-49 since the “Key & Peele” launch in 2012.
Comedy Central’s Global Podcast Network launched in 2017 and features brand extensions of the cable channel’s franchises and new original content. Its biggest hit is The Daily Show: Ears Edition which as of last month had 72 million downloads since launching. Two weeks ago Comedy Central announced that theJeselnik and Rosenthal Vanity Project podcast would return for a second season as part of a multiplatform development deal with Anthony Jeselnik, who is hosting the just-launched TV comedy interview series “Good Talk.” The podcast pairs him with best friend Gregg Rosenthal, a writer and podcaster for the NFL Network. Comedy Central’s slate of podcasts also includes You Yup with Nikki Glaser, The Jim Jefferies Show, Roast Battle, The Bonfire with Big Jay Oakerson and Dan Soder, Stand Up with Chris Distefano, and Your 2 Dadas with Sean and Julian.