( ENSPIRE Feature ) Fritz Coleman and Louise Palanker’s Podcast Examines What Has Defined Our Media for the Past Half-Century
ENSPIRE Contributor: Cailin Tennis
After his success as a weather reporter on KNBC, audiences came to love Fritz Palanker. Once that part of his life was over, he teamed up with his wife Louise, who had extensive radio production experience. Not long after, they created the podcast MEDIA Path and they’ve just reached a full archive of 100 episodes. Every show includes a discussion of current cultural events and recommendations from the hosts.
The podcast is home to a weekly journey down a new path of remembering, learning, and reevaluating our shared memories and histories. This type of continued analytical learning is beneficial to knowledge sharing across generations, which is why ENSPIRE is excited to promote the podcast. The creative couple has extended, deep-dive discussions with figures who have had a meaningful and memorable impact on the media world we experience. It’s doubly as impactful to see two experienced professionals giving back to the community even after their initial careers have come to successful conclusions.
ENSPIRE was excited to have the chance to speak with Louise Palanker to discuss the intricacies of their podcast and all the skills she and Fritz have learned along the way.
Who is the target audience for the podcast?
Woke boomers and all those who enjoy deep conversations would enjoy listening to the podcast. We feature fascinating guests plus recommendations on what to watch and read.
Which episode of the 100 recorded has been your favorite to produce?
We are now at 131 episodes and my personal favorites are the two with Henry Winkler and the two with Adam Schiff. I also love the episode where we got to introduce Bruce Belland from The Four Preps to John Mills, who is the son of Donald Mills of The Mills Brothers. The brothers were Bruce’s musical idols. In fact, a backstage encounter with Harry Mills when Bruce was just 14 years old inspired him to form his harmony group at Hollywood High School. Bruce approached the conversation armed with pages of questions for John who toured with his father for fifteen years and, like Bruce, is a vocal harmony genius. It was a joyful encounter.
Could you tell us how the skills you gained in your career were transferable in creating your podcast?
During my radio career, I interviewed thousands of entertainment personalities, and I would cut the tape to create sound bites for radio stations all over the country. In particular, I edited out my voice so that local DJs could ask the questions. In much the same way, podcasting requires time-intensive preparation and a similar interviewing style with less removal of my voice.
Could you describe your relationship with each other and how that has changed since starting the podcast?
Frankly, Fritz and I have been working together since we met and so our relationship has not changed. He is just as brilliant, funny, dependable, and professional as he has ever been. Also, he continues to bring coffee.
What direction will you be taking in the next 100 episodes of the podcast?
We are at 131 episodes and so we are one-third of the way there, or if you are better at math than I am, a more specific fraction. We plan to continue engaging in compelling conversations that entertain, enrich, and inform our audience. Plus, we aim to further engage our listeners by fielding their recommendations and allowing them to pose questions to our guests.
Fritz Coleman could add his two cents about his experience, as well. He certainly made the most of the opportunity to create a podcast, and he’s grateful that it gave him the chance to develop new professional and personal skills. “One thing I learned was how to interview people,” he reminisces of his TV news years. “I would interview people about the Rose Parade, or whatever, but it meant producing a mini-story, doing careful research, and putting the pieces together.
Now, MEDIA PATH makes use of those interviewing skills, for sure.” When asked about working with Louise, he joyfully responded. “Louise brings an intellectual curiosity about everything,” Fritz says of his co-host. “She’s a political junkie, loves film and TV, really loves reality TV. That always makes the conversation fun because I am always trying to keep up with her.”
In sum, it’s exciting to see this inspirational couple taking the media industry by storm. While they cater to a specific audience, they are bringing interesting anecdotes and spinning tales for anyone willing to learn! ENSPIRE is happy to promote the podcast and encourage readers to continue stretching their minds. Fritz and Louise are a great example of this. When he retired from his weather gig, Fritz knew he wasn’t done working. “That 11 o’clock news kept me from a lot of things,” he recalls. “Now I could do all those things that massage my soul, be curious more, and discover more.”
Therefore, let’s heed Fritz’s advice and go listen to their podcast!
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