DNAinfo tuning in to radio news

Jon Hansen

Jon Hansen

In the latest expansion of DNAinfo.com Chicago, the hyperlocal news operation is about to add an audio news service to its digital platform.

Starting Wednesday, DNAinfo Radio will be streamed through an audio player on the home page of the website. Programming for the all-news format will originate from a studio at the 233 North Michigan Avenue offices of DNAinfo Chicago.

“I am very excited to launch a 24-hour neighborhood news radio station,” news director Jon Hansen said in a statement. “In this radio format, we will have the time to give listeners even more in-depth neighborhood news.”

Hansen, who was hired last month, grew up in west suburban Downers Grove and graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana in 2006 with a degree in broadcast journalism. Until 2010 he worked as broadcast operations manager of student-run WPGU FM in Champaign. Since then he has been a news and traffic reporter for Total Traffic in Chicago and Midwest correspondent for 24/7 News Source.

The radio component marks the latest initiative to expand the reach of DNAinfo across multiple platforms. In December a weekly print edition began turning up in the mailboxes of 40,000 households in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

“DNAinfo.com Chicago has always been about covering the neighborhoods in Chicago, and we are excited to have another way to reach our neighbors,” managing editor Shamus Toomey said of the radio venture.

Billionaire Joe Ricketts, founder and CEO of DNAinfo.com, launched the Chicago franchise in November 2012 — three years after its debut in New York. The local operation currently boasts a staff of 40 reporters and editors, including Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Konkol, narrator of CNN’s “Chicagoland” series.