Bill Templeman Finds his Niche with ‘Pints and Politics’

From election matters to opioid crisis, podcaster shares broad array of topics

Eager to stay engaged in politics, an opportunity presented itself to Bill Templeman one day while he was driving his car and listening to Trent Radio.

As a life-long radio listener, the 75-year-old Peterborough resident was intrigued by Trent Radio station’s call for summer programmers. He got a spot and began interviewing local politicians in preparation for the 2018 municipal election. The conversations were a bit rigid at first but then Bill found his niche hosting panelists to discuss the given topic of the day.

Today, about a year later, he hosts a weekly program called Pints and Politics, casting light on local, provincial and federal election issues among other topics.

“Having great panelists who know the political scene and can make issues come alive on-air makes my job really fascinating. Most of the political discussions, the panelists, I really enjoy.”

And he’s having a good time.

“I found I really got into the panel discussions,” says Bill, who ran for a spot on municipal council in 2014.

“It was quite by accident. Someone cancelled on me.” He recruited a few people for a panel discussion “and it turned out to be a lot of fun.”

Once the election ended, he kept the radio program going. He converts each program into a podcast. It’s a process he likes doing, one he describes as “the digital equivalent of quilting. It’s a meticulous task.”

Now all of the programs are panel-style discussions. Bill has presented a number of topics in addition to politics, including housing issues, climate change, hockey, youth issues and even poetry. “I’ve enjoyed building it up. I’ve discovered recently how to insert Creative Commons music into them. So now they’re… quite listenable.”

The staff at Trent Radio and the folks at Peterborough Independent Podcasters have been extremely helpful, Bill notes.

During the summer, his program runs every other week on Thursdays at 7 p.m. He’ll ramp up and return to a weekly schedule in the fall, in preparation for the 2019 federal election.

One of his most memorable podcasts was a debrief of last October’s municipal election with panelists Sylvia Sutherland, Tim Etheringtom, Alissa Paxton and Donald Fraser.

“Having great panelists who know the political scene and can make issues come alive on-air makes my job really fascinating. Most of the political discussions, the panelists, I really enjoy.”

A podcast in March — Does Hockey Still Matter? — is also among his favourites to date.

At the time of this interview, Bill was looking forward to an upcoming discussion about the opioid crisis with Peterborough’s deputy police chief, a consultant and a public health professional.

Bill is eager to welcome new listeners. Check out Trent Radio at 92.7 FM on the dial and/or visit Pints and Politics here.

Photo by Michelle Strutzenberger.

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