Hot takes in the studio

Almost since the day we launched back in 2014, Billy Penn has been wanting to make a podcast.

As podcasting became more and more popular, readers repeatedly asked when we would jump into the game. At the end of December, we made a deal: if folks chipped in an additional $2,500 to help our member-supported newsroom keep going, we’d jump into the studio.

On the last day of the year, we hit our goal — and began the planning process that led to today.

Thanks to help from our parent company WHYY, which knows just a bit about audio recording, our first test is now live.

Check it out below.

In this episode, Pennsylvania’s former lieutenant governor shows up in Hollywood with some questionable comedy acts, Philly says sonic teen repellents will stay in city parks, supermarkets keep opening despite the soda tax — and plenty more.

The Billy Penn Podcast test features host Johnny Goodtimes — he of Quizzo fame — in conversation with reporters Michaela Winberg and Layla Jones and political editor Max Marin. It was produced by Seth Kelley (moonlighting from his day job on Fresh Air), executive produced by editor Danya Henninger, and engineered by Al Banks.

We’re new to this, but as we work at a radio station now, we thought we’d give it a try. What do you think? Do we have the voice? Is Layla the next Ira Glass? Send us an email and let us know.

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...