Cincinnati is not a major market, but we tend to box above our weight in terms of the arts and community organizations. Cincinnati Public Radio is committed to pursuing new platforms and new audiences. Just over a year ago we decided it was time to produce our first non-broadcast podcast. We’ve had a good working relationship with Dean Regas, the Outreach Astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory, for years; he is a self-taught space guy with a very warm and friendly approach to sharing his passion for space with others. Combine our relationship with Dean, our desire for an engaging podcast and his desire to do a professionally produced podcast: Together, we created Looking Up.
We’ve used Dean’s books and calendar as thank-you gifts during our fund drives, which also gives us an opportunity to discuss the podcast on the air.
Anna Hehman is the Observatory’s Director of Development and Dean’s co-host on Looking Up. She has an innate curiosity about the cosmos and provides the “everyday stargazer” angle to the podcast. She also brings a different energy and sound to the podcast which makes it more engaging and attention-grabbing.
Looking Up is the perfect opportunity to take what we know well (audio production) and marry it with a topic that’s universally interesting and truly endless. Add to that interesting hosts and strong connections with national science and space experts – the result is a consistently engaging podcast.
Some of the Looking Up guests during the first year included NASA Commander Scott Kelly; Ira Flatow, host of public radio’s Science Friday; Shankar Vedantum, NPR Science Correspondent and host of Hidden Brain; former chief scientist at NASA and new director of the National Air and Space Museum, Ellen Stofan; Adam Cole, NPR Science Desk reporter and host and animator of their video series, Skunk Bear and Paul Zaloom, better known as Beakman from the 90’s science TV series, Beakman’s World.