WGN Radio celebrates 10 years of podcasts and Hometown Voices with… Rod Blagojevich?

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Spike O'Dell and Rod Blagojevich in 2002 (WGN Radio photo)

September 19, 2005, marked two milestones in WGN Radio history. On that date, we officially entered the world of podcasting. Until then, we had posted hundreds of audio segments on our website, many in RealAudio format. But, this was the first time we posted something in the then relatively new format of a podcast. We branded our earliest podcasts as “720 To Go” and, as you can hear, in those days they had many more production elements packaging the content. Below is that very first WGN Radio podcast and it includes that second milestone, the first WGN Radio Hometown Voices Tour remote from several days earlier featuring Spike O’Dell hosting his show from the Chicago Historical Society. Since then, we’ve visited hundreds of locations in the Chicago area, learning about the towns and neighborhoods that remind us that Chicago is not just a world-class city but also a collection of hometowns. And yes, one of our guests on that first Hometown Voices show and that first podcast was none other than Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Spike O'Dell (Glenn Kaupert)

Spike O’Dell at the 2014 WGN Radio Walk of Fame induction ceremony. (Glenn Kaupert)

So, ten years later, where are they now? We recently checked in with Spike and here’s what he had to say: “Hi all from Spike! Karen and I are busy chasing these five grandkids around Dixieland. We really love living in the Nashville area. Mild winters and no snow! I thought if I retired my golf game would get better. I was wrong. Although I did get my ham radio license recently and I am enjoying talking to people all over the world. I guess I’m back on the air!

As for Blago, things haven’t gone quite as well for him.

(U.S. Marshal's Service)

Rod Blagojevich booking photo. (U.S. Marshal’s Service)