Originally posted Thursday, July 25, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Former Star 94.1 morning host Jeff Dauler and his wife Callie this week started a daily podcast that skyrocketed into the top 10 on the Apple podcast chart.
“It’s insane,” Callie said during the third podcast. “I don’t even believe the numbers.” She said she was feeling massive anxiety as a result.
Jeff tried to calm her down in a very Jeff way: “If ‘The Upside’ fails, we don’t die.”
Dubbed “The Upside with Callie and Jeff,” it will come out every morning and they hope it will be a “positivity-inspired brand and the podcast is a jumping off point,” Callie explained in the second episode.”
They hope “The Upside” will lead to events, merchandise and a weekly newsletter. “The concept of ‘The Upside’ is there’s always something to be grateful for,” Jeff said. “Callie and I have learned first hand the power of gratitude.”
Their vision statement is “Living in gratitude, finding the positive in every experience and helping other people do the same. You are now part of the movement.
Jeff spent more than 14 years as Bert Show’s snarky sidekick before leading his own show with Jenn Hobby on rival station Star 94.1 in 2016. At Star, with his name on the marquee, he tried to create a kinder, gentler persona as the lead guy. Ratings were okay but he wasn’t able to topple his former boss Bert Weiss.
But he was let go without warning in May. The entire transition, which kept Hobby in place, became a bit of a soap opera in terms of bitterness on both sides and the program director was gone soon after.
The reception to the podcast has been positive so far. As Callie noted on Facebook today: “When your husband gets fired and you throw yourself into a new business and podcast that hits #6 on Apple Podcasts with 1000 reviews its first day. What.the haiiiiiiil are we doing Jeff Dauler?!? This is insane...AND I LOVE IT.”
By Wednesday evening, there were more than 1,300 universally positive reviews. (The image below was from earlier Wednesday.)
A typical rave from “Peasword,” “Jeff and Callie are my favorite BFF’s I’ve never met! Hearing the over the airwaves is like a dream come true!!!! So good to hear Jeff back at it and joined by Callie.”
By Wednesday afternoon, “The Upside” was the seventh most popular podcast in the entire United States, according to Apple, ahead of the New York Times “The Daily,” a “Behind the Scenes: Stranger Things 3” podcast and Atlanta’s own “Stuff You Should Know.”
“We’re putting all our eggs in this basket and want to do this a long time,” Jeff said in the middle of episode two. “We don’t know how it works. We’re truly doing this one episode at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time. We’re set for like, the next 90 days. After that, we don’t know.”
The first episode was primarily an explanation about the podcast. The second podcast included discussions about a beach trip where Callie got “margarita burn,” awkward neighbor issues regarding their two dogs barking at them and stories of people who see the “upside” of things as opposed to the opposite.
Jeff promised they will not be “unnaturally positive. That’s the worst.”
“I hate those people,” Callie said.
Jeff, immediately noting the lack of positivity in that statement, joked, “we don’t like people who are positive. We hate them!”
Callie said they both have to fight their own internal defeatist attitudes.
“It’s progress, not perfection,” Callie said. “Perfection is so deflating.” So when you are less than perfect, “learn something from it and move forward.”
She said she feels she and Jeff are now “pretty happy. Life is pretty good. We both worked our butts off to get to a positive head space.”
With the strong start, Jeff said he is thrilled with the early results. When he first noticed it was in the top 10, he was so excited, he woke her up to give her the good news.
But Callie said she is now scared to death. She noted she and Jeff both take meds to handle generalized anxiety disorder. And she is all about people pleasing. Jeff, though, doesn’t feel a need to people please but just wants results.
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