the m.e.o. podcast: from podcast to radio


by Tamara Styer

            This Friday night, June 17, at the Outland Ballroom in downtown Springfield, Missouri, supporters of the M.E.O. Podcast are coming together for an all ages benefit concert with local musicians, comedians, artists and entertainers.
Since January 1, 2011, hosts of the M.E.O. Podcast, Eric Fisher and Merr, have gone from starting the podcast in Fisher’s apartment, to getting their own radio show on 99.9 KBFL, as well as 1060 AM and Springfield Web TV.  Every week they came out with a new podcast without fail. They’re doing it for free, and they’re doing it on their own. Their rapid growth is indicative of their ambition and drive for what they do.
Fisher has done acting, short films, live theater, and he is infiltrated in the entertainment scene of Springfield. Blessed with the gift of gab, there’s not a person Fisher can't interview with ease.
Merr is a stand up comedian and creator of Laughing Stock, a local comedy show at the Outland every first Tuesday night of the month. He also has a blog on TAGsgf.com called Merrphy’s Law, a weekly column on the thoughts and musings of this local comedian.
            When they come together, they are Missouri Entertainment Online, better known as the M.E.O. Podcast. Like watching your favorite late night show or TV episode, the M.E.O. Podcast gives listeners a unique mix of roundtable discussion, dark humor and personality that you can’t get anywhere else. During the hour show, Eric and Merr interview and promote local entertainers and artists, then discuss random subjects, going on tangents of whatever comes up in conversation. Both are great interviewers and provide comic relief. Having been a guest on the M.E.O. Podcast, the experience is relaxed and hilarious, ranging from discussion of current issues and the entertainment scene to comic books, movies, and texting profanity to your mother… 

The M.E.O. Podcast benefit is a collection of artists and musicians who have all been featured as guests on the podcast from the first five months of the show,” says Fisher. “Sincerely Yours and Sylabol7 will be doing a joint set with DJ Nick Fury. Lucid will be playing before him, and the Western Paradise will be opening up. Agent Traxxident will be performing in between sets. We’ve got Merr and Matt Barnes, so there will be live comedy there. Also the trailer of All Fall Down which is a short film that at least five people who have been on the podcast have been involved in. So for $5 you get three musical acts, DJs, two comedians, and a movie trailer.
“And you got roller girls rolling around,” says Merr.
“Yeah you got Springfield Roller Girls,” says Fisher. “TAGsgf is gonna be in the house. They’ve been a huge supporter of ours. And basically the reason we’re doing it, is we’re trying to raise money so that we can put it back into advertising and equipment, and costs involved in doing the podcast and upcoming radio show.”
“The benefit is really just to grow it to be bigger,” says Merr. “To make it better. It’s not to the point that we foresee ourselves making any kind of money off this project at all, it’s more of just we’d really like to see it come to fruition.”
“I’d really like to see like a hundred bucks,” says Fisher.
“Well that’d be nice.”
“But a lot of it’s brand recognition. It takes money to make money, and we don’t have any money.”
“Our market is so in line with so many different businesses that our listeners are the same people that need their services,” says Merr. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem finding people that want to be a part of it, because it’s exciting.” 
“The radio show is going to be a huge avenue,” says Fisher, “and I expect our listenership to increase dramatically within the first couple of months. We promote through Facebook, Google AdWords, and print media, as well as radio advertising on SGF Local Live and cross promotion with the High Road on 98.7, a sports talk radio show hosted by Allen Vaughn.”
“At this point we figure, if we’re doing something that needs an audience, we need to build the audience,” says Merr. “So all the money that comes in, our main focus, our main goal is to build our audience bigger. So whichever way we can do that. We’re blessed now that we have a studio, we don’t have to pay for new equipment.”
“And that’s more money from the benefit show that, instead of buying new equipment, can go straight back into advertising,” says Fisher.
When the M.E.O. Podcast advertises, it means advertising for local entertainment, musicians, artists, actors, comedians and more. Anyone who is a guest on the podcast will benefit from the success of M.E.O. Podcast.
“What’s cool about it,” says Merr, “is it’s what we set out to do, to introduce people to local artists and local musicians and things like that, and now we’re able to actually promote it so much that we’re going to be able to introduce these people to people that never heard of them.”
“We can sponsor events and throw our own events,” says Fisher.


Merr
“What we are doing in Springfield is introducing a lot of people who’ve never downloaded a podcast before to just the concept of an internet type radio, an on demand show where you can go back and listen to the whole thing," says Fisher. "It’s like watching a season of a TV show. You can go back from the very beginning and kind of hear it evolve. All our radio shows as well will be podcasted and cross promoted with the other podcast, so we’ll have two shows a week now, one will be PG 13, one will be the same as it was before.”
“X triple X,” says Merr.
“And they’ll both be promoted between the two,” says Fisher.
“And ultimately, really, it’s all just about trying to get laid,” says Merr.
“M.E.O. Radio is basically taking the concept of the M.E.O. podcast as the roundtable discussion with Springfield’s entertainment elite, as we say, to a live, more listener interactive format,” says Fisher. “We’ll have the guest on there, talk a little bit about what they do, but we’re also going to open it up for listeners to call in, to tweet on twitter, email us, text, whatever.”
“Like a love line with less STDs, teen pregnancies and judgment,” says Merr.
“If people want to call in for advice, whatever,” says Fisher. “We’ve actually gotten some donations from a couple of businesses, we’ll be doing some giveaways on the first show to invite people to call in, and that show will always be on there. It’ll always be available. If you call in and it sparks some big debate, someone can always go back and download that episode and listen to what you said.”
“Yeah and it’s interesting,” says Merr, “I think what our show brings to the table that you can’t hear or find anywhere else, is after almost every podcast we have people go, ‘Wow, I’ve been interviewed a whole bunch of times and never before has it been so relaxed and just so comfortable, and I’m able to just converse.’ I think being able to capture that essence of who this person is, not just as an artist, because you see him perform, and you’re like, that guy’s awesome, but you don’t know anything about him. Now is the chance for you to actually be able to see the guy behind the guy. It’s gonna be great with the call-ins because you’re gonna actually be able to have a chance to be able to call in and be like, ‘Hey I saw you two weeks ago, you guys are amazing.’”
“Or they can call in and say ‘You suck!’” says Fisher. “And that’s kind of what we’re wanting. I mean we want the radio show to have the same raw and edgy feel as the podcast even though [it will be censored]. Maybe we will have people call in and tell us who their favorite band is and we’ll tell you why they suck, just to spark a debate. Because arguing with somebody is one of my favorite things to do, and to involve a guest in that as well I think will be a lot of fun. And I think it’ll give us a lot of fodder for stuff to talk about on the uncensored podcast, which we will be recording directly after the radio show.


The M.E.O. podcast is quickly becoming a staple in the Springield entertainment scene, now adding another show that is live, and that the people of Springfield and all over the world can hear. M.E.O. Radio will be every Sunday night from 9pm to 10pm on 99.9 KBFL, 1060 AM, Springfield Web TV, and also, coming soon, TAG TV. The first episode premieres July 24. 
“Big shout out to Brett Johnston,” says Merr. “He is the biggest reason we’re getting this radio show, so big props to him. He called us up and said, ‘I love what you’re doing with the podcast. Could you do it live, you know censored?’ We were like, ‘Yeah! We’ll try!’”
Entertainers from the Springfield area can be considered to be a guest on M.E.O. Radio and the M.E.O. Podcast by sending contact info, bios, links, and song samples to meopodcast@gmail.com.
“Tell us what you do, leave contact information,” says Fisher.
“Just be awesome,” says Merr.
“Basically, if you have something to promote,” says Fisher, “if you work in the entertainment industry, if you act, if you direct, if you play an instrument, if you sing, if you’re in a band, if you’re a photographer, if you’re an artist, then get in touch with us, because we will help you promote whatever it is you have to promote, in exchange for two hours of your soul.”
“We’ve had Speakeasy,” says Fisher, “ALG, Motherstar, Lucid, Machine Gun Symphony, Sincerely Yours, we’ve had actors, we’ve had an actor from Winter’s Bone, nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, Jennifer Eiffert, star of stage and screen, Angry Panda’s coming up soon, he’s been on the Warped tour, Brian Adams from Great American Taxi, Gary Bedell, and others.”
Fisher and Merr have their fingers on the pulse of the local entertainment scene. They are friends with many local entertainers and have supported the local scene for years.
            “I did the same thing, I got into acting, I’ve done short films, I’ve played live, I like to be in this kind of environment,” says Fisher.
“We want to promote what we’ve got going on, but at the same time, it means a lot to us what people are doing here,” says Merr. “The local music scene, the local arts scene, we’re part of the community, and we love to see that, because that’s what we get excited about, to see people doing that. And for us to have a niche, and be able to be better and get more people into it, it’s an accidental…”
            “It’s a happy accident,” says Fisher.
“It’s like when you get pregnant on accident but you’re not that bummed,” says Merr. “It did end up working better than we thought it was going to on more than just a success level as far as gaining listeners, we kind of found ourselves being back in the middle of what we really care about, and helping that cause.”
A fresh episode of the M.E.O. Podcast is available every Sunday. Download and subscribe through iTunes, download the Stitcher smart radio app or subscribe to meopodcast.blogspot.com. Come out to the all ages benefit concert this Friday night, June 17, at the Outland Ballroom and help support local entertainment.

All contents property of Deitra Productions
Reproduction is prohibited, by permission only
Copyright 2011, all rights reserved
All photography by Kali Fisher, Severed Shadows Photography
Copyright 2011, all rights reserved

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