Preview: Shaping Opinion 2.0

If you follow us on social media or have subscribed to our new Substack page you may already know we’ve been on hiatus in recent months. Most of the episodes you have heard since the start of the New Year have been encore episodes.

Today, we have some good news. Starting next week, you will be seeing and hearing Shaping Opinion 2.0!

Shaping Opinion

We’ve used the last few months to revisit every aspect of the podcast and make improvements.

For background, we started the Shaping Opinion podcast in March 2018 when podcasting was just hitting its stride as a popular new sensation. The big commercial companies had started to pay attention, but at that time, independent podcast producers like us dominated. There were well less than 500,000 podcasts in the world, and almost all of them were audio in nature.

In short, it wasn’t as hard then to make a dent as it is now. As a result, we experienced some immediate interest in what we were offering, and steady audience growth over the years. In the process, we released roughly 300 original episodes that have won us awards, attracted listeners from all over the world, but mostly in the U.S., and a few listeners who you might even consider celebrities.

My favorite feedback, though, has been from individual guests.  Almost every guest has been glad he or she participated. Consistently, they have told me they enjoyed the interview experience. They have appreciated that we do our homework and don’t just ask the “typical” questions. It’s a conversation that they themselves have tended to see as a break from the grind of doing the same-old media interviews.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O’Brien

If you were to ask me, though, what was the focus of the Shaping Opinion podcast, my answer would have been much different in 2018 than it is now. Back then, I envisioned it being a true-crime type of podcast only focusing on big, historic PR events. I found out pretty quickly you can’t do a weekly podcast on that. So, we expanded our focus.

The tagline, which was fitting, was, “We talk about people, events and things that shape the way we think.” And we did, broadly speaking.

In the process, we found ourselves talking about such a range of topics week after week, that our audience would come and go by topic. If we interviewed NFL Hall of Famer Larry Czonka one week, we may have gotten thousands and thousands of new listeners who are football fans. But they went away the next week when we interviewed someone else who had nothing to do with sports.

This pattern has repeated itself throughout the life of the podcast.

At the same time, the podcasting landscape has changed. Major commercial enterprises have entered the podcasting space and have dominated it while further growing it into a multi-billion-dollar industry.  Along with that, they made the video format almost a requirement. Ironically, independent podcasts have continued to drive the industry’s growth as well. There are now well over one million podcasts available for free to the growing world of podcast listeners.

Those listeners have so many options, they seek clarity. They want to know where your podcast fits, what it offers. Today’s podcast listener, unlike the listener of 2018, wants to know up front where we fit in the larger mosaic of podcasts.

And that is where we started as we conducted an analysis of what the Shaping Opinion Podcast must be, and what it will be going forward.

And now here we are. Next Monday marks a new day for the Shaping Opinion Podcast.

Here’s what you’ll notice first.

We’ll be on video! You will find the Shaping Opinion podcast on YouTube and Rumble, and you can get to it through our own episode pages at

We have changed the format. It’s much tighter, and episodes will be shorter (30-45 minutes).

Our interviews will still be one-on-one, deep dive conversations as you’re used to. But the very category of the podcast on Apple and other platforms has changed. We used to be under the categories called Society & Culture, and Personal Journals. Now you’ll find us under News Commentary.

And we will be much more forward-looking than before. We won’t cover history, or general culture topics like we used to. Instead, every episode will focus on a topic or issue that matters now. And chances are it’s an issue that is influencing your opinion right now, whether you realize it or not. Our guests will share inside insights on the news or issues of the day so that you can make up your own mind.

Some of the topics we already have lined up are: how cancel culture is killing comedy; how one school shooter case could impact parents across the country; and how doctors are overmedicating kids.

At the end of the day, every episode will not just be about the topic at hand, but rather, the shaping opinion podcast is really just about you.

Now, a quick reminder, if you don’t already follow us on your favorite podcast platform, now is the time to do it. You can subscribe to our Substack newsletter to stay up to date. And if you want, you can follow us on YouTube or Rumble right now. You can do all of this just by going to our website and following the links on the right-hand margin –

One final thought. Something we’ve understood all along, and is our mantra, is also something that will drive every guest and every topic we discuss going forward. When you shape opinion, you shape the person. And when you shape the person, you shape the world.