It’s new territory for the Advocate – a podcast geared exclusively to, and about, people in Kawartha Lakes. The first episode of the twice-monthly, news magazine program becomes available for streaming and download on February 15.
And its producer/host admits he’s not sure how it will be received. “I’m optimistic,” says Denis Grignon, a 30-year veteran of print and broadcast journalism, who still contributes to The Toronto Star, as well as the Advocate on-line.
“But it’s a cautious optimism. It really doesn’t matter how many people I interviewed, how much time I put into shaping questions or how much production and sound mixing went into creating this. The only way, really, to measure its success, will depend on what listeners think of it.”
Advocate publisher, Roderick Benns, however, is confident The Advocate Podcast – Stories from Kawartha Lakes will be embraced with enthusiasm. He listened to the nearly-completed first episode and says he was thrilled with what Grignon has produced so far.
“It’s polished, it’s relevant – people are going to look forward to these, I’ve no doubt,” says Benns, noting the blending of sound and voices to tell stories.
“We’ve never had anything like this in Kawartha Lakes. This is a first, and I really do believe others will be as excited as we are about it.”
Benns points out the Advocate has now staked out true multimedia ground with its robust online presence, its glossy, monthly magazine which is always highly anticipated, and now its regular community podcast.
“To achieve this in our little market as a locally owned, independent family business focused on our social and community wellness is gratifying,” says Benns. He credits Kawartha Lakes’ small businesses for seeing the value of truly independent media, and readers for their enthusiasm since the Advocate first appeared two years ago.
Grignon — who met his wife, Advocate associate editor, Nancy Payne, when they both worked for CBC Radio in Ottawa and relocated to her hometown of Lindsay more than 20 years ago — is taking a wait-and-see approach.
“I’ve spent all of my working life as a journalist and as a touring standup comedian,” he says, before adding with a laugh “And you can’t really find two more cynical professions.”
“But I can say, quite comfortably, that I really do believe this is what I was meant to do, what I’ve been trained for – creating audio stories about my home area. And so far, the experience has been so much fun and so rewarding.”
The Advocate Podcast – Stories from Kawartha Lakes is sponsored by Wards Lawyers in Lindsay. The first episode, which drops February 15, will be available via iTunes, Spotify and at lindsayadvocate.ca.