Sabrina Garone, a North Bellmore native, is the host of WSHU Radio’s podcast “After All Things.” The podcast, which bring listeners regional headlines and updates on the coronavirus pandemic, has been a popular addition to WSHU’s evening show since early last year.
WSHU is a National Public Radio radio station owned and operated by Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. “It’s the local NPR affiliate that happens to be located on the Sacred Heart campus,” said Garone, 24. “They take a lot of interns from the school and have graduate assistant programs. That’s how I started working there.”
Garone graduated from Wellington C. Mepham High School in 2014, and finished her undergraduate degree in Media Arts at Sacred Heart in 2018. Last year she completed a graduate degree in Broadcast Journalism and Media Production, also at SHU.
Asked how she got involved in podcasting, she said, “I honestly didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I wasn’t even thinking about graduate school. I had a professor tell me about this graduate assistant position at WSHU. Radio was the one thing I hadn’t really tried, which is funny because I liked podcasts and I listened to them all the time.”
According to Garone, that professor, Joe Alicastro, knew that she liked the production aspect of broadcast journalism, due to her involvement in a television news show on campus.
“I love audio, and I love editing audio,” Garone said. “I owe a lot to him for encouraging me.”
“I had Sabrina as a undergraduate and graduate student,” said Alicastro, a former producer at NBC New for 30 years, and current director of SHU’s Masters program in Journalism and Media Production.
The masters program at SHU offers a fellowship with WSHU to some students, which Sabrina was offered and accepted, according to Alicastro.
“I think the program is fantastic — I listen to it,” Alicastro said of Garone’s podcast. “There’s been a lot of closures of local news sources in recent years. If you didn’t get any other news during the day, you’d be caught up on the news in 8 to 13 minutes, just by listening to Sabrina.”
After All Things — previously know as “C-19” — recently underwent a name change and rebranding, Garone expalained. “That’s the new name as of a week ago,” she said.
The podcast was originally called C-19 due to its original emphasis on Covid. “There was a lot of confusion about Covid at the time. This podcast came about making our evening news more accessible to people in an 8 to 13 minute segment.
“After All Things is the new name as we transition out of the pandemic,” Garone added. “The focus is about the world after Covid — where funding is going, what schools will look like, and other things.”
NPR’s evening show, “All Things Considered,” is on every night from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Every half hour, WSHU comes in with local news, according to Garone.
“We serve Connecticut and Long Island,” she added. “Anything that is happening in our region is what takes the focus.”
Being that Connecticut and Long Island are separate from each other, Garone spoke on how they make the show work for both locations. “Since I’ve been working here, I’ve realized the two places are very similar. They share the Long Island Sound, commuters from both locations go into the city, and they’re affected by the same problems,” she explained. “I try to make the show a good balance between both places.”
Garone is the primary host of the podcast, but says occasionally she’ll feature audio from Bill Bucker, NPR’s host of All Things Considered. “It’s nice to have him be part of it,” she added.
Garone has been producing the podcast from home, and said that it’s great that technology has enabled radio hosts to not have to be in a physical studio.
She said, “Most people weren’t even going to the studio,” at the start of the pandemic. “They gave me this great microphone and I have all the software,” which allows for her show to sound like it was produced in a studio, she added.
Garone spoke highly of her coworkers at WSHU, who have been particularly supportive throughout her journey. “When I was a graduate assistant, I wasn’t even trying to be a reporter, host or journalist. I was really encouraged by our news director, Terry Sheridan, to do whatever I wanted — to not stick to one thing.
“I never imagined hosting a podcast,” she added. “Everyone at the radio station taught me everything about radio, and for that I am so grateful.”
“Sabrina’s great,” said Sheridan. “She brings enthusiasm — a younger point of view. She has a voice for it and she’s hitting all the right marks.”
“I was never an NPR listener,” Garone said, discussing the challenge of directing her podcast towards certain audiences. “I always had this preconceived notion of what an NPR listener was. One of my personal goals was to introduce younger people to public radio.”
“Part of what we have to do is be where our audience is,” Sheridan added. “The podcast was designed to be something people could listen to at their convenience.”
After All Things can be listened to every evening, Monday through Friday, on WSHU’s website, wshu.org, NPR’s podcast directory, and Apple podcasts, according to Garone. Nielsen’s National Regional Database estimates WSHU’s Public Radio’s terrestrial and digital platforms attract about 8,500 podcast visitors on a weekly basis.
“NPR can be for everyone,” Garone said. “By the nature of After All Things being a podcast, I hope young people can see that too.”