Metro Wire to debut ‘Wired Up’ weekly podcast Sunday afternoon

By Patrick Lynn

The Point/Plover Metro Wire will debut its weekly podcast on Jan. 27.

Each Sunday at 3 p.m., Metro Wire staff will join with special guests from the community and take to the airwaves to discuss issues and events facing Stevens Point, Plover, Whiting, Hull, Park Ridge, and other communities in Portage Co.

For the first several weeks, the podcast will be live-streamed via the Metro Wire Facebook page, and available afterward for download at the company’s daily news website, spmetrowire.com.

The idea was conceived by Metro Wire reader and Class of ’96 SPASH grad Jason Wachowiak and Metro Wire editor Brandi Makuski, who has professionally covered local news for 15 years and graduated from SPASH in 1995. The two will co-host the show each week from the Idea Center in Downtown Stevens Point.

“There are a lot of things happening in the community that people don’t know about,” said Wachowiak. “There are a lot of questions going unanswered about a lot of important topics, like Stanley Street, all the new apartments being constructed downtown…the list goes on.”

Makuski said the podcast is intended to reach an even larger audience than the Metro Wire already serves.

“We’ve had a lot of requests for a podcast,” Makuski said. “In general, our audience seems more interested in discussing their questions and concerns openly, as opposed to writing a letter to the editor. We now have that mechanism to allow input and opinions from all sides of an issue, without judgment, in a venue where real answers to the community’s questions can be provided.”

Wachowiak said the podcast will be fun and informative, with interviews from local elected officials, business owners, artists, and musicians; and discussions on local government, controversial proposals or large projects, and upcoming events in the area. The podcast will take questions from listeners via Facebook, where the show will be live-streamed for the first several weeks.

The show will have a dedicated topic each week. On Jan. 27, the show will debut with the topic, “The State of Local Media”, discussing the recent history of the local news industry; how local news outlets have been affected by social media; and the good and bad of working in a news desert.

Special guest panelists on Jan. 27 include Joseph Diedrich, a 24-year veteran of working in local media advertising; Lisa Pett, a former local news reporter with a BS in Journalism from Ball State University; and Brian Kowalski, staff writer/photographer at City Pages in Wausau, a freelance photographer, a published sci-fi author and host of the podcast Live at Daly’s.