Podcasts have been a thing for about 15 years, but the medium has only been popular for maybe five years. Duluth has followed that trend, going from just one or two downloadable online audio productions in the early days to more than a two-dozen now. Some are specifically about Duluth, others feature people from the region speaking to the world about subject matter ranging from popular culture to health and wellness.
The definition of “podcast” is a little vague, so Perfect Duluth Day’s list separates them into two categories: programs people can subscribe to via web syndication, and other episodic audio stuff people can listen to online minus the automatic download part.
Listed first are the subscribable podcasts that are in active production in the Arrowhead region.
University of Minnesota Duluth men’s and women’s hockey teams are the subject of this podcast, hosted by Duluth News Tribune Bulldogs Beat Reporter Matt Wellens and KBJR My9 Bulldog Hockey Commentator Zach Schneider.
The Duluth Rundown
Tony Stensland of Tony Stensland Coaching and Mike Ward of Duluth Timing and Events talk about the local running scene in this podcast, with episodes occurring about every three weeks.
For the Birds
For more than 30 years Duluth-based ornithologist Laura Erickson has been dropping her bird-nerd knowledge in segments on 103.3 FM KUMD and other stations. It airs on KUMD weekdays at 7:32 a.m. New episodes have been released as podcasts since 2014.
Gag Me with a Spoon
Monthly story-sharing events at Zeitgeist’s Teatro Zuccone are recorded and condensed into this podcast. Each episode features host Adeline Wright, a musical guest and a handful of stories from writers, artists and anyone willing to spill their guts.
KUMD’s Northland Morning program includes this feature on local environmental issues, broadcast on Wednesdays at 8:20 a.m. The feature debuted on the radio in 2007; KUMD’s online archive of the segments goes back to February 2015 and podcast archives go back to April 2019.
Every Wednesday a combination of Duluth News Tribune reporters — most frequently Brady Slater and Christa Lawler — sit down to chat with guests about local happenings, from politics and farming to sports and the arts. Episodes conclude with each person explaining what they are “into” that week.
Brothers Tom and Jason Skull talk about the world of pro wrestling in this podcast. Each episode begins with the latest wrestling news, then typically segues into a discussion on a particular topic.
Take it with You
This series of live radio plays recorded in Duluth features Blake Thomas and a cast of local entertainers and guests. Season six (2019) is a continuous eight-episode story set in the Old West.
Tent Show Radio
Tent Show Radio has been produced as a weekly radio variety show since 1994, showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, hosted by humorist Michael Perry. It airs on KUMD Sundays at 8 a.m. and on KUWS Saturdays at 7 p.m. Podcast archives date back to January 2014.
True Stories and Other Damage
Ryan Welles hosts long-form conversations that “highlight our similarities, help us benefit from our differences and give us a path towards Kokua.” In other words, he talks with guests from all walks of life with the general goal of bettering humanity.
Twin Portals is a fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons actual-play podcast which follows five friends from the mystical land of Minnesota. The group of stage performers, improv artists and musicians provide a portal to Faerûn, where adventure awaits with new monthly episodes. The current arc is adapted from the new official module, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
Judy Breuer hosts this health and wellness podcast with an occasional Duluth focus. Most episodes feature an interview segment with someone involved in the fields of fitness or nutrition.
The productions below, although many are promoted as “podcasts,” are not available for subscription download, but nonetheless can be similarly heard online.
Naturalist Larry Weber talks about all things phenological every Friday morning at 8:20 a.m. on KUMD’s Northland Morning program. The “Backyard Almanac” segments are cataloged for streaming on kumd.org, with an archive going back to March 2015.
Duluth Band Profiles
Seth Langreck produces short profiles of local bands, mixing interview excerpts with music clips to give listeners a sense of the sounds and personalities of the Duluth music scene. Episodes are roughly three minutes long. Debuted February 2014. Available on Perfect Duluth Day via SoundCloud.
The Duluth Local Show
Brittany Lind hosts The Duluth Local Show on 90.9 FM “The Current” every Sunday at 8 p.m. The one-hour show focuses exclusively on the Duluth music scene, with occasional interview segments and live performances. Episodes can be listened to on thecurrent.org. The archive goes back to May 15, 2016, but a previous iteration of the show launched in March 2013.
Duluth to Montgomery Reflections
Duluth community members attended the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in April 2018, visiting sites where racial terror had occurred along the way. Among them were several members of the Duluth NAACP, who share their experiences in this podcast, produced by Ivy Vainio, Becky Nelson, Abby Dillon and Nat Harvie. Debuted September 2018. Available on branch80664.wildapricot.org and Soundcloud
Live from Studio A
Duluth’s 103.3 FM KUMD produces segments with local musicians and also traveling musicians with performances in Duluth, which are later posted online at kumd.org. There is not a consistent schedule, but the segments occur on a roughly weekly basis, varying in length from about 10 to 30 minutes. Christine Dean is generally, but not always, the host.
Journey to Wellness in Indian Country
KUMD has been producing this 10-minute bi-weekly program on Native American community health since March 2016, and will soon launch it as a podcast. Available on kumd.org.
Award-winning journalist Robin Washington hosts this weekly program focused on events and issues in Northwestern Wisconsin. It airs on Fridays at 10 a.m. on 91.3 FM KUWS in Superior and 90.9 FM WUWS in Ashland. The show debuted June 2015 under the name Hear Me Out. New episodes will be available on wpr.org soon.
Sound Off! with Brad Bennett
Brad Bennett, a longtime broadcaster and Purple Heart recipient for his service as a Marine Corps sergeant during the Vietnam War, talks about local and national issues every weekday from 8 to 11 a.m. on WDSM 710 AM and 98.1 FM. Episodes are uploaded as hourly segments available to stream or download on wdsm710.com.
Speaking of Homes
Every Saturday at 8 a.m. Speaking of Homes hosts Chelle Eliason and Erick Filby offer advice about building bathrooms, designing decks and other home building and remodeling topics on WDSM 710 AM and 98.1 FM. Eliason is an executive officer at Arrowhead Builders Association; Filby is territory manager for Marvin Windows and Doors. The weekly episodes are available to stream or download at wdsm710.com.
In the Spirit of Medicine
Dr. Arne Vainio, a family practice doctor on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet, presents his essays on life, work, medicine and spirit on this segment of KUMD’s Northland Morning program. The feature debuted in May 2018 and is available on kumd.org.
ON HIATUS OR NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION
There are no recent episodes of the audio productions below, but the archives are still available for curious listeners.
People of Color (2015 to 2019)
Henry Banks leads a discussion with guests about current affaris related to people of color.
Student Views (2017 to 2018)
University of Minnesota Duluth student Pavel Arkhipenkov presents “life at UMD from a different perspective.”
There are probably a few podcasts that are missing from this list. Remark about them in the comments to enlighten the world.
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