Episodes

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.

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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.

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September 11: An NYPD Story

Retired NYPD detective Chris O’Connor joins Tim to tell his story of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York.  Chris was within walking distance from the World Trade Center when the first plane hit. We talk with Chris about his story and the story of many first responders who continue to live with the after-effects of 9/11.

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Susan B. Anthony’s Legacy

Cassandra Peltier joins Tim to tell the story of the legacy left by Susan B. Anthony in the form of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed the right to vote for women.  America is celebrating 100 years since the 1920 passage of that amendment. Cassandra is the Executive Director of the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Massachusetts.

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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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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.

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A Delta Force Original: Mike Vining

One of the original members of the U.S. Army’s Special Forces Delta unit, Mike Vining, joins Tim to talk about his highly decorated career that started in Vietnam and ended in the late 1990s, encompassing many historical missions. Mike was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operator in the Delta Force, among many other responsibilities. He tells us what goes through the mind of an explosives specialist when time is tight and it could be a matter of life and death.

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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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The 1st Amendment: 45 Words that Shaped America

Gene Policinski joins Tim to talk about the First Amendment and how it continues to influence American society. He’s a Senior Fellow for the First Amendment at the Freedom Forum and he’s President of the Freedom Forum Institute. In this conversation, Gene details how the First Amendment has shaped America and will continue to do so, as long as it is protected.

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Who was Christopher Columbus?

Professor William J. Connell, who is an expert on Italian history, joins Tim to talk about the life of Christopher Columbus. Bill is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and holder of the La Motta Endowed Chair in Italian History at Seton Hall University. He’s also the co-editor of the Routledge History of Italian Americans.  In this episode, we’ll learn about Christopher Columbus, and as cliché as it may sound, the man, the myth, the legend.

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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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The U.S. Capitol: Home to the American Story

Professor Greg Jackson joins Tim to tell the American story through the story of a building, the U.S. Capitol. From the day the cornerstone is laid by George Washington in 1793 through today, the Capitol building is the anchor for the American republic. Greg walks us through the Capitol’s halls and tells us the stories they can’t tell for themselves. This is our special annual Independence Day episode. Have a Happy July 4th!

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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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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.

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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.

 

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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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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.

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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.”

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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!

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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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COVID-19: How You Can Reduce Fear & Panic Right Now

In this special episode, it’s a break from format in response to unfolding developments in the COVID-19 outbreak. As a veteran crisis manager, Tim recently wrote a blog post on how to reduce panic and fear in the wake of recent events. The post has been broadly picked up and shared in the public relations and communications industries. In this episode, Tim shares that content with you in the hopes it can help you become a calming force for those around you.

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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.

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Leaving Venezuela: A Millennial on Socialism

Daniel Di Martino joins Tim to talk about socialism and how it has and continues to affect the people of Venezuela. Daniel was born and raised in Venezuela and fled his homeland in 2016. He is now a freedom activist and economist. Daniel explains socialism’s impact on his homeland’s economy, quality of life, individual freedoms, and how it affected the future for the millennial generation in that country.

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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.

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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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1989 Protests: She was There in Tiananmen Square

Born and raised in China, author Anna Wang was in Tiananmen Square during those protests in 1989. She joins Tim to talk about what she saw, what she experienced, and what she learned since the events, the government crackdown that followed, the ripple effect those protests continue to have today.

 

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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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A Remarkable Peace: The Christmas Truce of 1914

Historian and author Terri Crocker joins Tim to talk about the still remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 at the outset of the First World War. Terri wrote the book, “The Christmas Truce: Myth, memory and the First World War.” In this episode, we look at the Western Front where against all odds and their commanding officers, German and British troops, and others stepped out into no man’s land on Christmas Day for a day of peace.

 

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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.

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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.”

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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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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.

 

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Out of Tragedy Emerges Gratitude

Steve Garrett, the host of the Within the Realm Podcast, joins Tim to talk about giving thanks in a way you may not expect. Steve shares his story of personal tragedy that he and his family have faced, and how through it all, he has found a way to be grateful.

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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.

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He Reshaped the World After World War Two

Author and historian Rachel Yarnell Thompson joins Tim to talk about the man with a plan, George Marshall, whose “Marshall Plan” reshaped Europe and the world after World War Two. After playing important military roles in winning both World War One and World War Two, he was tapped for what would become his most well-recognized legacy, the rebuilding of the free world. Rachel is the author of: Marshall—A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War.

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Building The Bomb

Richard Rhodes won a Pulitzer Prize for his definitive book on the development of nuclear weapons called “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” It’s one of 26 books he’s written, several of them focused on the world in the nuclear age. He joins Tim to talk about the wartime effort that changed everything, The Manhattan Project.

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