Former Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary recently launched a new podcast called The 7, that welcomes guests to discuss a variety of topics focused on Winter Park. The 7 addresses significant subjects that might otherwise be overlooked or go unheard of by Winter Park locals. On October 12, Leary soft launched the podcast on Facebook and has released four episodes since the initial air date.
The 7, which is co-produced by the32789, was inspired by a series of conversations between Leary and other engaged Winter Park residents, including the32789 publisher, Matt Certo.
“The idea came as I was leaving office — people would stop me at kids sporting events to ask me about Winter Park,” Leary said. “At the same time, there were so many great people and great stories in Winter Park and beyond that weren’t getting covered because we too often focus on the loud negatives. I want people to know the truth, know the good people, and focus on those and cancel out the negatives.”
The podcast will feature guests who are well-versed on topics specific to Winter Park and will provide information regarding a range of Winter Park-related topics.
“I’m hoping to reach an audience in Winter Park that currently is underserved and underrepresented,” Leary said. “Younger families who lead busy lives may not be able to keep up with some of the important issues being discussed and voted on by local elected officials. As well, I’ll introduce others that are making a difference in our community.”
An official show schedule has not yet been released, however episodes of The 7 will be posted regularly according to Leary. He also plans to publish episodes between pre-planned shows should the need arise to immediately address topics of interest. According to Leary, his team is “taking time to work through the process,” which includes planning to launch his podcast videos on YouTube and other streaming platforms. For now, listeners can find available episodes on Leary’s Facebook page.
“For me the fun part about this is the interest from our target audience,” Leary said. “We’ve had [a] tremendous, positive response from younger families that were unaware of the issues [we’ve been] discussing and [are] interested in hearing from and about similarly positioned individuals/groups.”
“All of our stories are a bit unique and have hit a nerve for me personally but also for many that view them,” Leary said. “We have more to share that will hit different segments of our audience.”
Certo, who created the32789 in 2020 to provide a dedicated source of local journalism in Winter Park, said this latest offshoot for the32789 will add new value and meaning to the news platform. Content and topics discussed on The 7 do not necessarily reflect the views of the32789, its affiliates, or its sponsors and advertisers; instead, the podcast serves as another resource to keep locals more informed, aware, and connected in Winter Park.
“I am really honored to partner with the32789 to broaden the reach of our broadcast,” Leary said. “We offer a bit more of a hard edge on some of our topics and guests, so I think we complement the work that the32789 has been doing.”