Podcasting For Lesbians pt 1: My Lesbian Radio Gets Started. In our two-part show on podcasting for lesbians we chat to Denise Warner, from My Lesbian Radio.
Denise started My Lesbian Radio but it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. In part one she tells us about her ups and downs and how it took her fifteen years to get to where she is now.
- what it was like to go from radio to podcasting
- how she networks
- making money on her podcast
- her expansion plans
- and she even mentions her new novel
Listen to this podcast here
As a relative newbie in podcasting, I was interested to hear about some of the other podcasters in the lesbian podcast space so naturally I went in search of someone who could talk about podcasting for lesbians.
I have chatted to Denise before in the early days of The Lesbian Review. In fact, she asked me to join her on her podcast and I politely declined because I could not see myself doing an audio interview. I was much more about writing at the time and didn’t feel at all comfortable enough to do a podcast interview.
Skip ahead about a year and not only am I running a podcast but I am planning several others. How fast things chance. So, of course, when I though of podcasting for lesbians I thought of Denise first.
This episode was originally planned as a single podcast but when Denise told me her story I just knew that I had to split it into a two-part podcast because her journey has been so interesting.
About Denise Warner of My Lesbian Radio
MyLesbianRadio and the Lesbian Lounge podcast have been around since 2006.
This is what Denise says about herself and her podcast:
It was one of the first lesbian podcasts and we did the show from her spare bedroom in South Florida with the most dated equipment you can imagine.
When we first started out, myself and Donna, my co-host, broadcasted a live stream with an interactive real-time chat room and an 800 call-in number and then posted the podcast a few days later. We were a product of G.I.R.L. Radio before we purchased our name, logo, brand, content and bought the domain in 2009, becoming independently owned and operated ever since.
In 2010, we changed our format to “podcast-only” and stopped the live-stream service, which was extremely costly for us, and we realized most people wanted to listen “on-the-go” anyway, so it was a good business decision.
We’ve built quite a following over time and can proudly boast that our downloads consistently land in upwards of 3,000-5,000 per month (sometimes more depending on the guest we may have on) with all our platforms combined (iTunes, Podbean, Stitcher and RainbowRadio.fm).
Our social media which include Facebook, Twitter and our own website have over 10,000 followers combined.
At one point, we did a little math and realized we’ve had over 3.5 million downloads in about 6 years and although we don’t keep track of numbers anymore, we’re pretty proud of that. We’ve never really considered the show a business, it’s always been for fun and because we enjoyed doing it.
Between 2009-2012 we were named the #1 Lesbian Podcast by About.com in 2009, we were featured in Curve Magazine in 2010, listed as a favorite by AfterEllen.com. and won Best Radio Show at the Ultimate Planet Awards by Planet-London.com in 2014 and 2015. We were also featured on the website LGBTicons.com and have been on many different LGBT shows and podcasts over the years.
We’ve had many celebrity guests on our show over the years- too many to name but here are a few: Jane Lynch (Glee), Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey and Queer As Folk), Melissa Etheridge, Mel B, Heather Peace, Ilene Chaiken, Daniela Sea, (exec prod, and actors from The L Word), Jill Bennett, Janina Gavankar (Mysteries of Laura, The L Word) Cathy DeBuono, Tracey Ryerson, Rolla Selbak, Marina Rice Bader, Nicole Conn, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Jill Zarin and Daniellle Staub (The Real Housewives of NYC and NJ of Bravo TV), recording artists Taylor Dayne, Martha Wash, God-dess & She, Bitch, Sophie B. Hawkins, Horse and comedians Judy Gold, Julie Goldman (The People’s Couch, The Mindy Project), Kate Clinton, Fortune Feimster (Chelsea Lately), Murray Hill, Dana Goldberg and Bridget McManus (The Queen Latifah Show and Maybelle web-series) plus lesbian dating coach Mary Malia.
In 2011, I moved from South Florida to London, England when I got married, and Donna and I did the show via phone and Skype and carried on that way for another 3 years. In 2015, Donna’s work life became increasingly busy and I took over the show on my own, full time from the U.K. The format has changed a bit to accommodate me being on my own, but still offers LGBT news, content, guests, information and, of course, can still be silly, at times.
After accomplishing more than we ever expected, we’ve decided to open our audio feed up to some new shows & hosts in 2016 have launched even more lesbian content including an LGBT music spotlight show Music For Your Soul, a Lesbian Book Club which lesbian fiction authors are interviewed by successful UK author Clare Lydon, a comedy podcast Funny Business with out comedian Kerry Leigh featuring women in stand-up, and we’ve teamed up with Planet-London for Planet Radio to keep listeners up to date with all that organization is doing and finally a collaboration-style show called Rag Time which rips apart annoying trends and headlines in current pop-culture featuring Heather and Nicole of the P-Cast podcast out of New York.
All good stuff and I’m doing all of the producing, myself (which is a huge accomplishment for me, who could barely send an e-mail 3 years ago!)
Where To Find My Lesbian Radio
You can find My Lesbian Radio on Itunes, Podbean and the new, free listening app Stitcher as well as the NY-based streaming site Rainbow Radio every Wednesday at 3pm EST.
About The Host
Sheena is fascinated with the business of books. In this series she interviews authors, publishers and other experts to gain the best advice for authors.