Luz Tirado and Hernandez in their makeshift recording studio.

Bronx-focused podcast finishes first season as Webby award nominee

With only one season under its belt, the Go Bronx Podcast is up for a Webby Award in the Best Limited Series category. Founded by Olga Luz Tirado of the Bronx Tourism Council, the podcast was launched in response to quarantine measures in the State of New York.

The first season of 26 episodes ended with over 5,000 confirmed listeners, according to Luz Tirado.  She sourced story ideas over Zoom from her co-host, Bronx-born historian Angel Hernández, the team at Bronx Tourism Council, and the Bronx borough president’s office.

The result: more than two dozen podcasts tracing different aspects of Bronx history, such as The Lost Villages of the Bronx, The History of Transportation in the Bronx, and The Dark Knight – a history of the creation of The Batman right in the Bronx. The research for these stories was done primarily by Hernandez, as well as some sourcing from outside historians, and Luz Tirado’s own personal knowledge of the borough.

Before the pandemic, Luz Tirado and her team would provide trolley and walking tours of the Bronx for tourists and locals to get to know the borough. “We just wanted to make sure, as a marketer, to keep the brand alive,” she explained. The podcast was launched to allow those who might miss these tours to experience the Bronx through audio. 

Hernandez previously had worked with Bronx students to teach them of their history. “Part of his passion is to teach, in particular young Bronxites … help them be proud of their community,” Luz Tirado said. He worked as Program Director for 9 years at the Bronx County Historical Society, teaching students from kindergarten to college at public schools across the borough. 

Luz Tirado is eager for a second season, and is brainstorming new topics and invites all suggestions. After the first season was sponsored by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, she is awaiting a backer for another round.

The end of lockdown restrictions could see a whole new type of show, with a focus on hyperlocal issues and subjects. “We talked about changing the format a little bit … some of the restrictions have lifted.  We can do on location, just take the equipment, a couple of microphones, a mixer and a laptop,” she said. 

If you have an idea for a Bronx podcast episode, reach out to Luz Tirado and her team. If you’d like to vote for the GoBronx Podcast in the Webby Awards process, follow this link. The Webby Awards are the “leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet”, entering its 25th year of existence. They have honored notable winners such as Lebron James, Gillian Anderson, and Michelle Obama.

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