Two North Central College alums are using their Broadcast degree a decade later in a whole new way. After teaming up to co-host the morning show on Star 96.7 in Joliet, Maggie Pielsticker Peterson and Laura Dixon Hirsch have taken their talents to Internet radio, co-hosting the Maggie and Laura Podcast.
Since the Fall of 2010, the two have met up each weekend at Pielsticker Peterson’s apartment in Naperville to record a new episode of the show.
The two longtime friends have a few regular segments, but their hour-long episodes mostly revolve around free-form conversation.
“Usually what we’re talking about is just of girl talk,” said Dixon Hirsch. “It’s as if you happened to stumble across a conversation between two best friends.”
Both were involved at WONC, North Central College’s student-run radio station. But they weren’t always best friends.
“I didn’t like [Pielsticker Peterson] very much back then. I just didn’t like her look,” said Dixon Hirsch. “And then we wound up working together at Star 96.7 and we started talking one morning, and I thought, ‘Wow, she is really nice. I can’t believe I didn’t like her all these years.'”
Their natural rapport was noticed and the two co-hosted the morning show at Star for around two years, but have since moved on. Dixon Hirsch now has three kids, and Pielsticker Peterson is the Public Relations Director at Catholic Charities — a company that provides food, clothing, shelter and counseling to those in need.
The radio pros are accustomed to expensive equipment and studios at their former job, but for their podcast, all they need are a few items and a dining room table.
“At this point, it’s not expensive to have your own studio using a laptop, a couple of microphones, a mixer — things like that,” said Pielsticker Peterson. “It’s relatively simple.”
The pair get a few hundred hits per episode and make no money from the endeavor, but say it’s simply a good excuse to enjoy spending time together.
“It’s just kind of like we get together and catch up with each other,” said Dixon Hirsch. “It’s been a lot of fun so I hope that we can keep on going like this.”
“Right now, podcasts are so new. It’s really hard to make money doing them,” said Pielsticker Peterson. “But it’s a very low budget process to run and it’s really fun.”
In the future, the co-hosts hope to gain listenership and be on the forefront of the future of talk radio.
“I think there’s a big future in podcasting,” said Pielsticker Peterson. “We’re just in the beginning of it, and I’m hoping that I’m right.”
If they are correct, it’s anyone’s guess as to how big the Maggie and Laura Podcast can become.
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