✏️🛠️ The Producers of the Hit Podcast ‘Heavyweight’ on How to Find (and Tell) Intimate Human Stories
In anticipation of the beloved show airing its last episode today, we spoke to Kalila Holt and Stevie Lane about their story-finding process, how to get started in radio and more.
You know that one episode of a podcast that turns you from a casual listener to an obsessive devotee? For me, with Heavyweight, hosted by Jonathan Goldstein, it was “Buzz,” which is the first episode of the show, but it wasn’t the first one I heard. Before that, I had dabbled here and there, randomly, out of order, until my partner listened to that one and insisted on playing it for me on a road trip, sure I would love it. He was right, and the rest, as they say…
“Buzz” is about Goldstein’s attempt to mend an estranged relationship between his father, Buzz, and Buzz’s only sibling, Sheldon, both in their 80s at the time. It’s a dig into the past, a reconciliation with old memories and emotions and an intimate look at the complexities of familial relationships. It’s also a perfect template for what the show Heavyweight, all eight seasons of it, would become. Each episode centers around a person on a quest for something — answers, a long-lost object, an essential truth — but who, for one reason or another, needs the help of the Heavyweight team, most often Jonathan, to get to the bottom of it. It’s intimate, often emotional and always moving.
The Heavyweight staff recently announced that the podcast, to borrow their words, “as it exists under Spotify will be ending after this season.” I and thousands of other fans were devastated by this news. The Heavyweight team, like all of us, are hoping the show finds a new home ASAP (house them!), but for now, their last episode airs today — give it a listen. In the meantime, for our Culture Club column, I spoke with longtime producers Kalila Holt and Stevie Lane from their Brooklyn office about how they’ve made and shaped a show so many hold close to their hearts.