For this exercise, I’ve challenged sports radio veteran programmer and on-air talent Gregg Henson to put his ear on five different podcasts and share his analysis on what he learned from each episode. The feedback should benefit those involved hosting each episode, plus serve as valuable information for readers in determining whether or not to listen to a program.
For those of you who don’t know Gregg, he’s no stranger to the sports radio business. He’s programmed radio stations in Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne. He’s also spent the better part of the past twenty five years hosting in a number of different cities including Dallas, Austin, Grand Rapids and the others I previously mentioned.
The five episodes being dissected this year are Pardon My Take, The Big Podcast with Shaq, The Players Tribune: R2C2 by The Players Tribune, The Voice Behind The Voice, and the MMQB Podcast with Albert Breer. Each episode was produced in late July and runs about an hour in length.
Now that I’ve briefed you on what’s happening, let’s dive into the best part of this column, Gregg’s in-depth review of The Voice Behind The Voice!
- TITLE: The Voice Behind The Voice
- DATE: July 25, 2017
- LENGTH: 1 Hour 7 Minutes
- CAST: Sean Aronson, Jerry Schemmel
- SPONSORS: None
- PRODUCTION: Fantastic production. Great use of audio, drops and music beds.
In this episode of “The Voice Behind The Voice” Sean talks to Colorado Rockies radio broadcaster Jerry Schemmel about the most horrific day of his life, a plane crash, surviving it and saving a little baby. He also discusses a book he wrote about the moment, “Chosen To Live” and what it’s like to bike 3,000 miles across the United States.
This is a very traditional “interview” podcast with the host discussing the various aspects of the guest’s life and career. It’s a very detailed and thoughtful interview between the voices of the St. Paul Saints and Colorado Rockies. Sean specifically goes in depth with Jerry about his unique outlook on life and how his beliefs changed after he nearly perished in an airplane accident. It’s a riveting discussion. His minute by minute account of the plane crash is nothing short of astonishing.
Aronson does a great job leading and directing the conversation, leaving out no detail. His preparation for this interview is top notch, because he knew every detail of the accident and Schemmel’s life and career, which helped keep the momentum moving forward.
Schemmel is an interesting subject. He set out to lead an interesting, unconventional life; one that many would love to do but can’t or won’t due to the trappings of everyday life.
This is an interesting show. I’d call it an active listen, because you can’t simply put it on in the background or you’ll miss the nuance and details that make it so interesting. I hate to use that term because I don’t want to treat any show too serious, but this is a smart show, meant to be consumed actively.
There are times when the show gets bogged down in minutia, like the minor details of Schemmel’s life and upbringing. These topics could have been covered in much less detail, which would have allowed Sean to get to the meat of the show much quicker. He’s a very good host, but not a spectacular entertainer. However, he really does a nice job interviewing his subjects. He’s laid back and listens well which brings out the rich content that is so important to make a podcast like this standout.
The production and “sound” are much less important in this type of space, because the design of the podcast is to be very interview focused. It can get very serious at times so pieces of audio wouldn’t be appropriate during many areas of the content. There is also zero profanity in “The Voice Behind The Voice” which makes it appropriate for all ages and groups.
One minor item to point out, the show didn’t have any sponsors.
My final takeaway is that “The Voice Behind The Voice” is a very interesting, and thoughtful show. It’s a traditional podcast in the interview format, and if you love great stories and like to hear about the adventures and experiences of others, this is a great show for you to listen to.
One thing you won’t get with this podcast are a lot of “hot sports takes” or current news and opinions. It’s built around storytelling.
There isn’t much production value, except for a well done (but long) show open, but the audio enhancements aren’t what this show is about.
If you enjoy long form interviews with interesting people in the broadcast industry, give this show a listen. I think you’ll find the content is meant to be interesting, not entertaining. It’s a throwback type of show, and there is a real hole for it in sports podcasting. The audience just needs to know where to find it. Do yourself a favor and search for “The Voice Behind The Voice”. I’m certain Sean has done a show with at least one person you will find interesting, and it’s worth your time to listen. Well done Sean and Jerry!
Gregg Henson has spent over twenty five years working in sports radio as a host and programmer. He’s enjoyed stints in Austin, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, and recently joined Alpha Media in Lincoln, Nebraska as a program director and morning drive host. He can be reached on Twitter @GreggHenson or if you prefer to send him an email click here.