Entertainment

Cal Thomas: The Fall of Empires, the Future of US

Best-selling Author and syndicated columnist Cal Thomas joins Tim to talk about the rise and fall of empires and super powers and what history can tell us about America’s future. Cal recently released a book called, “America’s Expiration Date: The fall of empires and superpowers, and the future of the United States.”

Read More

Kurt Elling: A Jazz Singer for Our Time

Influential jazz vocalist Kurt Elling joins Tim to talk about his life in jazz music and the unique role the vocalist plays, along with his multifaceted career in theatre and as one of jazz music’s poets.

Read More

FATIMA: The Miracle of the Sun

Veteran Hollywood producer Rose Ganguzza joins Tim to talk about her latest project. The picture is called, Fatima.  In this episode, Rose tells the story at the center of her most recent film, Fatima, and the creative process for bringing that story to today’s audiences and making it relevant and relatable, all while working to overcome a pandemic in the process.

Read More

The ‘Lost Colony’ of Roanoke Island is Found

Historian and author Scott Dawson joins Tim to talk about his team’s discovery of what actually happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks. He has spent the past 11 years working with a team of archaeologists, historians, botanists and geologists to try to uncover the truth behind the story of the Lost Colony.

Read More

“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.

Read More

Stefano Bollani’s Fresh Take on “Jesus Christ Superstar”

One of the world’s elite jazz pianists Stefano Bollani joins Tim to talk about music innovation, artistry, and his most recent project, “Piano Variations on Jesus Christ Superstar.” Get inside the mind of a creative improvisationist through a very relaxed and fun conversation.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Larry Gatlin: A Life in Country Music

Country music star Larry Gatlin joins Tim to talk about a life in country music, as a songwriter, as a performer and as a member of one of the most famous vocal groups in the history of country music. Larry is the oldest of the three Gatlin Brothers who hale from West Texas. He is an award-winner, a chart-topper and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Read More

Fred Hersch: A Jazz Story

Jazz piano legend Fred Hersch joins Tim to talk about his life in and out of jazz, his new virtual concert series called Fred Hersch at Home. Fred was one of the first to live stream his performances daily on Facebook, entertaining tens of thousands who may never have had the chance to see him in person. And we talk about the new world in which we’re living and how jazz is making a positive impact.

 

Read More

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.

Read More

Marilyn Monroe: A Bombshell Story

Author Charles Casillo joins Tim to talk about the most iconic sex symbol in the modern era Marilyn Monroe. Charles is the author of the novel “The Marilyn Diaries” and a non-fiction work “Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon.” In this episode, we about Marilyn Monroe, her legacy in the entertainment industry, in society and her imprint on pop culture.

Read More

Miss Manners to the Rescue

Judith Martin, better known to millions of readers as Miss Manners, joins Tim to talk about good manners, an understanding of etiquette and civility are as important as ever. Judith is an author and a syndicated columnist. In this episode, she talks about her career at the Washington Post, about how etiquette and manners in society have evolved, and about her new book called, “Minding Miss Manners: In an Era of Fake Etiquette.”

Read More

Story Behind a Song: Wagon Wheel

Ketch Secor joins Tim to talk about his long journey in roots music, his band the Old Crow Medicine Show, that now iconic song he co-wrote with Bob Dylan, and how the nation’s COVID quarantine has created a new phenomenon – an explosion of live music on the Internet. Coming to a live stream near you!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

One Fun Mess: Double Dare with Marc Summers

Television host and producer Marc Summers joins Tim to talk about the classic Nickelodeon show that put him and the Nickelodeon cable network on the map, Double Dare. Before Double Dare, kids didn’t have their own game show and the Nickelodeon network was not as widely known as it would become after this crazy, messy, green slimy “party” that millions of millennials would rush home after school to watch.

Read More

Singing is Good for You: Choirs are on the Rise

Susan Medley joins Tim to talk about new research that revealed that singing is good for you, mentally and physically, and America’s participation in choirs is on the rise. Susan is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at Washington & Jefferson College and is the music director of the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. Today, one in six Americans sing in community choirs.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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!

 

Read More

Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights

Rabbi Seth Adelson joins Tim to talk about the story of Hanukkah, its history, its traditions and its meaning. Rabbi Adelson serves the Congregation Beth Shalom in Pittsburgh.

Read More

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Jim Temple is the grandson of Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun that would lead to an editorial that would cement Santa Claus in the minds of children of all ages for generations.  Jim joins Tim in this episode to talk about the lasting impact of that letter and the editorial. This is that now iconic editorial that features those legendary words, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Read More

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.

 

Read More

He Directed “Christmas Vacation”

Plan on watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation this holiday season? Listen to the film’s director Jeremiah Chechik talk about the impact that movie has had on him and on our holiday entertainment traditions. He’ll talk about the making of the film and why the Griswold Family have become a staple in holiday viewing.

 

Read More

Why We Eat What We Do at Thanksgiving

Food PR expert Mary Barber joins Tim to tell the origin stories behind our Thanksgiving foods, from regional favorites, to some items that trace their “roots” back to that first Thanksgiving in 1621. Listen to the story behind your Thanksgiving table.

Read More

Post-game Staple: The Locker Room Interview

Veteran sports columnist Gene Collier joins Tim to talk about the ubiquitous locker room interview and how it changed the way the world learns about and sees sports. Gene tells stories of his own memorable experiences as a journalist interviewing athletes and coaches before and after some of the biggest events of their lives. In this episode we talk about the first locker room interview pioneer, and the time when female journalists gained access to team locker rooms.

Read More

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.

Read More

The Last Pirate, The First Celebrity Gangster

Author Rich Cohen joins Tim to talk about his latest book called The Last Pirate of New York. As the title would suggest, it’s about the end of the days of pirates in New York, and the birth of the celebrity gangster, all in the story of one man, Albert Hicks and the grisly case in 1860 that changed the way Americans saw crime.

 

Read More

E.B. White’s Timeless Words on Democracy

Writer and editor Martha White joins Tim to discuss her work on the new book called, “E.B. White On Democracy,” a collection of her iconic grandfather’s essays, poetry and letters on democratic society. E.B. White wrote the children’s stories of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. His work on the book The Elements of Style is iconic. But he was best known during his lifetime as an essayist, a poet and a writer for The New Yorker and others.

 

Read More

Time Machine: RCA Studio B

Country music historian John Rumble joins Tim to talk about Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio B, where music history was made on a regular basis. John is a senior historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. In this episode, we talk about a humble little recording studio that changed the course of country music history, and made the careers of many entertainers within and outside of country music.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.”

 

Read More

In Search of Kindness

Mary Latham is on a mission to collect stories of kindness from all 50 states in the country for a once-in-a-lifetime journey. She joins Tim to talk about what and who inspired her mission and tells many stories she’s learned 41 states into her trip.

Read More

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.”

 

Read More

The American Flag: A Biography

Historian, professor, and podcaster Greg Jackson joins Tim to discuss the story of the United States flag, its history, its meaning and what it represents, and just why and how it stirs such strong emotions throughout society. Later in the episode we have a special feature you won’t want to miss.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

America’s New Arrivals

The host of the popular new podcast ‘How To Be American,’ Brendan Murphy joins Tim to talk about America’s immigration heritage as seen through the rooms of a couple old tenement buildings on the Lower East Side of New York City. Brendan is an educator at the Tenement Museum.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

The Lasting Impact of Ferris Beuller

Jen Chaney joins Tim to talk about a cult classic film that its fans have to watch over and over. Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. Jen is a TV critic and pop culture journalist who’s contributed to the Washington Post, the New York Times, New York Magazine’s Vulture specialty publication, and WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. In this episode we talk about how a teen movie left an indelible mark on pop culture.

 

Read More

“Blood Code:” SEGA v. Nintendo

Author Blake Harris joins Tim to discuss the story behind his book, which is being turned into a television series: “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation.” Blake tells the story of when Sega and Nintendo battled Nintendo throughout the 1990s for video game industry dominance, and for the hearts, minds, and the fingers of a new generation.

Read More

When Nike Reshaped Marketing with “Just Do It.”

Liz Dolan joins Tim to talk about one of the most well-known advertising taglines of all time, Nike’s “Just Do It.” Liz was Nike’s head of PR and then Marketing for the ten years when the legendary changed everything for the company and the way companies market themselves. We talk with Liz about the story behind Nike’s marketing genius, line and the impact it’s made beyond athletics.

Read More

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Club Inner Circle member John Griffiths joins Tim to talk about Groundhog Day and why a little town called Punxsutawney becomes the epicenter of weather prognostication one day a year. John is the handler of Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania ground hog famous around the world for predicting whether or not we have another 6 weeks of winter. February 2nd is better known as Groundhog Day.

 

Read More