The Pod Squad

I’m a major fan of the spoken word.

The radio was always on at my house growing up, and it served as a constant companion, background noise, and my original social network. If an event wasn’t talked about on AM radio in the early ’80s, it didn’t happen. Not talking about the Husker football program would have come in handy during the dark ages of the past decade, but that’s a conversation best saved for a pub.

That thirst for consuming communicative messages through voice was enhanced throughout my professional career in my 25 years broadcasting over the 105.7 airwaves on KSUX. I can name hundreds of moments from listeners eliciting joy, laughter, compassion, heartbreak, and every emotion under the Siouxland sky.

Ironically, my oldest son would not have the gift of verbal speech, but that too is best saved for another location – see me at the grocery store in the Pop-Tart aisle or near the Kleenex display. Trey brings far more joy to my life than challenges, and that journey could easily be a book.

I get uber excited when I see the new issues of Siouxland Magazine. Hopefully, you do as well. There is such a bounty of authentic perspectives from some of the best individuals in the tri-state area. Maybe it’s just the way my mind works, but I often thought, how cool would it be if those stories had a voice element? You know, voiced by Morgan Freeman and that delightful Kristen Bell. That’s better than a Husker championship. Well, close.

In the last issue, you may have heard that Siouxland Magazine and Powell Broadcasting have partnered for the Starting Conversations with Stacie and Tony podcast series. It’s the same content you love in the magazine, taken to the next level without constraints and focusing on the spoken word! As of the penning of this article, we have already completed a good portion of season one, and I can honestly say the chats I’ve had with Stacie and our guests will stick with me for a long time. 

Real conversations about topics that are easy to talk about as well as the tough ones that make your palms sweat and your heart rate increase. I learned so much about everyone who lends their voice to this venture – including myself. It’s an undertaking rooted in honesty and intrigue. What conversations mattered the most to you? What’s the value of a mentor? What words from a loved one or total stranger molded you into what you have become? Did you make a life change because your actions had a negative effect on someone you care for deeply?

We tap into the BEST resources of this magazine…the people making this community thrive. They are your neighbors and people you don’t know because their background is so different from yours.

My favorite song no one knows about is “They Don’t Understand” by Sioux City Auditorium alum Sawyer Brown. It so aptly chronicles the curiosity needed to learn more about others. It’s funny, sometimes to improve our worldview we just need to see what Siouxland looks like from an unfamiliar perspective. To hear something from a different voice.

Understanding begins with Starting a Conversation.

In the words of Sawyer Brown’s lead singer Mark Miller: “Stop and take a little time. You never know what your neighbors are going through.” I’ve learned so much through this podcast journey and I can’t wait until you hear it.

All you need to experience it is an open mind and one less episode of “Is This Cake?” on Netflix.

Tony Michaels

KSUX radio host for a quarter century

Yup. It probably is cake. Go listen to “Starting Conversations with Stacie and Tony” podcast or Sawyer Brown or you know, the radio on the free KSUX app or 105.7

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