The Whatcom Report radio show on KGMI has something for everyone. The show covers issues such as the impact of outdoor recreation on the community, legal matters like the Hirst case, local business updates and the latest in technology.
Created several years ago by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, the Whatcom Report radio show is an hour-long program each Sunday morning at 8 a.m. The show features six hosts covering an array of topics relevant to businesses and the community.
The hosts include Guy Occhiograsso of the Bellingham/Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce, Wes Herman of Woods Coffee, Scott Hume of Salish Wealth Management, Mary Kay Robinson of Windemere Real Estate, Bill Gorman of Gorman Publicity, and Kelsey Rowlson. Each host focuses on a different topic that is always timely and relevant to the community.
“My goal is to educate and engage the community,” says host, Kelsey Rowlson of the Whatcom Young Professionals. “There’s always so much going on in our county.”
The Whatcom Report gives audience members the opportunity to hear these local stories straight from people in the community. “It’s fun when you have someone listen to the program and say ‘I had no idea this was going on!’ I personally like being the connector,” Rowlson explains.
The show has proven to be so impactful that sound bites are often heard on the Monday morning news.
Wes Herman has covered topics such as solar power in the Pacific Northwest and has invited guests that include the community’s young entrepreneurs. “I love interviewing young entrepreneurs,” he says. “Nothing is more exciting than risking everything for something you believe in.
“Hosting the Whatcom Report radio show gives me an opportunity to learn something new from the various community representatives we interview. We have such fascinating people in Whatcom County that do interesting things. From their work to where people volunteer, this show really captures the passions that people have for what they do.”
The Whatcom Report also tackles timely issues impacting business and community, such as the legalization of marijuana, and issues that could potentially impact property, such as the Hirst Case. “My goal is to educate about the issues and let the listener come to his or her own conclusions,” says Mary Kay Robinson. Robinson recently hosted a show featuring Senator Doug Eriksen discussing the upcoming legislative session and the Hirst decision. “At the end of the show, if a listener comes away knowing something they did not know before, then I’ve succeeded as a host,” Robinson says.
The Chamber is like the front door to the community. It is their responsibility to promote local businesses. People also look to the Chamber for answers to the issues that are pressing to business. That is also a goal of the weekly Whatcom Report radio show.
When it comes to the business community, Scott Hume knows the impact local businesses can have around the county. “My main goal is to present the positive side of businesses in Whatcom County to the listening public,” he says. “I like to show the human side of business with all its trials and challenges along with its rewards.”
Through the years the format has changed quite a bit for the Whatcom Report. Listeners today have a lot more variety with rotating topics and hosts each week.
“Since I’m not a career or professionally trained radio host, I find the most rewarding part of the job to be watching people relax and then open up as they get more comfortable with the microphone,” says Hume. “Most guests get nervous and unsure about being on the program. So I personally feel it’s my job to make them feel comfortable and at ease so they can excel during the interview.”
From local and state issues to interviews of local businesses and organizations, the Whatcom Report delivers the latest news, information and happenings to Whatcom County residents. Tune in each Sunday at 8 a.m. to catch the latest around the county.
Missed an episode? Check out the podcasts on the KGMI site.