Business

Gimme a Break: A Jingle Story

Music composer and arranger Michael A. Levine joins Tim to talk about one of his most famous works, one that you are no doubt familiar with, which came early in his career and has stood the test of time.  While Michael has won his share of awards for comprehensive and high-level works of music, the subject to this discussion is the story behind an iconic jingle he crated for a familiar candy bar brand: Kit Kat’s “Gimme a break” jingle and ad campaign.

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Cordia Harrington: A Self-made Symbol of the American Dream

One of the most successful self-made women in America (according to Forbes) Cordia Harrington joins Tim to talk about her journey and how it exemplifies the American Dream. Cordia is the founder of The Bakery Companies. It’s a Nashville-based group of companies that have made baked goods for restaurants and food companies like McDonald’s, Five Guys, and Pepperidge Farm. Last year, Forbes Magazine ranked Cordia among America’s top 100 Self-Made Women.

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Dr. Judy Ho: Social Media & Mental Health

Dr. Judy Ho joins Tim to talk about something that could affect all of us: social media and mental health.  You may have seen her on the TV show called The Doctors, or on the CBS TV network’s Face the Truth. Or, you may have listened to her podcast called Supercharged Life. Judy is a licensed and triple-board certified Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist, she’s an author, and she’s a professor at Pepperdine University.

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The Gig Economy: In the Balance

Attorney Bob Eassa from the national law firm of Duane Morris joins Tim to talk about the gig economy and how a restrictive law in California has turned the notion of the gig economy on its head. In this episode, we talk about how the law impacts independent contractors and employers, what’s being done about it, and whether this sort of regulation could come your way.

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The Business of Death

Ed Michael Reggie joins Tim to talk about the business of death, or more to the point, how the funeral business makes its money and what you can do about it. Ed is the creator of a new website designed to take the mystery out of funeral planning and make the whole process less painful. The site is called Funeralocity.com.

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Sharyl Attkisson: Focusing on “The Narrative”

Sharyl Attkisson joins Tim to talk about her latest book and the current state of the news media in society.  Her book, “Slanted: How the news media taught us to love censorship and hate journalism,” centers on that dynamic called “The Narrative,” which appears to drive so much news coverage we see today. Sharyl talks of her many years as a network reporter and the way the media covers news today.

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Tammy Haddix: Creating Hallmark Keepsakes

Hallmark artist and creator Tammy Haddix joins Tim to talk about one of America’s more lasting holiday traditions, our holiday ornaments and decorating the Christmas tree. Tammy tells her own story as a member of the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Studio, as a mother and a wife, and how all of that comes to play when she helps make the holidays that much more special for Americans across the country.

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John Beasley: A Jazz Renaissance Man

Jazz Renaissance man John Beasley joins Tim to talk about his multifaceted career and life in jazz music.  He’s a jazz pianist, a composer, an arranger, a music director and a producer. And chances are you’ve heard some of his work through film, TV or commercials. In this episode, John talks about his a one-of-a-kind music lineage and how he balances his many music loves.

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“Cancel Culture” with Eric Dezenhall

Author and veteran crisis communicator Eric Dezenhall joins Tim to talk about a new phenomenon that is emerging in the public arena that’s causing many to refrain from engaging in public dialogue for fear they can be “cancelled.” The topic is “cancel culture” and what to do about it.

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Big Pharma: How it Got this Way

Author and investigative journalist Gerald Posner joins Tim to talk about his new book that traces the pharmaceutical industry back to its roots and takes a hard look at just how medical drugs have become one of the most powerful industries in the nation. His book is called, “Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America.”  In this episode, Gerald details the pharmaceutical industry’s origins, how it became a marketing machine, and the current state of the industry and its relationship with society.

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Antitrust Showdown: Teddy Roosevelt v. John D. Rockefeller

Attorney and author Ron Schuler joins Tim to talk about an amazing story from his most recent book that continues to resonate as America wrestles with the balance of power between government and business. The Standard Oil antitrust case pits President Theodore Roosevelt against tycoon John D. Rockefeller in a legal battle that continues to influence antitrust thinking today, and just how big and powerful one company should be.

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Napa Valley: Growing Tourism Again

Linsey Gallagher, the President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, joins Tim to talk about what she and her team are doing to bring travelers back to one of the most popular wine country destinations in the world.  Linsey has had to regroup and pivot with Napa Valley’s 400-plus vintners to help the region’s second-largest economic drivers – tourism – recover after the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown.

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After COVID-19: Get Ready to Play

UPMC Sports medicine physician Dr. Jeanne Doperak joins Tim to talk about how athletes of all ages can get back to playing sports again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s one of the people behind the new UPMC Youth Sports Playbook designed to help get young athletes back to competition. In this episode, Dr. Doperak details the thinking behind that playbook, and how to get your young athlete back into sports with confidence, with the right approach and the right mindset.

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John Scofield: A Jazz Master

Jazz legend John Scofield joins Tim to talk about his life as one of the world’s leading jazz guitarists. He talks about the creative process, performing, and how his music has defied labeling. John is a true jazz innovator.

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Podcast Gumbo: Why We Listen

Paul Kondo joins Tim to talk about why we listen to podcasts, what’s the appeal, and some of the podcasts he likes. Paul is the editor of the leading podcasting industry newsletter for listeners called Podcast Gumbo, and new in 2020, the Podcast Gumbo Podcast.  Podcasting has shaped the way we think, but there’s something more to it. In this episode we explore the appeal of podcasting.

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Post-pandemic Mindset: Getting Your Life Back on Track

New York Times best-selling author and professional organizer Julie Morgenstern joins Tim to talk about how to get your life back on track thanks to the right mindset and a system for getting organizing your time and space. She’s advised a wide range of people on how to get organized, from top business executives and celebrities to people just like us. In this episode, Julie talks about how to re-emerge from this pandemic a more organized person, ready to take on a new chapter in your life.

 

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The Business Side of TV News

TV news industry veteran and consultant John Altenbern joins Tim to talk about the business of TV news. John runs a consulting firm named Crawford Johnson & Northcott, Inc., that specializes in helping TV news operations get better ratings and grow their audiences. John tells what it takes for TV news operations to compete against each other for your time and attention. He gives a glimpse of some of the methods and strategies those news directors, producers and reporters use to keep us tuned in.

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COVID-19: Getting America Back to Work

Joel Griffith joins Tim to talk about how America will get back to work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and related quarantines across the country. Joel is a research fellow for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation. In this episode we look ahead to what’s possible and exactly how the country can get its economy back on its feet and humming again.

 

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Carol Roth: Using Humor to Make a Point

Carol Roth joins Tim to talk about a wide range of things, most notably how to use humor to make a point. Carol is a 2020 version of a renaissance woman, a national media personality, a former investment banker, a New York Times best-selling author, and now an investor, business advisor and entrepreneur. We talk with Carol about her career and the niche she has carved for herself providing tough love on business, entrepreneurship and how she leverages the power of humor to make a point.

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First Person: How “Business Casual” Became a Thing

PR veteran Rick Miller joins Tim to talk about helping Dockers change the way people dress in the office. He and his team played a part in the launch of the now ubiquitous “business casual” dress code. In this episode he talks about some of the keys to getting society to change its mindset about fashion and other things.

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Food, Faith & Fun: A Catholic Priest’s Unconventional Approach

Father Leo Patalinghug joins Tim to talk about his unconventional ministry that blends food, faith and fun. Father Leo is a podcast host, a celebrity cook of sorts, a sought-after public speaker and a Catholic priest. He tells about how he connects with people over food where they live.

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Meme Culture: How “Buckle Up, Baby” Became a Meme

Tyler and Hilary Avolia join Tim to talk about the time a spontaneous moment at a hockey game when Tyler was two turned into a meme that is now known around the world. In this episode, we look back to the time a local TV news clip from a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game in 2014, made Tyler’s baby face one of the most shared memes on the Internet. The topic? Meme culture.

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Do Political Campaigns Really Change Voters’ Minds?

Author and cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier joins Tim to talk about an article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal where he sheds light on research that answers the question: “Do political campaigns change voters’ minds?” Hugo is the author of, “Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe.”

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The Story of a Song: “Play That Funky Music”

The founder of the band Wild Cherry and the creator of the iconic song “Play that Funky Music,” Rob Parissi, joins Tim to do an anatomy of a funky song. That funky song, which has been named one of the top 100-performing songs of all time. Rob tells stories and gives a hint why new generations are embracing it even today.

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The Rise of Rush Limbaugh & Conservative Talk Radio

Brian Rosenwald joins Tim to talk about the rise of Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. Brian is the co-editor of a daily Washington Post history blog called “Made by History.” He’s a Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also the author of a new book called: “Talk Radio’s America: how an industry took over a political party that took over the United States.”

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The Philosophy of Mister Rogers

Bill Isler joins Tim to talk about his friend and colleague and Fred Rogers and the film “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks and where Bill serves as an important character in the movie. Bill sheds light on  Fred Rogers the man, his philosophy and his unquestionable legacy.

 

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YouTube Creator: The Kavalier

He’s an up and coming YouTube creator better known to his 100,000 subscribers as The Kavalier. Jon Shanahan joins Tim to talk about what it was like to come up with this YouTube concept, and then come up with a successful strategy to build a large following as a full-time YouTuber.

 

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Are We Ready for What’s Next in Marketing & Communication?

Public Relations industry leader and visionary Ray Kotcher joins Tim to talk about the current state of communications in the world with a particular focus on the role professional communicators play in the process of reshaping the conversation. Ray was the long-time president, CEO and Chairman of Ketchum, one of the largest PR firms in the world. Presently, he’s Professor of the Practice, Public Relations – at Boston University. On a personal note, he’s also Tim’s former boss.

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2020: The Art of Persuasion

Lee Hartley Carter joins Tim to talk about the climate for persuasion in 2020. Lee is the president of maslansky + partners, a language strategy firm. She’s also the author of a new book from Penguin Random House called: “Persuasion: Convincing Others When Facts Don’t Seem to Matter.”

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Our Top 10 Moments of 2019

In this episode, Tim revisits the Top 10 moments in the Shaping Opinion Podcast for 2019. Which one was your favorite? Find out if your fellow listeners selected it in their Top 10!

 

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She was Cousin Catherine in “Christmas Vacation”

Miriam Flynn is an actor and voice actor best known as Cousin Catherine in the National Lampoon Vacation series of motion pictures. She joins Tim to talk about here work on the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie, her own memories and how the film has found a way into America’s holiday season entertainment traditions.

 

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Iowa Caucuses: The Breakfast Place

David “Stoney” Stone, the owner of the Waveland Café in Des Moines, Iowa, joins Tim to talk about how his humble little diner has become the go-to destination in for anyone who wants to become President of the United States as they compete in the Iowa Caucuses.

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The Fortune 500

Fortune Magazine CEO Alan Murray joins Tim to tell the story behind the Fortune 500, its history, its significance today, and what it has said over the years about America’s and the world’s business evolution.

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The Ludlow Massacre & The Birth of PR

Veteran public relations consultant, author and professor Fraser Seitel joins Tim to talk about a horrendous moment in American business history and how that spurred the need for the public relations profession and PR practitioners to serve as the “conscience of the organization.” This story centers on John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the striking workers of the Ludlow Camp in 1914, and one of the fathers of the PR profession, Ivy Lee.

 

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Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe

The COO and General Manager of Nashville’s famous Bluebird Café Erika Wollam Nichols joins Tim to talk about the Bluebird, its storied history and how this little place in a strip mall has impacted country music, songwriting and our culture.

 

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Fred Smith & FedEx: A Gamechanger

College professor and author Dr. Jim Wetherbe from Texas Tech joins Tim to discuss the story of FedEx and how it changed the game in overnight shipping, in time management and e-commerce, and just how Americans shop online and conduct business. Jim is the author of the book, “The World on Time,” the story of Fred Smith and the company he founded FedEx.

 

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MTV: When Video Killed the Radio Star

Los Angeles Times music editor and author Craig Marks joins Tim to talk about the birth of MTV and how it changed culture, music and television. Craig is a co-author of the book, “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.”

 

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Social Issues, Activists & Companies

Educator and well-respected author Dr. Tim Coombs joins Tim to talk about one of the more prevalent types of crises businesses and organizations face today – the social issue crisis. Boycotts, social media backlash, protests and other activities centered on social issues, and no organization is exempt, even if it’s not involved in the controversy.

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America’s First Family of Fireworks

Dr. George Zambelli, Jr., Chairman of Zambelli Fireworks, joins Tim to talk about fireworks, America’s 4th of July tradition, his family’s role as the “First Family of Fireworks,” and the American dream. Since 1893, Zambelli Fireworks has dazzled millions, including every president since JFK. There is a good chance that if you watch fireworks this July 4th, you’ll be enjoying that “Zambelli magic.”

 

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The Father of the Motivation Industry: Napoleon Hill

College professor, researcher and entrepreneur Dr. Lloyd Corder joins Tim to talk about the story of the father of the motivation industry, Napoleon Hill, and how his principles continue to provide the foundation for the self-help movement.


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Presidential Speechwriter – Episode 71

Former presidential speechwriter Noam Neusner joins Tim to talk about what it was like to create news-making and sometimes history-making speeches for the President of the United States. A seasoned communicator, journalist and book author, Noam shares his insights on the craft of speechwriting and the power of an effective speech.

 

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Social Media: The Domino’s YouTube Scandal

Fellow crisis communicator Dan Keeney joins Tim  to talk about the time when two Domino’s Pizza employees created a viral YouTube video that helped usher in a new era for crisis management – the age of the social media crisis.

 

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Hollywood Confidential: America’s Celebrity Crisis Manager

Hollywood publicist, crisis manager and author Howard Bragman joins Tim to talk about what it’s like to handle public relations for celebrities, particularly when those celebrities find themselves at the center of controversy. For decades, Howard has been the go-to guy in Los Angeles and nationwide for celebrity crisis management.

 

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Grammy Winner Tim O’Brien: American Bluegrass

Grammy Award-winning bluegrass songwriter and performer Tim O’Brien joins our Tim O’Brien to talk about his own musical journey and about America’s bluegrass musical heritage.

 

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The Power of Word of Mouth with Jay Baer

Jay Baer, the author of the book, “Talk Triggers: The complete guide to creating customers with word of mouth,” joins Tim to talk about the power of word of mouth to sell products or services, increase awareness, educate the public and create a brand. Jay is a very popular keynote speaker, an inductee into the Word of Mouth Marketing Hall of Fame and the author of several books.

 

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A Hershey Story

Pamela Whitenack, Director Emeritus of the Hershey Community Archives, joins Tim to talk about the story behind Hershey, the iconic candy brand, the company and the small town in Pennsylvania, all the vision of one man, Milton S. Hershey.

 

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If the Stanley Cup Could Talk

Hockey Hall of Fame curator and Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard joins Tim to talk about the history and lore of the Stanley Cup and how it’s unique among all professional sports trophies with its own personality, and the stories it could tell. Wherever the Cup goes, Phil goes with it as the Keeper of the Cup.

 

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Who Will Build the Future?

Executive Director of the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania Jeff Nobers joins Tim to talk about the rising career opportunities for people without four-year degrees, and who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves and going to work.

 

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Woodstock: Then & Now – Episode 56

Rolling Stone journalist Andy Greene joins Tim to talk about plans to mark the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and the legacy across generations left by that iconic original event in 1969.

 

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An Energy Game Changer

The president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition joins Tim to talk about just how game-changing a somewhat recent innovation in the energy industry could be. While hydraulic fracturing isn’t new, how it was used to tap previously unreachable oil and gas reserves was an innovation that changed the energy future of the nation.

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