Podcast Stockton Signs Off

In Entertainment, News on September 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

After 2+ years, locally based podcast Podcast Stockton has released their final podcast. Hosts Matt Beckwith and Rodrigo Villagomez sat behind the microphones in the Outback Studio, a room full of computers and Kiss memorabilia, for one last time to thank supporters and provide a bookend for what both described as an eye opening experience that strengthened their view of Stockton.

Both Beckwith and Villagomez cited time constraints for the end of the program. Beckwith had less and less time to produce the show, which he said can take anywhere from 8-10 hours for the hour long show, after he started commuting to the bay area for his job at a call center. Villagomez, who has been the in-game MC for the Stockton Ports for the past 2 season, also needed more time for his other jobs as a KWIN DJ and a broadcasting instructor at San Joaquin Delta College. “It was easy to do Podcast Stockton when I had nothing going on,” says Villagomez, who was unemployed when he joined the show, “but as of late I’ve barely had time to tie my shoes and creating content for Podcast Stockton has been a bit of a challenge.  Obviously you’ve got to put food on the table. … Sometimes labors of love have to be the victim of necessity and that’s kind of where we’re at.”

Podcast Stockton started in 2008 as an idea Beckwith had to blog and podcast local restaurant reviews. Shortly after he registered the URL Forbes named Stockton the most miserable city in America. After exchanging e-mails with his friend Thomas Mondragon, who was Podcast Stockton’s first guest, Beckwith shifted the focus of the site to accentuating the positive aspects of the city. For 70 episodes, Beckwith did just that. He picked up Villagomez as a co-host along the way and interviewed a wide-variety of local guests including the City Council members Susan Eggman and Diana Lowery, the Haggin Museum’s Todd Ruhstaller, Record Columnist Mike Fitzgerald, Wes Rhea of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (who also began contributing segments to the show) and many others (which, full disclosure, also includes me). Regardless of who was interviewed, Beckwith’s positivity towards Stockton remained the central theme. “If it weren’t for Podcast Stockton, I probably could guarantee that I wouldn’t have as positive an outlook on this city as I do now,” Villagomez remarks during the final broadcast.

Breaking from their typical format, Beckwith and Villagomez didn’t interview a guest. Instead the spent the hour-long show reminiscing and thanking the various people who helped them along the way “Podcast Stockton taught me,” says Beckwith, “just try, just ask people. You’ll be amazed at the generosity of strangers.” That seemed to be the biggest takeaway from the experience for both hosts, interacting with the people of Stockton. “There are people that I know that I never would have known who they were had it not been for Podcast Stockton,” Beckwith opines. “The gravity of that,” he continues, “that I would have crossed paths with people if it wasn’t for Podcast Stockton. That is so immense to me, that I could have gone on my whole life and not known so many wonderful people.”

While this may be the end for Podcast Stockton, Beckwith intends to keep the site up so people can go back and listen to the show. He also leaves open the possibility of occasionally blogging for the site, but not with the regularity that the site enjoyed in its early days.


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