Title: Awful Announcing Podcast: Episode 16
Date: April 24th, 2018
Host: Ben Heisler
Extra: You can subscribe on iTunes or find each episode on Awfulannoucing.com
Everyone loves a good surprise when they’re listening to a podcast, right? It can come in the form of a funny and unexpected bit, a piece of information you didn’t already know or even the voice behind the microphone that you recognize, but didn’t know was involved in hosting a podcast. My surprise with the Awful Announcing podcast was the latter of the three, as Ben Heisler, a person I was familiar with, was the voice I heard in the opening intro.
When Heisler was at 610 Sports in Kansas City, he was the executive producer of one of my favorite shows in the country The Drive with Danny and CDot. Outside of a spot on Bruce Weber impersonation, ‘Heis’ thrived at bringing the production quality of the show to an extremely high level. So, it was no surprise when I heard a well-produced, straight to the point, open that set the wheels in motion for the start of the podcast.
In reviewing podcasts as long as I have, I can’t recall hearing a caller involved in the opening minutes of an episode. But for the first time, it happened around the 2:00 mark on this show. Though it’s different, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad move. I actually enjoyed it. Heisler played two NBA related audio clips and had the caller guess which names were attached to each clip. If he guessed correctly on both, the caller won a $50 Amazon gift card. In this case, though they were pretty simple, he guessed both correctly and walked away with a nice prize.
There are a few reasons why I liked this idea. One, the game fits the brand that Awful Announcing has established. Two, the listener can play along, keeping them engaged in the opening minutes of the podcast. Lastly, it’s my belief that if you win something from a radio station or a podcast, you’re probably going to continue to listen to them, regardless of how small the prize may be. Though it seems like a simple way to begin the opening five minutes, the idea had value.
After a quick ad read and another nicely produced rejoin, Heisler dove into an interview with Rob Perez, the co-host of BUCKETS with Cassidy Hubbarth. For several reasons, I enjoyed Perez as a guest, but his story of going home from the bar and drunkenly Periscoping himself while asking viewers how he should cook Pizza Rolls especially stood out. In all seriousness, listening to Rob’s podcast helps you understand why he’s been so successful. Yes, he knows the NBA and gives good content, but he also knows who he is and what needs to be done to be successful. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s amassed over 203 Thousand followers on Twitter. One simple retweet from Perez can bring several new listeners to a podcast. I’m not saying you should schedule guests based on their Twitter following, but if they bring good content, and a large following, it could be a home run. This episode is a prime example.
I was impressed with how Heisler directed the discussion with Perez. He asked relevant questions that garnered good responses, while also sharing his own two cents at times. Instead of an interview that feels like a Q&A, Heisler made this feel more like a conversation.
I don’t know Ben personally, but he seems like one of the good guys in our industry. The Awful Announcing Podcast benefits not only from that association, but also from his skills as a talented host who understands how a podcast should sound. I give this particular episode high marks. You probably won’t ever hear a complete break down of a specific player or team on this show, but if you enjoy the Awful Announcing brand, then you’ll more than likely enjoy the podcast.