New Leonard Media


Hello, good people, and welcome to the pursuit of podcast where it’s truly not us. It’s you. My name is Ryan Buck, artist development with new Leonard media, and I’m here with my cohost Mark Wilson, founder owner operator, new Leonard media. How are you, sir?

Mark (00:43): 

Well, hello. Hello. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Ryan (00:46): 

This is going to be the only time, I think, we ask this question of ourselves because our podcast is about our guests, very guest centric. So I hope the listeners enjoy our little banter and camaraderie. Yeah. Great, great, great chemistry back and forth clearly. But, uh, so for this inaugural episode, we’re going to frame for you the listener, what this podcast is about and just spend some time interviewing one another, a little bit. So the listeners can know a bit about us and why we’re doing a fully guest centric podcast. But after this, like we said, you will not hear from us as people, again. We are vessels.

Mark (01:26): 

Fair enough. Fair enough. We’re vessels for our guests. So I’m here for you today. Thank you. Um, dual role behind the board and behind the microphone. Normally I’m just behind the board and post-production, so

Ryan (01:38): 

How’s this feeling we’re talking about it a little bit.

Mark (01:40): 

You know, I I’ve walk in on south of the straits show all the time. I hang out during honest-ish, I’ve guessed it on some other shows in the past but,

Ryan (01:49): 

those are two new Leonard media podcasts. Right?

Mark (01:51): 

Absolutely. Awesome. Cool. So I kind of feel, uh, that that’s stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit, trying to help co-host a show. Okay,

Ryan (02:02):

Good. So usually interviewers, like to use that nervousness to their advantage, to get dirt and get real honest and embarrassing answers. So it was that the tactic I should take.

Mark (02:14): 

I’m an open book, man. 

Ryan (02:15): 

No, I won’t do that. You’re the boss. Again, thank you for being here. And you have founded a media company that focuses on voice work and podcasting, and obviously, you’ve seen the industry change and grow, but at this point, and I think people would like to know why you’re passionate about helping people record a podcast.

Mark (02:34): 

You know, I heard it said that, uh, podcasting is the perfect balance of YouTube videos and audio books, you know? So it’s like a little bit more informative, a little longer than your basic couple minute video, but also not as in-depth and as time-consuming as a book would be.

Ryan (02:54): 

That that’s really,

Mark (02:56): 

When I heard that I really did dig it, you know, and it was just like, yeah, this is something that some people look at, like it’s gotta be similar to a consistent radio show where it’s produced every week, which is good. A lot of podcasts are. And then at times it’s a good outlet for organizations to kind of discuss one topic and put that out there for the world to hear and consider. And you know, some are one and done. Some are a few and it helps position themselves and share their personality a little bit on their website. Right. A little bit more than a blog would be

Ryan (03:38):

Podcasts have been around for awhile. But I wouldn’t say that they’re super prevalent. So what do you see right now in the podcasting landscape kind of being on the frontline of, uh, of the podcast scene and Traverse City?

Mark (03:53):

I think podcasting is something that, uh, like you said, has been around for awhile, but it’s growing, it’s getting more and more people—have their certain personalities, idols, experts, entertainers that, that they choose to listen to on a regular basis because it, uh, gives them a sense of community as that grows. I think people want to join in the conversation. Yeah. So with, uh, social media, everybody has their own, whatever you want to call it, you know, you, you can utilize your Facebook page where for whatever it is. Is it a, is it a living journal? Is it a family photo album? Is it a business outlet to advertise you, your services, your brand, whatever it is. Some people treat it like it’s their own personal news broadcast. Right,

Ryan (04:42):

Right. Too Much. Yes.

Mark (04:44):

And so I believe podcasting is just, you know, it takes that one step further for engaging. Every organization, I believe has a need and should be looking to fulfill that need to engage their community—their audience or their friends and family.

Ryan (05:07):

Well, you mentioned people can hear their idols and entertainers. I remember back in the day, when you could subscribe to your favorite actors fan club. And my first one was Alyssa Milano, because that was my first love. So there were ways that you could connect with your favorite celebrities by writing the letter. Sometimes you got to let her back sometimes not. Do you feel like the prevalence of celebrities using podcasts that makes you feel closer to them? Kind of like being, following them on Instagram shows you that them in their kitchen podcasts.

Mark (05:41):

Yeah. You know, Howard stern, like him or hate him or think he’s okay, he did change the game a long time ago with letting people know who he was and letting people know who everybody in support of his show was. Right. You actually got to know lake who was the engineer, you know, Scott, the engineer or Ronnie, the limo driver, like there’s these people, they were

Ryan (06:06):


Mark (06:07):

That become personalities. Yes. Based on just their job within the show, his interns, you get to know who they are. Right. And that gives a bigger sense of community. A sense of, I know them, you know, I have some entertainers that I admire that I’ve been listening to for so long that I can’t tell if I’ve listened to them for so long and enjoy what they have to say, because we think the same or if we think the same, because I’ve been listening to them for over a decade. 

Ryan (06:42):

So we talked about, you know, how celebrities are doing podcasts and there’s kind of different formats for you. What makes a podcasting interesting to you? Is there a certain format that you like, number of hosts subject matter? Like what makes one interesting to you?

Mark (06:59):

Ooh, that’s a really hard question because I’ve been attracted to three or four different types. So the most consistent one that I’ve listened to, that I have to hear them every week, is one person. Maybe once every four or five months, you get a treat, he has somebody on. But for the most part, it’s just one person rambling really. And I always love what they have to say. They’re a comedian. So like after hearing them on various rants all year, to hear that come out in their next special, and remember the day that their wife brought the dog home or, you know, he heard it on the podcast.

Ryan (07:42):

The, the podcast material ends up referenced in their standup? Yes.

Mark (07:46):

Stories that happen, It gets fine tuned into the standup.

Ryan (07:50):

Do you find that it’s kind of a cheat when you’re listening to the standup and then you’re like, Nope, I heard this on the podcast. Do new start work harder?

Mark (07:55):

No, no, not at all. It was a story at first and a longer format and it gets fine tuned into this like short bit. And it’s funny to hear the comedy that comes out of it.

Ryan (08:10):

Did you feel like you were let into their process a little bit?

Mark (08:13):

Absolutely. Yes. And that’s why they’ve said that they’ve stayed so consistent with it. Right. They started on MySpace calling into a service with their cell phone and ranting about traffic in LA. You know, and it’s grown. So the other one that I’ve been consistent with does interview very, very interesting people. It’s hard to follow because, um, they do like a three hour podcast a few times a week. But since there’s so many of them over time, I pick and choose who like, uh, that’s seems like a curious person to hear about and listened to it. And it’s three hours of chatting. Wow. There’s like a lot there.

Ryan (08:59):

So there’s, you know, how there’s rules for blogs or guidelines for blogs out there. There are guidelines for podcasts and I don’t listen to many that are in the three hour territory. So what makes that compelling enough too?

Mark (09:14):

So at the time that I really listened to that one heavily is because I had a graphic design job and 40 to 50 hours a week, I was at a desk with headphones on. So the more content, the better just for chatter in the background.

Ryan (09:28):

So for focus, how much of that podcast do you think you retained?

Mark (09:32):

Not much, but

Ryan (09:33):

but something would say something make you stop every once in a while,

Mark (09:37):

Or, you know, you have a conversation with somebody else and you kind of repeat what you heard and you have your own conversation about the topic. The other format that I’ve always liked is the mini documentary. So yeah, there’s, there’s a few out there. But with that, you’re coming with a budget. I mean, bigger than new Leonard media can potentially help with. They definitely have several researchers. They travel the world and conduct a lot of interviews.

Ryan (10:04):

Podcasts are our big business. Successful ones are these little mini empires and their networks are so profound.

Mark (10:11):

As we know from doing market research, it ranges from way lower level to a much larger buy-in to even get started with a podcast production company. And then there’s another one that I followed a lot that is actually shorter. So it’s a 10 to 15 minute podcast it’s edited in a way that has them talking very fast.

Ryan (10:38):

Interesting. It’s edited that way. Like a Howard Hawks movie, like his girlfriend,

Mark (10:42):

It’s not speeding their voice up, but what I’m saying is there back and forth is very quick. I mean, it either takes a lot of rehearsing or it’s edited in a way that it, that, that they chat about these things and then they squeeze it in and you get the information very fast, but it’s specific information. It’s financial information. It’s also another very highly produced one,

Ryan (11:06):

But of the micro machines guy, not quite had a…

Mark (11:09):

yeah, it’s not quite like that, but you know, obviously talking a lot faster,

Ryan (11:15):

You get that reference to you. Really. Absolutely. That’s tremendous. Thank you with modern technology.

Mark (11:19):

I’m really sad that the guys like out of a gig, you know, nobody has to talk that fast anymore because they just, you know,

Ryan (11:28):

Back then it wasn’t about speed of consumption now, everything so fast. So that guy has a unique place. Oh yeah. Hey guy, micro machines guy reach out to us at Let us know how you’re doing. So if there was any period in your life or a situation before podcasting, is there something or a moment or a time in your life where you would have liked the ability to have a podcast and it would have helped you if I would have, yeah. It could have been created at any time as there a situation or time in your life where you would have really benefited from having one or listening to one or having that kind of relatable content.

Mark (12:05):

Me personally producing a podcast and having an outlet. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, when I was making music, I think that would have been a tool to connect to people and keep them engaged with the crew and what we’re up to and where we’re at and the tools that are available to people today are just so much more advanced. But at the same time, it makes it easier to get out there. Right? Like, so everybody’s putting content out right now. It’s up to you to produce good stuff to stand out.

Ryan (12:32):

That’s true because I mean, there wasn’t this instance, um, even for musicians, I mean, being a musician nowadays, when we grew up making music, it was hard. You know, we know what it’s like to make flyers and to cut out different band names and put them on the flyer and then copy that a million times and literally go to shows, not to watch the show, but to hand the flyer out to everybody else. And all the platforms we have alone of podcast would have been this interesting way for a band to create this brand and this connection to their audience. I don’t listen to a lot of musical podcasts, which is weird because I’m a musician, but I’d like to, because I don’t know anybody doing a great music podcast right now to you. Not that I listened to you. Interesting. Right. You know, we we’d like music and were musicians, but I can’t think of a one kind of music. And maybe it’s because I think about music and I’m

Mark (13:23):

Busy listening to comedians.

Ryan (13:26):

So, to that point, looking at […] Comedy podcasts are categorically, the most successful form of podcast. And then I think next is, is burner ministry. Really? Yeah. But comedy is still remains number one. So do you think it’s difficult for somebody who doesn’t have a comedy podcast who may be a nonprofit who wants to talk about their business? Do you think it’s difficult for them to market that? Or is there an audience for them too?

Mark (13:54):

I think there’s an audience for them and it’s going to revolve around specific topics that they face that they know other similar organizations face and that this other organization could benefit from hearing about this and or individuals too can benefit from hearing about whatever the cause it. I mean, everybody has a cause and/or wants to support something. Podcasting is probably one of the biggest opportunities to share.

 Ryan (14:26):

Well, it’s, it’s about connecting it in time. When maybe you feel like connections impossible. And I think the benefit, because a lot of people say, oh, why would anybody start a podcast? Now there’s a million of them. Good. Let there be a billion of them. Yeah. Because if there can be something for everybody and if your niche, as long as it’s safe and doesn’t hurt, anybody is so specific that only five people listened to it and it makes them feel good or makes them feel better about themselves. Great. And it’s easier and easier to produce one now. So thinking about that, and you mentioned at the top about you being out of your comfort zone a little bit, and let me say, I think you’re doing spectacular. Yeah. Yeah. Look good. No, I know nobody can see it, but you look relaxed and you’re doing great. So what would you say to somebody who’s nervous about recording a podcast? You know, they’ve got the idea, they’ve got the time, but there’s something holding them back. Maybe they don’t, they don’t think they’re interesting enough. What would you say to that person? The person who’s nervous on just pulling the trigger for the first time. I think

Mark (15:29):

You just do it and don’t put it on too high of a pedestal that you’re going to do. A lot of things in your life. One podcast episode does not have to be your life’s work. You’d be amazed with the power of editing and the power of pre production. And if you come in and you know your material, it’s going to be easy to just talk about it.

Ryan (15:56):

That’s it. When you say editing, it doesn’t mean cut the whole thing differently. It’s just making it sound a little smoother or roughing out some. Yeah.

Mark (16:04):

I mean, I’ve had to do news interviews before, and I always say it. I say, Hey, I know you’ll make me sound smart, which is basically saying, I know that if we were live, that’s a little more nerve wracking, but the chances of somebody actually recording that and listening to it over and over again are very slim. So if you stumble your words, you say a word wrong and then repeat it. That’s one thing. Now on a podcast, we have the ability we can cut that whole,

Ryan (16:35):

Unless you’re going for a Jimmy Stewart vibe. Okay. In which case it could be left in.

Mark (16:42):

So my point is a lot of times people really worry about how they’re going to come off and how well-spoken are they going to be? That’s when I say the power of editing, we can cut out a lot of lip smacking. We can cut out a lot of stutters. We can cut out crutch words, crutch,

Ryan (16:57):

Words, things that kind of transition you. Yeah.

Mark (17:00):

And so here with us, I like to, uh, track with a multi-track format, meaning each different microphone has its own track in the recording software. And that way, if anybody talks over one another, at any point, it’s really easy to edit out content that doesn’t need to be there. Somebody who didn’t intend to cut anybody off, but just spoke over somebody else. And it’s easy to smooth that out. So that what’s really needs to be heard. Is

Ryan (17:28):

I still heard, I know a lot of podcasts like to go for an unedited vibe. Yeah. Which I think is okay too. And that show some authenticity, but you know, if you’re thinking about it, just think about how it comes off to the listener. If it’s really kind of rough, maybe think about cleaning it up a tad. Yeah. So to you looking at several big podcasts, local podcasts, what to you makes a podcast successful aside from, you know, sponsorship and ad money that gets you early retirement and a yacht somewhere.

Mark (18:02):

Actually, that’s the one thing that a lot of people, you see them, all these kids that want to be a YouTube star and they tell their parents, that’s what they’re gonna do. Well, I’m going to start a YouTube channel.

Ryan (18:13):

It’s a legit job now, though, what

Mark (18:15):

I believe is that you don’t always have to have that goal in mind. Some of the best artists out there, they’re passionate about the art. And when they put their art out there and people react to it, then the fortune and fame may come. But they’re not thinking, “I’m doing this for fortune and fame.” They’re doing it because they love their craft. And the same should be, I believe with podcasting, is that you have a message and it needs to be shared. And you know, you have good content and that you don’t need to go into this with, “I’m going to make a podcast. It can be wildly successful. I’m going to get it sponsored. I’m going to have 200,000 subscribers.” Maybe not. Maybe you just have a specific topic on something local that you just would like to discuss with somebody, be able to put it on your website and have supporters of your organization, share it on their social media.

Ryan (19:08):

Today, and being a musician, you know, it’s pretty thrilling to have a CD or an album that you’ve done, right. Or if you’ve been in a movie or an extra movie, you have this kind of immortal station. And that sounds like such a big word. But you know, as a dad, who’s got CDs and you know, some videos on YouTube from a mildly successful band, that kind of feels good. And before podcasting, I think that kind of feeling was relegated to a smaller group of people who, you know, either you paint or whatever, you you’ve created, something that lasts. And I think podcasts enable more people to have this thing that’s forever, that they can be proud of and that can be passed on and it can be shared

Mark (19:49):

Well, that’s a whole other, uh, realm. If we’re going to go into that analogy with doing performances, I’ve had opportunities to perform in front of thousands of people, a couple hundred people, 50 people.

Ryan (20:01):

Cool. And you have the shows where it was just three drunk dudes, right?

Mark (20:05):

Well, I’ve been through that and I’ve been through, I’ve been through in-stores where you show up and there’s five people buying records that don’t even know you’re going to be there. But the point I was going to make is a lot of times, those smaller intimate shows are just the vibe is so much more on point. And it’s just so great for an individual. You can make that podcast. I mean, I really would like to see somebody come in and I want to sit down with one of their elders and have a conversation. Right. And just have that, like you said, immortalized it’s forever.

Ryan (20:39):

And that’s an interesting idea. The, and I think you shared this, you know, families using this for memoriams and, and to honor members of their family who aren’t with them anymore. I had not before, you know, starting here, I had not heard of that as part of this world, as part of either voice work or podcasting work, where a family may do a one-off to reflect or for a wedding, you know, the grooms and the, and the bridesmaid get together, do a one-off podcast like produced with an intro and an outdo

Mark (21:10):

weddingcast is like, oh yeah, a solid idea.

Ryan (21:14):

I think that’s really, really super cool. So you think of it as either an entertainment or a business opportunity. I think there’s that third lane, which you call life, which I think is kind of a neat thing. So we’re doing this and our goal is a fully guest centric podcast, which is great. And I think we’ve got a lot of great people that we are looking to reach out to in, in this area to come on and share their voice with us. But if you could get any guests on this show regardless and not going to do a living or dead thing, because that’s ridiculous for this purpose. But if you can get any guests on this show, who is,

Mark (21:53):

I think if I could have like a seemingly impossible guests is a, is that a better way to put it? I think I would want to sit down and talk to KRS ONE really? Yes.

Ryan (22:09):


Mark (22:11):

Because of his background, uh, just in hip hop culture, the temple of hip hop, what he’s done as a leader of social change, what he’s done as a teacher. And I think that would be a very interesting discussion. That’s an artist that really helped me grow up.

Ryan (22:32):

That’s a really good answer and that’d be a great, oh, that’d be awesome. So if you look at podcasting as an industry, I mean, it’s entertainment, I guess, education and it’s, it’s kind of non-linear to some of the other industries like it, but do you see the podcasting industry different than the music industry or other similar industries in general?

Mark (22:54):

Not anymore. From what I’ve seen with music, it’s becoming an instant gratification. Like you got to keep producing and you got to keep putting out and it’s gotta be often and a lot. And I don’t see people collecting albums like they used to anymore. So it’s almost like this is funny because this is KRS one who had talked about branding yourself back in the day that you sell an image, not a record. And basically because people will buy your records because they believe in who you are and why you do what you do. I think that, uh, with music it’s becoming, it’s almost like the music is the advertisement to get you to come to the show, to have a good experience, to be part of the community. And, uh, and by the merge, you know, and I think the, the, the podcast is gonna have that same thing. You know, this is your song for today and you putting it out there, you know, we’re looking for like-minded individuals who are going to vibe off of it and want to participate in your community.

Ryan (23:59):

Well, yeah, it is interesting because I think it was Rob zombie back in the day, who said, I think the album is going to be done. And he just started releasing singles and videos for each. Yeah, that’s

Mark (24:11):

Smart because that’s What happens.

Ryan (24:12):

This was like 10 years ago. And it kind of bums me out still because I, I missed, I still buy CDs. I shouldn’t admit that, but I do. I still miss the feeling of, you know, unwrapping it. It’s that tangible thing and

Mark (24:29):

Vinyl, why do people still vinyl? I mean, you can make the sonically superior argument,

Ryan (24:36):

Which is even that one. I do. You do

Mark (24:39):

Well, well, it’s just science, science. It’s it’s fact it’s an exact replication of what was produced

Ryan (24:45):

Hash tag science

Mark (24:46):

Well, as long as you didn’t digitize it first, so like if you recorded it on a computer and knocked out, you know, and then pressed it. Yeah. The that’s why, but here’s why, because nobody wants to look at your MP3 collection.

Ryan (25:02):

That’s true. It’s not interesting.

Mark (25:04):

You found a box in my old VHS tapes and we’re […] And the reason why I’ve held onto those for so long is because you see the collection. It tells you a lot about who I am. If you come in my house, you’re going to look at my bookshelf. There’s a lot of books on there. Probably not going to read again. You want to borrow one, go ahead. But really it’s like this bizarre trophy case that I hang on to that I think if you take a look at it, it tells you a lot about who I am and what I’ve chosen to for input.

Ryan (25:33):

Since the day I found that box I’ve watched see before every single night you’ve done something great. I didn’t expect to see a copy of see before on VHS. I mean, maybe I’m not surprised because no one that your tastes and the boombox, it just, I thought was really cool.

Mark (25:53):

Yeah. You know, to find who’s the man and, uh, and whatnot. But I think, uh, you know, some of the prize possessions is a gleaming. The cube that’s the great, the title makes no sense. It doesn’t

Ryan (26:07):

Look, it’s not a move. This is going to

Mark (26:09):

Sound so ignorant. Never, never that

Ryan (26:11):

Out that it was a half-pipe move,

Mark (26:13):

Maybe so, but

Ryan (26:15):

In the movie and they say in the

Ryan (26:18):

He’s gleaming the cube. Yeah. But my kids ascended into skateboarding, elitist.

Mark (26:23):

find me a skater that knows what that means because, uh,

Ryan (26:27):

Uh, at least pump up the volume made sense in a, in a, in an audio sense.

Mark (26:32):

So anyways, back to podcasting the podcast in comparison to songs and a collection, actually one could just do collections of podcasts, seasoned based topic based, you know, the organization only chose to do 10 episodes in a two year period, but they’re heavy topics. And they were well thought out for a specific purpose for a specific campaign for, for something unique to that organization that, um, kind of relates to the same thing as, you know, a collection

Ryan (27:08):

And your point’s well taken. There’s no, at least I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rules for how often you have to release one. Like there’s one podcast that you and I both like, and both saw live one time. And that one is, I mean, that’s a workhorse. Yes.

Mark (27:24):

Before. Well, cause it’s done live and in front of an audience

Ryan (27:29):

During more impressive. Yeah. The output. But I’m currently listening to a podcast that is a little bit slower. Now I started a few years after it started, but my wife and I are kind of caught up and there’s a profound sense of depression looming.

Mark (27:49):

Yeah. He’s grinning because he knows, he said, my wife,

Ryan (27:55):

This is pressuring because the bore at SQL comes out in a few days. Okay. So that was cool. What you did and I’m into that, but there’s this sense of kind of emptiness looming that we’ve invested so much time in this and watched a lot of bad movies because of it quite frankly, for a lot of fun and we’re caught up. Yeah. So I’ve been like a three podcast person until almost now. And I’m in this period of stress. Like I need to find a new podcast and it’s gotta be the perfect one. And I don’t know. So, um, you’ve done really well. I appreciate you. The point of this was to get to know us a little bit, talk about why we’re doing this and why it’s important for us to allow our guests to tell their stories. And we’re going to find some great people in order to come in here and do just that. We’ll have some fun in the meantime, but we really want to allow people the opportunity to share what they’ve got going on and what they’re doing to make the world and our community a better place.

Mark (28:59):

I’m excited to get into it. And everybody has a story to share. Everybody has a message that deserves to be seen and heard.

Ryan (29:04):

Well, thank you. We’re very much here in the pursuit of, and we hope you are too.

Mark (29:15):

So there you have it. Thank you all for listening. I hope you stick with us. New Leonard Media, “The Pursuit Of Podcast”. We also want to give a big shout out to our supporters. Herb N Meds, Traverse City, Michigan that’s Use promo code thepursuitof for a 15% discount. Also a big shout out to TinLid Hat Company that’s Use promo code: thepursuitof for a 40% discount for our listeners. Check back. Plenty of great guests coming up. Feedback is always appreciated.