Pressroom Podcast

Tune in every Wednesday to hear Duluth News Tribune reporters Brady Slater, Christa Lawler and Tom Olsen talk with local guests about music, shipwrecks, giant ducks, politics, food and more.
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Pressroom Podcast





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Jul 18, 2018

Shamanic healer, writer, and friend of nature Sarah Bamford Seidelmann returns to the podcast this time to tell us about her new book "The Book of Beasties: Your A-to-Z Guide to the Illuminating Wisdom of Spirit Animals."

Sarah shares how her core beastie ("everything from a bumbled bee to a bear to a dragon") and guest beasties have helped her learn more about herself. She also walks us through an exercise to allow a beastie to come forward during the podcast. 

Jul 11, 2018

News Tribune reporter Jimmy Lovrien and his college roommate recently tackled 200 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail in 10 days. 

Why 10 days? That's all the PTO the young professionals could take off of work. 

Jimmy tells us about the grueling task of hiking from sun up to sun down, the wildlife sighting along the way, and how long it takes for a pair of socks to crust over. 

Jun 27, 2018

She's been called Duluth's favorite runner. Two-time Olympian and 1996 Duluth East graduate returned to her hometown earlier this month to run the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

She stopped by our studio a few days before the race and talked with News Tribune sports reporter Louie St. George III and features editor Beverly Godfrey about such diverse topics as body image, doping, her serious dog allergy and the fake Spotify playlist that bears her name.

Jun 20, 2018

Candace LaCosse’s journey to learn how to make handcrafted shoes and leather products took her from Duluth to South Korea to Grand Marais to the East Coast, and back to Duluth again. Today she is the owner and operator of Hemlocks Leatherworks, located in the Lincoln Park Craft District.

News Tribune reporter Christa Lawler and features editor Beverly Godfrey sat down with LaCosse to dig into that journey, and to discuss where our clothing comes from, the ethics of leatherworking and the re-emergence of handcrafted goods.


Jun 13, 2018

Grandma’s Marathon was started in 1977 by the North Shore Striders — a group known to sometimes paint their own mile markers straight onto the road. Scott Keenan was there at the beginning, when the restaurant was secured as a sponsor and the big names in a relatively young sport started spreading the word about the course that runs from near Two Harbors to Canal Park.

Keenan retired as race director five years ago, but told tales of the early days — and gave a shout out to a racer who never got her proper due — in this edition of Pressroom Podcast hosted by reporters Christa Lawler and Jon Nowacki.

Jun 6, 2018

It's been three years since former Minnesota Duluth hockey player-turned-strength and conditioning coach Julianne "Montana" Vasichek woke up in a hospital and was told she had a new liver. 

This week, Vasichek, who suffers from several health disorders, recounts the harrowing experience that she's been able to piece together from what others have told her about the days leading up to the transplant, as well as the road to recovery that she is still walking today. 

What we are into this week: the Stanley Cup, "Recovery: Addiction and its Aftermath" by Leslie Jamison, and the Calm app.

May 30, 2018

Fiddle teacher-turned NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea has ditched the looping pedal in favor of a full band for her third full-length album, which is scheduled for release later this year.

News Tribune reporters Christa Lawler and Brady Slater talked to the musician and disability advocate, a return guest, about her upcoming shows in Iceland; the importance of accessibility for performers and audience members at venues; and the friends she’s made while touring the country — a list that includes fans and The Decemberists.  

What we are into this week: Trampled By Turtles’ new album “Life is Good on the Open Road,” yoga, the Lakewalk and “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson.

May 23, 2018

Miriam Hanson's mind was blown when, as a teenager, she happened across John Bushey's radio program, "Highway 61 Revisited."

After Bushey's death earlier this year, Hanson took over as host of the long-running weekly show on KUMD 103.3 FM that focuses on Bob Dylan rarities. News Tribune reporters Christa Lawler and Brady Slater sat down with Hanson this week to talk about Dylan, his fans, the show and that time when she found out the iconic musician once lived in the Dinkytown apartment she was moving into.

What we are into this week: Zenith Bookstore, The Current's "essential songs" countdown and biking up Haines Road.

May 16, 2018

Jim Paine had been mayor of Superior for just over a year when a fire and series of explosions at the Husky Energy refinery forced the evacuation of a large portion of the city. This week, we sit down with Paine to discuss the events of that day in detail, what led to the decisions that were made, and whether or not he has any regrets about how things were handled. 

May 9, 2018

Because of our nature, we don't look up. And because of our technology, we often are looking down. However, News Tribune photo editor and amateur stargazer Bob King believes we should spend more time looking at the night sky. And this week he joins us to talk about some of the things up above us that everyone should seek out.

King's latest book, "Wonders of the Night Sky You Must See Before You Die: The Guide to Extraordinary Curiosities of Our Universe," details more than 50 such bucket-list wonders. Get a taste of them here.

May 2, 2018

This is one rowdy episode.

Musicians Tony Bennett and Mat Milinkovich of The Dames, a band that’s older than Homegrown Music Festival, join us this week to talk about the festival and the evolution of the Duluth music scene, all the while dropping truth bombs and stabs of inappropriate humor. Oh, and get this: Milinkovich has never in his life drunk a big glass of milk.

What we’re into this week: Bob Dylan’s “Time Out Of Mind” album, training for the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon and getting back to drumming after breaking a thumb.

Tune in every week to hear News Tribune reporters Brady Slater, Christa Lawler and Tom Olsen talk about current Duluth and Northland happenings. You can email us at or follow us on Facebook. This podcast is produced by Barrett Chase.

Apr 25, 2018

It's his gain, but our loss. Beloved News Tribune outdoors reporter and columnist Sam Cook is retiring after 38 years at the DNT. 

Sam joins us this week to look back a bit at the highlights of his career, but also to look ahead at how he's going to spend his time now that he doesn't have to fill the Sunday outdoors section of our newspaper every week.


Apr 18, 2018

What exactly is “affordable” housing, and what’s wrong (and right) with the housing in Duluth?

This week Jeff Corey, executive director of One Roof Community Housing, joins us to talk about Duluth’s aging housing stock, helping the homeless population and the renovation of Gateway Tower.

Oh, and here’s something you might not know: Corey is into skiing, biking and trail running — even though he is legally blind.

What we are into this week: Streaming “Broadchurch” and “Jessica Jones,” reading “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen, the podcast “Time Crisis Countdown” and Louise Erdrich’s book, “The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse.”

Tune in every week to hear Duluth News Tribune reporters Brady Slater, Christa Lawler and Tom Olsen talk about current Duluth and Northland happenings. You can email us at, call our podcast line at (218) 382-NEWS or follow us on Facebook. This podcast is produced by Barrett Chase.

Apr 11, 2018

Amy Abts has released her first solo album after a 17-year hiatus. Why the wait? Well, the two brain surgeries for starters. The deafness, the wrist tumor. And the ongoing pain associated with with trigeminal neuralgia, also known as "the suicide disease."

But this podcast is no downer. Abts is somewhat of a comedian, as well as a visual artist, an actor and, yes, a former mime. Hear her tell her story as well as perform the title track off her new album, "Fifty-Fifty."

Apr 4, 2018

The UMD Bulldogs are once again headed to the Frozen Four. 

We sat down with senior wing and captain Karson Kuhlman of Esko and senior center Jared Thomas of Hermantown to talk about the tournament, as well as what it's like to play for the team you grew up watching.

The Frozen Four begins Thursday, April 5, 2018 in St. Paul. The Bulldogs take on Ohio State at 5 p.m.

Visit (or buy a newspaper!) to read daily Frozen Four coverage throughout the week.


Mar 28, 2018

Duluth is full of young entrepreneurs making their mark on this city. And Rachelle Rahn is no exception. 

Rahn, owner of Duluth Kombucha, started making the popular fermented tea in her kitchen when buying it in the store became too expensive. She never thought it would grow into a business with big plans for the future. 

Rahn give us a lesson on kombucha, its mother SCOBY and what it takes to be an entrepreneur in Duluth. She also shares some of her favorite (and least favorite) flavor combos. 

Mar 21, 2018

Named the Rising Star of the Year at the 2018 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Dan Hartman, director of Duluth's Glensheen Historic Estate, joins the podcast this week to talk about how he turned an old mansion along Lake Superior into a fun place where people want to hang out.

He and his team have taken Glensheen from 61,000 visitors a year to 141,000 and the mansion is now the number one visited house museum in the Midwest, beating out Chicago last year. 

Hartman shares his ideas for the future of Duluth tourism as well as a few instances where he was spooked by unexplainable happenings at the mansion. 

Mar 14, 2018

Shortly after being diagnosed in August, right before the school year, with an aggressive form of breast cancer, Cloquet High School art teacher Julie Deters turned to Facebook and put herself out there with her cancer journey. 

"I'm a teacher. I've been teaching for 26 years and it is in me to teach people so that's why I guess I put it out there ultimately," Deters said. 

The most noticeable posts where the photos her daughter Sylvie took of the various hairstyles Deters tried out while her hair started to fall out due to chemotherapy treatments. And when the maroon mohawk made its final appearance, Sylvie shaved her mother's head and covered the blank canvas with henna tattoos and makeup.

Hear Deters talk about her journey and the life lessons she has learned along the way - the most important being learning how to accept and receive help from people. 

Mar 7, 2018

Even if you aren't a cross country skiing fan chances are you still heard Chad Salmela's famous gold medal call during the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

While he declined to replicate the "Here comes Diggins" call for us, Duluth's Salmela did give us some behind-the-scenes info on the race that made Minnesotan Jessie Diggins and teammate Kikkan Randall the first U.S. gold medalists in the team sprint, male or female.

Salmela, cross country coach at St. Scholastica, shares what it was like to be a part of that historic race and how it feels to be compared to Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" call from 1980.

Reach out to us at 

Feb 28, 2018

Another podcast first happening this week - recording in front of a live audience. 

Journalism students from the University of Minnesota Duluth joined us as we recorded today's episode with artist and musician Emma Rustan, better known as Ingeborg von Agassiz.

Hear how the electronic folk singer/songwriter came up with her name, what inspires her, and what the backstories are to a few of the songs on her debut album "O, giver of Dreams," which will be released on Spotify and iTunes on March 1. 

Feb 21, 2018

She is an activist to keep factory farms away from Lake Superior, she wrote a cookbook based from her blog and she drove all the way from Bayfield to the "big city" to tell us about her interesting life. 

This week Mary Dougherty talks about her advocacy (which has now led to a career), how her family of seven ended up in the small town of Bayfield, and how her first cookbook "Life in a Northern Town," which offers a mix of essay about the south shore, along with vivid photography and lots of recipes came to be. 

Feb 14, 2018

Jody Kujawa's life changed after playing a 600-pound shut-in in Renegade's production of "The Whale." He started to notice that some of his own symptoms matched those of the ailing protagonist.

Sure enough, he was diagnosed with a heart condition that has changed his life.

Hear Kujawa talk about the day he was in the emergency room with ten doctors surrounding him and the changes he has made since that day to his diet and lifestyle in order to drop over 100 pounds. 

Feb 7, 2018

In case you missed it, there was a big football game in Minneapolis this weekend. One of our sports reporters was there to capture the fan experience.

This week, Jon Nowacki talks about the game, the fans, the overall spectacle and of course the food of Super Bowl LII at US Bank Stadium. 


Jan 31, 2018

After the Minnesota Vikings lost the NFC Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles, local documentary filmmaker Mike Scholtz felt like he needed to cheer up his sport-loving friends with the free release of his documentary "Lost Conquest."

His documentary explores Viking culture in Minnesota and the beliefs people have about Vikings having settled here. But archaeologists say it's all folklore and none of it ever happened. 

So really it has nothing to do with the Minnesota Vikings football team, but we're sure you'll find it more entertaining than that game we don't speak of. 

Jan 24, 2018

Back from a month-long stint in Kazakhstan, we catch up with former KBJR investigative reporter and news director Barbara Reyelts to see what retirement looks like for her.

We find out what she was doing halfway around the world, whether or not she misses the news biz and what her biggest pet peeve is about journalists. 

Also, Brady admits the only thing he knows about Kazakhstan is the movie "Borat."



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