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V & T Take To The 209
Mommy Musings 7-13-22
teresa hammond


We’ve started a Podcast.

Yes, dear readers the quest to expand our audience and stay current continues.

While the world of podcasts, just like website and social media outlets is far from new, we have stuck our toes in the pond and are diving in.

Now when I say “we,” I’m referring to myself and colleague/fellow adventurer Virginia Still. Virginia mostly covers our Riverbank News market, while I remain the steadfast in the Oakdale beat. Paths cross on occasion and as newspapers are no longer our only printed product over the past several years we’ve branched out.

Which brings us to this new endeavor, the “209 Podcast” which can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcast and the like. For the two of us, it’s been a long time coming and if I’m being honest, I was a bit more reticent with the idea that was posed to us by our former General Manager three years ago.

In 2014 our company launched the 209 Magazine, which is sold all throughout the Central Valley, as well as in some Bay Area book stores. At the time of the launch, I had stepped away from writing for the company and was working in another area of the business. My return to writing came later that year and by Issue 5, I was a part of the 209 Magazine team.

As we are in the shrinking business of print media, this was in addition to the news coverage we were already doing for our respective papers, but it was a fun new outlet. One which allowed us to visit and share fun in the 209 beyond our respective zip codes.

Jumping ahead a bit, in 2019 the company sent V (Virginia) and I to Minneapolis to attend a magazine conference which was not only an amazing opportunity of learning and networking, but also a lot of fun.

Recognizing an opportunity to connect with our readers during our travels, as well as our stay we would sporadically hop on social media and film “live” feed. This spontaneous opportunity quickly revealed a fun chemistry we both shared which seemed to be both natural and easy.

Upon return from our trip, both V and Boss Man (Drew Savage) would talk up the podcast idea pretty regularly.

I didn’t bite.

Fast forward through a pandemic, some life-changing experiences for us both and a return to in person work earlier this year. As chance would have it those three-year-old “lives” resurfaced and both of us were entertained. Fun memories, as well as recognition that maybe that podcast idea wasn’t such a bad one.

A simple pitch and phone call meeting with Frankie Tovar, our company multimedia guy, and we had a date to record.

As V and I discussed our vision for the V&T Podcast with Frankie there was one thing we knew for sure; we wanted it unscripted and organic. Two girls chattin’ and bringing some fun to the 209 via a 20- to 30-minute podcast.

Ever the professional and focused on the task at hand, Frankie agreed yet pushed us to have bullet points and an outline. As novices, we trusted him; even if it did feel less organic. Yet come studio day, we were both grateful for that little bit of guidance on a piece of paper.

For those wondering, the focus of the podcast is exactly what one might expect – we talk about the 209, more specifically the current issue of the magazine highlighting certain stories and events.

As the writers behind the pages, it’s fun to be able to share some insights or back stories with listeners which may not make it to print. It was equally fun to share stories and events others have penned for the current issue and what we appreciated about them.

We’re just one episode in and looking forward to fine tuning and making this little gem as fun for listeners as it is for us.

V and T have different interests, strengths and stories, which I believe is what makes us not just relatable but brings that chemistry to life. Each have our own flair, as well as lingo and fun senses of humor.

Now I have to stop myself as I don’t want excitement misunderstood as a big ego. In truth, we’re both humbled by the opportunity and grateful for it.

But there’s a business side to it after all and we want listeners. Not only to hear what we’ve started but to help us make it better for our 209 community. Yep, we want feedback.

So here we go. Please give a listen to the V&T 209 Podcast and let us know what you think. We can’t promise to be all the things, to all the people, but we sure to hope to educate and share a smile and maybe a chuckle with those who listen. Cheers to that.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.