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WESA’s Good Question! Podcast season two launches Sept 8

90.5 WESA Good Question! Podcast pink neon logo blue background with yellow lightbulb
Michele Klingensmith
90.5 WESA

90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR news station, has produced the Good Question! series for over five years to answer listener curiosities about Pittsburgh. This spring, WESA News launched the Good Question! Podcast to share those stories in a new way to reach even more listeners. We had a lot of interest in season one of the podcast, so we’re back with another round of stories about Pittsburgh history and culture in season two on Sept 8!

If you’re new to the concept, Good Question! is a listener-engagement series where we ask what you’ve always wondered about Pittsburgh and then try to find the answer. Our first season explored the Pittsburgh accent, took us up the city’s inclines and paddled us to an island on the Ohio River.

In our second season, host Katie Blackley will cover topics such as the pronunciation of “Carnegie,” and why locals say it differently than many others around the world. We’ll also learn how the Pittsburgh Pirates got their name and stories such as one remembering the first Black City Councilor. “I’m thrilled to revisit some of our stories, and sprinkle in some new ones about this quirky and wonderful city,” said Katie. “Each episode is less than 20 minutes long, perfect for a commute, walking the dog or preparing dinner.” Join us as we celebrate our city’s history and get a greater context into how we got to where we are today.

Starting Sept 8, look for the Good Question! Podcast season two at or wherever you get your podcasts.

Good Question! Podcast season two is made possible with support from Baum Boulevard Automotive, Eisler Landscapes, and the CPA firm Sisterson and Company.

Good Question! Podcast Origins

In 2017, WESA started an experiment: A listener-engagement radio series based on questions about Pittsburgh history and culture. First, we produced on-air and digital promotions encouraging our listeners and readers to answer this question: “What do you wonder about Pittsburgh, its culture, or people that you want WESA to investigate?” It didn’t take long. Listeners sent us questions about everything from abandoned coal mines to Pittsburgh’s involvement in the Underground Railroad to the origin of “yinz.” Next, we put our crack Pittsburgh-obsessed reporter, digital editor and producer, Katie Blackley, on the case and we were off. Finally, Katie took on the hosting duties for the segments and produced both audio and digital stories to answer the best of the questions we received.

The first Good Question! story was about the borough of Mt. Oliver. A keen listener observed that in a Pittsburgh neighborhood map, there’s a hole in the southern portion. That’s the borough of Mt. Oliver, which was never annexed into the City of Pittsburgh. We spoke with people who grew up in the neighborhood, the borough manager, and the local city councilor. Since then, we’ve produced nearly 100 Good Question! stories that have aired on 90.5 WESA and been featured on our website WESA.FM.

The Good Question! series taps into everything great about public radio — curiosity, contextualizing the past, and engaging with the community. To build on that success, Katie wrote a book based on the series, hosted three Curiosity Cruises on the Gateway Clipper and held a Good Question! Live event in February 2020. And in 2022 WESA debuted the Good Question! podcast.

Subscribe to our Good Question! Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.