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Softer, gentler Phil Valentine launches podcast with his son, PodGOATs

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 6/20/2019 Brad Schmitt
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It’s the softer, gentler Phil Valentine.

For 24 years, Valentine, a conservative talk show host, has been a polarizing voice on Nashville radio. (His recent blog on homeless people is titled, “The bums are out of control.”)

But twice a week, Valentine turns down the intensity and shares a mic with his 23-year-old son Campbell for a charming podcast called the PodGOATs. (“GOAT” stands for “greatest of all time.”)

Phil Valentine holding a wine glass: Popular conservative radio personality Phil Valentine, right, jokes around with his 23-year-old son, Campbell, at their cabin in Brentwood, Tenn. © Shelley Mays / The Tennessean Popular conservative radio personality Phil Valentine, right, jokes around with his 23-year-old son, Campbell, at their cabin in Brentwood, Tenn.

The Valentines have casual convo about non-political topics like love, movies, high school, inventions, mothers and pranks. And once in a while, the two share father-son stories where Phil Valentine shows his fun-loving, easygoing paternal side.

Phil Valentine holding a laptop © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

It’s changing perceptions of the veteran broadcaster, at least among his son’s friends.

“They’ll say, ‘Hey, I thought I hated your dad, but I love your dad,’” Campbell Valentine said.

His father loves to hear that.

“(The podcast) softens me to some folks. I’m not the villain they thought I was,” Phil Valentine said. “I’m not just a political pariah people want to make me out as. It helps broaden my image to a lot of folks.”

Phil Valentine holding a laptop: Popular conservative radio personality Phil Valentine has started a new podcast with his adult son, Campbell, that has nothing to do with politics. The father and son record a podcast in their cabin in Brentwood on Thursday, March 7, 2019. © Shelley Mays / The Tennessean Popular conservative radio personality Phil Valentine has started a new podcast with his adult son, Campbell, that has nothing to do with politics. The father and son record a podcast in their cabin in Brentwood on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

And that’s the point: The veteran broadcaster is hoping to generate more and younger listeners for his afternoon political show on Super Talk 99.7 WTN.

Phil Valentine saw that younger listeners are turning more and more to podcasts. So, with his middle son’s help, Valentine wanted to meet them where they are.

“Campbell bridges that gap because podcasts are big with his crowd. And in exchange, he’s getting an education in what it is to be a broadcaster,” Valentine said.

It’s a win-win. Campbell Valentine — who cringes at the idea of working 9 to 5 — always dreamed of being a creative type. He has been making his own “books” and art since he could pick up a crayon.

So Campbell Valentine is happy to have a creative way to support himself and to work with — and learn from — his dad.

Campbell Valentine comes up with the topics, researches them, creates picture “covers” for each episode, and records and edits the podcasts.

Nashville podcasts: TV anchor Vicki Yates and her daughter get real in their weekly podcasts

Bustin' on dad

His dad sits at a home studio microphone twice a week and reacts to what Campbell Valentine says.

The best parts of the podcasts happen when father and son drift a little off topic and tell stories from their childhoods or their home lives. Like the time Campbell Valentine threw a keg party when he was in high school. Or the time Phil Valentine threw a kegger in high school.

Campbell Valentine also sneaks in good-natured digs at his dad now and again.

In talking about older rituals around dating, Campbell Valentine said to his dad, “You might be old enough to remember that in the early 1900s …”

a man sitting at a table: Campbell Valentine, left, cracks up his dad, conservative radio personality Phil Valentine, while talking about their new podcast that has nothing to do with politics. © Shelley Mays, / The Tennessean Campbell Valentine, left, cracks up his dad, conservative radio personality Phil Valentine, while talking about their new podcast that has nothing to do with politics.

So far, it seems to be working. The two have grown the number of podcasts listeners from 150 an episode to more than 3,000 an episode. They’ve found a sponsor to buy all three commercial slots offered in the 30-minute episode.

And there’s hope that Cumulus Broadcasting — owner of Phil Valentine’s contract — will be able to find more sponsorship money for the podcast.

In the meantime, Phil Valentine is happy to be working with his boy.

“I’m very proud of him and think he’s a smart guy,” Dad said, beaming.

Reach Brad Schmitt at brad@tennessean.com or 615-259-8384 or on Twitter @bradschmitt.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Softer, gentler Phil Valentine launches podcast with his son, PodGOATs

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