Happy Friday! Thanks to all who came out to The Hideout last night! Here are some photos. Now all that's left is to vote by or on Tuesday.

Situational awareness: Be on the lookout for the debut of our Saturday and Sunday newsletters this weekend!

  • We'll focus on real estate trends and take a Sunday drive … via slot cars.

🎂Happy early birthday to our Axios Chicago member Stephen Brothers-McGrew!

Today's newsletter is 835 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: WXRT sees record ratings

Change in Nielsen ratings for top Chicago-area radio stations
Data: Radio Online; Chart: Axios Visuals

👋 Hi, it's Justin!

The January radio ratings show a big jump for Chicago stations, including WXRT.

Driving the news: Chicagoans tuned in for the tributes and live memorials for broadcaster Lin Brehmer, who died last month after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.

  • Brehmer's death brought together the WXRT community and catapulted the radio station to the highest ratings in the station's history.

What they're saying: "In a broadcast lineup filled with smart and funny people, Lin was a standout. His ability to balance his intelligence and literacy with his talent for engaging a mass audience justifies his place in Chicago radio's pantheon of giants," Chicago Public Square's Charlie Meyerson told Axios after Brehmer's passing.

Between the lines: Brehmer still looms large on the modern rock station, which could see more listenership when the station does its yearly broadcast for Opening Day at Wrigley Field at the end of March.

  • The live show was a tradition for the late broadcaster.

Zoom in: Chicago is argued to be the birthplace of talk radio, so it's nice to see talk stations rebound with higher numbers in January, probably due to the interest in Chicago politics and the municipal election cycle.

  • WBEZ-FM and WGN-AM both reversed their downward trends from the end of 2022.
  • The (other) biggest winner was KISS-FM. The top 40's station climbed back into the top 10 with a monster January.

Biggest losers: Even though The Lite is still No. 1 overall, it took a significant tumble after the holidays (and its nonstop holiday music).

  • V-103 also took a step back. The perennial radio powerhouse dropped to seventh overall.

Of note: These ratings don't break down precisely when people are tuning in nor specific listener demographics.

  • And full disclosure, I've worked for a number of these stations.

2. Best day ever: Veronica Roth

Novelist Veronica Roth speaks at BookExpo 2017 in New York City. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Chicago's superstar author Veronica Roth has just released a novel called "Arch-Conspirator."

The "Divergent" series writer is best known for her gripping and creative takes on dystopian futures.

  • This time, she's grabbing inspiration by reimagining the Greek tragedy "Antigone."
  • "It's concerned with the future, rebellion and transformation … and there's a dash of romance, too," she tells us.

What's happening: We asked the proud Chicagoan to tell us about her perfect day in town.

🥐 Breakfast: "I would go to Lost Larson in Andersonville and get a chocolate croissant and a lavender latte. Then I would finish up my current book — "Exit Strategy" by Martha Wells — at one of the little tables near the window."

🏺Morning activity: "I recently got the ceramics bug, so I would probably go get my hands dirty at Lillstreet Art Center. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says that when people are in 'flow' — which is basically a state of total absorption wherein the rest of the world falls away — they're happiest, and I find myself in 'flow' a lot at the pottery studio."

Keep reading

3. Tips and hot links

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

R. Kelly was sentenced to an additional year in prison and 19 concurrent years for his recent convictions related to child pornography and enticement of a minor to engage in sex. This is on top of the 30-year sentence he's already serving from convictions in New York. (Sun-Times)

💰 The Rotary International Convention is returning in 2030. The convention and its 40,000 attendees will return to Chicago for the first time since 2005. (WGN-TV)

🚉 This weekend, Blue Line stations at Belmont, Logan Square and California stations will be closed for track repairs and improvements. The project will affect weekend travel until mid-May. (NBC 5)

4. Chinese American Museum displays tasty show

Monica's great-aunties Olga Chin, Laura Sit and Florence Lum in the 1930s. Photo courtesy of the Chinese American Museum of Chicago

👋 Hey, it's Monica.

If your visits to Chinatown normally revolve around eating, I get it. We're in the same boat.

What's happening: The museum is featuring "Chinese Cuisine in America: Stories, Struggles and Successes."

  • The show explores the historical context for the chop suey craze and explosion of Chinese restaurants in the early part of the 20th century.
  • It features menus, pictures, advertisements and artifacts from early Chinese restaurants that illuminate the vast evolution in the cuisine over the century.

Full disclosure: The show caught my eye because one of my great grandfather's Chicago restaurants, Hoe Sai Gai, is prominently featured along with a picture of my three great-aunts.

The latest: In addition to the exhibition, this Saturday the museum presents a screening of the documentary "The Six," the untold stories of six Chinese survivors of the Titanic disaster.

  • Sunday you can catch a talk with Bay Area visual artist Maggie Wong, who is presenting her first solo show at the museum, addressing themes of labor, maternity and revolution.

If you go: The museum is at 238 W. 23rd St., and the suggested donation for admission is $5-$8.

New jobs to check out

💼 See who's hiring around the city.

  1. Director Business Development at Fay Financial.
  2. Business Marketing Communications & Branding Director at Vantage Specialty Chemicals.
  3. Corporate Operations Manager at Arbor Lodging.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a Job.

5. Photos of the week: Spring training

At Cubs spring training on Catalina Island in 1941, Dizzy Dean demonstrates to 8-year-old "Scooter" Hansen how he "fogs 'em in." Photo: Bettmann Archives/Getty Images

Tomorrow, the Cubs and White Sox begin Cactus League games in Arizona.

  • In honor of this rite of passage, here's a quick look at Chicago's spring trainings past through the Getty Images archive.
Photo of a coach hitting a baseball with a bat while players warm up on the field.
Cubs manager Leo Durocher working out with the team at their spring training camp in 1966. Photo: Bettmann Archives/Getty Images
Photo of a man standing in outfield in front of a billboard for Nike.
Michael Jordan plays the outfield during a spring training game in 1994. Photo: Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images Archive
Photo of a player being hugged on a baseball diamond by teammates.
Teammates hug Dexter Fowler after he makes a surprise appearance during spring training in 2016. He had just agreed to a one-year contract to come back to the Cubs. That season, Fowler hit a lead off home run in Game 7 of the World Series. Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Now, who's ready for some baseball?

Our picks:

Monica is looking forward to the Let's Talk & Celebrate bash on March 2 at Moe's Cantina hosted by Let's Talk Womxn entrepreneurs. It will feature tastes from 35 women-run restaurants, dancing and more.

Justin is excited that we will be in your inbox on weekends! The newsletters will be "CBS Sunday Morning" meets Saturday morning cartoons with a little Frazier Thomas sprinkled in for fun.

Want free Axios swag? Refer your friends to Axios Chicago and get cool merch like stickers, totes, hats, T-shirts and more!