88Nine’s Olivia Richardson is the newest member of Radio Milwaukee. She’s our Audio Storyteller joining us from WUWM. She was the station’s third Eric Von Fellow.
With us, she’ll be producing for our Community Stories segment — a project she looks forward to in which she can, along with our listeners, take a deeper look at the city we live in.
88Nine’s Nate Imig interviewed Richardson so our audience can learn a little more about her.
Here’s the conversation.
Nate Imig: Hey, this is Nate Imig. We’ve got an introduction here from a new voice you’re going to be hearing and Community Stories. Please help me welcome Olivia Richardson, who just joined the Radio Milwaukee team. Hey, Olivia.
Olivia Richardson: Hey, Nate.
Imig: So you’ve been in Milwaukee for about a year but you’ve had a lot of experience in radio and audio storytelling. Talk about your path a little bit to Radio Milwaukee and how you got here, in the first place.
Richardson: I actually started out in theater in college as an audio producer. By the time I got done with college, I think I was stressed and burned out. I was like, “I’m never doing audio ever again.” Podcasting wasn’t that that big back then and I didn’t see going into radio as an option. I was like, “Okay, we’ll just find a general corporate job and do the things.” I moved back to Chicago and I saw a board ops position. And as I was in that position, it just kept changing is like, “Okay, we need you to be on air just one time and the second time. And actually, now you’re just the host.”
Imig: That’s how it starts right?
Richardson: [laughs] Yeah.
Imig: So kind of like zooming back out to your history in Milwaukee. You’re in this kind of interesting place where you, you know, you’re not like a newcomer, you still have probably a lot of places to visit. And then especially with the pandemic being in the mix, do you have any go to things that you’re trying to learn about the city right away?
Richardson: Coming off that theater background, I really just like telling stories about people. I think the lives we live are always more dynamic than we like to give credit for. I think sometimes we can get really jaded, and we’re just like, “Oh, yeah, this person’s got this issue. This thing is this.” And I think when you start listening in on the details and stop listening to stories in terms of what information is going to give you; I think that’s when you can find some really good stories. That’s when you can actually find new information that you wouldn’t have gotten. Like, “I know all I need to know about police brutality. So I don’t really need to listen to this podcast by 88Nine’ right?” There’s always different room for new material that just kind of gets left out when we assume we know everything. And also, side note — I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, my mom would play him like all the time. So I listened to his album, “Band of Gypsies.” He talks about Milwaukee and Chicago and the protests, and I heard that lyric so many times. I just never clicked and put it together. Now. I’m like, “Oh, I’m in Milwaukee. I’m here.” I just want to see the city from that perspective, too. And connect to Jimi if I can.
Imig: There you go. Jimi Hendrix was like, prophesying your future a little bit back in your childhood. That’s amazing. Well, Olivia Richardson is 88Nine’s new Audio Storyteller. Really, really good to have you here. Welcome aboard. Can’t wait to hear more from you.
Richardson: Thank you so much. It’s been great.