Podcast host Andy Ockershausen, Our Town DC, on losing Legendary Our Town News Anchor Jim Vance ~
“We were in the unique position of interviewing Jim before the news broke of his terminal cancer. We shared a glorious hour with Jim Vance, with lots of laughs and a new awareness of his impact on Our Town. We went to his memorial service at the National Cathedral with thousands of others who loved Jim. There will never be another Jim Vance.”
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, and this is Our Town. It’s hard to believe that Season 2 is complete. We’ve had some great guests over the last 20 weeks. Our Town started with a bang at a launch party at Tony and Joe’s on May 23rd.
Our guests included Jim Vance. We were in the unique position of interviewing Jim before the news broke of his terminal cancer. We shared a glorious hour with Jim Vance, with lots of laughs and a new awareness of his impact on Our Town. We went to his memorial service at the National Cathedral with thousands of others who loved Jim. There will never be another Jim Vance.
During Season 2, we spoke to so many friends, including members of Congress, sports heroes, university presidents, newspaper and magazine publishers, writers, famous attorneys, some unfamous attorneys also, restaurateurs, and community organizers. If you name it, we didn’t miss many. We stayed live and lively as much as we could.
Some of the names included Chris Plante from WMAL, Tommy McFly from other stations, Connie Morella, a former Congresswoman and a very dear friend of WMAL over the year, Kathleen Matthews, an ex-WMAL and WMAL-TV employee who worked in our newsroom as the erstwhile Kathy Cunningham. How about that? Joe diGenova, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Pat Collins, a great reporter who’s still very active with Channel 4, a very, very dear friend.
Mark Ein, the man that put tennis into a proper perspective who had the only championship team in the last like 30 years. His team won the tennis championship five or six years in a row. Mark is a great citizen and a great part of our community. The tennis team has been great.
James Brown, old JB, a local guy, Dematha High School. James Brown is an icon in our business and a great friend. Thank you for having him in Our Town regularly. Rick “Doc” Walker, Janice referred to him … I always thought his middle name was Doc. She has called him Rick “Doc” Walker for years, but he’s got that nickname, “Doctor.” But Rick is a very, very important part of our lives because of what he’s meant to WMAL over the years. Now he’s over on the broadcast team for the great Washington Redskins team.
Then we’ve had the pleasure of having the number one announcer, a news guy for Fox, Ed Henry, who was so huge during the election with his reporting. Ed has become a great friend of WMAL.
Then last but not least of the big names, I think a big name, the owner of the Washington Post who sold it. Donald Graham sold the Post to Bezos, and Donald started his second life as an entrepreneur and businessman. He’s done so well, and he loves Our Town. He thought that by doing it, of selling to Bezos, it would put a new life into the Post. And I’m sure it did. They’re doing so well.
We’ve already begun recording for Season 3, and we’ve got some interesting guests lined up, including Tony Zeiss, president of the new Museum of the Bible, a multi-media, two block building of over 420,000 square feet of exhibit space, costing over $500 million. It’s brand new to Our Town. It’s opening in mid-November.
We also have the opening of the Wharf. The Wharf opened here in September. In a $2 billion effort to redo the Washington downtown, and the Washington Wharf is going to be in our subject. And we’re going to talk about it. We’ll hear about that in many ways, and one of them is going to be traffic. Traffic is going to be horrendous, but it is anyway, horrendous everywhere. There’s Wharf, and the Yard, and all the new things that have happened to Our Town. It’s just so incredible, and they still keep happening every day.
We had a great conversation with the president of the Washington Redskins, and it’s not Dan Snyder. It’s Bruce Allen, son of George Allen, son of Etty Allen, very dear friends of WMAL over the years. We’ve had a great ability to communicate with the Redskins, and we really appreciate that.
We’ve had Tom McMillen, the tallest man ever to serve in Congress of the United States, 6’11”. Tom, who was involved in one of the great recruiting efforts of all time, to get him to come to University of Maryland. It’s a great story.
And a great American success story of the Hadeed family. They started with nothing in the business and built up to be the largest rug place in the cleaning area. The son has done it. His father started the business.
We’ve had advertising wizard. This is hard to say, but he is a wizard, and he’s still around. His name is Elliott Dannenberg. He’s the creative genius behind … he’s done so many memorable ad campaigns in the past. It’s unbelievable that Elliott Dannenberg is still active, still around, and still doing jingles, and is world-class in his work.
Over 110 podcast interviews from Season 1 and Season 2 Our Town DC
Janice Iacona Ockershausen I’m just wanting to say, as your producer, and with Ken’s help, we have done over 110 podcasts during Season 1 and Season 2. We’re shooting for about 50 more in Season 3. We’re very excited. We’ve got tons of ideas. It’s difficult to get some people, but we’re going to keep trying. We’re looking forward to another great year of Our Town.
Andy Ockershausen: My wife, the lovely and talented Janice Iacona Ockershausen, is the force behind whatever we do here with this program. She and Ken have kept me straight and kept the show straight. It’s so important. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and believe me, she is enthusiastic. [inaudible 00:06:47], everything that we do here is all due to Janice. I’m the first one to tell you I’m the luckiest man in town, in the country. Wait a minute, in the world.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen Let me interrupt you for on two occasions. Number one, I would like to thank WMAL Radio for hosting our podcast. Also, I’d like to thank GEICO for being a sponsor, specifically Bill Brower. We couldn’t do this without our sponsorship, our underwriting by GEICO. They’re neighbors. They’re part of our hometown history, and we’re so happy that GEICO has put their money where their mouth is and supported the podcast.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s all due to Janice. Janice Iacona Ockershausen is the force behind = with this trip we were making last year. We were in the car going to Ocean City, or Rehoboth, or Dewey Beach. She said, “We’re going to start doing Our Town in a podcast.” I said, “I know Our Town. We did that on TV. What’s a podcast?” I had never, ever heard. See, I’m out of it, but Janice knew all about it. She started us on this road. It’s been a great trip.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen One of our successes I can say is that we’ve almost hit the 50,000 mark for subscribers. We can thank you listeners so much for listening and spending your time with Our Town. We know we have some great listeners out there. We’ve heard from people.
If you have a moment, if you would just listen, and if you love it, even if you don’t like it, rate it on your iPhone, rate it with what your thoughts are. We’d love to hear from you. Thank you very much for all the cards and letters you’ve sent.
Andy Ockershausen: How many systems are we on, Janny, total? Do you remember?
Janice Iacona Ockershausen We’re on many systems. We’re on-
Andy Ockershausen: What would you say, 20?
Janice Iacona Ockershausen Yeah, we’re on 20 distribution points for Our Town.
Andy Ockershausen: That is pretty much covering everything that needed to be covered. We wouldn’t have this program without you, Janny O.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen Thank you.
Andy Ockershausen: And thank you for all you do. This Bud’s for you.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to Our Town, Season 2, presented by GEICO, our hometown favorite, with your host, Andy Ockershausen. New Our Town episodes are released each Tuesday and Thursday. Drop us a line with your comments or suggestions. See us on Facebook, or visit our website at ourtowndc.com. Our special thanks to Ken Hunter, our technical director, and WMAL Radio in Washington, DC, for hosting our podcast. And thanks to GEICO, 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.