Bryan Bishop and Gina Grad’s arrivals in L.A. could be described as a vague bit of kismet. Bishop first came to the city as a USC student in 1996, a self-described “journalism nerd” who once wrote a fan letter to the Editor-in-Chief of The New York Times. Grad arrived here a few years later, hoping for a temporary respite from her native Midwestern winters while she explored a career in radio.
“In the beginning, I didn’t know how long I would last here,” she says. “But I fell so quickly in love with L.A. that I forgot to go home.”
Today, Bishop and Grad have about 47 years of combined experience covering Los Angeles, and in the process, they’ve accumulated a massive inventory of stories about the town. This week, the former co-hosts of the popular Adam Carolla Show will start telling some of these stories to the world as co-hosts of their own LAMag podcast, The Bryan and Gina Show.
According to Executive Producer Gary Smith, who recently stepped in to head up Los Angeles magazine’s new podcast division, the new, hour-long biweekly podcast will be accompanied by a YouTube series.
“What you’re going to get is the experiences of two L.A. transplants who moved from very different places for very different reasons and embraced L.A. as their home,” says Smith. “There is this idyllic Hollywood sense of what living in L.A. is like. But that’s not what we’re going for here. We want to keep it real.”
Bishop says the “insider-outsider” perspective that he and Grad bring to the show will allow them to explore “all the things that make this city both awesome and troubling. We want to give our listeners an authentic well-rounded view of this city that they won’t get anywhere else.”
In addition to discussing their own adventures (and misadventures) in L.A., the two radio veterans will highlight major stories from Los Angeles magazine and LAMag.com with the journalists who brought them to life. One of their first episodes features a discussion with investigative reporter Michele McPhee, whose recent profile of “Slot Whisperer” Sara King made national news. (King, the alleged con woman who has been dubbed “the Anna Delvey of Orange County,” recently broke up with the nephew of the late Shah of Iran and possibly faces years in prison. But McPhee discovered that there’s a lot more to the story than has been reported so far.).
“With my own background in journalism I know there is often a lot that doesn’t make it into the final article,” adds Bishop. “There is also tons of stuff that happens after a story had gone to press.” He says the new podcast will provide listeners with the context and details that are often overlooked.
“There’s a balance between finding stuff we can all relate to and finding what none of us can relate to,” adds the Kansas-born Grad, who says she still regards LA with a Midwesterner’s sense of wonder. What does it look like inside Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s $64 million dollar mansion? What’s the best new taco spot in the city?
But it won’t be all fun and games, Grad says. She and Bishop will also address the “grittier” aspects of life in the city, including politics, race, and crime. “At this point, Los Angeles feels like family,” she says. “You don’t always like your family, but you always love your family. And I’m a pretty honest person and am ready to talk about all of it, for better or worse. L.A. magazine does such an awesome job of covering the different facets of life here. We want this podcast to be a reflection of that.”
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