The West Live: WA’s top news podcast The West Live celebrates another huge milestone
WA’s number one news podcast The West Live has hit a new milestone, achieving two million downloads.
The popularity of the morning radio-style online show has grown significantly in the past 18 months, adding around 1.75 million downloads to the 250,000 it achieved in its first year.
Host Ben O’Shea, who came from a strong newspaper background with little broadcast experience, said taking charge of a live radio show and podcast had been a steep learning curve for him.
It had also given him “newfound respect” for people working in TV and radio.
O’Shea told listeners on Friday that he felt the show had come a long way since he first took over as host.
“We started this from nothing back in 2020, just as the pandemic was starting to hit, which was a great time to start a new podcast,” he said.
A highlight had been the opportunity to interview world-renowned epidemiologists at a time when COVID-19 fears were at their height.
“When I think about hitting two million downloads, I really think about the stories behind those numbers, whether it was covering the Federal election this year, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 in WA or the heartbreaking abduction of little Cleo,” O’Shea said.
“In each case, there was a story to tell, and The West Live allowed us to share that with our audience in a way we previously hadn’t been able to, and it’s been very gratifying to see the podcast embraced by so many people.”
“Just like the newspaper with all its sections, our listeners have favourite parts of the podcast, and some love the news headlines with Sunrise correspondent Matt Tinney, others can’t get enough of Fearless Fridays with the one and only Geof Parry, and then there’s the Wild West, our daily offbeat segment, which is always so much fun with Kate Ryan.”
O’Shea said the show would not be as successful as it was without the input of producers Natalie Bonjolo, Melanie Bonolo, Kate Ryan and Shannon Beven.
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