PODCASTING COUPLE JEFF AND CALLIE DAULER ARE GRATEFUL THAT LIFE IS ALWAYS LOOKING UP.
Jeff Dauler finds it easy to see the upside of being fired as Star 94.1’s morning host in May 2019.
The end of a quarter-century in radio freed him to join his wife, Callie, an executive assistant to HLN morning anchor Robin Meade, in launching a podcast, a newsletter and what they view as a movement of gratitude in August 2019.
Posted on their website, callieandjeff.com, and other podcast platforms early Monday through Friday to catch morning commuters, each episode of The Upside with Callie and Jeff runs about 35 minutes.
The Sandy Springs couple, who celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary and the first birthday of daughter Ellie in October, bring their lives onto the recorded show. Some topics are fun or silly, such as Jeff’s dilemma about line etiquette in the Starbucks drive through. Others are serious, including Callie’s postpartum anxiety. Some are both: A funny observation of a neighbor keeping bees on his balcony developed over a week of shows to reveal that he’s an Afghanistan veteran who took up beekeeping for therapy and is bringing the hobby to fellow vets.
They start each episode by stating something each is grateful for. Jeff’s light editing maintains a comfortable, casual, conversational tone, and the Daulers always find the bright side through the stumbles, laughs and tears.
“Life isn’t perfect,” Callie says. “One of the parts that allows people to let their guard down when they’re listening to our show is ‘OK, these guys aren’t perfect either.’ For better or worse, we share it all.”
The Upside is streamed or downloaded 30,000 to 35,000 times a week. About 60% of the audience is in Georgia, but listeners tune in worldwide.
In addition to selling ads, merchandise and subscriptions, the Daulers have moved into production and consulting to help other independent podcasters make money, and Jeff is teaching courses at madetopodcast.com.
What does it take to be a successful podcaster?
CALLIE: Passion, passion, passion and great audio quality. Jeff gets so frustrated because he’ll see these people that are super famous, that are backed by networks that have billions of dollars, and their show is physically hard to listen to. It doesn’t cost $10,000 to have a great-sounding show. JEFF: It’d cost $200 (for a decent microphone).
How do you bring passion into your show?
CALLIE: It makes it exciting when you see someone that’s so fired up about what they want to talk about. Whether it’s the socks that you’re wearing or your favorite team, that’s what you can pour your soul into and get other people excited about it.
How does podcasting compare with radio?
JEFF: In radio, there was so much jubilation on ratings day when you were No. 1, and then there was so much anguish when you dropped. And then I got into podcasting, and I realized it doesn’t have to be like that. If our show is good, and people are listening to it, I am going to make a lot of money. And if somebody else has a show doing as well as ours, they are also going to make a lot of money. I don’t have to beat anyone else down.
What do your listeners say they want to hear?
JEFF: We are so open about mental health and anxiety. We want to find a way to continue to have that conversation but allow our show to remain a safe place. I think a close second is we are back to being fun and funny, and it is OK to laugh.
How has hosting a show devoted to gratitude affected you?
JEFF: The whole point of the podcast is that gratitude did change both of our lives. We went on a road trip to see Callie’s family in Kentucky, and on the way home Ellie had an upset tummy and threw up twice. The version of me that existed a decade ago would have been so upset, but we just dealt with it. CALLIE: When you start practicing gratitude every single day, it rewires your brain. So when those things do happen, you don’t notice.
Jack-of-all-trades writer covering almost anything but beauty and fashion at Simply Buckhead; fond of flamingos and sloths.