Lisa Blackburn and Jamie Paterson are getting ready to record an interview for their next show. The two veteran broadcasters are in their new studio, a converted bedroom in their home, decorated with Paterson’s Beatles memorabilia. On a small wooden table, there is a soundboard, two mikes and headphones. Paterson operates a laptop that sits on a chair next to him. This is where he stores and edits the files.
The interview gets underway. One of their dogs walks in the room, his nails clicking on the hardwood. Paterson silently signals for him to be quiet, although it doesn’t appear the dog is listening.
This is a long way from their days in commercial radio. Paterson, who previously worked at KOOL FM, was let go from Lite 92.9, where he co-hosted the morning show with Blackburn. Owner Rogers was making changes to its stations across the country. Blackburn, who spent years as part of the morning crew at Q104, lost her gig at Rogers in February when the station changed formats. But for the married couple their love of radio lingered.
Paterson had been investigating the idea of a podcast long before his layoff. He’s followed the podcasts of others, notably Adam Carolla, an American comedian and radio personality, for years. “When [Blackburn] got laid off the podcast idea was already there, so it worked out beautifully,” Paterson says.
And there was still a demand from fans. “After I got laid off, there were so many Facebook posts and Tweets saying, ‘Let us know where you are so I can listen,’” Blackburn says. “It has rekindled my love of the medium because this is the simplest, most basic form of it,”
According to Paterson’s numbers, they have 250 regular daily listeners and more than 7,000 downloads of their podcasts. The pair have a natural chemistry that comes not only from their combined 50 years plus experience in radio, but also from their marriage. “We want it to sound professional,” Blackburn says. Paterson chimes in: “And one day it will!”
Blackburn sees a niche they can fill. “The local aspect of it is what I wanted to bring to the table,” she says. “In radio, the local is being lost in the shuffle…this feeds my news need.” She says she sources most of her ideas from social media.
They consider it a “wild frontier” for broadcasting. “We have the ability with the press of a button to send it out to the world,” Paterson says. “It’s insane! It’s almost too powerful for us.”